I certainly don't consider myself an authority on making dolls, but here are a few tips that experience (and repetition) have taught me:
* Wash your hands thoroughly before starting. This may seem obvious but even the natural oil from your skin can affect your skin fabric, remember - your doll will have been held a lot before she is completed!
* Use quality materials. Costly, yes. Worth it? Yes! This includes your threads.
* Use small stitches. Whether you hand or machine stitch your dolls you don't want them coming apart at the seams.
* I like to keep all my work tidy, even the parts that won't be seen. It helps to develop quality workmanship and good habits.
* When embroidering facial features don't pull the thread tight, just let it sit comfortably on the surface - no puckers.
* I use doubled quilting thread for sewing on limbs It's particularly important when making dolls for children that the doll is strong.
* Sink stitches back into the body when finishing for tidiness.
* If your dolls legs and body are one piece, double or triple stitch the groin area, as it's vulnerable to coming apart or ripping.
* For corners (around hands, feet, etc) use the stitch, stitch, turn method.
* Don't rush! Enjoy the process and take time to be careful. As you become more practiced you will also get faster.
Hope you find something helpful there!