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

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.   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...


Friday, July 31, 2015

Amanda--A Victorian Doll


I have three sisters and I have now completed a doll for each of them.   My sister, Sharon, who lives in Maine, requested a Victorian doll.   She was a fan of the PBS show, Paradise, (they have since discontinued the series) so I took one of the fashions from the show as my inspiration for Amanda.   

Amanda is an original all cloth doll that is about 20 inches tall.  She is clothed from the inside out complete with corset, bloomers, bustle and petticoat.   Of course, you can't see all of them after she is clothed, but after all, she is a LADY.   However, I took some in process photos to share with you.  


I also took pictures of her shoes which I also made.  They have leather soles and I used polymer clay to make the heels which I then covered with fabric.  


I needle sculpted her face and then painted it with acrylic paint.   Here are some before and after photos of that process.  

And here she is with face paint and no hair.   I used Tibetan Lamb for her hair but I curled it on straws to help with the styling.  

So now you have it...all the under the covers stuff and the before and after.  I hope you enjoyed the process.   

Coming of Camira....Aborigine fabric Challenge doll.  

Thursday, March 19, 2015

2015 Sewing Projects

Over time I've collected several patterns for sewing projects that are not garments and not dolls.   I know it might be hard to believe but I even had fabric purchased some of these projects...LOL...   So to start the new year off I decided to make some of these fact I've been so busy that I didn't even take time to post them on my blog.   Well, now I'm going to try to catch the blog up with the projects.  These aren't in the order in which they were made just in the order in which I'm taking pictures....

The Beatle Bag
The first is Abbey Lane's Beatle Bag--Grab, Go and Sew.   It's a kit for a handy sewing caddy that has plastic zip pockets, pin cushion and extra cloth pockets for odds and ends. 
It called for Soft and Stable (Foam Stabilizer) which I had never used.   Couldn't find it locally at the time so I bought it on line at    Since then a couple of local quilting stores are stocking it.  This product takes the place of batting and I found it quite nice to work with.  It has a little more body than batting but is still very light weight.   I think I'll use it when I make purses in the future.  

Travel Duffle Bag
I fell in love with some fabric which had panels of sewing and art ladies that were sort of steampunk.   I've used some of the panels in purses and garments but I originally bought it to make a travel bag.   I had to use borders on the panels to make them fit the pocket sizes and an I used a complimentary border print on the top of the bag.   There is a pocket inside that is divided into 3 sections when you stitch on the strap.   I didn't make the fabric covered straps since my bag was black.  This bag also uses Soft and Stable for the stabilizer.   The pattern is on   The bag is 21 x 13 x 8 which is a pretty big bag.   They have a smaller one on the website too.   There are 6 exterior pockets; two with zippers.  I would buy the hardware and zippers from the website to save some time as they are hard to find.   I couldn't find the right size hardware anywhere locally so I ended up buying a used messenger bag from goodwill and using the hardware from it instead of paying $15.00 for the hardware kit on the website.   The end seams on the inside of the bag are bound and proved to be quite cumbersome to do.   I would probably make a more rounded corner if I were to do it again.   That would make it easier to bind.  

Iron Caddy 
If you travel or go to sewing retreats then this project is one you might like.   This cute iron caddy fits travel irons and opens out into a pressing surface.   The patter is by Sisters' Common Thread and it is called Caddy Pad Jr.   Makes me wonder if the Sr version if for a full size iron.  Anyway, it was a quick project and turned out really cute.   It's lined with insul-brite and heat resistant ironing board cloth.