About erdilien

Stay at home freelance writer/editor, comic book/graphic novel enthusiast, and a novice craftster. Certified cat owned.

Nutmeg Gets Some Joints

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). 

The unbearable sadness of joint-less-ness.

The unbearable sadness of joint-less-ness.

Skating - dangerous without joints. Pink wig and skating accessories are from Liv Dolls by Spin Master :)

Skating – dangerous without joints. Pink wig and skating accessories are from Liv Dolls by Spin Master 🙂

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.

Turn away if felt nakedness  offends you.

Turn away if felt nakedness offends you.

A close look at Nutmeg's wrists. My sewing was crappy - it's hard to sew at this small a scale.

A close look at Nutmeg’s wrists. My sewing was crappy – it’s hard to sew at this small a scale.

I dressed her up proper but she's embarrassed to be seen without a wig. Hooray for pose-ability (limited though it may be).

I dressed her up proper but she’s embarrassed to be seen without a wig. Hooray for pose-ability (limited though it may be).

...despite the lack of a hair piece. Work it, gurl.

Nutmeg goes for elegance…despite the lack of a hair piece. Work it, gurl.

Finally, Nutmeg has hair! These chestnut curls look cute on her. I made the wig myself -- my first attempt --but my attempts at wigging may need a separate blog.

Finally, Nutmeg has hair! These chestnut curls look cute on her. I made the wig myself — my first attempt –but my attempts at wigging may need a separate entry.

Relaxing in the afternoon sun.

Relaxing in the afternoon sun.

I think Nutmeg is propped up more by her hair than by her arms. >_<:

I think Nutmeg is propped up more by her hair than by her arms. >_<:

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:

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Whoops!

– 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 ^_^

Here’s my post about Nutmeg when I first finished her. And here’s a quick doll dress I made for her (which doesn’t fit anymore, so I’ll have to make some adjustments to it).

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).

Of Bunnies and Kitties

It’s been quite a while since I’ve posted about my crafting projects – simply because I haven’t been crafting all that much in the past few months due mainly to work. Sometimes I wonder what happened to the idea of working at home so I could have more time to  do the things I want. Still, I’d like to think I’m still doing what I want, more than I would have been doing if I were employed and working at some company. So I try to keep my complaining to a minimum (try being the operative word here!)

Still, I did manage to do some crafting here and there — finally tried my hand at making a doll’s wig, and even though I wasn’t entirely satisfied with the result, at least I now have some idea what works and what doesn’t. I’ll be posting pictures of Nutmeg with her new hairdo next time, along with some of her other wacky poses.

I’ve also cut out patterns for some of the projects I’ve been planning for a long time now, Cutting out the pattern pieces was all I could sneak in between my writing jobs, but it’s a start.

The last project that I did with some gusto was my Valentine’s Day project: My Valentine’s Day Bunny/Kitty Message Delivery System. They’re basically bunnies and kitties with pocket hearts where you can insert a (secret) Valentine’s message. It’s pretty late to be posting about Valentine’s, and majority of this never made it in time for that holiday, but what the hey. They turned out cute nevertheless, and with a few tweaks they can be adapted into several different animals, and for different occasions.

The Valentine's Day Delivery System

The Valentine’s Day Delivery System

A Bunny Valentine!

A Bunny Valentine!

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A purr-fect Valentine!

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This one I made for a friend who — well, let’s just say he wasn’t particularly feeling the love on Valentine’s Day.

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The broken heart opens up so you can slip in a bitter, rage-filled Valentine message, or a picture of the person who jilted you or scorned your love ♥

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Bitter Valentine Bunny!

valentine softies

Some sketches I made when I was planning what to make for Valentine’s Day. I don’t have a decent sketchpad, so I use old notebooks and college readings, hehe.

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The original plan for Bitter Bunny was to have a message on the broken heart, which would continue inside when the heart opened. But the heart was too small to fit the message (which I had planned to embroider).

I had planned to make several of these, and was actually on schedule to finish before February rolled around. But I got sick — again! And the whole schedule got thrown off as I worked double time to finish all my writing jobs that got affected when I got sick. I was able to finish some kitties and bunnies, but gave them to a few of my friends. The pieces I have left still need to be finished. Anyway, there’s always a next year — although I’m reworking the pattern to make them more plump (they’re a little on the flat side). I plan on making a tarsier version in the future because a tarsier would be really cute, as in funny-ugly kind of cute.

Thanks for looking! =^_^=

Softies for mah homies

Sorry for that (lame) title!

Some of the first softies I made were adapted from this wonderful free Wee Bunny pattern from Wee Wonderfuls, and they were gifts for or requests from friends. Since those friends like cats (and dogs) more than bunnies, I decided to adapt the pattern — which was easy, since all I did was change the shapes of the ears and tails.

I’ve made several over the course of the past year. I think they turned out great, if not entirely perfect (due to my lack of skill). I actually developed callouses on my fingers from hand sewing these, because some of the felt materials I used were quite stiff and tough to sew through by hand. I broke several needles, even (where to buy tough ass hand sewing needles, I wonder?).  But I did have fun making these, and I loved how my friends appreciated my efforts.

The first kitties I made from the Wee Bunny pattern. I simply changed the shape of the ears and embellished them with other details. I used button nips for eyes, and embroidered the other details on the faces. The whiskers and tails are made from felt.

The first kitties I made from the Wee Bunny pattern. I simply changed the shape of the ears and embellished them with other details. I used button nips for eyes, and embroidered the other details on the faces. The whiskers and tails are made from felt.

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