Sunday, January 6, 2008

So, it's about time I posted my first doll, made about six months ago. I must admit, I'm really not that happy with how this doll turned out, but I know that this is a learning experience, and already I've learned loads from this first creation. I know a lot of stuff that I DON'T want to do next time.

I like the fabric I used for her lower legs and how well I matched up the stripes, the fabric used for her skirt and the green lace trim, and the beads used for her joints. I don't like the type of joint used for her elbows and knees, and the fabric used for her bodice and overskirt.

I don't like the fabric used for her entire body. It's too washed out and that's why I had to paint her face so she wouldn't look like a vampire, and that's why her face doesn't match her body. I also think her eyes are way too small, and I know the face sculpting is really crappy.

This is probably the only thing I do like about this doll. I came up with a really nifty way to give her Shirley Temple curls. First, I sketched her hairline directly onto the muslin, then stitched down a length of yarn, coiling it around from the center of the back of her head, and covering her scalp up to the sketched hairline. Then, I strategically stitched long lengths of yarn in specific places so the curls would cover most of her head. For the last part, I cut lengths of very thin copper wire, attached to the top of each length of yarn, wound the yarn around the wire, covering it, then securing the end of each one. After that, it was just a matter of curling the bits of yarn-covered wire around a skewer and pulling on the resulting curls for the appropriate length. I feel quite proud of this little method I cooked up, and that's probably one of the few reasons I haven't gotten frustrated and thrown this doll out.

I know, I should learn from mistakes and keep my early work around to remind me of my progress, but I often have a sense, going into a project, that I will naturally excel, since I kind of DO naturally excel in most things. And when I produce something less than what my brain thought it would be, I get rather discouraged and embarrassed.

But then, George Lucas was unhappy with more than half of the original Star Wars.


Mayumi said...

hey, when you're through with some of that talent you have...can you send it my way? i've only JUST learned how to take in the sides of a dress :)

hope everything is going well!

Judi said...

Great idea for the hair - you could make all kinds of crazy hairdo's! Next time try dying your flesh fabric before you start. You can just dye the amount you need for one doll. I like to use Jacquard Dye-na-flow fabric paint when I do small bits. If I'm doing half yard pieces or something I use Rit Dye. You can find dye recipes at in the Back Alley.

Like anything else, doll making takes practice. If this was your first doll you should be really proud of it - I think she came out great and has a very sweet face!

Cindibee said...

Well, that does make me feel better. Also, I bought a small amount of flesh-toned fabric from Dollmaker's Journey to try out, so I'm sure that will make the next doll look more realistic.

Carla said...

Fantastic for your first! Love the hair idea.

Cheryl said...

I think you should be really proud of this doll especially if she is your first. Her face is believable and has a personality. Your hair idea is clever. She looks well sewn. The biggest thing is, she should hold a special place of honor just because she taught you what you don't like.

Patti LaValley said...

Hi cindi, sure wish my first doll looked this good! Your other fiber art is generous with talent! but sure hope to see more dolls from your creative muse as well. Yes, pleae do use the leaf technique, it is after all a published article in a magazine! lol