Designing a dress

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One of the things I’ve been working on lately is a new dress for Trixie (Luts Honey Delf Anko). I noticed recently that she doesn’t really have any dresses. She has pants and tops, but not many skirts or dresses. She’s so adorable, she deserves to have piles of frilly dresses. Well, okay, not too frilly, since that’s not really my thing, but frilly compared to the other things I make. Let’s put it that way.

Anyway, here are two versions of the pattern so you can see the progression. I really need to repaint my sewing table. I didn’t do it right the first time and the rubber feet on my sewing machine have ripped up the paint. Also, I don’t know what I was thinking with the lime green.

Patternmaking

And here’s Trixie in a mockup of the dress. Sorry for the awful photo. I think my New Year’s goal will be to improve my photo skills.

Dress Mockup1 (2)

It’s a little wider at the bottom than a straight column, but it’s going to have a very structured a-line pinafore over it, so I didn’t want it to be too wide. The neckline stretched all out of whack; I’ll have to stay-stitch it next time. Or I might add a peter pan-type collar. I am going to add ruffles to the hem, and I’ve been dithering because I didn’t really know how to do them, but then I found a tutorial on Pinterest that shows exactly what I want to do, so I’m excited to try it now. I hope it works in miniature.

Next up: I finally got the nerve to dye a doll! I can’t wait to show you! Also, stay tuned because I’ll be adding some free doll patterns to this site soon. Nothing fancy, but I thought I’d share my patterns for tights/leggings/socks, underwear, maybe tee shirts. Oh, and simple bedroom slippers. Partly as charity for naked dolls, but also for my own nefarious purposes, which will be revealed at a later date.

 


What I’ve been up to lately

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I firmly believe that it’s a good for me to do things that I’m not very good at. It builds character. Which must be why I’m persevering with the things on my desk right now.

First, I’ve been making wigs. (And, apparently, taking very bad, late-night photos of them.)

The good news: I used pantyhose for the wig caps for the first time, and it worked wonderfully! The caps weigh practically nothing and they fit perfectly. They’re so flexible you can turn them inside out but they pop back into shape afterwards. I’m definitely using pantyhose from now on.

The bad news: neither wig is coming out the way I had hoped.

Trixie’s wig is made from this really cool hand-dyed pink fiber I bought at a knitting show a while back. I’ve always wanted a pink wig for her. Unfortunately, the fiber is nylon and it doesn’t really behave like real hair. You comb it out and it stays where you put it, rather than falling back into locks like natural hair does. Also, it’s a little frizzy but has absolutely no wave to it at all. I think I’m going to style it in braids or something, since then it won’t matter how it moves or falls.

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The other problem I’m having is operator error. I cut the wig open to make a part by gluing hair to the underside of the wig, pulling it through the slit and combing it down on top. The problem is, I kind of liked the wig better before I did that. Also, now it doesn’t fit as well. You can see in the picture how high her bangs are– they were supposed to reach her eyebrows, but the wig slips back now so she looks like she got a bad haircut. Also, I can’t figure out how I’m supposed to close the slit.

The other wig is for Sebastian. His wig cap came out just as well as Trixie’s, but his wig isn’t coming out any better. I was trying to make something short, light, and slightly curly to suit a baby boy like Sebastian, who is supposed to be four years old. But this wig is coming out the same way as the last short wig I made, which is to say bulky and awkward.

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(Trust me, it’s not going to be bald on top when I’m done; but I stopped adding hair when I realized it wasn’t looking the way I wanted it to, in case I had to rip the hair off and try again.)

The hair is suri alpaca, which is fantastic. I wish my own hair was this soft! The bad news is, it’s kind of wavy and the waves are so big compared to Sebastian’s head that it’s working against me. I was trying to select locks with good waves and place them in a way that looks natural, but it’s not working out. I wanted it to be wavy on the top and front and curly in the back, like baby hair, but it’s just wavy all over. I don’t know if I should have straightened/curled the hair before I applied it to the wig or try to do so afterwards. Also, it’s not a short as I wanted it because I can’t imagine trying to place locks that short. I guess there’s a reason it’s so hard to find short wigs. Maybe I need more practice.

I had such grand ideas. Sigh. I’m going to ask around for advice and then finish these up. Maybe I can get them to look nice enough for photos.

While I was thinking about the wigs, I started a dress I’ve been wanting to sew for my SD girl, Leah. It’s also not working out as well as it did in my mind, but then what does? It’s going pretty well, considering this is my first attempt at evening wear. I’ll spare you an ugly in-progress photo, since I can’t do the back seam until the very end and it just looks like strangely sewn drapes until then.

 


Don’t blink

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A few weeks ago I completed a weeping angel costume from the Dr Who TV series. This weekend I finally got some good pictures of it.

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The wings are felt, made the same way as my flower petal wings, and you’d never guess that their original color was oatmeal. I painted the heck out of them, which is hard with felt because it just sucks up paint like it was koolaid. The unexpected benefit is that the feathers are so stiff, you’d think I put fabric stiffener on them.

Don't blink 1

The dress is plain muslin (unbleached, which is why I chose oatmeal felt for the wings, so everything would start out the same color), treated with Stiffy fabric stiffener, and then painted. The tricky thing was that the Stiffy goes limp when it gets wet, which makes painting it difficult. But I managed. Now that’s dry, the dress stands up by itself, even without a doll in it, which is kind of hilarious.

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The pedestal is something I had around the house. It was a plaster thing I bought at a craft store a gazillion years ago and painted. It was perfect for this shoot.

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The “wig” is what I’m least happy with. I sculpted it out of Model Magic, and somehow I seriously miscalculated the hairline. I was considering adding yarn hair at an early stage, so maybe I thought I was going to have yarn to cover the extra space. I have no idea. Oh well, it served well enough.

I’d probably sell this if someone made me an offer, but for now it’s going in the stash in case I need a creepy Halloween costume or something.