Friday, March 30, 2007

What pattern to use to make a realistic soft sculpture doll

Chloe asks:
I am an art student trying to make a realistic soft sculpture dummy, much like crash test dummy featured on the website. However, my sewing skills aren't spectacular. I am just curious what kind of pattern I should try to make or how to go about creating a realistically proportioned dummy.

Chloe is referring to my Crash Test Daughter doll, a photo of which is here. This is my own pattern which has never been finished. I think you could probably tackle the Basic Woman by Barbara Graff in the 32 inch size. The bigger the doll is, the easier it will be to sew the fiddly bits like fingers. You can buy this pattern at Cloth Doll Patterns or Dollmaker's Journey.

Just remember these basic tips:
Set your sewing machine stitch at 1.5 mm or 16 stitches per inch
Stop and lift your presser foot and pivot the fabric every few stitches on curves, don't pull your fabric.
Clip all your curves after you cut the pattern out and before you turn it inside out.
Practice makes perfect! (or at least you get a lot better!)

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