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Art Cloth Doll Making

Suitable for beginners and more experienced stitchers alike, tutor Angela Neilson will lead you, step-by-step, through the process of making a basic art cloth doll.

You will start by drawing out and machine stitching body parts, then turn and stuff the parts, wire the fingers, needle-sculpt the face, draw or embroider features, make a simple wig, attach the arms and legs and finally dress the character doll. Basic sewing machine skills are helpful but not essential.

A bit of creative imagination and a willingness to let go of preconceptions goes a long way because, as these character dolls emerge, they develop a life of their own – whispering to you how they like their hair and what they want to wear.

You may wish to bring your own ideas that inspire you such as pictures, photos, books, vintage fabrics, jewellery and shells. But if you don’t know where to start then Angela will bring samples of her work for inspiration. Read more about this course on our blog.

Dates 2021

Our art cloth doll making holidays run for 5-nights and are priced at £725 per person.
The above is based on single occupancy of an en-suite room on a full board basis. A £100 per person discount is applied for shared occupancy.
Sunday 7th to Friday 12th March 2021
Sunday 7th to Friday 12th November 2021

If you’re coming on one of our holidays and would like to bring a friend, partner, or member of your family, then we have you (and them!) covered. Accompanying guests can enjoy full board catering and shared accommodation with you. Please add them on at the checkout stage.

How to book
To book online, please click on your preferred date above.
For any questions or to book direct please call 01877 382 991 or email mail@gartmorehouse.com
If you have any questions, you may like to take a look at our FAQs but if you have any further queries, please contact our team directly.

Payment, Terms & Conditions
A £100 per person deposit is required to secure your booking. Full payment is due 6 weeks prior to arrival. For art, craft & activity holidays booked within 6 weeks of course start date, full payment is required at the time of booking. Art, craft & activity holidays are subject to availability and subject to change.

Check in is from 4pm where you will be welcomed by our staff. You are then invited to enjoy tea and coffee in the lounge where you can relax after your journey.
Come 6pm everyone will gather in the lounge for the Welcome Talk and Meet & Greet. This will give you the chance to get to know your fellow guests and tutor before the start of the course.
Dinner is served at 6:30pm in the downstairs dining room.

Monday to Thursday*
Throughout the week, tuition runs from 10am to 4pm with regular breaks for tea and coffee so you can relax and have a natter with your fellow guests about everything you’ve been up to so far.
All your meals are served in the dining room.
Evening tea and coffee is available in the lounge at 9pm.

After a few days of working hard on your craft, you may like to take a break and head out for an afternoon to explore the local area. Choose from a range of trips to satisfy any cultural craving – from Deanston distillery, a boat trip on Loch Katrine or Doune Castle. All excursions are provided for an additional cost and are included at checkout. For more information see here. However, should you wish to continue your craft your tutor will be on hand from 10am-4pm Monday to Thursday to provide tuition.

Check out by 10am

What’s Included

  • 4 days of specialist tuition from Angela Neilson
  • All materials required for the course
  • Full board catering
  • En-suite accommodation
  • Complimentary afternoon trip to Loch Katrine
  • Complimentary transfers from Stirling train station are available on the arrival and departure days (pick-up from the station at 15:30, departs Gartmore House at 10:00)

All materials needed for the course will be provided by your tutor, however please bring your own sewing machine with you. Your tutor will bring a couple of sewing machines with her, which she will use to demonstrate on. These machines can be borrowed by students, but you will probably feel more comfortable using a machine that you are familiar with (and this also means you won’t have to wait to use a machine).

Tutor – Angela Neilson
Angela has been sewing since before she started school, thanks to her Mother and sister’s encouragement at home. Even before finishing Primary School, she had made a pair of pink and white gingham shorts on an old treddle sewing machine.

More sewing was to come at Secondary School, with memories of sewing a sleeveless cotton blouse and a pin-cord mini dress with puff sleeves! Perhaps more significantly Angela was taught Art by a Miss Tate, who introduced her to silk painting and creative embroidery. During Angela’s teenage years she made her own clothes, pencil cases, bags etc. and as a young wife and mother, continued to dress-make for herself and the children.

In the early 90s Angela was re-introduced to creative embroidery by Ness Walker at classes run by Aberdeen City Council in Westburn Park. Ness’ classes were both inspiring and disciplined – spending a week or more on one stitch and pushing it to the limits with texture and/or colour. While waiting for a space on that class, Angela spent two terms studying life drawing & painting. Ness encouraged Angela to join Aberdeen North Embroiderers’ Guild and she has been a member for over 20 years.

As a Embroiderers’ Guild member Angela has had the privilege of being taught by many of the “big names” in embroidery circles in the UK, including Isobel Hall, Maggie Grey and Jean Littlejohn. In 2011 she signed up for the City & Guilds Craft & Design (Embroidery) course at Moray College and was awarded the Certificate in 2013 and Diploma in July 2015 after a very stimulating and full, 4 years of tuition by June Hyndman, a textile art graduate of Glasgow School of Art.

Angela looks forward to sharing her extensive sewing experience and passion for art cloth doll making with you on a course at Gartmore House.

Reviews from previous doll making guests:

  • ‘Just loved it all. Will certainly come again.’ –  Harbert, Art Cloth Doll Making Holiday
  • ‘Had a super time – thank you very much.’ – Guest, Art Cloth Doll Making Holiday
  • ‘A wonderful experience. Perfect atmosphere and environment. Friendly staff. Loved it. Many thanks.’ – Guest, Art Cloth Doll Making Holiday

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