Katie's Dolls

Katie's Dolls

Monday, June 12, 2017

2017 AFICC ( Artistic Figures in Cloth and Clay)

Sorry it has taken so long to post to my blog.  We sold our home and moved to a smaller place in January so some things just didn't get done as soon as I would have liked.   However, things are returning to some state of normalcy so I should be able to post more now.  

The first activity after our move was to get a doll ready for the 2017 AFICC Convention which was held at the end of April in Columbus, Ohio.  The challenge this year was based on the poem "Monday's Child".   We were to choose a day of the week and make a doll that represented that day.   I chose "Thursday's Child Has Far to Go".    As a child and teen, I rode my bicycle everywhere and since I have many memories surrounding that activity, I chose to put my doll on a bicycle.   I found a bicycle that was painted all gold and repainted it to look less like a home d├ęcor piece and more like a real bicycle.   I chose bright happy colors because I wanted the doll to reflect my happy memories.   Of course, I never had flowers in my basket or gift boxes on the back but it sure makes me happy to look at it. 

She is an original cloth doll with a needle sculpted face that has been hand painted.  This is the first time I have tried to needle sculpt and paint an open mouth smile on a doll, but I'm happy with the result.  I made the hat from 1/4 inch narrow straw braid and then added flowers for interest.  

I was honored to win 2nd place from the judges in the Original Category and People's Choice over all.  I named her "Joy's Journey".    I hope you all enjoy her too. 


Monday, November 14, 2016


It's time again for the Indy Cloth Dollmakers Annual Show and Sale.  I've been very busy getting unique items ready which I plan to post as soon as I can get time to take pictures.  In the meantime, mark your calendars and make plans for a fun day in Irvington.   There are lots of other shops and dining experiences so it makes a great "Girls Day Out" .   Come join the fun.  

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Fun with Fur

Lately I've been experimenting with up-cycling vintage furs.   I hate to see the furs go to waste.   A lot of them have damage or wear that don't make them usable in their original style but there is still some good fur to be used.   In the past I've made neck warmers but this year I tried something different.   I wanted to applique fabric on the fur to make it more fun and casual. 

For my first project I chose a fur 3/4 swing jacket.   I don't know what the fur is but it is really soft and curly....very unique.   I found some fabrics that I liked and then I sketched a design so that I would have some idea where to place the fabrics.   To begin the project, I took out the lining and then the sleeves.   I saved the lining so that I could make a pattern from it.  
The pockets were completely shot, so I remade them.  Next came the fun part, how to get my idea from paper to fur.    My first step was to make the blue shape that wandered from the front over the shoulder and onto the back.  Once this shape was cut I added bias binding to the edge and then sewed it onto the coat.   Then I place the flowers and circles on the the coat and sewed them on.  I used raw edge applique technique for this project.   After the designs were sewn on, I added the lining and finished the edges with a striped bias binding.   

I had enough in the sleeves to make a cool purse.  


Saturday, February 20, 2016

2015 November Show and Sale Challenge Doll

Leather and Lace:  Rhapsody on the Runway

The 2015 Indy Cloth Dollmakers challenge was to include leather and lace in the design of the doll.  Back in the late 80's, I made a coat and dress for a dear friend that included leather and lace.   Recently she gave it back to me because it no longer fit. (After almost 30 yrs. things shift and we're just different!)   I got a little nostalgic and decided to recreate that outfit on a doll.  I used the same fabric for the coat and skirt for the doll as I used in the life size version.   I had to use different lace and trims to keep the scale appropriate to the doll.   
I called her Rhapsody on the Runway because she is posed like she is modeling the outfit in a fashion show. The skirt on the doll is real suede and the coat is silk that has purple, black and metallic threads.   The bodice of the dress and the yoke of the coat is purple taffeta that has been covered with lace and then embroidered with beads and sequins.   Tiny gold trim outlines the yoke, lining, and bodice waistline.  I made the slip-on sandals to complete her outfit. She even has black seamed nylons.  If you look closely you will see that Rhapsody has dyed part of her hair purple to match her outfit.  She is an original cloth doll that has a needle sculpted face that I painted with acrylic paints.  

Rhapsody has provided me with lots of memories of times gone by and I hope you enjoy her too. 

Inspiration Swing Coat
Inspiration from the 80's

Rhapsody on the Runway

Dress under the coat

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

13th Annual Show and Sale

Mark your calendars so you won't forget to come to the 13 Annual Show and Sale hosted by the Indy Cloth Dollmakers.   This year it will be held on Saturday Nov. 21st  from 10 am to 5 pm.    We have outgrown our space so we have moved the show to the Irvington United Methodist Church which is across the street close to Starbucks.  The address for the church is 30 N. Audubon Rd, Indianapolis, IN 46219 

Our doll challenge this year is "Leather and Lace".   That theme should inspire some interesting dolls!   Vote for your favorite at the show.  

Don't forget we have all kinds of items for sale.  Our member artists are busy using their artistic skills to make one-of-a-kind items for the show and sale.  We will have jewelry, scarves, purses, wearable art, and other unique gifts for sale.  

To learn more about our club go to www.indyclothdollmakers.blogspot.com

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Threads of Time Australian Fabric Challenge

On July 24 the Threads of Time Fabric Shop and Sewing Retreat in Danville, Illinois sponsored a Doll Show and challenge for the Indy Cloth Dollmakers.    The challenge was to make a cloth figure using Australian themed fabric.   Here is a picture of the 13 entries.   The people who viewed the exhibit voted on their favorite which was then awarded the "People's Choice Award.   

Camira- People's Choice Winner

My entry was Camira which is an aboriginal name that means "Of the Wind".   I wanted to create a doll that showed the pride and free spirit of the Aboriginal people.   She is a totally cloth doll, even her head.   Her head is needle sculpted cloth which was then painted.  Her hair is made from novelty fringe.   The bodice of the dress is beaded with tiny seed beads and her wrists and ankles are adorned with beads.  

Often I begin the doll making process with a sketch.  This way I can see how the pose and costume fit together before I begin.   Below are sketches of Camira.   

For those that are curious about the face sculpting process, I am including a couple of pictures that show the face before it is painted.  It's strange but often pictures will show features more clearly than if you are looking at them in person.  If I see something out of balance I can change it before it is painted.  

Sunday, August 16, 2015

New adventures with on-line classes

Clay Armature

I've been busy in the past few weeks with on-line classes.   What a great way to learn something new when it's convenient to my schedule.  I continue to try to squeeze 6 lbs into the 5 lb bag, I call my life.   But as they say that's just the "way I roll"....I think it may be hopeless at this time to try to change me.....especially since I'm having so much fun!!!

Although I've done some polymer clay sculpted heads before, I've never done the body.  So I took a class to learn how to build the armature (think skeleton and muscle) for a polymer clay doll.  The method used here allows you to pose the doll before you do the final sculpt of her body.   I think this is an ingenious idea.  Helps eliminate trying to figure out the pose as you are trying to sculpt.  The teacher is Deb Wood on the A for Artistic website.  http://aforartistic.com/classroom   She has promised to follow up with another class so we can finish what we started.   I still have to do the skull but here is a picture of the "posable" clay armature.   Note how you can bend it at the joint areas...... 

Drawing on Fabric

Angela Jarecki has an on-line class called "Windows" where you draw a face on cloth and then build a cloth frame around it.   Although I have drawn faces on cloth many times I thought that this would be a good opportunity to learn new techniques from another doll artist.   She had us start by shading in the shadows of the face rather than starting with the features.    I had never done it this way before and I found it to be rather enlightening.   I chose not build a frame but to actually incorporate it into a small 9 x 7 crazy quilt.   I also didn't want to draw a person that anyone would know so I chose a fashion photo as my inspiration.   I tried to mimic the pose in the photo and then embellished so that it actually makes it an abstract of the photo.   This mini art work will end up on a purse...