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What I did yesterday

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 I spent a great deal of time yesterday photographing and posting my most recent dolls on Instagram and listing them in my Etsy store. They all came together around the same time, as I found myself working on several at the same time. This black lady doll was a struggle to complete. I used a technique to paint her skin that did not turn out as I had hoped and she has a decidedly plain face. It took a lot of pondering to come up with her hair treatment, but I am satisfied with it. Even though her dress is very simple, it took a lot of work to make, as I had to adjust the gathers and fiddle with the back of the dress to get it to fit (clumsily). She has a full set of underwear too. The easiest thing about her was her painted on boots. I completed this little Izannah Walker doll and made her a period correct Sontag with tiny needles and fine yarn. I like the colour of her dress. I did struggle with her face, and I am still not totally happy with it, but she is launched into the world now.

A doll from a kit!

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This is a doll I finished yesterday and I am very happy with her! I purchased the kit from Gail Wilson Designs and followed her wonderfully precise patterns and instructions. Gail has spent many years perfecting her teaching and it shows. Everything went very smoothly. This particular doll is only 12" tall, so her garments have to take up as little bulk as possible. I wanted her to have a chemise, (not included) so I designed a  split crotch combination for her, after consulting some images online. The darts in the torso make more bulk, so I was obliged to alter her dress pattern to make more room. I was moderately successful. Just don't look at the back! I have long wanted to make a sontag for a doll, so, after several hours of research online, I created one for her. The scale of the yarn is too bulky, but it is a start. The last photo shows her tiny boots and real stockings. I am going to modify this pattern and make another, bigger, doll.

My latest learner doll

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 This Izannah Walker style doll is one I finally finished dressing yesterday. She has presented me with several challenges growth opportunities. Her head was made by pressing Premier clay into a silicone mold I made last summer, letting it dry, assembling it and then covering it with stockinette. I followed the instructions from a workshop I had purchased from Paula Walton. However, I found that it really has very little neck, and when I put it onto the body and finished sewing it in, she had no neck at all! I decided to just plough ahead and carried on making her underwear- chemise, split crotch pantalettes and petticoat. Then I took another really good look at her and realized her feet were really, really ugly, so I cut her off at the knees, made new and better shoes/legs, then sewed them back onto the thighs. Because she has no neck, I researched the original dolls and found several dresses that went right up to the neck. Perhaps my problem was something Izannah dealt with too. I c

So many dolls!

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 It has been a long time since I wrote to you here. Seduced by the quick posts in Instagram, I guess. Making dolls has been my passion and salvation this past year, and it looks like that won't be changing anytime soon. We are hostages to people who don't think their actions have consequences, and are in lockdown again. Getting the vaccine soon though. Looking over the dolls I have made since my last post has surprised me, there are so many. My dolls are now in a local handmade craft store, and I have been making some dollies with darker skin. Here are two of them: One little customer was thrilled to see a doll with the same skin colour as hers. I have also been slowly making clothes for the Izannah Walker dolls. One has a dress inspired by a dress worn by a little girl in a period photograph. I worked very hard and long to make a pattern for the dress, then to line it and finish it with ribbon trim. I learned a lot from that dress, and won't make those mistakes again! I ma

Works in progress

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I have been pushing myself to finish several ongoing projects, so I am going to show you their progress. I am knitting some lace for a collar to go around the neck of a larger Izannah Walker doll who now has arms and legs and her body cover and is ready to dress. This pattern is part of one from a Victorian knitting book of lace collars. I am just using the outer edge. And very tiny needles. I am a follower of Fabiola from Fig and Me. She has Youtube videos of how to make a Hansel and Gretel pair of dollies. I decided to make some for my granddaughter's birthday, which has just passed. I will send them in the mail, along with a book of crafts for kids age 4-6. Just the right demographic for both grandchildren. I have done the heads and am moving onto bodies and arms. They are quite small, so it goes quickly. The larger Izannah dolls are moving along. The arms and legs are made for the one on the right, I just have to paint them. A doll that caught my eye is a cloth doll made by a R

I'm a butterfly

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In the past few months, I have been staying home, as ordered, and working on my dolls. Heading up to my studio has been such a joy, it helps balance out the disruption of most of the rest of my life. I am the kind of person who spends a lot of quality time having coffee with friends, and having this social contact removed has been very hard. I use the time freed up to look at dolls online. My interest has been caught by Tudor dolls (thanks, Tudor Tailor), primitive cloth dolls (   thanks ofclothandhand), more Izannah Walker research (thanks everyone, you know who you are) and all the Waldorf doll posts on the Facebook MakeAlongGroup hosted by Astrid of Little Doll House and Fabs from Fig and Me. Of course, I am inspired to make some of these kinds of dolls. So far, the Tudor doll is waiting for me to take up my Fimo again and sculpt heads and arms and feet. I have made Tudor dolls in the past, so the costume is not a problem. What I have discovered is that for me, it is more appealing

The thrifty doll

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I belong to a Facebook group of dollmakers whose mission is to show our work in progress on our Waldorf dolls, and to join together from time to time to all make the same doll at once and post our questions, tribulations and progress. In another Waldorf doll group, I read a post from a very enthusiastic single mom in New York, who is keen to start making a Waldorf doll, but hasn't the funds to buy the materials right now. It made me think about my worn out wool hand-knitted socks that I wanted to put into the core of my Waldorf doll heads, just to save money and the environment.  This month my group has a challenge to make a doll any way we wish, but it must be stuffed with wool. Skin selection optional. The idea came to me to make a doll entirely from thrifted, gifted and recycled materials, which I did. As always, there was a steep learning curve, but I had fun and am happy with the result. In the process of showing my work on the timeline of the group, I learned that another mem