A change of pace

I had the good fortune to be able to take a dollmaking class from Gail Wilson a couple of weeks ago. The doll we made was a cloth bodied doll with papier mache head, arms, and legs, inspired by Jane Austen. The papier mache pieces were poured and cast by Gail. We students got to paint the papier mache pieces, including the face detailing, and assemble and dress the doll.

Oh yes, there was also a wonderful wide brimmed bonnet that Gail showed us how to make from needlepoint canvas. Truly creative and the perfect touch for Jane.

It was a wonderful class. We worked from 10:oo am until 5:3opm, with a break for a delicious lunch served at the class. By the end of the day I think all of us had painted a lovely doll. Assembly was left as an excersize for the student at home :-) The bodies had been pre-sewn, so all that needed to be done was stuff the body and attach the head plate, arms and legs.

Instead of sewing for my doll, I decided to crochet her a sweet set of underwear and camisole, and a Regency gown, and trim her bonnet with crochet lace.

Here is Jane in her crochet underwear. I almost hate to put a dress over it all :-)

Closeup of Jane's crochet trimmed bonnet and crochet camisole. You may recognize the style of the camisole, I love the way the side-to-side crochet fits the body, especially when worked in the back loops only.

And finally, Jane in her Regency gown. It took a little while to crochet this, using size 20 crochet cotton and a size 8 steel hook. It amazes me that with Gail's guidance a person who is paint-brush challenged (like me) can produce a very credible painted doll. Gail has a way of inspiring confidence in the most timid :-) She is a natural teacher and a wonderfully gifted dollmaker. It was a great class.

To find out all of the neat things that Gail is up to, visit her web site at: