Thursday, June 20, 2013

For a swap: Junker Jane Inspired Doll

Time to show off another item I made for some swaps.

It was for a swap in the art doll group I joined just to see what the group was.  They don't have a ton of swaps but they're all more involved swaps so it makes sense.  The last few swaps they had were more assemblage type deals which I don't really have materials to do (and don't want to invest the time/money getting the supplies nor do I really want a finished item from someone else).  But their latest swap looked interesting.

Junker Jane inspired doll.

Now I had no idea what "Junker Jane" was so the helpful link in the swap details filled me in right quick.  Basically they're soft/stuffed dolls with a random/junky/recycled feel to them.  I can SO do that.  Now Junker Jane dolls seem to be a bit more on the "grotesque" bordering on "zombie" side of things.  Personally, that's not my style.  I can appreciate it for what it is but I don't like to make those kinds of things and I don't really like to display them.  It's just not a look I enjoy living with (but like to see and then move on).  BUT, this was just supposed to be "inspired by" not "copy".

So, what did I come up with?

Meet George V.

As you can see, he's not merely a copy of a Junker Jane doll.  But he is DEFINITELY inspired by them.

I went around my craft room (and the tiny pile of junk in my computer room) looking for random items in muted color tones.  Dingy, used, scruffy, scraps.  That's what was on my mind as I poked around.  As far as a pattern went, my only thought was I wanted to make a vaguely human form (doll) versus an animal.  But even that was open to discussion.

Once I had an armful of different things, I just started playing with it to see what happened.

George's face took shape first.  When I found the lone tan stretch glove finger in my scraps (I had a bunch of fingers in other colors, but only one tan/dingy shade) I knew I had to use it.  Hey, it's easy to make them into either a tail or a leg.  Or a nose.

The face fabric was a piece I got in a swap.  When I got it I liked it but immediately wondered what on earth I'd ever use it for, what with it having really thick (decal like) printing on it (the gold areas).  But I got looking at it and the squiggle was the perfect mouth and the placement of one of the other gold areas was perfect for an eye detail.  There was even a little circle with four dots in the center, just like a button.  Since there was so much room on the face between the eye spot and the mouth squiggle, that stretch glove finger was just begging to be a big ole nose.

I had grabbed some scraps of faux fur (left over from when I made Tribbles--George's mustache is a tribble butt!) thinking they'd be hair or details and low and behold it was PERFECT for a mustache.  I just parted the hair and sewed the piece down the middle (so it would be nicely attached) then glued the ends of the fabric down.  A bit of glue to twist the mustache and there you have it.

I backed the face with quilt batting but the back was really rough and ugly.  The fabric was just wrapped and folded around the batting so there were flaps all over the back.  So I needed to clean that up (once I had all the features stitched on).  But the shape of the head is so weird and the face was semi-rigid and I didn't want to bend it too much and distort the look.  I was tempted to just back it with another fabric and lightly stuff it then attach it to a body.  Or maybe there would be no body and I'd just back it and then add arms and legs right to the face.  So many decisions.

But I had the leftovers of a felted sweater in the pile of stuff I'd gathered.

BINGO!  His body was right there in the sweater arm.  The cuff is his feet up to about the shoulder (where I split it to spread it out to make the head shape).

I sewed the face to the felt first then stuffed it.  Then I split the leg area (removing the seam) and sewed it back together (as legs) using some baker's twine I'd received as packaging on some swaps (yeah for recycling!).  Once he was basically all put together, I decided to add the little stitches at the leg/body merge so he could easily sit or stand (if propped up a bit--he's kind of top heavy).  The arms are sweater seams.  One is the seam from the legs and the other was from the other sleeve.

(sidebar:  I've gotten a lot of mileage from one sweater--this is the same sweater I used to make T.P. Day and Mr. Durr  and I still have quite a bit left for. . .who knows!)

While I was collecting my random stuff I gathered up an old tie I had bought years and years ago thinking I'd make it into a snake.  I was thinking I could use it to make a tail or a nose or something.

How about using a tie to make a tie.

That's the tip from the small end of the tie (the part that would be hidden once it's tied).  Few stitches and a button tie tack and George was dressed for success.

Before I mailed him out, I added a plastic clip on name badge with a "hello my name is" sticker inside.  I found them when I was helping clean the supply closet at my place of employ.  They were slated for the trash so let's hear it for more recycling.

Like I mentioned, George V. doesn't look much like a Junker Jane doll (no scars or "nightmare before christmas" feel) but he's definitely in keeping with the spirit of Junker Jane dolls.  Recycled, odd, but still fabulous.  Well, at least I think so.

I think I want to make some more "random" dolls like this.  And I'm also going to give tea staining/dyeing a try (with some of the fabric from The Box).

1 comment:

  1. George V is very cool!! I love all the little details of how he grew. The tie is the brilliant final touch. He looks dressed to impress his new friend.