SFM Cloth Dolls with Attitude! NZ

Monday, October 27, 2014

A Marionette in the making.

Finally got around to making a head for this body that has been waiting for so long to be made into something.  Rather a mischievous face, so gave her this acrylic hair that can be adjusted when she decides what she is going to wear!  She is weighted in various parts of her body, which helps with more natural movement.  I am waiting for more inspirations re her character and costume!

Meantime, she decided to have a photo shoot  in the early hours and show how poseable she is without strings attached - she aspires to be a Marionette!  She thinks an iron is for resting on!  Silly girl!

 Ah, the laying down pose! Oh, I see, she's settling down for the night!
Yes, yes, I'll turn the light off on the way out!
Where did you get that from?  Have you been into my toy box?  

Actually, a doll like this would be great for story telling!

Saturday, October 25, 2014

This is a dressmakers dummy that I made a head for, to advertise the place that sells my dolls and the textiles at The Oamaru Textile Emporium, here in Oamaru, for 2012
I gave her a change of clothing for 2013, but was not delighted with it.  Too much else on, so I just left her as she was.
This year we wer given some great fabrics - off cuts of quality curtaining, which was just right to make a new street clothing for the Patroness of TOTE!

 I made use of the wonderful fabric to make roses and ruffles, etc.  Someone also gave me plenty of wide lace, so I made a sumptuous neck ruffle and set it off with a simple hat, as anything that catches the wind is not good!
Here is the Patroness of TOTE, posing with my daughter Tracey!  You'd be surprised at how many people have their photo's taken with her - some men kissing her cheek!  She just smiles!

My Studio Makeovers!

When I first started out making cloth dolls this is where I did it all and wrote my first pattern.  This pic taken in 2010.  Prior to that, it was where I did my study and first learned to use a second hand computer, sent to me by my brother.  I was in the middle of doing Social and community Work Papers and had to learn how to use a computer a them same time!  The marks weren't too bad considering the frustration level!  LOL!  I had to be very organised in this room.

  The room became very pokey, like they do, and children had left home.  We decided to have our own bedrooms so we could both sleep better, as I was still working then, so I moved my Studio into our larger bedroom in 2012.
 I was writing a lot of patterns then and making lots of cloth dolls.  The bigger room began to look more and more cluttered, which is stifling to creativity!
 Even poor wee Molly looks bemused at the cluttered mess!  Never mind Molly, we took it all out to Paul's Garage! LOL!
 Cleared out the insufficiently shelved wardrobe, cleared the bench top and moved it under the windows to benefit from more light!  Where it was, became a depository for unfinished things!
 We took the curtains down and put in blinds, to get full benefit of the light. I have a dress stand for marionettes to hang - when I make them and two directional lamps to aid the lacking eyesight! Ample storage and room to move around! I have two small tables on wheels, so I can move them to where I need a new space, i.e. taking video's, photo's or ironing!
 Paul lowered the bench at one end for a sewing table and the overlocker is on the tall table, where I like to stand and use it!  Three different table levels and a writing workspace!  Decent deep shelving for most of my stash.  (Still sifting through stuff in the garage, but thrown plenty out!)  It is good to clear our spaces occasionally and throw out - or pass on,  what is no longer necessary.
The blinds look fabulous and make the room look airy and light at lessens the cluttered look even more!  I've made it a rule now, not to buy anything unless I have immediate use for it! At the end of the day this is a work space that I spend many hours creating in and you can't bake a cake without breaking an egg! I am very pleased and grateful to have this space to make even bigger and better messes in!  LOL!

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Marie Antoinette Busts

These are all the dolls I made to complete my latest Online Class, starting on 16th October, on Fabric Addictions Website!  This one took a while to complete, because she needed a contrast colour and I couldn't think what to do!
This one I am giving to the person who gave me the fabric and buttons - a blouse, belonging to her late mother!  Swiss origin and beautiful fabric - silk I think!


These two are on the cover of my Class Pattern.  The originals!

This one has had two heads and the sailing ship to finish it off!

This one - to match the little vase I used to set her in!  The video for the ribbon roses goes with the Class!

A group photo!   The same head - different eyelashes, hair and  As you can see, these busts can be as colourful and outrageous as you wish!
  Use up the old candlesticks and bits of lavish lace in your stash!  So many different ways to interpret this bust!
Making these made me think of all the drama queens in my life and helped me rise about it all!  LOL!  Hope you like them.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Poppits Workshop in Timaru!

We had a lovely group of enthusiastic learners doing this workshop at the weekend in Timaru!  Shona and Zelda made very classy pop-ups dolls and were very pleased with their accomplishments.

 Suzy is an old hand at doll makeing and has been to a few classes, so was at home here!
 Sharon was trying something different out after rearing miniature horses and quilting, so she tackled this new hobby with great enthusiasm!  chris managed to escape the pictures, but she cleverly needlesculpted the hair on her doll!
Aren't they all cool!  This is a great accomplishment for women who have never made such things before!

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Another Marie Antoinette Bust

 I decided to try a different colour hair  to see what it does for the Workshop I am preparing for Fabric Addictions Website.  This is some Merino wool that I dyed a long time ago and have never used.
Not too sure of the colour combo, but it looks ok to me.  What do you think?  I am making several of these as part of my workshop.  I hope to have some video's as part of this workshop, to demonstrate the process of needle sculpting the face, doing the make up and needle felting the hair.
I like the shapes of the little vases I found in the Warehouse!  They work well for this, but candlesticks or any other little things can be used as a holder for this bust.

 This Bust will be a workshop on Fabric Addictions Website, starting in mid October.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Doll makeover, restoration - kind of!

Remember this doll I was repairing?  Never having done anything like it before, and only the head to work with, I began.  I sent away for an air brush & compressor kit, which got lost in the post and had to get a new one sent out!  Then had to earn how to use it, how to mix the paint - I used acrylic because that's all I had - and keep it from clogging up the nozzle - used pantihose to strain it!  Utube for some quick lessons!

All over skin colour to develop a base. The original was quite dark, but my paint colour made it look deathly!  Didn't get pics of that!  LOL!  Then sometime after midnight and several additions of most of my tube of white, it came right!  I was matching it to the velour colour.  Still not perfect.  A million coats of spray - if you can't get the right colour!  I used a hair dryer alternately with the airbrush, as each layer needed to be dry to check the colour.

The hair ended up being lighter than the original because I had such a limited pallet.  I mucked up the front, but decided it would just have to do rather than fiddle with it and make it worse - it's not a competition and is the reason I make cloth dolls!  I also mucked up the lip shape - probably used the wrong brush!  I was pleased with the colour though.

The eyes!  Oh the eyes!  Tricky and time consuming and not for the faint-hearted! Undercoat of  white to cover the original, then they got stuck and had to release them!  These eyes looked so stary, and it took a lot of thinking and study to get them right.  (Cloth dolls are so much easier!)  Eventually, I worked out that I needed to darken the eyes and make the pupils larger.  The iris had to cover most of the eye, as it was in the original, to make it look effective.

Then I made the dress, with little knickers, socks to match the dress and shoes.  I had to make a last of clay to make good shoes.  Not perfect, but better than nothing.
I used Kezi Mathews Toddler Doll pattern for the body.  It was just the right size and and a perfect shape!

I am relatively pleased with the way she turned out and I just hope her owner will not mind that she has changed colour, as all she possessed of this doll was the broken head,left over from her childhood nearly 70 years ago!  She wanted to pass something on to her granddaughter.  I hope I have created something she will be happy with.

Friday, August 29, 2014

Inspiration and follow through!

 Inspiration comes from all sorts of funny places.  A friend of mine is collevting these wacky ashtrays and showed me his latest acquisition.   Whe I saw the feet, I just wondered how hard that would be to needlesculpt and if it was possible, so I quickly drew a foot to try it out and made the female one.  Should have done two at once, to work out the left and right feet!  I eventually got it sorted.
As you can see, needlesculpting makes the foot smaller.

 It's interesting making manly features.  What to put in - what to leave out.  He doesn;t have a sculpted top lip for example.  
 And as for baby!  How to make it small enough, but attached to such big feet, and how to make it stable?
 Well, I found a way!
And it worked! 
 What do you think?