SFM Cloth Dolls with Attitude! NZ

Saturday, January 23, 2016

The Patroness of TOTE 2016

I have finally finished dressing my latest Patroness of TOTE for this year!

Her gown is made from a bolt of furnishing fabric - not the whole bolt - which is rubber abcked, and therefore, quite stiff.  Such as you would cover inexpensive chairs - made from synthetics.  It came up quickly using the overlocker, which I used for all her edges, so the only hem is the actual finished length!  It doesn't matter on something like this, as it's the overall theatrical effect!  

She had her first photo taken by visiting Australians yesterday! She dwarfs people, as she is on a platform with wheels.

I have made a pattern of this one, which includes how to make the head and my whole process of making the dummy, excluding the dress, which is just draped pleated, tucked, edged, and embellished however you like!  Her hat is a dress-up one that I have made a cover for, that just sits on top  and is embellished with stitching and whatever.

  The contrasting fabric is two very cheap novelty woven synthetic scarves - found, and the roses also a furnishing fabric, just twisted into roses - learned from Utube!  I wanted to create a balance with the contrasts, to bring the colour down, so the skirt looked the right length, because as you can see from the last picture, she looked a bit stiff and without her hands placed in front, the skirt looked too short.
The pattern is available in my Etsy Shop, or you can email me and I can send you a paypal request.  I hope you like what I have done.  I am pleaased with the result, because I had the opportunity to see what I could do - because you never know if you can, until you try it!

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Composition Doll Restorations - for a change! Happy New Year 2016!

I have spoken about these dolls before, but want to recount my journey with them, as they seem to keep popping up!  People bring me their broken old dolls, because they know I am a dollmaker.  They don;t care that I only make cloth dolls.  So the challenge to me is to make something of their treasures and try to bring them back to life.
This was the first one I made - from just a head!  I used Kezi Mathews toddler doll pattern to make the body, and she sits in her owners home now with pride of place - her childhood doll!

This one I got off an auction site. Her owner hoped I would make something of her as it was her childhood doll.  The dolls mouth was smashed in, so I had to make a new mouth and replace the teeth. This one and the next one were made in New Zealand.  The bodies are cloth and the arms and legs seem too small for the rest of it.  I copied the wrecked body shape of this one and put it back together, but hated the startled look and inflexibility of the body, so I undid it all and made a body of wool, but while it is softer, the body shape was not good, so at present she is waiting for a better body before she is presented again!  It's all about the process!

This wee one has had boots made and a straw hat was remodeled for it!

This is one of those mass produced porcelain dolls that I hated, but hate to waste anything too, so I gave her a complete makeover and kind of modernised it!

This is the result!

This is Barbara - a 1940's hard plastic 16 inch walker that I re dressed and touched up for a friend.  She's a sweetie!

This poor 25 inch porcelaine doll was given to me broken and reglued all over her face!
I cleaned the face and restored the neck with Kneedit clay, which worked really well!

I repainted all the body parts, except for the original stamp on the back!  Mended all the broken bits and even made new fingers!  She has been restrung and is awaiting her new clothes.  Will update soon!

Makeover time for the Patroness Of TOTE!

This full size needle-sculpted head has just been finished. I took my time with it and have spent the afternoon making it. I want to replace the head of my Patroness of TOTE!
She has had three makeovers with the same head, for the last three years, and the original head, which was only made from an old sheet - has lasted all this time in all sorts of weather, most days! She is looking somewhat faded now and she is due for her yearly makeover, and so another head is required.

The Patroness normally stands outside The Oamaru Textile Emporium where I sell my dolls and volunteer on Fridays! People love to be photographed beside her.

I have learned a lot more about doll making since I first made the original one in 2013. Having said that, she has stood the test of time very well! This time, I am thinking she will be dressed in Blue, because we have a large quantity of Furnishing fabric in a blue going begging!