Sewing Tiny Gifts: Nonni's Baby Ball Sew-Along

In Part 2 we have a special treat! Donna Kinley is joining us to share sew-along tutorial for a darling little fabric ball. Follow along as she demonstrates how to choose your fabrics, prep your supplies, and create a ball perfect for gifting!

In this course, we are talking about gifts for our dolls.  What doll wouldn’t love to have a new ball?  Especially one they can play with inside the house! 


I’ve been making this style of ball as a gift for many years. When my children were in elementary school, I made some for their classrooms, for use inside on rainy days.  The kids loved playing dodge ball with them.


Now, the dolls can play too! Nonni’s Baby Ball pattern contains four sizes ranging from about 3 inches to about 9 inches in diameter.  The smallest ones work well for dolls, and kids of all ages can enjoy any of them. 


There are only a few supplies used in this project -- fabric, stuffing, and thread. 

The equipment and tools you’ll want to have handy are: 

  • scissors
  • sewing machine
  • hand-sewing needle
  • thread snips
  • safety pins
  • point turner 
  • orange stick or wooden chopstick 
  • fray stopping liquid or fabric glue
  • leather thimble or something similar, to help grip the needle when sewing the final step

For the fabric, quilting type cotton works well.  Each size ball only has two pattern pieces, but you’ll need to cut a total of 12 of each one, so it’s a good idea to print multiple pages of the size you need.  Having multiple copies of the pattern pieces really helps in figuring out an efficient layout. 


After the pieces are cut out, they get stitched, stuffed, and tied together to form the ball. Follow along as we go step by step through making this fun toy.  I’ll be making the size small, but the process is the same for all sizes.

There are several ways to turn this ball into an educational toy.  You could use prints to teach basic shapes or use basic colors for a color learning toy.  You can create an “I Spy” type game by using various random prints.  You could even try using various textures of fabrics to create a tactile sensory learning tool.

Use team colors to create a gift for your favorite sports fan or create some room décor by using the largest size ball made in fabrics that coordinate with the bedding…  Sure to come in handy for sleepover pillow fights. 

I hope you’ll give this ball a try and have some good old-fashioned fun playing with it! 



April 15, 2022

Thanks so much. I am making this ball for my grandson, and I am so glad that I stopped to watch this while drinking my coffee. It seems so much easier now!!!

Linda Turner
Linda Turner

December 17, 2021

Thanks for such a lovely gift idea! I have seen these often but I have always thought they would be difficult to put together. I plan to make several for grandkids and their dolls. Thank you again!

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