Half Doll Tutorials

Video 1-Transferring beads from hanks to Perle 8 Cotton
Video 2-Casting on using the Thumb Method.
Video 3-Learn how to knit a fitted waist band.
Video 4-How to decrease for fitted band.
Video 5-How to cast off on a purl row.
Video 6-How to add a ribbon row.
Video 7-Learn how to tie a flat ribbon bow.
Video 8-Learn what to do if waist band it just little too big.
Video 9-Learn how to attach legs to half dolls.
Video 10- Tension Very important.
(For Video on Tension,please click )
Written Tutorial's covering all of the information in the video's is at the bottom of the page.

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Beading Belles Video Tutorials


HANKS- size 11 beads,how many? depends on the pattern that you choose.
NEEDLES-1.25 mm (needles are pointed both ends,so either place small beads on the ends or use ends that go onto hat pins,otherwise you with end up stabbing yourself.)
COTTON -Perle 8 Cotton comes in brands D.M.C,.Presencia,Anchor etc

  A hank refer's to prestrung beads,there are generally 12 strings of beads to a hank.

   This is best done over a container,(Shallow box lid) to catch any beads that may come astray,from the string while transferring.
  Place hank in container,and gently remove one end of the strand from the hank.
  Next make a slip knot at the end of this cotton(that holds the beads) then thread your perle 8 cotton,through the slip knot and pull tight,gently pull the other end of the cotton from the hanks of beads and separate the last bead,make a slip knot incoporating the last bead,(to anchor the bead)so the beads won't slip from the hank while threading onto the cotton.

(click image to enlarge)

Repeat until you have 6 strands threaded.DON'T CUT FROM THE BALL OF PERLE 8 COTTON.
As you will shuffle your beads towards the ball of perle cotton,as you knit the skirt.
  Patterns often say to thread the 12 strings on at once,but with this method you weaken the cotton by shufferling the beads down the cotton as you knit.
  Sometimes when threading,a bead will not pass over or it is a different colour.You may use pointy nose pliers to break the bead,squeeze the bead gently to break it and continue threading but beware,this method can also cut the cotton.
  Safest rule is to pull the string from the Perle cotton,take the bead off,cut the slipknot off  the string.Make another slip knot over the Perle cotton and continue threading.
  Knit these 6 stands up first,when needed at the END OF THE ROW,cut the cotton,leaving a 8cm(3 inch)tail of cotton,transfer the next 6 strands,onto the ball of cotton,attach at the beginning of the row,to the 8cm(3 inch) tail and continue knitting.

 Generally all patterns start with knit 2,slip--number of beads.The next step is to cast your next stitch on using the thumb method.

  Using your thumb,loop the cotton over and around and under your thumb,slide the needle through the loop from knuckle to fingernail,and slip this loop onto the needle.Cast on the next stitch,by going through the stitch you have just made using the thumb method.KEEP THESE STITCHES FIRM AND CLOSE TO THE BEAD.
Slide beads making sure that the beads are firmly up against the stitches,otherwise you will have cotton showing on either side of the beads(sagging) as you knit the next row.Also to prevent the beads from rolling over and going under the sitich.If you find that this has happened you are best to redo the row,as when the skirt is finished,it detract's from the finished look,as the rolled bead sit's on the backside of the skirt.

  Always keep a small needle or crochet hook beside you,so if you drop a stitch(which is quite easy to do)use the needle or hook to catch the stitch and pick it up.
  Because of the weight of the skirt a dropped stiich can easily run down the skirt,pick up the stitch with a needle and using the 1.25 needle that you are knitting with,to knit it up to the row you are working on.
  Or use a small safety pin to slip through the dropped stitch this will keep it safe while you undo the rows of knitting to reach the stitch.Whatever works best for you.

Please be patient with yourself and allow time for learning
Practice a few times before starting the skirt.
Good idea to check each row after you have completed it,for mistakes,as it is quite easy to add or subract a bead,or find that your stitches aren't tight enough and you have sagging.(cotton showing on either side of the bead) As checking will save you alot of time and heartache(From one who has been there and done that!)

  A lot of the patterns say just to thread the cotton through the remaining stitches and gather up.Personally I don't like this method,as a lot of the time the knitted waist's is far too big for the doll and you are left with a big ugly gather around the waist.

 Knit a small piece for sizing around the waist,to do this cast on 46 stitches of the Perle 8 Cotton using the 1.25 needles and knit 6 rows and the cast off.
  I use this piece as a gauge.When finishing the waist I take this small gauge and place it around the doll's waist,to see how many stitches it will take to do the waist.
  Most dolls are around the 36 stitches mark(this depends on your tension),after using the gauge,as an example,I see that I need to take off  10 stitches.
  I begin on a knit row and decrease 5 stitches,evenly spaced over the row.Purl the next row.Take five stitches off evenly across the next knit row again(you will be able to see where you have decreased on the preverse knit row) so decrease over these and you will have a nice pleated effect on the waist band.Cast off on the next purl row.
  Purl 2,*take the yard around to the back of the stitches and the past the stitch over casting it off ,move the thread forward to the front of your work again and  Purl 1* repeat from* to * to complete cast off row.
Try to make the cast off row fairly tight,so when you come to sewing into the doll you need to stretch the band a little to fit,as over time the cotton gives a little and become slack and this will prevent the band from becoming sloppy.

Good Luck and Happy Beading
If you have any questions please feel free to contact me.


I have been asked how I sew the seam on my beaded dresses.
I sew my skirt's with a overcast stitch.

It gives the skirt a nice neat seam,for when you turn your skirt and place it on your doll.
Run a small amount of the cotton down the skirt's edge,coming out at the bottom.Making a small stitch to secure the end.
Fold the skirt in half and with right sides facing each other.
 Sew the seam from the bottom to the top of your skirt.
I always sew the cotton ends from the skirt in,as I work my way up the seam.
Lay the ends parallel with the seam and sew them in with the overcast stitch as you move up the seam.
Leave a small gap at the top of the seam,so you are able to place the skirt on your doll.End this cotton off by running a little way down the seam.

Turn your skirt in the right way and place your doll into the skirt.
I then use the cotton which I have left over from the cast off row,on the top of the skirt,to sew the little gap left.
This little seam has to be done,on the front side of the skirt,after the skirt has been placed on the doll.
Sew with small neat overcast stitches until you have sewn the gap.End this cotton off by running it through the back of the skirt,cutting it neatly.


Keep your tension firm,with even neat stitches.Take your time,as a badly stitched seam detracts from the finished skirt.
Always keep an eye on the pattern that has to match with the other side,nothing worse than finding when you turn your dress,to the right side that your rows of pattern,do not match up.
To make it a little simpler,pin the rows of pattern across ways on the seam,every now and then,to keep the rows from moving out of place as you sew the seam up.
Hope this helps.


The reasons are as follows.
Loose tension
1..The skirt when knitted with a loose tension is going to be bigger than what the pattern intended it to be.
2.. The beads are not going to lock into place in between the stitches,to create a neat uniform look.And may end up slipping through the loose stitches,to the other side of the work.
3..Holes tend to appear in your work,between the stitches and the beads,because the stitches are too loose.
4..Cotton may be seen on both side's of the slipped beads in the beaded panels,giving the look that the beads are sagging on the cotton.
5..The skirt when finished will drop in length more than it would,if your tension was firmer.(All skirt's will drop because of the weight of the beads on the cotton)
6..You will have to decrease more stitches than the pattern intended to fit the waist of your doll.

Tight Tension.
1..The first row after casting on will be more difficult to knit,because the stitches are so tight.
2..Skirt will be smaller than the pattern intended.
3..Stitches will too tight to move across the needle,at a nice even pace for knitting.
4..Needle will become bent and out of shape.

Uneven Tension
Say you begin your row with the first stitch being tighter than the last stitch in the row,when it comes to sewing the skirt up,you may find that when you put both sides together,one side may be slightly longer than the other,and so you will have to pull and stretch the shorter side to fit the longer side.
This can lead to the seam looking puckered.
Just beware to keep the first and last stitch at the same tension,to help avoid this problem.

If your are interested in viewing a video on how I tension my knitting while bead knitting please click the link  below

Please click this link.