Reminders – More Mermaids – Doll Club Discounts

Mimi is on the Left Coast this week attending the ODACA (Original Doll Artists Council of America) and preparing to teach the High Priestess at the IOLCC (Imitation of Life Construction Company) doll club in Oceanside, CA. She asked me to post these reminders:

1. There will be a get-together to meet Mimi in Oceanside, CA on Thursday August 4, 2011. For more information call Lois Boncer, 760-438-3431 or email Lois@AardvarkToZebra.Com.

2. The sale on the Mermaids DVD set ends at the end of July. Order now to save $11.99 or 20%.

Here are pictures of the latest Mermaids and Elves:

Orange Overhead Tail - $275

Gold Wall Doll - $275

Burgandy Satin Sidetail - $350

Cyan Overhead Tail - $275

Brown Overhead Tail - $275

Black Wall Doll - $275

Pink Overhead Tail - $275

Prince Elvin - $425

Prince Elvin

Prince Elvin

Doll Club Discounts

We offer a tremendous discount for doll clubs. Here’s the deal:

1. A single person must place the order, pay for the order, and receive the shipment.

2. Discount is about 50%. Pretty Faces is $20, Mermaids is $30. Plus you pay the postage on the box (usually under $20).

3. You must order a minimum of ten (10) copies, but you can mix Pretty Faces and Mermaids to make up the ten.

Email Firebird-JMW@Comcast.Net for more information or to order. (Or you can email, but it will take longer since she is out of town.)

Happy Dolling,

Jim Winer

You can take a Private, 6-Day Dollmaking Workshop with Mimi!

Mimi’s Modular Mermaid is here! Suitable for ALL Skill Levels!

6 DVDs — 20 Lessons — 163 Chapters
— 12 Hours 58 Minutes of Classroom Video!

No Travel Required!

Your own copy is less than 1/6 the cost of a 3-day seminar! Much less when you include travel and hotel expenses!

Learn at your own pace. Ask questions and share your work with me through “The Screaming Mimis Workshop” on Yahoo
Groups, established by Sandra Bejster especially for folks making my dolls.

Below are the new introduction video and the new Wefting Fibers Demonstration taken from Lesson 19.

Complete 6-Day Dollmaking Workshop on DVD Suitable for all skill levels

Mermaid Case Outside

Mermaid Case Outside

Mermaid Case Inside

Mermaid Case Inside

  • 6-disc DVD set with 12 hours 58 minutes of over-the-shoulder classroom video.
  • 20 Lessons with 163 easy-to-navigate chapters covering every aspect of mermaid construction.
  • Electronic pattern sheet on the first DVD. Printed pattern sheet on lightweight paper optional.
  • 1″ thick 6-disc DVD plastic case for storage.

Filled with the complete contents of Mimi’s 6-day dollmaking workshop.

Suitable for all levels. If you can do basic machine sewing to make the seams on the torso and tail, you will learn everything else you need from watching the step-by-step video.

What You Will Learn:

  • Precision machine sewing.
  • Stuffing smoothly and firmly using the right tools.
  • How to make your seams beautiful so that they are part of the design.
  • How to make your own finger-turning tools and easily turn tiny fingers.
  • How to make hands that can grasp objects.
  • How to make webbed hands without having to turn fingers.
  • How to make and needle model a lovely female torso.
  • How to make 3 types of poseable hands and arms.
  • How to make 4 different poseable tails.
  • How to make 3 different types of flukes.
  • How to create many different poses using modular arms, tails, and flukes.
  • How to needle model a female face.
  • How to use dyes and watercolor effects to paint mermaids.
  • How to bead a stuffed figure.
  • How to weft mohair and other fibers for wigging a doll.


  • Disc 1
    • 01 Introduction (45 min)
    • 02 Sewing Torso Skin (41 min)
    • 03 Stuffing Torso (26 min)
  • Disc 2
    • 04 Needle-Model Torso (56 min)
    • 05 Webbed Arms (46 min)
    • 06 Poseable Hands (29 min)
  • Disc 3
    • 07 Poseable Arms (42 min)
    • 08 Sewing Head Skin (32 min)
    • 09 Needle-Model Nose (37 min)
    • 10 Needle-Model Eyes (30 Min)
  • Disc 4
    • 11 Needle Model Mouth & Close (54 min)
    • 12 Ears (20 min)
    • 13 Tails (41 min)
    • 14 Flukes (36 min)
  • Disc 5
    • 15 Wall Doll Variation (53 min)
    • 16 Overhead Flukes Variation (55 min)
    • 17 Other Variations (4 min)
  • Disc 6
    • 18 Coloring (34 min)
    • 19 Hair (46 min)
    • 20 Embellishing (51 min)

To order your copy at 20% discount ($47.96) until 7/31/2011, please visit Mimidolls.Com.


Summer Show Displays

The easiest way to pack up your display for a sales table is to use folding boxes.


8" by 8" by 4" Box Set Up

This is an 8″ by 8″ by 4″ white gloss gift box that you can order online from anyplace that specializes in packaging materials.


8" by 8" by 4" Box Folded Flat

It comes folded flat in a package of 100 for about $50 or less. You set them up in an interesting arrangement and cover them with a piece of fabric. Then you pose your dolls artistically.

Here are some mermaids from my new Dollmaking Workshop on DVD, Mimi’s Modular Mermaid. The full 5-day workshop is condensed into a few hours on several DVDs. It will be available soon.

Blue Mermaid

Blue Mermaid

Red Mermaid

Red Mermaid

Green Mermaid

Green Mermaid


Stretch’s Clothing Patterns – Auction Format – Christmas Sale Ending Soon – More Mermaids

The second part of the An Elf Named Stretch was published in the March 2011 issue of Soft Dolls & Animals magazine.

An Elf Named Stretch

This article includes his clothing with shirt, vest, pants, hat, and boots. Since the patterns in the magazine are printed on both sides of the paper, we have put the original clothing patterns up on the web site  so you can download them for printing on one side of the paper. You can print them on regular paper or on card stock (if your printer will take card stock) to get instant templates without having to trace patterns or paste paper printouts onto file folders. Both the Stretch body patterns and clothing patterns are in the same file that you can download by clicking Mimi’s Complete Stretch the Elf Pattern Sheet.

We expected the article on how to needle model his chest would appear before the clothing. It may appear in a future issue. If it doesn’t, we’ll publish it on the web site.

Our Christmas sale is ending on February 15, 2011.

We will be discontinuing the Mimi’s Child Interactive Video pattern. If you are a pattern collector, and you want this one, now is the time.

We need your help!

We have hundreds of out-of-print cloth doll and animal patterns by other designers and dozens of out-of-print books. I’m so busy designing my own work at this point that I will never get to any of them. We would like to auction them off to other dollmakers and pattern or book collectors.

The problem is EBAY is not a good place for this kind of thing. We are looking for a better auction site or we could do a silent auction on out own web site. We don’t know what to do. If you have any suggestions, please let us know. Here are a few examples of what we have:



Fantasy Fashions 1981: Pattern for ADULT human for Renaissance Maiden. Includes instructions for adult, girl’s large, and girl’s medium and small variations. Includes guide for M’Lady’s Bonnet, Wizard’s Hat, Jester’s Hood, Renaissance Cap, Cindy’s Bonnet, Flat Cap, Renaissance Cap, Mob Cap, Bag Hats. Also includes 2 hand written pages by the designer on how to alter some parts of pattern to create another style.

Victorianna Petite by Elizabeth Biship, 1990: 20-inch cloth doll with ball gown, high-heeled boots, lacy undies, Gibson girl hairdo. Flexible, posable limbs with another strapless ball gown that has bouffant skirt and petticoat. Miniature satin ribbon rose trim. Color cover picture. Muslin body is embellished to look as if she is wearing Victorian underwear. She looks great just in her unmentionables seated on shelf in bathroom or bedroom. Other clothing patterns available.



Marionettes Onstage by Leonard Suib & Muriel Broadman 1975: Divided into three major parts. 1) The New Marionette – words, drawings and photos show how to make and manipulate a new type of figure that has cardboard as its base — lightweight and perfectly balanced. You don’t need a workshop or complicated equipment. 2) Becoming a Puppeteer – presents a full discussion of playscripts,  performing, stages, scenery, props, music, sound effects, marionette magic, multi-media, putting on the show, and safety. 3) Puppet Theater Management – useful suggestions on how to save time and money, business procedures, professional ethics and affiliations, etc.

Mold Making with Martha Armstrong-Hand 1992: The famous NIADA artist tells you in 32 pages how to make plaster molds for porcelain dolls.

We need your help!
If you can think of any way we can get these patterns and books from us to you, let us know. We don’t really have time to run a silent auction on the web or to mess with EBAY where everybody complains a lot. If you know of a better way, or want to volunteer to help us, let us know as soon as possible. Thanks.

More Mermaids

Wall Doll - Small Tail

Straight Arms with Fins

Wall Doll - "J" tail not included in pattern but easy to figure out

Incidentally, if you sign up for an email subscription using the button on the bottom right of the screen, we’ll tell you by email every time something new is posted.


Mimi’s Christmas Sale Continues – Mimi’s Mermaid – Elf Named Stretch

We got the sale up late, and Jim’s not able to do as much so It’s going to have to stay up until he has time and energy to redo the website again because the blog needs to get done first.

The second part of the An Elf Named Stretch was published in the March 2011 issue of Soft Dolls & Animals magazine. I submitted both how to needle model his chest and how to make his clothes. They chose only to run the clothes, so I’m waiting to hear back from them if they are going to do the needle modelling section, or if I can post it on the web site. We’ll put the clothing patterns up on the web site as soon as we can so you can download them for printing on one side of the paper.

We are currently working on two DVDs. The first is Mimi’s Modular Mermaid that I started when Cassi was 7 has developed quite a bit now that she is thirteen.  The mermaid is posable (but each pose is separate, not movable) with both articulated arms with wired hands that can hold things, and display arms and hands that have extra fin surface for decoration. She can sit, lie on her stomach with her arms up or down and her tail over her head. There are four different tails and two sets of flukes so you can get lots of variations. Here’s some pictures:

There are also wall mounted variations with gigantic tail flukes and arm and pectoral fins.

Arms Overhead

Red Mermaid

Sitting Blue Mermaid

David's Blue Mermaid

Orange Mermaid

The second DVD will be Mimi’s Handbook of Dollmaking Techniques . It will include videos or animations of everything on the website, and dozens of new techniques collected from everywhere.

Incidentally, if you sign up for an email subscription using the button on the bottom right of the screen, we’ll tell you by email every time something new is posted.


Mimi’s Christmas Sale has Started!

We’re a day late as usual in getting out Christmas Sale started. Right now you can order any of my ten electronic patterns by return email for 25% off. Instead of downloading like we have been doing, it seems much easier to just send you the instruction book file and the patterns file as email attachments. (Be sure your email address is correct in PayPal.) That way no passwords or tedious downloading, and maybe it will be a little bit quicker. To see more about the patterns available, click on the pictures. A NEW TAB will open and you will have to switch to the new tab to see the description. Close the new tab using the red “X” to come back to this page.

Mimi's Annie Agnes

Mimi's Blossom

Mimi's Father Christmas

Mimi's Happy Birthday Honey

Mimi's Jazz

The Queen's Jester

Mimi's Child (Non Interactive - 25% off)

Mimi's Child Interactive Computer Pattern - 50% off

Mimi's Mr & Mrs

Mimi's Victoria Rose

Mimi's Bertie

Mimi's Bertie

We’re also offering the Mimi’s Child Interactive Computer pattern at 50% off because we have discovered that most dollmakers do not have their computers in the same room with their sewing machines which makes using it difficult. So if you’re a pattern collector, this may be your last chance to get this one.

We will be posting some new items each week (we hope) so check back. We might even get the Mermaid done.

Happy Dolling,


Welcome to the Diary of a Mad Dollmaker

Welcome to my weblog.

I plan to write this in the same way as I used to write my Diary of a Mad Dollmaker in Let’s talk About Dollmaking Magazine. For those who are rather new to dollmaking, this was a newsletter that Jim and I published for over ten years on our own copy machine. It has been almost that long since we ceased publication. Having to make and mail copies to hundreds of dollmakers each month just got to be too much. Now we can publish once on this blog and readers can visit this diary or can subscribe by email or RSS feed (see the sidebars on the right for free subscription information). The weblog takes care of all the hard work of distribution and only leaves us with the hard work of writing and photography.

Each day I will try to give you a short article on what I am doing with my dolls and how I’m solving today’s problems in dollmaking. Weekly, I will give you longer articles on major projects or Jim will post articles on dollmaking techniques. Jim is putting together a new book on Hair for the Doll that Bit You and we are working on a new DVD video showing how to Needle Model a Pretty Face. We are also working on several new patterns: Mimi’s Mermaid is in final review, Mimi’s Spartacus is a male ballet dancer, Mimi’s Elf will be the subject of some of the articles you will see here as I make the prototype dolls and teach the first classes, and Mimi’s Stud Muffin is my new working man. I’m looking for miniature tools for his tool belt. I have a miniature lineman’s pliers and a miniature crescent wrench, but I can’t find a source for them, or for a miniature stethoscope and other costume accessories.

The best way to get a feel for what Jim and I are planning is to read the first few posts. I’ll be putting up a diary article of my trip to Toy Fair and Broadway Bears and another article on the new Mimi’s Elf.

At the bottom of each post is a little blue link that says either “xx comments” or “no comments yet.” Click on the link or on the post title to view the comments or leave a new comment. There is also a button that says “Share.” If you click the “Share” button, you can tell others at Digg,, Facebook, Twitter, or any social bookmarking site about the Diary of a Mad Dollmaker. You must have an account at the social bookmarking site where you wish to share the Diary. We’d appreciated it if you tell others about the Diary, either by telling them, emailing them, or sharing the link on social bookmarking sites. Thanks.

For long articles, only the first article will appear followed by a link that says “Read More».” Click on “Read More»” to get to the full article. This keeps our front page (which shows the most recent seven posts) short for easy reading.

I am brand new at doing this on a computer, and I am also dyslexic. Jim may not catch all of my errors, many of which spell-check can’t either. Please be kind when pointing out my many errors.

Thank you again,

Happy Dolling,