A Cloth Doll For Celebrating Summer
Summer may be drawing to an end as we enter the month of September. However, my textile doll Meadow May is a visual celebration of summer, which contains my favourite aspects of this flamboyant season.
Therefore, she is a cloth doll that has been inspired by two very different elements of this vibrant time of year. That is to say, the bright and intense hues from the seasonal flowers combined with the aesthetic of music festivals.
Embracing Summer Colour
I love using colour in my doll making. Fortunately, the four seasons offer ready-made colour combinations. These harmonise beautifully together. So I have previously explored the colour palettes associated with Autumn and Winter and I was, therefore, ready to explore another season.
Firstly, I used my own garden for inspiration. I can honestly say that this yearly show of brightly coloured flowers gives me great pleasure. I can happily sit for hours watching the bees and insects make the most of this floral display.
In addition to this, I visited other formal gardens like Sir Harold Hillier Gardens. They have created a range of different types of gardens.
Most notably the Centenary Border and the Bog Garden where I discovered shocking pinks and acidic oranges!
The Music Festival Aesthetic
Meadow May’s style was very much inspired by festival wear. There is something very magical about the aesthetics of music festivals. This is because the festival environment offers a freedom that ‘normal day’ life does not offer.
People have an opportunity to express themselves in much more creative ways. Often combining unusual items of clothing and embracing the concept of shabby chic.
As a result, everything feels a little bit more rustic and I am drawn this DIY feel. And therefore I wanted my summer doll to encapsulate this vibe.
To create Meadow May’s look I began with this original textiles sample from my degree course. The piece was created for a project that explored the bohemian look and so was perfect for her dress because it was a suitable colour and the free machine embroidery had a floral motif.
I used a scrap of a cardigan to create her waistcoat, which I adorned with a small corsage and tassels.
Mini wooden beads and pleated woollen strands created her bracelets.
And each flower was created by hand using small scraps of fabrics to form the floral headdress.
The cowgirl boots are my favourite detail. These were also handsewn out of white felt and decorated with small plats of multi-coloured fabric.
Beads and buttons were incorporated to create further hippie adornment.