Carmen the Mini Doll

Carmen the Mini Doll is a petite sized doll with a brilliant scarlet dress that fits in the palm of your hand. Customize her skin, hair, and dress, to any color you want and create a mini-me, or just a gift for a child!

Carmen the Mini Doll—an amigurumi girl doll in a dress—is my newest free crochet pattern!

Read on to learn more about my design process and inspiration, or scroll to the end to get the free pattern. If you’re in a hurry and need to take this pattern offline, grab the beautifully formatted, ad-free, PDF pattern from Etsy here.

A beginner friendly doll!

If you’re someone who has been intimidated by amigurumi dolls, look no further. If you can make an animal amigurumi, then you can make this doll! Carmen is absolutely gorgeous, but only requires the most basic stitches — single crochet, half double crochet, and chain stitches.

Many people tend also to be intimidated by dolls because making hair can seem intimidating. That’s why I’m so excited to share that Carmen’s hair is extremely straightforward and familiar to those who are mainly animal or ball-shaped amigurumi makers. Her bun hairstyle with side bangs is gorgeous and easy, such a win-win!

Carmen can also be easily adapted or customized by altering her skin, hair, and dress colors. You can use this pattern to become a mini-me, a doll of your child, or for fanart! I love that doll patterns are so versatile and can be changed so easily.

A musically inspired femme-fatale

Like many of my amigurumi, Carmen is inspired by one of my passions, classical music. Carmen is the titular character in the French opera Carmen. Her outfit is Spanish-inspired, since the opera is set in Spain, during a time when French society (including the composer, Georges Bizet), romanticized Spanish society. The opera is dramatic, and contains some of the most famous arias in operatic history, including the Habanera, sung by Carmen. Although Carmen plays a villain and seductress, luring Don-José away from his betrothed, she has now come to symbolize female strength and determination beyond the bounds of society since she remains true to herself even until her own death.

The famous Habanera, which can now be heard everywhere from ads to movies!

This recording is one of many stagings of the opera, but all iterations share similar features. A dark haired female lead, with a frothy and rustic skirt, and a rose. The rose that Carmen throws towards Don José in this scene represents the fickle love that she croons about, which in turn will prove to be his downfall.

In my interpretation of Carmen, I alluded to the curly hair in the video above through the wispy bangs, with the rest of the hair pulled back. Her bright dress billows out with white edging at the bottom, reference one of the most common costume choices for Carmen, since she’s so closely associated with love, lust, and vitality. Of course, the beautiful rose tucked into her hair echoes the same wavy texture that is found in her dress and hair, and ties together her hair and dress nicely. Seriously, I’m super proud of this one!

My own love affair with Carmen

To me, Carmen is near and dear to my heart because it was one of two operas I performed with my youth orchestra in Cambridge. Classical music was and is a foundational piece of my identity, and I’m not sure if anything else will be able to come close any time soon.

To me, music and emotion are inextricably tied to each other, and the voices in an orchestra form the chorus of my soul. I have never felt more alive and human than when I am able to express myself in this most intimate of ways, and being able to perform this opera meant that I felt Carmen’s joys and sorrows as if they were my own.

Although the story is indeed compelling, when I performed this opera, it was as a part of a hundred person orchestra, a large chorus, and several soloists, all focusing in razor precision to interweave our voices to the accuracy of a millisecond. It was one of the most humbling and deeply, deeply, profound experiences I have had in my life to be able to be one and the same with hundreds of individuals to perform this beautifully choreographed opera. To breathe on one’s own and know that a hundred others are breathing at the same moment is truly an exercise in collaboration and synergy. Carmen remains a treasure to me because of those experiences and to remind me of the wonder of making music with fellow human beings.

The Pattern

  • If you want to take this pattern offline, grab the beautifully formatted, ad-free, PDF pattern from Etsy here!
  • Pin this pattern to your Pinterest boards here:

Description

Carmen the Mini Doll is a petite sized doll with a brilliant scarlet dress that fits in the palm of your hand. Customize her skin, hair, and dress, to any color you want and create a mini-me, or just a gift for a child!

Yarn

  • Hobbii Amigo (sport weight)
  • (<1 skein) beige
    • light beige, can be substituted for any skin color
  • (<1 skein) dark brown
    • can be substituted for any hair color
  • (<1 skein) red
    • can be substituted for other dress color
  • (<1 skein) white
    • for lining of dress
  • (<1 skein) pink
    • for blush

Notions

Abbreviations (US)

  • MR: Magic ring
  • Sc: Single crochet
  • Ch: Chain
  • Sl st: Slip stitch
  • Yo: Yarn over
  • Hdc: Half double crochet
  • Hdc inc: Work 2 hdcs in one stitch
  • Dc: Double crochet
  • Inc: Increase
  • Dec: Decrease
  • S: Hair strand
  • Sts: Stitches
  • FO: Fasten off
  • (…) x: repeat stitches within parentheses x times
  • *…*: work stitches within asterisks all in the same stitch
  • Sk: skip one stitch
  • FSC: foundation single crochet (tutorial here)
  • MC: main color
  • CC: contrast color

Special Stitches

Invisible finish off: click here for tutorial

Technical Notes

  • Crochet in continuous rounds unless otherwise specified
  • When filling with polyester stuffing, pull apart each large chunk into many smaller chunks. This ensures an even distribution of firmness.
  • To avoid large holes in the crochet fabric, increase tension until the holes cannot be seen, or choose a crochet hook a size down.
  • Stuff the head and the body firmly at the openings so that the neck is stable upon completion.
  • Use sewing pins to secure limbs of the amigurumi before you sew them.
  • For this pattern, the MC is beige, CC1 is red, CC2 is dark brown, CC3 is white, and CC4 is pink.

Final Size

4.5″ x 2″

LEG (in MC. Watch this video tutorial for help on connecting the legs.)

  • Round 1: 5 sc in MR (5 sts)
  • Round 2: sc around (5 sts)
  • Round 3: sc, inc, 3 sc (6 sts)
  • Round 4: sc around (6 sts)
  • Round 5: 2 sc, inc, 3 sc (7 sts)
  • Round 6: sc around (7 sts)
  • Stuff very lightly. Finish off and weave in the end. Make another identically but do not finish off.
  • Chain 2 off the side of the leg, attach yarn to the remaining leg and sc 7 around the leg you just attached the yarn to. Sc 2 in the connecting chains, sc 7 around the first leg, sc 2 in the connecting chains. (18 sts)

BODY (in MC)

  • Round 1: inc x2, 7 sc, inc x2, 7 sc (22 sts)
  • Round 2: inc, sc 10, inc, sc 10 (24 sts)
  • Round 3: sc around (24 sts)
  • Round 4: (dec, 2 sc) x6 (18 sts)
  • Round 5-8: (4 rnds) sc around (18 sts)
  • Stuff. Finish off, leaving a long tail for sewing.

HEAD (in MC)

  • Round 1: 6 sc in MR (6 sts)
  • Round 2: inc x6 (12 sts)
  • Round 3: (sc, inc) x6 (18 sts)
  • Round 4: (2 sc, inc) x6 (24 sts)
  • Round 5: (3 sc, inc) x6 (30 sts)
  • Round 6: (4 sc, inc) x6 (36 sts)
  • Round 7: (5 sc, inc) x6 (42 sts)
  • Round 8: (6 sc, inc) x6 (48 sts)
  • Round 9-15: (7 rnds) sc around (48 sts)
  • Insert 6mm safety eyes between rounds 12 and 13, 8 stitches apart.
  • Embroider a nose using MC directly between the eyes, 2 stitches wide.
  • Round 16: (6 sc, dec) x6 (42 sts)
  • Round 17: (5 sc, dec) x6 (36 sts)
  • Round 18: (4 sc, dec) x6 (30 sts)
  • Round 19: (3 sc, dec) x6 (24 sts)
  • Round 20: (2 sc, dec) x6 (18 sts)
  • Round 21: (sc, dec) x6 (12 sts) Stuff.
  • Round 22: dec x6 (6 sts)
  • Finish off and weave in end. Using the tail from the body, sew the head to the body.

ARMS (in MC)

  • Round 1: 5 sc in MR (5 sts)
  • Round 2: 2 sc, inc, 2 sc (6 sts)
  • Round 3: sc around (6 sts)
  • Round 4: 2 sc, dec, 2 sc (5 sts)
  • Round 5-6: (2 rnds) sc around (5 sts)
  • Do not stuff. Finish off, leaving a tail for sewing. Make another identically. Sew to the left and right sides of the seam between the body and the head.

DRESS (Worked in turned rows until row 6, then in joined rounds. Begin in CC1, then switch to CC3. See Abbreviations for FSC.)

  • Row 1: FSC14, chain and turn (14 sts)
  • Row 2: sc, hdc, 2 dc, hdc, 4 sc, hdc, 2 dc, hdc, sc, chain and turn (14 sts)
  • Row 3: inc, dc inc, 3 sk, dc inc, 2 sc, dc inc, 3 sk, dc inc, inc, chain and turn (14 sts)
  • Row 4: (6 sc, inc) x2, chain and turn (16 sts)
  • Row 5: (7 sc, inc) x2, chain and turn (18 sts)
  • Row 6: (8 sc, inc) x2, chain (20 sts)
  • Slip stitch into the first stitch to join your work into a round. We will now work in joined rounds. Round 7 chain, hdc inc x20 (40 sts)
  • Round 8: chain, hdc around (40 sts)
  • Round 9: chain, hdc inc x40 (80 sts)
  • Finish off and weave in end. Switch to CC3. Attach yarn to the bottom of the skirt in the back.
  • Round 10: (chain 4, skip one stitch, then slst into the next stitch) x40
  • Invisible finish off and weave in end. Put the dress on the doll (the back will be open). Using the tail from the top of the dress, sew the back of the dress closed. At this point the dress will not be removable.

HAIR (in CC2)

  • Round 1: 6 sc in MR (6 sts)
  • Round 2: inc x6 (12 sts)
  • Round 3: (sc, inc) x6 (18 sts)
  • Round 4: (2 sc, inc) x6 (24 sts)
  • Round 5: (3 sc, inc) x6 (30 sts)
  • Round 6: (4 sc, inc) x6 (36 sts)
  • Round 7: (5 sc, inc) x6 (42 sts)
  • Round 8: (6 sc, inc) x6 (48 sts)
  • Round 9-13: (5 rnds) sc around (48 sts)
  • Round 14: ch, 23 dc, slip stitch in next stitch. We will now create four strands (S) of hair while working round 14.
  • S1: chain 23 and sc 22 back. Slip stitch into the original slip stitch.
  • S2: chain 17 and sc 16 back. Slip stitch into the next stitch. S3: chain 17 and sc 16 back, slip stitch onto the same slip stitch.
  • S4: chain 23 and sc 22 back. Slip stitch into the next stitch. Continue working in the round, making 22 dc to finish the round and slip stitch in the first stitch to join. (48 sts)
  • Finish off and weave in end. Glue or sew the hair cap to the head. Arrange the hair strands so that there are 2 on the left and 2 on the right, with the longer ones behind the shorter ones. Glue the long hair strands down to about eye level, and the shorter ones to the forehead.

BUN (in CC2)

  • Round 1: sc6 in MR (6 sts)
  • Round 2: inc x6 (12 sts)
  • Round 3: (sc, inc) x6 (18 sts)
  • Round 4: (2 sc, inc) x6 (24 sts)
  • Round 5-8: (4 rnds) sc all around (24 sts) Round 9 (sc4, dec) x4 (20 sts)
  • Stuff firmly. Finish off and sew to the back of the hair.

ROSE (in CC1, in turned rows. Refer to Abbreviations for meaning of *…*. For assistance with the rose, watch the video tutorial here.)

  • Row 1: chain 21 (21 sts)
  • Row 2: working from the second chain from the hook, (sc, 2 ch, sk) x8, sc, 2 ch, slst into last stitch. Chain 2 and turn (10 sts, 9 chain spaces)
  • Row 3: working into the chain space, (3 dc, ch, slst, slst to next chain space) x3, (3 hdc, ch, slst, slst to next chain space) x3, (3 sc, ch, slst, slst to the next chain space) x2, 3 sc, ch, slst. (9 petals)
  • Finish off, leaving a long tail for sewing.
  • With the single crochet petals in the center, wrap the other end of the work around the single crochet end, until the rose is as flat or conical as you wish. Using the tail end, sew across the bottom of the rose to secure in place, then sew to the seam between the bun and the hair.

BLUSH (in CC4)

  • Round 1: 6 sc in MR (6 sts)
  • Finish off, leaving a tail for sewing. Make another identically. Sew the blush directly under and to the side of both eyes.

Carmen the Mini Doll is all done! I hope you enjoyed crocheting her and found the pattern helpful. I would love to see your finished amigurumi, so share a picture on Instagram with me by using the #littleworldofwhimsy and tagging me @littleworldofwhimsy. Once again, if you have any questions don’t hesitate to reach out to me with a direct message on Instagram or through email at littleworldofwhimsy@gmail.com. Happy crocheting!