Chugging along slowly here. I finished this lady yesterday. I love how her breasts and corset work with the stripes. (that line will probably get me some disappointed visitors from google search!)

I’ve recently finished reading The Corset, by Valerie Steele– inspired by the Alexander McQueen show. It is a very interesting book. I thought I’d just skim it and look at the photos, but I got sucked in and read all about the history of women shaping underwear. Yes, very interesting! And, by the way, this is not an accurate corset of any kind!

We have a big patch of Queen Annes Lace next to the driveway. Looking at it takes me back to my childhood. I remember being curious about why some of the flowers have a black dot in the center. The mysteries of nature.

another tattooed girl

I am still playing catch-up here. This is a doll that somehow never got posted at the beginning of June when I finished her up.

She has a sort of Wonder Woman look to her, don’t you think?

I was exploring corset-y type tops.

And here she is, hanging out with a friend.

She did not come back to Boston with me- I hope she is loving life in Brooklyn!


I have a plan to put together a process book or slideshow so that when someone asks me- Why are these dolls so expensive? – I can show them. I’ve been trying to remember to take photos as I am working on some new projects. Here is what I’ve got so far.

Making a tattooed doll.

The project starts in two places. The fabric-

I am always on the lookout for appropriate fabric. It needs to be the right scale, the right color design,and  images that I like. I buy mostly on Ebay and Etsy. Besides the toile, I need plain fabric for the head and hands and fabric for the clothing.

Next, I over-dye all the fabrics. Every pot comes out slightly different! One challenge is to get some of the plain fabric to match some of the toile.

And the design is the other starting place. I have an idea in my head and I need to get it out on paper.

From the paper, I make muslin models. Tweaking is almost always needed.

When I get a design that I am satisfied with, I trace out various parts of the original to make the pattern pieces. The pieces for this one are- head, upper torso, shirt, breasts, pants, boots, arms, hands. Later I will figure out the hair.

I trace the pattern pieces onto the fabrics.

Sew everything up and when I turn the doll right-side-out, it is so exciting to see how she looks!

Next, stuffing. And then all the details. First, the breasts.

That is what I’ve got so far. Now back to work!

tattooed girl with bow

Yes, I am having trouble coming up with names here. And, I am thinking that when it takes 3 tries to do the face- embroider, pick out, embroider, pick out…- it is probably time to move onto a different kind of doll.

I am working on all that other stuff that needs to be done before a show. Labeling, packaging, organizing. And, I ordered a new tent of my very own. No more borrowing from the neighbors. I’ve got myself a summer intern from MassArt. She is helping me with some of the prep work.

And some very exciting news- my husband has a new job and he will be going to Paris for the last week of June. I am going to tag along because, guess what, I CAN!!!! The kids are all grown up now! I have SO been waiting for this moment….  Ahem.

Anyway, he is going to be very, very busy and I am going to be doing whatever I want to do. Any ideas? I know the obvious things like the museums. Which, even though I’ve been to Paris (last time in 2002) I’ve never been to. I am interested in meet-ups, crafty places, any place that would be of sewing and fabric interest. I would even be willing to teach a class if someone wanted to gather some people together. The rub is that I don’t speak French. Leave a comment or email me ( if you have some great ideas. Thanks!

tattooed lady and snow

More snow today. It isn’t suppose to add up to much, but it is making it hard to get decent photos.

I’d gotten discouraged with this lady. I was questioning all of the choices I’d made when I sewed her together- color combinations, head shape, blah, blah, blah… these are the type of choices where there is no going back. Probably part of the feeling was due to starting up again in January, after the enthusiasm and forward motion of the fall had stalled. Anyway, I plugged away, going back and forth with other dolls and I am very happy with how she’s turned out! Hurray for perseverance!