Sunday, May 10, 2020

Paper Dolls

Paper dolls were my very favorite thing to play with as a little kid.  I loved them so much more than playing with real dolls.  I loved changing the outfits and styling the gals with an assortment of garments and accessories, attaching them to the two dimensional dolls with paper tabs that bent over on to their blank back sides.  Just thinking about it brings back memories of me sitting in the kitchen at our old 50's chrome dinette set and styling these dolls for hours on end.  
Not much has changed since those days; I still absolutely love styling and putting outfits together.  And I guess felting is like paper dolls in the sense that you make things two dimensionally on a resist.  Only later when you remove the resist does it becomes a three dimensional garment.
 Just recently since I started creating more complex garments with multiple resists, cowl necks and more, I decided it would be very helpful to create a three dimensional paper doll shape of the garment.

I did in fact learn this technique from Jean Gauger in a jacket workshop that I took from her years ago in Portland.  Jean made a beautiful little 3D paper shape and even colored it in with the colors she planned to use in her garment.  And although I often sketch out my garments I never did what Jean suggested.  But now  that I look back, what a great idea she had. 
 To create these 3D garments, I draw one on a piece of paper.  I then put another sheet of paper under it.  I fold both sheets down the middle and cut along the edges (half the garment).  If there are any differences between the front and the back, I make those on each of the paper pieces.  I then tape them together and draw out and label areas.  It allows me visualize the whole garment and to see continuity between the front and the back and where I will place various colors and types of roving and silk.   But just like a recipe that I use as a guideline for cooking and not as the gospel, I treat this 3D paper doll the same and still let the real garment grow organically.
Here's what's on my felting table based on the 3D paper doll above.

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