Step 9: Sew tubes for the arms and legs

If you have your own ideas for limbs (or tentacles, wings, etc.) don’t hold back. It’s a bonus if the monster is easy for a child to dress with a pair of underpants, which means having two legs and a bottom, but other fun designs are also welcome.

We’re creating four slim fabric tubes, one for each limb. I make my arms slightly shorter than my legs. I usually cut these pieces from offcuts and tailor the length/width to fit what I have available. It’s a good way of using up leftover fabric that isn’t large enough for another monster body or small enough for the scrap bag.

You could cut either 1 or 2 pieces of fabric to make into a nice tube. If you use 1 larger piece and fold it lengthways, as shown in this guide, the single seam can go on the inside of the arm/leg out of sight when we put the doll together. If using 2 pieces, smaller offcuts can be used, and you could use different fabrics for front and back.

This guide shows the limbs being sewn into the main seam when we sew up the body. Using this method, and especially if placing the limbs at an angle, some of the length of our tubes will be swallowed up into the body of the doll, so we need to allow a bit extra. We also need to allow a small bit of extra length turn a ‘cuff’ at the end of each tube to hide the raw edge of the fabric before we insert the hands/feet. I usually opt to make long tubes – between 10” and 14” – and chop some off if I don’t need it.

  • With your fabric piece(s) for each limb either folded or stacked right-side to right-side (depending on whether you cut 1 or 2 pieces for each limb), press flat with an iron and sew a straight seam up the raw edge(s) of each tube. Turn the tubes right-side out then press flat with an iron.
Folded pieces ready to sew into tubes. (Ignore the white fabric behind – I added a lining to this particular fabric as it’s not stuffing-proof.)

It’s possible to attach the limbs after sewing up the body, or even after stuffing it. If you go for this option, the top edges of the tubes should be finished as neatly as the side seams.