Doll #1 - Prototype

Here is "Prototype". She is a doll inspired by Shelley Thornton but she is a little wierd looking so no endearing name.

Finished September 6, 2003.
One of my husband's paintings is in the background.

Shelley uses wooden ball joints, stuffed fabric hair and embroiders the face as I have done here - I'm hoping enough of my personal style comes through so I don't infringe on her own style. I do welcome email on the subject - I don't want to plagerize her look but when I saw her doll in one of the Oroyan books, I just had to try.

I also had the notion of the stuffed fabric hair when I was struggling for a way to express the hair of Shiva, who is an Aeon character of Final Fantasy X - a PS2 game I've been struggling to play for over a year. I wanted to make a doll who has her hair but I needed to figure out dollmaking first.

The more interesting books give you ideas but no details and the simpler dollmaking books just don't have some of the harder techniques I wanted to try so I picked a picture and chose to figure it out. The web is full of good information not found in any of the books.


She started out as a prototype hand and turned into the ones you see here. All but her head and feet are cheap felt. Felt has enough thickness to stay put without stuffing too firmly and my sewing machine hated the knit material - I've read to try layering paper over and under the material and have had success with that - and stuffing it made it bulge funny so I may adopt an inside layer of felt with a knit outer-coating. The drawback of just felt is that her joints are a bit loose.

I discovered that the ball joints dictate the thickness of her arms and thickness gives you an idea of proporation and length. I had to special order the ball joints of the legs since the arm ones were the biggest AC Moore could get.

Her head came next - this is what's under the knit head you see later. It's a ball of nice thick yarn with several layers of batting then a cheap Target knit sock (the part after the heel).

Her feet were pretty much last but before the head and some of her facial features. Just as real people do, she has wierd looking knit feet. I made her shoes since her ankles have a mind of their own. I'll include pics of her current feet and her finished clothes as soon as I get a camera with a macro lens.
Her clothes were inspired by "The Dolls Dressmaker" by Venus Dodge. I use "inspred" since she is a wierd-shaped doll and this book has nice pictures but the patterns are very vague. I recommend it as inspirational but not for the novice.
Her body came from a few asian websites, "The Complete Book of Dollmaking" by Pamela Peake, "Baby Dolls and their Clothes" by Valeria Ferrari and all of Susanna Oroyan's books. If you can get any of them from the library, please do as these can really dent your wallet.

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