Pattern Sale -
20% Off - Click HERE!
Natural Soap!Soap and Lotion
Search For Pattern!
Search For Designer/Supplies!
Click HERE for What's New!

Download Patterns (PDFs) Available On Etsy ... Click HERE!

Dollmaker's Journey

September 2010 Issue 105

Back to... Archives

Dream ~ Imagine ~ Create ~ Grow ~ Believe ~ Magic
At we help your creative dreams come true.

September 2010 Issue 105

Copyright 2010 by Dollmaker’s Journey

Dollmaker’s Journey Customer Connection newsletter is a free e-mail newsletter. Tell your friends, family and fellow dollmakers about us, and feel free to forward this newsletter to those who might be interested. You can visit our companion website at:


You can read all the past issues online. Go to:
The archives include an easy to follow index to all the past issues.

Dear Dollmaking Friends,

While we were in New York for Day With Dolls we received a sample DVD from Gloria "Mimi" J. Winer. It is called "Needle Model a Pretty Face", and it is fantastic! You receive 2 DVDs with over 5 hours of close-up step-by-step instructions to create a perfect cloth face with a cotton Lycra skin over the under sculpted "skull". A pattern for the head is included with the DVD ( ). The finished head will fit most 20"-23" doll bodies, including Arley Berryhill's La Femme ( and dolls by Mary Tressler ( Bonnie watched part of it with her husband who has never sewn anything in his life, and he thought even he could make a doll head after watching Gloria's detailed instructions. Especially delightful are the parenthetical comments sprinkled throughout, such as "To keep your thimble from falling off your finger, tape it on using a Band-Aid." She also tells you how to keep thread from tangling when needle sculpting by using Thread Heaven instead of Beeswax (beeswax pulls stuffing through the fabric.) She shows you the difference between the right and wrong side of the cotton Lycra, and tells you which side to use (I was surprised.) Since the DVD came out two weeks ago, we are selling them faster than Gloria and Jim can produce them. This is a must for any dollmaker from beginner to advanced. Bonnie has made dolls for 40 years, and she still learned new techniques and tricks. We know you will love it!

Bonnie and Mary Ann


Put Vaseline on the jar rims before closing. This works for any paint or glue. It makes it sooo much easier to open...Wish I could use it on pickles and relish and jam! (For those jars, try some vegetable oil instead.) Another great tip from Judi Ward


How can it be September already! For our SEPTEMBER SALE our general FEMALE category has an amazing selection of patterns by your favorite designers that don’t fit into the other categories we have. You’ll have well over 100 to choose from at the usual 20% discount all month long. (You might even find the perfect body for the head you sculpt using Gloria Winer's new DVD.)

Remember, visit our website at at the beginning of each month to see what our new sale will be. That way you won't have to wait for a newsletter.

By Arley Berryhill

I have won the Hoffman challenge twice (first place & second place). I would like to share with you some of my observations about the challenge.

About Hoffman's fabric choice -- Remember, Hoffman makes quilting fabrics, and this is first and foremost a "quilting challenge". Look at the different categories for the quilts (3 categories for quilts, one for dolls, accessories, & clothing.) They are not picking fabrics with dolls in mind -- which makes the challenge even more challenging for doll artists.

If you decide to enter the challenge, do your research! Go through the past challenges ( Look closely at what the judges like. There are new judges every year. They try to get one doll artist on the panel -- but your doll is also being judged by quilt & art-to-wear artists as well. Take a look at the past judges for each challenge.

The challenge fabric does not need to be dominating in the design of the doll. But, it does need to be visible. Also, they do like to see some of the coordinate fabrics used as well.

Don't just look at the winning dolls in past challenges -- take a look at the quilts and wearable art as well. Notice the majority of the quilts do not feature the challenge fabric very much. (Sometimes, you really have to search to find the fabric in the quilts). I think the doll artist use more of the challenge fabrics than the quilters.

Read all the RULES very carefully. Here's the main one: "Judging emphasizes originality, creative use of the challenge fabric as it relates to other fabrics, visual impact, and workmanship."

And, lastly, if you want to make a winning doll, your craftsmanship has to be impeccable. Have you ever seen a quilt being judged?? They are ruthless! They will cancel out a beautifully designed quilt because the hand stitching was sloppy or showing, or because the binding or backing wasn't perfect. So, take a good look at your work, and make sure every stitch is as best as possible. How are the hems? What about undergarments? (Yes, they will check!). Of course, the design of the doll has to be wonderful as well!

See Arley's creations at
His patterns are available at


Q: This question comes from Joshua DiPietro, Victoria DiPietro's (one of our designers) son.
Why are many coin banks shaped like pigs?

A: Long ago, dishes and cookware in Europe were made of a dense orange clay called 'pygg'. When people saved coins in jars made of this clay, the jars became known as 'pygg banks.' When an English potter misunderstood the word, he made a bank that resembled a pig. And it caught on.

An alternative theory, and the one usually given for the origin in German sources, is that in Germany and surrounding countries the pig is a symbol of good luck or good fortune, hence keeping money in a piggy bank will bring good fortune.

Congratulations to Carol Rier from Washington state. Your name was selected at random from all of the correct quiz entries, and you will receive a $10 gift certificate from Dollmaker’s Journey. Watch for your name in a coming month!


Q: Why do men's clothes have buttons on the right while women's clothes have buttons on the left?
(You NEED to know the answer to this to correctly clothe the dolls you make.)

Everyone who emails in the correct answers by September 30th (NOTE NEW DEADLINE) will be entered into a drawing for a $10 gift certificate to Dollmaker’s Journey. The winner will be announced in the next newsletter. Email your answers to Bonnie at Put September Quiz in subject box. Please include your full name and where you live (state/country) in your email. NOTE: Several times in the past a winner was drawn with no name or state/country included. When that happens we have to draw again. So please, make sure you include this information with your answer.

By Judi Ward

(Editor's Note: I attended a class with Judi Ward last Saturday, and she had us stuff heads using Model Magic Clay preparatory to creating a marionette. This was a new technique for all of us, and I asked Judi to share some hints on her technique. We are including a link to see a head in progress and the finished head.)

To Clay stuff a doll head, you need MODEL MAGIC clay in white. (Model Magic is made by Crayola and is usually found in the kid's crafts aisle. A 4 oz. package will stuff a head.)
A profile face, doll head made in VELOUR with the fuzzy side in.

ONLY the above items have been tested with success! No paperclay - too wet.
No Sculpey, too heavy for most doll heads.

Sew and turn the chosen head leaving as large an opening in the back as possible. You may need to extend the opening up towards the top of the head, and hand stitch it closed after stuffing.

Now take a piece of MODEL MAGIC clay about as big as the chin area, point one end and then guide it into the chin area. PRESS IT forward. Repeat for the lips, nose and forehead. Simply press the clay FORWARD, do not try to shape or form the head at this time.

NOW, simply keep adding clay from the back until the head is full. Each added piece will meld with the clay in front of it as you press it. No cellulite will form. You might need to use a small blunt item to push clay into the tip of the nose. Bonnie used a little plastic stick that was flat on one end. I didn't need to but knew to press forward REALLY HARD, as I had done this many times.

Keep filling with small pieces of clay. Look at the shape and mold it a bit.

If the dolls head needs a "hole" up in the head for the neck that is part of the body to go into, push it in with your finger or something.

Wash your hands thoroughly with soap BEFORE doing this next step.

Now, look at the front and locate the eye area. Press in with your fingernails on each side of the nose to indent the eye shapes. You can lightly draw them on first if desired too.

Put 2 ball head pins in where the nose holes (nostrils) are and use your fingernails to inscribe the nose flares. You can also indent between lips and under bottom lip.

NONE of this first pressing in will stay in at first but after you do it a few times, it will stay...You can play with it for days afterwards!

You will need to keep doing the indenting for a few days no matter what. You will need to take the pins out after a couple of days.

If you indent the eye shapes, nose flares, between the lips, etc. you can have a gorgeous doll face with no needle sculpting at all.

This technique is a "play with it" technique with a ton of possibilities!

I have stuffed whole dolls with clay, except the fingers, and the shaping possibilities are endless. MODEL MAGIC will dry slower in humidity, faster in drier air and will never dry like a rock. I had a head here that was 7 years old and I was still able to pass a needle all the way up through it to attach it to a "tab" style neck.


*Don't leave dolls stuffed with clay out in the sun or in a hot car.
*Don't make the heads from woven cotton, it lets go of the clay as it dries.
*Don't stuff like you do with stuffing, You know, pressing the face against a table, pushing stuffing
around with the tip of a needle, etc. The Clay will only press away from the opening and will meld into one cellulite free filled head.

After a week or so, you can paint the features as desired, and treat the head like any stuffed doll head.

If you want to use pens and colored pencils on the face, spray it lightly, twice with Matte Acrylic spray and let it dry first. Test every pen on the back of the head before applying it to a face. Some pens bleed no matter what you do, so test!

The heads pictured are for my Mary Annette doll, who has a thin, narrow face.


After sewing machines had a zigzag stitch, their throat plates had a larger hole to accommodate the new stitch. Some machines have two throat plates, one with a single hole and one with a slot. When sewing something really small or delicate, the fabric can get caught in the hole or teeth and creates a mess. Here are some tips to avoid that problem.

From Lindaellen: I now routinely place a piece of paper under about a half inch of the edge of my material when I put it under the presser foot. I start my stitches on the paper and then go onto the fabric. I use any kind of paper that is handy for this, even a nearby bill envelope! When I am having trouble with something really small or on delicate fabric, I put a piece of wax paper under the whole thing and sew. You have to fiddle with the paper when you take it off the back after sewing but I find it helps.

Another reader wrote: I use freezer tape to cover the hole and then put the needle through it a couple of times before I sew. I also double it so it will not pull through. It works. I also make it not so big that it covers the teeth, because if you do that it won't work. (Editor's note: I would probably double the tape with the sticky sides together over the hole so the bobbin thread wouldn't get stuck to the tape.)


The winners of the Hoffman Challenge for 2010 are as follows:
1st Place: The Dragon Slayer by Stephanie Novatski (one of our great designers!)
2nd Place: Miss Izabelle Darling by Marie Carter
3rd Place: Miss Chao Mian by Susan Ranoa
Honorable Mention: Bingo Little by Sheri Sheppard
Curator's Choice: Behold: B'Elanna, Princess of Mongo and bride of Flash Gordon by Doris Moore
Best First Time Doll: Sultan of Akteo by Linda Brackett
Most Humerous: Anne Bolyn's Nightmare by Wendy Whittemore
Best Incorporation of Theme: Dance of the Blue Lagoon by Patricia Wormuth
See these winners at:
See the new Hoffman Challenge fabric for 2011 here:
Get rules and entry form here:
Be aware that this is a very large print. You will have to be very creative to use this in a 12" to 20" (maximum height including stand) doll. (Read some tips on using a challenging fabric from Arley Berryhill elsewhere in this newsletter.)

Dimensions in Dollmaking is over. Here are some pictures of the winners and other doll entries in a slide show:


September 9-19 – Go Figure – A show by “Cloth-A-Dollics” of Victoria, BC.
Coast Collective Gallery
At Havenwood at Esquimalt Lagoon
3221 Heatherbell Road, Colwood
Opening Reception – Saturday September 11th, 2-4 pm
Gallery Hours: Thursday – Sunday – Noon to 5 pm

October 7-12, 2010 - Art Is…You - East Coast Art Retreat
New York

October 22-30, 2010 – Sewing by the Sea (NeedleArts Adventures)
Ocean City, Maryland
We Folk friends and MADMS (Miles Apart Doll Makers) reunion planned
For more information:

April 28–May 1, 2011 – Artistic Figures in Cloth (AFIC)
Columbus, Ohio
Artistic Figures in Cloth (AFIC) is a Doll Makers and Fiber Artist Extravaganza, held in Columbus, Ohio every other year. AFIC is offering your choice of 13 teachers and 24 workshops. There are classes in fabric sculpting, painting, designing, fabric art, paper clay, felting, collage to name a few and in addition to these workshops we have vendors, exhibits and extra events, all activities are geared to simulate the creative artist in you! What better gift to yourself than the gift of inspiration. Come to AFIC and join the fun. Visitors welcome on April 30 & May 1, 2011 to view exhibits and vendors. Visit our web site starting September 1, 2010

June 9-12, 2011 – Figurative Artists Consortium
Algonquin College, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

To save yourself time and energy, get all the details on upcoming doll related events at


Learn how to make an adult size doll to fit human size clothes.

If anyone is interested in miniature crochet and knitting, here are some new patterns for doll clothes.


THE WAIT IS OVER!!! For years cloth dollmakers have been searching for in-depth video needle sculpting instruction and now, thanks to the talents of renowned teacher Gloria “Mimi” Winer and her husband Jim, we have just what you’ve been looking for. The Needle Model a Pretty Face DVD is essentially a private 2-day class just for you with nearly 5 hours of personal instruction and more dollmaking tips than you can use in a life time. Best of all, this DVD can be played on your TV or computer (if you have DVD playing software.) Take a look at the sample video and be sure to grab your copy now!

From the fertile imagination of SUSAN BARMORE we have a lovely assortment of new patterns – “Vylette” a sweet fairy, “Black Cat” – a perfect Halloween piece and another beautiful wall doll that uses natural materials – “Lilly.”

We have three terrific new patterns from Canadian designer JACQUIE LECUYER – “Palin,” “Peg the Doll with Square Peg Art Quilt” and the very, very interesting “Ufeltr-Umarryr!” Check them out here –

Halloween is fast approaching and SHELLEY HAWKEY has created a really unique witch built over a glass vase with a scene inside called “Drazel.” You’ve got to check it out. –

The Embellishment Queen – CAROLINE ERBSLAND – has just released her beautiful new creation – “Cinderella” – with a treasure trove of awesome techniques that will really get your imagination going. –

We are delighted to welcome another super talented male designer to our site – MARK MIDDENDORF. His first pattern is an incredible forest creature called “The Wild Boggalin of Azalea Hollow.” You are going to love MARK’s fantastic pattern presentation – so clear and easy to follow. –

Australia’s SUZETTE RUGOLO newest release “The Pied Piper” has just arrived with all the fabulous costuming and accessory details SUZETTE is known for. –

We’re adding four more winning patterns from the fertile imagination of MICHELLE ALLEN of Raggedy Pants – “Oops I’ve Fallen,” “Annie and Bear,” “Puppy Love,” and the coolest “Harvest Mummy!” –


Congratulations to Laura Lunsford who just won the Judges Choice Award at the Enchanted Doll Artist Conference in New Mexico. You can see her doll on her blog at


Over in the FABRIC DEPARTMENT we are pleased to offer two different KNIT SAMPLER PACKS – each with 5 different 18”x 30” fat quarters in a selection of Light and Medium to Dark colors. Now you can easily see the difference in colors and fabrics and discover which fabrics best suit your style of dollmaking. Each piece of fabric is enough to make a small doll or perhaps the head and arms of a larger doll. Experiment to your heart’s content! -

You’ll now find a wider selection of animal eyes in the SUPPLY DEPARTMENT. We’ve added an assortment of 6mm, 9mm and 12mm eyes with washers. Don’t forget that you can make the clear eyes any color you want by painting the back side of them. –

The long awaited Craft Velour Chamois and Honey Bear along with the Deersuede Doll Face Pink are all BACK IN STOCK!!!


Bonnie had so much fun learning to stuff a head with Model Magic that she signed up for the Marionette class with Judi Ward in October. She is busy cutting wood and PVC pipes to create a controller and stand for her class. She also invited her family over to watch the Martinsburg Air Show last week. The airport is across the street from her house, and the F-16s and F-18s fly right over. The Thunderbirds came and flew in formations of up to 6 planes. The grandchildren loved it when they flew so close to her house they could read the letters on their wings. A very noisy great time was had by all. She only later found out that the police and national guard prevented traffic from entering her neighborhood because the road in front of her house was in the "kill zone". If an accident happened, it would probably be there. She had to have a special pass to enter or leave her neighborhood.

Mary Ann and Jim were delighted to have two wonderful visits from her baby sister Sharon De Toro, husband Jerry, college junior daughter Brynn and High School sophomore Dan. (Brynn and Dan share the same birthday – 5 years apart!) Virginia was a good place to stop on their way to and from a summer holiday in Orlando. Jim’s youngest daughter Molly and her husband Chris joined them for a great dinner and Brynn’s yummy strawberry daiquiris. The next day they spent an engaging afternoon at the fascinating Newseum in DC and later Dan and Jerry enjoyed a Nationals baseball game. On their way home Mary Ann’s daughter Ana and super son-in-law Nik came over for a yummy Sunday brunch. The highlight was the first time SKYPING with Mak’s son Michael and grandson Kainoa which was great fun for everyone. It is hard to believe that Ana and Nik are celebrating their 5th Wedding Anniversary on Sept 10th and Kainoa has just turned 7 months old on the 9th. Jim is proud to announce that he is expecting not one, but two grandsons – one in December and the other in January! He was happy so see his cherubs when they were in town for the Bridal Shower for his daughter-in-law to be Becky. Never a dull moment!

WEBSITES: is a great place to get rid of books you no longer want and get new books you do. Check out the video explaining how this works. Get rid of cook books, craft books, fiction, text books, etc. and replace them with things you want. You just have to pay postage for books you receive, which you can print out online.

When the milk in your fridge reaches its sell-by date, you show no mercy: It gets poured out. You're not alone. A recent survey shows that 61 percent of Americans would follow suit, believing the milk to be spoiled. Add it all up and that's a lot of money down the drain — money that could be saved with a visit to, where you'd find out that when properly stored, milk can last up to five days after the sell-by date without off flavors. It also tells you how long meat, eggs, produce, canned goods, etc. will stay safe on your shelf, refrigerator, or freezer, and when you should toss it.

We’d love to hear your thoughts about our Customer Connection newsletter.

Contact the editor Bonnie B. Lewis at with any comments, suggestions, etc.

Please feel free to pass this newsletter on to any of your friends. Help us spread the word about Dollmaker’s Journey! All we ask is that you forward it intact, with all the subscription information included.


Have you signed up for our *Customer Connection* yet?

It's FREE!!!

If not, simply enter your e-mail address below and click "Join Now!"


Back to... Archives
Have you signed up for our "Customer Connection" yet?

Subscribe to receive News and Updates
from Dollmaker's Journey!


Dollmaker's Journey

© 1999-2019, Dollmaker's Journey
All rights reserved.
Privacy and Security Statement

Etsy Shop
PDF Downloads!

A Doll Net Member Site 
by the Internet Visions Company.