Friday, November 15, 2013

Indy Cloth Dollmakers Show and Sale

I've been so busy making wonderful items for the show and sale that I forgot to post any pictures and the show is TOMORROW!!.   Well better late than never.   I've made four new one-of -a kind jackets.   I've also make some great knit cowls to wear instead of a scarf.  I've also used some vintage fur to make purses and neck warmers.  Back by popular demand are the Chloe Pin Dolls.  Check out and vote for the doll you like.   



Sunday, September 15, 2013

New Reversible Swing Jacket for Fall

I've just completed a swing jacket for fall.   I used a pattern that I purchased at the ASG Expo this year but I modified the lapel.   I wanted a slimmer lapel with a little interest.   The fabric is home dec fabric that I purchased some years ago from Baer's Fabric Store in Louisville before they closed.   So I've had a few years.   Our ASG neighborhood group challenge this year was to use a  home dec fabric for something that was not home dec so.....voila!!    The style is so figure flattering for many shapes and it also fits many sizes.   I love the fact that it is reversible.   To hide the seams I made a mock flat felled seam and couched yarn over the stitch lines.   The multicolor side is loosely woven so the couching doesn't show on that side.   I also mad a pin for the lapel.  

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Katie Creates a Character!!

At he 2013 AFICC held in late April, I took a class called "Heiress" with instructor Lillian Alberti.   She specializes in sculpting character dolls using paper clay.  I had never used paper clay before nor have I created a character doll,  so I signed up to learn something new.   Lillian provided us with a instructions on how to use the paper clay for the face and hands and how to make the doll body.  The doll hangs on the wall and the body  is just from the waist up.  We all brought our own muse or sketch of what we wanted our "Heiress" to look like. 
I'm a big Downton Abbey fan so I thought that Maggie Smith, who plays the matriarch of the family, would be a perfect muse.   AT the top left is the picture of Maggie that inspired me.   
Below her is my "Maggie".   She is not so "imperious" and she has a slightly kinder gentler look.    Her jacket and hat are purple silk and her blouse is a silver metallic crinkle organza.  I used vintage lace and beads to embellish her jacket and hat.   I also took a class on hat making at AFICC from Stephen Rausch.   I used the skills learned there to create her hat--complete with hat pin. 

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Gift Giver Challenge--The Princess and the Frog

This doll was actually completed last October but it has taken this long to get her photographed!!  What's up with that!!  She was part of the Indy Cloth Dollmakers 2012 Gift Giver Challenge.   I used Stephanie Novatski's pattern for One Kiss is Not Enough for her body but her costume is completely original.

She is called the Princess and the Frog.  As you know the spoiled princess had to learn a lesson about giving and sharing.  When she learned this lesson and kissed the enchanted frog, he became a prince.  She stands beside a pond complete with water lilies and marsh grasses.   Her golden ball that fell into the pond now lays at her feet.  She won 1st place, Judges Choice and People's Choice.   Quite a popular gal!!   She is also a gift for my sister, Molly.  Molly has quite a collection of frogs and now she has another one....just happens to  have a doll attached.  

 Here she is all puckered up to give the frog a kiss!!   I made her crown from gold beads that I threaded on to very thin wire.   The big "bead" the center is actually a fresh water pearl.  Of course she has a necklace, earrings, rings and fingernail polish.

Her jacket is silk brocade with full bishop sleeves and beaded cuff.  In the next picture you can see that I added a bit of tulle under her peplum to add some volume.   Her skirt is an iridescent silk chiffon over over yellow silk charmuse.   Beads adorn the skirt in a random pattern and the lower edge. 

No self respecting princess would be caught without her bloomers and high heels.   Her golden ball is a Styrofoam ball that I covered with beads by sewing them in a circular pattern around the ball.


The pond is a piece of plastic "mirror" sheeting that I cut and painted to look like a pond.  The water lilies and lily pads were constructed by cutting silk flowers into appropriate shapes and then gluing them on the pond surface.    The grass is made from a bath mat that I painted to make it look more natural. 


Thursday, May 23, 2013

New Doll--If I had Wings I would Fly....

We finally finished the home remodeling and I got back to working on my dolls.  If you look at my February blog you will see the head that I used for this new doll.  The head got a paint job, hair, body and costume.   She became my challenge doll for the 2014 AFICC Convention and I named her: " If I had Wings I Would Fly....."     Here's a close up of her face. 

I designed her body so that she stands on one bare foot with her arms outstretched as if she were about to fly.   Her gown is made from deep cranberry silk velvet with a slit in the back so her bent leg and other bare foot is visible.   Her feet are needle sculpted to show the natural shape of the foot. 

 Her cape was inspired by butterfly wings.  I beaded both sides of the organza so the design could be viewed from the front and the back.  To bead the organza I drew the design to be beaded on the organza and sewed strips of cotton to the sides of the organza.   Then I attached this square to wood stretcher bars.   This way I could bead on both sides and the size and shape of the cape would not become distorted as I beaded.  Here is a picture of the cape after it was beaded but before I cut it out. I used a burning tool to cut close the last row of beads but leaving enough to add a decorative edge after it was cut out.  The burning tool melted the fabric and left a very clean edge that wouldn't ravel. 

I beaded the front and neck of the gown before I attached the cape.   I designed the cape in such a way that I could wrap it around the arms and attach it to the beads on the gown so that it became seamlessly part of the gown.   Here is a back view of the cape. 

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Online Sculpting Class

It's winter and that means that we are remodeling again.   That also means I don't have much time for my hobbies, however, I have managed to squeeze in a wonderful online sculpting class with Deb Wood.    It was sculpting the female head using Polymer Clay.  She did a great job teaching this class with lots of illustrations and personal critiques.   I am going to share some of my photos with you.   There were only 4 lessons so I'll show progressive shots from each lesson.  

Lesson 1 --We learned the basic head shape, feature placement, eyes, lips and nose.   Lots to do in this lesson.   It was very difficult to keep the clay clean and lint free.   As you can see I didn't succeed in doing that.  In later pictures you will see that I cleaned her up a bit but may still have to do an all over paint after she is baked.   

Lesson 2 --In this lesson we refined her features, i.e., we added eyelids, nostrils and brows.  Starting to look a little better here. She still has a long way to go before she's ready to meet the public....more cosmetic surgery needed!!

Lesson 3--This lesson focused on more refinement and eyebrows.   I found it hard to refine her features without distorting something else I wasn't working on.   A constant battle!!!

Lesson 4--Lesson 4 was all about EARS!!  I found this to be the most difficult as they are so small and you have to sculpt them on the side of her head and not squash the other features.  In addition, you have to try to get them to look alike.   After many tries, I finally had a pair that weren't too embarrassing.   They are a little larger than I would like and sit a little far from her face.   However, when she has hair....who will know.   I had many close calls with distorting her other features so I'm not going to risk taking them off again.   

My next step is to try to smooth her out a little more before I bake her.  After her head is baked I will add a little more scalp to improve her head shape a bit.  After that I re-bake and then paint her features.   If I like her I will use her on one of my future cloth dolls.   Wish me luck!!