Monday, March 29, 2010

A change of pace

I had the good fortune to be able to take a dollmaking class from Gail Wilson a couple of weeks ago. The doll we made was a cloth bodied doll with papier mache head, arms, and legs, inspired by Jane Austen. The papier mache pieces were poured and cast by Gail. We students got to paint the papier mache pieces, including the face detailing, and assemble and dress the doll.

Oh yes, there was also a wonderful wide brimmed bonnet that Gail showed us how to make from needlepoint canvas. Truly creative and the perfect touch for Jane.

It was a wonderful class. We worked from 10:oo am until 5:3opm, with a break for a delicious lunch served at the class. By the end of the day I think all of us had painted a lovely doll. Assembly was left as an excersize for the student at home :-) The bodies had been pre-sewn, so all that needed to be done was stuff the body and attach the head plate, arms and legs.

Instead of sewing for my doll, I decided to crochet her a sweet set of underwear and camisole, and a Regency gown, and trim her bonnet with crochet lace.

Here is Jane in her crochet underwear. I almost hate to put a dress over it all :-)

Closeup of Jane's crochet trimmed bonnet and crochet camisole. You may recognize the style of the camisole, I love the way the side-to-side crochet fits the body, especially when worked in the back loops only.

And finally, Jane in her Regency gown. It took a little while to crochet this, using size 20 crochet cotton and a size 8 steel hook. It amazes me that with Gail's guidance a person who is paint-brush challenged (like me) can produce a very credible painted doll. Gail has a way of inspiring confidence in the most timid :-) She is a natural teacher and a wonderfully gifted dollmaker. It was a great class.

To find out all of the neat things that Gail is up to, visit her web site at:



  2. Very beautiful doll in a fabulously beautiful dress!

  3. You are a MASTER! This is a beautiful doll!

  4. Thank-you very much for your kind comments, Perla, Rosetta, and Miss Julep. I don't venture away from cloth or crochet very often, but it is fun to do something different every once in a while :-)


  5. How totally awesome, a Jane Austen doll and you made her, I love that you crocheted her clothes.
    Going to look at Gail's site now, I am definately a doll person and love anything Jane Austen! BarbM

  6. hi beth 4-2-10

    i found your webpage about 1 week, and i have gone crazy over your work. you are totally awesome and very talented lady, and thank you so much for all your gifts to us. i printed out the pattern for your FS amigurumi doll pattern and it has to different size hooks and they are (E and F) but the pattern give me no idea where to use each hook. i hope i made sence. can you please help me.
    my e-mail is
    thanx for your time and your help.
    sincerly yours

  7. Hi Patricia,

    Thank-you very much for your good words :-)

    About the hooks; the E hook is used to make the body of the doll and all her limbs. The F hook is used to crochet her hair. Good catch! I should have specified this in the instructions.

    Enjoy the crochet!


  8. The doll is very pretty! And I love the Regency dress!! :D
    Keep it up!

  9. Hello, The Gail Wilson doll you made is lovely and I love the clothes you made for her. Will you be offering the pattern sometime in the future? I am an antique doll collector & I love to crochet for my antique dolls. Regards, Sunny

  10. Thank-you both for the kind comments :-)

    Sunny, I did not write down the instructions for the bad :-( I did however write down the instructions for the camisole and pantaloons, and plan to post them sometime.


  11. She is sooo beautiful! Thanks' for sharing!