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Dollmaker's Journey

October 2001 Issue Five

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October 2001 Issue Five

Copyright ©2001 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 our companion website:


Dear dollmaker friends,

It's hard to believe how dramatically our lives have all
changed since our last issue. Suddenly there is instant
clarity about what we hold precious and most dear and
what our priorities should be. For those seeking to
reflect their patriotism in their dollmaking
we think that it can be easily accomplished with
any pattern by fabric and accessory selection. In
fact, we'd really love to see mermaids, fairies and
dragons made with patriotic themes. Be sure to send
us your pictures for our Showcase. If you wish to
make a fireman, policeman, or construction worker doll
be sure to check out our book - "Creating Heavenly Hats
for Discriminating Dolls," for the perfect hat
(including hard-hats.)

'Til next time, take care--

Mary Ann and Bonnie


Speaking of LORRIE UHEREK, she and her partner KATHY NELSON of
Kreative License have published "Sue Ellen" - a perfect
doll making primer with 20 pages of step-by-step photos.
We heartily recommend this pattern for beginning doll makers.


Recently well-known doll artist and teacher Jane Darin shared her
thoughts and terrific advice about seams on the Friends of Cloth
Dolls Discussion List (FOCD). With her permission we reprint them

Sometimes I go for months before I see a question which I feel I can
answer on this list. Seams is one of those questions about which I
have a lot of opinions. I think the seams should not be noticeable
and should disappear. Remember I generally have dolls with seams down
the center of the faces. Here are some of the things I do to make them

First, I have racks of colors of thread in order to match the thread
exactly to the material. I use three-ply sewing machine thread, never
thicker for the body parts I will stuff, and sometimes on my 1/5
scale dolls (12"+) I use two-ply embroidery thread, both by Mettler.
Then I set my stitch length shorter, but not so short that the seam
ripples or is perforated. I use size 10 or 12 needles on my sewing
machine and change them with each new doll.

Second, I develop the patterns on freezer paper so that I can iron it
onto the fabric and sew at the edge of the paper. I never liked the
look of the pencil mark from drawing the pattern onto the cloth and I
think no matter how careful you are it shows in the seams. This also
allows me to sew careful curves and facial profiles exactly as I
designed them. When I cut out the sewn piece I cut a consistent width
seam allowance, usually just around 1/8 inch. I think a consistent
size seam allowance disappears best under the cloth. I press the seam
allowance all to one side. What this does is hide the thread or
stitches. So when I'm stuffing a leg, lets say, or a head, I use my
stuffing tool to keep the seam lying carefully to one side or the
other. Where it turns over it will appear as a bump or wrong stitch
in the curve. If it gets turned as I am stuffing, I push it to the
other side again by carefully inserting a needle under the seam from
the right side and "brushing" it over and flat. I think this
contributes a lot to the appearance of a seam.

The last and most important thing I do about seams concerns where the
opening for stuffing the seam occurs. No matter how careful I ever
was at using a ladder stitch, (I'm pretty anal retentive and careful
about such things), I found that even if I stuffed under the seam
right up to the last stitch it still dipped in slightly where I had
closed the seam by hand. Do you find this happens to you? Here's this
beautiful thing which you have finally managed to stuff without
cellulite and ....well, you get the idea. So I decided I would hide
the stuffing place in the areas where I would be sewing the body
together. Sometimes this means that I cut an X shape in the cloth not
at a seam, like in the upper thigh/buttocks area. I do it on the
inside which will be sewn against the doll. Thus I hide the problem.
In a jointed doll, I slit the gusset and hide the stuffing hole inside
the gusset at the knees or elbows. I stuff the body from the top and
then sew it shut and the neck comes down over that place and hides it.
These are just my thoughts about seams.

© 2001 Jane Darin

Treat yourself to a visit to Jane's wonderful website -
Jane Darin's Studio
Seminars for advanced dollmakers
Private Sessions by appointment
Phone: (858) 514-8154, Fax: (858) 514-8144



UTE VASINA has added another enchanting troll to her collection.
"Whisper" features a one piece head and body as well as needle
sculpted features.

Designer LI HERTZI draws on ancient tribal forms for many of her
patterns. Her latest "Akua'ba" resembles the shape of the "ankh",
the ancient Egyptian symbol of life and our modern symbol for women.

CYNTHIA SIEVING delights us with her wonderful - "Bestest
Friends" an easy-to-make 4" pindoll that's very easy to personalize.
Any friend or sister would be proud to wear it. Bonnie wore one that
Mary Ann made for her to school and church and everyone who saw it
wanted one.


I'm always scouring magazines for photos that will inspire
interesting doll poses. One day I passed a shop window that had a
collection of LLADRO porcelain figurines and was struck by the
delightful poses and feeling of movement they all had. I think a
LLADRO catalog would be a fabulous source of inspiration! Do a search
on the net using, or your favorite search engine for
sites that carry the Lladro porcelains. Also, check out the Royal
Doulton figurines.
- Mary Ann


We're always delighted to welcome another new designer to our
Dollmaker's Journey family. We specifically established our site
to give new and upcoming designers a venue for bringing their patterns
to market. This week we've added four very colorful characters from
Australia's BRENDA COULTER - "Yasmin" a femme-fatale, two funky
elf-like creatures "Gumption" and "WeWilly" and "Daisy Chain" -
a delightful series of interlocking dolls. Stop by and take a
peek at



At long last BARBARA GRAFF has created a mate for her popular
"Woman" pattern. The well-formed male body of "Man!" comes
in 2 separate sizes, 16" and 34" with a multitude of posing

Her darling 14" "Toddler," which can be made as a girl or boy,
is all that a toddler doll should be with piggy toes and dimples on
the buns.

The jewel in the crown is Barbara's spectacular "Nativity,"
featuring twelve 1/12 scale, fully poseable and playable human and
animal characters that will delight your families for years to come.

As a bonus Barbara has designed the cutest "Infant Earrings" (which
Bonnie has already made and worn) for our ever growing FREE PATTERN
section ! The directions for the little accessories she made for
them follow.

Baby Accessories for Baby Earrings
By Bonnie B. Lewis
© 2001

Baby Pacifier

Small piece cloth covered wire (approximately 25 gauge)
Large seed bead
White glue

Thread both ends of 1" piece of wire through bead. Adjust wire
loop until it looks in scale for pacifier handle. Bend ends
outward and cut off excess. Add drop of glue to back and glue to

Baby Rattle

Small piece cloth covered wire (approximately 25 gauge)
Small seed bead
Large decorative bead for rattle
Acrylic paint
Crystal Lacquer or gloss varnish
White glue

Thread seed bead onto wire. Thread both ends through large bead.
Create handle by looping one end of wire. Dip this wire into
white glue and slide back into decorative bead. Cut other wire end
flush with bead. Paint wire with acrylic paint. HINT: To make
it easier to paint, grasp bead with small hemostat or needle nose
pliers while other hand holds paintbrush. When paint has dried, seal
wire with Crystal Lacquer (sold on our Dollmaker's Journey website.)
Sew rattle to baby's hand.

Hints for finishing earrings:

1. To sew doll, draw doll on freezer paper, iron to fabric on the
bias, (this makes it easier to turn) and sew around it. 2. 3.
This doll is difficult to turn. Try using a very tiny hemostat (3" or
smaller) to turn the tiny arms and legs. Don't worry if you pop a
seam. A little white glue works wonders, and most of the doll is
covered by the sleeper, so no one will ever know. 4. 5. Tie a
tiny tuft of mohair in the middle using thread. Put white glue on
head, fan out one side of hair and glue to head. Cut other side of
tuft short for a cowlick. For a girl you can tie ribbon floss to the
cowlick, being sure to Fraychek ends. Trim hair to fitface.




The Angel Project
Clapper Publishing has organized a nationwide crusade asking for
AngelDolls. They want to get 6,000, one for every fallen victim
of the 09/11/00 tragedy. For anyone interested in participating, the
link is

The Tree of Life Project is a collaborative memorial for the victims
of the September 11th atrocities in NewYork, Washington, and
Pennsylvania. To be a part of this memorial, you can register at the
Tree Of Life website and you will be assigned a name of one of the
many victims, and it is requested that you try to incorporate that
name into the piece. You can create any kind of work of art you
wish, as long as there is a leaf image somehow involved, for
continuity of the collaboration. Artists then send photos of their
finished leaves to be displayed on the website, and they are put up
for sale and 100% of donations goes to the relief fund. Please go to
for complete information.
Submitted by:
Aimi's Faerieland Handsculpted One-of-a-kind
Faerie Dolls


Bonnie created the baby earrings (our free pattern of the month on
Dollmaker's Journey website) just in time to wear to her daughter's
surprise baby shower. She made one boy and one girl (just in
case), although the doctor assures her daughter it will be a girl this
time (she has three boys). The pacifier and rattle are two miniature
accessories you can make by following directions in this

Bonnie's son, Michael, left for Provo, Utah on Monday. He left
from Dulles airport (near Washington, D.C.), and security was very
tight. They waited for two hours to pass the security checkpoint, and
only ticketed passengers were permitted to enter the boarding area.
Even news reporters had to have plane tickets to get inside to cover a
story. Her daughter took pictures of the long lines and the cute
Federal Marshall (only a teenage girl could get him to smile for the
camera.) Maybe he will turn into a doll someday. Michael will
be attending the Missionary Training Center there for 10 weeks to
learn Japanese, after which he will be traveling to Nagoya, Japan to
serve a 2-year mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day
Saints. Bonnie, her husband, daughter and son spoke at his farewell
at church on Sunday. Of course, she wore her Best Friends pin for the
speech, and got a lot of favorable comments on it. She also brought
her nun doll she made during Sound of Music as a visual aid.
Afterwards congregation members commented that they were sure she
would work dolls into her speech somewhere.

After Mary Ann spent nearly a week celebrating her 50th birthday with
family and friends, we've started work on the projects we'll be
teaching at We Folk next year and Mary Ann is up to her eyeballs in
body parts. She loves the "engineering aspect" of doll design.
The bodies then get passed to Bonnie for clothing and embellishments--
her great love. We think we've come up with something exciting and
fun and we'll tell you more about it as we get it all worked out. We
love working and playing together! It must be sinful to have this
much fun playing dolls at our ages!


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Connection newsletter.

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way, you might want to print this out and put it into
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Copyright ©2001 Dollmaker's Journey

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