Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Babushka Baubles in the Christmas issue of Patchwork and Stitching

I recently received my copy of this month's Christmas makes issue of Patchwork and Stitching magazine (vol 13 no 8).  I was pleased to see while checking out all the great new projects that my bauble design, Babushka felt baubles, is featured as a pattern. 


These little Babushka's were great fun to make and were a wonderful way to empty my felt stash.  I had trouble stopping making them.


The issue reminds me though that there are only a few weeks until Christmas and I have not started any of my Chrissy makes or shopping.

At least recently I've been making a lot of craft projects aimed at men and boys - so I'll whip up some for the family lads really soon (all men love a wallet don't they?).

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Craft Tutorial - Drawing a Male Cloth Doll Face


This tutorial is a companion to my earlier tutorial on drawing a female doll face (http://sharlzndollz.blogspot.com.au/2012/04/6-steps-to-drawing-cloth-doll-facing.html).

 I have created a simple four step way to create a fast and effective male cloth doll face.

The key in making the doll different between male and female is to make the features for the male more angular and wider, and to chose a more restricted colour pallet with less colour above the eye and on the lips. The eyebrows are heavier and the lips are not highlighted with shine. The eyes are squarer as are the lips. Refer to the photo to see the differences in a male a female doll I've completed recently.


The method uses a limited group of colours - a sharp HB pencil, a Pigma Micron 01 fabric pen in brown, Prismacolour fabric pencils in Burnt Ochre PC943, Tuscan Red PC937, and Goldenrod 1034, and a Gellyroll White fabric marker.

Here are the 4 steps (note I have drawn each separately rather than progressively so there a little variations in one face to the next - artistic imperfections would be a description).

Step 1: Lightly draw or trace the face using a sharp HB pencil.  Keep the detail limited.  This is really about getting the position of features and size right.  You can rub them off if they are not quite right. Now mark the face in brown using a Pigma Micron 01 fabric pen.  I like to mark the eyes first and from the inside to the outside of the top lid, then the bottom of the eye in two stokes one from each side to meet in the middle at the bottom. I mark the irises next with a dot.
I like to mark the lips from the centre and do one half of top lip and then other half. Finally I mark the lower lip in one stroke.

Step 2: I add colour to the eyeballs and the lips.  The eyelid I mark a strong line of Tuscan Red (its really a dark foxy brown and great for brown eyes) all around the edge of the eyeball. I mark the lips using Burnt Ochre and one strong stroke at the top middle and bottom middle of the lip shapes. I shade the eyes and lips next.  To shade the eyes, I work in a wheel spoke type pattern from outside of eye to inside of eye lightening the stroke as I go to make the inner eye a little paler. I mark the eyes in Tuscan Red. I also shade the lips from  outside to inside using Burnt Ochre with the stroke becoming gentler and lighter as I move to centre of the lip.

Step 3: I add colour variation to the eyes and lips. This is by adding a little touch of Goldenrod to both the eyes and the lips. For the eyes mark a line of Goldenrod around the iris and blend it into the Tuscan Red a little. For the lip blend a little Goldenrod into the lip centre and fade it outwards. I also add a line of Goldenrod under the eyebrows, along the top of the eye, on the base of the nose and just below the lips.

Step 4: Add depth to the face.  I add dots of Gellyroll white pen to the eyes on the right side of the iris both from the same direction - I am assuming my lightsource for the face is from the right. A with add shape to sides of the nose with shading of Goldenrod and shade a little Goldenrod to the cheeks using another piece of fabric with some Goldenrod drawn on and then rubbed in using your finger under the fabric scrap.

You are now done! Don't forget to press your face (under a cloth) to set the colours.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Craft Pattern - Gnomes made from recycled tablecloth

I created this pattern yesterday.  It's a pattern for some gnome softies fashioned from a recycled embroidered tablecloth.  The tablecloth was quite damaged and only partly completed, but the flowers were lovely and I wanted a design that kept these flower stems and suited flowers and gardens.  Gnomes seemed a good choice. I think the pattern could be adapted to use doilies or any other embroidered surface provided there is room to draw a face on the top.
Materials (for one gnome):

  • Recycled embroidered tablecloth - laundered 
  • scrap red cotton fabric (about 20cm square)
  • small piece light weight iron on interfacing (about 40cm square)
  • small scrap beige, cream or pale brown felt for hands (about 10cm square)
  • small scrap vliesofix (about 10cm square)
  • 2B pencil
  • Light box (optional) or bright window
  • small amount filling
  • filling tool (optional)
  • turning tool (optional)
  • matching sewing thread
  • your choice of method to finish face or follow instructions for creating this face from my earlier tutorial (http://sharlzndollz.blogspot.com.au/2012/04/6-steps-to-drawing-cloth-doll-facing.html)
(Note: some of my photos show multiple hands and feet as I made several gnomes at once)


Print out pattern sheet on an A4 size page. Cut out pattern for feet and hands.  These will be made first.

To make the feet: Iron a piece of interfacing to the back of the red cotton fabric of about 20cm square. On one end of the fabric trace around the foot shape twice onto the reverse of the fabric using the 2B pencil and marking the openings. Fold the fabric in half and pin and stitch around the two feet leaving openings for turning. Use a short machine stitch.  Trim shapes and turn through. If you would like help on turning small shapes try my earlier tutorial (http://sharlzndollz.blogspot.com.au/2012/04/craft-tutorial-perfectl y-easy-turning.html).  Set the feet aside.


To prepare gnome hat: From the remaining section of red fabric cut two 7cm squares and set aside.

To make the hands: Iron a 10cm square of vliesofix to the back of the felt scrap. Using the hand template, draw two hand shapes onto the ironed on vliesofix, making one reversed.  Cut out the hand shapes and set aside.

Prepare gnome body panels: Cut two 15cm squares of iron on  interfacing.  Turn the tablecloth to the reverse and work out which motifs will be centred for your gnome body.  Iron the two panels of iron on interfacing onto the reverse of the tablecloth on the chosen motifs. Using a lightbox or bright window, draw the gnome triangle up to the hat joint onto the reverse of the tablecloth lined up with your motifs. Mark the turning hole.   Roughly cut out the two panels leaving around 1cm edge on all sides. You may like to turn the gnome front panel over and lightly mark the face in pencil as a guide for later colouring in.

Adding hat:  With right sides together, pin and stitch one of the red 7cm squares prepared earlier to the top of each of the gnome panels at the hat join.  Trim seam and press open.  Return the panels to window or lightbox and mark in the top point of each triangle.

Adding feet: Using the pattern sheet as a guide, position the two prepared feet on the bottom seam of the front gnome panel.  Feet are positioned with toes facing into the body (refer photo).  Tack the feet on just below the bottom line of the triangle.

Adding hands: Using the pattern sheet as a guide, position the tow hands on each side of the body and iron into place.  Stitch around the hand outline by machine to secure in matching thread.

Making the Body: The body is sewn using the stitch and cut method.  Matching right sides together, line up the gnome body front to body back.  Use a lightbox or bright window to assist.  Pin and stitch around the shape, leaving opening for turning as marked on the pattern sheet.  Use a short stitch length. Trim the shape clipping curves as needed.  Turn through the shape.  Fill to firm using filling tool and invisibly close the filling hole using ladder stitch.
Feet: Using the lillte holes left in the feet, fill lightly and invisibly ladder stitch close the feet.

Face: Add a face to the gnome.  Follow my instructions at my earlier tutorial to make the shown face (http://sharlzndollz.blogspot.com.au/2012/04/6-steps-to-drawing-cloth-doll-facing.html) or you could embroider face.  Your gnome is now finished.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Two ladies doll pattern in this months Creating Country Threads cover

Opening the mail and finding this month's Creating Country Threads magazine (Vol 13 No 5) features my doll pattern "Two Ladies" was a wonderful surprise.


This pair of dolls was inspired by the tradition in Jane Austen novels of walking out on social visits. These ladies are promenading out with their umbrellas.  The photos in the magazine make them look wonderful.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Kitsch thrill - tablecloth made from tea towels

I saw this really fun project in an old Better Homes and Gardens magazine I borrowed from the local library (August 2010).  The project calls for using a collection of retro chic tea towels and turning them into a wonderful fun tablecloth.


I "borrowed" some of my mothers tea towel collection (collected during the 70's on an around Australia roadtrip) and washed, ironed and matched up similar sized tea towels.  My tablecloth is made of a three by three grid of tea towels and I think the resulting tablecloth'll be just right for a family barbeque this summer.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Monday making

Today has been wet and miserable outside - so its just right for inside work.  I finished sorting my very large craft magazine collection. 

I made chocolate chip biscuits (with secret ingredient chick peas).

I also finished a new doll - she is smiley and sunny.  I hope she affects the weather positively!