I've been working this week on the Artistic Figures in Cloth, which will be held
here in Columbus the last weekend in April,challenge doll. The theme this time is "Look Ma, No Stands". This means that you cannot use a doll stand or any visible means of support in your challenge piece. I wanted to come up with something a little different for this time. Two years ago, I actually won Best of Show: Original Pattern. That was my little spider rider called "Getting Motivated". Just as two years ago, I decided to tell a little story instead of just sewing up a doll. I'm know that I'm going to be ambitious with this latest piece that I'm going to call "Circus Grand Finale" with not two, not four, but seven individual dolls incorporated into one piece. I'm crazy! I actually drew up the design and came up with three different distinct patterns. I remember when I would never even think of trying my hand at drawing up my own pattern, but as I've taken more classes, studied how other doll makers work with pattern pieces, and actually got a little better at sewing, I'm developing my own style. Plus, all my dolls are small.
These are the four strongmen of the circus. They will be the bottom layer of a cake like piece. The hardest part getting these guys done was getting their legs into those shoes that contained the wire for the armature. I know the legs are a little whimpy for them, but any future strongmen type dolls will have a fatter or shall I say more muscular legs. I really don't like drawing eyes on cloth, so I decided to make their faces a little simple with sew on nail heads for the eyes, left over felt for the mustache, and wool roving for hair & chest hairs (my sister laughed when she saw their chest hair!). I used dyed cotton fabric that I bought from eleanor peace bailey years ago. It was a little tough to work with trying to turn those small pieces, but slowly and patiently I succeeded without blowing any seams out.
Stay tune for the next layer & if you are in Columbus the last weekend in April and would love to see the largest exhibit of hand made one of a kind dolls, the DoubleTree at Crosswoods is where all the fun will be held. Also, Chris & I will have a vendor's booth there.