Friday, September 28, 2012

Tutorial- Bendy Doll Makeover

Before
After

    Abriel and Samuel got these little bendy dolls last Christmas from Magic Cabin.  Abriel loves them (there is a boy as well) and as a result they have grown to look quite ratty.  I decided to try giving them a makeover, also changing some things I wasn't overly fond of, like the face.  It was just too cartoonish for me, and I don't like the exaggerated smile.  So, here's the step by step process on how I made over the girl doll. 
     The clothes were dirty and pilly, so I wanted to replace them.  In order to do this, I carefully cut along the seams, so that I could use the old clothes as a pattern for the new ones.  The pants were glued on at the top, but it was pretty easy to rip it free.  In order to get the shirt off, I had to take the head off.  It was securely glued, and wasn't budging, so I just gave it a good twist, hoping to break the glue, but I broke the dowel instead.
That meant taking the doll down to the shop and drilling out the old dowel.  This can be a little tricky, but if you're careful and keep your drill at a very low speed, it can work out pretty well. 
After I had drilled it out, I cut a section of a 3/16 dowel, making sure it fit well inside the body and head.  I also sanded of the facial features with 200 grit sand paper. 
I painted on a new face with acrylic paint, making her have a neutral expression and brown eyes, like Abriel.  I also painted her shoes brown, but I think in the future, I will paint them the original color, since now when the paint chips, it will show the black underneath.  Her head is just stuck on at this point.  It can't be glued until the shirt is on.
I chose wool felt for the new clothes, so I wouldn't have to do any hemming.  I used the old clothes for a pattern, minus the seam allowance, since I was using felt.  I sewed one half of the shirt, as shown, and the front and back of the pants before putting them on the doll.  The rest needs to be sewn while on the doll, because it cannot be dressed otherwise.
After I had finished sewing the inseam on the pants, I hot melt glued them in place.  I then glued the dowel into the body, and slipped the shirt on, getting the dowel to poke through the neck hole.  I finished sewing the shirt while on the doll, and then glued the head on, making sure the face was pointed in the right direction.  Now to fix that crazy hair.
I figured braids down the back would be the best way to keep it from going all over the place.  I made two tiny braids, then tied them off with embroidery floss.  I then put a dot of white craft glue at the knot, to keep them tied.  I also glued any stray hairs in place. 
   Now, doesn't she look better?  I can't wait to redo the little boy.

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