“So I’m looking to the saxophone as a resource which has its own unique set of possibilities. I’m looking to exploit them and develop them and have the fullest range of possibilities of the saxophone be known.” (Evan Parker)
the possibilities of a jazz player cloth doll
So for Steve’s stepfather, Tim, I wanted to explore new possibilities with my cloth doll making skills. To help with this exploration of ideas I used Tim’s keen interest in jazz to get me started, factor in the fact he is a saxophonist, and Jeffery the jazz cloth doll was born.
When discussing ideas with Steve, we decided to go for a Blues Brother vibe and created a very quick sketch to develop the idea from.
jazzing up the details
There are many details on this doll I love, and I was more confidant creating some of the trickier items of clothing this time around because I had gained a lot of the skills needed from my previous dolls.
For instance, when making Gwyneth I really struggled to get the shape of the hat right and to keep the lining looking tidy, so this time I used felt to avoid the possibility of fraying edges and to provide more a rigid shape. This, I feel worked really well.
I continued using felt for the shoes and this time developed something that fit around the whole foot, rather than the clog style that I used for Gwyneth. This involved three pattern pieces and the blanket stitch around the edges to hold them together and to provide aesthetic detail.
The jacket was much easier this time round since making Elizabeth. The knowledge I gained from Elizabeth’s jacket gave me a better understanding of the sequence needed to sew the fabric pieces in the correct order. Even the trouser pattern from the Zombie has been adapted to fit more closely around the waist, which was a problem the first time around.
The saxophone also started with a sketch and after a little thought as to how I would create the form and shape of the bell I realised it could be achieved quite simply by sewing a basic saxophone shape using two outer pieces and two inner pieces of black lining. The lining was inserted into the main shape wrong sides together and the raw edges were folded inside. These were stitched by hand using a blind ladder stitch.