Wow, I finished a real three dimensional doll. She took me one whole week from the time I got up in the morning with a tall cup of coffee, till late into the evening just hearing the crickets. Shuss, it was a lot of fun :-)
I got to get the pattern from Seaside Doll Club portfolio book. Found some great fabric from a couple of weeks ago when I spent hours in a fabric store, sat myself down and picked’ thru the scrap barrel for hours.Pick up some great hair for her, had the shells from Bolsa Chica Beach and I got started. It was quite a journey and I loved every minute of it! I'm learning how to use freezer paper, but I've really embraced it. I do like the tracing paper onto the patter then on the Manila file folders; this is just part of the process so I'm embracing it by making sure I take my time to cut each pattern piece slowly and carefully. (Not really, I don't like this part at all) Ok, another thing was turning the pattern right side out. Wow, what a feet this was~! especially with the hands and fingers. I jacked up the first hand & fingers pretty good, then I said to myself, okay just take it more slowly on the 2nd hand & fingers and it should be okay.
NOPE, I jacked the 2nd hand & fingers even more then the first! It took me a whole day to get the fabric for the arms again, trace the patters for right & left hands & fingers, sew them together, and with way more patient this time, turn the hands & fingers right side out. Whew......lots of work on this part of "First Mermaid". I did mess up a little bit on both, but not nearly compared to the first time around. And I was able to hide the small seam tiers in the side fingers by putting "white pipe cleaners" in each of the fingers and created rings for her out of seed beads for her to wear. Even Mermaids would love to enjoy some bling!!! So, I was happy with the fix.
The next thing that sticks out in my mind is the stuffing. Stuffing, Stuffing, Stuffing is an art form in it's self. I've read two chapters on this topic of my doll books "General stuffing Techniques" & "Specific Stuffing Techniques" and I almost went crossed eyed when I was done. Then I was so rattled that I was almost afraid to give it a go, but I forged forward and had my own experience with it. What I can advise you of is you’ll need stuffing forks and the best you can afford of “polyester fiberfill” and a whole lot of patients and you’ll get thru it just like I did. It’s bound to get easier, right? I’ll keep you posted.
"First Mermaid" is 14’ tall and has moveable hands, fingers, and arms. To stuff her it took almost a bag and half of stuffing.... Who would have known, I would have bet the farm this would not had been the case!
Anyhow.. The next dilemma was drawing the face, such a large space for her face to see every mistake in her eyes or nose or lips it was endless worrie on my part. I did draw lots of drafts on scrap paper and fabrics until I got the results somewhat better then when I started. I did reference techniques from a book called "Lets Face it" by Elinor Peace Bailey and "Cloth Doll Couture" by Patti Culea both of these ladies have great dolls and here books are pretty good reading too. Both ladies suggest that you keep some kind of small note book or pad of paper with you at all times to draw small faces everyday to help with this practiced skill. I do need to get better at this, and I do think it’s true. You’ll only get better with practice.
Gosh…..now the real fun begins with accessories, her dress, lace, finger nail painting, necklace making, gluing, sea weed hair, headband beads, sand dollar top, etc. What a blast this was to put on “First Mermaid”. It was weird thing, I almost heard her talk to me, but not in voices that you and I communicate in, it was full blown intuition, as I was fussing over her so much. “First Mermaid” was a hoot to create, and put together, I recommend it everyone!!!!
You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, “I lived through this horror. I can take this next thing that comes along." Eleanor Roosevelt (1884-1962)