Posts Tagged ‘cloth dolls’

Two bad boys

As I mentioned in the last post, I’m in the process of setting up my new business.  One thing I really needed for this was a good logo, and if you’ve been following this blog for any length of time you’ll know that my artistic skills are entirely a matter of squared paper and grinding patience.  This, however, doesn’t work if what you’re trying to produce is a simple logo with nice bold lines.

So a friend in NZ came to the rescue, and she drew me a really lovely logo which you can see on my business website.  I asked her what she would like in return, and after a little thought she said she would like a plush Vila.  This name may not mean anything to you if you’re below a certain age, so I will explain.  Vila was one of the characters in a SF series of the late 70s and early 80s called Blake’s 7.  Both of us were (and still are) huge fans of this series, so I got quite excited about the idea, and said I was very tempted to make a plush Avon to go with him.  Avon was Vila’s friend.  Sort of.  Insofar as he was ever friends with anyone.  He wasn’t exactly a nice chap.  Even so, when it comes to classic SF double acts, Avon and Vila were right up there alongside the likes of Spock and McCoy.  In fact, whisper it softly, but I think Avon and Vila had the edge.  They got better lines. 🙂

Avon (left) and Vila (right) in "Gambit"

Here they are – the boys themselves, in a very typical screencap.  Vila’s the one on the right, clutching the drink and looking worried.  Avon is doing his usual steely-eyed thing with just a hint of smugness.  After all, you’d be smug too if you knew you could look good in a tinfoil tunic.  This still is from the episode Gambit, which possibly counts as my favourite episode ever.  My friend particularly wanted Vila in that costume (and I like that one a lot too).

The matter didn’t take much deciding.  My friend really wanted an Avon too, so she said if I made one, she’d pay me for him.  “Done!” I replied happily.  Of course, I’m no good at faces (see artistic skills above), but that’s all right.  She’ll do those herself.  She thinks the sewing is the clever bit.  I don’t understand that.  Sewing is easy.  It’s the faces that are the clever bit!

I decided to put Avon in his Gambit outfit as well, since it’s easy to make and it’s very classic Avon.  Avon wore a lot of silver.  (Heck, if you can, go for it.)  The first thing to do was to find a doll pattern.  There are lots of free ones online, but none of them turned out to be quite right, so in the end I bought this one:

Doll pattern (Vogue 7418)

Yes, I realise the dolls shown are all female.  Sssh, don’t tell Avon and Vila. 😉  The dolls actually look female because of their clothes and hair; their bodies are pretty much unisex.  They won’t need any adaptation to make them a more masculine shape.

This morning I went shopping for fabric.  The lady with the fabric stall on the market is truly awesome, because, as you will see if you compare this photo with the one of Avon and Vila above, she had just about everything I needed:

Fabrics, threads, trim &c to make the dolls

And, yes, that brown fabric in the middle is actually suedette.  It really could not have gone any better.  There’s also a large bag of stuffing which is not in the photo.

All I need now is some yarn for their hair, one or two pieces of PVC for their footwear (Avon goes in for big boots, but Vila usually wears a more modest pair of shoes), something I can use for Vila’s belt, a couple of small buckles, and some black sequins or similar for Avon’s belt.

I’m going to have fun with this project. 🙂