I can’t deny it anymore. Every time I start a new batch of dolls, I change them. I can’t help it. They want to be fancy girls! They beg me to make their dresses different and better. They whisper in my ears when I sleep about beads and new ways to do their hair. They sneak into sewing room and leave little bits of trim out for me to find the next day and make me think it was *my* idea to add it. Before I know it, an hour turns into a day and often I still have to get to more important details.
Oh, why do I do this to myself? I pushed off the dates to have a good bunch of dolls done 3 times. The first time was nobody’s fault. I got very sick and couldn’t work for over a week. But during that time I let a quilt talk to me too much. That was Molly’s Quilt. I was stuck on the sofa or in bed most of the time and I was bored. So I started hand stitching all kinds of details all over the quilt top.
Each stitch is taking the thread on a walk through the fabric. While I do this, I am taken on my own walk about. The design starts coming together with the simple changes in direction of each stitch. It’s like floating on water sometimes. Sometimes it’s like running with the thrill of the world rushing past. It always takes my mind off of things that are troubling me. It feeds my soul. Yeah, I know how that sounds. LOL! But it’s truth!
Of course, I browse the internet when I run into a problem to see if another genius came up with a way to get through it. Guess what happens then? I start adding even more details! Once I know a technique exists and it will make the doll better, I simply have no excuse to not give that to my precious girls!
With this generation I discovered a wonderful way to do hair. I adjusted it to make the hair less likely to wiggle out by stabilizing it with water soluble stabilizer and running it through the sewing machine on a short stitch. Then I just hand sew it onto her cute little football head. I cannot find the website again because I forgot to bookmark it. I’ll put my own method in the tutorials.
I revisited soft sculpture and after a few attempts on seriously sculpting the heads, I settled on simple details like pulling in the corners of her eyes, the mouth, and dimples on her cheeks. Orisini’s Angels has a very helpful tutorial on faces.
Hands and Arms
Then reading about hands, and trying multiple times to do those tiny fingers, I found that these dolls hands are just too small to turn each little finger. But she does have fingers and a thumb. And even her palms have details. Finally the arms and hands are wired. A fabulous blog gives a lot of good tips on how to do hands- it’s one of my favorite finds in a long time: Doll Maker’s Muse
That brings me to the arms. I was very unhappy with the way I had been doing them. So the old arms were amputated and new arms with the detailed hands were added with a button joint at the shoulder. They have wire that runs down to the fingers so that the arms are posable.
A Curvier Body
The body is more curvy now too. I had special requests for bigger girls. These current dolls are a bit curvy but I came up with another pattern for a very curvy doll. It took a few attempts to make it right but I have one done that looks really good. Oh, and I did work out how to get some big girl breasts going on too. I’ll be doing a few of them in the next 2 weeks.
The dresses are made from vintage silk saris from India or, as in the case of the doll below, a pretty dress fabric I had stashed away. The design is baggy to allow ease of dressing the doll. Because she has such a big head and so much hair, the dress has go over her hips. The back opens up quite a bit to allow this and has a hook and eye closure. Beaded trims, glitzy trims are added. A layer of tulle is underneath to help fluff out the bottom of the dress. It’s pulled together with a belt that snaps closed. The winged heart charms I ordered back in December are attached with various other embellishments. And the size is actually 7”, the standard bracelet size for women…
So, as you can see, I have become possessed! And since the girls change every time, which seems to be by the year actually, I’m assigning generations to them. This set is generation 4.
And the last new thing is her story. I’ve been working on this part since last November. I’ve assigned certain personalities that you can choose from to go with your doll. It’s sort of like the way a horoscope would describe a person. It’s designed to look like a certificate and I added spaces for me to write in the year of completion and doll number. I intend for my dolls to be collectables. So it should be official!
It was also suggested that I do accessories, shoes and dresses to sell separately. I worked on that a bit too. Those things will come later.
Now I have to clean up the chaos and start a new quilt order! It feels so good to see this creative endeavor finally gaining some momentum!
Thanks for following along!