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Dollmaker's Journey

October 2003 Issue Twenty-six

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October 2003 Issue 26


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. 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 dollmaker friends,

October is a time for starting to get ready for the holiday season. The stores are already gearing up for Christmas. I remember when they waited until the day after Thanksgiving in November, but it seems to get earlier every year. One of the best gifts I ever gave my children and grandchildren was homemade ornaments. I wanted to give them something new each year, so that by the time they left home and started their own family, they would have a collection of ornaments to decorate their very own tree. Unfortunately, time, eight children, and lots of grandchildren soon meant that I needed to make 32 ornaments every year, and I abandoned this idea. However, if you decide to try it, check out our free projects at We have several that would work, including an Origami Angel , Lil Christmas Ornament and Ruby the Christmas Pin Doll.

At Dollmaker’s Journey we have a new motto we would like to share with you.
Dream ~ Imagine ~ Create ~ Grow ~ Believe ~ Magic
At we help your creative dreams come true.

Mary Ann and Bonnie



Don't forget that all patterns by our October Designers of the Month JESSE



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. For more details contact Marta Santiago Jimenez at:

Beaded Art Doll Competition: Create an original beaded doll representing the five seasons. You may view Official Rules online 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.

Hoffman Challenge: The new fabric for 2004 is now on their website. You can see it at:



Meet our latest designer, STEPHANIA MORGANTE, from Cagliari, Italy. She brings three innovative patterns to Dollmaker's Journey - a pensive
Pulcinella, a classic Pinocchio, and an outrageous Harlequin, all with
papier-mâché heads. Learn a new technique and check out her creations at



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:

April 29 – May 2, 2004 - Canadian Doll Artists Association 5th Annual Conference
Ft. Erie, Ontario (Holiday Inn Ft. Erie - Convention Centre)
For complete details:

October 21 – 24, 2004 – In the Spirit Doll Conference (ITS)
Windsor, Connecticut (Marriott Hotel) (email:
Calico, Etc., 116 Elm Street, Cheshire, CT 06410 ph: 203-272-2443

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


The theme for SYLVIA SCHORR’S Starship California 2004 Miss Galaxy Pageant is ANGELS and Dollmaker’s Journey now has two of the three angel patterns eligible for entry in this exciting annual contest – “Renaissance Angel” and “Angel With Polka Dot Wings.” Check out these wonderful patterns at

Photo deadline for entry: on or before Dec. 7th, 2003
Judging begins: Dec. 12th, 2003
Finalists will be announced: Dec. 19th, 2003
The Miss Galaxy Online Challenge 2004: Dec. 21st, 2003 @ 5pm Pacific Time.

The third angel ~The Forest Angel ~ is available exclusively at Crafty College. Check out the website for information regarding this special angel class.


Judi uses a lot of Doesuede, Bucksuede, and Velour in her patterns because “It completely eliminates pulled seams, fraying, wrinkles, breaks, and hard-to-turn fingers. It lets you do needle-sculpting without making every face look "old" and it stuffs so well. The one thing you do have to be aware of is the "stretch direction" it stretches a little one way and less the other. It actually "gives" rather than stretches. If you try to save fabric by turning pattern parts every which way, you will have one long part and then a short part, or a fat face side and skinny face side. You have to keep all parts aligned properly. I personally prefer all parts to have the "give" lengthwise so the dolls are more willowy. BUT....You can actually make 2 entirely different looking dolls from the same pattern by just turning the parts the other way.” See Judi’s patterns at


By Bonnie B. Lewis

I received an email from one of our customers who asked several excellent questions. I would like to share my answers with you. WHEN YOU SELL YOUR DOLLS, DO YOU HAVE TO HAVE A PATENT?, TRADEMARK, NAME OF YOUR COMPANY AND FOR YOUR COLLECTION?

If you are selling your ORIGINAL dolls, you might want to copyright them, but you don't need a patent unless you have developed an entirely new process. You might want to create a Company name to put on a hangtag, but a trademark really isn't necessary, unless you plan to manufacture hundreds of them. If you make dolls from someone else's pattern, you need to give them credit on a hangtag, e.g. "Dolly Dear made by Sharon from a pattern by so and so" I do recommend you sign your doll with your name (c) 2003. Usually dolls are signed on their bottoms, the back of the neck, their back, or the bottom of a foot.


Some states (Ohio for example) have laws about what kind of stuffing you can use for toys. Usually if you make art dolls there are no restrictions (except you can't use feathers from endangered species). If you make dolls for children under 3 you have to be careful what kind of eyes you use, no toxic materials (paints, etc.), and no tiny parts that can be removed or swallowed. Each state has different requirements here. If a doll is for a child to sleep with, flame retardant materials would be nice, but not essential. Again, check with the regulations in the state where you wish to sell your finished dolls. As for what fabric to use, I have made dolls with cotton, doe suede, nylon stockings, velour, canvas, velvet, Ultrasuede, fleece, flannel, dolskin, etc. etc. Use whatever works for you.


I would recommend you begin by selling dolls at local craft fairs or entering contests where your dolls will get exposure and recognition. Local county fairs usually have competitions. Check our monthly newsletter The Customer Connection for further competitions and challenges. Get involved in swaps, a doll club, or take classes on the internet. You can find some good ones at There are also terrific books available on doll making, along with great videos showing you how step by step. After you gain some experience, you might want to consider doll shows. However, before selling anything at a doll show attend it first. Some shows have only porcelain dolls, antique dolls, or commercial dolls. Very few specialize in cloth dolls. If you create your own patterns, you can sell them on a website. Dollmaker's Journey is always on the lookout for new designers.

Well, I hope this gives you a few ideas. Check out the free tips, patterns, and tutorials in our newsletter. Above all, have fun seeing your ideas take on a life of their own. Keep in touch, and let us know how your "Dollmaker's Journey" unfolds.

Hugs, Bonnie B. Lewis (
Editor, Customer Connection Newsletter



We have two more wonderful patterns from Canada's BECKY HOLLOWAY - a
magnificent 50" nutcracker and a charming 42" garden angel featuring a
papier-mâché head. View these and the rest of her exciting pattern line at

Fabulous designer CLAIRE-ELLEN has created the perfect mannequin family - man, woman, girl and boy for you to costume as you wish. The female has two body shapes - one with a wasp waist for an 18th century silhouette, and included are several leg shapes and armatures. To complement them she has created a 27-page Accoutrement guide which includes complete attire and basic patterns for all four dolls as well as undergarments. Check them out at

Be watching our site for some very special new items coming in the next few weeks. Costumer extraordinaire SYLVIA SCHORR will be transforming CLAIRE-ELLEN’S “Mannikins”, “Ladykins” and “Kidikins” into a 1900’s era wedding party that you’re just going to flip over. Stay tuned…..

Next, visit down under for two new patterns by creative MARILYN HALCOMB. Lichen, her Wee Pixie, includes directions for a mini-felting lesson. The Sugar Plump Fairy has incredible machine embroidered wings. See them both at

We have three delightful new patterns from the irrepressible JANE COUGLAN that are guaranteed to tickle children of all ages – “Jemima Jane” a wall doll bursting with happiness, “Parachute Pete” who’s falling, falling, falling…and the fabulous “Pete’s Garage” – the perfect home for the 4-1/2” doll “Pete.” Treat yourself to these wonderful projects!



Q: I have a project for a cloth doll that uses "dolskin" fabric. There is a BIG problem though. My industrial sewing machine HATES IT!! No matter what I do, I get skipped stitches. Have you personally ever used the dolskin fabric or know someone who does? Can you give me some tips on how to sew it and not get so many skipped stitches? I even tried to use interfacing with the fabric sandwiched inside. I have a Singer 20U33 industrial machine and have tried several needles that I've ordered that the people claim to be "ball point" needles. None of them give me results without skipped stitches. My machine sews woven fabric beautifully. I have had the machine for 10 years and I can't figure out what is wrong!! Help!

A: Designer Meo Feroy answered this question for us as follows:
Try using a size seven universal needle in your machine....also try placing tissue paper under the fabric as you sew...then the feed dogs have something solid to grip as they move the fabric along. By the some of my patterns I give tips on how to sew with dolskin. See Meo’s patterns at



We visited the site of one of our Canadian customers, loved her dolls (poupee) and wanted to share it with you.



STASH PACKS - Doll artist CAROLYN PADGETT is retiring from a successful doll business and is clearing out her incredible collection of heirloom "stuff". She has put together STASH PACKS of antique and vintage lace, fancy fabrics, trims and notions suitable for dolls 15" and smaller. Each box is different, color coordinated with lots of one-of-a-kind items and all contain a surprise or two. Boxes are limited. First come first served. Order them at

DOLSKIN - Due to repeated requests, we now offer Dolskin fabric in ½ and 1 yard pieces (60" wide), originally used for Cabbage Patch dolls, and perfect for Meo Feroy's soft sculptured creations
( You can order it at

VIDEO – Dorit’s latest video, "How to Stitch a Child’s Face”, will be available October 15, 2003. To learn more about this amazing video, go to or email Dorit at

YARN AND FIBERS – Sally Houk now sells her fabulous yarns in small amounts suitable for dollmakers. Perfect for embellishments, fabric painting and hair.

BOOKS – “Wonderful Wings” by Linda Hammons has three unique wing techniques, including: silk with fabric dyes and sealant, silk with oil paints and liquid sculpey and crystal ribbon with glass paint. The book retails for $16.55 plus $1.50 S/H. To order contact David Holton at: They accept Pay Pal, Checks and Money Orders. Katherine Dewey has also written a booklet on making fairy wings, and when you visit her website, you can download wings to use for free. Check them out at:



A new website lists craft shows and crafters all over the world. Check it out at You can add your name or craft show for free.



Bonnie’s life goes from hectic to insane in the next 30 days. Her son gets home from a 2-year mission to Japan in November, another son is getting married two days before Thanksgiving, a daughter is having a baby the beginning of December, another daughter gets home from college in December, and she has to finish 240 nativity dolls for a church project for women called “Pursuit of Excellence” by December. Life is never dull at Lewis Villa.

Meanwhile Mary Ann attended her very first bead show recently and absolutely went wild. She’s been having a ball designing and making beaded amulet/cell phone bags for herself and for gifts. There’s nothing like acquiring another hobby! Mak and Bonnie attended the Sewing Expo and had the joy of seeing the Hoffman Challenge and Sulky dolls. Each one was an extraordinary work of art.



How to make ribbon bows

Creating a wig from Tibetian Lamb skin

Learn how to sculpt a fairy click on "sculpting a fairy"

The Bead Fairies website has a store locater by state. Go to: then click the "Bead Shops" link.
Bead & Button has a retail store locater by state also. Go to: and click on the "Bead Shop Finder" link.


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.

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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Copyright © 2003 Dollmaker’s Journey

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