The blueprint of... Rosemary 1

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By Myana
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The blueprint of... is an article serie where we’re taking a closer look on an Artisan Crafts deviation and how it's made.

Today we are dissecting Rosemary 1 by dollmaker88

Rosemary 1 by dollmaker88 Rosemary 2 by dollmaker88 Rosemary 1 by dollmaker88

First off, please introduce yourself?

Hi, my name is Moira and I am dollmaker of 20. I live in PA in a small town and this is what I do for fun.

Please explain what we are viewing.

What you are seeing is one of my dolls done up in lace and frills. Rosemary is about 12 inches tall and is 100% percent handmade from head to toe. She was made with no particular purpose in mind other then to use the printed fabric and to look nice.

Can you describe for a layman how it’s made?

For this doll I based my design around showcasing the fabric and using it in a way that would look nice on one of my dolls. I started out with a simple sketch of a bell like dress. Once I made the simple sketch I gather up all the materials I would use with the color chosen and stack it in the order I need. The materials I use are normally what I have around. I use cotton, satins, laces - it really just depends.
After I have everything I need, I start with making the body. The body is freehand drawn on white cotton and half hand stitched and half machine stitched. It is made in five different parts and then stitched together and stuffed. I use polyester fiberfill and I also put wire in this doll as well.
After the body is done and I like it, I start with the clothes. For this doll I started with the undergarments first. I made her socks, bloomers, and top. After I see what it is looking like, this is the time I start to modify my design, I changed almost every thing from the original sketch.
I then made the puffy skirt with a layer of satin, lace and two layers of tulle. I then make use the major fabric and make the jumper skirt. I then sew it on and if I like the result, I start with the face.

This is where I normally mess up and it can ruin a good doll. I draw on the face so I have to be very careful to make everything even the first time. I then pick the colors and embroider the face on. Once it is on - its on! So if I don't like it the only thing I can do is make a new head. Fortunately it turned out all right, so I the made the back of the head, which is hard to explain but it helps protect the embroidery and give me a base to make the hair. After I style the hair I just made the head dress and bag and she was done.

Writing out this process is a little different as I normally don't think to much about what I am doing as I do it. I just know what I want to do and do it.

Rosemary 1 by dollmaker88 Rosemary 2 by dollmaker88 Rosemary 1 by dollmaker88

What tools did you use?

My whole room is my workshop. I use my bed as a table most of the time and have the sewing machine on the floor. I have a small shelf for yarn and tools and then another small table to stack my fabrics. It is one big mess but I don't have any other place to work. I like to call it organized chaos.
It may be a mess but i know where everything is in that mess.

I have a rainbow of yarns and embroidery floss. I have several sets of scissors and needles and most importantly bamboo skors. They a small enough for me to stuff the dolls, but they break a lot so i have a lot. Basically anything you could find in a craft section is in my room because I never know what I need so I might as well have it all.

What was your inspiration in creating this?

My first thought was to make a "sweet Lolita" style doll. I recently started exploring that fashion and making doll sized versions of dresses. But I got the this fabric swatch and totally switched my thinking process. I then found the white lace and added that to the design as well. When it was all said and done it really didn't turn out at all like the design but something I never thought I could make. As I was making it I just thought I wanted to make something pretty like a flower.

How long time did it take you to make this?

This doll was on and off three days. The body normally takes about three hours and then the most time is the outfits. Depending on what the outfit is or how complex I make it, it can take awhile. I also handstitch the outfits because while I love my machine it isn't very good with small fabrics and normally bunches up or goes crooked. So I trust in my hands.

Most of my time is just staring at the doll figuring out what to do next or how to do it. It is a fun process solving your own problems.

Rosemary 1 by dollmaker88 Rosemary 2 by dollmaker88 Rosemary 1 by dollmaker88

Did you run into anything unexpected while creating?

This doll was quite a picnic, everything seemed to go right. The only thing was I couldn't make a mistake using the printed fabric because I only had a 8 x 10 sample. So I had to make it fit right the first time.

Are you happy with the result?

Yes, very happy. I just smiled when I finished her. I mean there always things I could have done better but I really like the result so I don't dwell on my tiny mistakes to much.

Where have you learnt your skills in this area?

I am totally self taught. I not even sure why I picked up this craft to do, but I did and I rolled with it. The area where I live is notable for quilting - not so much doll making, so I had to go it alone and figure out what worked and what didn't. Also I grew up without the Internet so that didn't help matters but with every doll I make my skills improve.

Rosemary 1 by dollmaker88 Rosemary 2 by dollmaker88 Rosemary 1 by dollmaker88

Do you take your own photos? Any tips you want to share for presenting your work?

This is the best photo I ever taken of my dolls. This photo was taken as the sun was setting and the light was just right. I really love to use natural light but most of the time I never at home before dark so this was real luck. I also use a make shift shadow box. I am still learning and experimenting with the best way to use light and shadow to show them off but I try to take a photo that will show off the best of the doll. Always keep experimenting would be my advice.

What is the best tip you can give to others wanting to test this craft/material/technique?

I guess the best tip if you wanted to make cloth dolls or any type of dolls is to practice. It took me eight years and 200 dolls to get to a pattern I liked and use today. It is very time consuming but you can make such beautiful creations that it is worth the effort you put into it. Also explore what dolls you can make and what type of dolls are out there. There are some amazing dolls just waiting to be made.

Are you selling your work?

That is a yes and no question.
I don't sell them online anywhere but have have sold a few custom orders and people seemed very happy with them.

Thanks for the interview and I hope I didn't bore you all who read it!

Arachne by dollmaker88 Bun bun by dollmaker88 Techno Dreamscape by dollmaker88 Royal Bird by dollmaker88 Persephone by dollmaker88 Alice and the white rabbit by dollmaker88 Nina by dollmaker88 Kass by dollmaker88

Thank you dollmaker88 for participating and taking the time to answer my question!


I'd love to recive suggestions for next "victim" to interview! Note me with a link to the deviation you'd like to know more about and I'll contact the deviant.

Also, let me know if there are any questions you are missing in this type of interview!

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FallenAngel080's avatar
Ah Moira. Finally you answer the unanswerable.


dollmaker88's avatar
thanks myana and to every one who read it.
fairiesnest's avatar
Wonderful favorite so far!
cl2007's avatar
this is such a great way to get an introduction to other crafts from interviews like this :clap:
snowmask's avatar
Sewing machine :faint: I'm so terrified of them :lol: And 8 years/200 dolls! That's pretty impressive.