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Topic: Doll head frustration  (Read 1635 times)
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Sariel
« on: December 24, 2006 11:21:39 AM »

Edit: I figured out how to fix it! If anyone else has the same problem, it's not too hard to fix. Just cut out your pattern pieces based on Runo's designs: you should have two patterns for the head, and you'd be making 2 of each. The smaller pattern, once you make two of it and sew them together, will be the face; the larger pattern is the sides of the head and the neck. Take the smaller pattern, lay it on your fabric (or paper or whatever), and trace the curve that Runo doesn't tell you to sew together first. (The curve that'll eventually be sewn to one of the larger pieces.) Then flip the pattern over, so the bottom tip (chin-tip, will be sewn to the top of the neck) is touching and the top isn't quite, and trace that outer curve again. You'll have a pattern with two points at the top and one point at the bottom. Do the two top points as a dart, to give your face a bit more structure, then sew it to the larger pieces normally. Then just be careful with your hair so you hide the side-seams, and you're good.


So I just made a doll off my usual modified-gingerbread-man pattern, but I don't really like how it came out. Looking around for alternate patterns to use with the same character design, I found http://dollmaker.nunodoll.com/nekomimi/ and decided to try it. The problem is that I don't have access to the cotton material Runo uses right now; I want to make the doll out of felt.

But the way she designed the head, it has a seam running down the middle of the face, and a kind of annoying seam that shows up a little below the mouth-line. She makes an additional "skin cover" that somehow doesn't have seams in the same place, and pulls it over the stuffed head and neck, which works great with cotton but doesn't seem viable with felt.

Which means I need to figure out a way to modify the pattern to move the seams, or come up with a whole new head pattern from scratch that's still proportional to her pattern for the body, if I'm going to make my doll now. I tried sewing the head her way, then cutting it apart along where I want the one seam to move to, and using the cut-outs as patterns, but the cut-out face doesn't flatten out enough for me to trace easily.

Can anyone help? (I know it's Christmas Eve, so most people are probably going to be away from Craftster today and tomorrow, but I figure it's still worth asking. Smiley ) If possible, I'd like a seam to run along where the head meets the neck, instead of running right over the mouth/chin area, but what I most want is to get rid of the seam down the middle of the face without ruining the head entirely. She's got a bunch of pictures on her site, if it helps any: http://dollmaker.nunodoll.com/nekomimi/head.html is the doll head I'm stuck on, and http://dollmaker.nunodoll.com/girl/head.html is a slightly different pattern but the same basic style.

Thanks in advance!
« Last Edit: January 08, 2007 02:09:39 PM by Sariel » THIS ROCKS   Logged

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flying_babyb
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« Reply #1 on: December 27, 2006 05:21:47 PM »

This should be the book:
Title Doll making: a creative approach.
Author Laury, Jean Ray. 
Publisher New York, Van Nostrand Reinhold [1970]
Description 135 p. illus. (17 col.) 27 cm.
 
« Last Edit: December 27, 2006 05:32:32 PM by flying_babyb » THIS ROCKS   Logged

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Sariel
« Reply #2 on: December 27, 2006 05:42:24 PM »

To figure out an alternate doll head? Thanks! I managed to get the skin cover to not suck completely, but I'm not thrilled with the effect, so I'll have to look it up before I do another one on this pattern. Smiley
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« Reply #3 on: December 27, 2006 05:54:24 PM »

yea
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Eliea
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« Reply #4 on: December 28, 2006 06:42:17 PM »

maybe you could cover it with panty hose? At least to get an idea of how to make the seams on the under part to look and such. Other than that it sounds like you're doing great! I haven't yet made any dolls so besides that I can't really help. Smiley
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Sariel
« Reply #5 on: December 28, 2006 06:51:52 PM »

Hrm. I'm not sure how pantyhose would help?

I suspect the main issue is that I am using felt: it's just not thin or stretchy enough to keep the proper shape, either in the main head-part or with the skin cover. Which means I need to hunt up a source for affordable cotton, heh. At least that should make Runo's minidolls viable too, since felt doesn't invert well enough to easily do them in it . . .
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Chrislea
« Reply #6 on: December 28, 2006 07:44:00 PM »

But since you're using felt, you could probably get away with applying a little fabric gluye over the seam and sprinkling/packing felt over it.  Sort of like putting plaster in between tiles, where you'd take scissors and cut it up into powder - or just glue a little strip over, but that'd be pretty noticable.
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Eliea
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« Reply #7 on: December 28, 2006 07:57:36 PM »

Hrm. I'm not sure how pantyhose would help?

I suspect the main issue is that I am using felt: it's just not thin or stretchy enough to keep the proper shape, either in the main head-part or with the skin cover. Which means I need to hunt up a source for affordable cotton, heh. At least that should make Runo's minidolls viable too, since felt doesn't invert well enough to easily do them in it . . .
Are you using regular felt? The acrylic kind in the squares? Or wool felt that you buy by the yard?
Acryilic felt can be stiff but I can see you're problem with making it stiff enough for the head. What kind of stuffing are you using perhaps that could be the problem?
As for cheep cotton. hobby lobby gives a free 40% off coupon on their website that is updated every week. If you have on near you you could print the coupon then go buy your cotton with it. I'd imagine for a smaller doll you wouldn't need much. Maybe a yard at most?
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Sariel
« Reply #8 on: December 28, 2006 08:39:15 PM »

I'm using acrylic felt, yeah, and generic polyfill stuffing (packed as tightly as I can get). The head's a little misshapen when I just make the main head part in felt, but still viable; after adding a felt "skin cover", though, it's pretty much just a big egg/ball-shape on a neck. [snrks] Which isn't what I wanted. Might help if I just made the skin cover to wrap over the head, and forgot about covering the neck, although then I have to improvise a pattern even more . . . but I think I really just need to do this in cotton or another light material (muslin, maybe). Le sigh.

Hmm, I'll have to look into nearby Hobby Lobbies; I usually hit Michael's and the Rag Shop for my crafty needs, but IIRC the Rag Shop didn't have cotton the last time I was there. (Fleece yes, but mostly patterned fleece, and I want solid colors.) Thanks!
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« Reply #9 on: January 08, 2007 12:34:57 PM »

Go to clothdollconnection scroll to the bottom of the page and look for the link to the free patterns and tips.  There is a Massive amount of patterns and if you scroll waaaay down the too many to count patterns there at the bottom is quite a few links to tips and techniques for faces, hands and fingers, heads, bodies ,hair and anything else to do with doll making.
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