She has hair the colour of bluebells and a dress the colour of primroses, Mabel is all about Springtime. Originally when Mabel was in my head she was a riot of colours, however it wasn’t to be. Her dress and coat were originally for Izara but long ago I realised Izara suited the dark jewel colours, and when I tried them on Mabel…..well we were hooked.
The coat is Put a bow on it made from powder blue wool with Liberty fabric lining. The dress is again Liberty fabric trimmed with lace, and to keep her warm on chilly evenings she has her cardigan made using the February sweater Pattern and the wool is Old Maiden Aunts alpaca/silk/cashmere hand dyed wool in the colourways Shoormal. Believe me it is so soft and silky.
The Mary Janes are made in a daffodil yellow leather, I revised their construction after going on the shoe making course. These have a popper closure which will be easier for small children to open and close.
I went to London for a shoe making course and spent two amazing days with the team at ICANMAKESHOES. After two days I came away with a pair of leather trainers and lots of ideas on how to translate these skills to making shoes for dolls.
Starting at the beginning, a pattern, leather and soles. A bespoke pattern had already been made for us, there is a You Tube tutorial to show you how.
Next cut out all the pieces and sew together, double row of stitching each side. Punch a set of eyelets and onto the next step.
The soles have foam padding on the board then covered with a lovely calf skin. The colour is a deep teal blue and so soft. Glued securely in place.
Then wet molding around the last, stretching the leather and tacking it in place. …….. how can I do this on a teeny tiny scale? I definitely can’t tack into my clay lasts I’ve made!
Dried overnight and tacks out, ready for gluing and filling with cork (I forgot to take a photo of this stage)
The final stage was to sew the upper to the sole using a blanket stitch. However you first had to punch holes in the trainer, then two holes in the upper. I think I made heavy work of it, but while I was out for lunch the shoes elves (thank you Miette) finished my second one in double quick time.
The sides were easy to do, however the toe and the heel slightly more challenging. So, here are the finished trainers, ta da!
It’s freezing here but bright and sunny, so I popped into the garden to take some photos of Princess before she goes on her way. I did feel guilty about Princess just being in a sleeveless dress, my fingers were frozen, but she didn’t complain!
When I make custom dolls you decide on the clothes and colours etc and here is what Princess’s mama chose for her. First a long sleeved pink dress
The pattern is by Suzy Sparkle and is the Megan dress, I reduced the number of pattern repeats to fit Princess. The wool is a sock yarn by Qing fibres, a proper bubblegum pink (actually it’s called Cherry Hill)!
Then there is her anorak in blue. This is the Azorean anorak and I couldn’t resist putting a delicate Liberty print cotton as a lining.
A custom order usually chooses two outfits from a list and an accessory like a hat, bag or bonnet. Princess’s mama didn’t pick one so I ran up a little dress for her instead. It’s made with the most beautiful Liberty print, with a lace hem and contrasting bodice.
And finally those pink Mary Janes that you saw in the last post, but here they are again
I’ve been trying to improve my shoe making. I want my dolls to have really good leather shoes, that don’t look too handmade. I have a pretty good pattern for my 16 inch dolls, I’d cut it out and it would sew up just right. However the 12 inch dolls were more of a problem, the shoes were okay, but…….
I’ve gone back to basics, I created lasts out of modelling clay and then used that as a template for a shoe. There was a lot of draping of calico and drawing the shoe design on that. I have several thicknesses of leather, a great big bag of off cuts (about 1.5mm thick) from a sofa making company. The leather is soft, easy to work with but I can’t seem to ‘score’ it to make an even stitch line. The other leather I have is 2mm thick and really lovely quality, it’s a lot harder to cut and mould
Next part I make the holes for sewing and using two needles stitch the uppers to the soles. I originally sewed the front and back but I’ve changed this to gluing at the moment.
Final stage is to add the strap and buckle. The strap is attached by a stud and the buckle is hand sewn.