Tuesday, March 20, 2012


Custom orders are done and it is finally time to throw myself head first into sewing dolls for conventions! I love custom orders for all the different and interesting requests, but I'm excited to take a break to work on some new designs and old favorites. Plus making multiples of things makes me feel super productive.
One of my goals for this year was to offer a wider selection and more original plush characters. I always have fun sketching new ideas and playing with designs, and I'm looking forward to offering some different things this year. Since this will be my first year selling at Dragon*Con, one of my first thoughts was obviously cuddly baby dragons! Since I happened to take some in process pictures while making the dragons, this is going to be a kind of behind the scenes look at my doll making process.

Any new character starts with a sketch, like the one above. I get the basic idea down and figure out what pattern pieces I need to create.

Since dragons are well known for their treasure hoarding, these little guys needed some sparkle. That meant one thing: sequins! One online order and lots of excited squeaking later a box of various colors was on the way.

I work from the same basic pattern for all the 18" dolls; this pattern is modified or added to as needed for each character. The baby dragons needed a diffent head and a modification to the body pattern to get the cute little tail and dragony rump. They also made some little wings and two different options for ears. Once the new pattern pieces were drawn, I stitched up and stuffed a protoype.

This is the little dragon prototype, and he is super cute! Pleased with the look, it was time to move onto my favorite part: selecting colors and combinations. Lizardy greens and yellows were an obvious pick, along with fiery pinks and reds and some black and deep grey to recall the dark caves where dragons make their homes.

When making multiples, I usually sew and assemble the basic body first and add details later. I didn't plan out which color got matched to each set of wings or ears; I like to fiddle and experiment with color combinations. Once the basic bodies were done, I just started putting pieces with them until I was happy. Playing with the sequins was definitely super fun, so sparkly! Each dragon got two different colors of sequins in several clusters of three or four.

Finally, here are some of the completed baby dragons! All the little eye decorations were cut freehand and each shape is unique. These little guys will be joining me at conventions and a few will be available at my Etsy shop. Time to move on to the next batch!

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