Tag Archives: distaff and spindle

Last two figures

theinfill blog – Dolls House Emporium Market Cross kit - figure spinnging

Not spinning very finely and wearing what looks like a couple of pancakes on her head. 
The weaver will probably be standing behind her, which is why there’s a floating head over her left shoulder 🙂
I like to make a sense of usage and weight in the clothing of figures and the placing of objects. I often cheat with glue and/or stitchwork. I just couldn’t get a sense of weight for the spindle at all and getting her open hands to hold the wool was a bit of a job too.

My hoard(s) of fabric, trimmings and lace are a complete mix of new scraps and old retrieved odds and ends.  Sometimes I iron the fabric before use, other times the iron only gets used for turning hems and edges depending on the job in hand.  With the salvaged items, a lot of them still hold the ‘memory’ of how it was stitched and this shaping can be useful with its needle holes possibly standing in for decoration and the gathers in fine fabrics helping to shape a garment or a hanging around a window.

theinfill blog,Hogepotche Hall,1:12 scale scratch-build dolls house

I used the same material for the sisters’ shifts too.

Feeling particularly lazy I plumped for some ready gathered fabric for the under shift of this seated figure. The stitching itself is long gone but the fabric memory holds.

This particular piece from back in the 70s or 80s is now so fragile that the first thing to do is find a new, super sharp needle to work with.  The delicate cloth is almost weightless it’s so fine.  I try not to use pins when working on it, so, once cut to rough shape, the job becomes a matter of hold and sew on the doll and no undoing if anything goes wrong.


The spinner and the weaver

I’d have thought that anyone spinning probably wouldn’t do it at a market but I chose it as it was handy for bringing in another occupation for a seated character.

Links of interest:

Spinning with distaff/spindle in Tibet

Spinning with distaff/spindle in Italy


and a Medieval one




Feeding faces


Re-provisioning the Dining Room

theinfill - Medieval, Tudor, Jacobean dolls house blog - restocking the dining room

Still life

Previous set up of the dining room was done in August 2011 and can be seen on the page The influence of too much information. I tried to put back most of the things as then, but plenty has changed in that time due to various attempts to give a feeling of space and still include all the things I wanted to see:  new chairs from Ashwood Designs Dolls House Furniturethe addition of a 1:24 scale board on the left instead of a 1:12,  the number of painted wall panels reduced and neater rewiring.  A bit of a ‘spot the difference’ puzzle.

The two glass goblets on the table are from The Glass People over in France. All the slipware  is later than 1616, as is the American blue and white plate on the table, but I do like them a lot.  I did the brown and cream at the time of the original dining room layout and it’s a bit rough and ready.  Excuses, excuses – got a bottle gas oven, great for cooking, not so great for cackhanded Fimo fumblers like me as it tends to produce too much moisture during the ‘baking’ process.  I’ve never tried to make much of anything else since.  The best results I ever achieved were with the oven very slightly open to let out the steam and prevent the occasional over crispy crockery.

The spindle and distaff by the fire were fun to make but I don’t think that would be where I’d sit to use them.  Have you seen the Habetrot posting entitled Optimistic Rumanians?  It must take some solid muscle power to hold such a heavily laden distaff for hour after hour.