Friday, November 16, 2012

Field of Dolls Studio in the Past Six Years

Wow, it really has been six years (a little over) since I started making dolls. I have done a lot in those 6 years and while not all of it was super exciting I think I have come a long way and am pleased with my progress. The very first blog post I wrote was November 30, 2008. That post can be found here. In that post I mentioned that I was close to my 100th doll. I have gone way beyond that at this point. Let's take a little tour of dolls I have made over the years. I think I can keep it short. This first photo is the first doll I ever made. She was an Arabian rider (show ring style) and has see-through pants. I really liked the material though. I also made the costume. Today I would not even place a costume like that as it lacks some essential pieces.
This next photo is of one of my first saddle seat riders.
 This second photo shows that not much changes with saddle seat rider dolls. Though I do think this one is more interesting and it's also more detailed.
These next doll photos were from a post called making dolls look less like dolls. This was the front view...

...and the back view of two different dolls in the same saddle, on the same horse, in the same spot in my yard. It was showing how a little bit of padding makes the doll look less like it's wearing a corset and more like a person.

 Since those photos were taken I have changed a lot of things. I have changed the way I pad the dolls, created an entire new shirt pattern which is very similar to real like western shirt patterns (I am referring to the actual pattern used in sewing, not designs) and I started taking indoor studio shots. Here is the front of a recent doll.

Here is another recent doll from the front...
...and from the back as well. The patterns I use and the way I modify the dolls has changed many times in the past 6 years. And probably will again.
 These dolls were fairly recent dolls. I think they were both made this past July (2012) The doll in the lower right hand corner was one I copied from a real western show top. It came out pretty well and I was happy to see what I can do with a somewhat complex design in miniature.

 In my first post (or another early post) I talked about my friend Joan Fauteux  and how she had 10 or 11 dolls I have made. I think at least 11 in this this group shot are Joan's dolls. At this point she is up to 23 or so dolls I have made. We have lost track and need to do a count again. And maybe a group photo!
 Even my group photos have changed over the years. This new one was taken less than a month ago with all the dolls I made for the TRXC sale (I know, I JUST mentioned that in the last post) but it was important to mention it again. At least I think so.

 At the current time I have made 468 dolls, unless I missed someone. I have gone from occasionally making a doll to making dolls much more regularly. Not only is it an interesting job but it allows me to help out my family financially while still staying home to raise my kids. That is really important to me. Quality is also important to me and I am always looking for new ways to make the dolls nicer. I have been sewing for over 25 years (no lie, my mom taught me when I was 5) and making dolls for 6 years (not including dolls I dressed when I was a kid). My friend Joan Yount and I still chat back and forth about dolls and share patterns and tricks for making these plastic toys less like toys. I am hoping to still be making dolls for our wonderful hobby for years to come.

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