"I found I could say things with color and shapes that I couldn't say any other way-things I had no words for." ~ Georgia O'Keeffe

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Tiny finger turning tutorial.

Today when I was turning the fingers for my doll I thought that perhaps it would be nice to share the way I turn my tiny fingers with everyone. I know many doll makers have given this tutorial time and time again. Mine may not be a great one but I do hope it will help someone out there who has not seen a tutorial for turning tiny fingers. With this method I have turned tiniest of fingers and I thank my peers for teaching me so well. So here is how I do it.
First cut out the pattern for your hand and fingers

and then trace it onto the freezer paper. You will notice that I have chopped off the thumb. I attache the tumb seperately.

After ironing the freezer paper on to doubled fabric I sew all around the fingers carefully. I use number 1 setting in my machine to sew. I always take 2 to 3 stitches inbetween the fingers. It makes the cutting and turning of fingers easier. Then I cut all around the fingers carefully. I cut as close as possible making sure I don't snip the seams.

Then I take the  turning tube that will fit inside the finger and isert it in.
I use a tube that will fit very snugly into the finger. Not too loose but that which fits snugly like so.  After putting the tube into the finger I trim all around the finger again going even closer to the seam. I do this because it is much easier to see where the seam is when the tube is in the finger and you can go very very close to the seam. The seam will not come undone as I used number 1 setting for the stitches.

Now I take another tube or a thin rod in this case and insert it from the other end. I usually insert a couple of sizes smaller tube or rod to one inside the finger from the other end because it is easier to slide the fabric onto it. Now I hold the rod/tube steady with one hand without putting pressure on it  and with the other hand I then slide the fabric onto this rod/tube. It should slide quiet easily. If you find the fabric is bunching up just go back and start again. If you look at the picture below where the rod is inserted in you will see how close to the seam I have cut the fabric. If you do not go as close, the bulk of the fabric will not allow you to turn the finger. Golden rule, never push the fabric with the  rod/tube into the finger , always feed the fabric onto the rod/tube

Once all fingers are turned the hand should look like this.
With the heamostates then I turn the hand.
and walla! the fingers are turned!.

I then make a slit in the palm where the thumb should be after stuffing the hand and insert the stuffed thumb and sew it on or glue it on. I prefer to sew.

As you can see the fingers I turned are just between 3-4mm wide. You can turn even slimmer fingers the same way.

I hope this mini tutorial will be of some use to someone out there. Enjoy!


  1. I've seen the separate thumb suggested several times..but, never tried that Shashi.... some day I must give it a try... and hope I can get it in the right place!

  2. Great tutorial, Shashi! I love how you did the thumb as it looks more realistic than the way I always did it. I've never seen a hand pattern with the thumb separate like that.

  3. Thanks Shashi, You explained this very well. I have never seen a thumb done this way either.

  4. Oh my goodness Shashi you are so expert at that! I don't think I would ever have the patience.....
    (but thank you for explaining so well)
    Linda x

  5. Great Tutorial, love the way you have done the thumb

  6. Shashi, this is marvelous! I never thought to trim the fingers even closer, using the inserted tube as a guide. Brilliant. Sewing on that teeny thumb though - how do you do it? I don't think I'm patient enough. Do you turn under the edges on the thumb and slit?

  7. Wow Shashi! Sorry it took me so long to get here. Great tutorial. I've never seen a thumb done like this before either.

  8. Oh my goodness Shashi how patient you must be. Obviously so much work goes into your wonderful dolls but your tutorial shows how very precise a craft your dollmaking is. Fantastic!!
    Chris xx

  9. Wonderful tut, I thought I was the only one that squared off the finger tips, as I never see them done that way in any other tutorial. I know I read it somewhere a long time ago and have done it ever since.

  10. I just found your blog and Love it! Thanks for sharing I am going to try this. In the past I have had the hardest time doing fingers to the point I had given up.
    Have a Wonderful Holiday
    Peace and Blessings
    Cheryl...Snatch JOY!


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