SFM Cloth Dolls with Attitude! NZ

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

OCDC - Oamaru Cloth Doll Crafters - All about Eve Project!

This is a doll I have made & remade!  Sometimes it takes a while to get it right!  I called her Christel Belle, Seeker of True Love!  She reminded me of a friend of mine by the same name with an uncanny likeness, so last weekend I gave it to her!

 These dolls are our group attempt at making Sheryl D'Ath's "All about Eve!" Pattern.  We started it before the Wellingotn Workshop in Nov, but only completed it afterwards!  Our group found it very interesting to do and learned a lot of new techniques! 
They liked the way the doll is so pose-able  
and grouped together can imagine conversations!
  You can see how the dress designing skills kicked in here, with different styles presented by the dollmakers!

This cheeky little chap was made by Jean, who loves Frogs!  It's Jill Maas''s pattern -
Freddy & the frogs!  So cool!

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Workshop in Wellington! 2015

 Sheryl D'Ath and I had the best time in Wellington last weekend, with a wonderful doll group The Dollectables!  Sheryl designed the doll and I wrote it up.  It is called "All about Eve"!  The pattern can be bought from Sheryl, or from Cloth Doll Designer, or Dollmakers Journey!
 I took all my gear - a better way of carrying it rather than my usual bucket!  It rolls up nice and small!  Not exactly elegant, but it does the job!
 Sheryl thoughtfully had body parts made up to show how it is constructed.
All the kits laid out and more fabric, plus dyed mohair that Sheryl had wefted ready for use! 
 Here is the line-up of dolls on display.  Mine is the little one standing.  Sheryl also made the bears!  She is world class with her bears!
 Everyone getting down to painting the faces!
 Someone is excited to learn how to fix mistakes and also to make an open mouth!
 Getting it all together!  this delightful lady gave us chocolate and made the most delicious lemon cakes!  We were spoiled and we so appreciated it!
 Here is Sheryl in full swing!  She's the one in black and the designer of the dolls we were making!
 A close up of Sheryl's doll.  This is the same doll made in many different ways!  Look at the shoes she made too!
 More of the dolls!  The small ones she called Trinket!Aren't they gorgeous with the wee bears?  The undies are made from stretch lace!  I made a 'Frock' Pattern and the one with the jandals (flip-flops) is wearing a 'Frock'!
 Working on the faces and getting the bodies sewn up!
A line-up of all the heads!  Fascinating that it's the same head made in twelve different ways!  Lots of learning here.  They were shown how potentially disastrous faces could be changed to look more like it, and how to undo and start again with more pleasing results.  These ladies were pleased to be able to learn different techniques from both of us and what other tools could do the job better and faster.   It was so worthwhile for us all!  They have invited me back next year, so that's a good sign!

Thursday, November 5, 2015

On display at the Oamaru Opera House!

We are all a bit like Alice - on a chequered path in life!
Alice's flexibility is continuously challenged as she walks past the critical flowers in her life, who look down at her. She follows a neurotic rabbit, meets up with bully boys, who always want to fight over silly things like a broken rattle, love to argue, but never contradict each other, talk about having a battle, but get too carried away with sports and things and in the end are scared of upsetting authority!
She takes advice from an old caterpillar, entering the early stages of metamorphoses and who asks her several times, the important question - "WHO ARE YOU?" Alice replies, "Well, I knew who I was this morning, but I have changed so many times since then!"
Her only real friend is the Cheshire Cat, who always leaves her with a smile, and she has to deal with Queens!
Yes. a lot like us!

I am delighted to be asked to display my Alice In Wonderland Dolls at the Oamaru Opera house until Friday the 13th this month, where Victorian Week will be launched from, so they will have a wide audience.   I have been making these all year, as well as four large Marionettes!  It has been a very enjoyable process for me and I am amazed at the response I have had from people far and near.
I hope you enjoy seeing them!

Thursday, October 22, 2015

The Off-White Queen!

Potential disaster happened when we had strong winds blow through town, whooshing through the swing doors of the Oamaru Textile Emporium, where my dolls are displayed.  This was my last Marie Antoinette Bust doll for sale and she was thrown to the floor in a gust, and the base was smashed!
Nothing is ever wasted, so I quickly decided she could be my White Queen for the Alice Series!  On went a waist and stump base and arms!  

Out came all my bits of white - not enough for a whole dress, so all the bits were sewn together to make the gown - hence, The Off-white queen!  (I love a play on words!)

I added a little more hair to give her lengthy tresses and add to her more delicate look.

Here she is - the perfect foil for her sister, the Red Queen of Hearts!

Monday, October 5, 2015

Mad Hatter Marionette # 2

All finished!  He didn;t take so long, because I had partially made him earlier in the year - then forgot all about it, untill I hunted for the pattern and found it with  all the parts already stuffed!  So pleased about that!  I even have half the pattern written up!

This Mad Hatter is 31 inches tall.  His hat is a bit smaller than the first one, and went together much quicker as I know what I am doing now!  

Playing with Photoshop!

Here he lies with his first pair of pants on - they were changed eventually due to being too tight!

He is taller - of course!

Saturday, September 26, 2015

The Queen Of Hearts Marionette

Just completed this Queen of Hearts Marionette in time for the Victorian Fete, here in Oamaru, where the theme this year is Alice in Wonderland!  If she's good, she might even make it to the Strawberry Fare later in December!

She has just been strun with a very simple controller and only five strings - three on her head and one on each hand 

Off with her head!  The Staff is made from gold aluminium wire wrapped around a red glass bead, threaded with fine copper wire, and wound down the stem. 

Based on the Character played by Helen Bonham -Carter, in Tim Burton's movie, Alice in Wonderland, I have made six video's of making this head on my Facebook page, if you want to check them out!  Just put in SFM Cloth Dolls With Attitude and you will find it!

I made the skirt in three panels made form curtain fabric.  The hearts were cut from black calico frames over gold fabric and pressed on with Steam a Seam.

Putting the body together.  Here she is strung from an anchor in the shoulders and up through the head.  I kept her legs and feet simple as they will not be seen.  I quite like the shape of them.

I made simple little shoes.  The feet are weighted.

Pantaloon petticoat!

Simple arms attached to shoulders so they will move well.  Padded shoulders for the puffed sleeve.

the sleeves finished.

All finished with Lace crown, Bodice and other embellishments. 

Saturday, September 19, 2015

White Rabbit Herald

Inspiration comes from different sources, in this case, the cover of the Victorian Week Celebrations booklet!  I was really attracted to the avocado green of the tunic, but ended up with the only colour I had on hand!    I stripped a yellow ribbon for the edge of the banner. melted a crayon for the seal on the scroll, used a bamboo skewer and card for the trumpet.  Found some fuse-able tape and discovered no sew glue!  A purple piece of satin ribbon I have had for years and Vialene for the ruffle.  

The Rabbit is made from ancient baby stretch-n-grow terry-towelling and has a wire armature going up through the stand!

I used Paint on the Computer to print the paper for the stand, which is backed with faux leather. 
The whole thing is only 8 inches tall and is quite light!  
An enjoyable project, but I would have liked that avocado colour!

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Commissioned to write a pattern for Sheryl D'Ath's new doll - "All About Eve!"

I just wanted to share my experience with you!
My long time friend and fellow doll-maker Sheryl D'ath, who is a talented bear maker,
has this year been developing her own doll!  The more she made it, the more excited she became -and so did we, who were watching it happen!  She very generously shared lots of her process with us all on Cloth Doll Artistry, on Facebook!

She made a series of dolls and dressed them beautifully, as you can see here with this dispplay she put together recently for an exhibition!   These little dolls have become important to her and she can't bear to part with them, so they sit and watch her creating more and more!

The more she made, the more people began to ask her for the pattern, but Sheryl had never done that before and was very uncertain, so I jumped in and said we could collaborate! To my delight, she commissioned me to write it with her. This beautifully proportioned needle sculpted beauty is the result with all techniques fully explained in the pattern.

It has been a fabulous experience for me and Sheryl is wonderful to work with!  She took great photo's of her process and after I wrote, she reviewed and sent back the corrections and additions! I was surprised it only took three weeks to write it!  But that was because Sheryl had already done a lot of the work herself with photo's  and some writing etc.  

 While writing it, I had to test it  myself to make sure it was all correct and it was! 

This is my version. I changed the mouth on mine, but the rest is much the same.  Now I am playing around with clothing patterns for it!

It has been a great pleasure to write this with Sheryl and to my great pleasure, we are both going to teach it together in a workshop in Wellington, in November 2015!

This pattern is now available through Sheryl herself, at bellestuff@xtra.co.nz
 and soon it will be available through other pattern sellers.