A Cloth Doll for my mum, Guild Wars Inspired Ranger

“In a world torn by conflict, where human kingdoms are all but destroyed and guilds sacrifice all for a chance to control the Hall of Heroes, a champion must rise from the ruins of a once-proud land to lead refugees from the ashes and fulfill an ancient prophecy”. (http://www.guildwars.com/en/)

rowan foxglove

IMG_6884

This cloth doll, Rowan Foxglove, is the name of my mum’s online Guild Wars  character. Her design is loosely based on the ranger concept art for this game, however I have used a lot of creative license and adapted the look to suit the requirements for a cloth doll.

 eco warrior

IMG_6901

When designing Rowan, I always had the vision that her look would be influenced by that post apocalyptic, eco warrior aesthetic where clothing is fashioned and up-cycled from other garments in a thrown together need rather than for any fashion or style purpose.

make do and mend: the wrap top

IMG_6903

This was actually a scaled down version of customised top I had made for myself.  I took two small sections of the jersey cotton and part cut into tassels.  These were stretched to encourage the edges of the fabric to curl.

IMG_6906

This happened by chance, and it was really fortunate that when I draped the two pieces of jersey over her torso they hung nicely particularly when the tassels were tied together at the back.

the coat

IMG_6886

The coat is made from scraps of a mixed woollen fabric and sewn together using my favourite stitch, the blanket stitch.  I deliberately placed the stitching outside of the seam to make it visible and to enhance the ‘make do and mend’ design ethos.

IMG_6881

A small coordinating turquoise button has been used to decorate the front of coat.  I cheated a little and added a popper fastening in the inside rather than putting in a buttonhole.

IMG_6891

The design is asymmetric  and curves around the length of the doll’s body.

IMG_6918

the TRousers, boots and cuffs

IMG_6899

Real leather was used to make to boots, which were sewn together by hand.  The cooper eyelets were also punched through using a hand hole punch tool.

IMG_6890

Like Lazuli, Rowan also has leather wrist cuffs.  I discovered that this is a good creative solution to cover up the arm and hand join, which are made separately.

IMG_6894

The trousers are made from a denim material and when fitted to the doll’s body, they were a little bit wide.  So another creative solution was to include the golden thread at the hips and criss cross the thread to echo the laces on the boots.

the hair and face

IMG_6904

After the success of Amber’s doll, again I used acrylic paint to add the details and depth to the face.

IMG_6888

Once again, I used my stripped T-shirt material to create the hair, which is becoming my preferred method and it is a really nice way to use up old jersey tops.

A Cloth Doll for Amber

lazuli

“A bright blue pigment formerly made by crushing lapis lazuli.”

new design

Meet Lazuli, named by Amber, my friend and colleague at work and the person she was created for.

Amber has a wealth of creative interests and I always knew that this cloth doll would push me creatively to produce something that is entirely new.  This is the first doll that has been completely created from scratch, including the pattern for the body pieces.

IMG_6859

 The Inspiration

Now I must admit that I did a bit of Pinterest stalking to come up with the original design for this cloth doll.  I went through Amber’s boards with a fine tooth comb and picked out elements that I thought would work together.  Her pins had a strong presence of blue, turquoise and purple feel, which naturally found their way onto the design of the doll.

The face, head and hair

The design of the face was inspired by a pin from KelleeArt, an illustrator who has most notably worked on the Monster High characters.  I wanted to recreate the enlarged eyes and pouting lips from this style of illustration.

IMG_6861

Lazuli’s hair has been layered with different hues of blue and purple wool for each new layer, using a range of wool types to create texture and interest and to reflect the pinning board title ‘Hair’.

IMG_6852

The ear was inspired by another pin showing a leafy looking elf ear and I loved this unusual shape.

IMG_6862

painting the face

I have been very inspired by the painted cloth dolls from Pantovola Textile Folk Art by Anouk de Groot  I love the whimsical nature and individuality of these dolls and if I ever have any spare money would love to purchase one from  the Pantovola Etsy shop.

Therefore, rather than applying the details with water colour pencils and pigment pens, which I have been using up until now, I painted on the facial features with acrylic paint.  I referred to an image of Neytiri, the female character in Avatar to help create the blue tones needed on the face.  Painting definitely allowed me to achieve a greater level of depth on the face than the colouring pencils did.

the body, tail and wings

The body of this cloth doll was inspired 3D printed model from Bitgem.  When creating the pattern I narrowed the waist and accentuated the curves.

IMG_6864

This then led me to complete the look with a corset that was made out of real leather.  Matching arm cuffs were also added around the wrists.

IMG_6869

Like the image, I choose to include wings and a tail.

IMG_6868

the legs

The lower half of the legs are centaur shaped, again using my own pattern and I was pleased with the end result.

IMG_6845

However, I felt there was something missing when I assembled all the body parts.  I made a decision to recreate clubbing style fluffy boots.  This turned out to be an excellent way of using up tiny scraps of fabric.

IMG_6866

OOAK Handmade Cloth Doll by Vaudeville Hippie

A Cloth Doll for Barbara: Show Jumper

‘The essential joy of being with horses is that it brings us in contact with the rare elements of grace, beauty, spirit, and fire.’  (Sharon Ralls Lemon)

My cousin Barbara has been passionate about horses since she was a child, so naturally I wanted to create a cloth doll for her that reflected that.  More recently I had seen some photos of her show jumping so took my inspiration from there.

The show jumping look

OOAK Handmade Show Jumper Cloth Doll by Vaudeville Hippie

Show jumpers have a very distinctive look and I therefore wanted to make sure I included all the key details such as the jacket, cravat, jodhpurs, riding hat and boots.

the Riding hat and hair

OOAK Handmade Show Jumper Cloth Doll by Vaudeville Hippie

The riding hat was made from four slightly rounded triangular pieces, adapted from the head pattern, to create the helmet part.  Two crescent pieces were sewn wrong sides together and turned out before being sewn onto the main hat.  The straps were made from four strips of ribbon.  The hat was lightly stuffed inside to provide the rigid effect of a real riding hat.

IMG_6702

I tried a new way of styling the hair and opted to create a side parting for the fringe and adding in layers at the back, which allowed for a much longer length of hair without being too bulky.

OOAK Handmade Show Jumper Cloth Doll by Vaudeville Hippie

the cravat and jacket

The cravat was made from a simple piece of white cloth which has been wrapped around the neck like a scarf, folded into place and held with some small stitches to keep the shape and ruched effect.

OOAK Handmade Cloth Doll by Vaudeville Hippie

I have made several jackets for my cloth dolls now and with this one I really challenged myself by using a satin lining.  I really loved the design of this fabric and just knew it would be a lovely finishing touch to the jacket and to give it a classy feel.

OOAK Handmade Show Jumper Cloth Doll by Vaudeville Hippie

the jodhpurs and riding boots

Strips of black and white fabric were sewn together to make a base piece of material so that the jodhpurs and boots could be created in one piece.

OOAK Handmade Show Jumper Cloth Doll by Vaudeville Hippie

Additional details were then added once the legs had been stuffed and formed.  Patches of fake black suede were sewn on by hand to the white of the jodhpurs and I added ribbon to decorate the top of the boots and a small button at the back.

OOAK Handmade Show Jumper Cloth Doll by Vaudeville Hippie