mercredi 6 décembre 2017

PuppenMITmacherei 2017

doll sew along ~ finale


Thank you Maria and Caro, for organizing this virtual get together again! I enjoyed to participate and exchange ideas and inspiration!

The clothes to play outside are finished. A sleeveless cardigan with a hood, jeans, legwarmers and warm BearPaws (how I made them, see my december 5th photo's).

Kaja's jeans looked too new. To give them a worn look, I rubed the leg with sanding paper, insisting a bit more on the knees:

She also got a summer dress, made from an old blouse, and felt shoes:

Kaja was not specially made for someone - I wanted to try out some techniques, so she'll stay with me for the moment.

I wish you all a peaceful month of December!

mardi 5 décembre 2017

Winter booties


Inspiration: my own very comfortable BearPaws.
I used bits and pieces of felt to make a prototype. Also needed: time and pleasure in figuring it out!

The back and the front were made separately, each out of two pieces - one leg part/fore-foot and one leg part /heel. Then both parts attatched on the sides (left side and right side of the ankle).

This top part was attached to the sole, ending with the thread again on the left side and the right side of the ankle where you can ajust  by overlapping the top part as much as needed.

 Different 'looks'.

The boot is taken apart in order to make the pattern. Graph paper, allows precize drawing and cutting.

 I used a by accident boiled cashmire cardigan (aie!!) and needle felted some wool around the rim.

Finally, an anti-slip sole cut to measure was fixed underneath.

jeudi 9 novembre 2017



PuppenMITmacherei 2017 ~ Doll sew-along

5th meeting  making the clothes


Not only am I a little bit late with my contribution for the PuppenMITmacherei, all I made so far is a pair of tiny, 4 cm high leg warmers ! The reason is that we had little girls to stay during their autumn holidays and that we also had an important once-in-10-years-job we wanted to finish before winter, when it becomes muddy and impracticable for a tractor 'down by the riverside': cutting wood, storing it away and cleaning up the riverbank. Working outside in fresh autumn temperatures makes you so very 'happily tired'. But it left little time for dressmaking. Even if the evenings fall early now, I just fell asleep, almost as soon as I sat down in front of the open fire.

There was time for thinking though, about this pile of old woollen sweaters, often washed blouses with lovely cotton prints and some baby pyjamas (all worn by girlies in my family). No 'haute couture' fabric, but all the more special:

Baby pyjamas often have lovely elaborated elements like collars and edging. I could use this sleeve edge to make underwear:

In my drawer with knitting wool, there is an un-finished cardigan without sleeves but with a hood... It is perfect for Kaja. But you cannot go through life in a cardigan and leg warmers alone so I am looking forward to autumn storms and bad weather = time to be busy inside and spend hours on doll-dress making! 

I am curious to see what the other participants have prepared for this meeting!

mardi 3 octobre 2017

PuppenMITmacherei 2017 ~ Doll sew-along

4th meeting 


the details ...


Here she is, with sparkling eyes and a name: Kaja.
I very much liked the shiny glass-head pins I used to temporary place the eyes, and so I decided on round button eyes. I asked Rebekka (Kiiko dolls) what she uses for some of her dolls and she kindly advised me to look for bears eyes. Just note that a doll with these eyes is not meant for young children to play with!

Voici Kaja avec des yeux qui brillent! J'aimais finalement bien les épingles noires que j'avais utilisées pour temporairement marquer les yeux, mais où trouver des boutons de 4 mm? Rebekka de Kiiko dolls m'a gentiment conseillé des yeux d'ours. Les poupées avec de tels yeux ne conviennent pas aux petits enfants.

The hair is made with Kamrin's Dolly Mo mini bouclé. I like to work with it because the wig gives a nice result: thanks to the small curls, you don't see the crochet stitches and so you don't need to add masses of hair.
In fact, the hair is not exactly as I would like it. I am still looking for a solution to make fine fairy hair  (just like all the girls in my family, including myself!).

Les cheveux sont faites avec Kamrin's Dolly Mo mini bouclé . Grâce aux petits boucles, on ne voit pas les points de crochet de la perruque, et par conséquent on n'a pas besoin d'y nouer des masses de cheveux. 
En fait, je cherche une solution pour des cheveux fins de fée - comme toutes les filles dans ma famille, moi-même inclue, en ont.

Yes, she has a cute little bum -  et des fesses!

It was a bit chilly without clothes and so Kaja got my woollen sweater to keep her  warm during the photo session.

Il faisait un peu frisquet dehors, donc j'ai couvert Kaja avec mon pull en laine pour la garder chaud pendant la séance photo.

"What's up!?" wonders Mirra, our guard dog:
Mirra, notre chienne de garde se demande bien ce qui se passe:

Kaja continues to 'ontpop', to reveal herself : timid at first, she has become a courageous little girl, not scared of dogs and looking forward to go on adventurous trips in the woods around the house.
Maybe, creating Kaja, I gave shape to worrisome thoughts about the sort of all the little refugee girls and boys, how do they manage, what would become of them without lots and lots of courage?

One of my granddaughters' first reaction to Kaja was that she needs comfortable clothes to play outside, but that a beautiful princesses dress is as important...

Kaja continue à se révéler; timide au début, maintenant elle est une petite fille courageuse, qui n'a même pas peur des chiens et qui a envie de s'aventurer dans les bois qui entourent la maison. Peut être, en créant Kaja, j'ai donné corps à mes pensées préoccupantes concernant le sort des petits garçons et des petites filles réfugiés? Comment ils s'en sortent, que deviendraient-ils sans beaucoup, beaucoup de courage? 

Une de mes petites filles, en voyant Kaja pour la première fois m'a assuré qu'il lui faut des vêtements confortables pour jouer dehors mais qu'il ne faut surtout pas oublier de lui faire une robe de princesse...

mercredi 6 septembre 2017

PuppenMITmacherei 2017 ~ doll sew along

3rd meeting

making the head and the body


I really enjoyed this slow process of needle felting the head. Some wool and a felting needle is all you need. I mainly worked on it sitting outside, putting it away and picking it up again whenever I felt like it. As Maria and Laura write in their Charlie-Bo manual: just continue until you are satisfied. It also opened up a new world to me: I found myself studying and sketching faces, proportions and profiles.

Adding lots of small tufts of wool, a bit here, a bit there, and slowly, out of a cloud of wool, a little face comes to life...

I found it almost a pitty to cover the face with fabric as it changes the features.

Covering the head with fabric - without pleats or stretching the fabric too much especially at the level of the mouth - was not easy.

So I finally decided on 'cut-and-sew-as-you-go" - resulting in the back of the head looking like this:

... lots of  'scars', but they will be covered by a wig.

It only needed two glass-head pins and a little bit of blush:

 and suddenly someone was timidly smiling at me!

The body I made "top-down", leaving the bottom part open for stuffing. I found it easier to first sew the neck fabric to the head. You also get a neatly (machine) stitched neck-shoulder line. Then I shaped the shoulders and the body with wool, which I slightly needle felted  - pulling the fabric up over the head while doing this.

I stuffed the arms and the legs with the stuffing tool ordered from A Childs Dream. I tested the method used by Fig&me in August already on Popje, using a 4 cm thick block of needle felting foam to spread the wool on: the wool sticks a little bit to the foam, which helps to keep the wool stretched and allows you to wrap it tightly. The height of the foam also allows some space for your hand to roll the stuffing tool. It turned out to  work really well with bigger legs. With these more slim arms and legs it is not so easy to push the wool into the sewn arm or leg. So if you plan to try it out, have some tea and chocolate and calming music within reach and practise, practise!

Then arms and legs were attached to the body::

Coucou! Waiting for ears, hair and eyes. And this old blouse is going to be my new dress or skirt!

jeudi 10 août 2017


It is such an endearing element about dollmaking: when children adopt a doll and play with it. At the same time you discover what needs to be changed or adapted next time, to make sure a doll survives life with a 3 year old child and remains in an acceptable state.

C'est un élément attendrissant dans l'histoire d'une poupée quand un enfant adopte une poupée et que celle-ci devient un petit camarade inséparable. C'est le cas de 'Popje' depuis que je l'ai fabriquée il y a deux ans. En même temps c'est une leçon dans le sens qu'il devient clair ce que je dois adapter ou changer une prochaine fois pour qu'une poupée résiste à la vie pas toujours tendre avec un petit de 3 ans.

'Popje' has been dearly loved for over 2 years now. Lots of cuddles, haircare and outside playing left their traces. From her once beautiful mohair 'coiffure', only threads remain.
I made her quite round and cuddely and weighted, with a Baby-Twink body and bottom. But apparently, I did not stuff her well enough and she became bulgy and she lost her chin. The very protective doll-mummy did not see any problem, so I  did not dare to correct anything even if it hurt my 'dollmakers eye'.

Popje était intentionnellement toute dodue et était alourdie avec des granulés. Mais je ne l'avais pas bien bourrée et le résultat est un corps et des bras quelque peu déformés et un passage menton-nuque pas bien défini. Pourtant, sa maman ne voyait pas de problème et donc je n'y pouvais rien corriger, même si cela me faisait mal à mon coeur de fabricante de poupées. Jusqu'au jour où le chien a joué avec et a abîmé les cheveux et une jambe et que j'ai eu l'autorisation de l'hospitaliser.

But last week, my granddaughter was very silent during dinner and when asked what was the matter, she whisperd with big tears in her eyes: "Popje!". She had left her doll outside and the new young dog had had a go at Popje's hair and one leg. And so I was allowed to take Popje home for hospitalisation. A blessing in disguise... for me.

It was agreed upon that I could also wash Popje and that she should get bigger feet "since she had also grown" - sofar, she had traditional Waldorf pointed feet and lost her shoes all the time.

Making new legs was the occasion to try the wool rolling method from Fig&me. It needs some practise, but I got quite a nice result after a few tries. The most complicated part was to make a smooth connection between the leg and the already stuffed foot and I still have to find a solution for this.

En concertation avec ma petite fille, j'ai lavé la poupée et je pouvais lui faire de nouvelles jambes avec des pieds plus grandes pour qu'elle ne perde plus ses chaussures. 
Pour rembourrer les jambes, j'ai essayé la méthode de Fig&me. Il me fallait plusieurs essais avant d'obtenir un résultat satisfaisant. Je dois encore trouver une solution pour faire une belle connexion entre la jambe et le pied déjà bourré. J'ai utilisé de la mousse de 4 cm pour étaler la laine, ceci facilite la manipulation de l'outil et comme la laine y adhère légèrement, ça facilite d'enrouler la laine d'une façon plus serrée.

I used a 4 cm thick block of needle felting foam to spread the wool on: the wool sticks a little bit to the foam, which helps to keep the wool stretched and allows you to wrap it tightly. The height of the foam also allows some space for your hand to roll the stuffing tool:

I forgot to put weight in the feet, but in the end with the rolling method, a new leg weighs 49 gr - the old legs, weighted with granulate, were 53 gr.

I did not change the rather sagging arms. I was afraid Popje would not be her own good self anymore. I just made them a bit smaller to match the new legs. I used the famous matrass stitch. One row roughly and one with fine stitches to leave a neat, almost invisible line.

Pour que Popje reste elle-même, je n'ai pas changé les bras, je les ai adaptés en les serrant un peu avec le point matelas. Ici j'ai cousu une fois avec des points larges et une deuxième fois avec des points tout fins, ce qui donne une couture invisible

And of course, this was the opportunity to add some more wool to the body and to tighten the chin/neck part and re-fix the threads really well.

Puis, redressement du menton et de la nuque et rembourrage du corps avec un peu plus de laine.

As for the hair, the wig was still OK, so I just took out most of the strands that were left and the Dolly Mo brushed wool I still had, was enough to make new strands of hair.

Comme la perruque n'était pas abîmée, je n'avais qu'à nouer de nouvelles mèches avec de la laine Dolly Mo brushed wool.

Happily reunited!

... and ready for new adventures.
Les retrouvailles et toutes les deux, prêtes pour de nouvelles aventures.

One more task: knitting new shoes.

Et pour finir, tricoter de nouvelles chaussures:

mercredi 2 août 2017

PuppenMITmacherei 2017 ~ doll-sew-along 
2nd meeting
pattern, material, tools...

It took a few walks through the woods to get an idea for the PuppenMITmacherei 2017. It will be a doll with a different look, different colour of skin and hair and I want to try techniques I have not used so far. I have no-one in mind to make it for, so I am not limited in the form or in the use of material. It should become a doll that has the endearing characteristics of a quickly growing child, leggy and with arms that seem a little bit too long. With details like a little chin, a neck and slightly sticking out ears.

Mon projet sera une poupée qui aura un nouveau 'look', des couleurs de peau et de cheveux foncés et je veux utiliser des techniques que je n'ai pas encore utilisées jusque là. Je n'ai pas de 'destinataire' en tête, donc je serai libre dans la forme et dans le choix de matériaux.
Elle aura les caractéristiques attachantes d'un un enfant soudain grandissant - un corps  fin, avec de  longs jambes et bras (qui semblent un peu trop longs). Sur ma liste également des détails comme un petit menton, un cou et des oreilles un peu décollées.

Finding needle felted faces too hard to be cuddly for small children, I haven't finished such a doll so far. In 2015 I went to Maria's and Laura's FilzKopfKurse in Berlin and recently I attended a 2-day course with Agnieszka Novak from Lalinda dolls at Kamrins Poppenatelier. I learned a lot from these experienced dollmakers and now it is up to me to see if needle sculpting is 'my thing'.
I'd also like to try the stuffing method from Fig&me; Fabiola stuffs arms and legs with the wool rolling method to avoid bulky arms and legs.
And to start with, I have to make a new pattern. I learned from Agnieszka how to make patterns, starting from a basic, rectangular one. She really inspired me to be creative, find solutions and to forget about the 'rules'.

Les visages sculptés à l'aiguille donnent un résultat, que je trouve trop dur pour les petits enfants. J'ai appris cette technique pendant un cours avec Maria et Laura en 2015 et pendant le cours récent avec Agnieszka Novak de Lalinda dolls chez Kamrin''s Poppenatelier. A moi de jouer maintenant!
Pour bourrer bras et jambes, Fig&me a développé une méthode qui évite des bosses et qu'elle a publiée sur You Tube. La méthode consiste à enrouler la laine autour d'un bâton carré. A essayer.
Puis je veux créer un nouveau patron. Agnieszka nous a appris entre autres à faire des patrons. Elle m'a inspirée d'être créative, de trouver des solutions et d'oublier les 'règles'. Le patron à gauche sur la photo, me sert de base.

Sketching, tryal and error... So so lots of paper, carton and some fabric in the bin!

Croquis, et essais. Donc une poubelle pleine de papier, de carton et des chutes de tissu!

New in my toolbox are two square stuffing tools, one short and one long, which I want to try out after having seen the tutorial of Fig&me.

Ma boîte à outils. Les nouveautés: deux bâtons carrés autour desquels on peut rouler la laine pour rembourrer bras et jambes sans bosses selon la méthode de Fig&me.

Getting started with the arms. The fabric is Laib Yala Swiss Tricot, middle brown. It comes from Kamrin's Poppenatelier, where I also buy wool, felting needles and other materials.
 Je commence par les bras. Le tissu est Laib Yala Swisss Tricot, couleur marron moyen
de chez Kamrin's Poppenatelier. J'y achète laine, aiguilles à feutrer et les autres matériaux.

The big question is of course: will the doll turn out just as I see her in my head...? 
LA question: la poupée, sera-t-telle comme je la vois dans ma tête...?
I am looking forward to see the contributions of the other participants.
Maintenant, je vais consulter les contributions des autres participants. 

See you in September  ~ Prochaine rencontre en septembre!