Wednesday, March 10, 2010

From Sketch To Prototype

At the drawing table
A little peek behind the curtains at the making of a plush doll.  I will be sending few dolls to Gallery Hanahou in May.  It's for their Lost At Sea show, curated by Kirsten Rask of Schmancy.

The creation process usually starts with design sketches or doodles.  From there I make a full-sized drawing to get a sense of the proportions. I found the easiest way to make my pattern is to cut directly from the full-sized drawing, adding a 1/4" to 1/2" seam allowance. This is where I make most of my adjustments and corrections, trimming and redrafting each piece/panel to achieve the desired form. The shaping and fitting phase is probably the most frustrating part, I had to walk away and eat a cup of pudding a few times...

Take 2
This is one of the mock-ups along side the original sketch.  This mock-up is made from the 5th or 6th head shape and 2nd body shape I've tried.  I use muslin or thrift store bed sheets as the base fabric for the mock-ups, no sense in wasting good/expensive yardage. 
**however different fabrics behave differently.  Sometimes adjustments in the pattern is needed to accommodate for the final fabric.

Full sized sketch
Full-sized drawing on tissue, I also like using drafting velum for this purpose.

Doll and pattern
The finalized pattern and prototype. There are minor adjustments I'll make from here, but all-in-all the dolls will look like this when I'm done.

Version 3.0
Testing how photogenic she is... as well as playability. :)
I think we'll call her Wabi-chan.  Since she's a prototype, she's quite imperfect... I thought Wabi (Wabi-Sabi) would be fitting.


Kathy said...

love her. how did you attach the head to the neck? I always struggle with that.

Diem Chau said...

Thanks Kathy, I'll take some pics of how I attach the neck this week and post it. It is tricky!

Claw the G Ho said...

Adorable. You're so amazing, Diem. Really. Absolutely inspiring!

Diem Chau said...

Thank you :)

Sarah@Dolls And Daydreams said...

She is adorable! I love her little upturned head, so sweet, as if she's dreaming,

I'm an avid follower now ;)


Dolly Donations: Sending Love, 1 Dolly at a Time!

Diem Chau said...

Thanks Sarah :)
Just putting her outfit together now. Hope to post a wig/hair how to and the finished doll this weekend!

Aurelia said...

Very good! I want to see final picture of this doll!! Must be very lovely!