11 Bodies Found in Dumpster (Designing a Doll – Part 2)

Bodies in a Dumpster

Bodies in a Dumpster

Three weeks ago I began working on the torso for the High Priestess (Drawing Down the Moon). I sculpted the pieces, marked the seaming, and began to drape, make slopers, cut, stitch and stuff. Number 12 finally works!

This is not too bad, since it took over a year to get a final pattern for Prince Charming who became David’s Nude… I ended up with about five dolls that were almost good enough, and one that I was happy with. I also had a giant plastic trash bag filled with body parts that didn’t work! I used that bag of body parts to give a program to my UFDC doll club in NYC. I called it “Designing a Cloth Doll, The Creative Process… At least I got some use out of them.

Body 12

Body 12

As you know, muslin stretches. To get the stuffed muslin form to be the same shape and size as the clay one is a challenge. I can’t tell you how many rejects went into the “bone yard” because I have problems with inside, outside, left, right upside and down side…

Now I start the legs and feet. Hopefully that won’t take another three weeks.



4 thoughts on “11 Bodies Found in Dumpster (Designing a Doll – Part 2)

  1. Its very interesting seeing all the bodies that didn’t work to get to one that is basically what you wanted. I noticed on the post about sculpting the breasts (which you then used to created the muslin pattern)that you did this seperate from the torso. Why was that? Also do you ever sculpt the whole body and/or head to use to create a pattern from? What type of clay do you use in creating a sculpt to help develop the pattern pieces? Its so interesting to see other doll makers design process. Thank-you for sharing.

    • I often sculpt the entire figure in order to work out the seaming so that the seams are part of the design rather than let the first thing noticed about the figure. I start with a series of drawings that Jim creates in the Poser program so I can see all sides of the figure I describe to him. That is my pattern for the sculpt.

      I already knew how I wanted the lower torso and the back to look so I had only to sculpt the breasts to figure out the darts to get the shape and size correct. The first couple of times I draped the breasts there were too many pieces and it would have been very confusing to someone who had never made one of my dolls before. The first several upper front torso patterns did not even resemble a breast configuration. So I had to re-drape to simplify the pattern design.

      The head was easy I simply used the shape of the drawing and made it a four part pattern did not have to sculpt it.

      The legs and feet (especially the feet) took the most time and trouble. The feet are each shaped differently and it was hard to get the feet and the toes the same size and then shape each one differently. It’s easy to screw it up. Of course my dyslexia helps a lot with the screw ups…

      I am waiting for some good oil pastels sticks I ordered from Dick Blick to get here so I can color the piece. Then I can make her dress and wig and finish her in time for Cyndy to get her up on her website for a September launch. I promised not to teach this doll until I teach it for her at AFIC in Ohio next April. I will put her up on my blog and my website when she is finished.

      I am also working on the Elves lesson plan for an on-line class for Adele Sciortino, and on both “Stud Muffin” and “And All That Jazz” for my next batch of new classes.

      I don’t have anything booked until Next April but I will probably do several classes in Southern California next Summer since I plan to be out there for awhile at that time.


  2. I checked out your DVD’s and I’m so excited and grateful that you share your skill this way. I can’t wait for payday to begin to purchase some. After ten years off and on learning the hard way I’m finally to a point that I can benefit from watching them! THanks again for sharing your expertise.

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