In my final year of high school I unsuccessfully auditioned for one of the sisters in Pride and Prejudice. I remember reading the text and not having an understanding of how a Jane Austin conversation would sound like, so I am not surprised I didn’t get a role (plus I am a pretty terrible actor!!). Afterwards I enjoyed the performance (and in hindsight it was excellently cast!) and then thought nothing more of it.
Like a many of the time (circa 1995), it was the BBC version that sparked my love of Jane Austin’s Pride and Prejudice – I clearly remember the end of the episode five, Elizabeth being driven away from Pemberley, looking back at the changed Mr Darcy and I COULD.NOT.WAIT. a week until the next episode, so spent my very limited student savings on buying the VHS copy and watching the final two episodes straight away. Since then my VHS copy wore out and was replaced by the DVD (and again the remastered version) and the book has been read and re-read more times than I can remember.
So naturally when creating a doll of my own design for the first time, I thought of Ftizwilliam Darcy. <3
MR DARCY DOLL: ATTEMPT 1
This first fellow was created using a basic ragdoll form, which I like because it is very versatile and created a neat edge for the pants. The felt used was the wool/viscose felt as before, and the same issues arose, especially on the skin coloured felt – there are a lot of fly aways and if you look at the face up close, you can see how thin and almost see-through it is. But I think in the end I think he turned out rather handsome, don’t you?
MR DARCY DOLL: ATTEMPT 2
As in the previous post, I decided to use the Noialand Peter Pan pattern as a the basis for my second version of Mr Darcy. He ended up with a very big head! (which may be appropriate given his abominable pride in the first half of the story!) And the portions of this pattern don’t lend him the kind of aristocratic, respected feel such a man requires.
So, I really like doll 1, not so keen on doll 2 🙂 I can see I still have a lot to learn in getting the details just right when making a character, and I probably need to increase my stash to make sure I have plenty of fabric to choose from when creating a custom doll. (uhoh – more spending on the way!!)
NOTE TO SELF
1. Turning my original Mr Darcy inside-out was a bust-my-chops! I always seem to underestimate the hole needed and get angry enough to consider just ripping the whole bloody thing in frustration! Persistence eventually prevailed thank goodness.
2. I like working with felt (because I am afraid of seems!) but it doesn’t have quite the authenticity I was hoping for. I did really enjoy embroidering the waistcoat though, so will look into doing some more of that.
3. I don’t like how his arms spread out to the side, but there wasn’t enough room inside to sew him up on more of an angle. Although he doesn’t actually have any shoulders, so that might help next time!
4. The face – I officially don’t like noses. I tried on on him, but it looked stupid. I do like the eyes, they give a good sense of brooding, but again the felt and stuffing came through as I sewed them, so will have to look into alternatives to fix that.
It was really fun working off a character and trying to figure out how to make them look as authentic as possible. I can guarantee Mr Darcy will make more appearances in the future!!
Have you made a doll based on a character or person?