Look who can stand

I’ve had it in my mind for a while to make a doll that can stand independently. One of the ways to make this happen is to joint the leg to the torso with a button at the hip. I modified my torso pattern to incorporate hip slots but still made the legs as I would usually. I did however round the top of the thighs in the hopes that they would fit snugly in the ‘sockets’.

I used the method of attaching the legs that I found on Pinterest, the diagram was self explanatory. I also found a very detailed tutorial on covering the buttons by Agosia Arts. When I attached the legs it looked okay(ish) from the front, I did think the torso looked too long in comparison with the legs. The back was really not good, she didn’t have a bottom, and a doll needs a decent bottom.

Next step was to insert 2 bottom darts and shorten the torso, easier said than done. I really wish I hadn’t attached the head and arms to my first new style torso, I had to do a lot of unpicking. Here is the torso version 2, I debated whether to show them…..they don’t look any different, however you can see the dart and how the buttons look better covered. The real problem however is that I think the head is too large, in fact I’m certain the head is too large. I’m going to decapitate her and make her a new bigger body (and her body a new smaller head!)

Agnes however kindly offered to model PJs for Luis/Yonas before she underwent major surgery, and the vinyl Sasha doll models Ava/Izara’s sweater and jeans.

A bit of upcycling

A while back I embroidered a pocket, it was not what the new mama envisaged, so I carefully removed it, embroidered another and everyone was happy. Now the pocket has got a new place on Felicity’s dungarees, a special place for her treasures. Here are Felicity’s two outfits, the orange gingham dress with matching embroidered bonnet, and duck egg blue linen dungarees with that very special pocket.

Felicity may have a new home already but if she doesn’t she will be in my Esty shop upload on 1st Feb

Fizzy

I’ve been busy on various projects, one of them was to make a smaller doll and also learn how to do button jointing. I started experimenting back in December, and started a blog post about it, however, I ground to a halt and decided to go back to what I know to get my confidence up. So here is Felicity who is lively, bubbly and generally mischievous and known to her friends as Fizzy. She is 12 inches of freckles and curls, and is going to have an orange gingham dress. Here’s another picture of Fizzy, she is unceremoniously balanced in a mug as she still doesn’t have legs!

I also make clothes for 16 inch plastic dolls and someone has suggested that I make a tiny Waldorf doll for her doll. She sent me a photo of one she has, and I was definitely inspired to have a go. The doll’s doll is only 10cm tall, but I think it would be great fun to do micro knitting or crocheting for a dress. The maker of the little doll is unknown at the moment but I’ll update this post if I find them.

Old school satchel

To complete Ava’s wizard school outfit she needed a school bag. There were a couple of options, try to match Hermione’s school bag or go for the ‘old school’ style satchel. I knew which I preferred, and so did her mama. She didn’t feel that Ava would be able to carry the ‘Hermione’ bag, and I agreed.

I was going to use the same leather as Ava’s shoes, so I had to modify the satchel pattern, less pockets as the leather is quite firm. With the aid of my Cricut I cut out the pieces, the leather was pretty tough to sew but I did it. Here’s all the parts laid out. Notice the rivet on the handle? I hit it with the hammer at the wrong angle, I’ve since replaced it, it really bugged me.

Final touches were putting in her name, I’m glad she Ava has such a short name! and also I made a little Marauder’s map (Karte der Rumtreiber) that I have popped in her bag. I found one in German to print…..however it’s so small you’d never know it was in German!

Farewell Tahira

She’s now ready to go home, there was a slight delay as I waited for some ribbon to tie her bonnet with, it had to been maroon, I had no maroon! As you can see the final outfit is the mustard linen. I embroidered the pockets in deep purples, blues and orange and matched it with the bonnet. I’ve used this bonnet pattern before it’s lovely, so simple yet so sweet. The dungarees are the Hey Barrie Hawthorn dungarees I think it is my most used pattern.

Multi- tasking

I’ve been working on two commissions in tandem, making Tahira and her outfits and also a Christmas present outfit for Ava (formerly known as Izara). This is because Tahira and Ava are the same size, and Tahira is an excellent model. Ava wanted a Hogwarts’s school uniform, Gryffindor to be precise, so grey jumper with orange and maroon stripes. She also needed a new pair of school shoes and some socks. Here are the shoes, I made the T bar longer as her other shoes kept falling off, hope these stay on. She also has the option of tights or socks whichever helps the shoes to fit best. The socks are thicker so the fit will be more snug. The leather is quite firm and I can get those neat cut-outs by using my Cricut.

The jumper is based on my cable knit pattern (without the cables!) it gave me a blue print for the raglan increases and where to separate the sleeves. The skirt is just a simple pleated wrap made from some cotton that I’m making a dress for myself with.

Nearly ready for Hogwarts trainee wizard.

Last custom doll of 2020

When you order a custom doll you get to choose their name, basically because I’m lazy and running out of names! This doll is based on a girl from Suriname so until her mama names her she is going to be Tahira. Part of the custom order process involves picking outfits and colour palette. Tahira is to have a blouse and wrap pinafore, and here were the colour options.

……..and here is what has been chosen, the lovely dusky pink Liberty chambray blouse and a maroon fabric for the pinafore, which I think is a wool suiting but I can’t be completely sure.

Now onto outfit number two, I leave you with the colour options I gave and you can try and guess which fabric has been chosen for some dungarees.

Billy’s pocket

I do like giving my dolls pockets big enough for all their treasures, and I love embroidering them too. This pocket has mushrooms on it, faerie mushrooms to add that bit of magic. The fabric is a beautiful linen from Merchant & Mills, and it is seriously gorgeous, a teal blue shot with brown. I’ve bought plenty so you’ll see it again I’m sure

…….update, her mama doesn’t like mushrooms so I’ve changed the pocket (kept it safe for another doll). Billy now has a little cat chasing a butterfly.

Then finally to tie in the purple and blue/green theme I made a bonnet and a cardigan for her with wool from Life in The Long grass using free patterns on Ravelry.

Legs, feet & knees

My post about how I embroider a doll’s eyes was so well received I thought I’d go a bit more into some of the details of doll making. This time it’s all about legs & feet. Now I have made them in several ways, but this is my preferred way at the moment. What I like to see is a good knee, and a variation in the thickness of the leg ie. a definite ankle, calf & thigh not straight up and down.

So I start by rolling the two legs using the Fig & Me rolling wand and my wool batting. I have a rough picture of the shape I want for the 12 inch & 16 inch doll. I then cut the rolls to size.

Next I create the feet, I have a cardboard template to work from. In these pictures you can see the progression from rough shape, to more defined, then adding the start of the ankle.

I then firmly sew the leg onto the ankle. Lot’s of needle felting then to make sure it’s firm. Then I position the knees according to my template, then work on the calf, the bridge of the foot and the thigh until I’m happy with the shape. I then repeat for the other leg, I have a quick measure of thigh and calf size to check they are the same

Next step is to slide on the skin fabric making sure all the inner seams lay flat. Once it’s all pulled tight I then sew a seam across the top of the foot to take up any excess fabric. Some people prefer not to have a seam there, but I like it, it’s a doll, it has seams!

Then I sew the legs to the body, and there you have it, two shapely pins

Japanese Knitting Stitch Bible

This book was a Christmas present, which I then left at my mum’s and we went into lockdown and there it sat. We are now happily reunited and I was able to knit Rosie Joan a capulet from the book. It is in fact a collar but on small ‘people’ it’s a capulet. It was really fun doing it and I now want all my dolls to have capes.

Rosie Joan is all about pink, and clashing colours together, so she has her dress in Liberty print with contrasting bodice and lace trim, and playful pockets. Then her mama decided on the bubblegum pink cardigan, it was all a bit bonkers so I added in the capulet as a note of restraint !

The shoes are leather Mary Jane’s in , you’ve guessed it – pink. I’m now cutting the leather using my Cricut and you can see the level of detail I can get on the cutouts and how neat they are.

Part of Frontier Dream’s link up