An Introduction...

Welcome to my new blogspot...and to start, a little about my journey here...

I have a background in costume design and I have been making dolls for many years. My recent creations have been cloth dolls inspired by antique dolls and my family history (another of my favourite pastimes). I also love creating anything with fabric and I'm enjoying experimenting with different styles and designing unique items.

In this blog I will share doll info, tips and tricks that I have learnt over the years and also pics and even a few patterns, so please check back often to see what's new....

Friday, 21 May 2010

New Body design

I have actually managed to finish a few bodies at all I need to do is add the heads...and clothes...I may even end up with a finished doll at this rate! This new design I have created is a much more satisfying shape for my repro china heads. I have painted and varnished the lower limbs to compliment the heads but I left the rest in it's natural calico state. For the antique heads I tend to tea stain the calico to take away it's 'new' look, but not so much that it could be mistaken as an original body.

Thursday, 20 May 2010

A pretty face...

This is a bit of a change for me, but I felt so sorry for this little doll I just had to rescue her !!
She was attached to an old baby body (obviously not the correct one for her) and was intact, but in a really grubby state with what looked like quite badly scuffed bisque. After a gentle clean she has turned out to be a little beauty...the scuffs were in the dirt, not the bisque!! She is marked on the back Armand Marseilles 370 6/0 Germany and with no damage to her original teeth and original blue glass sleep eyes (that work perfectly)...I think I found a little treasure!! So my next task is to design her a suitable reproduction body..then she'll need a have I started!

To glue or not to glue?...that is the question!!

I'm often asked about attaching doll's heads to bodies and my simple answer is if you can avoid it DON'T GLUE !!
Most china heads have holes for attaching and the simplest way is to run a cotton tape (or ribbon) through the holes, pin the tapes in place on the body and sew. This way the head is secure, but doesn't have to be permanent, particularly for antique heads with reproduction bodies, sewing in place leaves the option to change the body to an antique one should it become available. This particular head (a beautiful Kobberman repro) has three sew holes front and back, though it's more common to find heads with just two holes front and back.

Tuesday, 11 May 2010

A fantastic find...

I went to a car boot sale on Sunday and came across this gorgeous doll sized rocking horse! Of course I couldn't possibly have gone home without it...I think it will look lovely on display with a few dolls.

Monday, 10 May 2010


I've finally got around to opening an ETSY shop (been meaning to for ages.....). For those of you that don't know about ETSY it's a fabulous online selling group dedicated to handmade and vintage goods...a wonderful place just to browse or find a special pop along and have a little look! My store can be found at hope you can come for a visit!

...and here they are in use...

My home made dress forms showing off a couple of my designs...they work really well and cost a fraction of what I would have paid for ready made ones (though they're not as pretty...)

A simple solution...

I needed a way to display some of the doll dresses I have made without having a doll in them, or going to the expense of buying small dress forms...and the solution I found was to make some simple body shapes out of some cotton ticking and attach them to some old wooden candlesticks and bobbins I had spare! I just need to make a few more different sizes and I'll have a full set... they're really great for when I'm working on costumes too!