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Dollmaker's Journey

September 2008 Issue 82

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

September 2008 Issue 82

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,

This month we celebrate the 93rd birthday of Raggedy Ann. This was the first doll Bonnie ever made for her twin daughters when they turned 1. She also made the wrinkled knee camel and Raggedy Andy for her 2 year old son. Johnny Gruelle received Design Patent #47,789 for Raggedy Ann on September 7, 1915. You can find out more at

Our hearts and prayers go out to all of those who have been in the path of the recent hurricanes and storms. Bonnie flew through Hurricane Hannah (thankfully downgraded to a tropical storm by the time they arrived) and managed to land in the eye of the storm at Baltimore Washington airport. People on the plane clapped and cheered the pilot when they were safely on the ground. We hope all our friends are safe. Now is a great time to make charity dolls, bears and toys to give to those who have lost everything. If you go to our charity corner at you will find some patterns and suggested groups looking for contributions (such as LDS humanitarian aid, Catholic Charities, and the Red Cross.) Make sure in your giving that you also check out needs closer to home. Bonnie and Mary Ann currently knit and crochet toys, blankets, hats, scarves, etc. for local organizations in their area. As you make these things, remember Mary Ann's favorite thought, "Every stitch a prayer." This will make the things you create even more meaningful to those who receive them.

Bonnie and Mary Ann


Don't forget that everything in the WITCHES/HALLOWEEN and TROLL categories will be 20% off until the end of September
and that we have extended the Introductory HALF PRICE Special on our new "Elementals" pattern until the end of the month as well.


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

A:  A circle of jade white jade (the rarest) for the back of the gold medal, yellow jade for silver medals, and blue jade (dark green) for the bronze. In the center of the circle was inscribed the Beijing games emblem.  The gold and jade were to symbolize nobility and virtue and are supposed to be the embodiment of traditional Chinese values of ethics and honor.

Congratulations to Marian Burns from San Antonio, Texas. 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!


An essential tool to every doll maker is a pair of scissors. So the question for September is:
Q: Who first invented the scissors? (Hint: Contrary to popular opinion, it WASN'T Leonardo da Vinci.)

Everyone who emails in the correct answers by October 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 September 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 http:// 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.


Romona from Canada shared the following quote taken from a TV show, "Cooking with Paula". She writes: She made a comment one time and I wrote it down because it's so true and simple and follows along with my own beliefs.  "If you have a dream - follow it. There's no sin in trying and failing - the sin is in not trying".


Q:  I would like to make Sir Rustalot by Brenda Coulter, and wondered if you have any patterns for a 'princess' to go with him?  I have been searching different categories and haven't found anything yet. (Sir Rust a Lot pattern available at )

A:  Because Sir Rust a Lot is 33" tall, it is difficult to find him a perfect princess. Check the Historical and Fantasy categories. Our Doll for All Seasons would work, although you would have to either reduce the knight or enlarge the doll. I was thinking of the costume for the May Fairy, which is actually based on a dress from the 1150 AD period. If the doll stood, rather than sat, and wore that dress, she could be a princess. However, you would have to either reduce Sir Rust a Lot pattern by 60% to make him 20" tall OR enlarge the Doll for All Seasons 150% to make her 30". NOTE: When you enlarge or reduce any pattern, the seam allowance is no longer accurate. You need to redraw a 1/4" seam allowance on every pattern piece just outside the stitching line after you alter the size.

Q:  I want to make some wooden dolls and want to use wool for hair.  I am not sure what type to purchase.  I want to create a straight hair style, possibly braids and a longer soft curly style.  Do you have any suggestions?

A:  For a wooden doll you need hair that can be glued on rather than sewn. I have used our braided mohair and wool for long braids or curly styles. Just cut a length as long as you wish (I would lay the braid over the top of the head and cut the ends even). Remove the holding cord, tie hair in the center of the braid, and unbraid hair, fluffing it. You can then glue hair to wood head, braiding it below ears or wherever you wish. Although wool has a natural crimp to it, you can straighten it using tools for real hair. Our Tibetan Lamb has hair attached to a skin, and can easily be made into a wig. However, the hair is only about 6" long, not long enough for a long braid. I have also used fine yarn for doll hair on a wooden head.

By Tonya Dyce (

This is an article taken from August 10, 2008 FOCD digest. Important information for those who use this type of fabric, especially for mermaid tails. The advice applies equally to sequined and glitter dot fabric. BBL

Machine sewing tips:

Glitter dot can be a tricky fabric to work with. The glue can gum up the needle, causing thread and needle breakage. Here are a few tips to try to make machine sewing glitter dot less painful.

Sew between the dots - This may not always be possible due to the cut of the pattern. But if you can align the dots so you are stitching between them you will prevent the needle from becoming goopy with the glue.

Use a very fine, very sharp needle - While conventional sewing wisdom would indicate a ball-point or stretch needle for sewing this knitted fabric, a universal or sharp needle will penetrate the dots easier. The finer the needle, the smaller the resulting holes will be.

Use a silicone lubricant - Using a drop or two of sewing lubricant will aid the needle in pushing through the fabric. A drop or two rubbed onto the presser foot will help the dots slide along if you are sewing dot side up.

Clean your needle - During long batches of sewing, an alcohol wipe can help clean the needle. Wet-wipes are an effective, easy-to-use tool that can be pulled out at a moment's notice. After cleaning the needle, re-apply silicone lubricant before continuing to sew.

Sew as little as possible - Perhaps the best way to streamline the process of sewing glitter dot fabrics is to reduce the amount of sewing. Pick garments with simple lines. This fabric doesn't fray, so don't serge it. It
also doesn't unravel so if it's cut evenly, a hem might not be needed.

Plan twice, Sew once - Every time a needle pierces a dot it leaves a permanent hole. Like leather and vinyl, glitter dot doesn't "heal"' so plan accordingly. Make sample garments from inexpensive muslin to test fit. Transfer any adjustments to your pattern before cutting out the dotted fabric.

Hand Sewing tips:

Glitter dot bras and belts can add a lot of shine and shimmer and provide an excellent foundation for further embellishment. Plan on lining your glitter dot covered bra in a smooth cotton or silk. Glitter dot is exceptionally scratchy and linings will add a degree of comfort. Hand sewing the cover to the bra or belt base will eliminate stitch lines, and will give you more control over placement. The dots make a grid pattern that can be equally attractive aligned with the top edge of the bra, or turned on an angle

Use a long, fine, sharp needle - This will make it easy to slip between the threads and around the dots. Avoid stitching through dots at all costs, as you can break a needle, the thread or both.

Wear a thimble - If you need to sew through the dots, wear a thimble to protect your pushing finger. Some seamstresses use a rubber grip to pull the needle, adding traction to prevent their fingers from slipping.

Plan your surface design - As with machine sewing, it's best to plan your stitching to avoid the dots themselves.

Stitch from front to back - If you must go through the dots, try to go from front to back, so you can control where the thread goes into the dot while avoiding pushing the dot loose from behind.

*Use a #9 sharp needle, put sewers aide on the thread AND the sewing machine needle, put the glitter dot fabric on a piece of copy paper, use a regular stitch length and you will sew thru the glitter dots like butter!!!

* If your needle gets sticky from sewing through glue (glitter dots, sticky backed Velcro, iron-on interfacing that you weren't supposed to sew through) wipe the needle with Goo Gone periodically. Make sure needle is dry before continuing to sew.

* If you have time, remove dots in seam allowance before stitching. This is time consuming, but makes it a lot easier to sew.


[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:  (see more information under Houston Quilt Show below)

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


October 10-13, 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!

October 24 November 2, 2008 Houston Quilt Market and Festival
Houston, Texas
Many doll classes will be taught. Treasures of the Gypsy dolls will be displayed.

December 3-6, 2008 Dazzling Daze with Patti Culea
San Diego, California
Private workshop with room and board included.
For more information about the workshop go to or contact Patti at

April 30 May 3, 2009 Artistic Figures in Cloth
Columbus, Ohio
For information go to

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


Natania, a name tag doll free gift from Patti Culea
See more of Patti's patterns at

Read a great felting tutorial by Jennifer Carson for eyes and hair using a Goblin Baby as the guinea pig.,_blog/In_the_studio,_blog.html
Click on Tutorial for Pea Pods and Goblin Babies
See more patterns for Jennifer's incredible fantasy creations at

The website is in French, but the tutorial links are in English. Lots of great tutorials for dollmakers.

Fantasy film (Textiva film available at Dollmaker's Journey) fairy wings are incredible!


KAT LEES has designed an incredible series of Christmas Elves. Each project focuses on different aspects of doll making techniques. We're starting you off with two.  "Candy Cane Elf" is a perfect beginner's project with simple body construction but lots of easy to make detail.  The "Artistic Elf" is a bit more advanced and you will learn to create everything you see in the photo - so check it out!
You can also learn more about KAT in our Designer Profile section.

Speaking of elves, VICKI RILEY has a great new pattern called "Meyrna & Maynard" that is one doll body that can be made into a cute witch or an elf. And because Meyrna is a witch, this darling pattern will be on sale through the end of the month.

"Galleria" is a beautiful new wall doll from MARY KOCHEVAR that is designed to display an endless variety of arts you may enjoy.

Out of the Mystic Garden of Folk from designer DE RUE JOHNSON we have "The Dance Master." Who knew that frogs could dance!

PATTI CULEA'S wonderful new pattern "Mikaela and Lizzy" features a fabulous ball-jointed doll carrying her own rag doll.  You're going  to love it!

The pattern for VIRGINIA ROBERTSON'S stately "Tabetha" has a ton of mix and match options for your creative exploration.  You also have to check out her "Big Bag & Accessories.  You'll have five ways of
putting your favorite bits and pieces to good use.


We're happy to report that we now have PIGMA MICRON FINE LINE MARKERS in two sizes in both black and brown for your basic face making needs.

Pre-made muslin doll bodies can be purchased from:


Bonnie has been to Utah twice in the last two months to help her daughter with their new baby and post partum complications. The last trip she returned in the middle of Hurricane Hannah. The G Street Doll Club took four patterns, including our Doll for All Seasons and Chatelaine, and made a lot of dolls which are displayed in three cases at G Street Fabrics in Rockville, Maryland. The idea was to see the great variety of dolls that could be made from one pattern. Pictures were taken, and you can see them at

In the early hours of August 22 Mary Anns beloved sister Barbara Zetts Cantrell slipped gently out of the body that failed her and slid into the loving arms of Our Savior to receive her final, well deserved reward.  Her earthly body may have left us, but her glorious spirit will remain forever.  Please know how much Mary Anns family appreciates your many supportive thoughts and prayers during this difficult time.  On a lighter note, Mary Ann is thrilled to be travelling to San Diego for a long awaited visit with her son Mike and his beautiful bride Kyah.  (Our able assistant Tara will be holding down the fort and keeping the orders filled.)  She is delighted to have been asked to be the Guest Speaker at the IOLCC Doll Club meeting on Tuesday evening 23 September where she will discuss her personal doll making journey and just what it takes to have a successful online business.  Shes looking forward to seeing our many San Diego customers/friends there.


A cute rag doll pattern

Elizabeth Winfield on FOCD suggested the following links for simple patterns to teach children.
If you want a 'purchased' pattern, I really like Judi Ward's doll pattern for the Beginner-Intermediate-Advanced Doll; the doll that it makes is exceedingly cute, cuddly and sweet, and it isn't too 'small' for someone learning.  It is a more complex doll shape, however--the pattern has options for a jointed doll, and the head has a center panel.  I've made them for my nieces, and they love them.

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

Contact the editor Bonnie B. Lewis at with any comments, suggestions, etc. 
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Copyright 2008 Dollmakers Journey

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