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Dollmaker's Journey

July 2003 Issue Twenty-three

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July 2003 Issue Twenty-three


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. Please visit our 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 issues.


Dear dollmaker friends,

Join us for our Sizzling Summer Sale. Through July 31, 2003, any order of $25 or more of merchandise will receive a 20% discount off the total price. We will calculate the discount when we receive the order. Take advantage of this once a year special to stock up on all those projects and patterns you dream of making for the holidays. You might even want to purchase some books as gifts for your dollmaking friends. Fill your shopping cart at and enjoy this once-a-year savings event.

Mary Ann and Bonnie



The Hoffman Challenge:
You buy the assigned fabric: #4381 Black Cherry, and use it on a doll. The rules are posted on their web site. Deadline is August 8, 2003.

Second Annual Patriotic Challenge:
Pictures due September 2, 2003
A primitive, folk art, and vintage challenge

Sherry Goshon, one of our designers, has issued a new challenge entitled "Art Nouveau, 1890-1914 to Art Deco 1920 -1930's. Pictures need to be sent to Sherry by July 1, 2004. More details will appear in an upcoming newsletter.

Beaded Art Doll Competition: Create an original beaded doll representing the five seasons. You may view Official Rules on-line at
Or, you may obtain a copy of the Official Rules by sending a self-addressed, stamped envelope to All Dolled Up: Beaded Art Doll Competition, Land of Odds, 522 East Iris Drive,
Nashville, TN 37204. Deadline is August 15, 2004.



September 7-10, 2003 - C3 - The Classic Cloth Conference
Courtyard by Marriott and Grappone Conference Center, Concord, NH
For catalog contact OR call 603-226-4501
OR access C3 catalog at: (Adobe Acrobat format)

October 2-5, 2003 - Camp Doll U
Seattle, Washington
For brochure send $3 to: Two Friends LLC, 2423 SE 322nd St, Kent, WA 98042 OR visit the web site:

October 29-November 2, 2003 - Houston Quilt Festival
Houston, Texas
Jewel of the Gypsy Challenge on display there

January 22-25, 2004 - Southern Doll Conference
Orlando, Florida
For more information visit:

March 17-21, 2004 - Kansas City Doll Fair ~ the Art of the Doll ~
Kansas City, Kansas
For more information:

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



DEV VALLENCOURT has created a Missus C. ( to join her Right Jolly Old Elf. While he plays golf in Florida this January she can visit the beach in her new swimsuit. You can print this FREE pattern at: Just click on the arrows at the bottom right to see the pattern and directions.

Check out the polyfil website. Two lovely new projects have been added, including a free pattern by one of our designers, Jane Coughlin. See them at:

One of our designers, Kerry Seymour, has free instructions on her website for creating Tyvek Beads. Check it out at: Click the Tyvek Bead button.



Shoes? A good material to use for dainty doll shoes is Swim Lycra. It has great stretch making it fit smoothly over toes. And there is a heavier black that looks like leather. I use soles of leather and heels of Paper Clay. Also lycra makes great Gloves. Just use the hand pattern and it will stretch over it. Hemming isn't needed as it won't ravel. This is a good time of year to find Lycra in stores. HUGS, Claire-Ellen
See Claire-Ellen's imaginative patterns at:


By Gloria "Mimi" Winer

I sew silk all the time. I have even used heavier silks and "parachute" silk for "doll skins". Use a NEW number 8 or 9 universal needle. Schmetz are the best. Use a polyester thread. I use either Swiss Metrosene (sometimes called Mettler) or Gutterman. Be sure it is 100% poly, which is stronger than cotton. Silk thread is so strong it often puckers or tears some fine silk fabric.

Of course, if you are lucky enough to have a Pfaff machine you should engage the dual feed feature. I can sew satin to fur and nothing moves. This is the reason I originally bought my first Pfaff. I was sewing an entire wedding party about nine years ago and all the bridesmaids' dresses were silk and lined with silk. If you are not a happy Pfaff owner, use a dual feed or even feed foot to sew silk. It will keep the fabric layers from shifting.

If you have none of the above I recommend that you hand baste before using the sewing machine. This will also keep the layers from shifting. Oh yes, when cutting out the silk pattern pieces be sure to use lots of silk pins or IBC pins available from Clotilde. Quilters Resources has duplicated the IBC pins and they are the same, different colors on the glass heads but just as long, fine and sharp and are as good as silk pins and longer. They use the brand name "Nifty Notions" and they are cheaper than the IBC pins. They should be available at your local quilt shop. Lots of pins before cutting out the pieces will keep the layers from shifting.

I also use pinking shears when cutting out silk. All seams that are not to be lined should be either pinked or enclosed in a "French seam". Any sewing book will show examples of French seaming.

If you have no sewing manuals, a French seam is made by stitching a narrow seam on the right side of the garment then pressing it closed then again with the seam open. Press it on the other side then close it and press again. This is important so the seam will be even. Then it must be trimmed to about 1/8". Then press again with the trimmed seam on the right side of the garment, then stitch again close to the edge, press yet again and you have a perfect French seam. It should be enclosed on the inside of the garment.

All that pressing is important, especially when working with silk. To press while sewing is not the same as ironing. Use lots of steam and don't move the iron around on the silk, just barely touch it let the steam do the work, I often just hold the iron an inch or so above the silk and allow the steam to penetrate the fabric thoroughly. I use the Rowena Pro iron.

Someday I want the Euro Pro System...But it is too rich for my budget.

Gloria J. "Mimi" Winer
See her patterns at:



From the Forest Hollow Studio of the amazing MARY KOCHEVAR we have four truly unique interpretations of the Four Elements - Earth, Wind, Fire and Water. Each figure begins as a pancake doll that is then sculpted, painted and embellished with incredible results. Buy one or two or a discounted set of all 4. These projects are sure to get your creative juices flowing! Also check out her amazing one-piece doll called "The Oracle." You'll also have a ball mixing and matching the body parts and then embellishing the unique "Celestial Sisters." Stop by and take a peek at

Just in from "Down-Under". SUZETTE RUGOLO'S exquisite Queen of the Fairies "Titania, the perfect companion for her Fairy King "Oberon". We know you're going to love the creative challenge of making these magnificent dolls.

Are you are constantly searching for the perfect accessory for your dolls? BARBARA SPENCER'S newest pattern "Toys For Small Dolls" gives you a wonderful array of little dolls, dogs and other characters to whip up with ease for a perfect finishing touch.

Designer VALARIE GARBER has moved with her husband to Namibia (South West Africa) where her life is a constant adventure. "Georgie the Giraffe" is the first in her "Out of Africa" series. You'll love stenciling the fabric to make this wonderful creature.
Stop by and read Val's updated bio

Troll Queen UTE VASINA has released her newest troll girl "Rae". The pattern includes directions for the boots and pail. We loved Ute's terrific article about making realistic feet in the most recent Doll Crafter!

Our dear friend ELLYN VOSS, who is renowned for her "Pretty Dolls", must give up her beloved doll making due to medical reasons. To reduce the size of her incredible stash she has put together fabulous boxes of assorted treasures that we are calling "Stash Packs." Each box contains an exciting array of hair, trims, embellishment materials, fabrics and other assorted
treasures. If you love Goodie Bags these Stash Packs will surely tickle your creative fancy but you have to hurry - we only have 3 left!

JUDY SKEEL is treating us to a very particular Renaissance lady named Penelope" who is beautifully adorned with laces and trims. We even have "Penelope's Lace Kits" to go with her that are to-die-for! "American Annie" is a very sweet patriotic lass dressed in Battenberg lace. We know you are going to love these newest offerings from this talented designer.

We're pleased to announce that the rascally teapot doll "Chef Louigi" now has a magnificent mate - "Mamma Louigi" from the whimsical Auntie Moonie - ELLEN HAYTAS. Every kitchen should have such a fine lady.

At long last we are delighted to bring you the very popular 'Wrist Wresters©" from that dynamic doll design duo - DOUG AND BARB KEELING. So quick and easy to make you'll want to make them all - "Lester," "Soothing Sally," and "Molly Mermaid." And, if you've never tried the Keeling face stamps look and see how versatile one stamp can be!

It's never too soon to start thinking about holiday projects. DEV VALLENCOURT'S very popular "Right Jolly Old Elf" now has a lovely mate - "Missus C." Check out her "Birkey" sandals and unusual bra/boob design. With their poseable heads and versatile body construction they make the perfect holiday couple!
Also, Dev is offering a FREE bathing suit pattern so Missus C. can go to the beach. You can print it out at: Just click on the arrows at the bottom right to see the pattern and directions.

Yippee! PATTI CULEA'S extraordinary book "Creative Cloth Doll Making" is now back in stock! Patti expertly 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.

We're also delighted to have BARBARA WILLIS' lovely new wall doll "Emily" which has an optional face stamp to go with it.

We have two fun new projects from PAMELA HASTINGS. "Big Fleece" uses polar fleece and colorful scraps to make wonderfully soft dolls with tons of personality. You'll have a ball piecing together your scraps to make "Petite Angel Doll and Bag". Stop by and take a peek at these imaginative patterns!



KATHY HAYS is offering a new E-Workshop at Crafty College / Doll Net Campus. The workshop is: "Embellishments.... Ordinary to extraordinary" Everyone who has enrolled says it is a wonderful class (Mary Ann is loving it!), and when you take it you can enter the "Summer Techniques Challenge" to win lots of prizes. Check it out at:

DEV VALENCOURT has been trying a new concept in sales: shareware patterns. Basically, the patterns are free for download unless the dollmaker decides to make the doll for
someone else or for sale. It's strictly an honor system-- if someone feels they SHOULD pay for the pattern, then they do. So far, Dev says it's been a success. Check it out at:

We're happy to report that Australian designer PRISCILLA MC DONALD is once again able to produce her patterns. You may remember that her home burnt to the ground several months ago. We are now fully stocked with all of her wonderful designs.

It is with saddened hearts that we heard one of our designers, GLADI ALFORD, passed away. She helped organize the Enchanted Freedom Conference, and died just before it began.



Fabric - Bundy's Quilting Company at sells 100% cotton quality fabrics at reasonable prices. Included are some lovely small prints suitable for dolls.

Clays - Liane and Tony Kohn have sold their business "Handcraft Designs" to Polymer Clay Express. They will now carry all polymer clays, including Fimo and Cernit, as well as tools, videos and supplies needed to complete your projects. Check them out at: Their email address is:

Laces and Trims - A great source of trims & lace - especially Venice lace



To create your own mini tarot deck of cards, go to:
Pick the deck you like, click on it, and print off the whole page that comes up. Use clear contact paper or a laminating sheet over the page and cut out your entire mini-deck. (The contact paper can be on the back of the page to give it stiffness, or the front to protect the colors). You could also print the deck on card stock or photo paper for a sturdier deck. The resultant deck of cards would be suitable for a 16" - 20" gypsy. (To determine scale, I used the proportional scale wheel. A human deck of tarot cards is 3-1/2" high, and the website version is 1" high.) For complete directions on how to determine accessory scale, go to:
Scroll down to the proportional scale wheel, and read the paragraph on sizing doll accessories.



Bonnie is FINALLY home after a month of driving all around the country. She kept saying "There's no place like home…there's no place like home" as she drove to Amarillo, Texas; Mesa, Arizona; Palmdale, California; Orem, Utah; Rexburg, Idaho; back to Martinsburg, West Virginia for one night; and up to Hershey, Pennsylvania where she and Mary Ann gave a slide show lecture on "Heavenly Hats for Discriminating Dolls". As soon as that was finished she and her husband drove to Marlborough, Massachusetts to help her daughter who just had a baby girl on June 25th. She finally arrived home July 7th, and is glad to be back in her new home. Maybe now she can find time to unpack those 500 boxes that are still sitting outside her new craft room. If the newsletter seems extra long this month, it is because a lot has happened in the last two months since she last wrote one. Hopefully now things are back on track, and you'll be hearing from her each month.
Mary Ann had a delightful visit from her mother Marion who accompanied her to Pennsylvania for the presentation to the Central Pennsylvania Doll Collectors group. It was all the more special to have her along. A week later son Mike in Las Vegas came home for a visit with his lovely girlfriend Muoi (Moo-ee) who might just be "the one!" She's a very lovely young woman indeed. Now that things have finally settled down ( well sorta) MAK is finally back to creating up a storm in her studio. She's working on a healing doll for her sister Barbara who is battling brain cancer. So far she has had 2 tumors removed and now they have just found something else. Please remember her in your prayers. She's also working on a doll for an exhibit challenging herself to try some construction techniques she hasn't tried before. It's always a thrill to be on a creative journey!



Victorian patterns using stamps/Chinese carry out boxes

Leslie Christine Gelber is a fabric manipulation artist. Check out her exhibit at "Beyond the Surface" for lots of inspiration.

Beaded Costumes - These gorgeous dresses suitable for fashion dolls are crocheted with lots of beads. I have seen them in person, and they are amazing. The highest booklet is #96, so be sure and see them all.


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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