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Dollmaker's Journey

March 2003 Issue Twenty

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March 2003 Issue Twenty


Copyright 2003 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.
Visit out companion website:

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


Dear dollmaker friends,

With the outbreak of war, it is sometimes nice to dwell on less troubled times.  We recently saw a new Disney movie, Tuck Everlasting, which makes you really think about life, death, and what would happen if you could live forever.  Gail Wilson was asked to design a doll for this movie. Here is an article on what she did:

We watched the movie three times before we noticed her doll, in the bedroom scene where Winnie Foster is going to bed for the first time in the Tuck's home.  There are two brief glimpses of it.  Gail has the pattern she created for sale on her website (, if anyone would like to try making an antique looking doll.  She made the doll several times, once new looking, and each successive doll was aged until it looked over 100 years old. This movie is now available on video and DVD, and is delightful for all ages.

Mary Ann and Bonnie



One of our designers, Kerry Seymour, has a cute Easter Bunny pin pattern (it's free) and Easter Challenge on her website.  Check out the details at:

You can see her other patterns at:



Donna Gari, Area Coordinator for the non-profit charity Warming Families, has received a request for doll clothes (all sizes) for the children staying at the shelters.  If anyone has patterns or doll clothes they could donate to this cause, you can send them to:

Donna Gari, Warming Families, 4500 Maxwell Drive, Fort Collins, CO  80525



We're delighted to bring you two extraordinary new books by three of your favorite designers. NOREEN CRONE-FINDLAY and elinor peace bailey have combined their creative talents to create cloth, paper and woven dolls to tell the story of Jack and the Beanstalk in their wonderful book "Storytelling With Dolls." Their imaginative projects are just perfect for storytellers, doll makers, troop leaders, librarians, teachers and parents.

In "Creative Cloth Doll Making" embellishment queen PATTI MEDARIS CULEA presents new approaches for using fibers, beads, dyes and other exciting techniques. You will see how other renowned doll makers have interpreted 3 simple patterns provided in the book. Crisp text, detailed illustrations and color photos will take you step-by-step through the creative process. This book is an absolute MUST HAVE for every dollmaker's reference library.



April 5, 2003 - East Coast Tea Party
West Deptford, New Jersey

April 25-27, 2003 - Calgary Doll Club's 25th Anniversary Celebration
Calgary, Canada
Contact Carol Baker at:
For more information check out:

May 1-4, 2003 - Artistic Figures In Cloth
Columbus, Ohio
To view the brochure/application visit:

May 1-4, 2003 - Canadian Doll Artists Association Conference
Niagara Falls, Ontario
For complete information go to:

May 9-12, 2003 - Baja Doll Fiesta
Ensenada, Mexico
For more information go to:

July 10-14, 2003 - Enchanted Freedom Conference
Albuquerque, New Mexico
Contact Gladi Alford at:
Or visit: for more information

July 18-21, 2003 - NIADA
Hotel Monteleone, New Orleans, Louisiana
NIADA Artist's Show & Sale open to public July 20th from noon to 8 pm
For more information:

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



Here is a very nice, simple doll to make.

Designer Dev Vallencourt has created a pictorial (approved by Judi Ward) showing you step by step how to turn little cloth doll fingers.  You can see it at:



Designer Claire-Ellen shares some ideas on sewing knit fabrics:  The name "Stretch & Sew" meant just that. Stretch the fabric slightly while sewing. Use a Stretch or jersey needle. So-called "stretch" stitches (zigzag, etc.) will actually stretch the fabric out of shape. Sergers use a special tension to avoid over stretching. If your throat plate has a wide opening, move the needle position close to the edge of the presser foot. Use tissue paper under if you still have problems. I save tissue from shoeboxes. Do not start on the edge of the fabric or it will be pushed into the throat plate. Start with a separate small piece of fabric placed before the main fabric and you can have stitches from the beginning edge.

Check out Claire-Ellen's patterns at:


Yarn Hair for a Child's Play Doll
By Gloria J. "Mimi" Winer

I was asked how to apply hair to a cloth doll that is intended for child play. Here's how I would do it:

Cut yarn of your choice into lengths you want the hair to be.  Or wind it on a hair loom (still available from Carolee Creations, see her ads in SD&A.) Weft it and then stitch the weft to the dolls head in concentric circles starting at the nape of the neck up to the ears then around the face and continue stitching the wefts in circles to the crown. The hair can be "combed" with a rake used for raking very curly hair, available in beauty supply shops and often at Wal-Mart in the hair care dept.

Here is how to weft the yarn. It will take a yard to cover a five-inch head so make enough to cover your doll's head. I lay the cut yarn ends evenly onto a length of narrow twill tape available at fabric shops in the notions dept. Then using a short stitch and a narrow zig-zag stitch over the yarn and tape two or three times. If you have trouble making the yarn lay flat until you stitch it to the tape, use some removable scotch tape, available at office supply departments.  It is called "Scotch removable magic tape" in the blue box.

If the hair is wefted securely and the weft is sewn securely to the doll head the child will be able to play with it without it pulling free and leaving a bald dolly to upset her.

If you can find Needloft yarn it is a good choice for making doll hair. It is nylon and comes in dozens of colors. It is a two-ply yarn and once it is sewn to the dolls head you can spend several hours unwinding the yarn, It then becomes a wonderful "afro" style hairdo. The last time I saw Needloft yarn it was in the macramé department of a large craft store. I know it is still being made but the company was sold about ten years ago and I do not remember who is now manufacturing this product.

Happy dolling!  Gloria J. "Mimi" Winer
Check out "Mimi's Patterns" at:



UTE VASINA has released her newest troll - "Fritz" - who impishly rests in a teacup. You're going to love this little guy!

LYNNE BUTCHER treats us to her free-standing "Santa on Vacation" complete with zinc oxide on his nose. This jolly fellow will make a whimsical addition to any holiday decor.

The very talented JEVNE EILTS has just released 2 more beautiful face molds and body patterns. "Lara - the Guardian of Baby Moonbeams" is an exquisite 17" wall doll and "Kaitlin" is a charming 13" stand-alone toddler. If you haven't tried the cloth over clay technique, Jevne will guide you right through it. Treat yourself to these wonderful molds/patterns

PATTI LAVALLEY'S latest release "Laughing on the Outside" was developed from a course she has taught. 24 pages of thorough instruction and color photos walk you right through the construction of this wildly colorful clown. Stop by and take a peek



PAMELA HASTINGS was so delighted with the reception of her "Paper Doll Inspiration Book" ( that she is busy soliciting contributions from other artists for two new books. One is Hot Flash! a lighter look at changing.  The other one is Doll Making as a Transformative Process.  Rosie Chapman is in school getting a master in Art Therapy, and she will collaborate with Pamela on this book.  Look for both of these books later this year.



Beading Containers/Tools - FDJ Tool Company has tools, storage containers and other items associated with beading, including Euro Tool crimpers and split ring tools. If you have a Sales Tax Certificate you may qualify for wholesale prices. Check them out at:

Buttons - You won't believe your eyes.  More buttons than you ever dreamed!

Doll Skin Fabric - Swiss Cotton Broadcloth is available from Waechter's Silk Shop in Asheville, NC. Their new phone number is 828-252-2131.

Sculpting Tools - Terrific tools for sculpting polymer clay are available from:

Video - New "Magic Skin" doll sculpting video by NIADA Doll Artist June Goodnow is now available.  Learn more at:

1020 Railroad Avenue, Orland, CA 95963
Telephone:  530 865-8889   e-mail:



Last month we shared some tips on gluing Fun Foam to make shoe soles.  Dev Vallencourt wrote to say she uses contact cement.  "For the soles of the flip flops, I glued layers together first and then cut out the pattern. (Use a brand new #11 x-acto blade to cut thru all the layers.) There are a couple of different types, but the blue colored cement (Elmer's?) just doesn't work

as well as the others."  You can see Dev's pattern, Right Jolly Old Elf, at



The snow has melted (mostly), the temperatures are rising, and spring is in the air.  Bonnie's daughter Dawn moved back to Virginia from Massachusetts two weeks ago, and is looking for a job. Another daughter Melodie, her husband and four children are temporarily moving into a town house on Saturday, waiting for their new home to be built (they sold their old one), and Bonnie goes to settlement (she hopes) on her new home the middle of April, which will mean another move.   A Laotian family with a 7 month-old baby moved in with them last week, while they look for a job and an apartment, and then she gets to help them move too. Her youngest daughter, Amy, just got accepted to BYU Idaho, and they are going to drive her out to college in June.  (Amy graduates from high school in May.)  And finally, her daughter Caralee in Boston is expecting a baby in July, and needs mom to come help with the other children.  Bonnie doubts things will ever get back to "normal", whatever that is.  Does anyone else out there have a hectic life like this? 

Meanwhile, Mary Ann is now completely in her new home and has closed on the old one.  The two months of living between two houses is finally over!  Her focus now is to get caught up on all the little things that have been on hold and to get her sewing room in working order.  She hasn't made a doll in way too long and there are several jumping around in her head.



Bead Fairies - A beading web link site with lots of links to free patterns, beads, books, instructions, tips, etc. If you love beading, bookmark this site!

Photographing Dolls - This is a web lesson on lighting for photography:
lessons/guitar/index.html has a four-part series on doll photography under "Doll collecting". is Part 4.

This is taking pictures of miniatures:


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

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

You can also read all the past issues online at:
Included is an index to all the past issues.

Thanks! (By the way, you might want to print this out and put it into a
binder to keep for reference.)


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