My first doll of this sort I gave to a carpenter friend to make a chair for my bjds. I used Hiro to trace a bjd-sized pattern, then made a simple doll, stuffed it, and attached one of my bjd mohair wigs to it. I wasn’t completely happy with it, but it did the job of standing in for my bjds.
With all the girl drawings, I’ve been hankering to paint one on a doll. I considered wiping one of my face-ups and repainting one of my bjds, but that is not the same as realizing my style of face on a doll, so I decided to make use of my fabric stash, much of it fat quarters, given to me by the mom of my dear friend Kim.
For this project, I used the book, Cloth Doll Workshop, by elinor peace bailey, Patti Medaris Culea, and Barabara Willis. This doll is based on the first project in the book, Ginger, a simple, un-jointed doll. I have the Kindle version, so I had to freehand draw the pattern pieces myself. In the end, I think she looks a lot like my Jane Davenport style mitten-handed, simple-footed figure.
Most of the patterns in the book are free with mixing patterns and bold colors, so I tried to do this for my doll, named Luci. All the fabrics are cotton, with unbleached muslin for the body. Her hair is from a small skein of my own hand spun wool yarn, Corriedale, Navajo-plied.
Following the doll instructions, I stitched the sleeves, bodice top and upper leggings onto the doll body. I wasn’t sure how she’d turn out at this point….
Pretty happy with the result, I pressed on. Stuffing was a bit tougher than I expected, particularly the hands and feet. I think a stuffing fork would be handy, but I made do with the small tube turnings I have on hand. I free-hand drew the vest pattern, modifying it from the one in the book so there was more of a collar and longer. I also made up the tiered skirt pattern from memory. Added lace to cover some of the more questionable seams.
For her face, I used Pitt pens, Sakura Micron pens and Spectrum Noir for shading. I’ll need to figure out alternatives for the Pitt and Noir pens, as they spread a little further on the fabric than I expected. I’m pretty happy with her, but having played with her a little, I did not stuff her neck firmly enough, so her head does tend to roll back and forth. However, not bad for my second doll. She’s about Ginger’s height, 58 cm, or about 22″ tall.
For reference, here is my Wide-eyed Pucker face from Jane Davenport’s Express Yourself, which I completed last week. Luci would have had green eyes, but I don’t have a green Sakura pen.
I am eager to transform some of my other drawings into dolls: Squid lady, my Unnamed Peaceful looking Creature, and one of my vintage-inspired girls. Not sure when I’ll get to another doll, given that there will be new assignments for both Life Book and Express Yourself. I will need more flesh-colored fabric and that stuffing fork mentioned earlier. I will work through the book projects, which get increasingly complex.