Saturday, 22 November 2014

Unable To Resist A Crafty Challenge!

One of my new neighbours recently sent out a request for help - she wants to do "Elf on the Shelf" with her young daughter this year and needed an Elf.  I waited a little while to see if anyone else would respond, and then suggested I'd be prepared to help if she was stuck.

My neighbour found a rag doll that could be converted so I didn't have to start from scratch.  The first thing I did was create a pair of elf ears - I think elves should have a proper set of pointy ears.  I had some dark cream fabric but it wasn't quite dark enough so I brushed an ink pad across the fabric to darken it, then washed it to lighten it again slightly before ironing to heat set it.  I then 'amputated' the arms and legs so I could add some armature wire as I thought this would make it easier for the elf to get up to all his elf-related activities.  I decided to transplant/create a new set of legs as I wanted to give the elf proper curly toed shoes.  I wish now that I'd taken photos all the way through the transformation but sadly I didn't think of it, so I just have a few photos to share with you...  here are the old legs alongside the new ones.

I've never actually designed elf shoes before, but then I haven't designed elf clothes - or any other type of clothes before, but I have a book - "Just Like Me Knits" by Brandy Fortune - that gives some great hints on pattern making for dolls.  It has some great sewing and knitting patterns for dolls too but sadly I'm pretty useless at knitting, so those patterns currently remain untried.  Below is a photo of the original clothes...

I was lucky with the elf trousers as I've made a couple of rag dolls in recent months and I was able to adapt the bloomers pattern to make a pair of trousers with a slightly tapered leg, that amazingly fit without alteration.  The jacket I decided to design from scratch, based on the doll's measurements, as the Elf is a slightly different shape to the rag dolls I've made, I kept the shape simple but I still think I owe Brandy a BIG "Thank You" for all the tips in her book, as the jacket was a pretty good fit too - I just had to adjust  the neck opening but as I was using felt, this was a simple matter of trimming to get a better shape.  Here's a photo of Mabel, the rag doll I made recently, who is rather cheekily flashing her bloomers...  it's surprising how many people have a sneaky look at her bloomers when they meet her so she decided to show them off for everyone to see!

The hat was straightforward as I've made a couple of clown hats for my bears before - I just had to make the pattern bigger - a LOT bigger!  I decided to finish the hat off with a bell, none of the bells in my stash was big enough, but Clare from The Summerhouse By The Sea, had a great suggestion and I'd like to thank my cat for donating a bell from one of his toys (I've since replaced it - also thanks to Clare x)  Here is a photo of the finished Elf...

It's really nice to have something ticked off my To-Do list, which seems to have grown lately instead of getting shorter, which is quite scary when it feels as though Christmas is approaching at breakneck speed!

1 comment:

  1. Your Elf is sweet.I love the green costume. I delivered mine to its new home this weekend so will post on my blog too. hugs Mrs A.