Butterfly Lady

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I become highly aware of how long the dolls take me to make when I have to start from the beginning of the process and work all the way through. I am getting ready for the ArtProvidence Show (in One WeeK!) and I want to have a good selection of all the things. Most of the time, the various steps are separated, sometimes by more than a year. But, last Saturday, I pulled out my pattern pieces to make some Lady Pillow dolls because the bin of pre-mades and pre-cut pieces was empty.

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I went though all my bins of wool to choose the dress and skin colors. Yes, they are heavy and I am getting old- phew, what a workout! Next, cut out the various dress pieces. Choose half of the dress pieces and match some “skin” colors to them, then shoes. Cut. Put the extra dresses aside for another day. I now have 8 ladies ready to sew up into their unembellished selves.

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Stuff and sew them closed. Pull out my bags of smaller scraps of wool and cashmere. Choose hair colors and figure out hair-dos. Cut and sew. Embroider faces and hands. Okay, now I’m getting nervous because the week is flying by. I choose four out of the eight to focus on. Sew on their hair. Start designing their dresses.

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I get three ladies done with a basic design idea and start hand-sewing. Finally the most fun part! So, today, pretty much a week later, I have something to show you. Oh, and one of the ladies is now bald again because I decided that I didn’t like her hair. I’m still hoping to have 4 ladies finished by the end of the weekend but we shall see.

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This first lovely lady is more Spring than Autumn so maybe she is Australian.She is covered in butterflies, flowers, and leaves; most cut from reclaimed cashmere but with a little wool too.

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Lady in Bird Dress

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The green woven background fabric makes for camouflage for the birds. I love playing with the colors and patterns, some pop and some blend. Always interesting. This lady argued with me about her first dress and I had to remove most of the design!

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That’s the ladies for now. Next up, owls.

Lady in a Red Dress

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In case you haven’t noticed, I am trying out designs that I’ve used on my swaddled babies on these new big ladies. It is interesting to see which designs work and which have not worked at all (you won’t be seeing those!). I love the folk art-y designs and they seem to be highly adaptable.

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Big Lady with Poppies

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I’m not sure why I am struggling so much with these ladies. The seam ripper has been getting a good workout. It is probably just because it has been so long since I’ve worked with this design. I was just about to cut everything off of this one but then I changed her collar and Voila! I was happy with her!

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A Big Mermaid Lady

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I have been meaning to get back to making big ladies (that link is from 2006!) for a long while but something else always seems to be ahead in line. Finallythey are back on the worktable after some pattern tweeking. But then this lady/mermaid needed to get made and she pushed ahead!

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I will definitely be playing with this idea again- I love her! After her though, I’ve got some regular ladies that I am working on. The last time I really made any was around 2010  so yes, it’s been a while. I don’t know why I stopped after making these lovelies.

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Remember this lady? She was one of my favorite dolls of last year. Around Christmas time, I cut out all the pieces for this new lady, stuffed her, pinned on the birds and started doing the applique. Then, I put her aside. And there she lay for these last months. Finally, last weekend, with a vow to finish up some of the many partially finished dolls that I seem to be stockpiling, I got back to work on her.

The funny thing is that I would never have chosen these colors to work with at this time of year. She is most certainly a winter palette.

And this is what is on the work table now-

Hmm, which ones are boys and which ones are girls?