When creating a cloth doll, success or failure depends very largely on your pattern. Interesting poses are made by adjusting the pattern … and therein lies the true art of a good dollmaker. You’re working at a small scale where a miscalculation of a quarter inch (or less) will be painfully noticeable. To achieve a natural appearance, you have to give meticulous attention to every detail. As I said, this is where the line is drawn between “doll craft” and “doll art”.
This excellent tutorial is an excerpt of a more complete training video by Antonette Cely. She demonstrates how to adjust the pattern to create very lifelike arms for cloth dolls. This is an advanced technique, but with some practice you can get beautiful results. Antonette’s products, including the DVD this excerpt was taken from (“Customizing Doll Patterns”), can be found at www.dollvideos.com.
For the record (and for the FTC and their new rules) … no, I’m not connected to that business in any way. The above link is not even an affiliate link, so I receive no compensation for that one. And I haven’t actually seen her whole training DVD; I’m basing my opinion on this little excerpt. From what I can see, though, it looks good.