15 August, 2007

things I learnt from the cloth doll workshops - instalment no. 1

Hi there!
Okay, so I have kept you in suspense long enough... Here are a couple of the things that I learnt from the workshops mentioned in a previous post.

1. Cloth dolls made from simple patterns can be very beautiful, when the focus is on the embellishments. This was an important lesson for me - I had been getting myself into such tangles with developing up really tricky pattern pieces that were incredibly fiddly to work with, and at times, just frustrating! These dolls are made by Cindi Goodwin, who does amazing and beautiful embellishment work:

Dolls by Cindi Goodwin

2. Sometimes you need the right tools. I have included a photo of my new tools here, and will provide photos of me using them as we get through future posts. What I have is a poppa (fruit juice box) straw, a blunted wooden skewer, a pair of forceps and a tiny finger stuffing fork.

Here's me stuffing an elephant's trunk with the forceps. Now, I actually used the forceps to stuff all of the elephant, but did much of this at my lunch break at work, so no photos. One of the advantages promoted to us at the workshop of using forceps is that you can get right into corners with stuffing, as well as "the pain element", which is what happens when you try to overstuff a doll/toy (you end up with incredibly sore thumbs/fingers from the handles of the forceps if you are trying to overstuff and are exerting excess force!). As well, they have blunt ends, so won't go through your fabric!

You might notice in this pic that there is a big trail of wadding going off to the right. One o the things I learnt at the workshop was that to avoid dolls looking like "a bag of peas", you should stuff them as if you were spinning wool.... you stretch out the wadding into continuous, stretched stuff and then slowly feed it in. This has definitely impacted (positively) on the look of my toys and dolls.

I'll be back soon for some more instalments and the interesting stuff... demonstrating use of the tools and providing examples of my new work.

Oh! And here is a photo of the doll I created from a pattern by Bethan Short in my first workshop (sorry, not a great photo). This doll is just two pieces of fabric of same shape sewn together and wings added.

Have a gorgeous week everyone,

Oh! and can anyone help me by telling me why my line spacing changes mid-post when I include photos, and what to do about this??? drives me bonkers! Thanks! xx


Angelique said...

Looks like I have some new tools I need to buy today. :-) Thank you sooo much for sharing these tips. I can't wait for more. I'm working on 2 new style dolls so these tips are going to be most helpful. I love my first doll...but it takes me about 2 days to complete one doll.

Raggy Rat said...

wow good tips here, hello dear friend - i have trouble adding pics too - all hubby will say is that as far as html is concerned, pics are difficult ... thanks hubby ... i'd quite like to host penelope too and its been great catching up with your super blog after finnishing my big sea project ... great stuffing tips here too THANKS XXXXX


to my other half who puts up with the mess, makes me happy and keeps me sane.
to my beautiful boys who give me so much i want to remember and make the everyday something to treasure.
to my mum who alway let me play with fabric and the good scissors, and who knows a lot of songs.
to my dad who was always happy for us to make a mess and who laughs at us when we deserve it.
to both parents for making sure i still got the work done.
to my dear friends for listening and for sharing the laughs.
and, to you for visiting!