How Cloth Doll Patterns are Changing
As most of you know, Mimi passed away in February of 2017. I have done my best to make sure that all of her teaching patterns remain available for cloth dollmakers around the world.
There are also three new patterns that I am working on to complete the collection of her work. I hope to publish Mimi’s Wee Folks – Elves, Mimi’s High Priestess, and Mimi’s Spartacus sometime in 2018. Part of the delay has been trying to decide just how to publish these new patterns.
To investigate new ways of publishing dollmaking patterns, I did a study of how dollmakers used patterns. What I found is that most dollmakers purchased patterns on CDs and then printed the instructions out so that they could be placed next to their sewing machines while they worked. This is a matter of both economics and convenience.
- The desired result is to have the pattern instructions in a convenient form next to the sewing machine so that you can follow them step-by-step.
- The cost of copying and assembling paper patterns, then shipping them to the pattern store, and then shipping them again to the dollmakers is very expensive and time-consuming for the pattern publisher and the pattern shop.
- The cost of duplicating and shipping CDs to the pattern store and then shipping them again to the dollmakers is relatively inexpensive. Particularly, if the CDs are in an unbreakable polyethylene case (LDPE), because they can be shipped in an unpadded envelope at letter rates rather than at package rates.
- Dollmakers don’t seem to include the cost of printing from the CD as part of the cost of buying the pattern.
On the other hand, there are still a number of dollmakers who prefer to buy paper patterns, perhaps because they find it inconvenient to print them out from the CD.
So, the first part of making doll patterns more useful was to create a doll pattern that can be used next to the sewing machine and can be distributed at minimal cost.
The second part of making doll patterns more useful was to determine if dollmakers will accept alternatives that to printed patterns, and use smartphones or tablets to hold the instructions next to their sewing machines. This has the added benefit that I can make the instructions much more detailed (longer) without having to print more paper, and I can include videos of techniques that are easier to learn by showing them to you instead of describing them.
Making Instructions Better
This is the story of how we created the 3rd Edition of Mimi’s Victoria Rose. The instruction book will work on your smartphone, tablet, or computer, or if you wish, you can print it out on paper. I say “we” rather than “I” because I feel that Mimi is helping me do this.
The original Victoria Rose pattern was created in 2001 as a paper pattern with a 56 page, step-by-step instruction book and 12 pages of pattern pieces. There was one color picture on the cover and all the other pictures were in black and white. Mimi and I revised the instruction book in 2012 to bring it up-to-date with new techniques and new sources. As our most popular precision cloth doll pattern, it seemed to be the ideal pattern to bring up-to-date again with the new information, techniques, and technology available in 2017.
One of the things that was most important to Mimi was to create patterns and instructions that even a beginning dollmaker could use to create a beautiful doll. The instructions needed to be simple, clear, step-by-step, and complete with no skipped or missing steps. We’ve learned a lot since 2001. We have new techniques that are simpler or work better, and we have new videos that we created for later video workshops.
We’ve added a lot more color to make it easier to understand the instructions and to show more examples of how spectacular the dolls can look. Wherever possible, we substituted color pictures or color drawings to make techniques clearer. We’ve also added lots of new drawings to illustrate the instructions better, and made many of the drawings and pictures bigger so that you can see them easily on your smartphone, tablet, computer, or paper copy.
Instructions Available Anywhere
The biggest thing that we have done is to move to modern technology without abandoning the older ways of doing things.
- Mimi’s Victoria Rose 3rd Edition comes in four versions (all included) to run on your Kindle (AZW), your smartphone, tablet, or ebook reader (EPUB), on your laptop or desktop computer (PDF for large screen), and also formatted so that you can make a printed copy (PDF for print). You can read the instructions right at your sewing machine. The large pictures and large text will be easy to see even on your smartphone.
- Mimi’s Victoria Rose 3rd Edition comes on a DVD, on a storage key, or by digital download. It includes 13 dollmaking techniques videos that can be played on your smartphone, your tablet, your computer (MP4 format), or on your TV (DVD format). You can watch the videos right at your sewing machine if you want.
- Mimi’s Victoria Rose 3rd Edition includes a separate Mimi’s Basic Shopping List for Cloth Dollmakers that you can take to the store with you to help you get the right tools and supplies for dollmaking the first time with minimum cost and without costly experimentation to find the right stuff. It tells you specific brands and model numbers with pictures so that you can be sure what you are getting. It is 30 pages printed, but it also comes in all four formats, so you can take it on your smartphone or tablet right to the store.
- Mimi’s Victoria Rose 3rd Edition includes a separate Victoria Rose Shopping List that you can take to the store to get the supplies for Victoria Rose. It is 3 pages printed, but it also comes in all four formats, so you can take it on your smartphone or tablet right to the store.
Of course, Mimi’s Victoria Rose 3rd Edition comes in an unbreakable LDPE DVD case, a USB storage key, or a digital download.
It’s on sale now, for 20% off, until New Years 2018. It’s a perfect holiday gift for yourself, or for any dollmaker you know. Suitable for beginning to advanced cloth dollmakers.
Come visit us at Mimidolls.Com and order your copy now!