Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Ragdoll: Part One

Today I started working on my entry for The Ragdoll Project. The Ragdoll Project is a campaign to promote awareness about human trafficking and and commercial sexual exploitation. There is an art exhibition sponsored by the Philadelphia Women's Caucus for Art at the F&N Gallery in Northern Liberties. I am not sure what my final submission will be, if it is just the doll or a series of photos featuring the doll, but I started by finding images on line and printing them on these paper-backed cotton sheets.

 After printing out a collage of images, I created a free-form pattern of the doll. Next I used my trusty ruler to make sure the form was symmetrical and to make sure that the dimensions were uniform. I generally don't use pen, but did so for the blog. I added 1/4 inch seam allowance to all of the sides. *Seam allowance is the part of the fabric that will become the seam inside of the garment or in this case the doll.*

I then, cut out the pattern pieces and separated the printed cotton from the backing.
 Next I pinned the pattern pieces to the fabric. This was the tricky part. I had to remember to flip the arms and legs over to get to opposite limbs instead of two left arms and two right legs.In order to make it seem more life like, I decided to add thumbs and toes, so it would have been obvious if I cut them out wrong.

 (Sorry for the sideways pics; even though I edited them Blogger only likes the original version...)
 After cutting out the body and all of the arms and legs, it was time to concentrate on the face and other details. I drew the features on with tailor's calk and then picked out some embroidery floss to use. I use a tapestry needle. It has a blunt tip which is tough, but the eye is big enough for the floss, so it was my best option.
Here is where I am so far. 
Next post I'll show you how I finish the face and sew the pieces together.