For some time now I have been planning to rework Nutmeg – my first and only felt doll (for now) so that she would have movable joints. And finally this past few weeks I had enough time and motivation to finally get to it.
But, just a little background: I’ve always wanted ball jointed dolls like Pullip or Dolfie, but because they are expensive they don’t seem very practical for me to buy. Well, a lot of my interests are not very practical – Pullips just rank several rungs lower than other things I want like books and graphic novels and video games. So I had decided to make my own ball-jointed dolls, settling on the idea of making fabric dolls because they seem do-able given my skill set (sewing/embroidery), instead of attempting to sculpt them (the only things I ever sculpted were cold porcelain roses).
I also decided for the meantime to stick with felt as my material. I patterned the body after Barbie, only because I realized there were a lot of free patterns for Barbie clothes around the internet, and because I could easily get Barbie clothes (and even Ken clothes). I used two jointing methods for Nutmeg’s joints — “buried bead” method for the knees and elbows and the “exposed bead” method for the wrists. I didn’t even use round beads because I didn’t have them in the right size. I ended up using disc-shaped ones with holes in the center. They worked pretty well, especially for the wrists. I followed a tutorial for jointing from The Magic Bean. She has an overview of doll jointing methods and tutorials here. It’s a great site too, lots of things to learn, and Colleen Babcock’s creations are so lovely ^_^
So here are photos of my finished doll — even though she’s still not perfect, and my sewing was wonky in places, I’m happy with the way she turned out.
Every crafting attempt I learn more (from mistakes, basically) and I’m all excited to try another jointed felt doll soon. Some of my key take aways from this:
– Felt is a hard fabric to use; turning the arms and legs inside out was incredibly difficult – notice that I switched to whip stitch for the hands because it was easier with no need to turn the pieces inside out;
– I still need to reinforce the doll with wires because it may be pose-able, but, it still is prone to toppling over, even without the head:
– And I like the look of the “exposed bead”method so I might try to use that for all the joints. I’m also thinking of making another doll with movable ankles and upper torso.
I hope you enjoyed looking as much as I enjoyed making Nutmeg’s new body ^_^
P.S. Yes, that is a Human ♥ Nature box (duh) that Nutmeg is on. Visit their site for the best organic healthcare and beauty products from the Philippines ^_^ (a personal recommendation, not paid or anything. I just love them, that’s all, hehe).