Sunday, January 15, 2017


Hi All,
Well, I made another belly dancer doll. I just love making belly dancer costumes! They are so fun to make! It's all the embellishment that I just love doing.

Anyway, It all started when I wanted to make a doll, but didn't want to start from scratch. I have so many unfinished dolls, that my new goal is to finish some of them to sell. So, I looked for a doll to finish (most are from classes that I've used as a teaching example to demonstrate on). I found a half-made Opera Singer doll I used when I taught that class in England 2 years ago. All I needed was to make a new costume for her, and re-do the face.

Then, I got the idea of make a fat dancer after looking at some Pinterest sites (I love trolling through Pinterest, looking for inspiration.) I came across this photo:
Don't  you just love her? And, look at the socks/stockings! She kills me!

So, I started to turn my Opera Singer doll into a dancer. First, I needed to put her in a "dance" pose. This became much harder than I thought it would. Because her legs were made "in one" with her body, there weren't any joints to move. I ended up cutting into the body to remove some stuffing to get her legs to move front and back, and to take a tuck at her waist so her hip would go up.

I wanted this girl to be shaking it!

Next, I got her armature set into a wooden base, so she would stand up. (I would have loved to make her belly bigger, but this body was originally designed to stand up straight, and be covered from neck to hem in a costume.) But, she does have wide hips & big breasts!

 So,-- on to the costume. I decided to use orange/gold as the main color, with a magenta accent. Of course I have to drag out all my fabrics to pick the right ones. What a beautiful mess I make!

 Like always, I start with the hem, and work my way up the body. I get the skirt and belt done first.

I already had the arms, so that was easy. I just had to position them in a "dancer" way.

Now for the top:

By this time, I knew the original Opera Singer head wasn't going to work -- she was patterned with her mouth wide open, singing/shrieking a high note. So, I made a new head (slightly smaller) with a closed mouth. I gave her a big smile, and "smiling" eyes. (Smiling eyes are narrow, with a prominent lower eye-lid.)

Next came the turban headdress. I also gave her a little metal crown, and some flowers (traditional for a fusion-style belly dancer). And, lots and lots of jewelry and ornaments.

And, here she is:

I gave her the name, "DANCE LIKE NO ONE'S WATCHING"

I hope you enjoyed seeing my process. 

Right now, she is on her way to the "Road To California" quilt show in Upland, CA. Pamela is selling her at the "Treasures of the Gypsy" booth.

Have fun!


Carol- Beads and Birds said...

She is marvelous!!

Sue said...

Absolutely fabulous. And that stack of fabrics you are auditioning, oh my. I just want to roll around in it.

Arley said...

Thanks Ladies! I'm glad you enjoy her.

Gay And Alive said...

Gorgeous doll Arley!!!! love the vibrant colors and her face!

Arley said...

Thanks for the nice comment. I appreciate it.

Northbrook Designs said...

She's fabulous Arley. Plus size women never get the credit for being so... ;o))

Arley said...

Thanks Romona. Now that I'm older, and gaining weight, I guess it's reflected in my work!!

Cloth-A-Dollies said...

Love her Arley, so rubenesce.

Arley said...

Thanks Maria. And - you get extra points for using a 10 dollar word like "ruben-esce". Maybe I should make more patterns with plus-size dolls????

gladrag said...

I just love what you did with her. The way you costumed her gave her elegance. Yes, maybe another plus sized pattern!