This Alice in Wonderland piece is two dolls (Alice and the flamingo) put together. The Alice dolls were pretty much like a lot of other dolls that I’ve felted, except that she has hand-painted (beads) eyes and I used colored pencils to color parts of her face.
One of my goals for this set of Alice in Wonderland dolls was to felt expression into the faces of the dolls. I needed to hand paint the eyes of all my Alice in Wonderland dolls to give them the exact expression that I wanted. Alice needed to be looking at the flamingo, the direction of her eyes are looking sharply to the left. I wanted to color parts of Alice’s face (also parts of the Queen’s face) but I wanted the coloring to be subtle so I used high quality colored pencils to color parts of the lips, under the eyes (of the Queen), the cheeks and lines in the face. The eyelids were felted over the painted beads (eyes) after they were set into the eye sockets; I embroidered the edges of the eyelids to better define them. The Alice doll is made of up of 6 pieces (the head, body, 2 arms and 2 legs) The arms and legs are jointed by sewing them onto the body with embroidery thread. Alice’s hair was made separately, then felted onto the head, so it would have a 3-D, puffy look and not appear flat on the head. I made the traditional blue dress and white apron for Alice because I love the original costume. Alice’s legs are felted white (as stockings) and her black MaryJane shoes are felted onto her feet.
The flamingo had to be made after the Alice doll was finished in able to achieve the proper proportions of the flamingo to Alice. The body of the flamingo fits into Alice’s arms, his neck loops around and the head comes face to face with Alice. The flamingo’s neck stays in this position because there is a heavy gaged wire inside the neck allowing you to bend the neck so it comes to exactly the right spot to stare at Alice.
My favorite part of the flamingo are his legs. His legs are boning sticks (for sewing), wrapped in black wool yarn. The flamingo feet are pieces of black felt. How many people can say that they’ve made a pair of flamingo knees?!” I sewed the flamingo into Alice’s arms. Stay tuned for more Alice in wonderland dolls….
This is the first antique style doll that I ever needle felted; this doll reminds me of my daughter Emili. My mother’s bisque dolls that I’ve saved are 70 some years old and they’re very fragile. Some of the antique bisque dolls that I have, have chipped faces and broken legs. This replica of my mother’s antique doll will never break (because she is 100% wool), but I will take special precautions when storing her.
The stinky moth ball (made from Paradichlorobenzene) is now thought to contains cancer causing chemicals, which I definitely don’t want to use to store toys for my children. There are several natural herbs that are thought to repel moths: lavendar, rosemary, mint, thyme, ginseng, cloves and lemon. I’m going to make lavendar sachets and store them with my wool dolls and toys. The best way to protect your woolen sweaters, yarns and toys is to store them in a clean, air-tight plastic container. Today, as most of us are looking for more environmentally friendly ways to do things, wool is a great choice! Wool is a sustainable resource, it supports farmers around the world without hurting the animals!, it has very little environmental impact compared to other types of textiles, dust mites don’t like to live in wool, wool is very strong, wool is flame resistant, wool repels moisture and it has anti-bacterial properties. For more information about wool see: http://www.woolrevolution.com/index.html.
I believe that in the last few years, because of so many chemical scares pertaining to children’s toys, natural fibers have become more appealing to parents who want to make sure that the toys they give their children are safe. For more information about chemical toy testing please see: http://www.emaxhealth.com/50/18749.html The Waldorf education system has endorsed natural fibers for children’s toys since it’s inception. Natural fibers are believed to stimulate the sences and give a child something safe with which to play.
I always loved the photographs of little girls with giant bows on their head; I’ve always wondered how this style came to be! Who came up with such a disproportionate hair ornament for a little girl?
I have a few antique bisque dolls of my mother’s that inspired me to felt this doll. Needle felted completely from wool, each piece (arms, legs, body and head) was individually needle felted and then sewn together. The head is my favorite part of the doll to make. I take great care to give her a face with an authentic look, I like to style her hair and I think the eyes are the most important part of the face. I found these particular blinking doll eyes in the flea market, I think they’re old because they’re made of metal, not plastic.
I really don’t like to do the arms and legs, I find it challenging to make both arms and both legs identical (or close to it).
The dress for this doll is similar to the original dress of the antique bisque doll, but made from felt. I needle felted a design on the bodice to break up the hot pink color.
I made the socks from some white tricot and old lace that I had, and the little black Mary Janes are also made from felt.