Tuesday, 26 July 2011

The round-head cloth doll

What a name!  She will need one eventually but not until she’s finished.

I have always had a soft spot for dolls; growing up in Oman and Hong Kong in the late 70s/early 80s dolls were not readily available.  My first doll, Clementine, came with us to Oman (and lives on the 10yr olds bed now) and was my only one there as far as I remember.   In HK I had others, most notably the Sindy doll who had lots of heads, which I could buy at a tiny hole-in-the-wall shop in Jordan Road!  As I got older, money was saved for the holidays in the UK where I would buy old porcelain dolls.  I have always preferred old dolls to new, they have more personality about them. 

I started making dolls in my early teens, but both the dolls and the interest in them disappeared during college etc.  When Indy was born I wanted her to have a Clemmie of her own, and my interest in sewing was returning, so Wednesday was created - sat with Clemmie:

There is something special about making dolls; they have the potential to be an extension of the self, a self-portrait in cloth.  I don’t make them often, I have only made another six since Wednesday, but I find them very satisfying when I do.  They are always my go-to project when I need something that will keep me engrossed, engaged and distracted for a few hours.  I never make the same one twice and couldn’t make them any more frequently than I do, I would hate to dilute the experience.

So, a new doll.  I had seen Ruby on mollychicken a few weeks ago and was taken by her, but a quick google image search brought up a couple of other dolls/ideas that I like the look of too:

What I did want to do was make a round-head doll, with long legs and shaped hands/fingers.  I usually use free patterns and eventually settled on Kate Erbach’s Phang vampire doll pattern as a template for the body.  I also found a stash of shot silks that I was using on an experimental quilt piece that I was never completely sold on.  I would never have remembered them, but pulled it out of storage as a possible something to do when I was fussing at the weekend.  The project’s gone back into storage (can’t throw anything away…) minus its fabric and some beautiful shell buttons which are too pretty to stay hidden away. 

New doll = another thrift project = far too much stuff!      
I started cutting out the body last night but, as you may note in the photo, I didn’t have my usual scissors – I stupidly tried to sharpen them and ended up rendering them unusable!  I was able to get some bits cut, but eventually gave up and have just bought myself a new pair of Fiskars.
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