I remember that day, whenI was still new to amigurumis, I was making a cute little doll from a pattern… I loved it, the instructions were very clear, it was turning out really good,… Until that single sentence in the assembling part : “If you’d like to make your doll poseable, you can add wire in the arms and legs [period]”. I turned the page over, looked for more explanations or pictures, then realized that the period was actually a full stop and that my little doll would sadly stay sluggish forever because I had no idea whatsoever how to do that.
After that first experience, I’ve always been a bit scared to use wire in my work. It seemed really complicated and totally risky to me.
Then, little by little, I tried again. And I have to admit, I’ve known bitter failures. That’s how I learned that it’s better to keep the wire connected, because a bit of wire in the right arm, and a bit of wire in the left arm? They just don’t stay where they should ! And if your aim isn’t to make a stop motion movie where your doll would suddenly be stabbed by a stake…That’s not what you want to do.
Now, when I make patterns where wire is involved, I try my best to illustrate the process step by step with as many pictures as needed depending on the pattern.
Today, I’d like to show you a method you can apply to almost any doll you’ll be making.
1. The material
► Simple wire or electric wire : I tend to use both of them as they both have their benefits.
– the simple wire is thinner so it will help in smaller areas. However, keep in mind that it is breakable so it will be less resistant. You can find it in different size.
– the electric wire is made in copper wrapped in plastic sheaths. It is thicker and way more resistant. It exists in a lot of different colors which is cool because you can use a color matching your doll if you crocheted it a bit on the loose side. You can find it in any hardware store.
► Cutting pliers : especially useful for cutting the electric wire to the desired length.
► flat-nose pliers : not mandatory but very useful for bending the ends.
2. Create the wire skeleton
– Start by bending one end of the wire according to the size of your doll leg.
– Insert it in the first leg then reckon the length you’ll need for the second leg and cut it (don’t bend the other side yet).
– Insert the wire at the bottom of the body for the legs (see below for the arms).
Your doll should look like this now:
– Now fold the second end of the wire to fit the second leg’s size.
– And insert it.
– Then, sew the legs in place.
As for the arms, proceed the same way. However, as you have to go through the body from one side to another, it can be a bit more difficult. The wire will push the stuffing and put it out of shape. In order to avoid that, prepare the way with your needle before inserting the wire.
If needed, double the wire. Don’t forget to bend the end.
Proceed the same way for the second arm as for the second leg and sew in place.
You may have noticed that I didn’t talk about stuffing. There is a reason to that : I didn’t put any.
When the pieces in which you have to put the wire are too thin, it can be very difficult to put the stuffing in. If you put it before the wire, you’ll have trouble inserting the wire. If you put the wire first, you’ll have to stuff around it, making sure to keep the wire in the middle.
Do that if your pieces are big enough, but when they are thin, simply adjust the size of the wire and don’t bother about the stuffing. See for yourself, would you have noticed that the arms and legs of the namdoll weren’t stuff?
3. Playtime !
And that’s it !
(Be careful, avoid putting a wire skeleton in dolls intended for small children !)
Pattern : Bat Namdoll