So, here’s my little experiment from the other day. As you can see, her head is just gigantic.
Here’s a close-up of the paint/stitching:
I posted on Instagram that I was going to put her away to hibernate, and someone mentioned she did look tired. She does look weary – as if she’s saying, geez oh man you forgot to give me a neck, and it’s going to be exhausting trying to hold my head up.
So, before I again make a forever doomed to be exhausted little person/creature, I decided maybe next time, I should have a pattern or a sketch or perhaps at the very least, a plan. And, I thought before I wing it, and reinvent the wheel, maybe I’d make some other folks’ patterns.
I’ve had Jenny Doh’s We Make Dolls on my nightstand for the past week. I’ve been studying the pictures, and getting ideas, but I wasn’t really reading the instructions, or thinking about construction. The book is an anthology of doll designers, their stories, and their patterns. Reading their stories, and their passions for the craft makes me feel better about “wasting” time making toys. Now, hopefully, their patterns will get me on the right path to making dolls that are more my own.
So, I started with my latest craft crush, Danita. As I mentioned Danita has a rather expensive online dollmaking class, A Doll Story, that I have managed to resist signing up for. And, let me just say, “expensive” is relative. $149 is expensive to me – but as far as classes goes, obviously if you took the class in person, it would probably be double, and there are 48 lectures and 5 hours of content – it’s a lot of stuff. And for someone who has such a signature style like Danita, that’s a lot for her to put out there and share. So, again – I’m not judging – I’m just saying I know I’m going to buy yarn today for a sweater for my 6’4″ husband, and I would rather put my craft budget there, than an online class. Just me.
And that’s not to say that if I have a month when I’m still in doll making land (because as I explained a few posts ago – my crafting ebbs and flows through different mediums), and I have the $, and a glass of wine, and some sadness from the day that I think a big ticket purchase will do the trick to cure, I won’t go for it. But right now, I’ll stick to the book.
Oh, as an aside, I did mention that I was particularly enamored with Danita’s cloth and clay dolls. So, I did a ton of googling, and Pinteresting, and deep dives into the internet to find a similar looking doll – at least the form. The clay head, cloth body, jointed limbs – and I found this CD/Book – looks like the same construction, different face. But, that’s all good because I’d never be able to carve a face that looks like Danita’s anyway. So, that’s on it’s way, and I’ll learn the secret of attaching the paperclay head to the cloth body (which is different from Gritty Jane’s paperclay and cloth doll – in that, the doll’s head is part of the fabric body, and you cover the cloth with the paperclay).
But, back to the book I have, not the book that’s on it’s way. Danita has three dolls in We Make Dolls – a Frida Doll, a mermaid and a wood nymph. I decided to have a go at Frida. I free motioned stitched the face, much like I did with amazon doll above, but with amazon doll, I doubled the fabric. I should have done that again – my muslin is really thin, and I think the stitching would have been easier had it been stablized with the thicker fabric, and I think the stuffing is going to show through this fabric. Lesson 1 learned.
Once done with the face, I went on to the body, and for the big big Lesson 2.
Free motion fail guys – as I was trying to sew the collar onto the body fabric, my fabric kind of got jammed in the bobbin – I just couldn’t get the fabric to move, even though I have a free motion slippery plate thing I put on my machine – it was just stuck, and as I was tugging it, and my finger got a bit too close to the needle – well, not a bit to close – it was under the needle – ouch! I didn’t take a full stitch through my finger, but I got a nice poke/jab/stab. But, I put a bandaid on, and continued on.
What’s the lesson here – definitely to stabilize the fabric, and the area that needs to be stitched cannot be right on the edge – I should have cut a much bigger seam allowance to so that I could have guided the fabric better without getting so close (under) the needle. Or, I should have used a Pellon interfacing that was bigger than the body to stiffen the whole thing up.
So, I’ve learned my lesson, and I’m ready to finish her up – drat that work thing – I’m going to have to wait the entire day!
Hopefully, when I get home tonight, and attempt to sew her limbs, I won’t repeat lesson 2. I’m going to cross my bandaged fingers!