Monday 23 August 2010

Failed rag doll

I'm having my first failure - or at least, my first failure of this particular run of items.

"I have my own rag doll design" I said - "this should be easy". The design has major flaws though, and I don't think I can wait long enough to get them ironed out, before introducing the new stock at the art & craft centre. The display is looking quite tired, and I really need to liven it up a bit, and soon.

I love the rag doll pattern - absolutely love, love, love it. I have the practice run sitting on my table right now and she looks fantastic. I tried it first in cashmere, but the top layer of fabric rolls back under the sewing machine foot, with the result that the already-slim ankles became ultra-skinny and impossible to stuff.

So I reverted to the calico, but the foot design still isn't right, and I decided to try the design with the arms cut as part of the body pattern. This meant that the seam allowances under the arms (a point of major stress) were tiny, and the seam began to split as soon as I tried to stuff it.

Both of those problems are fixable. The third problem though is the stability of the neck and head. I tried using a short pieces of wooden dowel through the neck, but it still doesn't give the head enough support. The only answer is a whacking great bit of wire running through neck, up into the head, and down into the body. This is so far from being child-safe though, it's ridiculous - and, even if they are all clearly labelled as not suitable for children, how long will it be before the wire shifts and one end pokes through the fabric?

I know bear-makers use the wire though, so I have done what they do - folding the ends under, padding it out with stuffing, wrapping it up in masking tape, and then sewing it up in a little tubular calico bag. I'm still not certain it's going to work.

Anyway, because the doll design will take some fiddling with, I am going to roll that - and a few other items - over to the next to-do list. The last items I am going to make on this list (before putting the whole lot on display) are three little bears like this - each with a cotton floral drawstring bag and luggage tags. I guess the bear can go in the bag, but the idea was that it's essentially a gift bag, decorated with a bear.

I have three days to do three - as well as all the labelling of the other stuff - and finding a good way to display it all.

What with the rag doll failure, and having my handbag stolen the other day, I've needed cheering up, so I've been watching loads of Youtube clips (I must get out more). This one, I've watched over and over - he is the most fantastic break dancer; take a look!

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