Pretty pockets

I do love an alliteration! This post is about some of Shelby’s wardrobe. She wanted a denim pinafore and a blouse. The blouse material is a lovely delicate Liberty print, and I chose those same pastel colours to embroider the pockets. Each little flower is different, each colour combination fun, a mixture of french knots and chain stitches.

By popular request…..another anorak, I think that’s the fourth time I’ve made it! I used the same denim that Princess had, but a different lining (Liberty of course)

This girl is very photogenic so I couldn’t resist showing you another picture of her.

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A little face emerges

Out of the ball of wool and the felting needles and hours and hours of stabbing, a face emerges. Each time I can’t quite believe it happens, there’s a point when I have this funny frog looking at me and I panic. Then I keep working through it, I keep looking at photos of the child’s face, I adjust here and there. All of a sudden, she appears, and she’s kind of cute and not at all frog like.

Meet Shelby, who will have the darkest brown eyes and long blond hair, and a fringe…..I’ve never done a fringe before. Here she is with a practice skin on and stickers for eyes and no mouth definition yet.

Then I cut and sew all the parts for her body, they are triple stitched – twice for secure seams.

Shelby now has her features defined and her hair on, all she wants now is her fringe cut. I’ve never made a doll with a fringe…..now there’s scary! Here she is in her nightie, long hair brushed out of her eyes, before and the cut!

And that little profile is just as cute

Springtime girl

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.

Mabel is now up for sale on my Etsy site.

I can make shoes

(the course)

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!

Never mind the cold

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

Pretty in pink

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.

This fabric fills me with joy!

And finally those pink Mary Janes that you saw in the last post, but here they are again

Pink shoes, oh my!

Part of Nicole’s Crafting On

Shoes

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.

Missing out by just one day

This little custom doll came about when a young woman just missed buying Harriet by one day. The challenge for me was to make someone who she fell in love with again. I find that quite difficult, I can’t reproduce a previous doll. The doll was to be called Princess, dark skin and honey blond curls. She came out rather beautiful (just like her ‘mama’)

She is just getting her arms and legs made. The photo above she was unceremoniously wedged in a glass to pose! Here are the fluffy clouds of wool going in to stuffing her arms and the wool wand that makes rolling arms and legs a dream.

As part of a custom order you can choose your doll’s clothes. Princess is to have a pink knitted dress, I’ve ordered this lovely Qing fibre in colourway Cherry Hill. How pink is that?

She is also have a blue Azorean anorak just like Yonas , but this time I’ll use one of my new Liberty prints to line it. I’m also going to make something else as a surprise – I’ll keep you posted!

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