I’ve been working on my Elsa Doll for a bit now but I can finally rest easy because she is done. When I work on a new creation, I tend to procrastinate on its completion because I spend a lot of time contemplating how to go about accomplishing the vision I see in my head. I poured over images of Elsa on the web trying to come up with cool designs that make it clear it IS an Elsa creation.
Once I got the body and it’s parts done, the outfit and hair were next. This was challenging at first. I wasn’t sure if I wanted to use beads on the top part of her dress or a shiny yarn. I went through my yarn stash and found a funky fringe yarn. It looks like confetti on a string. It was the perfect color and was shiny. When I made the stitches, they were exactly what I was hoping for.
For the bottom part of the dress I used Red Heart Super Saver yarn in a sky blue (the label says Turqua). The two blues really complemented each other.
I had a few challenges in making the skirt. The first was deciding how tight to the body I wanted the skirt to be. I opted for a little bit of a bell shape. About halfway down, I tried creating a slit in the skirt but I didn’t like how it came out so I ripped it back and just finished it down to the feet with no slit.
I sewed the top to the skirt, put it on the doll and sewed it all closed. I sometimes make the outfit so it is removable but I decided this was going to be a permanent outfit so I just sewed it closed.
I set the doll aside at this point and thought about how to approach the sleeves, the fringe for the bodice and the cape. In some images of Elsa, it looked see through. Others made it look snowy. I rifled through my stash for inspiration and found some thread looking yarn that I inherited from my mother. It looked perfect. It is off white with a slightly bluish cast with a bit of shine. I thought it looked like ice and would look lacy when done. I loved the results! Exactly what I was looking for.
I think the hair turned out to be my biggest challenge. It needed it to look full in the front so I used a lot of yarn on the top and back of the head but then when I made the braid, it was very thick and looked overpowering. Plus, the strands weren’t long enough so when I made the braid, shorter strands were poking out. In a stroke of genius, I decided to cut the strands in the back and middle of the head leaving the longer strands around the perimeter of the hair area. My reasoning was that I could pull the strands that went around the head over to the side for the braid, covering the cut strands but the top and back appearing fuller. The braid would be thinner. Win, win, right! Nope. Did I say stroke of genius? It was a terrible idea! The cut strands were sticking out all over the place and looked terrible. I had no choice but to pull out all the strands I had just cut out. A tedious job for sure. To solve the length problem, the appearance of fullness on the top, and the thickness of the braid problem, I cut super long strands and I sparingly and strategically placed them in that section at the back of the head. I left the top of the head alone. This made the top of the head still look full, the braid was thinner and there weren’t as many strands sticking out because of the new, longer strands. Elsa’s hair is a bit messy anyway so a few flyaways actually looked good.
Overall, it was a fun process. For the next doll, I’ll make sure all the strands of hair are longer. The perimeter of the hair area needs to have a lot of hair but the inside of that perimeter has to have fewer strands.
I wish I had written down my work as I did it so I could duplicate it. I work off the cuff so each piece is unique but then if I like it, I have to start over or scrutinize my work to see how much of this I did or how much of that. I always say I’m going to record my process but I get caught up in what I’m doing and forget to do it or worse, I think I’ll remember what I did. I never do. So now my task is to try create a pattern of what I already did so I guess I’m off to scrutinize my doll 🙂
Elsa is Fantastic! I love her!
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I love your Elsa doll, she’s definitely recognizable as the snow queen! You chose the perfect yarns. I know what you mean about working off the cuff – often I don’t write down my patterns as I go and then I have to figure it out all over again. 🙂 Great job!
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Thanks! I loved making her. Part of the fun is hunting down the perfect materials.
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