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Sunday, 25 January 2015

Blank-Eyed Zombies or The People of the Tudor Market in Progress

Right now I am quite gluey, so I hope I won't get tacky glue all over the keyboard. The power stayed on, but we did get 10" or 25 cm of snow overnight; my poor Carpenter-in-Chief has partially cleared the driveway, enough so that our daughter could get out to work. Unfortunately, shops here have Sunday opening hours from 12 to 6 p.m.

An overview of my work area; four ladies' bodies, one set of recycled Tudor clothing, and three men with bodies, in a box. I am still not entirely satisfied with the lady body, my feeling is the torso is too long for the legs; perhaps I should make my next set of ladies' lower legs somewhat longer. To this point, the bodies have been sewn on the sewing machine, but from here it is glue and hand-sewing. I hope you are interested, a little at least, in the process.

To make sure that the legs are even and the body is balanced, I test it for stability. It is not stuffed at all at this point, just the pipe cleaner leg skeletons pushed into the felt body. If everything works, it's on to gluing the bottoms of the felt legs to the polymer clay legs, and sewing up the lower cm or so.
Then the legs are stuffed lightly, followed by the body; at this point, I hand-sew the centre back seams.

Here you can see the pipe cleaner arm armature being sewn and glued to the felt that goes across the shoulders. Her head and body stand ready for arms. More gluing and hand-sewing, then the arm piece is balanced across the body piece, and the shoulder seams are hand-sewn across. Following that, the head with the chest plate is glued onto the felt body, and held in place overnight with elastic to make sure everything holds together.

A box full of miniature zombies! The men are already glued up, while the ladies are elasticated until the morning. Then I get to paint faces. Right now, they are all rather creepy....

The pipe cleaner armature allows me to position the arms. The legs can't really bend enough to "sit" the miniature people properly; they can only sit with their legs straight out in front of them. In order for them to sit convincingly on a chair, you have to give them flattened polymer clay bottoms and shape the legs to whatever seat they will be placed on, i.e., the upper pipe cleaner legs would go to the edge of the seat, while the lower polymer clay legs would have to touch the floor. That means they can't do anything other than sit, of course, as there would be some distortion of the skeleton. (Can you see the snow outside the window?)

These bodies are from the Sue Atkinson book, Making and Dressing Dolls' House Dolls in 1/12 Scale, published by David & Charles. For clothing patterns, it is by far the best book on the market. Most of the garments are lined, meaning there are no raw edges. Where it isn't possible to make proper hems or line items, pieces are bonded with iron-on interfacing. Most of the dolls on this blog were dressed with patterns adapted from this book; the Tudors, however, are being dressed from a variety of sources, found in British miniature magazines, as the book starts with Georgian fashions, which is too late for my Tudor era people.

Once the faces are painted, the little zombies will look rather more human....

Welcome to the new people who chose to follow this blog in the last day or so. I hope you enjoy my miniature efforts. Please write or comment as you wish; I love to hear from people and always hope to learn something new as I muddle along with my miniature world.

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