Friday, January 16, 2015

Compendium of Curiosities iii - Challenge 19, Eclectic Ellie Doll!!!

I am participating in Challenge 19 of the Compendium of Curiosities iii Challenge on the Studio L3 blog by Linda Ledbetter. For Challenge 19 we are using the Tim Holtz Eclectic Elements Fabric and the frayed fabric technique as found on page 66 of Compendium of Curiosities 3 by Tim Holtz.
Challenge 19 is sponsored by Inspiration Emporium who will provide a $50 shopping spree for the winner of the challenge, with more prizes courtesy of Tim Holtz and Mario Rossi for the fabulous Curiosity Crew's choice winner!

For this challenge I wanted to make something cool using many of the Eclectic Elements fabric designs all incorporated into one fabulous project. Since I know how to sew, I decided since this is a fabric challenge, I would sew a fabulous 18" doll dress made entirely of Tim Holtz Eclectic Elements fabric using a vintage reproduction doll dress pattern from Butterick.

I have been working on an 18" Steampunk dolly that I have named "Eclectic Ellie" who will be modeling my designer dress. "Eclectic Ellie" is not quite done, as she does not yet have a face...or hair, but since she's Eclectic, it all works!

Here is Eclectic Ellie modeling the dress!

Here is a close up of the Frayed Fabric technique on the front dress pocket.

I wanted to show that you can take a cutesy 1950's doll dress and using Tim Holtz Eclectic Elements, it turns all hip and modern, but still vintage and retro.
My dress is the same pattern as this:

But look at what I did to it:

I love the bottlecap design on the sleeves, collar and waistband.

I also love the bow tie in the back in the contrasting design, same as the underskirt.
Here is "Eclectic Ellie". She's an 18" doll form that I'm decorating with dies, stencils and paint.

 Yes, that is an elephant on her tummy. She's feeling a little bloated. LOL!
This is her, um, back-side, and spine.
 Eventually she will have a face and rosy cheeks. Oh, and some hair. Probably fabric skeewampus hair. Maybe some fabric dreadlocks, not sure yet.

Oh, I wanted to show you her knees.

So thanks for checking out my project!

Since most of the participants say they don't really sew, I wanted to show you all something slightly different that you can do with a normal doll dress pattern and Tim Holtz Eclectic Elements Fabric, and a simple pre-made doll form that you can buy at a craft store. It's all art, just the same, just a different canvas, and a different medium.
It's amazing how the Tim Holtz Fabric totally changes the look of the dress and it suddenly becomes art instead of a toy.

Do not feel bad if you are not a sewer! What all of you make look so simple I have to work so hard at. But this I can do...

I learned to sew when I was 13 years old thanks to my best friends mom who worked in a fabric store. She gave us a sewing machine, old fabric, and discarded patterns and left us on our own. My friend immediately sewed through her finger, nothing serious, just got the side. We made some extremely ugly creations, lopsided dresses, 70's pant suits with zippers on the behind (talk about a wedgie), and some really horrible swim suits. Eventually we figured it out!!! Through trial and error, no classes, and no instruction from anyone! It was a simple singer sewing machine with only a straight stitch. My parents then got me a simple sewing machine too, which I used until it quit working a few years ago.

I will post again when I finish up "Eclectic Ellie" and then I can post a tutorial on the doll. It's pretty simple. I used a gear die with craft foam and glued the gears on the doll, used some stencils and stencil paste, painted the whole doll with acrylic paint in a lighter skin color, then antiqued over the entire doll with a brown antiquing medium. That's it.

The dress will fit any 18" doll, but I'm liking the dress on "Eclectic "Ellie"!


  1. Brilliant !!!! Love the overall design a treasure to keep forever I haven't quite finished my piece yet but hoping to today

  2. Wowza! She's fantastic. Love how you mixed the patterns and layered the skirt. Thanks for joining us at CC3C!

  3. Oh my goodness! Wow! Amazing creation. I love all the mixtures of prints. Your work is always os inspiring.

  4. Holy Moly! This is amazing! That dress is fabulous. You just made everyone totally sick on this challenge who are stressing out about machine stitching! haha I love your mix of prints on the dress and apron, etc. The doll itself is also just fabulous! Such a creative and inventive piece! LOVE IT! Thanks for sharing your always wonderful art with us at CC3C. <3 Candy

  5. WOW! THRICE WOW! I am gobsmacked, this is totally AWESOME... you are SO clever... I NEEEED a dress just like that... and a doll to put it on! Thanks for playing along with the CC3 Challenge x

  6. WOwza!!! This is the cutest! She is just fabulous! What a clever piece. Thanks for sharing with us at CC3C!

  7. YOU ROCK!!!! Wow, and ditto the others!!! Amazing creation Vic!!! Thanks so much for sewing along with us at CC3!!!

  8. wow, soooo cool! I can't wait to see Ellie when she is complete. =)

  9. Ellie is a cutie! I'm not sure if I like her dressed up or not dressed. Either way she is unique. Wonderful job. I love her dice necklace too...

  10. What a cutie! The dress is amazing and looks wonderful on Eclectic Ellie. Looking forward to seeing her when she's finished.

  11. Serious, serious crafting genius. How cool!! Love the funky vibe here. Thanks for letting her cruise with us on CC3C!!

  12. This is such a fantastic way to use Tim's Eclectic Elements, Ellie is wonderful!

  13. Good grief.....this is beyond words amazing.....My gosh...awesome!!


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