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Doll In Progress

rodezzy | Posted in General Discussion on

I cut out the doll last night from some suede scrap I picked up four years ago at our Quilt Show.  I modified her feet making them slimmer and more pointed, and slimmed down her arms.  I increased her backside a little and tonight I will continue working on her, I think.  The pattern instructions have you stuff her arms and legs prior to stitching them to the body and I’ve stuffed the arms already.  Found the companion pillow to the first one I used for its poly stuffing up on a shelf.  Good recycling! 

I didn’t want to adjust the paper pattern, so I traced it out on freezer paper, making my adjustments as I went along.  This way I will always have the original pattern in tact.  I am usually lazy about such things, but I’ve learned so many lessons here on this site.  In many ways you guys encourage me to do better.

Rodezzy, Fiber Artist


  1. Josefly | | #1

    I can't wait to see your latest rendition. You're using suede for the body? I may have to try this out - yours are so clever.I just spent an hour or so looking at the Hoffman Fabric site mentioned in another string on this forum - have you seen the dolls yet? I couldn't believe the little hands with separate fingers, etc.

    1. rodezzy | | #2

      Well, I didn't feel like sewing last night.  As I told Gloriasews in another thread today, I started knitting, then felt I needed to get up and about.  Yes, her body is a brown suede fabric.  Just beautiful color. 

      Got on the WII interactive game and bowled, worked up a sweat playing tennis, went back to bowling, then changed over to PlayStation and shot the billiards game for a while, then did a little fishing, then went out to get gas for the weekend in Indiana. 

      No I haven't seen the dolls.  What dolls, I'm going to look for the link.  I bought the fabric once for the Hoffman Challenge and never entered.  I'm so lazy at times.  Or skitzoid one.  giggle.

      1. Josefly | | #3

        I'm smiling about your WII exercise. Sounds like fun.If you haven't found the link to the Hoffman Challenge yet, here it is:http://www.hoffmanchallenge.com/2008challenge/2008main.htmJust scroll down the page until you see "awards" on the right side of the page. Or click on past challenges 2007, etc. Then there is are awards categories, one of which is "dolls."Have a nice weekend.

      2. MaryinColorado | | #4

        I must take you to task, girl.  I do not believe that you have one single lazy bone in your body!!!  You are always such a prolific fiber artist as well as going going going places! 

        You might want to google search Art dolls, or go to http://www.quiltingartsmagazine and go to thier patterns for sale page, they used to have tons of interesting ones, especially Patti Medaris Culea's stuff is great!  Hopefully they still have them.  I used to buy alot of doll making magazines at Barnes and Noble, I think my favorite was Art Doll Quarterly.  this old brain is foggy tonight, sorry. 

        can't wait to see what you dream up next!  Mary

        1. rodezzy | | #5

          I can't wait to see myself, giggle.  I'm on this early shift and I will have to check your link next week.  Thanks.  Have a great day.

          1. rodezzy | | #6

            Back to the doll in progress.  I'm not happy with her.  I've got her stuffed, but I don't like her legs that I reshaped.  Back to the drawing board. 

            Meanwhile, this past Saturday I was just leaving out when my son called to see how I was doing.  I told him I was just leaving to go to one of my guild friends' house to work on her doll and to show her the suede one I was working on.

            I could hear the smile on his face when he said "Awww, ain't that cute!  You're going over to your girlfriends house to play with your dolls!  That's so sweet!"

            I had to laugh out loud myself with that take on it.  Yes, I was indeed going to a friends house to play with dolls.  LOL  He then said, "Life has come full circle huh ma!"

            I replied, yes, I guess you're right.  It reminds me of when I was about 10 or 11, packing up my Barbie and Ken dolls to go over to my friends house to play dolls.  Her mother would bake us snicker doodle cookies and serve Kool Aid.  Brings back fond memories of my little town of Three Rivers Michigan, were I spent most of my youth.  I laughed and said, back then I was playing with the dolls, now I'm making dolls. 

            My guild friend, Florence, had a good laugh at that one too.  We got down to business.  I sewed on the doll hairpiece and fixed her hair.  Florence made the dress and bloomers.  I made the apron and a bow for her hair.  Her DH fixed us a lunch of salmon salad, chicken salad with crackers and watermelon, and iced tea.  We finished around 6:00 pm and I left there and went over to Sandra's.  She lives just a few blocks from where I was.  She brought out some dolls she had taken a class for and I ooohhhed and ahhhed then, then she brought out a book on french boudior dolls that I just fell in love with.  So I'm gathering the supplies for that doll.  I don't think the suede doll will get finished.  I botched her.  I don't think I have enough suede to redo her legs.  The first ones will never do.  But who knows.  I feel a litte bad about leaving her that way.  boo hoo

          2. MaryinColorado | | #7

            We're just antique little girls!  he he  Hey, why not make leggings to cover her legs with and she can be a dancer or dressed for cold weather.  Or, you could make her a long flowing dress.  Boomers and a petticoat?  Or give her "Bell bottom blues" as the song goes.  I sometimes name my dolls after songs or characters I make up stories for or have read, that helps as I discover their personalities.  There are no mistakes, just creative opportunities, you know!  (Or she could be a Jeanie, with those sheer pantaloons or whatever they are called.) 

            Do you remember Sweet Pea from Popeye and Olive Oil?  I once made that doll, he looked cuddly but was stuffed so full he was hard.  I never got around to the rest of the group, wonder if I still have the pattern?  I also made a Blue Alien doll once after being inspired by a Star Treck episode of an Empath.  It was really weird, but never did finish that one, poor thing is probably in a box somewhere crying to get out.  That's the thing about dollmaking, they get personalities and you get more emotional about them. 

            Years ago, I made my daughter a doll that you buy the china head and extremities for, then make a cloth body and stuff it with sawdust.    What a mess that was, ha ha, sawdust everywhere!  She was a copy of an antique. 

            I can tell you are having lots of fun playing with dolls again!  Enjoy your adventure!  Mary

          3. rodezzy | | #9

            Poor Sweet Pea.  Popeye was my favorite cartoon.  My step father called me Popeye and I called him Olive Oil.  I have a cousin we call Sweet Pea.  She wants me to call her by her given name, but I can't say nothing but "Sweet Pea". 

            I absolutely loved Popeye and all of the characters.  Let him out, let him out!  giggle.

            Speaking of cartoons, I found some DVD's called "Carton Craze" and they have Betty Boop, Felix the Cat, Lil' Audrey and many more very, very old cartoons.  I almost remembered them all.  I love cartoons.  Just love them.  They were at the "Dollar Tree" dollar store for $1.00.  Everything at Dollar Tree is a dollar.  Found some yarn this past weekend too.  Got to squeeze in some crocheting for the my Fall Collection (giggle) you know!  I got 6 DVD's.  I'll be going back to get the others that I left behind.  I can't keep a dollar in my pocket.  There is always something to buy. 

            Oh, I found the 5" doll sculpting needles today at Joann Fabrics.  Hurray!  I also purchased "Soft Dolls" magazine, it has four complete doll patterns in it.  Whew!  I'm so hyped, I'm about to explode.  Edwina Sutherland gives a stuffing class in one article.  It's a great book.  I just couldn't rest until I got at least one book on doll making.  I'm such a hyper person when I get started on an idea.  I want to have a totally different doll in the show with Miss Monique.  I'm also a "HAM", needless to say.  I can't wait to get home.  I have some much to do, so little time.  he he

            Oh, I made a shoulder shawl Sunday night and fringed it when I got home from work, before the ladies came over to work on the wall quilt for the special project we're working on.  Blah, blah, blah, I do go on!  giggle


          4. User avater
            ThreadKoe | | #10

            I am surprised that your fibres do not catch fire from the way your fingers are on fire there Girl! You put me to shame, I work so slowly. Cathy

          5. rodezzy | | #11

            LOL, LOL, LOL.  I could do nothing but chuckle at that comment.  The majority of my time is mine.  My parents died thirty plus years ago.  My father, when my son was only six months old.  My mother, when he was four.  He's 36 now.  My grands are teens and I have no sisters or brothers, leaving no nieces or nephews.  Except a grown niece and nephew from a brother-in-law.   The few family members I do have, I'm always making stuff for them.  Mostly money!  Over the years, I've decorated their homes, made quilts for them, cooked and generally done what most people do for family.  Try to be there.   

            Anyway, I have lots of time on my hands and a very active mind.  I can't sit around too long without doing something creative or watching someone else do something creative.  That's why I love TV shows that show you how to do something, how something is made, history, nature and the like.

          6. User avater
            ThreadKoe | | #12

            Like you, I keep busy for family, I look after DH's 83 yr old Father who lives sort of with us. He has his own place next door but spends his days with us. Keeping track of everyone around here is a full time job. It is a big job for me to look after the house and yard here on the farm, and I have all the pets to look after. My Dad lives fairly close, as well as my brothers and DH's brother. His sister lives in Vermont, and she is also one of my best friends. I used to babysit for them a lot, but now the kids are older and can look after themselves more, I am out of one of my favorite jobs. I spent a lot of the girl's youth as a "hospital mom" and that has left a lot of catching up to do around here now they are older. My hands are always busy also. I have projects all over the place. Knitting/crochet in the livingroom by the TV. Beading in the kitchen. Ceramics and sewing in the "Studio" or Sewingroom. If I sit, I have something at hand to work on. We have been busy doing badly needed repairs on the house so a lot has been packed away right now, so I feel like I am not getting a lot of my stuff done. One day it will all come together, and Bam! stuff is done....Cathy

          7. rodezzy | | #13

            Talk about me, you must have sparks of fire for fingertips......giggles!  You are a loving and wonderful person.  Everyone whose life you have touched is blessed to have you in their world.

          8. User avater
            ThreadKoe | | #14

            Thanks for the pat on the back. I am still amazed by your creative output my Dear. BTW, what is Monique's hair made from? Cathy

          9. rodezzy | | #15

            Any time, you deserve it. 

            It's a novelty yarn that comes like that.  I'll look and see if I still have the label tonight, if I can remember. I got it at the dollar tree dollar store last year at best.

          10. User avater
            ThreadKoe | | #16

            It was such an interesting texture, so perfect for her hair. I just kept thinking about it and wondered what it was, that is all. No worries. Cathy

          11. MaryinColorado | | #18

            You're back in your "groove", lady!  You are incredible!  "Popeye" huh?  Oh, you crazy gal!  What other secrets will you share, hahaha

            I liked Felix the Cat, I still remember his song.  They put out a movie once, and on the way there, I amazed everyone by singing the song.  It wasn't my voice, it was that I remembered all the words.  Silly me, lyrics have always stuck in my head for some reason.  I used to transcribe for a couple of bands because I could hear a song once and remember the words, timing, and tune but can't read music.  I tried to learn to play guitar, but chickened out because everyone around me was so good at it.  I like the old cartoons, but not so much the new ones, some of them are down right creepy now. 

            If I still have the pattern for Popeye, Olive Oil, and Sweet Pea, I'll have to mail it to you.  Not sure if I donated it or not.  Sweet Pea was made of flannel and had a round nose and big eyes, but like I said, he had a "hard body" and not at all cuddly like I had expected.  It was cute. 

            Glad you found the sculpting needles, JoAnnes never used to carry any of that stuff, but I've found it at Hobby Lobby and Michael's. 

            My neighbor is redoing her daughters' playroom in Tinkerbelle so I offered her my fairy books to look at and offered to paint flowers and fairies on the walls if she wants to go that far and not just have Tink.  I love to paint too, but haven't done much this year.  I'm hoping to get into working with water soluble inks on fabric as soon as I can afford more inks.  They are expensive.

          12. rodezzy | | #19

            Wow, you are the incredible one, painting fairies and such on walls.  I know they will be pretty little pixies, I hope they agree.  It will be so good.  I used to watch the decorating shows when I had cable and I loved a lot of the unusual paint jobs.  I especially liked "Room by Room".  They were great.  I loved it when they did a kids room.  I tried to convince my cousin to let me do her sons room, but she is so stiff,  he was on board, but of course she didn't like it.  Needless to say, the room never even got painted.  She wanted me to paint it grey.  Yuch! 

            You are so talented!  You can remember a whole song, the timing and tune.  I remember when I hear ia song, and still stumble over words.  You are a "Super Star"!  But you need a little more courage.  he he

            Yes, Popeye.  I hope you find them.  Oh, I wish, I wish, I wish.  giggle.  Thanks for the encouragement, I couldn't wait to get home.  I found my dollie and sewed on her legs.  I feel so much better about her.  Like you said, there are no mistakes.  She's just fine the way she is.  I love her even more!  Tonight I will try and settle on some clothes.  Your hint is "round the way girl."


          13. MaryinColorado | | #21

            So glad that you decided to go ahead and continue with your current dollie.  Each one is a learning process as we discover what we can do with them, what we like and what we will do differently next time.  I'm so glad that you are having fun with this. 

             I have to go to the fabric store and get some wider velcro today for the little doggie harnesses.  I think the next one will be ruffles all the way down or I might use some heirloom fabric that I made and set aside for a blouse that never got made.  Either that or I will do some embroidery on it, I should make Zzzzzzzzzz's on her pink blankies or stitch out her name with a roses font that I have.  Her skin is so light pink, it makes me think of roses.  Mary

          14. rodezzy | | #22

            You made heirloom fabric?  Tell me about it when you come back from shopping.  Don't want to detain you from that.  I love the fabric stores, craft stores, hardware stores, junk stores, store stores!!!!! giggle.  Just need more money!  he he

          15. MaryinColorado | | #29

            About twelve years ago I was a big Martha Pullen fan and took several classes locally in her techniques from her certified instructors.  It was fun, I even have a large Martha Pullen dolly that she signed and my grand daughter has a newborn sized baby doll with her signature on it too.  DGD has outgrown the heirloom and frilly look and the dolls but I still have lots of Sew Beautiful magazines with the patterns in them.  In fact I have two of them opened to pattern instructions for a peasant style blouse and an heirloom vest/sleeveless blouse that I hope to get around to before the snow flies....oops, it did fly in the Colorado mountains allready so I better get busy stitchin.  Will send you photos if I ever finish another project!  So many distractions these days!  Mary

          16. MaryinColorado | | #30

            I'd rather go shopping with you than going to the Malls which I don't like.  I went to Target and KMart looking for those little hoola hoops but couldn't find any.  Next stop will be Builders Square or Home Depot looking for those huge plumbing pipes.  I want to make a playground for Zoe to learn tricks and do obstacle courses like I've seen on a few tv shows.  I have two of those metal things you drive cars up onto that will make a nice little bridge.   Also have hit several thrift stores with DGD looking for "treasures". 

             Yes, I am totally insane now!  Crazy in love with this puppy.  Don't know when I will have the time to do so many things but that's why so many projects are in progress rather than completed.  She does inspire me to sew because of her harnesses and hopefully even make a few bucks in the process.  She's quite the little Muse!  Mary

          17. rodezzy | | #31

            Sounds like you are having the time of your life.  Ye Ha!  Do what you want to do giggle!

          18. MaryinColorado | | #34

            "Do what I want to do"?????  Oh, that would really get me into trouble!!!!  ha ha Mary

          19. rodezzy | | #35

            Hey, what fun is there in life if you don't have a little fun/trouble!!??!!  giggle! 

          20. MaryinColorado | | #36

            Too true!  What are you working on?  Is Dollie 2's personality coming along, does she have a name yet?  Can't wait to see your next creation.  Mary

          21. rodezzy | | #37

            Actually, I'm working on a quilted wall hanging for the Fernwood-Chicago Park District for our Needles & Threads Quilting Guild for display at the Fernwood facility.  Along with a couple other volunteers.  I've had to make several design shifts since the project got under way, but it's coming along nicely now.  The main structure is set and now I've got some embellishing to do.  I'll post it when done.  But the quilt show is in Oct. and they will be presenting this piece to the Park District at the show.  Needless to say, dolls are on the back burner right now.  I had to wait until the others were finished with their background pieces.

          22. MaryinColorado | | #38

            Ooooooooooh, can't wait to see it!  The dolls are nice to work on at your leisure, I used to always have one in the works while doing other things.  Sometimes it took me months to finish, but they always seemed to be ready for birthdays and holidays.  I had my kitchen witch hanging up from the ceiling for years, my youngest grandson was afraid of it so I had to take it down finally.  Mary

          23. rodezzy | | #39

            I would have loved to see your kitchen witch.

          24. MaryinColorado | | #40

            I bought her "parts" and little broom at a hobbie/craft shop.  She hand pointie back boots, green and white striped tights, black dress with tiny stars, a black torn gauze cape, witches' hat, even a wart on her nose.  She was a bit bigger than "Barbie" and hung in my kitchens for years.  If she turns up, I'll take her photo and post it.  Everyone loved her, except my youngest grandson.  (If I find her, maybe I'll stick her in his bed some night when he sleeps over now that he's 11.  He loves to play tricks on others but that might be going too far.)  HE HE He He He 

            When my son was about 3yrs old I dressed as a witch for Halloween.  I didn't know he was behind me as I was finishing the makeup in the bathroom and I practiced my cackle,   poor little guy screamed and ran away crying.  I couldn't go near him until I washed my face and put on my robe.  What memories!   (When he was 2 I dressed as Raggedy Ann he threw up all over me at a party after sneaking too much candy.)  Poor kid, but he survived it, it's always been a favorite holiday for us.  We put a graveyard out front and take photos of the neighbors kids now.  Mary

          25. rodezzy | | #41

            LOL!!!!!  He he ha ha giggle giggle giggle.  We are so much a like.  I dressed up for All Hallows Eve too.  I've been a witch with the house decorated in cobwebs, spiders and such.  I've had parties for my son and step children with all the games.  I made the basement a dungeon for a party one year.  I've love it. 

            Better wait another year of two before putting that witch in his bed.  We don't want him to have a hissy fit.  giggle.  Poor baby.  ha ha ha.  But then again at 11 he should be a big boy now and handle it. 

          26. User avater
            ThreadKoe | | #32

            Life is to short to worry about the should'ves. Enjoy what you are doing now. The puppy Zoe is bringing you so much joy, enjoy. Cathy

          27. MaryinColorado | | #33

            So true!  Thanks.  Mary

          28. User avater
            ThreadKoe | | #8

            Rodezzy, We are all not created perfect. Your doll should be finished and loved anyway. Her legs can be covered by clothing, and a couple of stitches to create dimples in the knees may make a difference too. I had forgotten to ask you earlier, What is Monique's hair made of? Cathy

          29. sewelegant | | #17

            I guess you could say your doll has a birth defect so falls into that "special" catagory.  Maybe you could cover her legs with some permanent boots that would complement the outfit you made for her and that would disquise her legs.

          30. rodezzy | | #20

            I'm going to make her legs her strength.  I saw a doll in "Soft Dolls" with hugh feet, so with Mary's encouragement, I sewed on those legs last night and am ready to get her decked out in some clothes.  Thanks for your encouragement also.  Have you ever made dolls?

          31. sewelegant | | #23

            I'm glad you found a solution for your doll's legs.  Yes, I have sewn many dolls in my time.  I think I started with a kit for a cute Disney Flower the Skunk pajama bag for one of my girls.  She told me just lately that was her favorite doll ever and still has the remains.  I still have the Raggedy Anne and Andy dolls on one of the guest beds that I sewed up 40 plus years ago.  They could stand some new clothes.  I want to make a new set with a modern day quilt pattern take off... it is so cute... at least the ones in the quilt shop were.  I have all the doll patterns that interested me from the pattern catalogs.  Some I made, but most are pristine.  I started to make the Holly Hobby doll, but got miffed at how they wanted the head and face done so never finished and then she was passe.  One of my favorites was a little pregnant fairy doll.  I picked that pattern up in a quilt shop.  She was adorable.  I gave her to my daughter who was trying hard to get pregnant with no luck.  Sorry to say, the doll didn't help but she likes dolls as much as I do and it is among her collection.  I attended a Bernina doll class and sewed up a couple of those dolls (from Germany, I think)  They were fun, but pricy.  I have never gone as far as you have in making my dolls original!  I tend to keep pretty much to a pattern, but still find each doll is unique.  I collected angels for a time and made several angel dolls.  My latest "dolls" were Carol's Zoo bunnies for a couple granddaughters.  I have an old inherited mink coat just waiting for me to get the courage to make some teddy bears.  My favorite stuffing is a very resilient fiberfill put out by Hobbs that never seems to pack down like some of the old stuff did.

          32. rodezzy | | #24

            Wow, what a history in doll making.  I believe those new dolls will be quite darling in their new quilted patterned clothes.  Great idea.  Looking forward to seeing them, I know they will be beautiful.

          33. User avater
            ThreadKoe | | #25

            When I was a newlywed, my SIL and BIL teased me terribly about when would they be an aunt and uncle. So for the 1st christmas after we were married, I presented them with Denise, a large doll I had made just for them. I think it was a McCalls pattern, that wore a childs size 4. They quit bugging me after that. Cathy

          34. rodezzy | | #26

            LOL that showed them huh?  You are too much, just too much.  giggle

          35. Josefly | | #27

            I've really enjoyed reading this thread. I'm so glad you decided to go ahead and work on this doll... it's as if a very unique doll is coming into existence, and letting you know how she wants to look, as though the project has a mind of its own, and will allow you to discover what is meant for it. Somehow this idea appeals to me. :>)

          36. rodezzy | | #28

            Thank you.  I am again learning the same principles of creativity I've learned over the years with other projects.  I'll get an idea for a basic project like quilting, garment sewing, etc.  Then I do a lot of searching for the right materials.  It's a treasure hunt, I love craft stores, fabric stores, quilt shops, and resale shops.  I start buying lots of stuff I like for possible embellishments and the main fabrics and tools needed.  Then I pull everything out and mull over the stuff, patterns, research info, and "bing" the actual project jumps in my head.  I can see it.  Not totally detailed, but enough to get me going on the project.  Then as I work on the project additional details reveal themselves and I audition stuff and work with it until I'm satisfied that it's done. 

            I'm doing some hand quilting now on a project for the quilt guild.  So, my doll is on a doll stand waiting to be clothed.  I have some ideas, nothing concrete yet. 

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