SFM Cloth Dolls with Attitude! NZ

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Daun's Saloon Doll

Daun wanted a doll for a Tree topper that would reflect a little of her sense of humor and personality, so I started off with this one based on a Jill Maas pattern.  

I made it in Quilters muslin, but it was not satisfactory as the fabric doesn't have enough stretch and was not as conducive to an expressive face as velour.

I made a second doll with a different Jill Maas body and I like this one better, although I loved the body shape of the other!  

I modified the pattern slightly and though the head shape is mostly Jill's, the needle-sculpting in mine.

I like the flexibility of the arms and legs on this!

Friday, December 30, 2016

Shady Lady 2016

My last doll for the year!  Made from my Marie Antoinette Bust pattern, I enjoyed making this one for our new Gallery in town, called CRAFTED: Waitaki Artisans Gallery!

I love the green  with the midnight blue and the int of black velvet, which lends itself to frame this moody face.

I particularly liked making her little broomstick brooch on her hat! I have made this doll a few times now and marvel at how different each one looks!

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Dame Whina Cooper

 This is my very poor attempt to capture this amazing woman, called the mother of the nation, in doll form! 
Dame Whina Cooper ONZ DBE was a respected kuia, who worked for many years for the rights of her people, and particularly to improve the lot of Māori women.























I made this face in deer suede, as the colour was good, but found it hard to define the features well in this fabric, although It needle-sculpted not too badly. I might try it in something different. There are a lot of things I would do differently, but 
not too bad for a first attempt at something completely different!




Dame Whina Cooper ONZ DBE was a respected kuia, who worked for many years for the rights of her people, and particularly to improve the lot of Māori women in Aoteroa, New Zealand.


Friday, November 11, 2016

Steam Punk Pincushion!

In 2002 I made this Mixed media doll pincushion for the first Steampunk Exhibition I entered.  The idea of Steampunk is: Tomorrow as it used to be!  It's all about gender, belief, sexuality, roles, and  industrialism, including metal, leather cloth, mechanical, as well as time travel, fashion, contemporary and futuristic!  All symbolic!

This doll now belongs to my eldest daughter, who uses it as a pincushion, as well as a work of art.   Recently I visited, to find the head lopsided, and very dusty, so  I thought I would tidy it up, only to discover most of it was just pinned together!  I had not finished it!

Off came the head, out came all the pins, brushed off all the dust and shook all the fur, cleaned it all up and stitched (where it had never been stitched before!)  Here she is, all fresh and ready for the next 14 years!  Haha!

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Merman v Mere man!

Hmm! Mereman - or Merman? Someone challenged me to make a merman to go with my mermaid. I was not thinking of the mermaid, (which is rather conventional), when I made himself!


My first thought was to make this doll with coloured dreadlocks, and that was my inspiration.  When I had made sufficient, I began with the trunk of the body of course - to see if I could make some muscles, because mermen can be half naked and no-one thinks anything of it!






Now the next obstacle - how to display him, with only a fin, and he can’t lean on anything.  Deciding it would be very manly to insert a wire hanger into his back muscles, (to show his strength and courage of course), high enough to be hidden beneath his cropped, shoulder cover thingy! That worked! 
I tucked his body into a tail - armatured with my favourite skinny coat hangers, so I could shape it later and to give it some 'body'!


Next, suitable arms, and I had to think what he might be doing, so one straight and one half bent. Ideal for tattoos, and to hold something.

Then the head. Had to be manly, so this head has a bit of shape. (I never know how they will turn out when I start.) Thinking of a good jawline when drawing it out, I feel I am slowly getting there with that one. I am pleased with the mouth shape, which is incorporated in the initial pattern drawing.

The next part of the process is how to present him. I thought of Steampunk, and went with that idea for a while, as I have seen a few trendy looking steam punkers, and so I added a few such embellishments, but in the end, I settled on something that reveals his alternative, feminine, creative, and caring side.  With the sea themed tattoos, (done by his local swordfish), the Paua Shell embellishments and neck bling, and his artistically arranged dreadlocks (styled by his local octopus, who is renowned for her creative agility to twist things around – tentacle-y speaking!)






With a critical eye, I noticed there was an imbalance between the body and the tail, so I connected them with the strap of a man bag, anchored to his belt!  I made the trident, but did not want him to be holding it – unwieldy for packing and sending anywhere – so made a strap that could sling it across his shoulders and be a prop.


The dreadlocks draw the eye down and connect the head with the tail, and I addressed the imbalance of the length of tail with the pet fish, hanging from his hand on a harness, to bring the eye right down.



 I could do more with the tail if I wanted to, but I liked the simplicity of his message:  Here is a mereman, not afraid to show himself as he is, usually found in deep water, vulnerable to predatory fish and the elements, but with the strength and resilience to deal with whatever life brings him. Happy with who he is, willing to intelligently stand for right, and with a care for the wellbeing of his fellow creatures!  Yes, there are Mermen like this!


Thursday, October 20, 2016

Mermaid Style

I have been trialling a mermaid.  I am not entirely happy with this design, although it does sit well.

I noticed the eyes are not correct, but overall I am happy with the headpiece.

I wanted to show some fairly natural movement  with a mermaid, and I have nearly, but not quite achieved it.  I later changed the position of the head.

Embellished with shells .  I like the hands on this one.


Sunday, October 16, 2016

DWRFBRED a play on words!

 I am launching this new PDF pattern called Dwrfbred today!

Dwrfbred is a 'play on words' design - my favourite!
The pattern has 44 pages of step-by-step instructions on how to make this 16 inch mixed media cloth doll! A marathon effort to do to write the pattern, but the doll didn't take long at all!

Dwrfbred is a mixed media cloth doll who really looks the part!  You can tell he is really a softie at heart by his chosen weaponry – mind you, have you ever been clouted by rock hard bun!

This is an interesting character doll to make.  Of course, he could double as Santa, or any old character doll with a beard!

A few different techniques in this doll!
You can get it at your favourite online pattern store, or on my Etsy shop