Michelle Down is a toy pattern designer, Etsy seller and blogger under the moniker Gingermelon. Her dolls and toys are inspired by the adorably sweet Chibis found in Japanese manga art. She designs and creates her dolls at home in beautiful British Columbia, Canada, surrounded by her collection of Blythe dolls, vintage children's books, stacks of gorgeous felts, buttons, beads, and embroidery threads.

My Felt Doll by Shelly Down

Hand-sewing soft dolls has never been easier with these adorable patterns from the Gingermelon Dolls designer.

The eagerly anticipated first book by popular toy designer Shelly Down, My Felt Doll shows sewers of all abilities how to make adorable soft dolls—and more than forty accompanying accessories—using the most basic of materials and skills.

With just felt sheets and a handful of simple notions, you will learn how to sew the simple yet delightful doll pattern and then discover eleven imaginative variations on the design—from a mermaid to a witch, from a princess to a superhero, and from a ballerina to a bride—guaranteed to delight little girls everywhere.

With no hems to sew and all the stitching done by hand, My Felt Doll makes a great entry point to sewing dolls for beginners and even children. Full-size templates make life easy—trace straight from the page with no need to enlarge.



  • "Totally lovely... The instructions are clear and Shelly's hand-drawn illustrations for each step are a perfect accompaniment... This is one of those instances in which buying a book is really worthwhile."

    – While She Naps
  • "Great for absolute beginners with no sewing experience... Also, a great addition to an experienced plushie maker... as the details and color palette will surely inspire you in your next customization."

    – Noisybeak
  • "The cutest book... Since the dolls are entirely handsewn out of wool felt, they take a little extra time, but the end results were so cute!"

    – Clover & Violet




When I began making dolls a few years ago, I really didn't have much sewing experience at all. My Nan had taught me a few basic embroidery stitches when I was younger, but, to be honest, I thought that needlecrafts were best suited to little old ladies who spent their days drinking pots of tea and sorting embroidery threads! Oh, how very wrong I was...

Although my sewing skills were extremely limited when I started making dolls, I quickly noticed that my work improved dramatically with continued practise. Now, not only is it fun to create something by hand, it is also a very rewarding experience. I often find myself wondering just how many little stitches I've used to sew a doll when it's finished – each little stitch I've sewn is a tiny bit of love. It's such a wonderful feeling, knowing that I've created the entire doll from start to finish!

Vintage children's books, fairy tales and the cute, lovable style of Japanese Kawaii inspire many of my designs. Once I've come up with an idea for a doll or toy, I make a basic sketch of the design into my notebook. Then I break down every aspect of the sketch to create the pattern pieces, which I draw onto graph paper. Usually, I need to make and re-make pattern pieces many times before I'm satisfied with the results, but the process is certainly worth the effort once everything comes together!

I feel it's very important for me to write the instructions for my patterns in a very simple, easy-to-follow manner, so even a beginner sewer can feel confident in his or her abilities to make something wonderful. It is very rewarding to make something by hand, especially if it is fun and easy to make. And it's my hope to inspire more people to dust off their scissors and pincushions to give sewing a try!