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Dollmaker's Journey

March 2005 Issue 42

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Dream ~ Imagine ~ Create ~ Grow ~ Believe ~ Magic
at we help your creative dreams come

Dollmakers Journey


March 2005 Issue 42


Copyright 2005 by Dollmakers Journey

Dollmakers 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,

Happy St. Patricks Day, everyone.  In honor of this day we have created our latest Doll For All Seasons, Kelly 15th Century Irish Colleen.  If you ever wondered what a Line, ghillie, kertch, or a Shinrone overdress is, or wanted to learn to use natural dyes on fabric, this pattern is for you.  It is full of historical notes from the 16th century, along with practical 21st century suggestions on how to cut corners and still have an authentic costume.  To help you make this outfit, we have added an extensive leather line to Dollmakers Journey to assist in shoemaking.  You can read more about this below.

Every once in a while there is a chain of events that seem devastating.  We discovered through several of our designers (Bunny Goode and Gloria Mimi Winer) that a manufacturer in China decided to save money and cut corners by eliminating a cleaning step in the processing of Spring Southern Belle Natural fabric we use for our ethnic fabric.  They didn't think Americans would mind. As a result, the fabric is filled with black specks, trash, and is totally unsuited for dollmaking.  I received several bolts, and tried boiling the fabric, bleaching, washing several times in very hot water with high agitation, but nothing would remove the foreign material from the cotton.  I tried dyeing some and decided that if we used it the doll would look like it had smallpox. I consulted with Gloria because all of her dolls are made from this fabric, and so is our entire line of Doll for All Seasons patterns.  I had to find a viable substitute fast.  Gloria got several different kinds of fabric to test, I bought several also and dyed and sent them to her to see if they survive her hard stuffing.  We found that some fabrics, while having a higher thread per square inch count, used thinner thread and therefore would fray or tear easier. I finally decided to use Spring Southern Belle white fabric which has over 200 threads per square inch and no imperfections.  Unfortunately, because the color is white and not natural, this means that all the dye formulas have to be changed.  I am experimenting with new formulas, and we will try and get the fabric colors as close to the original as we can.  One happy result is that we now can offer three different African shades of fabric light, medium, and dark.  We at Dollmakers Journey are committed to bringing you the very best products we can find.  We will continue to offer fabric in 15 different ethnic shades, although the dye lots will change as we replace the old fabric with new.

Mary Ann and Bonnie



Yippeeee!  The publisher called and said that the shipment of PATTI CULEAS fabulous new book Creating Cloth Doll Faces is on the way!  They should arrive early the week of the 21st and we expect them to go fast!


Our March Designers of the Month are all very talented, but you may not know them well.  Here is your opportunity to enjoy the patterns of ORICE KLAAS, KERRY SEYMOUR and MARY ANN HULL at 20% off all month long.

Two of our Designers of the Month have new patterns that just arrived, which means they will be 20% off!  KERRY SEYMOUR has a terrific wall jester called Valerio and MARY ANN HULL has a wonderful old gypsy with a cloth and paperclay face called Madame Boosha. ORICE KLAAS rounds out our trio of designers for March.

Dont forget Kelly 15th Century Irish Colleen costume pattern for our Doll for All Seasons is half price until the April pattern arrives. (I cant wait to see your faces when you meet Akiko!)


Youve seen her work on the cover of Soft Dolls and Animals and now the very talented DEANNA HOGAN of Blue Heron Dolls is joining our Dollmakers Journey family of designers.  We have a wonderful selection of her patterns from the sweetest Godmother youve ever seen to her awesome new project Averill than can be made with or without a face mask.   You are going to be thrilled with the thoroughness of Deannas instructions and the superb photos.  Stop by and take a look

We are just thrilled and delighted to have the awesomely talented SUE CHAFFEE SIZEMORE join our Dollmakers Journey family of designers.  She is the Queen of ethnic faces.  We have her fabulous Pattern/CD of Baby Rose and Baby Lilly with phenomenal step-by-step color photos as well as regular patterns Honesty and Baby Fawn. If you truly want to advance your face painting skills, then her newest pattern Shelf Sitters is just the ticket.  Learn to paint two different faces in both oils and acrylics and have a wonderful time doing it!

We are pleased to welcome another new designer to our Dollmakers Journey family the very talented LESLIE MOLEN of Rootie Studio.  Along with a lovely array of Leslies unique patterns (she has so many cool construction techniques) we have her terrific Adventures in Doll Making needlesculpting DVD.  Do stop by and treat yourself


I wrote in the last newsletter: Sharpie pens bleed no matter what you do.  Also, the kind of fabric you are using is a big factor.
Willa McNeill sent me the following information: Not only do Sharpies bleed; they are highly acidic--unless formula has been changed recently. They should never be used on paper or textiles if you plan to keep either. I have books autographed in Sharpie years ago. The autograph is haloed by an ugly brown stain.  I also have heard from journal and sketch book keepers who report the same thing. So please encourage doll makers not to even think about Sharpies!  Thank you, Willa, for this timely information.


CC23 CostumeCon Doll Costume Competition 2005
Convention dates:  April 29 May 2, 2005 in Ogden, Utah
For general information about CostumeCon visit their website at:
For information about the doll competition, go to:
Color Challenge dolls MUST pre-register.  They will give you two colors to use in costuming your doll.

Purse Challenge from Sew News Magazine
Deadline:  June 20, 2005
Go to and click on the purse for details.

Challenges In Time: Japonism
Deadline:  June 30, 2005
For details go to:

Anything Goes Handbag or Miniature Quilt Challenge for Kaufman Fabrics
Deadline: August 1, 2005
Go to and click on "anything goes"

2005 Second Annual All Dolled Up: Beaded Art Doll Competition
Deadline:  August 15, 2005
Theme: Over the Rainbow
For more information go to:

Through the Looking Glass Doll Challenge (Fairfield Poly-fil Challenge)
Deadline:  December 31, 2005
For details and entry form, go to:



April 16, 2005 Cloth-A-Dollics of Victoria BC Spring Luncheon
Princess Mary Restaurant in Victoria, BC
All Northwest Cloth Dollmakers invited.  For more information email:
Barb Swain or Michle Ashmore 

April 28 May 1, 2005 - 6th Annual Canadian Doll Artists Association Conference
Holiday Inn, Fort Erie, Ontario, Canada
Call 519-539-7598 or visit their website at:

April 28 - May 1, 2005 Artistic Figures in Cloth (AFIC)
Columbus, Ohio
Dollmakers Journey will be venders at this event, and we will have a free gift for everyone who purchases something from us at the convention.

April 29 May 1, 2005 Doll Art Workshops
Mineral Point Living Arts Center, Mineral Point, Wisconsin or call 608-987-3292 for class schedule. Register early!
The information for the Calgary Doll Club Show and Sale is as follows:
May 7, 2005 Calgary Doll Club Spring Show and Sale 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
North Glenmore Park Community Assn.
2231 Longridge Drive SW, Calgary, Alberta, Canada
For more information please call Marina at (403) 243-6479
August 11-14, 2005 Enchanted Doll Artists Conference (EDAC)
Albuquerque, New Mexico

September 17-18, 2005 Magic Doll Exposition
Las Vegas, Nevada
For more information email Lee Bryant at
September 29 October 2, 2005 - Camp Doll U 2005
Seattle, Washington.
For more information go to:
To save yourself time and energy, get all the details on upcoming doll related events at CLOTH DOLL CONNECTION:



Free pin dolls from our new designer Deanna Hogan
You can see her latest doll patterns at

Directions for a wonderful beaded doll under tips and hints

Wondering what to do with all those face push molds we sell?  Check out these directions on how to bead around clay faces.  It would make a great pin doll!
You can see the molds we carry at Click on pattern box, then molds and resin faces.


By Bonnie B. Lewis

Beginning in March we will carry leather and leather supplies, including lacing cord and punches, at Dollmaker's Journey.  Our leather is approximately 12" x 6", which is big enough for garments as well as shoes.
I have done a lot of research on leather, and here is what I have found.  We will carry sheer cowhide suede splits in four colors, perfect for doll shoes but a little heavy for garments (2-3 oz.).  We carry doe kidskin, which is textured on one side and suede on the other (2 to 3 oz.). Again, this is for doll shoes, not garments.

My favorite leather is the velvet pigskin suede.  It has suede on one side, texture on the other, very soft and easy to sew.  It is 1.5 to 2 oz. - perfect for jackets, soft shoes, etc.  Right now we have it in one color, but will be getting it in 12 colors.  This leather is what we used to create the Turnshoes and Ghillies for the Irish Colleen. If the leather is a little thin for pull-on shoes, you could always line it or interface it.  The best thing about it is you can use either side.  Wait until you see the purple, royal blue, red, and forest green.  I can see a lot of fairies and elves dressed in these shoes.  Try a red hat society lady with red or purple shoes to match her hat.  This leather is also perfect for pouches, handbags, and covering miniature books with leather. 

A gorgeous black lambskin, perfect for leather jackets, smooth on one side and suede on the other, is available at Tandy Leather, but we don't have it yet.   If you want to purchase leather for garments for dolls, look for the word garment in the description, and a thickness of 1.5 to 2 oz.  Check out for pictures of what is available.  The problem is, you have to buy the whole hide, and that may be too large for just one doll project. That is why we decided to start carrying leather suitable for dolls.

Purchase the tooling leather piece for perfect doll shoe soles.  It is stiff enough for soles, yet flexible.  You can dye it, paint it, stain it, use markers on it, and shape it into fantastic shapes while wet.  Perhaps you could cut out a butterfly, shape the wings after soaking in warm water, and then paint it and put it in a dolls hair.  When dry, the leather will retain its shape. It would also make terrific masks.

The leather cord (black and natural) is 1 mm thick, which is perfect for doll shoes, lacing vests, drawstrings, lacing leggings, tying braids, etc.  It comes wrapped on a card or coiled.  If desired, you can soak this cord a few minutes in warm water, and run between your fingers to straighten and remove any kinks.

We also carry leather punches.  We offer one hand punch in a kit with all the tips needed for the eyelets we carry, including the 1/16 size, which was not included in the original set.  We also added a wood mallet, because using a metal hammer will destroy the punch.  A lady who worked at Tandy Leather assured me that she uses this punch set every day.  She has carpel tunnel syndrome, and the rotary punches are too hard on her hands.  These punches are perfect for belt holes, vest holes, shoe lacing holes, eyelets and grommets. 

Another option for those of you (like me) who already own a rotary leather punch wheel which doesnt contain the 1/16 hole punch, is to purchase a spring punch that just makes 1/16 holes.  I used this punch for both the Ghillies and Turn Shoes, and I cant imagine anything else working as well. 

Essential when working with leather is using leather or glover needles (used for sewing leather gloves).  These needles have a triangular very sharp point which pierces the leather, and they were VERY useful when sewing the Turn Shoes by hand. 
You can see all these new products at

We would love to see what you create with this new leather.  Send us pictures for our showcase or write to me and I will share your discoveries in future newsletters.



Celebrate St. Patrick's Day with our new costume for our Doll for all Seasons - "Kelly - 16th Century Irish Colleen". Learn to make two different historical shoes (Ghillies and Turnshoes), socks (using a pattern from the 1500's), chatelaine pouch, beaded kertch, Line, spiral laced Shinrone overdress, embroidered and beaded underskirt, and jewelry.  You will also learn how to make invisible parts and weft hair, braid elaborate coiffure, miter lace, and dye fabric using a common spice found in your kitchen.  Included in the pattern are historical footnotes from the sixteenth century to bring you a touch of Old Ireland.  A limited number of kits are available that have 15 different items including the leather.

 UTE VASINA delights us with her newest wall troll Trixie.

Recent world events moved PATTI LAVALLEY to create her Tsunami Butterfly a symbol of hope and renewal.

 From Australias ANN CLEMENS we have her fabulous new wall doll Poppy  a positively perfect project for beginners.  Youre going to love it

Wine Fairy Merlot is a delightful new pattern from MARION BOLSON.  Youll have a ball embellishing this one! -

SAMANTHA GROUT treats us to two lovely new dolls - the very elaborately costumed Courtlynne and a sweet Christmas angel named Oliva.  Stop by and take a peek

Our collection of JULIE McCULLOUGH patterns continues to grow.  This week weve added the very regal African King and African Queen  terrific projects for your ethnic fabrics and trims as well as the lively Glitter Bug.

We have the latest release from SUZETTE RUGOLO - the very dashing Puss In Boots. A wonderful pattern for those who enjoy a creative challenge.

The winner of our Funky Flamingo contest BEV GELFAND has just released her next pattern and its a doozy!  Words cant really describe Bananas is my Business you have to check out the picture for and see for youself!

We now have one of designer ANNE HESSEs signature patterns in stock her whimsical Playmates and a choice of 2 molds for the removable face.  We know you will enjoy this colorful project.

The 7th Limited Edition Kezi Pattern, Tyler and Sharice and Tebo the Turtle is now available.  Check out this classic pattern at



Q: I am looking for a place to sell my cloth dolls.  I use commercial patterns to make them and sometimes I design the clothes.  I live in Phoenix and we just don't have a lot of doll shows here.  Especially, not cloth dolls. 

A: I began selling dolls at local craft shows. Most high schools have Christmas shows you can participate in, and a lot of community centers.  I know lots of people who sell their creations on eBay.  You might also check with your local library to do a window display with information for purchasing your dolls in the window.   I started a group called Holiday House where we decorated model homes with craft items and everything in the home was for sale, including the home.  You might also try a craft boutique in your home around the holidays, and invite friends and neighbors.  Some people have created web sites to sell their dolls.  There are several good books on selling crafts by Barbara Brabec.  Check them out at  Bonnie

Q: I'm a new doll maker. I do not know what the difference of a pattern and a template? Could you clarify that for me?

A: A PATTERN piece has the seam allowance added onto it.  In dollmaking, 1/4" seam allowances are normally used.  Most designers will indicate the stitching line by drawing a dotted line 1/4"  in from the outside edge of the pattern piece.  Pattern pieces are pinned to the fabric and cut out, then the fabric pieces are sewn together.  A TEMPLATE is a shape that does not have the seam allowance added to it.  In the past several years it has been found that it is much easier to sew complicated shapes like arms with hands that have separate fingers by tracing the template onto freezer paper, ironing the freezer paper to the fabric, sewing around the edge of the template, then cutting the sewn shape out about away from the sewing line.  Using templates enable you to get a much more accurate shape.  Generally youll find templates used for the body parts, and pattern pieces used for the clothing.  Mary Ann



Pamela Hastings writes: I've just published a New Edition of my Paper Doll Inspiration Book--the third, with 60 pages of ideas and patterns, 4 pages of colored pictures, and an original paper doll made by me. I'm working on a book about my adventures in business, which should be ready in May in time for WOW in New Hampshire. I'll also be teaching in NYC and on a cruise in April and in NJ in May. Check out the class page on my website for more details:  

You can enjoy my online classes in Fabric Journals and Transformative Doll Making at  You can see Pamelas books and patterns at


Were proud to announce the addition of LEATHER GOODS to our site for your shoe making and doll costuming needs.  Bonnie has selected three different types of leather and shes been pleased with all of them.  You can check it all out here

Now that weve added leather goods to the site, we have some excellent tools to help you work with it.  Our Leather Punch Kit will enable you to punch 6 different sizes of holes for lacing or grommet insertion.  Our Stitching Hole Spring Punch will just make 1/16 holes if thats all you need and the special triangular shaped Glovers Needles will enable you to do hand sewing.

Our CRAFT VELOUR is now back in stock.  Be sure to check out the goodies in our ever expanding Supply Department.

Association For People Who Play With Dolls (APWPWD) quarterly newsletter is available from Judy Skeel (editor).  For more information contact Judy at:
The APWPWD may be ordered with a credit card on line at


Georgia Manning Lewis has created a wonderful bucket organizer (, but some customers are having trouble finding the perfect 5 quart bucket.  Here are her suggestions:

Wal-Mart carries a little gray 5 quart bucket in the paint department.  It is what I use most of the time.  I have also seen them at Home Depot in the paint department.  They are made by Encore. The 5 quart ice cream bucket (Texas Pail) works great also.  Most chain grocery stores carry ice cream in the 5 quart containers.  Georgia Manning Lewis



Bonnie just finished Kelly, the March Doll for All Seasons.  She had lots of fun researching all the historical costumes used in the 1500s. For those of you visiting Washington, D.C. between March 5 and April 24, several of her dolls, including the Queen of Hearts, the Snow Queen, our charity dolls, and her great-great grandparents on their wedding day, are on display at the Washington, D.C. Mormon Temple Visitors Center in Kensington, Maryland as part of Women of Faith Works of Beauty Invitational Textile Exhibit.  She was able to attend an artist reception when the exhibit opened.

Mary Ann snuck away to spend two nights at NIH The National Institute of Health where she is participating in two studies related to a condition she has called Hemochromatosis.  Her body retains too much iron, and too much iron damages the organs especially the heart and liver.  The only way to reduce the iron level is to have red blood cells removed from the blood over a period of time.  She stayed over to have five major heart tests done and ended up being part of a local DC news story and had her 30 seconds of fame on TV!  Yesireee theres never a dull moment at Dollmakers Journey!



This is a great costume site with free patterns to print out and adjust to size.

Barbara Johnson was on Carol Duvall's show CDS-543 talking about doll wigs.,,HGTV_3242_1370876,00.html

Good fairy sculpting tutorial by Adamaris Roman

Wonderful tutorial on using press molds by Patricia Rose


Wed 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 Dollmakers 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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