Saturday, 28 January 2012

Nancy's Almost Finished - A Victorian Harlot

It's taken me all week, but finally Nancy has her skirt all finished. It took well over a meter of fabric to create the right width, and double that each for the two ruffles at the hem.
I think I'll have to admit that I'm a bit overloaded on ruffles after this doll and might have to avoid them for a little while.

Now that Nancy is almost finished she has a lovely weight and feel to her when I pick her up. Her skirts fall in a lovely full bell shape, and the silky fabric feels lovely and soft. Now she has her hair she seems to have calmed down a bit and developed quite a gentle nature. She's not half as demanding as she was.

I made Nancy's blouse from a soft, white cotton voile and gave it the same wide gathered almost off the shoulder neckline as her shift. The sleeves have deep three quarter length cuffs and baggy puffy sleeves. I've had to tie the bulk of it down around her body so that I can fit her bodice over all the folds.

As she was so outspoken and bossy, clamouring inside my head demanding to be made so urgently, I chose my favourite dark cherise feathers for her hair, and added in bright red highlights to give it some texture. Almost immediately she started to settle down and became almost a totally different person. Much calmer and content now that she felt more like herself.

It really is weird how things change as your making a doll. How each new layer and element that you add does something special and lets the doll herself speak to you and tell you what it is she wants next. Sometimes the bossiest and most urgent dolls turn out to be the sweetest and most likable, and sometimes those that stay in your mind quietly developing over a period of time suddenly turn out finished from your needle what seems like seconds after you start them. I don't like to think of those that sit staring at me and stubbonly refusing to dress as I want. Demanding something that I just can't see. But they do happen to us all.

Even though my husband thinks I'm nuts I'm not the only doll maker that can hear the little voices that come from my dolls. And not the only one that knows how bossy they can be when you try to dress them in a way they don't like.
I have to say a major thank you to all the doll makers out there that share these stubborn frustrating times with all of us as it really makes me feel better that I'm not the only one :)

I flew though getting Nancy finished today once her skirt was fitted and sew into place, and managed to get a few photos of her half way to the end once her bodice was done.

I added an extra layer underneath her tight black bodice of a flowery fabric that just peeks out from the top to give a little bit of extra detail, finishing it in a heavy black cotton fabric. Then, I got completely stuck!

I sat in my chair today with boxes of lace, ribbon, fabric and trims around me wanting to finish Nancy and give her all the little bits that would make her complete, and was totally stuck. She just refused every pretty little scrap I offered up, and in the end I turned to all the lovely people I've met through Twitter and Facebook.

As always I wasn't let down and got the little prompts that I needed to set me off again in the right direction, and an idea for a brand new doll of a little street urchin selling violets from a basket. Seems my brain was having a nap without me as all she actually wanted, instead of all those fancy bits, was a simple black bow for her bodice, a steel grey ribbon for her neck, black lace mittens and a warm woollen shawl, and she's now sitting pretty on my table waiting until tomorrow's daylight allows me to take some decent photos of her.

I'm always amazed by the kindness of strangers. And I hope I can offer the same support to others along my way too.

No comments:

Post a Comment