SFM Cloth Dolls with Attitude! NZ

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?

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Nic-Nacs for distraction!

Just some little Nic Nacs today.  I needed distraction from writing, so a challenge by a friend to make a Pin doll! In case you can't guess, this is Ursla, the Octopus!  Of course it is!  I could tell you knew that!  LOL!  Well, it's a version anyway! Definitely OOAK!  It will be off to America shortly, but first I want to show it off at a talk I am giving next week!
 I thought, as it was meant to be a pin doll, it would be best to do the pancake face and just draw the features on.  To do a 3D face would have made it so much bigger and impossible to wear or hang on the wall.  Then I thought I'd try and see if it would needle-sculpt and if so, would it be effective?  Well, you never know before, till after, and I was surprised how well it came out!
 Really odd colouring a body in shades of purple, but it worked surprisingly well! Prismacolour pencils are great!  I rubbed the colour on and then wet a paintbrush to smooth the colour around.  Worked well! I just used quilters muslin for this, as it had a tiny stretch.  I used a slightly stretchy velour for the dress, so was able to stuff extra into the boobs for better effect. I stitched two different fur fabrics together to add the stripes to her hair.  She looks Glam!
This other thing I spent most of the day making is called an assemblage!  Not my original idea, because I am not wired like this.  I saw it elsewhere and thought it would be something I could have a go at and that it would come together quite quickly.  Wrong! I really don't like cutting out. It is so messy!  But I am grateful, because it made me clean up my studio!  Hunting for the bits to go on it, made me think I really could get organised better, so I did!  I did like the theme though and the person who did the original is to be commended!  I am glad I had a go and \i am sure I will find a home for it!

Monday, July 28, 2014

Marie Antoinette Bust


I have been wanting to make a bust for some time, but was not sure what I would do, or when I would get time to devote to making it - or even how it would look!
I began anyway as I knew what I would do to make the body.  Easy. Then started on the face and it sat for a day.  I rummaged around and found some likely looking scraps, and some lace that had possibilities - still unsure of what I would do.  
I then started on the face, and when that was done had a little think about how I would be able to make hair that looked the part, so made a toque - I looked it up!  It means cushion for the hair!  It seems ladies with this hairstyle could wear it so for a week and even had special bed hats made to accommodate their hair!
Anyway, in order to put eyelashes on, I had to cover the hair as I had used Wool staples combed out, and needle-felted in place.  Therefore, strands catch on everything and annoyingly tangle in the black thread I was using!
 It was successful!
 So I played with curls and pearls in her hair, feathers and lace
Front view
 Back View
 Side view.
Showing off her Beauty Spot!  Oh La!
I like this view of her, reflecting maybe.............?

I hope you like her.  I am going to make her into a pattern.  She is fun to do!

Friday, July 25, 2014

Somebody thought I needed a diversion, so she gave me a composition head off the childhood doll she had kept all this time. The body was long lost and the head had a broken chest plate. She now has a great Granddaughter and wants to pass it on, so she asked me if I could do something with it! Never one to shy from a challenge, I have sat with it for two weeks, while I did some research on repairing composition dolls.
The Doll head had some won patches on it, so I smoothed them off and put a few dabs of clay on and later sanded it off. I had to make an air dried clay chest plate that I covered with gauze, for extra strength and added more clay, which I have since smoothed off with fine sandpaper.
 I altered a Kezi Mathews toddler body, to fit snugly under the head and on the shoulders, so when I have finished the head, I will glue it on, as that's how the original one was attached.
 My next job has been to buy an airbrush, so guess who has to learn how to do airbrushing in a hurry! That'll be a job for next week! Thank God for Utube!