SFM Cloth Dolls with Attitude! NZ

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Tutorial: Part 1 - Preparing a cloth face for Needle-sculpting.

I have decided to share how I sometimes needlesculpt a face.  This is pretty much the process I go through most times, though I always seem to vary it depending on the expression I am wanting to convey!

This is a nice head pattern I designed and it works very well.  I like the shape of it!  Some things to note when working with cotton fabric.  You will see places that pull on the threads.  Be careful not to overstuff these tight areas or it may fray.  Something else to note - that now annoys me!  Because the nose refused to fill with fibre, I popped a tiny pompom at the tip, but you can see it has moved slightly to the left of the nose, leaving the tip empty!  If I was any sort of needle-sculptor, I would use my needle to move it back into postion.   The idea with pompoms is to hold them in place with a pin till you have finished stuffing the face.  I didn't  - too much of a hurry!  Still, it's an opportunity to show what should be done!

The best thing to do with cotton fabric with not much stretch, is to draw it out on the BIAS! That way you have more success with stuffing in the round and getting into that nose!

Before beginning to mark out the face the most important step is to spray the face with a fixative, or hairspray, to ensure that no colours will run into the fabric and ruin the face!

When planning a face, I like to use my fingers to see where the eyes should be placed that would give the best effect for what I want to do.  This is usually on the bridge of the nose.
 I mark out in pencil, roughly where I will put the eyes, checking if they are evenly spaced and the right size. I often use one of my fingers to get the correct width of the eye.

 Notice the distance of the corner of the innereye from the mid seam?  I use the midseam as a gauge of where to put the marking for the inner corner of the eye - approx 1/4 inch, or .5 cm. Not too close - not too far!  The distance between the eyes is about the size of another eye.
 Now I mark it out roughly in Crimson Red Prismacolour pencil, to begin to develop contour and shading.
Down the side of the nose and around where the nostril flares should be.
 Next I mark out the midline of the lips and add the marks for the cheeks and chin cleft, which creates the shadow under the bottom lip.
 I go over the eye shading it with black prismacolour pencil, to add depth.  You could leave this till later if you wish, because as I found out - it smudges!

A dab of acrylic white paint on the eye - I just do the bit that won't have eyeball in it, because white paint under the prismacolour pencil with  make it milky.

So there you have it.  The face basically prepared for needlesculpting.


mo said...

thanks for this, dear Sharon!

Unknown said...

no sabes cuanto te agradezco este tutorial,me encanta y espero aprender mucho de ti,impaciente por las pr├│ximas entregas

Unknown said...

cant wait to see the next step this is very different from how I do it I learnt from Jill Maas.
Cheers Sonia

Lisa said...

Oh - how wonderful! Thank you for sharing!

Unknown said...

grazie mille! sei una maestra straordinaria!

Unknown said...

do you have any tutorials on needle sculpting?