Lately I have been getting several requests for this pattern (yeah!)
FRANCESCA is no longer available as a free pattern. The pattern needed some tweaking and revamping, and there were never any instructions to go with it- just the drawn pattern. More than two and a half years later, I redid the entire thing and created a really fine doll called Tikvah. Tikvah is made from the exact same BODY pattern that Francesca started out with, only now there are 20 pages of detailed instructions and the doll is not left in cloth (unless you want her to be). There is a process involved that makes the doll look like porcelain, and all the seams are covered up with Paperclay. She is needle sculpted, hardened, painted and glossed and has a beautiful shape! Her face is needle sculpted and her eyes are inset. However you can draw her eyes like francesca's. The instructions will show you how. All in all, the pattern teaches a great deal of very nice doll making techniques. You can use it to make a simple doll like Francesca, or a very exquisite doll like Tikvah.
Here is the Francesca/Tikvah body holding her head in her hands! Can you guess whose head it is? And here's how Paperclay is used...
If you would like to buy the pattern, it is available in my Etsy shop. (Please do!)
TIKVAH is wearing different clothing than Francesca (her clothes are a lot more sophisticated). But the shoes and the Dress are still free when you buy the pattern. I will be adding a link for them here on my blog. In the meantime, just write the word "FRANCESCA" in checkout and I will email you Francesca's clothing and shoes pattern. Please note there are no formal instructions for those, but they are easy to understand.
Thanks for understanding that I can't offer her for free any more because of all the extra work and improvements I put into her... I literally worked on the pattern it for months. This is a great value!!
Please meet Francesca, whose personality I still have not quite figured out...
Francesca (fran-CHESS-ka) Is another name I remember from my childhood, that my father happened to like. My mom loves the color red, and I put this doll together with the most absolutely bizarre fabrics I had. The dress is made from oriental silk, but I did not want her to look particularly oriental... just "francesca-ish. I absolutely love how she turned out. Sometimes surprises are the best avenues for creativity.
To embellish her simple garment, I added two "skirts" - one from organza, and the other fabric from India. Here you can really see the shimmer of the organza. The Indian fabric is right underneath that, and the hem from that was left raw. The organza has intricate beading on the bottom edge, and so does the bottom of the dress. That has some beaded leaf motifs, to blend with the pattern on the dress fabric. I also created a "ruffle" of beads on the bottom, using a 5-bead picot stitch. The beads really added to this doll's outfit. Time consuming, but I'm glad I did it! I also made her a couple of cool sandals. The sandals fabric is actually made from pure silk, with angelina fiber on top. I just embroidered them together. The soles are made from polymer clay, baked and stained with antique medium.Francesca's hair is made from SOY silk fiber. YES, you read correctly- soy.
I really dig the stuff. Can you believe, it's a biproduct from the tofu-making process. It leaves over a silky substance. Since it is a natural "fiber," it is easily dyed. You can fuse it and make a very interesting "fabric" with it, too. Lucky for me, soy silk fiber makes great doll hair, and felts easily with a felting needle.