Thursday, May 28, 2015

What I'm doing right now.

What am I doing?

Well, I'm making a
Mabel Bunt Action Figure.

Here she is, looking unusually introspective,
which probably means Lord Guise 
has said something complicated...

She'll get tavern wench gear, and a tiny sword!

It's a rare perk of being a writer and
a doll maker; I get to make
my own action figures.

No, she does not come with kung fu grip

Read about Mabel Bunt here.

And here is Oona.

She's an interesting girl,
with at least two opinions on everything...

...and rarely agrees with herself.

Also, she's a little intimidated
by all this sunshine...

Anyway, back to this week's commercial.
Everyone's favourite action figure.

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Mad for Hats? Welcome to Mad Hat Day

 Welcome to Debi's

Mad for Hats?

Make your own!

I found a wonderful pattern for 
doll-sized decorative hats on 

I love the pattern, 
but I don't use it for my dolls
because it's not  for commercial use,
which is fair.

But when I got an opportunity
to use the pattern for a Mad Hat
I was so excited!

Here is my 
Mad Hatter Mad Hat!

I took the basic pattern
and loaded up Tenniel's illustrations
into the crown and brim.

I then printed  it out on cardstock
and cut it out and glued it together.

(Original hat design  on A Field Journal )

I don't know if this image will print for you.
If not, you'll have to try the original blank
version on

But once you have the basic shape, 
you could print out the design on any 
coloured or pattered thin card.

The hat was done and ready for the best bit.


An Alice-style talking flower.

A lacy brim
(This is one of those fancy laser-cut
cupcake holders)

Ribbons and braid.

Anna Lee models for you.

A raven's feather.

(Because they're like a writing desk...)

Thank you so much, Debi,
for this fun party!

Back later to see everyone's hats.

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Little Clothy Riding Hood.

Little Red Riding Hood,

with her basket.

Off to grandma's house.

I hope she gets there!

...what was that?

if you fancy making your own.

Friday, March 20, 2015

First Day of Spring! New things happening!

First of all,
here is my new book!

Ready to read on Kindle
(you don't need a kindle)
and full of exciting stuff!
Mabel Bunt
and the
Masked Monarchs

Hi there!

Well, last year was a wild ride 
and I did all kinds of exciting things.

If it's been quiet here recently, 
it's because my writing time
has been put into writing, 
rather than blogging.

But we'll get to that in a minute.

First of all,
I'd like you to see the wonderful dolls
made with my little cloth doll pattern
by Edie Marie,
over at 

They're really sweet!

See? Lovely hair and such sweet little faces!

If you're interested in the doll pattern,
 it's here, complete with a photo tutorial.
Play around with it to make all kinds of dolls.

Like this fairy,

or a hit man...

Which leads me to my other news.

The hit man above (all 11 inches of him)
is the witty, pragmatic anti-hero of

Ben and I have been co-writing
feverishly to produce our first joint work
which will be going up on Amazon 
this weekend.

I'm so excited!

I did the cover, too!

Who's Mabel Bunt?

She's a girl of indifferent morals 
(and I choose my words with care)
thrust suddenly into a wild world
of intrigue, masks, swords and corsets.

Doesn't that sound fun?

I can tell you, it was fun to write!

I'll give you all a heads-up
when Ben lets me know the novel
is up and running on Amazon.

This will be a Kindle book, initially,
but that's ok. 


Yes, I was shocked too.

If you have a PC, a lap-top, a smart phone,
whatever you can get on to the Internet with,
to read Kindle books.

Lots of free books out there, too.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Happy New Year!

Hi there!

I closed my Etsy shop 
for two weeks over Christmas,
and had myself a little Sabbatical.

During this sabbatical
I mostly slept and ate chocolate;
 it was very good and I 
highly recommend having
a little sabbatical if you
can possibly squeeze one in.

I also painted a horse.

I try and tell myself it's actually
a prop for doll photographs,
but it's really a toy for me!

I didn't sculpt it!
This is a Battat horse I bought
on eBay. I think they're sold
at Target or Toy'R'Us.

It was a nice horse, but very yellow
with a frizzy mane and tail.

So I took those off.

Underpainting. Or, how not to paint dapples.

Dapples. Not apples.

I sculpted pointed tips to his ears, a tail-bone
and added some depth to his jaw

(This is the third attempt to paint dapples.)
I looked at so many references, and so many horses
I decided that dapples can look any way you want.

So mine look like this.

Then I added a mane and tail.

A suri alpaca mane and tail, 
which is pretty luxury stuff 
for a plastic horse.

Here he is, posing.

He doesn't have a name yet, 
so I'm going to have to work on that.

And he insists I make a lady in a riding habit
so I suppose I better get on with that, too!

(Suggestions for name gratefully received.)

Wednesday, November 19, 2014


I'm so excited!

I finally learned how to make wings!

Proper fairy wings,
and just in time for Christmas, too.

So now I'm making fairy dolls,
because fairies are for Christmas!
(At least, they are if you're British.)

Here's a close-up of the wings.

and she's about to be joined
by more fairy friends.

For a free pattern
to make your own Chloe,

Chloe's wing design came
from Karen at

This post shared with the wonderful
Ivy and Elephants,
What's It Wednesday

Friday, October 24, 2014

Halloween Party: The DIY Witch

Win Me!

Welcome to the

Hosted by Vanessa at
A Fanciful Twist

My party piece will be a pattern. 

A free doll pattern.

An easy, peasy, guaranteed doll pattern
to make a small doll, 
suitable for all social occasions.

What with this being Halloween,
I'm making a witch doll.

Not this kind of witch.
A nice witch!

A witch doll you can win in my giveaway!

Stage One


(This free doll pattern is for personal use only.)

Print this out. You won't need the bloomer pattern.
I printed this out on a standard piece 
of printer paper and it was true-to-size. 

I'm not sure if it will need adjusting for a piece of A4.

The doll will be about 11'', but if you want it smaller,
just shrink the pattern before you print it.

Off to the cutting table!

Stage Two

Cut out the pattern pieces.

Then, (and this is the unorthodox bit)
sew a strip of your chosen skin colour
to your chosen dress colour.

I'm using a tea-dyed cotton for the skin
and witchy black for the dress, 
so you can see which is witch.
(see what I did there?)

See the line of stitching in black?
When you've sewn it, open it out and iron the seam flat.

How big a piece?
You need a strip wide enough  and deep enough
 to fit the body and two arm pieces.

I got this wrong. I'm not ashamed!

So I had to sew a separate piece for the arm

Position the arm and body pattern pieces
on the wrong side of the fabric
(the side with the raw edges)
so that the hand of the arm piece 
and the neckline of the body piece
overlaps into the skin fabric,

Like this. See?

Why are we doing this?

So that when you sew the arms and the body,
you've already made the 
sleeves and bodice of the doll's clothes.

Draw around the leg pieces 
and the head pattern pieces 
onto your skin coloured fabric.

Stage Three

Sew around all the drawn edges,
leaving a gap for the stuffing.

Like this.

Sew very carefully around the chin. Smooth is good.

Stage Four

Cut out all the pieces, carefully,
about 5mm from the stitches.
When everything is cut out, snip little V shapes
around all the curved seams.

Turn each piece the right way round.

If you don't have any turning tools,
or a haemostat, this will be the 
worst part of making the doll.

I wish you luck.

Stage five

Once everything is turned the right way round, 
and you have pushed into all the corners,
the doll is ready to stuff.

So, stuff.

Here she is, all filled out.
The body, head and legs are stuffed with polyester fibre.
The arms are filled with pipe cleaners,
two for each arm, so she can pose.

She's not just a doll! 
She's an action figure!

Stage Six

You're going to join the arms and legs to the body.


Hold on to that head.


Because painting the face is the 
most worrisome part of making a doll,
and this way, you get two goes!

Stage Seven

I'm a strong believer in the appeal of simple doll faces.

This face is just two black dots,
a little crescent moon in red,
and some pink powder on the cheeks.

It's cute, right?

If you're worried about the face, 
make one like this.

Or you can try something more elaborate.

This is a detailed face,
but it's just drawn and painted with
Crayola watercolor pencils
and brushed with pastels.

You don't need any fancy equipment,
and there's lots of good face tutorials online.

Stage Eight

Adding the head.

Ok, this can be tricky.
I hoped you stuffed the neck really well.

Pin the neck to the back of the head,
(At a slight angle is best. Trust me.)

Make sure you leave enough neck,
but not so much the head is flopping.

Like this.

 Pin it. Sew it good and tight.

Now you kinda have a doll, right?

Stage Nine

The hair.

Look, I didn't take any photos for this bit.

So, magically, she now has hair.

(Basically, I wrapped some fluffy ginger yarn 
around a (clean) peanut butter jar,
sewed the top of the loop to the top of her head,
then cut the loop and fluffed out the hair.)

Totally channeling Merida. 
Stage Ten

You don't have to make stockings at all.
You could make the legs from
witchy stripped fabric
instead of your chosen skin colour.

You could paint the legs,
(yes, really)
with acrylics, sanding between each layer.

But if you want stockings,
use the leg pattern as a base.

Get an old t shirt,
and line up the leg pattern
to the height of the stocking.

Fold the fabric and sew with a zigzag stitch.
but ignore the ankle. Just keep sewing down to a point,
like a very long, slim inverted V.

Turn them right-way-round,
and hey, stockings!

Stage Eleven

Yes, we go all the way to eleven.

We also use glue.
Yes, we do.
Glue trimming,
(lace, ric-rac, ribbon)
to the top of the 'bodice'
and just above the bottom of the hips.

You can sew it.
If you wanna.

 You have to sew the skirt.
The skirt is a strip of fabric at least 15 inches long
and as wide as you want the skirt to hang.
Mini, or floor length, you decide.

(I didn't hem mine, just to keep it witchy.)
Gather the top of the skirt, and
(this is important!)
pin it to the doll upside down,
around her waist.

Upside Down. Don't forget.

Sew it firmly in place.
Turn your doll right-side-up
and fluff out her skirt.



I added doll shoes, as I just happen to have doll shoes.
I think a pair of Ken doll shoes might fit her, maybe?

If you painted stockings, you could paint on shoes, too.

Superhero Pose

The tutorial for the witch's hat is here.

She'll get her own hat.
She'll get a name, too.

From you, if you win my giveaway!

Usual giveaway rules.

Please follow my blog, 
and let me know in the comments.

Please like my facebook page
and tell me in comments. 
That gives you two entries.


I'm running a second tutorial

Join up to win one of my 

Both giveaways will be drawn on 
5th of November.

More rules.

(Imagine me saying this in a stern teacher voice.)

The free doll pattern is for personal use, only.
You can make gifts, and items for charity,
but you can't sell the pattern 
 and you can't sell dolls made from the pattern.
(I feel like such a grouch saying this.)
 © Copyright Rhissanna 2014