Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Restringing tutorial, part II: the body

After reading the first part of my restringing tutorial on the torso, you should have recovered enough to restring the rest of your doll. (Please read that tutorial first.) There are lots of ways to restring a doll, and you can do it correctly many different ways. The way I will show you allows you to adjust the elastic cord tension after your doll is strung, if needed.

Supply list:
  • Elastic cord
  • Hemostats, at least one pair
  • Chopsticks or two unsharpened pencils
  • Stringing tool (available from Kemper Dolls for about $3) or pipe cleaner
  • Glass of wine, or legally prescribed sedative, if needed
You should already have the restrung torso of the doll (with arms and hands attached). Make sure you have the legs in the right order and ready to go--be sure all the pieces fit together perfectly, and are on the proper sides of the doll before you start.

Unstrung lower body. Make sure you have all the pieces.
Estimate the amount of string you need.  I usually do not tie the string. Make sure you fold it over in a loop, and then thread the O-ring on it. If your doll has an S-hook, just put it aside for now.
Thread one loop through each leg opening.
Your doll should look like this before stringing the legs.
How to use the stringing tool. Insert it through the resin piece you want to string. 
Hook the wire over the elastic, and pull the elastic all the way through the canal.
The thigh piece is threaded.
Thread the lower leg in the same manner. Don't forget the knee piece, if your doll has double-jointed legs.
Next, string the ankle joint.
Instead of stringing the foot, I recommend using a chopstick as a placeholder. You will be more easily able to adjust the tension on your doll than if a hook is attached to the elastic this way. Repeat this process on the other leg.
Tighten the elastic in the doll's legs, and re-estimate the length of the elastic. Use the inchworm technique, if you'd like  to save your elastic length. Then, using the stringing tool, pull the elastic (and O-ring) up through the doll's torso and neck. Use firm but gentle pressure, and watch the elastic in the strung torso.
If you're using an O-ring, continue pulling the ring and elastic through the doll's head, and turn it 90 degrees to keep it in place. If your doll has an S-hook, slip the S through both loops of elastic carefully. You may need to use the hemostats to clamp the loops of elastic.
Carefully replace the chopsticks (or pencils) with the doll's feet. Use hemostats if necessary.

Congratulations! You've just finished restringing your doll. If needed, since you've pulled the knot up through her head, so you can now easily tighten her string and adjust the tension. You may need to gently pull on her legs to get the elastic to pull through the entire doll.

Now, go suede her to make her perfect!

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