Sunday, July 27, 2014

Dandelion & Crazy Eyes

Pretty pleased with my latest set, as we slowly work our way through S2 of OITNB.  No binge watching here, we're lucky to get one episode per night in after the kids are in bed. 

I thought I would document the process of making my dolls.  I love the book AmiguruME and it gives you all the patterns to pretty much make anyone you want, with a little creativity on your part. 

I typically don't decide what to make.  The Muse pretty much plants an idea in my head and once it's there, I can't make anything else until The Muse is satisfied.  So that's Step 1:  Mysterious voices beyond my control put ideas into my head.

Step 2:  The Google.  I image search like crazy.  I study outfits, hair, skin tone and try my best to match those with yarn.  I Google and Google some more.

Step 3:  Heads.  I've started putting the faces on at this point, because I hate embroidery and if I leave that for last, I'll end up with a lot of creepy no-mouth dolls.  (I did later change Piper's eyebrows to darker.)  I usually use safety eyes, but I am trying out some brad-type thingies I found.  I liked the  white one, because I could use a sharpie and make the eyes look a little more "crazy" than you'd get with a plain black circle.  Eyelashes are a PITA, BTW.  Just sayin'.

Step 3:  Bodies.   I find legs to be the most tedious, but I love it when a character starts to come together.

Step 4:  Break out the tools, assemble and stuff.   This part has taken some tweaking.   I have run the floral wire up one leg and out one arm, or through both legs/both arms.  Both methods have their pros and cons when it comes to doll movement, but for simplicity, I mostly wire arms together through the chest and legs together, through the bottom of the body piece.   Stuffing is also a learned art.  Too much and it shows through the stitches terribly and you can't get the head dowel in.  Too little and your doll is floppy.   My latest technique is to stuff lightly, insert the dowel and then use the needle nosed pliers to stuff little bits in around the neck, per the picture.  Either way, it's always fun to bust out the heavy tools for a crochet project!  

Step 5:  Clothes & Accessories.  I winged-it for the tops by modifying the blazer pattern from the book.  This is where you can really have fun with a doll.  Unless you're making prison dolls.   No one feels like Georgio Armani when crafting a khaki jumpsuit. But the tiny toilet paper roll was fun to make!

Step 6:  Hair.  Blergh.  Attaching individual strands of hair is best done while watching an episode from a Netflix Original Series.  This is a first time for using this soft eyelash yarn for hair.  It's super, super soft, but gives off a bit too much of a Lita Ford vibe to me.   Oh well.  I rarely go back and make major changes to a crochet project.  I am not a perfectionist and just tend to push through just to get the to the next big, fun project.   (Hence the title of this blog.) 

Oh and Susanne's hair was a blast!   I love it when a character has such a distinctive feature that as soon as you finish it, the yarn comes alive!

Step 7:  Close up the foot.  I mean, it doesn't sound like much, but it's a very finalizing step.  No more stuffing can be added.   Fin.  Done.  Ah....feels good.  

And there you have it!   How the magic happens.  Now go buy the book and make someone fun!