Meet Rosa Amora Encora AE04 – Limited Edition Collector’s Art Doll

Meet Rosa Amora Encora AE04

Rosa is a Collector’s Art Doll – fourth of my new “Amora Encora” range – a limited edition of One of a Kind (OOAK) dolls made using up-cycled materials to celebrate the beauty of the natural world.  Only 50 will ever be made.  Each comes with her own certificate of origin. 

Rosa celebrates the beauty of Roses. Her name is of Latin origin meaning – you guessed it – Rose.

Rosa - Celebrating the Beauty of Roses

Rosa Amora Encora AE04 - Available on Etsy
Rosa Amora Encora AE04 - Available on Etsy

For me, there is no flower that better represents the beautiful English Summer garden than the rose.  I confess that I am an addict and have planted as many as I can cram in to my own back garden.

Yes, they are high maintenance.  Yes, they get pests and diseases.  Yes, they have thorns.  But oh – the colour and scent – and just the romance of them?!

Summer Garden Roses
My little piece of England - Summer roses in my back garden
Rosa Amora Encora AE04 Certificate
Rosa Amora Encora AE04 Certificate

For Rosa, I wanted to create a doll that captured all that I find enchanting about an English rose in full bloom.  My aim was to create a skirt that looked as close to a rose petals as I could make it.  

I chose an organza fabric for the top layer of the skirt which hangs beautifully with a stiffness that to me looks like the wavey shape of  rose petals.

Underneath the organza, I used an old, lightweight deep pink coloured scarf that would show through and give a depth to the colour.

The waistband is made from two pieces of vintage pink trim.

Rosa Amora Encora - Rose Petal Skirt
Rosa Amora Encora - Rose Petal Skirt

For her shoes, it just had to be velvet, which feels soft like a rose petal when you stroke it.  It is a difficult fabric to work with – particularly on a small scale.  I confess that I had to have 2 attempts at making this shoes before I was satisfied with them.

 

Rosa Amora Encora - Velvet Shoes
Rosa Amora Encora - Velvet Shoes
Amora Encora Rosa - Velvet Shoes

Rosa - Amora Encora No. 4 - Techniques Used

I used the same basic pattern to make Crystal that I have used for some of my previous Amor Encora dolls.  You can read more about the first three dolls in the range here:

As I work on expanding the Amora Encora range to the limit of 50 collector’s item dolls, I aim to take the opportunity to showcase a wide variety of the textile art techniques I use to create the dolls on this site.  I want to share the creative process and the learning opportunity as widely as possible in the hope that it provides inspiration for your own projects.

Silk Ribbon Embroidery

I have not done any ribbon embroidery for quite a while and creating Rosa was a good opportunity to remind myself just what a relaxing craft it is.

Rosa Amora Encora - Ribbon Embroidery
Rosa Amora Encora - Ribbon Embroidery
Rosa's Ribbon Embroidery Silk Bolero
Amora Encora Rosa

I worked the roses on a remnant of silk fabric that was once a curtain sample.  Heart Up-Cycling!

Rosa Amora Encora - Silk Curtain Sample
Rosa Amora Encora - Bolero made from a Silk Curtain Sample

I used lightweight muslin stabiliser and bound my embroidery hoop tightly with bias tape to stop the very thin muslin from moving as I embroidered the roses.

The rose design is one of Lorna Bateman’s.  She has some beautiful kits and silk ribbon embroidery materials available on her website.

Silk Ribbon Embroidery - Bolero tacked to muslin stabiliser
Bolero tacked to muslin stabiliser
Silk Ribbon Embroidery - Bound Hoop/Muslin Stabiliser
Silk Ribbon Embroidery - Bound Hoop/Muslin Stabiliser

Transferring the design was quite a challenge.  I am used to using an HB pencil on a light coloured embroidery linen.  Transferring the design onto deep coloured silk is something quite different.  I used a Lightbox and a white gel pen to trace the design out.  Ribbon embroidery is quite thick, so all the white transfer markings were easily covered in the end.

Silk Ribbon Embroidery - Design Transfer on coloured silk
Silk Ribbon Embroidery - Design Transfer onto coloured silk

Heart UpCycling

Rosa's Body - Made from an Up-Cycled Duvet Cover

Rosa’s body is made from pieces of fabric cut from a pseudo patchwork quit effect duvet cover purchased from my local Birmingham Hospice charity shop.

The first job (after washing and ironing the duvet cover) was to cut it into squares.  I sorted the pink coloured squares out and dyed them all with a weak solution of pink fabric dye so that they would all co-ordinate.  While the pink dye was in my bucket, I threw in some pieces of lace so that I could use those to trim up her skirts in a perfectly co-ordinating colour.

The pieces look pretty uninspiring as a “Before” collection, but they came together quite well – see the ‘After” photo below?

Rosa Amora Encora - Body Fabric - Up-Cycled Duvet
Rosa Amora Encora - Body Fabric - Up-Cycled Duvet
Rosa Amora Encora - Fabrics "Before" Dyeing
Rosa Amora Encora - Fabrics "Before" Dyeing
Rosa Amora Encora - Fabrics "After" Dyeing
Rosa Amora Encora - Fabrics "After" Dyeing

The other squares from the patchwork duvet cover are safely stored in my remnant boxes for future projects.

Rosa Amora Encora - Body made from an Up-Cycled Quilt
Rosa Amora Encora - Body made from an Up-Cycled Quilt

I think that it is always worth saving vintage trim – no matter how tatty it might seem or how small the length!

Rosa’s bodice trim is made from a rather daunting piece of salvaged braid trim which had an edge that I could do nothing with – except – cover it with a plush new piece of trim that tidied it up a treat.  When the colour match is this good, you just have to find a way to use what you have got in your stash?

Amora Encora Rosa - Upcycled Vintage Trim
Up-Cycled Vintage Trim

French Buttons

Up-Cycling is what I am all about – but sometimes, you just need so use something new to make a doll that is perfect.

I pick up pretty buttons whenever I see them.  Usually, I have no idea how I will eventually use them, so it is a real thrill when they eventually find their place in life.

Rosa’s arms and legs are jointed with some beautiful buttons I found in a market in Uzès France.  Their pretty rosy design was just the job for Rosa.

Rosa Amora Encora - Jointed with French Buttons
Rosa Amora Encora - Jointed with French Buttons

Rosa now listed on my Etsy shop, waiting to find a good home.   I sort of hope that it might be one with a rose garden, but I think this English rose looks like the kind of girl who will be happy to bloom wherever she is planted.

Rosa Amora Encora AE04 - Available on Etsy
Rosa Amora Encora AE04 - Available on Etsy

Have a Go at ... Ribbon Embroidery

If you are local to Birmingham and interested in trying your hand at Ribbon Embroidery, I am running a workshop in June.

Heart UpCycling - Ribbon Embroidery Workshop

For details of other craft workshops coming up, just click on the link below.  All workshops support Birminghm Hospice.

You can find further inspiration to have a go at Ribbon Embroidery on this post.

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