Sunday, October 17, 2010
Ragtime Rag Doll
Every year about this time I think about a new doll that is simple enough to produce a dozen or so of and that would be fun to give as gifts to relatives and friends for Christmas. Mostly I think about my sister and sisters-in-law and if they can really stand having another doll that they will have to put somewhere in their houses. Yesterday I drew up a pattern for what was to be more or less a boudoir doll. I had in mind a flouncy costume, a basic body with long arms and legs and a simple face. I made the doll with a simple black corset and low black boots and then got to thinking about costuming.
Usually what happens when I make one of the Christmas gift dolls is, I wind up making about 200 of that design because I drive myself crazy thinking, "well, this color would be better. Maybe I should try that." Usually the dolls are quite small and in the past I was able to unload most of the finished dolls through galleries and other loyal clients. This year's doll is quite a bit bigger, about 13" tall, so maybe if I wind up with 200, I'll see about putting them on Etsy. For now, I just have one and I think she turned out well enough, though the costume is not at all what I originally imagined.
When the basic doll was finished, I pulled out my yarns to see what sort of hair she should have. A blue curly wool was jumping out at me. It's got enough variations in texture, thickness and color to excite me, and it allowed me to costume in a variety of blues. With the hair on, I decided she needed an underskirt with tulle that would poof out a bit. I had in mind to make the clothing removable, so that whatever else I put on her could be mixed and matched, so I added a snap at the back for closure. I chose 3 patterned fabrics in various shades of blue to work with for the entire outfit, and used the lightest one for this underskirt and made the waistband the darkest.
I then chose 2 of the fabrics and made a short dress with a strapless bodice and added a snap to the back. The cool thing was that the doll seems to fit the same patterns I had made previously for my Blythe dolls, with just a tiny bit of alteration, so the dress came together really quickly. Next came a short jacket, for which I used the last 2 possible pattern combinations and the outfit was basically complete.
But wait, she needs a hat! I actually already had a hat I had made several months ago that I liked and that fit her. So that was the easy part. I added the hat, took some photos, messed around with mixing and matching the pieces, and voila' -- one down, 199 more to go :)