Monday, July 11, 2011

Monday Mix: Dolls and Doodles

Lately I've been in a sort of art slump, and since I haven't had anything to show here in a while, I thought I would share something a little different!

First, here are a few doodles of a silly nature. This is a pretty accurate representation of what kind of things I'm drawing when I'm not working on a serious painting (so... like half my time).

Left to right, top to bottom: Family / Finn and Jake / Apple with Braces / Happy cat / 
In Lovvve / David plays Terraria / New Shoes / Hooray America / snacks

Second, dollsss!

As a self-employed artist who is still just starting out, and with spring and summer approaching full of birthdays, I needed an idea for a thoughtful handmade gift that was something other than a painting. At the time I'd had little hints of ideas floating around in my head concerning sewing and doll making. So I picked up some felt in various colors and borrowed some needles and thread, and tried it!

My first project was for my sister, Heather: Fred and George Weasley dolls!

I sketched out a template on notebook paper, and my boyfriend's mom taught me how to back stitch and blanket stitch, but otherwise I just played it by ear and made adjustments as I went along. Being twins they could be made from the same template (conveniently), so once I had one Weasley done it was just a matter of repeating the process for the other. They took a long time, but I love them... I almost wanted to keep them <3

Next was my good friend Angie's birthday, and for her I decided to challenge myself with three dolls: The 11th Doctor, Amy, and Rory!

Though I am best at girls when drawing, I found that making a girl doll was much more difficult... the real Amy is quite slender and pretty, so it's funny to see a version of her as a squat, pudgy little doll... but I kept the same body shape because anything fat with short arms and legs kills me with cute (see: corgis, dachshunds, puffy pomeranians). I like the Doctor the best.

My last project was for my cousin and geek-bff Sharon: Monty Python finger puppets!

While trying to decide on what to make for Sharon, I kept thinking of groups with large amounts of members, either the Beatles or the Pythons. Since I couldn't see myself making five full-sized dolls in any reasonable amount of time, and since I'd been wanting to try finger puppets too after seeing these unbelievably adorable Harry Potter finger puppets by claraclips on Etsy, I tried my hand at it (no pun intended!) (ok, pun totally intended)

Again, I just kind of went at this without a pattern or anything, so some of them are different sizes, but if you wear them on the proper fingers this problem seems to magically work itself out. See if you can guess all the characters :)

So, I love dollmaking. They're obviously not perfect, but I think they're good for first tries, and I will definitely be making more. The process is a satisfying combination of challenging and relaxing. I'm giving embroidery a try next... we'll see!


  1. These are absolutely amazing!

  2. aww thank you! happy you like them!

  3. HANNAH I AM OVERCOME WITH LOVE FOR ALL OF THESE. Gred and Forge! My wee Amy and Eleven and Rory! THE FINGER PUPPETS! And your doodles are adooooorable. :D + <3

  4. yayy! I LOVE THEM too, they are a little hard to part with, but I love giving them as gifts... I want to make myself a Neville Longbottom, or perhaps a Lumpy Space Princess :3

  5. hullo! that's amazing! how'd you do it? I want to make some for my best friend! :D

  6. Hey, thanks so much!

    For the dolls I cut out the shapes of each body part/clothing/whatever, 2 of each (one set for the front and one for the back of the doll), and then sewed each set together (for example, sewing the head to the torso, then the legs to the torso, etc.) using a backstitch. Then I lined them up one on top of the other and sewed around the outside with a blanket stitch, leaving one unsewn space big enough for me to put in the stuffing, and then sewed that up afterwards. Then I cut out details like the eyes and accessories and glued them on with a glue gun.

    For the finger puppets I did basically the same thing, only finger-sized and without stuffing :)

    Hope this helps! I'd love to see what you make!

  7. Oh! And to make sure the dolls' body parts would line up correctly when I sewed the front and back together, I used pins to hold the different body parts in place and then used that side as a template for the other side, by placing it on top of the unpinned side and adjusting it accordingly. I hope I explained this right... It's not exactly precise, but it worked for me!

  8. aww thank you! I'm planning to make dolls for her so that it'll be special and I won't be spending too much!