Wednesday, September 14, 2016

I have been doing a series of dolls inspired from the beaded hats from Yoruba. This is a combination of ideas. I love making my wool felt pincushions. This is kind of like putting a pincushion on the dolls head. When I think back on it.....I think almost every doll I have every made has a hat on it.
This doll has a red poppy hat. I love fabric that has written words on it.

Close up of the Poppy Hat. Hand made tassels on the necklace.

Dragonfly hat and vintage fabrics from India.

                   Close up of the Dragonfly hat girl. Dragonflies are made with wire and Momi paper.
Here is the finished doll I was working on in my class in Petaluma CA. Alice. I used vintage hankies for her apron.


One of my sample doll bodies from the Petaluma class was a witch. Here is the finished witch.

Closed up of the Broom Inspector.

Thursday, September 1, 2016

                                         Cut a circle and a rectangular panel and cut into a fringe.

                                    Sew a gathering stitch along the straight edge of the flower petal.


                               Pull the gathering stitch tight and secure with a couple of stitches.

                    Start building the flower by adding the gathered petals and stitching them together.

Make sure that the petals are arranged in an even distribution and the colors contrast against each other.

                                                   Place the smaller rounded petals on the inside.

                                                             Gather the fringed rectangle.

                                     Place fringe in the center of the flower and sew to the petals.

                                              Gather the circle of felt.  Place a puff of polyfil inside.

                                                         Pull the gathering stitch tight and secure.

Place the felt ball in the center of the flower and sew together.  Take some stitches in the petals to create some wrinkles.  It will take the flower a step further in the interest level.

                               Gather the felt circle. Place a puff of polyfil into the gathered felt circle.

Pull the gathered stitch on the felt circle tight around the stem.  Secure the stitches.  Sew a gathering stitch along the straight line of the outer leaves.


Wrap the gathered leaves around the flower bud. Pull tight and secure the stitches. Cut three tear drop shaped leaves. These leaves will be glued to the leaves. This will hide the stitches and add extra  interest to the flower bud.

Add the flowers to the wire headband.  Keep adding  flowers to the headband to the desired composition.  Below is a finished sample of a felt flower headband.
Take a look at one of the Demoiselle DeFleur images previously published to see a finished flower headband.

                               Use three colors in different shades.  Cut the edges in a wavy irregular manner.

Cut 3 inches from the covered stem.
 Fold so that one side is a bit longer. 
Bend so that it will fit the head of your doll.  Curl one side for a tendril,  curl the short side into a tight circle.  The circle of fabric with a puff of polyfill needs something to grab onto.

Monday, May 16, 2016

Petalum Doll Class

Sew the hemline section of the skirt first. The hemline is horizontal to the dolls waist. Fold in half and sew the vertical line. Press the seam open.

Place the lining inside the skirt. You have now hidden the seams in the lining. You should have enough of the lining to slide a border under the hemline if you wish. You can make that choice in class. If you just sew the big tube skirt in advance that will suffice.

It always baffles me when people over complicate how to make a pair of pants. It really is one the simplest thing to make. It is 3 seams. The crotch line seams and the inseam. That's it. This pair of pants has an unusually long crotch line. We will pull the pants up over the cleavage area. So do think about what you would like to have as a tube top as part of the costuming. So the weight of the fabric is key. Stay with light weight fabrics.

                                                      Sew the curved crotch areas first.

Separate the legs and fold in half. Sew the seam. Now you have two legs of the pants. Turn and press.
We will make a decision on whether you will want a ruffle at the knee or a clean finish. So don't worry about the raw edge. We will take care of that when we dress the doll in class. Just sew, turn and press the pants.

Petaluma Doll Class

After sewing and turning the torso, sew a line where indicate. We will open a seam at the side to stuff the torso.  If you want to wait until class to stuff the  torso that will be fine.
I can already hear you say....what the heck on these little "pegs" at the end of the torso. These “pegs” that are at the bottom of the torso will be used to slip the leg over and give us a nice clean and tidy method of attaching legs that could be flexible for the doll to sit. They serve as a kind of hinge.  

Petaluma Doll Class

Notch all the curves.  Open the seams and press flat. It is much easier to draw the curved toe shape of the foot if the seams are pressed flat.

Mark a curved shape that would look like how the shoe would look, not how the foot with toes would look. Sew on the line. Trim the excess.
                                                  Turn and stuff very firmly, halfway up.