Here is where I will show you how this doll came together. I belong to a Mixed Media group, and one of their challenges, is an altered bottle. I’m the first to admit, I am not a mixed media person. I have done some mixed media, but making dolls is what I enjoy.
A couple of years ago Colleen Babcock was here and I was lucky enough to take 3 workshops with her. One of those dolls is called “Stitch in Time”. I’ve been staring at my version for ages and finally the penny dropped, why not use the top part of that doll for this challenge. I knew I wanted to make her again and I seldom ever make the same doll twice, but for sure this one will repeated beyond this challenge.
The bottle I used is approx. 12” tall and 12” in diameter and has the perfect bump in the right place.
I had to draft a pattern for the costume and found Dover Pictura a big help for that. (Thanks Deb). Interestingly, I already had the plaid fabric which was destined for a completely different project, so I guess this is where it was meant to be used.
The doll pattern is Colleen’s Stitch in Time as shown above. The wrap around hat pattern is borrowed from Colleen’s other workshop, “Finders Keepers” but without the back panel. This is another doll that I must make again and I have the fabric already picked out twice over.
I used wool roving for the hair, and just needle felted the roving into the head to cover it until later.
The hands in the original pattern had opposable thumbs, but I wanted to make what looks like gloves, so I just redrew the hands to include the thumbs. The trim around her wrists and the scarf, are cut from a scarf that is soft, flows nicely and is light enough for this doll. The bits of lace around the bottom part of the hat are pieces of a tatted doily. The ribbon roses finish the look around the face and there is tiny tatted lace around the neckline.
Once I had the top of the doll complete, it was just a matter of adhering it to the bottle and left it to dry overnight. I used three different shades of tulle to make the underskirt. It will never be seen other than by those who see her in real life and want to peek, everyone always looks under a dolls dress.. ;o~ , but I really liked the transition of colour and even though it doesn’t show, I know it’s there. The layers are simply gathered tulle and glued to the bottle working up from the bottom.
The skirt is just a simple rectangle of fabric gathered at the waist and covered with a waistband. The little purse is made from a small crocheted doily and trimmed with silk ribbon and metal beads and stitched to her waistband.
The back of her bonnet is trimmed with ribbon roses. The ringlets are made with wool roving that I wet first and rolled onto two different sizes of dowels and left to dry overnight. You could also use knitting needles which does make it easier to remove after they’re dry. The ringlets are needle felted to her head, tucked under the edge of the bonnet.
The shabby roses on her skirt are from an Etsy seller I found. She has a wonderful selection of shabby roses, check here, and I carried on the ribbon roses theme in the bustle part of the skirt.
The final step was to glue the bottle to the wooden base. I collected the gritty sand, glass, shells, barnacles and sea creatures from around the local waterfront. I was actually happy to find that crab intact and a couple of sand dollars. There is a beach area nearby, where if you wait for the tide to go out, you can find all kinds of sand dollars.
The netting is interesting. It’s a string base that has had paper pulp blown through it and I think it looks like a fishnet, so it had to be used. My thanks to Jessica Hamilton for that find. She had it posted ages ago and I was lucky enough to get the last piece that the woman had. You don’t see it here, but I also glued felt to the bottom of the wooden base to protect the furniture from possible scratches.
That’s it. I hope I have inspired you in some way to explore other options for your doll making or other crafting adventures. Just remember to keep your eyes open and explore everything, because inevitably, one thing will always lead to another.
Be sure to click on the “Little Wonders” page link at the top of my blog and you’ll find a tutorial for making the doll size binoculars I made for “And So She Waits”… Enjoy.