Friday, September 5, 2014

Chloe's Charm Girl: The Costume

I do LOVE this part- I think that pretty much all dollmakers love this part...

I try to stay as true to the ethnic culture I am working within, but I will say as I am inspired by these cultures as an artist. So, it is my interpretation not replication from which I gather my ideas for my designs and I will add other fabrics that will help enhance the specific cultural fabrics.

Chloe's doll is of an African culture and I was lucky enough to have several of these pieces of fabric in my stash! I had some stunning silk pieces from India that I used for the lining. This was my palette that I worked from and did change things every so slightly as I went along.
The Charm Girl costume fabric of silk, linen, and cotton are from around the world to give each doll a unique and well- studied look. Each Charm Girl hold a small gourd with a delicate enameled charm to represent the lore of that piece.
In this post I am going to give you a detailed look of what I created the next posting will show you the entire finished piece...

They costume pattern was designed and now it was time to start sewing.
I usually start with the pants or under garment...In this case I had this wonderful cotton batik that added just enough earthiness to the piece. These pants where edged with the same cobalt blue as the jacket lining. I laid out my fabric to fussy cut so the color way that ran through the fabric from blue to green to purple would cosmetically match up on the pants.
I sewed the skirt/dress once...twice. The initial one was just ok but did not have the punch that was needed, so I resewed it with deeper seams and ended up with much happier results!

The jacket was next...here I would like to point out the not only the outside fabric but the wonderful lining fabric. I also carefully "fussy" cut the jacket's exterior pieces- note how the main circle motif  is on both sleeves.
 Motif to center back...
detail photos Mark Mortensen
Pieces are all individually sewn from a template techniques and then hand-sewn or  machine sewn together where I can use a decorative stitch as below sleeve/shoulder side seams.
Final pieces to be sewn were the shoes and the hat...Shoes were made from a woven silk and dupioni silk and the hat from African cottons and Indian silk.
 
SOOoo, I placed the hat on the doll and felt it was not quite right...all her fabulous hair was lost in the hat...I then redesigned a multi fabric head wrap which I liked so much better...I believe when creating an art piece you must follow your own personal aesthetic gut, even though the fabric I am using is precious and expensive- if it doesn't work, it just doesn't- do it over until you are happy with it!
Final details...the necklace. I wanted to bring in the blue but want the beads to be a matte finish to continue carrying the theme of earthy accents.
I like to take into consideration the doll from all angles including from the bottom!  Note the sole of the shoes coordinate with the exquisite silk lining!

 Next week- the Turtle Gourd with its symbolism 
and the full shot of the Charm Girl!

4 comments:

  1. LOVE her! Your careful consideration of the colours and textures is perfection, she is exquisite! I do like the headband over the hat, the hair is so beautiful it needs to be seen. Best, Ani in NC

    ReplyDelete
  2. Peggy F via email:
    “The doll is absolutely wonderful. You never cease to amaze me”.

    ReplyDelete
  3. She great! What kind of stuffing do you use? Cotton? Wool?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Valerie,
      I use a combo- in the torso body area I use a wool batting and in the arms and legs I use a silk/poly...the wool gives the torso a warm feel to it. However the wool has a yellow cast so especially for my Asian dolls the wool is only in the torso and the silk blend which is white is used in any body part that shows.

      Delete

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...