In the center are some of Susanna Oroyan’s books, Fantasic Figures, Designing the Doll, and Anatomy of a Doll. Susanna’s books include lots of examples from a host of doll artists, along with how-to drawings that are really helpful. Both her and Antonette Cely’s books include some information on both designing cloth dolls and on sculpting doll faces. They are full of inspiration.
I got my first kitten doll body sewn, stuffed, and assembled. She is made from my own original design and pattern. I have a good feeling about this one. I think she is going to be really cute.
I’ve been drafting patterns for a couple of new art doll designs and I’ve got two kittens and a bunny on the way. I thought a little behind-the-scenes look might be of interest for anyone interested in making painted cloth dolls. After I draft my patterns, I trace them onto cotton sheeting by taping my drawn patterns to a light box, and then laying my fabric over the patterns. You can achieve the same thing by taping a pattern to a window during the daylight hours, and then taping a piece of fabric over the pattern.
I’m using kind of fancy sheets, 300 thread count, Egyptian cotton sateen. I like them because they are soft and easy to hand stitch through, and the texture is very smooth. I’ve been getting mine at Linens and Things, but they may have discontinued the exact ones I’ve been using. Hopefully they have something similar. They usually have swatches you can feel. Look for soft and smooth. I wait for sales, but you can get so many dolls out of one full flat sheet, that it is well worth the price anyway. I prewash them, put them in the dryer, and then iron them. I use a permanent black Sharpie pen to draw my stitching lines, minus the seam allowances, on my fabric.
For each doll part, like for one arm, I trace the shape only once. Then I flip my fabric, wrong sides together, and pin. There is no need to line up any sewing lines this way. You do have to watch your grain lines however. It is important that the doll parts are aligned with the straight of grain as much as possible or distortion occurs while stuffing. I sew right on top of my sewing line, which is still visible even from the wrong side, through both layers of fabric. I use a small stitch length, about 1.5 to 2mm. I sew slowly to make sure I stay on my lines.
Just checking in…These are really easy sugar cookies. I made them from the “Basic Drop Cookies” recipe in our ancient, stained, and falling-apart edition of the Better Homes and Gardens New Cook Book. It is so tattered the page with the date and edition have fallen out. I have a newer version, the 12th edition, and the “Chocolate Chip Cookies” recipe in that is close enough. In fact, any basic drop cookie or chocolate chip cookie recipe will do just fine. Instead of nuts or chocolate chips, add a cup of golden raisins and you have it. I sprinkled sugar on top in the last two minutes of baking them.
I’m adapting a doll pattern so I can take some sculpting lessons from Max Bailey, and I’m working on getting a hand piecing tutorial installment of my Stitch-along together. That will take me a little time since the hand sewing part is a bit slow. Right now, I’m thinking a quilted pillow cover would be the best project to demonstrate with the bluebird block, since it is can be done more quickly, without a long wait or a chance of my getting distracted by other things 😉 I’ll try make the design quilt-friendly so more blocks can be added to the layout design if desired.
I’m also debating over whether or not I should be taking the two quilting classes I signed up for this year, as I have a backlog of projects from previous classes I would like to finish and not enough time for both. I really like going to class, as it affords me some out-of-the-house time and I like the social aspect of it. But the pile of unfinished projects causes me some stress, especially when I have work-related crafts projects to do as well. I haven’t made up my mind yet. I guess it will be made up for me if I don’t get to my homework!