Friday, July 12, 2013

Plain ole doll making

It has been a long time since I've wanted to sew.  Probably haven't even thought of pulling out fabric and sewing since AFICC.  But I had these lovely batik fabrics I'd gotten in a exchange which really wanted to become dolls.

For me one of the most exciting things while doll making is needle sculpting the face.  So much character comes out with a few stitches. 

During a rummage sale over at the Worthington Historical Society, I picked up 8 vintage doll making books for only a few dollars.  Most of these were from the late 30s early 50s.  I'd never heard of Edith Flack Ackley, but was delighted with her book on doll making.  I decided to learn how to make more traditional dolls using this book from 1939.
With Ackley's pattern and instructions, I constructed the doll baby pattern and the traditional costume doll.  She instructed to embroidery faces with silk floss on a flat face.  I decided that they needed a little needle sculpting instead of embroidery faces.  I still need to figure out eyes for all of them.

Then I took another current pattern and modified it a little bit and did a little needle sculpting to give each of them character.  After 7 of these cute little dolls, I decided one or two of them needed to be beaded.

I wanted to do a little recycling, and this doll had been sitting on my work table for three long years waiting for me to finish it. She was an experiment using three different beading techniques of a three dimensional form. They head is missing as it was the first thing to be taken apart.  I hated how I painted the hand and face on this doll gold, but I loved the organic look of the beads.  So out came the scissors and tip apart I started.  As you can see in the background, there is the doll sewn with all craft velour that was going to be the recipient of the recycled beads. 

This doll has no name.  Maybe someone will help me with that.  Most of the doll is beaded using my method of flat peyote and bead embroidery.  There is a little bit of netting on this doll.  The eyes are actually plastic ones that I'd gotten in my goodie bag at AFICC.  I definitely am going to have to find out where I can find more this size

The legs are wired so that they could be threaded through holes Chris drilled out for me on this recycled stand.

And here is the back of the doll carrying through with the flat peyote.  She looks very organic standing there looking out on my garden.  

So what is next?  Well, see the orange doll in the above picture?  I'm beading that one right now using traditional bead embroidery methods and a right angle weave caged cabs.  I'll post pictures of her when it is all done.  I'm having fun sewing and beading.  Did I name this plain old dollmaking...I think that is probably a misnomer.  Also, I'm going to start working on clothes!!!!!


Carol- Beads and Birds said...

Wow!! Very cool lady. Man you decked her out quickly. I always love seeing your beaded dolls...and other work too.

paperpest said...

Lucky you getting that Ackley book! I know what you mean about sometimes just feeling like doing some simple sewing. As always your bead creations are remarkable.