Home > Book Recommendations, Fun Stuff, Shellie Lewis' Art, Uncategorized > Book Recommendation: How to Make Art Dolls with Fabric

Book Recommendation: How to Make Art Dolls with Fabric

Melinda-Midnight-Doll-FACE-Web

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I found a fantastic how-to book on making art dolls in cloth in the library, Introduction to Making Cloth Dolls by Jan Horrox. These two dolls in this blog post are art dolls I made using this book. The photographs in the Horrox book are gorgeous and the patterns are for larger 14 – 16 inch tall dolls. If you can sew, you can make art dolls with these patterns. The author uses wonderful, rich colors and textures in her pieces that will give you ideas for your work.

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Melinda-Midnight-Doll-WEB Shellie Lewis 2016

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A 5-inch long doll making needle is needed so you can use two hole buttons to join the arms and legs so they move. A tube turner tool set such as the Dritz Quick Turn is very helpful to get the arms and legs flipped right-side out. A Sakura Pigma Micron pen and watercolor pencils work for drawing the face, but acrylic paints and fabric paint work as well. Patterned high thread count quilting cottons make wonderful bodies for the dresses.

Shrinking the patterns in Photoshop made the patterns much more difficult, so I recommend you make a full size doll first before trying to miniaturize the patterns. I ran into trouble with the arms and legs being too thin to turn when I shrank the patterns.  The full size of the doll from the pattern is really nice though; it gives you a big surface to work with.

Besides drawing the face, decorating and embellishing the doll is huge fun. All sorts of beads, sequins, ribbons, charms and trinkets can be used to deck out your dolls. I have been using soft knitting yarns for the hair and tulle for ballet skirts. If you want to make a cloth art doll with more complexity than a Dotee doll but do not want to go into doll sculpting, this book and its patterns will give you projects that you can wrap up in a weekend.

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Joy-Hubbard-Doll-WEB Shellie Lewis

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