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Not a How-To


The fabric skirts and belts are cut out and ready to assemble

Lordy, I’m awful at this.

Currently I am knee-deep in prepping Christmas inventory for my Etsy store and any possible craft fairs I might weasel my way into. This involves finishing half-done projects as well as putting together new ones I know will sell. A normal person would probably tackle the incompletes first. Me, I’m not exactly normal. I started my new projects knowing that I risk having more incomplete ones by showtime.  It seems that when I went over my existing inventory I discovered I had a good fifty completed pieces that weren’t listed in my Etsy shop.  I’d add a dozen more if I finished my half-baked items.


I can't call these "muffs" without giggling, so they are officially "hand warmers." I originally planned on using fluffy yarn to embellish them (on the left up there) but it didn't look right.

I added to my challenge by attempting to take pictures of all the steps in my process. Will I do one post or several? What would be more interesting? As time went on I realized I wasn’t terribly consistent in my picture-taking and ended up missing more interesting details. Sure, I got some good shots of major milestones, but I was really hoping to post a more thorough account of the project from start to finish.

Did I want to share my design secrets with the internet? Not really, but I did want to show that my simple creation wasn’t as simple to make. Plus, I just think craft blogs with lots of pictures are totally neato. I want my blog to be totally neato, too.


These were a process. Roll the felt, glue the felt, reinforce with stitching, cut more felt for the trim, glue the trim, reinforce with stitching... I got through three episodes of The Tudors this way.

To get a little closer to neato I’m posting pictures anyway. The images here are from the beginning of my Christmas Clothespin Brigade – five little feminine figures in holiday themed dress inspired by a Halloween set I sold last year. The last thing I photographed were steps for the embroidery floss hairdos, but those are on my camera. The ones here are from my phone.

I will make four sets of these dolls. If I finish them quickly I will also make more Halloween ones. Why not do the Halloween ones first? Well, probably because I already know how to make those and can skip the learning curve.  They’ll go faster.


A little bit of craft glue on one edge goes a long way. Too much and it will goop everywhere. In the background you can see a few completed skirts.


I’m still getting the hang of this WordPress thing.  When picture content outweighs text it’s hard to arrange everything so it looks all slick and professional-like.  If you scroll down further you’ll see a couple more pictures.  It’s the most I can do at this point since I’m out of words and need to get back to actually working on them instead of writing about them.


Craft glue is not an instant stick and has to be held in place. Some modified spring clothes pins did the trick.


I got these "multicultural clothespins" on clearance at Michael's and am now kicking myself that I didn't buy all the packages on the peg. For the colored clothespin dolls these are the fabric/color combinations. The rest of the sets will be on unpainted clothespin bases. I am debating painting those just to be consistent, but worry that may be in poor taste.


About waywardclay

I am a musician and designer living in the Pacific Northwest. I have a day job, but you won't hear about that here. I make things out of thoughts, situations, polymer clay, and other media. Sometimes they're actually pretty good. Visit my Etsy store or download my available songs from iTunes.

One response »

  1. Hi! I love your dolls and the way you show the process of making them.
    What triggered me to leave a message is what you wrote: “Me, I’m not exactly normal. I started my new projects knowing that I risk having more incomplete ones by showtime.” – This is exactly what I have been doing the last few days… I have a show of my work coming up in less than a month and instead of finishing up what needs to be finished, I started four new paintings, three daily projects and started blogging for the first time… no, that’s not exactly normal 😉
    Good luck with your projects! I’ll have a look at your etsy-page too.


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