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Friday, October 10, 2014

JoAnn Roberts Lady in Ballgown


This doll was made in a class I took with JoAnn Roberts at St. Louis NAME National Convention, my 2nd with Jo. The 1st time I took a class with Jo was four years ago, when I was a complete novice when it came to dolls. This time I had more courage and was willing to make mistakes for the sake of learning from my mistakes, but Jo is always there to save the day and correct mistakes so you will finish with a doll you are satisfied with.

We had 10 people in the class, all ladies. No one finished, but my doll was 95% complete by the time I left and I put the final finishing touches when I got home.


 Here she is in all her glory. She can stand on her own without aid of a doll stand. The ballgown is all silk and cotton lace, which is harder to come by these days. There is no 100% cotton lace used in doll making. There's always a small percentage of polyester used for strength.

 Here's the back view of the doll. One tip I picked up from Jo, who used to be a real life hair dresser--never cut your doll's hair the same length. It doesn't happen in real life, so don't cut your doll's hair the same length. For the curls at the back of the head, they are all different lengths, just slightly shorter or longer the overall "shoulder length." Looks more natural this way.

 In the class I learned how to make bows the Jo-way, ruching, pleating with the Pretty Pleater, making ribbon roses and ribbon leaves, and the "ripple" effect she uses for lace ruffles.

To be honest, she demonstrated all these techniques in class. I thought I "learned" it, until I actually put in practice. She makes it look easy because she's been doing this for over 20 years. I have a ways to go in mastering these basics.



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