I had a chance to read the book I got on Monday, Creative Cloth Doll Making by Patti Medaris Culea from cover to cover. There are some really nice dolls illustrated here and not all by the author. My favourite kind actually: colourful fantasy dolls but not too sticky sweet. The techniques shown are diverse including dye painting, freeform stitching, silk burning with a heat gun, and beading. There are three basic doll patterns from simple to more difficult but all the parts can be interchanged because they're all on the same scale. Detailed instructions on dollmaking help but I found some of the directions a little confusing. Simple steps were illustrated but more complex ones might be missing a necessary diagram. All in all, the book could have used a bit stronger of an editorial hand. One example, Patti uses the word "graft" to mean "graphed" — just a small glitch but glaring to me! I hope to actually do a real doll from Patti's books one of these days. But first I have to finish the beaded one I started last week. Sometimes I just have to rein myself in sharply!
I finished the first of my new wardrobe of shirts. This isn't a great picture but you get the idea. (If you read yesterday's post, note that's the red-orange side of my studio door. The other side is yellow-orange and the frame is blue-violet.) See how it looks like I dyed the fabric — except better? It's quite crisp, i.e. not drapey, but it feels like it's very durable like one of Thom's good cotton shirts. If I recall it's one of Hoffman's Bali Batik quilting fabrics that I bought a very long time ago at Puyallup's Sewing & Quilting Expo. I think I like quilting cotton though it's pricey. It's not a "fashion fabric" so it will be sure to last longer than a season or two. As you can probably tell, I like things to last.
Next I'm sewing one of the long-sleeved (roll-up) shirts that I found all cut out from ages ago. It's very lightweight cotton/poly striped in black, greys, and a tiny bit of red. Creases too easily but we'll see how useful it turns out. So far all this is really costing me is my time. If I've owned the pattern and fabric for more than a decade it doesn't count as an expense! This is stash-busting at it's finest. Maybe I should combine sewing this shirt with the one from the same pattern that I just cut out the other day. Make it kind of a production line. Good idea! Better get to it before it gets too hot in my studio. No, I'm not complaining. It's finally summer. I was worried we were going to skip it entirely.