I can’t believe how fast the time has flown by. When the class first came out my class member only help site was on Ning… for all of you who were early members I’m sure you remember how crazy and chaotic that eventually became when Ning kept repeatedly announcing and then retracting that they were shutting all of their small users. If you used the Ning site you will also probably remember how chock full of information it was, most of which was sparked by class member’s interests and requests.
In recent years the class member support has moved to a private facebook page. I know that most of you don’t really need much in the way of help these days… You’ve mastered the class and no longer need to ask questions, but just in case you have missed chatting with other dollmakers who are working on reproduction Izannah Walker dolls, or if a stray question or two has popped into your head, you may still request to join my Izannah class help group! Once a student, always a student. It’s super simple, just email me at email@example.com , message me through my facebook page https://www.facebook.com/ASweetRemembrance to let me know you’d like an invitation to the group, be sure to INCLUDE THE DATE YOU PURCHASED YOUR CLASS, and that’s all you have to do.
Activity on the class member support page ebbs and flows. Sometimes it is very quiet and then suddenly it will pick back up again. At the moment there is an ongoing discussion about drafting dress patterns. To go along with this I have just added a resource album that shows sewing and construction details of some of the garments in my mid 19th century collection of children’s and doll’s clothing.
Happy dollmaking everyone! And speaking of that I need to get right back to mine! I have three sweet little cloth girls starring at me saying “I’m freezing!” “When is my dress going to be finished?”and “Can’t you sew any faster?”
Attention Izannah Walker Class By Mail students and Alabama Baby Class Members, Ning just let me know that they are definitely shutting down my Spun Cotton class site on 10/1/16. I have not received notices for my Izannah class or Alabama Baby class yet, but I am sure I will. There isn’t going to be any reprieve this time around. If there is information on the class site you want to save, you should do it now! Also if you are interested in joining a private facebook group for class members only please go to the appropriate Ning class site and click on the discussion about the site closing and post your response. If you are a member of BOTH classes, please post on both sites. The posts on the class sites are how I am keeping track of who votes yes and also who is eligible for inclusion in a private facebook group. Only current class members can access http://www.izannahwalker.ning.com and http://www.alabamababy.ning.com.
Is it just the same & every bit as good as an all cloth reproduction Izannah? No it’s not, but it is easier to make and it does cost less. 🙂 So that makes it a great alternative for some of you! My kit isn’t for beginners. It’s a simpler method of making a reproduction Izannah Walker doll, with an appearance that is faithful to that of the original dolls, but is still a challenging and rewarding project!
If you have already purchased a kit, here is a video with a few additional helpful tips. If you have been thinking about buying a kit the video will give you a good look at what is included, and what your options are. If you just enjoy seeing some of my reproduction Izzys then you will also want to take a peek. And for those of you who’d like to see what my office looks like, the video has you covered too! 🙂
If you have any questions about my kits, classes or dolls please feel free to contact me at 860-355-5709 during east coast business hours or email me anytime at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If your New Year’s resolution is to learn something new, and you were thinking of ordering one of my classes by mail, my new Izannah Doll Kit, or my Izannah doll clothes pattern they are only on sale for the next 53 hours, until midnight December 31st, 2014. To make my new kits extra special for the Christmas sale, your Kit order will include one tiny cut and stitch Isane panel so that you can make your doll a little Izzy of her own. Plus, you receive a coupon for 10 percent off any of my classes by mail or a finished reproduction Izannah Walker doll, through June 30, 2015. Visit my website A Sweet Remembrance to shop the sale.
Also don’t forget …
I’ve thought up lots of ways to use my new printed fabric doll panels, but I bet you can dream up even more great ideas of your own! Just for fun, I’m having a contest to see who can design and make the best project using my printed doll panels. The rules are simple. Buy a doll panel, make it into something wonderful, take a photo and email it to me – email@example.com – before January 31st, 2015. I’ll post all of the photos on my blog, then invite readers to vote for their favorite. The winner will receive one panel each of my complete collection of tiny cut out and stitch fabric dolls, which is a prize worth $100. Good Luck!!!
If you are a long time customer and blog reader, you’ll know that I always try to have some sort of sale at Christmas time as a way of saying Thank You to everyone for all of your support, encouragement and friendship throughout the year. I have the very best customers and students in the world!!!
This year I’ve put my all of my classes by mail, which include my new Izannah Doll Kit, and my Izannah doll clothes pattern on sale through December 31st, 2014. Making the heads for the kits has gone better than I thought it would, so I’ve managed to fill all of my waiting list orders and I’ve shortened the shipping time 🙂 Don’t feel bad for the people who ordered before the sale, as I’ve done something special for them too, so they didn’t miss out! If you’d like to buy a kit as a gift for someone else, I have a couple up on eBay and one over on Etsy that can ship immediately. If you are buying one as a Christmas treat for yourself, take advantage of the sale and order one now so you’ll have a fun new project to start on in the New Year! ❤
Since the kits are the “hot” new item, I wanted to make them extra special for Christmas. So as a special bonus during the Christmas Sale, your Kit order includes one tiny cut and stitch Isane panel so that you can make your doll a little Izzy of her own. Plus, you receive a coupon for 10 percent off any of my classes by mail or a finished reproduction Izannah Walker doll, through June 30, 2015. The two kits for sale on eBay at the moment are straight up auctions and don’t include the bonus items, but I did start the price lower for a true auction, so you may be able to grab a great deal ❤
I’ve received a few great questions from customers and eBay bidders about my Izannah Walker Doll Making Kits, so I am sharing them here:
12/16 – One more excellent question – Thanks Judy!!!
Q: Can I paint the composition head with acrylic paints instead of oils?
A: Yes. You will get a slightly different, drier look without the soft edges of oils, but you may certainly use acrylic paint if you prefer.
12/11 update – Here is another very good Q & A:
Does your kit include instructions on how to paint the doll? Thank you
Yes, there are 5 pages devoted to paint, which include what to buy, how to mix colors, what steps to take when painting the face, and some tips and tricks of the trade. There are also many color photographs for you to look at of my antique Izannah Walker dolls and my reproduction Izannahs. What the instructions don’t do is teach you HOW to paint. You need to have quite a bit of painting experience. One of the most beloved and distinctive parts of an Izannah Walker doll is the paint. To make a good reproduction Izannah, you need good painting skills. You need to be able to paint very tiny fine lines, you need to know about mixing oil paints (you could use acrylics – but you will not get the same look), you need to know dry brush techniques, etc. If you don’t feel that you have the experience or confidence to paint the doll’s head, you may commission me to paint the head for you – PAINTING IS NOT PART OF THIS AUCTION, it is a separate service that I offer. The fee for a custom painted head is $175.00. Naturally painting the head does take extra time, so I can not ship painted heads as quickly and my current work schedule, which is extremely busy over Christmas, is also a factor. I hope this answers your question, but if not please feel free to contact me again. Thank you very much for your interest in my kit! Paula
Can the head be covered with a stockinette before painting to get that look?
I would not recommend doing that. If you cover it with stockinette you will lose many of the details of the original surface. Because I made the mold for the composition head directly from the antique doll the surface of the composition head does show tiny areas of stockinette, worn paint, and all other time worn finishes of the original doll. The head will look more like a real Izannah Walker doll if you paint directly on to the composition and do not add a layer of fabric. If there are any areas of the head that you want to fill in, to make the doll look newer, you can do so with air drying clay. The head may also be sanded. Paula
Is this head in the Kit smaller than the original Izannah Doll. It appears to be so in the Photo. THANKS
Hi, It is slightly smaller since the mold is the exact same size as the real head and the composition slip does have a shrinkage rate of about 5% as it dries. The real doll is 19 inches tall. The kit makes a doll that is approx. 18 inches tall due to the slightly smaller head and the fact that the real antique doll has had her legs replaced with Martha Chase legs. The pattern included in the kit has Izannah Walker legs, which I drafted from other 18 inch tall antique Izannah Walker dolls that I own. The finished reproduction dolls with pressed cloth heads that I make and sell have heads that are the exact same size as the antique dolls because the layered cloth/paste/cotton (which is the way the real dolls were made) does not shrink like slip does. Paula
Q: Do you know that there is someone else who just started selling Izannah Walker doll kits? Dec-08-14
A: Yes 🙂 I do know that someone just bought a well known doll maker’s molds and fabric and is now making reproduction dolls with composition heads. A few days ago, she also began selling doll kits that include composition heads.
Kind of confusing isn’t it? I believe in being very honest and straight forward about what I sell. So if you are thinking about buying a kit and are trying to compare them, here are a few things that are different between the two:
– My kit makes an 18 inch tall doll. The other kit has heads that make a 15-16 inch doll.
– My kit includes a professionally printed 31 page instruction book and 13 pages of printed patterns. The other kit is currently being sold with emailed instructions and patterns sent in an electronic file. The buyers would need to print the pattern pieces (and optionally the instructions) themselves.
– My doll clothing patterns include two dresses, two petticoats, a chemise and pantalettes, all of which were drafted from original clothing belonging to one of my antique Izannah Walker dolls.
– My kit includes numerous color photos of Isane, the actual antique doll whose head I used to make the molds for the composition head. They are included in my instruction book for reference when painting your doll.
– I have just one doll head, Isane, available in kit form. I am only making finished dolls with pressed cloth heads from my seven other molds. I will also still be making dolls with pressed cloth heads from Isane’s mold. The Australian kit has three choices of heads, one of which is Isane, the doll I now own (labeled Patience in that kit).
– If you are a bit nervous about painting the head that comes with your kit, you can commission me to paint it for you. I’ve been making and painting Izannahs for years and I love painting them. You may choose any hair style plus other custom options. Here are some examples of how I paint Isane.
Those are about all of the differences I can think of. No matter what your choice, I am sure you will enjoy making a reproduction Izannah Walker doll of your very own!
So there you have it! 🙂 Izannahphiles unite!!! The more people there are in the world making, collecting and loving Izannah Walker dolls, the happier place it will be! Happy doll making to each and every one of you ❤ and if you should wish to buy one of my classes or kits, or have any other questions about them, I will be very happy to hear from you. firstname.lastname@example.org 860-355-5709
I have two very fun new doll making items available just in time for the holidays!
IZANNAH WALKER DOLL MAKING KIT
Izannah’s original dolls were made with pressed cloth heads, which is a wonderful, but extremely difficult doll making skill to master. When I make the reproduction Izannah Walker dolls that I sell, I do make authentic pressed cloth heads. I also teach a master level class on how to make a historically accurate, pressed cloth head reproduction doll, but that class isn’t right for everyone.
If you’d like to start off a little slower and try something a bit easier, for your first reproduction Izannah, this kit is the way to go! The new kit is less challenging than my Izannah Walker Doll Making Class. Included in the kit is a poured composition head, cast in a mold that I made directly from Isane, one of the antique Izannah Walker dolls that I own, which will enable you to make a faithful representation of an 18 inch antique Izannah Walker doll. The kit also comes with patterns for the doll’s body, under garments and two dresses, plus a 31-page instruction booklet filled with detailed color photographs.
This kit is suggested for experienced seamstresses who are also well versed in painting with oils. If you do not feel confident enough to paint the doll’s head yourself, you may commission me to paint it for you.
Isane, the doll whose head is reproduced in my kit, is a true doll maker’s doll. She has a very interesting past. Originally made by Izannah Walker, she was later repaired and repainted by the Martha Chase factory. Izannah Walker and Martha Chase, both famous and well-loved doll makers, also both lived in Rhode Island. In fact, at one time Martha Chase’s father was Izannah Walker’s physician and when she was a child young Martha owned a doll made by Izannah Walker. Later when Martha Chase grew up and became a doll maker, one of the things her small work force of women did, in addition to making new dolls, was to repair older ones.
The real Isane has very old Martha Chase arms and legs from one of her character dolls, rather than the chubbier ones found on her baby dolls. She also had traces of the highly recognizable Martha Chase pink flesh tone on her face and shoulders plus a Martha Chase body covering. One of the many things I love about Isane is this meld she represents of two awe inspiring American women doll makers!
I’m sure that Isane left the Martha Chase factory and went on to have many, many wonderful years as a beloved plaything, eventually winding up several years ago in the collection of a talented doll maker, who lives in Canada. After she left Canada, Isane was owned by at least two doll dealers, one of whom repainted her. The next stop in Isane’s long life was a sojourn at the home of Edith O’Neil, who is a wonderful artist, doll maker and collector. Edyth named the doll Patience.
In the fullness of time, Isane came to live here with me, where she acquired a new name, and after I did 60 + hours of restoration, regained her old face. I’m fairly sure that Isane’s relationship with Martha Chase has not been mentioned or even known by some of her previous owners. I know about it because of the physical evidence on the doll and my years of experience with both Izannah Walker and Martha Chase dolls. Isane is one of three dolls that I have personally examined and done restoration work on that was undeniably repaired by the Martha Chase factory.
Because Isane’s current arms and legs are not the ones she started life with, the enclosed pattern has limbs drafted from one of my other antique Izannah Walker dolls of the same size.
Please be patient after placing your order, casting the composition heads is slow and time consuming endeavor, which I am fitting in between all of my many pre-existing orders.
TINY CUT OUT AND STITCH FABRIC DOLLS
This is the time of year when I long for simple, fun projects to make as gifts for friends and family members. My preference is for small hand sewn items that I can stitch in front of a fire in the evenings, or while talking to my children. Projects that I can pick up and work on for a few minutes when I have little bits of extra time.
When thinking about a project for this Christmas my mind immediately leapt to the great printed cloth dolls that were popular in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. I’ve always been very fond of all of the printed cut and sew dolls from that era. My versions are a combination of printed cloth dolls and photos of some of the antique dolls in my collection.
Most of my printed dolls are 8-1/2 inches tall. Each doll panel that you buy includes two mirrored doll images, so that you can sew them together back to back, or use them separately with a plain fabric backing, or for applique work. The dolls are printed on high quality 100% cotton fabric and are completely washable. There is extra fabric surrounding each doll that will allow for a ¼ inch seam allowance. The dolls may be sewn with right sides together, turned and stuffed; machine or hand stitched from the front side, trimmed and stuffed, or appliqued on to other projects. They may also be cut out and used for journaling and other mixed media projects. Add bits of fabric, lace, crepe paper and Dresden trims to create doll clothing.
Some project ideas include:
– Sewn them together back to back for Christmas Ornaments, so the “front” side is always on view.
– String several together with ribbon or twine to make a banner ,then hang up across a mirror, window, or mantle.
– Hang them individually from cupboard doors or chandeliers.
– Make a handful into a mobile.
– Stuff several with lavender and use them as drawer and closet sachets for your finest linens and clothing.
– Fill one with cedar shavings and place it among your doll and bear collection to repel moths.
– Make a bunch to give as special party favors for your doll club meetings and events.
– Make a special doll’s doll for your favorite play thing.
– Great for Baby Toys
– Add a squeaker inside to make a fun dog toy or fill with cat nip for your kitten to play with.
-Applique them onto quilt blocks, pincushions, curtains, aprons, pockets, baby bibs and clothing, tote bags, t-shirts and more.
I’ve tried to keep the costs very modest and I think you will find that it is the same or less than if you printed similar images on purchased printer fabric sheets using your ink jet printer. Plus you have the added advantage of being able to throw them in the washing machine! 🙂 My printed panels are $13 each, $ 30 for any three, $95 for any 10, or buy the entire collection for $100.
I’ve thought up lots of ways to use my new printed fabric doll panels, but I bet you can dream up even more great ideas of your own! Just for fun, I’m having a contest to see who can design and make the best project using my printed doll panels. The rules are simple. Buy a doll panel, make it into something wonderful, take a photo and email it to me – email@example.com – before January 31st, 2015. I’ll post all of the photos here on my blog, then invite readers to vote for their favorite. The winner will receive one panel each of my complete collection of tiny cut out and stitch fabric dolls, which is a prize worth $100. Good Luck!!!
I received my advance copy of Prims Winter 2014 issue right before Christmas. Today I finally found a few moments to sit down with a small friend and look over my article, while we shared a cup of tea and a slice of the wonderful nut roll that Mary sent me for Christmas.
You can read all about my portrait face New England rag dolls when this latest issue of Prims goes on sale January 1st. The dolls featured in the article are ones that I made for my Izannah Walker doll making class. They are variations on the class patterns, that allow class members to create additional types of cloth dolls. All told I made five different variations of my patterns for my students. Two of the dolls with painted cloth faces appear in the magazine. The patterns are free for class members and instructions for making the dolls are posted on the class site.
Today marks the 196th anniversary of Izannah Walker’s birth. She was born in Bristol, Rhode Island on the 25th day of September in 1817. You may read more details about Izannah’s life in this post. I wish I could invite you all over to my house for cake and silly party games, but since I can’t, I’m doing the next best thing and having a SALE to celebrate the occasion and to say thank you for being such wonderful customers, students and friends. It is such a great pleasure to know other people who love Izannah’s dolls as much as I do!
From 9/25/13 – 9/29/13 all of my reproduction Izannah Walker dolls, additional custom made dresses and accessories for your Izzy, Izannah Walker doll clothes patterns and Izannah Walker Doll Making Classes are 10% off. This sale applies only to items ordered from September 25th through September 29th, 2013, the discount is not available on prior orders. As always, all items may be placed on lay-away with terms to fit your budget and shipping is free to any United States address. I generally just have two sales per year, my Izannah Walker Birthday Sale and my Christmas Sale 🙂 So don’t let this one pass you by.
Three Finished Dolls Available
I have three very special dolls available for this years Birthday Sale. One of them is created from a brand new mold that I made from my friend Mary’s Izannah Walker doll, Anna. Thank you Mary!!! Anna is 17 inches tall, so she is a smaller size than my other dolls and has the look of a younger, chubbier child. All three of these dolls have very aged appearances, befitting young ladies that were made early in Izannah’s doll making career. They each come with two elaborate dresses, full of wonderful little details to delight the heart of any dress maker, a chemise, pantalettes, petticoat and necklace.
Isabeau #1 SOLD – Thank you so much for stopping by to look at her! Please contact me if you would like to order a custom made doll similar to this one.
Isabeau #2 – SOLD Thank you!
Anna #2 – NOW SOLD THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR LOOKING. Even though this one is sold you may order a custom made Anna style doll, and if you love these dresses I have enough fabric to make another set just like them.
Are you wondering where Anna #1 is? In the very near future she is going to be living with Mary, her older sister Anna and all of her Walker cousins in Vermont. Members of my Izannah Walker Doll Making Class may read about my adventures in making Anna #1 in a continuing series of posts on the class member site.
To see photos of the original Miss Anna, follow these links:
I am a much better doll maker than I am a photographer. All of the girls look so much nicer in person. If you would like to see more photos of any of the dolls before placing an order, just ask. To purchase any of these dolls please visit my website ASweetRemembrance.com or alternately you may email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 860-355-5709.
Time worn, well loved dolls are the ones that kindle the fiercest love in my heart, but I know that some of you dearly love newer, more pristine dolls. Don’t despair, I would be happy to make you the Izannah Walker doll that inhabits your dreams and has captured a place in your heart. Call or email me to place a custom order, 860-355-5709 ( 9:00 a.m. – 9:00 p.m. Eastern Time) or email@example.com. I do have a bit of a waiting list for custom work, so the sooner you order the better.
Email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or call me (860-355-5709) about prices and available fabrics for custom made doll clothing and accessories. Simple dresses made from antique fabric start at $200 apiece. More elaborate dresses with a greater number of tucks, fuller skirts, rows of ribbon or lace trim, embroidery or more costly antique fabrics run from $250 -$275 and may go upwards. Handmade leather shoes are $75. Any custom order is 10% off during the sale. Scroll up to see the new style of dress that I made for Anna #2. The fully lined dress has a slim cut bodice and sleeves, with a cartridge pleated skirt and velvet ribbon trim. The cost of an identical dress is $295, if the dress must be fully lined, or $275 for one with a lined bodice.
I don’t have a pattern available yet for smaller size clothing to fit Anna.
To read more about my Izannah Walker Doll Making Class by Mail follow this link to my website, where you may also order the class. The class comes with unlimited support, plus a class member only discussion site that features extra bonus material and patterns, including five different flat faced heads that work with the rest of your Izannah class patterns so that you can create a variety of different cloth dolls as friends for your Izzys! Sophie and Mae, two of my dolls that I made using the flat faced patterns will be featured in the Spring 2014 issue of Prims magazine.
Time For A Party
After trying on all their new clothes and posing for their photo shoot, the girls and I spent some time in the kitchen baking Izannah a birthday cake. We all agreed that it was the perfect treat to celebrate the birthday of our very favorite doll maker!
The recipe for the cake came from The Best of Shaker Cooking by Amy Bess Miller and Persis Fuller. I chose this recipe because it is one that would have been in use during Izannah’s lifetime and is filled with apples, the perfect seasonal fruit for an autumn birthday. I picked apples to use from our oldest apple tree. It is a very firm, late season cooking apple that I have never been able to positively identify. We grow our apples organically, so they are not picture perfect, but I’m sure apples just like these would have been a familiar site to Izannah.
from Shirley Shaker Village
1/3 cup butter
3/4 cup sugar
1-1/3 cups flour
1/4 tsp. salt
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 cup milk
1 tsp. vanilla
3 apples, peeled and chopped
1/4 cup currants or raisins
Cream butter and gradually add 1/2 of the sugar, beating well. Beat egg with remaining sugar, add to first mixture. Sift in flour, salt and baking powder alternately with the m ilk. Flavor with vanilla. Add apples and currants or raisins. Beat well to mix and turn into a well-buttered 9 inch cake tin, square or round.
Sprinkle with powdered sugar and cinnamon, and bake in a moderate oven (350 degrees) for 30 minutes. Makes 1 cake.
Vicki Leeke sent me these photos of dolls that she was working during my Izannah retreat last September. You may remember Vicki from one of my previous posts about her lovely leather flowers and leaves and the amazingly thoughtful Izannah pins she made for everyone who attended the retreat.
Vicki made “Charlotte” using a head and body parts that she had me pre-make for her prior to the start of the retreat. Vicki did all of the hand sewing to put Charlotte’s pieces together, painted her, and made all of her clothing. If I remember correctly, Charlotte’s dress is made from vintage fabric that Vicki came across at home in Australia… I can’t remember if she told me that she dyed the fabric or not… either way it is a luscious shade of rose.
Mr. Pospisel started out as a head that Vicki made just so that she could experiment with one of my plaster molds. She kept working on him so that she could practice hand sewing the two halves of the pressed cloth head together. After she got that far she was hooked! Before long “Mr. Pospisel” had acquired a name from an anecdote told to us by Peggy Flavin during the class, and his life history soon followed. Vicki took him back to Australia, where she finished bringing him to life. He is wearing the most wonderful suit, that really shows off Vicki’s proficiency when sewing with wool. Making all of her wonderful felt dolls has obviously paid off 🙂
Vicki is planning to enter them in a doll show in Sydney in November. Keep your fingers crossed that they win an armful of awards!