PuppenMITmacherei - DollSewAlong
3rd meeting - Head and body
Making the head started off as a 'full catastrophy' experience. But catastrophies sometimes turn out to be very helpful as a blessing in disguise or to 'make us grow and progress'. I admit, those were not the thoughts that crossed my mind when IT ALL HAPPENED!
In the first place I left my tape measure under the fabric and cut it when using the rotary cutter. But how often do we need to measure more than 40 cm in doll making? It turned out to be much more practical to have a short one... and I have two tape measures now!
No, the real catastrophy happened when I used the Prym Trickmarker pen to mark the eyes. One eye was bigger than the other, too big. I thought the ink would disappear but it did not, not within an hour, not within days, not until now! Did I push too hard? Or ...?
And then, when I cut the skin jersey to change it, I cut in the tubular gauze and then, there were many very well fixed threads and knots ... The lesson is that I should not try to embroider lovely round eyes - which I have never been able to do - because you all do! Just stick to my good old French Knot or almost square eyes.
Why did I want to make the eyes and mouth now, even if it is only scheduled for the 4th meeting of the PuppenMITmacherei? The answer is that I always work more relaxed and with much more pleasure on a doll once I know the face is fine. To me, the face is the most important feature of a doll, it is the first thing we look at and it gives us our first, hopefully positive, impression.
With delicious Dutch 'stroopwafels' and tea within reach, I did sit and make myself start the head all over again:
I wanted to make a head that does not loose its form, while remaining at the same time soft and cuddely. So I slightly needle felted the round ball you make before wrapping it in the last layer of wool. I insisted a little bit more on the bottom - chin - part. I think tying the thread around the neck and fixing it really well is also important because once you start binding off the eye line etc., there is quite some pressure on the neck part.
A hint of a nose appeared by pulling up some wool with a thick needle and fixing it with a back stitch that crosses under the wool of the nose:
Talking about this magical mattress stitch: the back of the body part turned out to be a bit bulgy, it could be eased out this way.
Placing the eyes and the mouth always takes me quite a while. A few millimeters can make a lot of difference. I use two exact the same color and size pins for the eyes. I also use an old sock to mark the hair line and finally hold the head in front of a mirror (you immediately notice if it is not symmetrical).
As said, I make the eyes with a french knot. Depending on the size of the head, there will be 3 to 6 turns around the needle. The yarn used for eyes is 6 strands DMC mouliné and for the mouth 2 strands.
The inner body is 1 cm shorter than the velours body, so that there is room for the doll to sit. To avoid the wool from the legs creeping up, I closed the legs with a running stitch that goes from the outside to the inside of the leg and back. The same goes for the arms. I finally decided to use Glorex Granulates to give some extra weight to the body, its soupleness and softness felt better to me on a doll for a 15 months old.
Most of the velours body I already sewed for the 2nd meeting. Leaving the upper part of the stitched middle open in order to insert the body/head when legs and arms are completely finished, worked out well.
All in all, the sun started to shine again, and on top of that I got the endearing company of a little one, merrily embellishing my pincushion:
I'm OK, stop measuring and just put me together!
This boy's round head asks for embroidered hair instead of the wild hair-do with DollyMo brushed wool I had in mind initially. The little boy for whom it is, also has very short hair. So I quickly ordered from Kamrins poppenatelier and a few days ago the parcel arrived with Cascade yarn for the hair in a lovely chocolate brown color - as well as more Swiss tricot for future dolls and Swiss tricot with 'honeycomb weave dubble face' to try out.
So, all set to embroider the hair for the next meeting in October. But first I am going to see what the other participants in the PuppenMITmacherei have been up to!