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October 2014
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Summer Sewing Contest Voting!

OK! Votin’ time. All of the entries are together in this album. You should go look! Each entry includes a list of which patterns were used.

Oo-ed and Ah-ed? Great! Now’s the hard part! Vote for your TOP 3 FAVORITES. That means you can vote for yourself, but also vote for two other people too! Here for a friend? Vote for 2 non-friends too! Voting lasts for a week. At the end of the week, I pick the winner from the top 3, who designs the next pattern I make. Then the top 3 all receive free copies of that pattern :)

Favorite Summer Sewing Entries (pick 3!)

View Results

Dalicious Round 1

Dalicious Round 1: Magic
Dalicious Round 1: Magic

I’ve participated in previous Dalicious contests before. Princessa won the year she entered, and Pajelle/Rex took 2nd in the year she entered. I figured I had to enter Princessa because…well because she wouldn’t let me enter another dal, and she’d kill me if I dropped out half way through.

When it comes to Princessa and magic, I don’t really have much choice, since I already made her proclivities known in this picture from a previous Dalicious contest.

The base of this picture was a lightbox, which gives her a lovely under-lit spooky feel. I used a black sheet of paper with a circle cut out to let the light through below her, but in early pictures the light washed out the candles (which I made with sculpey just for this shoot) so I slipped a white sheet of paper in between the black paper and the light box. The blood stripe across her cheeks is tape cut to shape :)

Lita Lindorm Completed!

Lita Lindorm

Lita LindormLita Lindorm

Lita Lindorm is a background character from Ever After High. She’s based on one of the people who works on the show, who explained that her fairytale is the King of Lindorm because she’s a lolita, and in the fairytale the girl wears layers and layers of shirts (if you didn’t know, layering clothes is a thing in lolita fashions) so I picked Lita Lindorm as the name.

This is the first of the 3 backgrounders I’ve been making with Ravie to be completed, and she is now on Etsy :)

Cabaret Pattern Pack now on Etsy

Cabaret Pattern Pack

Cabaret Pattern Pack now on Etsy!

This one was a tough one to put together, but should be surprisingly easy to make. I would recommend the bra/panty/garter/stocking pattern for anyone, because it involves very little sewing. If you use fabric glue or a non-fray fabric, it would involve almost no sewing to put together the lingerie set. The jacket is a little tricky, and the skirt can be as simple or complex as you want.

New pattern: Tiny BJD Kigurumi

Tiny BJD Kigurumi pattern up!

Autumn is coming, and you know what that means? Kigurumi season! I’m a sucker for Kigurumi. They’re just so adorable, especially on dolls <3 This time the subject of my Kigurumi pattern is tiny BJDs. Previously the pattern pieces had to be huge for the bigger dolls, but when I revamped it to a smaller size I was able to simplify the pattern and eliminate some seams for easier sewing in miniature.

Anyhoo, the pattern is here for those interested.

Note: PukiPuki, PukiFee, and LittleFee all have essentially the same shape, but not the same size. If you want to adapt one of my Tiny BJD patterns to a pukipuki or similar sized doll, try shrinking the pattern to 70% and hand-sew (or machine sew if you’re really, really good at sewing tiny things on a machine!) For LittleFee sized dolls, enlarge the pattern to 157% and machine-sew away!

Testing Valspar Plastics Paint

Valspar Plastic Spray Paint Cocoa Bean

Valspar Plastic Spray Paint Cocoa Bean

Here’s the new paint I’m testing: Valspar plastics spraypaint in Cocoa Bean. There aren’t many spray paint colors that can pass for skin tones.  The dark brown is Krylon Espresso.  Several brands have a close equivalent in color to that, but this is the only mid-toned brown I’ve found. (Krylon Brown Boots is a very orangey brown)

UNFORTUNATELY, so far the Valspar doesn’t seem to be as plastic friendly as it advertised.  On the label in small letters it says it’s ‘for rigid plastics’ and the ingredients include Acetone, which I believe Fusion doesn’t have.  It is the/one of the chemicals attributed to why spray paint turns dolls into a sticky mess–which this head is, several hours after it should have been dry.  But it’s OK, I have some other tricks I can try

Repurposing Shoes

I’m almost done with Lita Lindorm, the pink/purple backgrounder from Ever After High. I pretty much had the outfit complete, but I needed to make her accessories. Fortunately, since she’s a backgrounder she has a lot of re-purposed bits from other characters that were released that I could use: Her head bow (Blondie’s bow, carved and painted), her bracelet and ring (Apple’s, repaninted) and her shoes…

Shoe customization project Yep!  I did manage to find a screencapture of her shoes.  I found screencaptures of all the character’s shoes and jewelry.  Because I’m just that f*cking crazy.

I also went through catalogs of all the shoe molds released, as well as TaoBao pictures of shoes not yet released.  Nothing existed in the basic high heel with a single bow ankle strap.  Kind of surprising given how simple the style is, I sort of figured Draculaura would have a pair like this.

Shoe Customization project

Here was my solution:  Apple’s shoes, stripped down of all apple bits and the lower two bow straps.  The above is how my shoes looked after I finished cutting off all the excess.  After that I sanded them down, and after THAT I painted them.

Shoe Customization project

End result: Doesn’t look too much like the original shoe.  DOES look a lot like the animation shoe.  I am pleased.

(And yes, expect final pics of the finished doll sometime this weekend when she gets her photo shoot)

If at first you don’t succeed? Try something else.

After the dye failed...

Alrighty, I’ve already chronicled my adventures in dyeing a doll body; all it did was dye the joints, after two hours in a hot dye bath. However, the joints are the one part that are REALLY HARD if not impossible to paint without chipping, so all I had to do was paint the rest of the doll to match the joints and I’d be good to go.

Vinyl paint is what you want to look for with dolls. You can use acrylics/airbrush, but it doesn’t adhere quite as well, and you’ll still get chips with vinyl paint, just not nearly as many. The other thing with vinyl paint, which is a spraypaint, is that you must go VERY SLOWLY. I cannot stress that enough. The #1 error with spraypainting is a heavy spray finger. Then the paint gets all thick and pools into details and you end up with a doll that looks like it melted. It didn’t, it just has caked-on paint.

How slowly is slowly? 4 coats for the head, spaced 30 minutes apart. The body was done gradually over 5-6 hours. The first two coats should not even cover all of what you are spraying, it should be a light mist. EVERY coat should be a light mist, but you don’t want to see any opacity until coat 3-4. When dealing with all the nooks and crannies of the body, more coats to get all the angles. It takes a long time, but I also have a nice THIN coat of paint everywhere, and that means the paint job will be that much harder to chip from regular posing. Quality takes time.

So what’s next?
I have to figure out what to do with her! My original plan was for a nice medium brown skintone to do one of the other background characters. That didn’t work so well, so her fate is currently ‘unassigned’. I’m happy to take suggestions! I would LOVE to have representation from a non-euro fairytale, but the only non-euro fairytales I’m really familiar with are 1001 Nights. Euro fairytales are OK too, but it would have to be a currently un-assigned character (my backup is to make my flipped version of Snow White). And it has to be a fairytale/folk tale, NOT a god from greek/other mythology.

How to dye an Ever After High doll

I found a couple of clearance Ravens at Justice and bought them to experiment on.  There isn’t a lot of info about doll bodies and Dye, probably because Barbies with rubbery click-legs do not dye well.  However, EAH dolls are all articulated, no rubbery bits!

Dye-ing experiments

Read more »

Hats pattern pack?

One of my Etsy reviews had one star off for not having a hat in the frock coat pattern pack (I do read them!  Feedback is important, it’s how I get better).  I did want to have a hat pattern in there, the problem is hat patterns take up a LOT of space because of the big honkin’ heads.  Not nearly so big as a Pullip, but when a hat brim can spread out 4″ in all direction on a single sheet (and doesn’t even include the hat dome) an add-on ends up taking up almost half the pattern space.

I like hats.  I have several, from fun winter hats to big floppy sun-blocking summer hats.  However, making hats?  Not that much experience.  But that just means I’ll have to learn!

Here’s the problem with hats that I see: EAH dolls all have the same general head size/shape.  MH dolls do not, plus the various horns/ears thing.  I think I could fix this by having all basic hats be one size fits all (fitted to EAH, slightly loose on MH, but with the variety in head size/shapes that is more a plus than a negative)  and instructions on how to measure and make ear/horn holes.

Does this interest anyone?  If so, what kind of hats do YOU want?