New pattern: Zero Waste Cloth Doll

Hi Everyone, I have a new zero waste pattern. It’s a cloth doll with a wardrobe of zero/low waste clothes.

The pattern is in my shop now; please enjoy 25% off for the next month.

Zero waste cloth dolls

The pattern pieces for the doll are nested in a zero waste layout which includes a coat and overalls.

Zero waste doll cutting layout
Here is the cutting layout.
Zero waste doll, coat and overalls separated into pieces
Here are the pieces separated into doll (top right), coat (top left) and overalls (bottom).
Zero waste doll with coat and overalls
Here are the pieces sewn together – this one is in natural linen.
The doll has several hair options and a simple face which can be hand embroidered or drawn using a permanent marker.

This cloth doll pattern is a blank canvas for your creativity. The pattern has no specific gender, so you can make a girl doll, boy doll, or a doll that looks like the child who’ll be playing with it.

Diagrams for zero waste cloth doll and coat and overalls

Suitable fabrics include linen, cotton, calico, poplin, homespun or sheeting. For a very soft doll, velveteen or baby cord can be used – the difference in nap direction is not noticeable in small items like this.

Accompanying this pattern is a separate file to make a wardrobe of zero/low waste dolls clothes. You may recognize some of these styles from Zero Waste Sewing and my other zero waste patterns.

Diagrams for zero waste doll clothes

Here’s a gallery of dolls and clothes….

I came to make this pattern after thinking about other applications for zero waste cutting – the concept could be used for quilts, toys, home decor, or anything where pieces are arranged on a flat surface. I thought I could make a toy (read my brief thoughts about zero waste toys here) and drew an idea which turned out to be totally unworkable! But eventually I arrived at the pattern I’ve now finished. Below is the original cutting plan from my sketchbook – you can see I kept the idea of nesting clothes in with the doll, but the arms and legs became separate and the clothes changed.

Original layout for zero waste doll

This is my last post for the year and this blog is now on annual leave until late January.

Thanks so much for reading, commenting, following on social media and ordering patterns and books. I wish you a happy and relaxing Christmas/holidays!



  1. Anne on December 18, 2021 at 7:19 pm

    Blast! This is exactly what I was looking for a few weeks ago and now there’s too little time left before Christmas for me to make one. Great idea.

    • lizhaywood on December 18, 2021 at 7:56 pm

      Gah! Sorry Anne! A week before Christmas isn’t an ideal time to put out a toy pattern but alas I couldn’t do it any faster. Please file it away for later!

  2. Tracy Henwood on December 18, 2021 at 7:49 pm

    Wow Liz she/ he is gorgeous

    • lizhaywood on December 18, 2021 at 7:57 pm

      Thanks Tracy! We think she looks like Jemima from Playschool with the face of a lego man!

      • Chris Schwab on December 20, 2021 at 9:48 pm

        Thank you for sticking with this idea! How wonderfully creative and useful… and I have so many fabric pieces in my scrap bin… January might just become wardrobe month for a little darling. Wishes sent your way that you and your family will find joy, happiness and health this Christmas season, with a happy and healthy New Year!

      • lizhaywood on December 20, 2021 at 10:20 pm

        Many thanks Chris. It’s quite a good scrap-busting project – I could have gone on and on making dolls clothes!
        Have a wonderful Christmas too.

  3. Sue on December 20, 2021 at 6:11 pm

    Oh no! I’ve just finished making a baby doll for my granddaughter and would much have preferred this one with more outfit options. I’d buy it now for next year but I’ve exhausted my budget.

    • lizhaywood on December 20, 2021 at 10:23 pm

      I’m sure your granddaughter will love the doll you’ve already made, Sue.

      • Karen Casey on March 19, 2022 at 2:41 am

        This pattern is just what i need to use up all my scrap and left over fabric.
        Plus it will do for making the buddy dolls/ toys for donating to the police in the uk for them giving to children who are caught up in domestic abuse etc

      • lizhaywood on March 19, 2022 at 2:55 pm

        Thanks Karen 🙂 It would be wonderful to use them to make buddy dolls.

  4. Wendy on December 20, 2021 at 6:17 pm

    I’m loving the ZW clothing options!! The diddy Cendre top has just set off waves of ‘cute aggression’ . (It’s a thing- that tension you feel when you encounter something seriously cute)

    • lizhaywood on December 20, 2021 at 10:21 pm

      Thanks Wendy – glad you spotted the Cendre top!

  5. Mary E Warner on January 25, 2022 at 5:21 am

    Adorable dolls, Liz! Thanks for sharing!

    • lizhaywood on January 25, 2022 at 9:02 am

      Cheers Mary! I certainly had a lot of fun making this pattern!

  6. Samantha (Sam) on March 15, 2022 at 12:22 pm

    I am looking forward to creating some dolls, love this pattern! I have lots of scraps and ideas in my head!

    • lizhaywood on March 15, 2022 at 2:12 pm

      Thank you, I just saw your order!

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