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Introduction to Making Cloth Dolls


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Clear, step-by-step instructions
Beautiful, exquisitely made dolls that are achievable by needlecrafters of all abilities
Colourful, contemporary and stylish, the dolls will appeal to fashion and costume designers and textile artists as well as more traditional needlecrafters.

About the Author

Jan Horrox's career began in 1973 when she gained a Diploma in Fashion/Textile Design from North East London Polytechnic. She went on to establish her own range of fashion knitwear that she designed and manufactured herself, and which sold to reputable stores as well as independent customers in the US, UK and Japan. Jan also taught part-time at various colleges in the UK, and in 2004 she set up Jan Horrox Cloth Dolls. She now sells doll-making supplies via her successful on-line business, as well as exhibiting her work regularly throughout the UK. Jan lives and works in Norfolk, and in her spare time enjoys making costumes for local amateur dramatics societies.


I made the simplest doll, her face is flat, rather than sculpted and her hands are 'mittens' without separate fingers. There is plenty of advice on suitable fabric, thread and stuffing, so I felt well supported even though this was my first doll. I drew my face with fine line permanent pens a white gel pen and some watercolour pencils. I think my dolls features were a little too fine, the ones shown in the book are much more exaggerated. The dolls take only small pieces of fabric so I used some precious scraps for the body and legs. I was pleasantly surprised at how easily the doll went together, her arms and hips are button jointed so that she can sit and wave! The dolls skirt is made of layers of sheer fabric and this was really good fun, building up colours and textures. The best bit had to be adding the hair, which really gave the doll her character, and allowed me to go to town with all the mad novelty yarns in the stash. I didn't have any specialist doll making equipment apart from a very long needle and although I have no doubt that some long tweezers would have made life easier I can't say that anything was much of a struggle with just a usual sewing kit. I thoroughly enjoyed making this doll, so this is another book with which I will not part! I can see myself using further dolls and making them in all sorts of weird and wonderful characters. I would definitely make the facial features more prominent in future, to balance up all the extravagance elsewhere! Full of character and fun to make Jan's dolls are ideal for using up your favorite scraps of fabrics, yarns, trims, ribbons and beads. You are going to love her innovative embellishment techniques! Three step-by-step projects with superb color photos and clear directions for constructing beautiful faces, hands and feet will provide all you need to know to make your own gorgeous doll, whatever your ability, and give ideas and inspiration for many I am delighted to report that I received the first 20 copies of your book today. What an extraordinary accomplishment! It it one of the lovliest doll books I have ever seen. The material is so beautifully presented and you have so many innovative techniques. I love the ribbing hair. I am sure it will be a great success for you. I am so happy to have it on our site.-Mary Ann ( A long-awaited how-to-do-it book from Jan Horrox, already well-known in the world of cloth dolls. Using the full-size templates provided, and following Jan's detailed instructions, three basic dolls can be created. Clear, step-by-step colour photographs guide the maker through all aspects of construction. The fun part is the dressing and decoration of the doll and Jan suggests many ways of using varied craft techniques to achieve a unique character. This is a colourful and reasonably-priced book, containing a wealth of information; a must-have volume for anyone wishing to create their own totally individual doll.-East Kent Embroiderers' Guild If you are looking for a book on making dolls for children to play with then this is not for you; these dolls are ornaments for adults. If you are an experienced toymaker there are ways of adapting the patterns but there are other books full of beautiful playthings and therefore plenty of room for a book like this. In here you can learn how to make three dolls of varying complexity and dress them in lovely fantasy costumes to make decorations for your home. They are certainly eye catching and destined to be conversation pieces; I'm already talking about them! You can use up all sorts of oddments and if you already sew you are bound to own everything you need which is always good to know. Learn how to needlesculpt the cloth to make lifelike faces (this part was my favorite as it explains it so well) and paint your cloth in creative ways. Start by making the simplest doll, which gives you a chance to learn how to do this type of work and then progress through a doll with fingered hands to a more advanced fairy doll with jointed limbs, a beaded tiara and Angelina Fiber wings. These dolls are sure to appeal to all those who love fantasy, but once you have learned the basic technique and with a bit of dressmaking know-how you can dress them in anything. I enjoyed the generous staged photographs that guide the crafter through the more unfamiliar processes as well as most of the more basic ones, and if you want to make unusual ornaments for your home (or somebody else's) then this fits the Jan's beautifully crafted dolls are real works of art, but by breaking down the processes into clearly explained stages this practical book ensures that you'll be able to achieve the look that you want - and your fairy won't end up looking more like a goblin... unless you want it to. Every stage is clearly explained and accompanied by step-by-step photos so that the fiddly bits, such as hands, feet and faces, can be created with confidence. The dolls are full of character and once you've constructed the doll, there's infinite scope to embellish it with colourful fabrics, ribbons, buttons and all sorts of trims. There are full-size templates for three different dolls but there are lots of photos of partly worked samples, which illustrate the methods used and also give you ideas and inspiration to create your own very individual characters. Even if you've never tried doll-making before, this book will enable you to produce amazing results.-Stitch Making cloth dolls has become quite a popular pastime and an opportunity to flex your creative muscles, combining many varied techniques in one project. However, for those who are a little daunted by the prospect of it or feel they need to know more about the fundamentals of it before embarking on a huge project, this book is the ideal way in. The dolls (16-18 inches in size) included in this book range from simple and achievable to more complex and involved. There is an introductory section which takes you through each step of making a generic doll (face, hands, feet etc) without any specifics on the finished project. This is very useful, as it provides you with the raw materials for doll-making so that you can take it further and develop your own projects without the constraints of the instructions being doll-specific. Alternative methods are given as well (for example a flat face, and a needle-sculpted face) which will also be handy for those seeking to improve their skills. And with the heads being separate to the body, there is scope for practising your face drawing rather than worrying about ruining an entire body. There are some specialist tools that would benefit you, but alternative suggestions are given where appropriate, and lot of the techniques and fabric requirements would probably be met with materials you already have at home. The projects, of which there are three, all add in different techniques, so you are not thrown in at the deep end with everything included. And an additional doll, using slightly different techniques (or not using as many) is also illustrated for each. This serves as a great introduction to this craft. The instructions are clear and well illustrated and cater to all abilities in terms of being able to pick and choose how complicated your designs are.-Workshop On The Web Fun and imaginative, this guide to cloth dollmaking demonstrates how to create exquisite and stylish dolls that make wonderful gifts or collectibles. A great way to use up scraps of material, the dolls portrayed in these projects are made using a wide variety of colorful fabrics, trims, ribbons and buttons. Complete with useful diagrams; clear step-by-step instructions for making hands, feet and faces; and templates for all other body parts; this creative resource provides the means and the inspiration for making gorgeous dolls that are full of character. Projects range in difficulty and are suitable for everyone, including beginners, more experienced needlecrafters, textile artists, and fashion designer.-Soft Dolls & Animals Jan's fabulous cloth dolls are exquisitely made and full of character. In this book, Jan guides the reader step-by-step through every stage of producing their own delightful, decorated cloth dolls. This practical guide is aimed at those who are new to doll making, as well as more experienced needlecrafters. Jan's dolls are made using a wide range of colourful fabrics, trims, ribbons and buttons and are ideal for using up scraps and oddments of materials. Clear, step-by-step instructions for making hands, feet and faces, together with diagrams where needed, and useful templates for all the body pieces are supplied at the back of the book. With three different projects to choose from, and three alternative designs using different colour schemes and materials, this book provides the means to make your own unique doll, whatever your ability. The dolls will appeal to fashion and costume designers and textile artists as well as more traditional needlecrafters.-Sew Today

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