The more time I give myself for play like this the better my thinking, my connection making and idea generating get. While messing around with these dolls I have had one million ideas. This kind of experimenting is like giving my imagination vitamins. It is not an efficient way to make a doll, and I get frustrated in the process sometimes (it takes a while to shift out of expectations and perfectionist thinking and into curiosity) but it never fails to get me to new places. In trying stuff – stuff that works and stuff that doesn’t – I make connections I would not have otherwise made and connections are where ideas come from.
I experimented with a bunch of stuff for making arms and legs and landed on something simple I like. I’ve made her arms and legs in two sections upper and lower from the paper covered wire. Each section gets covered with batting and then covered with fabric.
I left a little extra at the ends so they would be easy to join and nice and bendy. The legs are made the same way and I added a little lace to the top before attaching by whip stitching to the bottom of her torso with sturdy thread.
I like her spidery arms and legs. I’ll leave her for now and show you progress on the other girl who is no longer a girl.
While I was playing with making hair she turned into a he – a soldier. The hair is torn strips of thin cotton stitched to the head with a running stitch. I made loose pleats with the bottom ends for his curls.
I wan’t planning on a soldier but that’s who turned up. I’m having a blast making his clothes and have become obsessed with military uniforms – so many surprising shapes and details and layers…..
And here they are all finished! Matilde and Fitzwilliam. I hope you try improvisational dolls!