"I found I could say things with color and shapes that I couldn't say any other way-things I had no words for." ~ Georgia O'Keeffe

Tuesday, April 04, 2017

Making something new out of old

Years ago when I was teaching cloth dollmaking in India I stitched up some doll bodies for my first classes so that I could initiate ladies into the world of dollmaking. I did this because I found that most of the women who came to learn did not know how to sew. So to make things easier for me and less stressful for the students I thought would first let them learn to stuff and make the body up. Later on they did progress on to learning how to sew. Anyway while clearing up some things in India I found several of these stitched doll bodies. So I decided to give them to the ladies in my doll club and asked them to make up the doll as a challenge. I am looking forward to seeing what each one comes up with.  So I too decided to make up one . I started with the face painting first. I did not like it much so decided to do something else. Now it is all painted white and I have to put my thinking cap to see what I can do. I think I will go for a dark shade of colouring and take it from there. The doll pattern is on the blog if you want to download it. Now  because either the weave of the fabric is a bit lose or I did not stitch these bodies properly the limbs have a tendency to turn a bit to one side. Painting the doll body helped the limbs to be straight a bit.  So let's see how she turns out.
The first picture is when I painted the face but that soon got covered with white paint.😀

I still have a few bodies left so if anyone of you is interested I can send it to you. Just leave a comment in the box to say you would like one set. 


  1. I didn’t realise you used to teach Shashi, how interesting and what a nice idea to make up lots of bodies for your students. I don’t think I would have gone along to a dollmaking class if I didn’t know how to sew, it’s a bit like doing a degree in politics (or any other subject) with no knowledge of it. Making up the dolls in advance would have saved a whole lot of stress as well as making the class fun. I would love to go along to a creative writing course, but my spelling is atrocious (I am dyslexic), and so I’ve always been afraid to do it. If I knew there was a kind, considerate teacher taking the class I just might pluck up the courage. Spell checkers have opened up the world for me because they catch most (not all) of my errors.
    Have a lovely rest of the week x

  2. I taught a few classes Barbara. What I found was most ladies never admitted that they did not know to sew. Even though when I advertised that only people who knew how to sew must apply for the class I always found that half class didn't know how to sew. It became so frustrating as I could not teach everyone the way I would have liked to as I had to make sure everybody reached each stage at the same time it was very time consuming. Trying to manage 10 people in a class became very difficult so I thought if it was taking the enjoyment out of teaching for me I would rather not teach. So I stopped to give it a break. I used to get ,any requests for teaching but I did not think it was worth doing it for people who just came to fill in their time. I was hoping to start again in a very small way where genuinely ladies were interested and prepared to learn to sew before hand as that is what I had planned to first make them familiar with a sewing machine and the progress from there. However it was not to be as with mum getting old I had to spend more time with her when I went to India.
    I think you should take up your writing. You have such wonderful way of writing your blog that I am sure with a little bit of help you could write for children articles and maybe even stories.

  3. should be interesting to see what everyone does with the dolls :)

  4. Yes I am looking forward to seeing them


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