Tuesday, July 21, 2009

photo intensive post....














My special doll that I've been working on for several months is finished and finally I sent her to the Hoffman Challenge. It was painful. I almost couldn't do it. But, several fellow doll makers and Mr. BV.. (my biggest fan and cheerleader) reminded me that I did make it for the challenge and I should send her. Now..I'm just keeping fingers crossed that she comes home in close to the same condition I saw her last.














There were lots of new-to-me techniques that I tried for this little lady. Here are some of the steps in making her wig. I used a tutorial I found online for those hardbody, store-bought fashion dolls... but, I figured what the heck...it's still a head. Gluing the completed wig on was a bit tricky...and I did get a bit of the wispy hair caught in the glue...so... there was a bit of tension...okay, there was a lot of swearing and frustration and there were almost tears.... but.... it finally did work out.

Her head is made of a slightly stretchy fabric...then needle sculpted around the nose, lips and eyes..











then a tea dyed piece of spandex glued and smoothed and smoothed...and smoothed some more... It's a great way to hide a center seam on a doll.











Just remember to leave plenty of extra fabric to arrange and tuck well back on the head. And...good luck on having no wrinkles!! It can take quite a bit of time to get it right. I made several heads.... 5 or 6 ... and didn't have much luck with any of them..... some of you heard those stories. Still and all, on the final head... (because I would have refused to do another )..... I had to do a bit of surgery beneath her chin to do away with one stupid stubborn wrinkle...but, it isn't visible .... Think I'll hang out my plastic surgery shingle.
Her little ear I just made from a tiny bit of the spandex material...and it isn't anatomically correct, nor is it wonderful...but, it is my first ear...and besides...as you will see in the final pics....most of it is not visible...and I pierced the lobes with a set of the most perfect tiny earrings that used to belong to my Mom. How I wish she could have seen this doll.....
























...plastic over her face to make sure no glue ruins her make-up...











oooohhhh....what a wispy, fine mess it all was !!!











There was lots of hand stitching, even some "semi ruching" as I call it, because it is not the real deal, but it allowed me to use a fair bit of the required material and make it look nicer than if it was just a flat panel tucked into the front of her dress.

I did all of the stitching and sewing before making it into a skirt for her gown... and it was a bit tricky for somebody who is still a novice at sewing ... I agonized over how to make sure it would all come together in the end.... but, finally it did. And..I even managed to line it...last.... to hide all the stitching on the inside of the gown and make it look tidy.
























The soft green material is also a Hoffman print, and it was not required, but I love the look of it next to the large paisley print. It is a bit difficult to tell in the picture...but the lace and organza trim on the bottom are also of the palest greens... the gold braid all stitched on by hand is a greenish gold.











The celery coloured fabric is satin one side and crepe on the other... a great two metre bargain chunk I found at a local Indian shop. Oh, what fun looking at the goodies in that shop... I managed to use it for the bows on the crepe-y side and trim on the satin side. I made tubes of it and ruffled and twisted and stitched it and voila...trims and bows.... I stitched the centers of the bows with gold thread.














Her chest began as pretty flat... and then with several suggestions ... again from fellow dollmakers, and of course, my in-house advisor... yep..the mister knows as much about the darn dolls as I do.... how could he not? I yak about them all the time and obviously he listens...gee how unlike a man eh? ...and then, he reminds me about things I have done in the past that I forgot already...hahahha.....hope he hangs around for a long time....











I added some conical shapes and stuffed them well ...I will stuff them even more firmly next time. As you can see...there would have been a noticeable transition between chest wall and the cones...so I carefully added some bits of stuffing after I pulled on her "sweater" of very lightly tea dyed spandex. I glued and stitched it tightly to her torso along the bottom of the spandex...











Lovely smooth breasts just like I wanted so that her very low neckline would be beautiful. Gathered the pullover tightly at the top of the neck and screwed on the head...then stitched her head firmly into position.




























There is too much to show in one post ! ... I should have done a week in the making or something... perhaps I'll do a few more pics on special areas......














If you go to their site you can click on "past challenges" to see some of the dolls from other years...

26 comments:

beedeebabee said...

I think she is just breathtaking!!
Her face is EXQUISITE, your needle sculpting so perfect! I love your handmade wig, and her costume is gorgeous. Beautiful color choices! What a talent you are!
I don't know if I could have let her go!!! If this is a competition, I so hope you win!!!
BEAUTIFUL, BEAUTIFUL, BEAUTIFUL!!!
Paulette :o)

Draffin Bears said...

Hi Vee,

I have been admiring your beautiful doll. She is amazing and I keep going back to take another look.
Love everything about this beauty.
Well done.

Muck luck for the competition ~ I hope she wins!

Hugs
Carolyn

Dolores said...

Simply beautiful. Well done and I too hope she wins.

For the love of a teddy bear said...

Hi Vee, Omgosh she turned out BEAUTIFUL!!! the dress is just gorgeous and her hair is perfect and her face says it all!! I hope she wins!!! You are such a wonderful artist!! Good luck! Hugs, Jennifer

HElen said...

She is exceptional! Beautiful face! ishing you the best on challenge! Beautiful! Love everyhting about this doll!

Silke said...

Exquisite!! Gorgeous! I am speechless...what an amazing talent you have! And such patience!!! I hope she wins!! :) Silke

Wipso said...

Oh wow. She is just amazing. What patience you have. Good luck with the competition.

Lynda (Granny K) said...

What a wonderful creation! Well Done! It is obvious that so much thought and creativity has gone into making her. I hope you win, and that she is taken very good care of whilst she is away.

Jennifer Rose said...

o.0 this is gorgeous! the costume is wonderful and really nice job with her face :D

Shashi Nayagam said...

Wow she is drop down dead gorgeous! Love every thing about her. You did a lovely job of the costume given that I thought the fabric was not so very inpiring this time. You really turned it into something so beautiful.

Daisy said...

So beautiful and magical! I love the pale greens in the fabrics. Best of luck in the Hoffman Challenge!

Susan said...

Breathtaking, stunning, amazing, beautiful, immaculate ... the attention to every little tiny detail Holy Cow Vee I did go to the website and I did check out some of the past winning dolls and you ARE so gonna win this one. Congratulations. She's gorgeous.
xo S & es Gang

Serena said...

WOW! She is absolutely, stunningly BEAUTIFUL!!! What a great job you did, Vee! I loved seeing all the pics and would love to see more. :)

Abi said...

V - now that was really interesting - I have learnt loads of new techniques for free! and with photos! bonus - I love learning from photos! She is a beautiful doll, her eyes are stunning, and the detail you added is out of this world. First class.
I'd like more tutorials please! :O) - hey, you should really consider designing and creating patterns - they'd be brill(if you haven't already of course)

Michelle Eaton said...

She is BEAUTIFUL!!! You did such a great job. I hope you get her back safe and sound.

Pauline said...

Wow Vee she is absolutely beautiful!! I loved seeing how she was put together and the fabric for her dress is gorgeous. A true work of art.

Pauline

Annika said...

Wow she is stunning, beautiful and magical! I am speechless! I really do hope she wins. Thank you so much for your nice comments on my blog.

Judi W. said...

Can I get away with just saying 'ditto'? She's spectacular!

Kerry said...

she is very lovely and you did a marvelous job on her attire!! I hope she wins for you will keep my fingers crossed and also that she is returned unscathed!!

Maria said...

Hello Vee,
Stunning ... fantastic job ... a work of art!
I do hope she wins the competition ... I'm sure she will.
Hope you are well.
Hugs ... Maria

Carla said...

She just turned out so beautiful! Good luck!

Sandy said...

OHHHH she is one of my favorites I have seen you do, she is gorgeous, all the details, the clothes, the face, everything!!

Bonnie Lee Fontaine said...

Mere words are not enough. This piece is truly an act of love if I have ever seen one. Your techniques produced a flawless finish. I participated in the Hoffman Challenge a few years ago, and have not always agreed with the chosen winners. As far as I am concerned, it doesn't MATTER if you win or not. This doll has captured the hearts and love of so many people already, and will continue to enchant anyone who sees her. If you do win, it'll just be icing on the cake. She is a TRIUMPH! Congratulations! :o)

Cheryl said...

Well, there you go, another fabulous piece of work from you. ou do fancier costumes than I ever have and I have sewn most of my life. Would love to come and spend a weekend creating with you as I make bears and dolls too. Love your sense of humor too. Good luck

Lisa Lectura Creations said...

She is soooo beautiful! I wouldn't be able to let her go too! Love your step by step progress. Thanks for sharing your creativity with us! You are amazing! Happy Wednesday!

Hugs,
Lisa :)

Anonymous said...

I saw your gorgeous doll on Deanna Hogan's website. If I were a judge, I'd pick your doll for the winner. Good luck!
Joyce