Friday 12 April 2013

The one where she makes a Matryoshka

I love little Russian nesting dolls.



How can anyone resist taking them apart to find the tiny baby and then putting them back together (after carefully matching the patterns on their dresses of course)

Picture from here


At home we have three traditional sets; one which actually comes from Russia and is very good quality, so my Russian house-buyer informed me many years ago, and a few bonkers Christmas ones too.

And so, I fancied making one.



Not in amigurumi style, as is my norm, but flat. It took quite a bit of faffing around to get the pattern right, let me tell you, but it is actually very simple to make.

Wanna try?

You'll need:

3 different colours of yarn and hook to match. (I used Rico Creative Cotton and 4 mm hook)

Polyester toy stuffing

Felt for the face, hair and cheeks

Fabric for the skirt

Fabric marker pen for the eyes (or you could stitch them)


Stitches and Abbreviations:

I use US terms, so single crochet= same as UK double crochet here.

Chain (ch)

Single crochet (sc)

Stitches (sts)

Single Crochet 2 Together (sc2tog)

To single crochet 2 together:

Insert hook into next stitch.

Yarn over, pull up a loop. (2 loops on hook)

Insert hook into next stitch.

Yarn over, pull up a loop (3 loops on hook)

Yarn over and pull through all 3 loops.

Pattern (make 2)

[Starting from bottom and working up]

At the end of each row you need to turn and ch 1

1. Sc 9

2. Sc 8, 2scs in next st (10)

3. Sc 9, 2scs in next st (11)

4. Sc 10, 2scs in next st (12)

5. Sc 11, 2scs in next st (13)

6. Sc 12, 2scs in next st (14)

7. Sc 13, 2scs in next st (15)

8. Sc 14, 2scs in next st (16)

9. Sc 15, 2scs in next st (17)

10-12. Sc 17

13. Sc 15, sc2tog (16)

14. Sc 16

15. Sc2tog, sc 14 (15)

16. Sc 15

17. Sc2tog, sc 13 (14)

18. Sc2tog, sc 12 (13)

19. Sc 13

Change colour

20. Sc2tog, sc 11 (12)

21. Sc2tog, sc 10 (11)

22. 2scs in next st, sc 10 (12)

23. 2scs in next st, sc 11 (13)

24-26. Sc 13

27. Sc2tog, sc 11 (12)

28. Sc2tog, sc 10 (11)

29. Sc2tog, sc 9 (10)

30. Sc2tog, sc 8 (9)

31. Sc2tog, sc 5, Sc2tog (7)

32. Sc2tog, sc 3, Sc2tog (5)

Fasten off

Now to decorate the front of your Matryoshka:


Choose one of your pieces of crochet and ensure that the tail from the beginning chain is hanging to the bottom right. Sew in all the tails, except this tail so you know which is the 'right' way round.

Cut a circle of felt for the face (I found a spice jar lid to be the perfect template) and cut hair and cheek shapes. Use PVA glue to stick the pieces together and to stick the face onto your crochet.

I added the eyes using a fabric marker pen (the one I use to label the kid's school uniforms).

Now cut the shape for the skirt using pinking shears. This took me a few goes to get right. You could stick this onto the crochet, or like me, you could stitch it on. Up to you.

Let the glue dry.

Put the two pieces of crochet together so that both the tails from your starting chain hang down at the right side. This means that the stitches will match exactly and make life easier when crocheting together.

Now use your third colour and single crochet around both pieces to join together. Make sure you work in anti-clockwise direction so your stitches face forwards.




Before you completely close, stuff with toy stuffing, sew in the remaining ends and then complete your stitching and fasten off.

Attach a ribbon to the back.


Did you know?

Matryoshka derives from the Russian for 'maternity' and the dolls within them are a symbol of fertility.

They are sometimes wrongly referred to as Baboushka (which means 'grandmother'

Happy making everyone!



  1. I am enchanted I can't wait to start - thank you so much for the tutorial x

  2. love her!!!!!!
    I collect russian nesting dolls, too, since I was a young girl!!!
    thank you so much for this splendid tut/pattern!!!
    xxxxxx Ale

  3. Absolutely gorgeous! Hope you don’t mind me pinning her / your tut on Pinterest.
    Love, Pauline

  4. She's adorable!! Thanks for the little bit of history behind the matryoshka!
    Kate :}

  5. She's so cute, you clever thing!
    Thank you so much for sharing your pattern! I love Russian dolls and have a few sets from when my Hubby had a business trip to St Petersburg.
    My little nieces will love these!
    Have a lovely weekend!
    Rachel x

  6. Oh my goodness! How cute! I am in love with matryoshkas! Thank you so much for sharing the pattern i can't wait to start one tonight :)

  7. What a beautiful pattern, thank you for sharing xs1x nyhugh

  8. oh it's lovely - you are so talented!

    Nikki x

  9. Totally cute!!! I lvoe them. YOuare so talented my friend.

  10. I'm very fond of these little dolls and I also made some. Yours is very nice. Tina

  11. She's lovely! Thank you for sharing your pattern. X

  12. She's really sweet, thanks for sharing. I LOVE Russian dolls. I wanted to buy a set when I went to Russia but because they were produced for tourists, they were so expensive.

  13. She's really sweet, thanks for sharing. I LOVE Russian dolls. I wanted to buy a set when I went to Russia but because they were produced for tourists, they were so expensive.

  14. Lovely idea, I have some Russian dolls too, although mine were incredibly cheap, they caught my eye as they are really sparkly (and probably some would say gaudy!) and pretty.

  15. This is getting a bit monotonous!!!!

    I mean just how many times can I say how much I love your creations...oh! well I'll make an effort then and say I love this one too......sigh!!!

    She's gorgeous and of course I've got to try and make her too LOL!

    keep well and keep creating
    Amanda :-)

  16. Found you via Hopscotch Lane....which is a bit odd as I live in West Sussex!

    Fab doll....looking forward to browsing your posts and seeing more of what you do.

    Pop and visit me if you can...xx

  17. So, so cute! Love to make one for my youngest granddaughter... if I can part with it :)

    Looking forward to perusing your sweet blog and getting to know you!

    Kindly, Lorraine

  18. This is super-cute, Sarah! Thanks for sharing - I'll definitely be giving this a try!
    I love Russian dollies too - and the more little dollies inside the big one (and the tinier the tiniest dolly), the better!!! :-)

  19. Oh My Gosh! I am actually having palpatations over this doll!!!
    I am crazy about these little lovelies!~
    I want to make one :)))

  20. This is adorable! I came here from another blog that had followed this tutorial and I'm going to be having a go at this pattern as soon as I get a chance! Thank you for sharing :) x

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  22. Gorgeous!!! ♥ I love and collect matryoshkas as well, thank you so much for this lovely pattern!!

  23. Love love love. Must try. Thanks for sharing. Lovely blog pleased I found you!! Xo

  24. Thank you for this lovely pattern! It was very easy to follow, and I've gotten so many compliments on the finished product already. Can't wait to try out more of your patterns!

    Here's my finshed Matryoshka. :)


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Have a fab day.
Sarah Xx