Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving, Everyone!

I am thankful for so many things, namely my family and friends. I honestly don't know where I would be without them!
These rolled cloth dolls were inspired by dolls of the early 19th century. They're so much fun to make, so I made an entire family of them!
Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Past Workes: Meet Clara

Meet Clara. She may have a few rips and tears here and there, but that's precisely what gives her that primitive charm. As any proper girl of the early- to mid-nineteenth century should, Clara wears a quilted sunbonnet to keep from getting sunburned. She wears her favorite brown checked dress so often that it has a bit of a tear in the back and the elbows are nearly worn through. She doesn't mind, though. When the fabric wears out in places, she can just stitch a patch on the afflicted region, as was necessary with her apron. She's quite proud of her petticoat, since it's the first garment that she stitched all on her own. She can't wait until she can let the tucks in her dress and pantalette hems down herself, given her newfound needlework prowess.
Clara was my second Gail Wilson project. I sewed her from the "A Doll for Disney" kit, and she was a delight to make! At about 16 inches tall, she's my favorite size doll to make. Gail Wilson's detailed instructions made Clara come to life without much trouble at all. I found that the antiquing methods, none of which I'd tried before, really gave Clara a unique patina. As I sanded her clothing and cut holes in her bonnet and the toes of her shoes, I wasn't destroying her, but rather, I was letting her story shine through.
I especially loved the way her hands came out. I painstakingly stitched her fingers, and they were greatly emphasized by the antiquing methods. So, I made her a little cloth bird to hold in her hands.
A few years ago, I got a fantastic doll cradle from Colonial Williamsburg. It fits Clara pretty well, so I made her a ticking pillow and quilt to go with it. Since I'm not much of a quilter, I don't have any batting at my disposal. So, the quilt just has a front and a back. I find that the lack of bulky batting makes the quilt better for a doll scale. Also, I hand stitched the quilt, so it probably would have been harder to hand stitch batting.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Past Workes: Meet Lottie

Meet Lottie. She's a petite lass of about 10 inches with a head of thick auburn hair that she just couldn't seem to get to curl properly like the other girls at school could. So, she wrangled it into braids every morning, and, soon enough, found that the style rather suited her.
Lottie was crafted from the Gail Wilson doll kit of the same name, and she was a delight to make, despite her tiny size. (I'm usually partial to dolls of 14 - 18 inches in height!)
However, I managed to botch the apron. So, to rectify the issue, I used Gail Wilson's printed apron kit as substitute. I quite like it. Despite the kit being labeled for 12 inch dolls, it fits Lottie quite nicely.
She's a firm doll, stuffed entirely with wool roving. The stuffing created a good, taut canvas for her embroidered face, which is probably some of the most detailed embroidery I've done up to date (it's sad, isn't it?). I had a hard time painting on her shoes, so I just painted her a plain pair of boots. She likes them quite a bit; she says they never hamper her adventures like fancy shoes would.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Past Workes: Meet Emily

Meet Emily. She's a sweet girl of the late nineteenth century who has a penchant for berries, sunshine, and bonnets.

Emily was made from a Feedsack Doll Kit. She was my first Gail Wilson project, and she was delightful to make! I think a lot of her charm comes from her detail. Her tiny hands and shoes seem to hearken back to the careful craftsmanship of years past.

She was the first doll that I've ever painted or dyed fabric for. Thanks to the excellent instructions provided in the kit, the process was fairly smooth. This was also the first time I ever made a "real" bonnet! It seems that every other time I made a nineteenth-century bonnet, it was on a primitive doll, since I didn't know how to make an actual bonnet!
She may have her flaws, but I think that comes with handmade things.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Past Workes: Meet Mercy

Meet Mercy. She was inspired by early seventeenth-century America, and I tried my best to make her as accurate as possible a representation of what a girl's poppet would have looked like in those days. I'd always wanted to make an historical doll with maroon and goldenrod fabrics, and what better way than with a doll inspired by the early English settlers?

Contrary to popular belief, the Pilgrims did not wear all black, brown, and grey. They actually liked color quite a lot! This misconception is probably derived from portraits of the Puritans, in which they wear grim, melancholy colors. However, this was not the only kind of clothing that they wore. It's actually a poor representation of what they wore, given that they wore their best clothes for portraits. Given that it was very difficult to dye fabric a consistent, deep black, black clothing was given greater value than perhaps, say, a goldenrod apron. It was easier to dye fabric in colors other than black, so that's what the Puritans did!
Mercy is almost entirely hand-stitched. She's been stuffed with polyfil, and is a OOAK doll. SHe wears a white coif and matching headrail over a purple set of bodies with three little Xs down the front to represent the lacings. She also wears a maroon petticoat with a goldenrod apron over it.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

New Listings on Etsy!

I've just finished listing several new items on Etsy! Among the new items are several ornaments intended for both Christmas and otherwise. Several of them are little birds; I find that they're delightful to make! Also, I've made a new colonial lady!