Day 17 :: All About Legs

This is Day 17 of the 31 Days of Amigurumi. This 31 day series is full of how-to's for designing and creating your very own amigurumi. Whether you're a beginner at ami's or just need help on a certain technique, there's something here for everyone.

31 Days of Amigurumi is the place to learn all about creating your own Amigurumi. 

When it comes to amigurumi, legs can be as simple or as difficult as you make it! They can be a simple straight cylinder that you crochet straight off the body, maybe they can have a nice taper so they get thinner at the ankles, or they even be a crazy shape to help mimic joints of an animal. Whatever you choose to do is fine, but lets talk about how they can be attached!

Split Body Legs

I know this sounds weird, but one of my favorite ways to create my legs is crochet the body, then split the number of stitches in half and continue stitching in the round to create the leg. This is probably the simplest way to attach the legs and it's more of an all-in-one or top-down approach. The pros is that the legs will never fall off and they flow seamlessly from the body. The cons are that you don't get ANY mobility in the joints. I generally can't even sit my dolls down with this technique, but you have to decide if that works for your project.

Separate Legs

You can always make your legs separately and sew them on in a few different ways. Whether you sew them to the openings that your body creates or you sew them on another way, this is a great technique for non humanoid creations.

In this example I sewed the legs inside the opening and sewed the opening flat. This way the legs can bend back and forth and still allow for some sitting positions.

Creating a Rotating Joint

Joints aren't used as often but definitely serve a purpose. If you want your doll's legs to be easily pose-able then joints are the way to go. With joints you can rotate the legs at the hips and sit them down easily. If you create more joints in the legs then you can pose your creation to the max.

In this old doll pattern that I made I sewed the finished legs to the finished body and the legs could move in all directions. You can either sew them in, use a doll joint, or even use a simple safety eye as your joint to allow it full rotation.

How do you create amigurumi legs?

Legs come in so many different possibilities. A human shaped leg is more of a straight up and down shape, but there are several ways you can accomplish that depending on the look. Sometimes you might want to make it literally like a straight tube, but you could also taper it down, or give it a more realistic shape to accommodate a knee and ankle.

Straight Legs

This is exactly what it sounds like. However many stitches you have in the round, you just continue to crochet with that many stitches until you've reached the length you want for your leg. No matter if you're working form the hip-down or from the ankle-up, it's all the same.

Tapered Legs

I personally like this look because it gives the leg a slight feminine and whimsical feel. Since I usually work my doll from the hip-down then I will give some simple directions from that angle, but it can be worked in reverse too. Basically, I work a few rows with the original number of stitches I have. Once I decide I want it to taper down a little I work one decrease on the outside edge of the leg. Then I repeat, single crocheting a few more rounds and then work a decrease on the outside edge when I want it to decrease. How often you decrease depends on how gradual you want the taper to be. Making your own dolls can sometimes be a lot of trial and error until you reach your desired shape, so just play around.

Realistic Shapes

This is not something that I usually fool with, but I have seen some beautiful dolls made with a more realistic shape to them. It's all a matter of the look you're going for. Creating a more realistic leg is all about tapering in the right places to achieve the look you want. You would taper it down to the knee, then open it back up a little for the calf before tapering it back down again for the ankle. I hope that makes sense, but it's all a matter of trial and error, again, to create the desired shape.

This image is used for demonstration purposes only.
©Knitting Doll Factory

Ok, I hope that was helpful to you and that you understand amigurumi legs for humanoid shapes a little better. Next we'll be talking about all about feet, so don't miss that one! Thanks for stopping by and be sure to check out the other posts in the amigurumi series.

What type of legs do you like to create?

Happy crocheting,
~Chassity O.

Day 16 :: Attaching Separate Heads

This is Day 16 of the 31 Days of Amigurumi. This 31 day series is full of how-to's for designing and creating your very own amigurumi. Whether you're a beginner at ami's or just need help on a certain technique, there's something here for everyone.

31 Days of Amigurumi is the place to learn all about creating your own Amigurumi. 

One of the biggest problems I faced when I first started crocheting amigurumi was sewing the head to the body. I tried to avoid it as much as possible by making all my ami's in the top down crochet method. Often the seams showed too much and then it ended up being floppy like a rag doll. It definitely was not the look I was going for.

After awhile I decided to look into it, as well as practice, and it got easier with some tricks I learned.

Using The Post Method

I like to sew my pieces together by going around the posts of the rows you are sewing together. My video will help to show this better, but this could be used even if you are sewing two unmatched rows or even sewing a ball to the side of your work. Imagine the posts or even rows as anchors for the yarn you're using to draw the two pieces together. It doesn't matter if they match up then, they just hold it all together.

Using The Stitch Method

If you happen to have two open ends to sew together, the stitch method works well too. If your pieces both have the same number of stitches then matching those stitches up and sewing them together in a round and around loop is simple. I also showed this method in my video and I hope it's helpful!

Stuffing is key! 

Not only is it crucial to have the right amount of stuffing in both the head and the body you're attaching it to, but adding extra stuffing to the neck before completely closing it up is important. There tends to be a gap in the neck from pushing the polyfil all the way into the head and/or body and filling the gap with extra stuffing helps to fix that problem.

Extra Tip

Make sure that when you're sewing the two pieces together that you use the same color. If you're pieces are two different colors then no problem, just use one of the colors from one of the pieces. In my opinion, using the post method will help to hide the string used to sew them together.

So I hope that was helpful! I've come to enjoy sewing the pieces together and I hope this post made it easier for you! Stay tuned for more posts to come. Next we will talk all about legs and different ways to make them!

Happy crocheting,
~Chassity O.