I have been working hard on my craft since 2004, and I think I have a skill level that shows in my work. I am the do over queen and there are many heads without bodies to suggest that these mistakes drive me to the perfect end. The finished doll always seems to lead to the next doll, one is born out of another. This is why I love making dolls. It is the air I breathe and pretty much defines me. I am a doll maker.

This may sound strange but these bodiless heads and headless bodies speak to me. I have control over the parts and pieces individually, but the position involved in the connection is revealed at the moment the pieces touch one another for the first time. The head moves me to sew it in a certain pose, same with the hands and arms. The whole doll forms itself to be expressive according to its idea of itself.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Thrift Store Find Leads to Inspiration

Last week I was shopping at a thrift store, which is truly the only place I love to shop, and I found this retro style fabric. It told me it wanted to be a dress for my next doll, and so it is. These A-line dresses need stockings and a bunchy undergarment that match. This fabric needed to be the golden color in the fabric. Had to figure if I could do it with the Rit dyes that I had. I made two different baths one was a straight golden yellow and the other had an orange and brown combo. So a long dyeing in the gold and a quick splash in the combo and I came close enough. I was impressed with my color mixing skill.

My first step in making a doll is usually making a head and then I will cover my dowels with a layer of batting and then some hosery and then I make the stockings and pull them over the legs. I sew a torso and stuff it pretty firm. I stick the legs into the bottom of torso. Now I will sew the legs on and then usually add some more batting to make a butt. The top of the hose can be pulled around this and sewn, this helps to flatten out bumps.

The bunchy undergarment is about 1 yard x 6" of fabric. It is gathered below the waist and sewn on and gathered around the legs and sewn. It will hang down for the moment.

I have made a pattern for the A-line dress. I line the dress with muslin. I make 2 fronts and 2 backs and stitch and turn each. I construct the dress and put it on the torso and then brush the stiffener on. Once this hardens, the undergarment gets the stiffener and worked into place. The doll will dry upside down.

I have decided to make some puffy sleeves and now I am working on dying some material for the hair. Hair is always trial and error. So I can't share much more right now.........



Jenny said...

Hi Nat~

Thanks for visiting my blog today.
I love your dolls and how you show the progess. Really neat stuff!

I will add you to my blog list



Flor Larios Art said...

I will be back to se the doll finish. First time on your blog and will follow...

pixiesinthehouse said...

I adore following your process in doll making. you are just so inspiring.
I've added you to my favorie blogs to keep up with your work!
Stephanie ~pixiesinthehouse