This week I have made three Tilda dolls. I am gripped in all-things-Tilda again and even had to buy Homemade and Happy for more
crack cocaine sewing inspiration. As always, it’s the stuffing that makes it tedious. I was really careful and stuffed small amounts and not big clouds of the stuff but still she has cellulite and her calves do have a certain oedematous look about them. I hopped on to You Tube to see if there are techniques or better quality stuffing to be had. Of course there are. I had been using the stuffing from cushion forms that cost all of a few euros, maybe €4. The stuffing packs into hard, tight pellets and is difficult to work with. Apparently, wool stuffing is the better, but more expensive, choice of the experienced doll-stuffer.
And forget chopsticks and paintbrush handles for poking into extremities and tight bits – hemostats are de rigeur. They’re like long-nosed pliers and come in various lengths. Hemostats are used in surgery to control bleeding by clamping veins and arteries but in the doll-stuffing world they grip the stuffing and the long nose lets you get into the tiny creases and crevices that need filling.
These recommendations demanded (obviously) a visit to Amazon… I’m sure that when I die Jeff Bezos himself will send a card of condolence to my family… or perhaps Amazon will be offering cheap funerals by then – they certainly have packaging capacity. Anyway, I now have 2 kilo of wool and a 10″ hemostat on order. I also found a set of six tweezers by Rolston that have proved pretty useful for doll stuffing and turning out arms, etc.
I am determined that my nudey Tilda doll will be better than the previous two.
Here’s Tilda 1. She has some odds and sods to finish like the straps for her dungarees, pleats, like darts, to be stitched down in the back of the waistband. I’m not happy with her. I don’t like the floral grey socks (if you aren’t familiar with Tilda patterns, the ‘socks’ are not removable but are part of the leg template: two types of fabric are stitched together and the leg template is cut from them). And I wished that i had used a nicer contrasting material for the turnups. Bleh. Done now. The French Knots for her eyes aren’t the same size – one worked a little loose as I was sewing and I might just muster the motivation to unpick and redo. We shall see.
I’ve still to do the straps and darts round the back on her dungarees. Obviously, she needs eyes as well. And her hair is only pinned on so there’s that to do. Her T shirt could have had more contrast but I was trying to be careful so that any clothes would go well with the material used. See the grey floral – hardly anything went with it.
Have done a much better job with Tilda two, though didn’t think about pattern matching her dungarees at the front… . Still, she’s dead sweet and I am very taken with her. She will be finished over the weekend and I’ll probably make a primitive heart for her to hold as an accessory.
But it doesn’t stop there. I have two more ready to sew (and stuff… bleh) but will hang on for my wool stuffing to arrive, though. The hemostat is coming from the US and won’t be here until the last week of June but they’re less important. I have good tool set without them, they’re just a nice to have. I also have another set of dungarees to be stitched together in fabulously lovely fabric! I was in Dublin yesterday and popped into Trimmings down Capel St and got a couple of metres of juicy, fab stuff.
I’ll update with finished Tilda pics some time over the weekend.