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Mrs. G. Dumpty

January 4, 2010

Mrs. G. Dumpty 1985 This is how I like to needle sculpt the nose. The lines on the side of the nose have been painted in already with acrylic paint. If the doll is without hair you will need to use a very long needle to start. Secure your thread somewhere below the neckline or insert the needle in the head seam and tug it ‘in’ to embed it there. Come out at the top on one side of the nose. Change to a very short, sharp and thin (quilting) needle and thread it on. If you have made a large exit hole with your first needle using your new little sharp needle carefully work the fibers back into place to reduce this hole or some of the stuffing fibers make stick out and you need to put the needle back into the cloth almost right next to its exit. So you are coming out at the top of the line ( on either side) and taking the tiniest stitch just to its side. The go in straight and try to collect some of the stuffing with your needle as you begin to aim your needle towards the other side of the nose where you will come out at the top of the line. Pull thread somewhat taut to get a little pucker and ridge to the fabric started. If you have not lifted enough stuffing with your needle you will get a dimple in the center of your nose ridge. Then again you will put the needle into the cloth so very close to where is is coming out of the cloth making the tiniest of stitches and keeping up some thread tension. Then the stuffing scoop with the needle is repeated and the needle is brought out on the opposite side of the nose right next to the end of the last stitch (which was the first one you made). This back and forth taking of stitches is repeated all the way down the nose. Keeping the stitches as tiny as possible and continuing to keep some tension as you go will form a padded ridge of fabric which will be the nose.

cloth doll by Jane Cather 1985   “If I told him once I told him a thousand times. Don’t play on the wall.”

3 Comments leave one →
  1. Lena permalink
    January 4, 2010 8:51 am

    Oh how much I love seeing this doll. I fell in love with the thought of making dolls, when I first saw your dolls in a craft magazine way back when, and the stories that you told, inspired me, to think up little stories too. They were the first stories I ever wrote down, apart from ones that were required in school. I still have that magazine article, and all the pictures, and the ones from Country Home, too. I make my noses in a similar way, but I don’t paint them first. I love her eyebrows! I’ve only made a few dolls along the way, but you are inspiring me to start again.

    In this day and age, when everyone is so selfishly guarding and charging for every little thing, and taking credit for designs that were really created hundreds of years ago, and all the rest, I appreciate you sharing this, in more ways than you know. It feels right, in the way that sitting down with my Granny, and learning from her, how to knit, and crochet, feels right. I thank you, so sincerely, Jane, for being who you are. I wish more people understood, that it is in the giving, that you receive. It all comes around again.

  2. Genie permalink
    January 8, 2010 3:44 pm

    My artdoll inspiration 3-ring binder contains several pages featuring your work from the ’90’s, and I purchased last year’s copy of Where Women Create mainly because you were a featured Artist. It was in the ’80’s when the desire to create cloth people overtook me and I wonder if some of the folkart dolls in magazines were yours. But it was in the next decade when I threw myself into the craft, but lost the muse when my parents passed away. Now, after a long hiatus from art-making, I begin again…and shortly thereafter, here comes your blog…..Thank you so much for Being.

  3. April 4, 2010 9:47 pm

    Hi Jane,

    I just successfully completed my very first doll nose, thanks to you. It isn’t wonderful but I am thrilled nevertheless. Onward and upward, inspired by you and your example. I agree wholeheartedly with Genie and Lena, above. Your generosity is greatly appreciated and your creativity is inspiring.

    I love getting the email that announces your latest, whatever it might be, magic.

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