Thursday, July 03, 2008

Sarah Pearl

Please meet Sarah Pearl, named by my daughter. This is the porcelain doll I have been working on for some time.

Her head is mounted on a breastplate and is completely movable.

An awful lot of detail went into the making of this doll, including the non-so-friendly handiwork of my Israeli cat.

My cat (whose name is Pebbles because she is a red-headed cutie) discovered the doll when she was still being constructed. Her hair had been applied to her head and she was covered with something to protect her from the elements... but Pebbles is sly and cunning and probably smelled the wool a mile away. She had a great time and I had to take it all off and pain stakingly re-do the whole procedure. Of course I had *exaclty* enough the first time around, and the second time was a big problem. Can you tell? I can't... that is why God made ribbons !!!

Regardless of the fact that the cat got to her hair at one point, it's still worth mentioning. It's a special mohair called Suri Alpaca, which is extremely delicate but looks absolutely natural. One day I will probably want to replace the hair but I am as stubborn as any sheep or goat or mule for that matter, and so this little girl is going to have this hair (at least for now)!

Sarah Pearl's dress is something I am actually proud of. I made it with the best fabric I own and dared to do it with no pattern and no patience to try a muslin first (that is just my personality I guess). The underdress is made of a soft metallic peacock blue/green fabric from India. I had it for a long time and always thought it belonged on a mermaid or something. (Ain't that a kick in the head?)
I really used the fabric to coordinate with what I was making the rest of the dress out of....the apron and bloomer pants are made of very soft, delicate silk that used to be a beautiful wrap around skirt I got in Israel but which tore. I cut it up and saved the silk for a special occasion because I could not throw such beautiful fabric away (shouldn't have been meant for real people clothing, I guess!)

Look what I decided to do on a whim: smocking.

This technique is simple and very easy to do:
Using a needle and thread, hand baste 4 or 5 lines and then pull all the thread to gather. Bring each thread to the back - you will need to thread your needle 10 times if you have 5 rows- once for each end of each thread. Secure them all so the gather will not fall out. I had the idea to smock simply because I didn't use a pattern to make the dress and the bodice turned out to be too big. Happy accidents do happen sometimes!

I beaded the bottom edge of the apron, using a picot stitch. I learned this technique from Patti Culea's book, Creative Cloth Doll Beading.

I am especially fond of these little shoes! The beads are from an old collection. They are made from cobalt blue glass and were just the right thing!

This doll was definitely a challenge. One thing I will recommend: if you are working with fine mohair like alpaca, be sure you have a display case to keep the doll in before you put the hair on. I didn't, and I ended up having to store her in a plastic bag to avoid having my cat or other family members do any [further] damage. That really makes the hair get mussed up and I'll definitely plan a little better next time!

All in all I think the doll came out rather nicely.
Just one problem... I have a feeling she does not like my cat!


  1. Rivkah, she is absolutely stunning. She has a beautiful face and wonderful detail on her outfit. I just love her.

    I'm sure she no longer loves cats. I don't think we can blame her for that! LOL LOL YIKES!

    Have a great weekend.


  2. Anonymous6:42 PM

    She is beautiful! What a labor of love. Too bad she now does not like kitties, can't say that I blame her though! Maybe one day they can become friends!


  3. Rivkah, Sarah Pearl turned our beautiful! I am so sorry I didn't get back to you on finding a wig for her. You did a great job with the mohair. Those wigs are really expensive so you save lots by making it. Too bad kitty had to interfer some but alas cats can be like that. I love her costume. It is amazing!
    hugs Karen

  4. linda hansen10:25 AM

    Rivkah...she is too wonderful for words and the pictures of her are so good. It really shows her off. I am glad to see her done. Thanks for posting the pics.

    Linda Hansen

  5. What a beautiful doll! I so enjoyed your blog.
    Thank you.

  6. She is absolutely beautiful. Your pictures are wonderful. They really show the detail and your workmanship. Fantastic doll.

  7. Anonymous8:45 PM

    hey mom this doll is awsome youv been geting soo much better since the last time i saw u shes really beautiful!!!!

  8. She is beyond gorgeous!! I know from experience that cats and dolls are a bad combination! :)

  9. Anonymous4:46 AM

    Sarah Pearl is adorable. You have captured a tender sweetness in her face that says she could not hold ill will toward anyone, especially the cat because, she now sports a beautiful ribbon in her hair. Mary Fran


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