SFM Cloth Dolls with Attitude! NZ

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Pattern Wisdom

A pattern is someone’s expressed idea and although it is able to be replicated, it does not need to be an end in itself, but is able to be expressed and expanded on by someone else.   
To expect to replicate a pattern exactly is not always realistic and certainly does not mean failure.  It simply means something new and different will have been made with the stamp of someone else.
I often make something I am not satisfied with and put it away.  Later on I might have another idea I can use it for - the basis of a doll that is different. 
 A perfect example is the Steam Punk Doll I made for the Steam Punk Exhibition.  It started life as a body form for a pincushion.  For a few years it was headless.  Then I found a head I had disgarded beacuse I wanted to try some fur fabric on it to see how it would look.  I attached it to the pincushion.  I liked it and it continued as a pincushion for another year - very handy too!  I tried it with different hats and it became a manniquin for dresses and hats. 
Then Steam Punk came along.  I had already made the Top Hat, so embellished it with Victoriana.  I pinned all sorts of elements to the body to play with the ideas associated with Steam Punk, i.e. nothing plastic. 
Then decided it need more tradition attached to it, so found a piece of varnished wood from an old staircase to use as a base, wrapped leather and velvet around it to attach it to the body.  I photocopied an ornate keyhole, resized it, cut it out and glued it over black velvet.  I painted it with several coats of Mod Podge which stiffened it and gave the appearance of real metal.

I used an actual cotton padded shoulderpad cut in half, lined with wire and fur for the shoulder piece and stuck pins up-right in it.  Added arms with shirt sleeeves attached and it was done. 
It was not particularly pretty, but it caught attention and the original unsatisfactory body and head was well disguised  by the overall effectiveness of the look. The naming of it and the story that went with it added to it's attraction. 
Never give up!  It's all worth it in the end - and if it's not worth it, it's not the end!

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