Book Review: Cloth Dolls for Textile Artists

Dolls provide a small-scale canvas for textile experimentation which can yield stunning results with relatively little expense. Close-up color photography augments the step-by-step instructions that challenge beginning doll makers to try new techniques. The stump, wire frame and stuffed cloth dolls showcase a variety of fabric manipulations. These techniques include needlesculpting facile details, painting, layering and then embroidering, burning out or couching cords to the clothing fabrics and more.

Of particular interest are the chapters on mapping the face before developing the eyes, nose and lips using colored pencils to create intricate faces that radiate personality. Hands and fingers are given similar attention as readers learn how to turn, stuff and attach them to the dolls. Embellishments include headdresses and needlefelted hairdos along with fancy puffed, frilled and free embroidered clothing.

Intermediate or advanced doll makers will be disappointed by the lack of “real” doll making insights, especially given the quality of other titles on the market. Instead, these are easy to make, simplistic dolls that beginners can lavishly dress and accessorize which is the focus of this book as it relies heavily on burning out synthetic fabrics. 

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