SFM Cloth Dolls with Attitude! NZ

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Father Christmas!

Here he is, all finished and looking a lot like old
saint Nick - but cheekier!  His beard is made from a very soft long fur fabric - quite whispy! Vset from cotton print.

Hard to see his dark green cotton pants beneath the coat, which is made from Pann Velvet and a short staple fur.  It took a while to handstitch the fur on.

The coat took longer to make than the whole thing! His bag is well balanced on his back - stuffed with paper to bulk it out and square packing foam, wrapped parcels, with small toys stitched in the opening.

He stands quite firmly in his stretch leatherette boots. 
 I am looking forward to making another one now!

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Constructing Santa's Face!

I am making a Santa from my Innkeepers Pattern.  He's got a great body for this, so thought I'd show how I do the face.  I have not included the sculpting, sorry!

Before and again after Needlesculpting, I mark in the features, paint the eye with acrylic white and outline again with Tan or copper gel pen.  In this case, I have raised the eyes.

Here I have added black Gel pen and black pencil to shade the face.  The colour tone is taking on a sickly hue and I am a bit worried about it now, but will carry on!

Next go on the whiskers and hair piece.....

then the beard.  Now he looks like he's crashed the sleigh after too many egg nogs!  POOR SANTA!

I decided to redo his eyes, so painted on more white acrylic and smudged it into the red prismacolour pencil on the shut eye.  I changed the whole look of the eyes and used light brown prismacolour pencil to lighten the face a little.  Not entirely successful as a Jolly Santa.

So I did another face.  This time I did not raise the eyes, but drew them in place with a better effect.
Here they are for comparison!  I can still use the other face, but not as Santa.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Big Baby Doll.

I had a play with a baby doll - not my pattern, but I enlarged it to the size of about a six month old baby.  I am not delighted with it because I used  pink t-shirt fabric and that made the colour really different.  Then I couldn't get the eyes to go right as it was much bigger.
 Still, two little girls - a four year old and a one year old loved it because it was squeezable, a good size and they could poke the eyes!  So I guess that's a good sign! 
  I have sewn all her garments - all the woolens, so a little one can dress and undress her.  She even has a sewn diaper and a vest! She's slightly weighted  and sits very well and is also lightly stuffed - or else she would be huge and not so cuddly!  I learned a lot while making this one!

Monday, October 14, 2013

Timaru Workshop - Making Practial Pindora!

We had the best time at our Workshop in Timaru last weekend with Cloth doll enthusiasts keen to put their own stamp on the pattern we were following!  One student had never used a sewing machine before and was not abiout to start!  She thoroughly enjoyed the art of needlework.  Her friend stitched her doll up for her and she did the rest.  None of the students had tried needlefelting before  and on introduction to it, this student became delighted with her effort - looking on it as an opportunity for hand sewing after she had done her basic background!

Another student tried making felt balls to use as embellishments - loved it!

Here is a design all ready to go around the base of the doll! 

This is our classroom - deserted for lunch!

 Plenty of felt and a doll in a state of undress - awaiting her designer top! _ Luckily we had the fabric shop beneath us for emergency changes of plan for different embellishments!

Please Note!
One important factor became obvious and I say it here to remind people of the importance of using good quality stuffing for your dolls.  Using old cushions, pillows or duvet inner will not give your doll a satisfying look - especially when it comes to needle sculpting.  For a doll with nicely rounded features that makes neeldesculpting so effective, please use good stuffing, or you will be so disappointed you will be discouraged to continue - and I don't want that to happen!  The best (to me) is stuffing that has a tiny crimp in the fibre and springs back when squeezed.  If not that, buy stuffing from a craft shop meant for soft toys.  It will probably be carded, but ok for dollmaking.

 The designs coming together - matching the colour palete came easily to this student who said she had trouble with colours!  I don't think so!
 Only one colour needed here!  Those embroidery machines come in very handy for this sort of thing!
 And for something completely different! Barb said she dreamed of just how she would dress her doll overnight!  Fantastic!
Look at all the handsewing here!  this was a labour of love!

I was blown away by the creativity of this group of women as they worked on their pieces of doll artistry!  They worked so long and hard on the clothing that I had to gather them all to make their faces!

And here are the results!  Exactly the same, but totally different!  Aren't they wonderful!  I didn't know how this workshop would go, but it developed a life of it's own and I was delighted with the enthusiasm and creativity of it all!