Costuming in Clay or Textiles
I hope you are enjoying my blog posts on Figurative Sculpture. I love every aspect of creating my little people, from research and concept development to the actual sculpting, costuming and props. Often, people who are interested in learning what I do, have been put off by the prospect of sewing the outfits. Although it’s great if you have some sewing experience, there are many little tips, tricks and shortcuts I offer my students to make the process easier even if you have no experience what-so-ever. I’m going to share one of them with you in today’s blog that you can use with fabric or even with polymer clay to create interesting and even elaborate costumes.
How to Make Matching Clay Miniature Costumes
When you crack open a dress pattern, you’ll find a paper guide that shows all the pattern pieces, cutting layouts and step-by-step instructions for creating your project. The diagrams of the pattern pieces are 1/12th scale of the actual pattern.
1/12th scale is dollhouse scale. So, if you are into making dollhouse characters – here you go – these little pattern pieces are perfectly scaled to create costumes for your miniatures. However, if you need to create a costume for a larger sculpture, then all you need to do is enlarge the diagrams to the size you need. It’s a lot easier than trying to scale down a full-size pattern. The best part is that you can use these little patterns with fabric or with polymer clay.
The photos show how I enlarged the pattern to fit a 14” character who’s “waist to foot” measurement is 7”. Keep your pattern choice simple and you can use a sewing machine or even fabric glue to put the pattern together.
If you are creating the costume in clay, an excellent tool to have is a cake decorating tool that you can roll along the clay to create the illusion of stitching or seams. I especially love this tool for making shoes and boots.