I had this little plan in my head to try and recreate some of the lovely images there are of Frida. The final touches to her outfits were the headdresses. The bow is a hair scrunchie I found in a shop, I tucked the ends in so it looked more like a bow, but I thought it could also be worn by her new mama. The flowers are a combination of some I sourced from a charity shop and some wedding flowers from a work colleague.
So, that was fun, and challenging at times I had to make a lot of new patterns. So farewell Frida xxx
This is the picture I had in mind for the second outfit I loved the oversized embroidery and the clashing colours. I started to hand embroider the skirt, but I really wasn’t happy with it. I abandoned it and thought again.
I went for this more muted palette, and this time a dress. I bought a machine embroidered collar and used it as applique. with a deep embroidered trim. It works, a lovely fusion of the two outfits.
Here she is (with a little help from a doll stand) showing off her new dress. Frida has her eyebrows now, they weren’t as hard to do as I feared. I now have to finish her headdress and do a final photo shoot.
My inspiration came from the Frida’s prosthetic leg, made in 1953 fashioned in red leather and embellished with a dragon, and bells.
To make a boot that I could embroider I needed to use a really soft leather. This meant I needed to make a shoe with toe stiffener over a last. I had made some little clay lasts before however these were free hand and not symmetrical. What I thought was to buy a pair of plastic dolls shoes, and use them as a mold for the clay. Here is stage 1 of the process
To make the pattern I followed a tutorial by I Can Make Shoes (the same company I did the workshop with earlier this year). That involved duct tape and drawing shapes and changing from 3D to 2D.
With all the pieces cut out I embroidered stylized flowers and leaves in bright colours. Added eyelet holes and some top stitch detail.
As I said the leather is quite thin and soft so I needed to use some stiffeners in the toe . Using another tutorial by I Can Make Shoes on how to insert the toe puff, the shoes came together nicely. Then add laces and little bells, and here they are.
This is just the best fun, embroidering, beautiful coloured silks, hair accessories etc. The first outfit I created merges two looks – the skirt is from the iconic one that was on the cover of Vogue. I had a beautiful black fabric (I think it’s a Tensel twill) from Merchant & Mills , to make a full skirt. I got it in a lucky dip bag of ‘neutrals’ I ordered – didn’t know it I’d ever use it on a doll, but it’s perfect for Frida. I’ve been embroidering the white design on it with help from a tutorial by Artesd’Olga.
To go with the skirt is a peasant style blouse with some embroidery on the sleeves. The blue is the bamboo silk from Ray Stitch, and the embroidery a colourful statement.
Underneath is a long petticoat edged in lace, you can just see it peeping out.
I have been asked to make a doll inspired by Frida Khalo, whose story means a lot to the family. This project has been buzzing around in my head now for a while, and ideas are coming together on a Pinterest board! I wanted the doll to capture the essence of Frida and is not going to be an adult. When I found this picture of a little girl dressing up, I knew I had found my face shape.
Another important detail I felt was the boots, and I decided to use Frida’s artificial leg as an inspiration, and I will make bright red boots with embroidery on, and maybe those bells.
I showed you the other day the fabrics I bought and some of the trims. The outfits are going to be a combination of various Frida outfits, including a long skirt, and peasant style blouse in there. The rest are still in my head, nothing definite yet!
….and ‘Yes’ that’s a rhetorical question. My newest doll, Jennifer, has one pair of shoes and one pair of slippers. Both I’m a bit in love with. She is such a sleepy head (that snuggly, cuddly morning look) , I had to make her a nightgown, then if you have a nightgown, you have to have slippers, right? And if you have slippers, then they have to have pompoms on, right? The crocheted pattern is just very basic and made up by me. The nightgown is a pattern by Pemberley Threads, and the fabric, well that’s Liberty!
Now, Jennifer’s going out shoes are not the usual T bar shoe I make, this time I went for a more simple shape, plus a little flower embellishment. They are held on by the tiniest rivet you have ever seen (hence the tweezers!)
Jennifer also has a pair of dungarees, with those oversized pockets for treasures, and a cardigan. The cardigan was a free pattern by TDC Quattre I found on Facebook, the wool I’m going to wax lyrical about. It’s a beautiful plant dyed merino wool and cashmere by Snail Yarn. I bought 4 colourways and this one is avocado and onion skin. Oh my they are lush wools.
I’ve been to London again, so that means I have to stop at my three favourite places – Liberty,The Loop (see picture above) and Ray Stitch. I did have a shopping list, and I did stick to it! First my Liberty shop, I wanted to replace one print I use a lot of (bottom of the pile). The others just really caught my eye.
Just look at that beautiful cotton chambray at the top with all the bugs on it. I can see some dungarees made of that with bugs embroidered on the pockets. Then onto to The Loop, my main quest there was to buy some wool to make a jumper for Izara. I have had a birthday request of 2 jumpers, one for Yonas which was easy, the other for Izara to go over her dungarees for cooler evenings. I needed to match those lovely blue dungarees, so fabric in hand I completed my mission.
Then finally onto Ray Stitch, again I had some well used ‘favourite’ fabrics to replace, the Japanese brushed cotton, such beautiful colours.
I also have another project, a Frida Khalo doll, she’s coming together in my head. I’ve got exciting ideas for her boots, but I was in Ray Stitch for fabric and trimmings. Here are two bamboo silks I bought and some trims, and one of the dresses I’m looking at for inspiration.