Thursday 20 February 2020

my Fun a Day Dundee project

my finished Fun a Day project

Hello! Today's blog post is all about a project I was involved with in January. For the second year in a row I took part in Fun a Day Dundee, a project which has been running in the city since 2011. "The premise is simple: pick a project (take a photograph, make the bed, draw a picture, bake a cake, etc) and do it every day in January, then show your work the following month in a big group exhibition." (quote taken from the Fun a Day Dundee website).

initial sketchbook ideas

Last year I drew a flower every day for the month using various methods and a wide array of materials. Whilst I thoroughly enjoyed making 1 finished piece every day it did feel quite pressured and there were days when I was pushed for time or simply didn't feel very creative. This year I decided to crochet a doll over the course of the month, working on it a little every day - more time or less time depending on what else I had on and my creative energy.

beginning to have character

I have made quite a few crocheted dolls over the years because I love the satisfaction of making something tangible, full of character and personality in a fairly short space of time. For this project I chose to design the doll myself writing the pattern for it as I went along.


I crocheted the body using Rico Creative Cotton in the colourway Powder because I really liked the pale skin colour of this yarn. The huge mop of curly hair is created by needlefelting Debbie Bliss Lara (in the colourway Anna) in place - I love the bouncy curl it has. After crocheting the doll I began working on a little outfit for the chilly wee boy - it was January! I knew that I wanted to add lots of little optional details to my pattern and I had great fun designing pockets and even adding orange thread top stitching.

tiny details

shoes with laces

The shoes were possibly the most tricky design element because the feet are essentially quite shapeless and the shoes have to be able to be pulled on without stretching them or the doll out of shape. I added little contrast soles and gave them laces too, giving them more destinguishing features.

making him a friend!

By the 25th of January I was finished the doll and the clothes and had to make a decision: make more clothes and accessories or make another doll? As you can see from my first photo, make another doll won! I knew the process would be much faster this time because I had my pattern written up, ready to follow.

needlefelting the hair

Sure enough, I had a second doll in next to no time (not an awful lot else got done in these few days mind!). I decided to give the girl doll bright orange, Japanese manga style hair so I ordered Cascade Magnum in the colourway Living Coral and when it arrived it was perfect! I needlefelted the hair in place again, a technique which I had followed in the past and really wanted to use in my pattern too.

January 31st
So, by 31st of January I had 1 completely finished doll and 1 almost finished doll - she just needed her hair sorting and some more clothes. I was chuffed with how productive I had been! It was lovely to have feedback and encouragment from fellow participants on Instagram and in turn to follow their creative journeys - I loved this aspect of the project!

more details

Last week I added the final touches to the girl doll's outfit - a green cardigan and a pair of sandals. for both dolls I used DMC Narura cotton yarn partly because I like to have a different texture for clothing when I make a doll and partly because the colour range in this cotton is fantastic - so many to choose from! All I need to do now is add the final touches to my pattern and do an outdoor photo shoot of both the dolls. The weather here hasn't been in my favour and I think I will leave it another few weeks for some spring flowers too. Also, both dolls need names! If you have any suggestions, please leave them in the comments.

finished doll

The group exhibition for Fun a Day Dundee takes place over the Easter weekend, 10th - 12th April at Generator Projects in Dundee - my dolls will be there alongside so many other different projects, I can't wait!

Until next time,

Marta xx

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