Dolls and Felting
Always excited by learning new things, I said, “Sure.” So, Mary sent a gorgeous box of her beautiful bunny dolls. Obviously, the dolls are her passion: each one is lovingly created. Some have pinafores, while others carry purses. As her talented daughter Jessica is an artist, she hand-paints the dolls’ expressive faces.
In addition to the dolls, there were unfinished doll heads. Helpfully, these gave me accurate head-size measurements. Explaining how they were made, she said that the heads could be adjusted later. Thankfully, there is more flexibility with doll hats!
One of the most interesting aspects was scaling down the flexible resists. Not surprisingly, they are much smaller for a doll hat. Each one is around 9-inches in width. A human-sized hat needs a much larger resist – 18 to 20-inches in width.
Not surprisingly, there was a second challenge to working on a smaller scale. I wasn’t sure what size decorations or trimmings needed to be until ~after~ I felted. Because they are small, I knew that beads would work. But, I didn’t want to solely rely on this method of ‘icing’ the doll hats. Hence, I used a combination of beading and thin silk fabric which I nunofelted. Then, I sewed them on as ‘windswept’ bows.
After much delay, I finished the hats. Here’s what the hats look like on the muslin dolls.
Not surprisingly, I found it challenging to figure out how to have bunny ears AND wear a hat. In retrospect, I should have included slits in all of the hats. Fortunately, felt is quite forgiving and Mary can cut holes for floppy ears if needed.
At last, here’s Mary Kollar Dolls’ mingling with the felted doll hats. Can you see the cute carrots???
Excitingly, Mary has already picked out the fabric for the dolls. Can’t wait to see what she will create. More of Mary’s work is at her shop, Kollar Creations.
Consequently, working on doll hats inspired a few more adult-sized Mermaid Top Hats. Here, you can see them without bows. Later, I nunofelted and sewed on silk ribbons which added a necessary pop. You can see the be-ribboned version on Facebook.
Ultimately, I need to properly photograph these hats and put them in my shop!