SFM Cloth Dolls with Attitude! NZ

Saturday, July 27, 2019

Making Nala - Lioness from the Lion King.

I wanted to make something that showed some movement and grace, as I experienced when I watched the Lion King Disney Production on Utube.

I began with Nala in March 2018

I had done some study on pattern design, and life drawing helped me understand how anatomy and posture works. I like a more realistic figure to hold the body together and I am concious of getting a balance in the figure.

The fabric is velour, and the tiny one way stretch gives it a beautiful soft shape.  The importance of stuffing the body sufficiently and well, using forceps and fingers to massage the stuffing around the body to create the shape is imperative and not to be underestimated.

Needlesculpting the body to get the correct pose was the next step, then the armature.  At this stage I had npt learned how to make the soles of the feet flat, so this figure ended up with something under the foot to make it stand alone - I ws not satisfied with it, but let it be, because this was figure one! I also had to shape the lower body sufficiently to insert the armature, and then mold the hip around the body to create buttocks.  I love the way the light falls an this figure.

I wanted the hands to be posed and graceful, so made them separately on this one.  One arm is straight, but the other arm is in two pieces to facilitate a more natural bend at the elbow.

Time to begin painting the figure.  In the production the dancer was wearing a painted body suit, so I painted the body accordingly with fabric paint.

Luckily, I happened to have some velour in this russet colour!  I added some bits to embellish it to make the Bodice, and hand stitched it in place.

I was not delighted with this face, but plowed on, because it was number one!  I had a lot to learn about putting colour on a coloured fabric!

I was not happy with the eyes - too dark, so i decided to needlefelt some alpaca strands and make  outrageous eyelashes!

I didn't want to put on ears and used a cotton fabric for hair.  In retrospect, I would put ears on which would balance the head better - even though it had the mask! Or at least, put more 'hair' around the ear area. (Something I learned!) 

I  made several masks before I made a pattern for this one, which is trapunto.

The corset is meant to look like a ribcage, but after truing with wood, I was not satisfied, and so used these feathers to weave into a fan shape,  Still not satisfactory, but took artistic licence with it and let it be.  I added a leather tail to the base of it.
The skirt is made from a faux suede, which I stamped the pattern on.  It draped very well.
I was happy with the overall pose.