Saturday, October 03, 2009

Art-ish Stuff-Toys for every medieval kid!

Not working on art so much since Feb-Mar, sadly. No money for shows or supplies. Sigh. Stupid economy.

Been learning new things though, new tapestry techniques and embroidery stitches, and took up a new hobby, in the context of my old hobby (Living History)-Medieval toy making! And it even tied into my modern artwork! (Though that will have to wait for the next entry).

Sadly, I failed to get pictures of my leather 10th Cen. ball, or my first rag doll, but here's my second!


The doll is based on a Roman Era doll found in Egypt. Doll body and clothing are made of linen, all hand-stitched, and stuffed with sewing scraps.


The costume is meant to represent an early 14th Cen. cotehardie, and shift. The idea of using a later period costume comes from this set of doll clothing found in Russia.

The hair is of an unknown fibre given to me by someone who found it entirely too soft to work with for whatever they had gotten it for. It's VERY soft, and definitely has some real hair (the white fibres), which give an interesting going-grey look, though I don't think I'll use it again, as it's a bit too flyaway looking. I don't remember the inspiration for the hairstyle.

Doll was put into a gift bag for Gleann Abhann at Estrella 2009, from An Tir.


Doll #3 was SUPPOSED to be a 14th Cen. costume based on the then-Queen of Atenveldt's research (as that was the Estrella gift bag it was destined for), but apparently turned out more Viking-looking.

Doll is made of linen, based on the same Roman artifact as the above, and stuffed with sewing scraps. Under-tunic is made of cotton (yellow-it was the only bright yellow fabric I had), and either linen or cotton (white) of a similar weight fabric, I can't remember. Over-tunic is made of linen. Both doll and clothing entirely hand-stitched, with linen thread for the decorative stitching.


Hat is linen, hair is silk dyed with some natural dye, though I don't know which, as it was from my stash of dye-sample leftovers.

I was given to understand the little girl who received it loved it, and that it was named Inga, after the then-Queen of An Tir, (it's the bright yellow braids...). I got a couple of very cute pictures of her with it; however, as she's not my child and I don't have permission I'm not going to post them, though I thank those who passed them on!


Doll #4, again a Roman era doll, though I changed the way I did the arms due to the shape of the linen scraps I had available. The arms are made separately, instead of as a single long tube sewn across the back of the body, and are sewn onto the sides at a single point with multiple stitches, to give them a semi-jointed movement. The linen was natural coloured rather than white this time. Hand-stitched again, and I believe also stuffed with sewing scraps (though it might have been polyfil this time-the horse I made at the same time was).

For a change, I dressed the Roman era doll in a Roman era dress! Chiton (white under-dress) is linen, with yellow stitching to represent the gold fibulae that would have been used to pin it. The stola (red), a garment signifying marriage, is made of cotton turban material. The braided belt is made of...I can't remember... scraps of thread, probably; likely cotton.


Hair is done in pearl cotton embroidery thread, and based on some of the simpler hairstyles worn in the Roman era.

Doll was destined for a gift bag given to Ealdormere at Pennsic 38.

One of these times I'll remember to take a picture of one of the dolls BEFORE I put clothes on it.

Edit to add: Basic doll form pictures here.

1 comment:

Lillian Dardar said...

Thank you for sharing these beautiful dolls! Had a very similar project in mind for an upcoming largesse derby for the new crowns of Glenn Abhann.