A Cloth Doll for Lily: Liliella

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This fairy princess, Liliella, was created for my cousin’s youngest daughter Lily. She is based on the final, most complex pattern, ‘Titiana’ from my Jan Horrox book.  This was definitely a challenge and took a lot longer to create than the previous dolls because of the moveable joints for the arms, elbows, hips and knees.  However, I enjoyed the challenge and the process of making all the intricate details for the doll.

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The colour scheme was developed from this original piece of textiles that I created for my degree over ten years ago.  Initially I dyed the fabric pale blue, then added red dye on top of the blue to create a bleed effect and purple dye to add texture.  The purple and pink stripes were created through a hand cut screen print.  Finally I stitched basic linear petal shapes over the purple textured areas.  It was nice revisiting an old piece of work and to give it a new lease of life.  My plan is to incorporate other textiles pieces that I have into my doll making.

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Fortunately, I already had a mixture of pink, purple and blue fabrics in my collection like the range of textured wools that I used for the hair, which also includes strips of off-cut fabrics from other parts of the doll.  I particularly like the vintage pink and purple floral fabric that I used on the lower arms and legs.

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Fortunately it was a really sunny day when I came to photograph Liliella so I made the most of this and hunted out interesting areas in my garden and had fun posing her in different areas.  I was particularly pleased with this image below and the featured image because I feel these tell the most interesting story.

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Gwyneth: A Cloth Doll for Jenny

This OOAK cloth doll is Gwyneth and has been inspired by a Welsh doll, wearing traditional Welsh costume.  She is a part of my birthday challenge and  was created for my stepmother, Jenny.

I chose a Welsh theme because my dad and Jenny have just moved from the Welsh village of Caersws to the Welsh town of Twywn, in the county of Gwynnedd (which gave inspiration to her name of Gwyneth) and Saint David’s Day coincided with my decision making of the type of cloth doll I would create for Jenny.

This is my modern interpretation of a Welsh doll and I had to adapt the look slightly to fit in with the fabrics and supplies that I already had.  I even had the little wooden daffodil brooch holding Gwyneth’s shawl together!

OOAK cloth doll, Gwyneth

Gwyneth before I made the traditional Welsh hat

 

Again, I based the body on a body pattern by Jan Horrox’s, ‘Anastasia’.  I as make each new doll, the process becomes easier, simply because with experience, the need to constantly refer to the instructions becomes less.  Therefore, I found the foundations for this doll fairly quick to put together.

OOAK cloth doll, Gwyneth wearing the hat

Gwyneth’s top as is made from a tube of lace and her skirt has been simply gathered around the waist. I love the little felt shoes and was pleased when they worked out, as I created these from scratch without the help of a pattern.  The hat, however, was the most challenging aspect.  I eventually used a pattern from my Patti Medaris Culea book.

OOAK cloth doll, Gwyneth, close up of felted shoes

OOAK cloth doll, Gwyneth, side view of hat

I love how the personality of each doll develops as the fabrics and details are added.  This is my favourite part of the whole process!