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How to Sew a Daddy Doll to Comfort Kids While Dad Is Away

Take dad’s old clothing and stitch together a simple daddy doll to comfort kids while dad is away. This is a great craft to make for toddlers and preschoolers.

Click here to find more free sewing tutorials and patterns.

Daddy doll - to comfort kids when dad is away for work.

One of my goals for March was to make at least one softie for the Sew Mama Sew Spectacular Softies Contest. The month was nearly over, and I hadn’t made anything, and then last week Mike was out of town, and the kids were missing him. So I made a Daddy Doll!

How to Sew a Daddy Doll Out of Dad’s Old Clothes

I had a pair of work pants and an old work shirt of his sitting in our playroom that the kids had been cutting up slowly for various projects, so I took that and some bits of felt and a little embroidery floss and made a Daddy Doll!

Since I used the felt we had on hand, the coloring doesn’t really match Mike’s, but that isn’t very important and I do think this doll captures the essence of Mike.

I made the pattern up, with a little inspiration from the kids’ Owie Dolls (you can see Anna’s here). Although I used my experience sewing four of LiEr’s Owie dolls as inspiration, the Daddy doll is much narrower, with entirely different proportions to match Mike’s very slim 6’2” build.

I stuffed his head and body (and added poly pellets to his bum so that he can stay seated more neatly). I didn’t stuff his arms, and his legs only have a few poly pellets for stability – no stuffing. This wouldn’t work with all fabric, but it was a nice fit for the felt I had on hand.

His shoes are made out of felt, but his pants are made out of worn-out work pants that belonged to Mike, and his shirt is made out of the collar of one of Mike’s shirts – with some pretty serious tailoring.

I embroidered the eyes, mouth, and glasses before stitching the pieces together. I didn’t make a tutorial for this project, but I do have other sewing tutorials for you to check out!

Finding comfort in a Daddy doll while dad is traveling for work

Not surprisingly, the Daddy doll is most popular with my two youngest kids. Five-year-old Lily loves giving him cuddles, and two-year-old Anna takes him on some incredibly athletic adventures!

Taking a softie version of dad on adventures while he is away for work

How do you help your kids cope with business trips? Mike has traveled a lot over the years, and here are some other things that have helped my kids cope with a parent traveling for work.

Setting Goals for April 2015


March flew by, so I am glad I kept my goals simple! Besides this fun sewing project, the kids and I did, happily spend quite a bit of time outside. A couple of the kids made some sewing projects for the same contest, which I will be sharing later this week. I partially finished my photography site, but not quite. I’ll continue to work on it in April. We did make some fun memories, including by making this doll! Anna decided in March that she is not a baby any more, but a girl – yet another reminder that my kids are growing up!

What did March look like in your home?

Here are my goals for April:

  • Enjoy a visit with my brother who lives a few hours away. Character trait: thankful
  • Finish my photography site. Character trait: thankful
  • Continue to spend as much time outdoors with the kids as possible. Character trait: curious
  • Finish up a couple of handmade gifts. Character trait: thankful and kind
  • Learn how to design fabric. This is something I have wanted to do for a long time. Character trait: curious
  • Get the kids’ music practicing more organized. Character trait: helpful and thankful

What are your hoping to accomplish in April?

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MaryAnne at Mama Smiles
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MaryAnne is a craft loving educator, musician, photographer, and writer who lives in Silicon Valley with her husband Mike and their four children.

10 thoughts on “How to Sew a Daddy Doll to Comfort Kids While Dad Is Away”

  1. This doll is so great! I can just imagine how much your kids love it when Mike is traveling. Looking forward to seeing your designs!

  2. The littlest girl looks like she is having a blast with the daddy doll!
    What am I hoping to accomplish this month?

    – Publish a book
    – Send another book to the editor
    – Reorganize my room
    – Fix up broken flowerbeds

    I am only expecting an act of congress to accomplish all of these, but I have no doubt that they WILL get done before May.

  3. Wow that is such a cute doll! I love the shirt, especially :) We’re trying to go get out as much as possible too, before it starts getting too hot.

  4. Elisa | blissfulE

    Anna is clearly sooooo delighted with the doll you made! What a super-cute picture!! This is a wonderful way to help your younger kids cope with Mike’s absence. My husband is on the plane home from New Zealand now, yay! My kids cope by focusing on helping me when he’s gone, which thankfully isn’t often (and this time was just a few days). I pour my energy into decluttering, which is my de-stressing outlet. How do you cope with Mike’s absences?

    1. 7pm bedtime for the kids, and keeping meals simple are my coping mechanisms! We have been home without Mike a lot, so the kids are used to it, which helps a lot.

  5. I’m still in denial March is over, and pretty much am not ready to accept anything that resembles April despite it’s starting tomorrow.

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