So Who Says Redheads  Can't Wear Pink!

or LJ's philosophy on how to make a doll

20" Cloth Doll

Adapted from "French Toast" and "Keepers of Names Gone By" patterns by Barbara Willis

Made with cotton fabrics, wool felt and yarn and a linen dinner napkin.

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This little lady was made from the pattern "French Toast" by Barbara Willis. I merely changed how her face was done by using Barbara's techniques in "Keepers of Names Gone By". She was fun to do. Barbara's patterns require alot of different fabrics. For the novice, who likes the pattern but just can't get beyond what to do with all the choices I think the following information about how to create that special doll may help you "Put it all together".

Rules for creating:

1. Colors come in three - To tie a doll all together and make the eye travel the full length of the doll, place the same color in three different areas of the doll (e.g. head, waist, foot).

2. If you want a color or design to dominate use it at least three times in the piece.

3. Lay out the fabric in the presentation order that it will be when the doll is finished. - On a flat surface place the bodice or body piece. Place the material which will be used on the face above the body piece where the head of your doll would be. Add the material you want to use for the arms in the arm area. The material for the legs in the leg area. Add the trims to the appropriate areas. Add the shoe material, hair and so on. This should provide you with a good idea of how the doll will present itself once you have it together. With this technique you can experiment before you cut out. Add or take out a piece that is not working. Bring harmony to the doll without the expense of putting it all together and finding out that the doll has an unsettling quality about it.

4. Use a touch of black if you want the doll to stay anchored. Don't use anything dark if you want the doll to float.

5. Design just doesn't stop with the designer of the doll. It continues on, by the selection of color, pattern and texture, which you the doll maker bring into the equation. The doll maker has the choice of making the doll just like the designer or branching out and choosing to do something else. For the most part the doll maker must change some things, she will not have available all the same choices the designer had when the original piece was made. This should not be considered a detriment. The doll maker should ask herself what drew her to the pattern or doll in the first place. What are the details that create the desire in you to make the doll? For me, the designer Barbara Willis has great appeal. Her use of various cottons to create her dolls is what attracts me first. She also likes to use geometrics in her designs and that feature is also attractive to me. The third thing I like about her patterns are the details of the garments the doll has on. So these three features are important to me and I should keep them in mind when laying out my design of the doll.

I hope these little rules will help you make that perfect doll.

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