Dressing a doll can be a good place to gather ideas about garments. The blue batik ‘shirt’, here, works off of the garment-as-a-series-of-rectangles idea (recently explored in Jude Hill‘s Boro class). I learned that just by folding the ‘sleeve’ rectangle base in as a triangle, you achieve a class sleeve outline… simple, I know, but it is different to read, study, than to tuck, finger press, and stitch! (That’s Athena by the way, and I think I will give her a weapon or two).
This dreamer wears a fun assortment of charms, including a pewter, retro airplane. I love that plane. But, really? It’s her pigtails that make me smile. They are tied up with plastic-coated telephone wire. Remember hunting for remnants of that as a kid and making bracelets and rings?! If she had arms, I’d give her a typewriter, just to keep the retro business going. The blue floral linen was a dress, probably from the 60’s.
Now the next doll is naked.
Every once in awhile, batik offers its swirls to the imagination in a very particular way. Years ago, I saw a penis in the swirls of a yellow batik, and gave a two fiber-collaged primitive-styled men well endowed figures (here’s one below – not a great picture, but you get the idea).
On the new green female, however, the swirls suggested breasts… and as I wrapped red thread around the waist, it wanted to go up and circle one of the breasts, which turned into a meditation on mastectomy, which a good friend of mine’s sister had had just days prior (did you know that this is a seven hour operation?!!)
This started as the idea that playing with dolls can help one learn about garment construction, and turned into something quite else.