Sunday, 27 April 2014

Siouxsie Banshee - A Custom Art Doll

It's not someone I would have chosen to make myself, but I've really enjoyed making Siouxsie Banshee for Caron. It was a really nice change from my usual styles to make a more modern outfit, and especially to make a punk version of a kimono.

I've always loved traditional Japanese dress and customs so as soon as I was asked to make Siouxsie I pulled out all my Japanese history/biography and memoirs and hit the Internet looking for the info I needed on how to construct Siouxsie's kimono.

I started this lady with some sassy black lace underwear (yes, I know you can't see any of it, but a girl has to have her knickers. Right?).
Next I started on her shirt, which has long sleeves, cuffed at the wrist, and a wide turtleneck high under her chin.
The pictures that Caron had chosen for the outfit for me to make didn't show Siouxsie below her waist, so we between us we decided that a pair of harem trousers would be the best option as Caron wanted a full length kimono. I painted on her shoes as little ankle boots and fitted the cuffs of the trousers just above them to make then nice and loose.

Next came her kimono.
I'm very lucky that a friend of my Husbands is married to a very nice Japanese lady called Yuriko, who kindly agreed to help me with the text on the fabric. I searched everywhere for a fabric with printed Japanese text to use but nothing was suitable. So Yuri agreed to write on a piece of white cotton lawn for me.

I asked her to just go ahead and write whatever she felt like, and was truly surprised at what she'd chosen to write when I read the note she sent back with the fabric. Yuri had copied part of the first chapter of The Tales of Gengi onto the fabric. This book written by Murasaki during the Heian period between about 1000 and 1012 is a wonderful piece of writing that I was given as a gift many years ago. It was so lovely to find that Yuri had used one of my favourite books without me knowing :)

Over Yuri's writing I added the red spots by applique, and then smaller finer text that I copied from the newspaper sheets Yuriko kindly included with the fabric. I'm yet to hear back from Caron as to what she thinks as I think I need to add more text to get the fabric looking as it did in the pictures. So for now Siouxsie is sitting on my table watching the world go by in the garden :)

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