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Topic: Dimples and Opposable Thumbs  (Read 8518 times)
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« on: August 31, 2013 11:40:23 AM »

I wanted to move on from the cloth dolls I have made from socks and try some new techniques.  In particular I wanted to have a go at a method of defining the mouth shown in Sunnhild Reinckens' book Stoffpuppen Wie Kinder Sie Lieben.  And also a way of making thumbs opposable that my mother told me of some years ago. 
Of course the day I decided I wanted to do this I had no suitable fabric in the house except a pair of sleeves cut off a blue t-shirt that I'd turned into a vest.  Being impatient I didn't want to wait and buy some fabric just for something that was going to be experimental and might not turn out well at all. 

These photos show how I stitched the inner head to give the face a bit more shape than the usual Waldorf type face.

All the body parts are marked onto the fabric using templates and stitched before cutting out. The pattern for the hands is squared off instead of rounding over the fingertips.

The opposable thumbs are done by stitching the arm seams including the thumb,  but  leaving the finger tips open. You may be able to see that in the photo above. Then you fold the tube of the arm/hand so that the seams move  to become the lines demarcating the little finger  on one side and the index finger on the other (instead of being directly opposite each other)

This pulls the thumb round into the palm. You have to make sure before you sew that you don't make two left or right hands Roll Eyes

My sewing of the fingers isn't all that neat.

The shoulders and hips are button jointed so she/he can be posed a bit.

In the end I thought he/she turned out quite cute if an odd colour.
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« Reply #1 on: August 31, 2013 11:44:50 AM »

He's pretty adorable Smiley And if he had less fingers and toes and yellow eyes I'd swear I was looking at a perfect baby Nightcrawler Smiley
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« Reply #2 on: August 31, 2013 06:05:57 PM »

Love the color, it makes a very original doll. Thank you for the pictures on the sculpting for the head and hands. Very cool technique. I love him/her!

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« Reply #3 on: September 02, 2013 11:41:18 PM »

He is very lifelike, in spite of the colour  Cheesy. Your Mothers advise about the fingers is a good idea. I'm looking forward to se more experimenting.

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« Reply #4 on: September 03, 2013 02:42:26 PM »

It's always fun to see new techniques in doll making. I think he/she has great needle sculpting in the head. It' has good proportions, and the feet turned out adorable. I'd not seen this technique for the opposable thumbs. When I make my dolls, I cut a slit in the hand, make a wired armature that fits into each of the fingers, like a glove, with one wire that comes  through the hole in the hand for the thumb. Then the thumb is a separate piece that is sewn on by hand. I learned the technique from Ute Vassina while making one of her troll patterns. You did a great job. Smaller dolls are actually harder to work on.

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« Reply #5 on: September 04, 2013 01:25:22 PM »

Many thanks for all the kind and constructive comments.  I had to Google Nightcrawler as I hadn't heard of him  before.  I guess it would be a lot less work to do three fingers and two toes.

I love your dolls craftewoman, particularly all the details you put into them.  I have been trying to embroider features but maybe I should have a go at painting like you do as yours are so expressive.  Just a bit nervous as you can always unpick sewing but paint is a little permanent  Undecided.
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« Reply #6 on: September 06, 2013 07:03:14 AM »

Thank you for sharing your 'how to' ...I think your doll is adorable!  Wink

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