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Dollmaker's Journey

August 2008 Issue 81

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Dream ~ Imagine ~ Create ~ Grow ~ Believe ~ Magic
At we help your creative dreams come true.

August 2008 Issue 81

Copyright 2008 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 Dollmaking Friends,

We just got back from Mount Vernon, New York (a suburb of New York City) where we participated in a Day with Dolls. Bonnie taught a class on how to use Paverpol (people made a Victorian fan, a lady's hat, and fairy wings) while Mary Ann and Jim manned our booth. The night before we were busily printing and assembling (FINALLY!!!) our Elementals pattern, which premiered at the convention. This pattern includes four different dolls (Earth, Air, Fire and Water) with tutorials on how to use Paverpol, Apoxie Sculpt, Angelina Fiber, Textiva Film, and a new use for Crystal Lacquer. It has colored pictures on face painting, and best of all, it is half price this month (August). Stephanie Novatski brought some incredible dolls (we have her patterns but it was fun to see them in person) and took lots of pictures which you can see at One of the dolls was seated on a fantastic chair, and Stephanie kindly shared the directions on how to make it. (You can see the link under Free Gifts for You.) It is always fun to meet our customers and designers in person.

Bonnie and Mary Ann

Our AUGUST SALE continues Enjoy 20% off the terrific selection of patterns in our MATURE WOMEN and WALL DOLLS categories until the end of the month.

Don't forget about the Introductory Special on our comprehensive "Elementals" pattern.  It will only be HALF PRICE until the end of August.


Q:  How far can the QE2 cruise liner travel burning one gallon of diesel?

A:  Conventional internet searches say 6 inches, and that was the figure I had. However, some of you did more research, and the answer is generally 40 to 50 feet, depending on how fast the ship is traveling. One source said 125 feet. Bottom line the QE2 gets terrible gas mileage. I accepted all answers, because as one person said, this was a confusing question. Sorry about that. However, the next question is a little simpler.

Congratulations to Glenda Reyes from Georgia, USA. Your name was selected at random from all of the correct quiz entries, and you will receive a $10 gift certificate from Dollmakers Journey. Watch for your name in a coming month!


My husband and I have had dates each night to watch the Olympics in Beijing, China. Of particular interest was the story of Michael Phelps, who won 8 gold medals and set 7 Olympic records in swimming during the Beijing Olympics. With a total of 16 medals (14 of them gold) he has smashed all previous records for a lifetime achievement. I loved his philosophy. He had a dream, an impossible dream, and somehow with a lot of work and effort that dream came true. (Best of all, he lives in Baltimore, Maryland, which is practically next door to Washington, D.C.)  So my question for August is about the Olympics.

Q:  What did the Chinese add to the back of the Olympic medals this year as a reminder of China?

Everyone who emails in the correct answers by September 15th will be entered into a drawing for a $10 gift certificate to Dollmakers Journey. The winner will be announced in the next newsletter. Email your answers to Bonnie at  Put August Quiz in subject box. Please include your full name and where you live (state/country) in your email.


Comfort Dolls from Our Community
Donations due October 1, 2008
This local charitable organization is dedicated to helping children and young adults by distributing hand-made dolls to those individuals who have been involved in crisis situations. Dolls are distributed across the USA and around the world wherever there is a need.
Possible patterns can be found at and
For more information go to
Or contact Sallianne McClelland at for the address

March of Dimes for the Prematurity Project
They are collecting and selling dolls and selling a special pattern (Teenee Preemee) created especially for this project by Vicki Riley. 30% of proceeds from this pattern will go to March of Dimes. There is also a link to contribute directly to the March of Dimes. For more information: or call Lynne at 803-603-5091.


Stephanie Novatski brought her latest doll and pattern, Dances with Butterflies, to Day with Dolls. While there she checked out an antique jewelry and bead vendor and bought two head pins that had rhinestones on the end. She stuck them in her doll's head and bent them slightly to create perfect antenna. You can see this and her other patterns at

And just for fun, to see what Judi Lennon did with Stephanie's "One Kiss is Not Enough" pattern go to


Q: What is the diameter of the smallest tube in your "tiny tube turners" for turning doll fingers?  I am making a doll 6 inches tall with fingers less than 1 inch long. I cut the hands on the bias of Spring Maid cotton muslin but I have been unable to turn the fingers using a 1/16th inch diameter tube. I have also used the Skeel and Winer technique of applying glue to the seams and trimmed the seams as small as 1/16th inch. Is it impossible to use cotton instead of a stretch fabric to make tiny fingers?
A:  The smallest tube in our set is 3/32" in diameter - between 1/16" and 1/8".  I have never made fingers as tiny as you describe but I can imagine it is quite a challenge.  One other method you might try is to thread a long needle with a heavy thread, double it and make a big knot.  Insert the tube into the finger, then pass the needle through the top of the finger and through the tube so that the knot will start bringing the top of the finger down towards the palm of the hand.

Q:  Can you tell me what fabric & stabilizer to use when machine embroidering a face? 
I want to make a doll with the face of my great granddaughter.

A:  I have done a lot of machine embroidery, and there are several ways to stabilize fabric. First, when embroidering by machine, it is probably best to use a good cotton fabric such as Southern Belle or Pimatex. Knits (such as Doe Suede, Velour, Dolskin, etc.) won't work as well because they stretch and the face will be distorted. The fabric needs to be in a hoop. If the wrong side of the embroidery will be visible on a heavy item (such as with letter jackets, golf caps, etc.), I usually use tear away stabilizer on the back of the fabric. If the wrong side will be backed by other fabric, you can use a lightweight iron-on interfacing on the wrong side, or Solvy (a transparent stabilizer that dissolves in cold water). A lot depends on how large the face is, how much embroidery there will be, and how soft or flexible the finished face needs to be. For a small face use Solvy or Perfect Sew. For a larger face use a lightweight iron-on stabilizer. If you use the heavy tear-away just be warned that you can remove only the portions that do not have embroidery. I have also used Perfect Sew (an Australian product) for slippery fabrics such as silk. You dip the fabric into the stabilizer (which is liquid), let it dry (it will dry very hard and stiff) and then embroider the fabric. When finished, just put the fabric in cold water and the stabilizer will dissolve. I have used this technique to embroider the bottom of a silk dress with great results. You might want to also check out new products at most office supply stores that allow you to transfer photographs to fabric, which can then be turned into dolls or quilts. I have done this to create special one-of-a-kind dolls for my children. If you use this method you need to seal the face. Depending on whether you are using an ink jet method or laser printer, the sealers will vary. Try different ones on a sample transfer before using it on the final face. Just be sure you sew and stuff the doll head before sealing the face, because some sealants gum up the sewing machine.

Q:  I don't know where to find muslin animal bodies.  I have looked and looked.  I have a pattern to crochet clothing for bunnies, pigs, cows, etc.  They are darling but I have not been able to either find the bodies or patterns to make them.  Can you lead me?

A:  Wimpole Street has 11" muslin bunnies
CRS Craft has bears, pigs, cows, rabbits and other animals
Click on bears, other animals, then pigs and cows

Q:  My daughter would  say that I am once again re-inventing the wheel.  My question? how did you make the King of Siam's head so nice and smooth?  At the moment we have a wonderful show at the museum in Montreal of a retrospective of Yves St. Laurent fashion wear.  My daughters bought me the catalogue as I had mentioned that I wanted to copy some of the outfits.  I have just finished a 4 doll class with Judi Ward.  Learned a lot but must once again spread my own wings.  The mannequins have smooth heads and no hair and are white.  How did you hide the seams in the king's head?
A:  To answer this we asked Sylvia Schorr, the designer of that particular pattern from Doll for All Seasons. She responds: "The head design is quite simple.  The head pattern is a profile design with a triangular cut out at the top of the head.  Sew down the front and back profile of the head pattern.  Cut the head out adding the 1/8 seam allowance as you cut.  Clip out a triangular cut at the top of the crown, pin the back and front seams together at the crown and sew, rounding the seams as you sew.  Clip all rounded seams. (Important to clip rounded seams as it helps in easing and creating an invisible looking seam)  Stuff firmly.  By painting the head it also helps the seams disappearbut heres the trick.  Do not use fabric paint.  Use skin tone latex house paint, as its very forgiving in filling in the seams.  Now there it isIve told you my secretnow raise your right hand and swear to keep my painting secret!"

By Bonnie B. Lewis

Paverpol is a textile hardener originally created in the Netherlands to make outdoor waterproof sculptures from fabric. It is environmentally safe, non-toxic, and has the AP seal for safety. It is white with the consistency of heavy cream, but dries transparent. It sticks to EVERYTHING (wood, rocks, kitchen countertops, plaster, paper, glass, aluminum foil, etc.) except plastic, so protect your work area with plastic wrap.

Pour some Paverpol into a separate container so you don't contaminate the entire jar with fibers, dye, or additives. Keep a bucket of water nearby to wash your hands and tools. DO NOT pour this water down the drain (unless you want a visit from the plumber), but dump outside. It won't hurt your plants or grass.

It can stiffen ribbon, fabric (it works best on natural fibers,) but will also stiffen synthetics, paper, artificial flowers, etc., although it will lay on the surface and give things a slightly plastic look. It can be applied to canvas, Styrofoam, and of course it sticks to itself, so it is perfect for no sew projects. It seals edges of fabric so they won't fray, creates instant pleats, and stiffens the edge of clothing to create a sense of movement. It gives silk a plastic look, but if diluted is great for making molded hats.

It can also preserve leaves and dried flowers, things can be added to it to create bases (for example, sand and tiny seashells.) You can add wire, Angelina fiber, beads (Micro marbles work great), paint, glitter, and paint it on plastic in the shape of fairy wings. When dry, peel off the wings, add veins with markers or paint, use rubber stamps to create texture. It dries overnight, but you can speed setting time using a blow dryer.

If you use pins, rubber bands or clips to hold pieces together, be sure to remove them once fabric is set, or they will become permanently attached. If you miss a spot, you can always brush on more Paverpol. It will be completely cured in about 2 weeks. Once item is stiff, it is very difficult to sew, so any stitching should be done BEFORE using Paverpol. However, you can glue trims to it.

One last note: Paverpol has a memory, and it will retain its shape once it dries. It may slump a little if left outdoors in the heat, but will return to its original shape once cool. Therefore, any shaping must be done BEFORE it completely dries.

Patti LaValley's Hoffman Challenge doll wrap was made with fabric and shaped with Paverpol. You can see it at


See this year's winners of 2008 Hoffman Challenge at:
Congratulations to one of our designers, Stephanie Novinski, for winning Best Use of Theme.

[The Material Girls] Becky Holloway Challenge!
Deadline: September 30, 2008
1. Use the Becky Holloway pattern called "Garden Party" (available at
2.You can change the pattern by upsizing or downsizing and adding bits and
pieces but it still needs to look like the Garden Party pattern somewhat
when you are finished.
3.You must finish and send the pictures to Lisa Risler ( by September 30th, 2008 with a NAME and a good DESCRIPTION of what all you did and how you did it...even a story is nice!
4. Voting will begin on October 5th with the url to be announced as soon as it is available online.
5. NO LATE entries can be accepted to be fair to everyone.
6. Please join the Yahoo Group "Hollowaypatterns" so we can kind of keep up with what is going on.
7. Do NOT show anyone your finished project until after the voting has been done. You must not tell anyone which entry is yours. You will be disqualified -- out of fairness to everyone else entering the contest.
Prizes will be awarded by Dollmaker's Journey, Cloth Doll Patterns, and Cloth Doll Supply.

Treasures of the Gypsy Challenge - Journey of the Gypsy
Kits available now for $20.00 US  
For information on 2008 challenge contact: Pamela Armas
P. O. Box 748, Mountainair, New Mexico 87036, USA.
Email address: 

2009 All Dolled Up: Beaded Art Doll Competition
Due date: August 31, 2009
Theme: Earthen Mother
Official rules posted here:


August 28-30, 2008 Dimensions in Dollmaking
San Diego, California
Promise forms due Aug. 1st, dolls due Aug. 15th
Theme: "Flights of Fantasy"
For more information and entry forms:

September 19-21, 2008 Magic, Mischief and Mayhem
Richmond, Kentucky
Classes from Cindee Moyer and Cyndi Mahlstadt. Only a few spaces left.

10-13 October 2008 (Columbus Day Weekend) Doll Retreat
Cromwell, Connecticut
Features doll artists Annie Hesse, Monika Shedden, Debbie Gile and Joyce Stroman

October 19, 2008 - Manitoba Doll Club presents "Village of Dreams"
Time: 10:00 to 4:00 pm
Canadinns Polo Park, 1405 St. Matthew Ave, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
Admission: adults $4.00 Children (-12) & Seniors (+65): $3.00
Info: Sylvia 204.482.4932 or Vieve
Doll Retreat on the East Coast!

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


Free Pattern!   Check out the Napkin/Sisters Doll pattern on Judi Ward's site.  Go to...
More directions available at    

NOTE FROM JUDI: Unlabeled pattern on same page as head is for stockings.  If you want to make colored legs, simply sew a big square of colored fabric at the bottom of her body fabric for the legs be on, and then use the template just the same as for flesh colored legs...Doubled of course. These dolls don't stand well, but make great wall dolls. The shoes are the hardest part of the whole doll, but the cute Hiking Boots S 442 size 1 will fit great and look great too. They are from Antina's Doll Supply at 

At the Day with Dolls Stephanie Novatski had her Lady Ragalia seated in a fantastic chair. Here is her link to the chair directions

We are so pleased to welcome designer CYNDI MAHLSTADT of Meadow Bug Studio to our Dollmakers Journey Family of Designers.  You'll find her "Under the Sea Mermaid" a terrific blend of construction techniques, and we think you'll really have a ball with her "Trick or Treat, Smell My Feet!"  You've got to take a peek at these delightful patterns.


Drum Roll Please.. It has taken us almost a year and a half but at long last we are debuting our newest pattern "The Elementals."  This comprehensive pattern features four different dolls Air Earth Fire Water that are created with a variety of products that will enhance your doll making.  As an INTRODUCTORY SPECIAL we are offering The Elementals for HALF PRICE through the end of September.  Click here to read more about it

The United Kingdom's MADELEINE SARA MADDOCKS has the most wonderful CD called "Fiddly Little Fingers & Tricky Toes" that not only addresses those two important areas of dollmaking in great depth, but includes a treasure trove of basic dollmaking tips.  You're going
to love the bonus doll pattern that comes with it called "Pampered Polly!"  This CD definitely belongs in your reference library.

Come meet the adorable new creatures from that talented Dragon Charmer JENNIFER CARSON. You won't be able to resist her "Lil' Stinkers, Goblin Babies."  You've got to take a peek!

BARB OWEN has revised and updated her classic "Flower Faces."  A ton of excellent photos will walk you through every step of needle sculpting this beautifully serene face.

Many of you know and appreciate the painting artistry of designer KAT LEES.  She has developed a series of fantastic Face Painting CDs.  "Creating Faces with Chalk CD" will teach you the ins and outs of subtle shading and much, much more.  "Printing Faces on Fabric" will guides you through transfering faces you have made or photographs onto fabric using your printer.  KAT'S directions and her clear color photos will take you on an effortless journey.  Get ready to take your face making skills to a whole new level!

The Embellishment Queen STEPHANIE NOVATSKI has done it again.  Come see her exquisite "Dances with Butterflies CD."  100 pages of in-depth instruction will walk you through every aspect of creating this doll in both 24" and 18" sizes.  We saw this doll in person last weekend and it was breath taking!

The world would be a better place with a daily dose of a whimsical JILL MAAS doll.  You can have exactly that with JILL'S 2009 Calendar.  Just take a look at the cover and glimpse what's in store for the rest of the year.

"Lovelorn Lena and Her Frog Prince" is a wonderful new project from BILLIE HEISLER that's loaded with detailed photos and a pre-printed  muslin face for you to color it.

"Fox Hunt" is another exquisite animal figure from SUZETTE RUGOLO - you've got to take a look.

We've got two new patterns from talented Australian designer SANDY PINE. If you'd like to explore making trapunto face masks then her "Stepping Out Santa" is the perfect opportunity.  It's never too soon to get a head start on holiday projects.  She also is treating us to "The Lonely Princess" - an enchanting figure indeed.


We are very excited to announce that GRRRIP IS BACK!!!  We've been mourning the loss of our hands down favorite adhesive GRRRIP GLUE since the manufacturer went out of business last year.  To our great delight he has started another company and 8 cases arrived on our doorstep yesterday.  Be sure to stop by and stock up.

Have you ever gone through the messy exercise of candling cloth edges?  Well, have we got a gadget for you!  The PERFECT END THREAD BURNER is a battery operated filament that heats up at the push of a button to cut and cauterize synthetics and silk.  Beaders love it for
sealing threads.  Best of all, when the button is released, the filament is cold.  Stop by and take a look.


After returning from New York, Bonnie brought some Doll for All Seasons and Chatelaine dolls to G Street Fabrics in Rockville, Maryland where they joined other dolls from G Street Doll Club. There were so many dolls the store had to use all three display cases. They will be there through September.  It is fun to see the different variations people created using the same 3 patterns. She will try and take pictures to share with you next month.

Mary Ann and Jim spent a few glorious days in the Berkshire Mountains of Western Massachusetts.  There they attended several performances of the Boston Symphony at Tanglewood the magnificent outdoor performance park.  They also visited the Clark Art Museum in nearby Williamstown and the Norman Rockwell Museum in Stockbridge.  Its an incredibly beautiful area to visit with graceful old towns and lovely scenery.  On their way back south they stopped off to see Jims sons Sean and wife Lisa and Mike and girlfriend Becky in Jersey City.  The six of them had a tremendous night in New York City attending an Off-Broadway show called Altar Boyz that was tons of fun.  Its hard to believe that the summer is over and Jim is back in the classroom preparing for his students.


Great doll accessories from Antina's Doll Supplies

Want to try paperclay, but don't know what to do? Here are some helpful tutorials. (2 tutorials) OR AND
  (has lots of related links)

Great free video on how to soft sculpt a baby face from Dinky Baby
Click on hobbies on left. It is second video on sculpting a face.

Wed love to hear your thoughts about our Customer Connection newsletter.

Contact the editor Bonnie B. Lewis at with any comments, suggestions, 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.) To subscribe to Dollmakers Journey Customer Connection, go to:

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Copyright 2008 Dollmakers Journey

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