Saturday, December 27, 2008

Felt ballerina doll, how-to

Here's how I made this beautiful felt ballerina doll!

This is my very first time making a doll, although of course I know how to sew, embroider and string beads. It was really the working with felt and creating the right pattern with it that was a challenge.

For materials, I started out with 5 sheets of 8 inch by 10 inch felt, although I really only needed 4, since the two sides of the doll body used one sheet when rotated. More for the next doll! The colors are light pink (for a caucasian doll), dark pink (for the dance shoes), purple for the dress, and red for the hair.

I used some tracing paper to create a pattern for cutting out the doll's body. Here's where I made my first error—the seam didn't work with felt, so after I attempted to sew it together the first time, I had to cut it down 1/8 inch all around, back to my solid line on the pattern. No big deal!

For her face, I sewed green beads on for her irises (with green thread), then embroidered her eyeliner and lashes. I sewed on seven pink beads for her pretty mouth with medium pink thread, then embroidered circles on her cheeks in the medium pink for rouge. (This image is before I trimmed the pattern down.)

I sewed the head and arms then stopped to stuff her arms and head carefully. A chopstick was an essential tool to get the stuffing to fill properly through the long arms. Once they were filled, I sewed and stuffed the torso, then down to the knees, and so on.

Then it was time to make her ballet dress (not quite a tutu). I went back to the tracing paper pattern and drew a dress pattern to fit the body. After it was cut out, I sewed the shoulder straps, placed them on the doll and sewed the rest of the dress together in place.

After the dress was complete, I winged my way through on the pointe shoes and hairdo (with ballet bun!), alternately cutting and sewing while checking the fit. For the embroidery on the hair, I used embroidery floss in red-brown.

I think she turned out beautifully! Now I just need to try it again and streamline my efforts. Since I worked on her over a few weeks, fitting in 30 mins here, an hour there, I have no idea how long the doll took to make total. I'll come back and give a time estimate later on.

Let me know if you try it out & post your results!

XO, Ms. Nylonthread

Necklace for Miss M.

I designed this necklace as a gift for Miss M., my daughter Rosie's Kindergarten teacher. From what I've noticed, she likes to wear larger, irregular stones in her adornments, so I came up with this pattern for her.

The beads are warm-toned semi-precious stones and glass with a ring clasp at the back. I hope she likes it!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Welcome to Ms. Nylonthread

Ms. Nylonthread is a blog about the jewelry and crafts that I'm creating. I have an site, Stringing Bling and this will soon be a partner/showcase for my works in progress or recently sold items. I belong to EtsyCREST, a DC/Baltimore Street Team for Etsy and they inspire me. Items that I find beautiful and inspirational are fodder for this blog!

On EtsyCREST, we just had an holiday exchange among members. I sent a necklace to a member that was assigned to me and just happened to be an excellent photographer (woot!), Terra Dawn (check out her Etsy shop!). Since I hadn't gotten around to taking any photos of the necklace, I asked her if she would mind. If only I had enough bank to hire her to take all my photographs! Gorgeous!