Sunday, June 19, 2011

Wanna See a Hat Trick?

I can't quite say, "If there's a craft, I've tried it" yet, but if you don't watch me, I will branch out.  This excursion into doll-making took me a week and I'm extremely pleased with it.

Meet Caitlyn, Sheriff of Piltover, of League of Legends, in doll form.

Why, do you ask?  Well, I'm a geek, and I love geek-craft, and she's my favorite champion in the game so far.  I've only been playing about two months, so I haven't gotten through all of them yet, but Caitlyn is just fantastic.  And Riot Games does a weekly Summoner Showcase that features all sorts of player-made things.  When I started playing, my husband showed a few of them to me, and promptly said, "You should make something."  Unsurprisingly, I agreed!  So here she is.

The doll itself is made from the extremely popular Pretty Poppet pattern by ghilie, which I can highly recommend; I've done some basic toy making before, but never a jointed doll, and I had no problems constructing her.  It's a very good pattern, thank you, ghilie!

She's made of mostly recycled materials, which I am quite proud of--her skin was a Danskin tank top, both dress fabrics were thrifted formal gowns, the petticoat base and ruffled trims are scraps of bedsheet, and all the leather is from one of my mother's damaged purses, kindly donated to my upcycling collection.  The new materials were the yarn for her hair, her eyes, the wire, the lace for her petticoat, and all the thread to sew her together...not too shabby!

Her hair is a wig made of yarn hand-knotted onto a mesh base--in this case, a piece of an onion bag, if you can believe that.  The hat is fabric-covered cardboard, held on with extra hair extensions threaded through the base, which I tied to her wig.  Not the most stable thing, but it was very important to me that all her clothing and accessories be removable for future repairs.

The dress looked complicated at first, but wasn't too hard once I broke it down into sections: pieced bodice, waistband, gathered skirt, glued-on leather trim.  It took me some thinking to come up with a material suitable for the cog "buckle"--but I had a plastic lid from a Crisco can in my box of random craft things, and with my trusty X-acto knife, some paint, and some Super Glue, I had my cog charm.

Her leg bands are sections of purse strap.  These were a challenge second only to the boots, which came slightly later; my sewing machine couldn't handle the leather, so I couldn't sew it together.  I'd used Super Glue on the leather for the dress, and that held well enough, but it wasn't strong enough to hold the ends of the straps together.  Add to that my lack of tiny gold buckles, and I was stumped for a little while.  But when I was checking my bead box for something to substitute for the buckles, I found the copper wire, and an idea was born.  Both end of the leather are notched on opposite edges, and I contrived a method of linking the notches with the wire, then wrapping the whole thing extensively to hide the join.  They'll come apart if you play tug of war with them, but they hold just fine otherwise.  And they look cool.  I liked the effect so much I made myself a bracelet out of the strap I had left, despite the fact that I don't really do steampunk!  (My husband thinks I should, though.  Maybe when I have a job that doesn't have a uniform...)

The boots are an ode to the power of my hot glue gun.  There's no way in hell I could have managed them without it.

The arm bands and gloves use a modified version of the wrapping from the leg bands: I refined the notches a bit and used brown thread instead.  The gloves are held together above the thumb with that wrapping, then below the thumb I lashed a thin thong to one side, which threads through a slit on the other and then ties around the wrist.  I'm really proud of that.  Really proud.  Somebody give me a medal already!

I don't see myself churning out doll after doll now, but I would certainly make another one in the future--it was a lot of fun!  I do have two nieces that are going to need fancy dolls someday, but since right now, they're 3 and 1 years old, I think I have some time before they're ready....

1 comment:

  1. LOVE CAITLYN SHE'S MY FAVOURITE CHAMPION TOO! Do you sell her in doll form?