Archive | March 2018

Wa-Loli for 1/4 BJD and 16″ Fashion Dolls

Slim MSD Wa-Loli kimono

You probably expected this after last week.  Ahh… I spent so many, many hours making ruffles this week!  So many.  Ruffles everywhere.

Anyway, this week’s pattern is Wa-Loli, but for 1/4 scale dolls!

Yay!  And there’s a weird thing about Wa-Loli.  See, most patterns, when they go up a size, don’t change much.  A couple more seams, a couple more darts to make something fit better.  I think it has to do with the way kimono are fitted, using a straight torso: in PS size, you have to work to reduce bulk around the waist otherwise you end up with a doll that looks like a rolled up napkin with a holder around the middle.  At M girl size the bust:hip:waist ratio goes all whacky and you have to reduce hip mass while adding waist bulk.  At 1/4 scale, some dolls have waists whole inches smaller than their busts/hips, and multiple bust sizes. 

Fortunately, it’s also the size that layering goes from “fake it whenever possible” to “a good idea sometimes.”  This pattern takes advantage of layering through the torso and skirt to provide support and smooth the torso over as a base for the outer dress and obi to make them less curve-hugging.  It’s not that simple, there are a few more tricks involved, but that’s the essentials.  Just because you make something bigger doesn’t mean it works bigger!  Rules change for different things at different rates.  Physics.

That’s why I only recommend enlarging patterns up to 50% larger or up to 30% smaller without having to change sizes even if the measurements are roughly proportionate, and why I haven’t made flowy, maxi dresses for regular 10″ dolls when I have made them for the giant 17″ dolls.  Sure, you could shrink them down, but it wouldn’t look right. 

And that’s why I spend all week testing these things out behind the scenes so you don’t have to!  Enjoy 🙂

Wa-Loli for Medium 11.5″ Fashion Dolls (including tall, classic, curvy, petite, strong)

I hate ruffling. Not ruffles, ruffling. The act of making ruffles.

See, it’s terribly boring and repetitive. Press. Gather. Press. Gather. I entertained my friend’s kid by letting her pull the string on some ruffle, and she was impressed…the first time. But that’s ruffle for you. It’s not the ruffle that’s interesting, it’s what you DO with the ruffle that makes OTHER things interesting!

I’ve been doing a lot of ruffles in patterns recently, and I’m kind of sick of it. So this week, when it came time to pick between a ruffled pattern and a ruffled pattern, I went with Wa-Loli because I have some really cool fabric that I haven’t used yet that is perfect for wa-loli. Whatever works!

Wa-loli for medium dolls up in the Etsy shop

And even with this one I cheated by using some lace!  Well, not really cheated.  I had a very good reason for using lace trim, which is I was trying to get the kimono sleeves to drape naturally.  I’ve only ever done this pattern on Monster High before, and they are almost as tall as these dolls but they’re like 3D representations of those twig-legged fashion illustrations.  Barbies are a lot thicker all over, so a lot more fabric is used which makes them bulkier, which makes them stiffer and not drape so delicately. 

Lace works pretty good, especially if you use it with real ruffle.  It adds the delicate touches of layering without adding a lot of the bulk of layering. I think if I redid this again, I’d do the lace on the sleeves so that it juuuust peeked past the hem.

Here’s an example of a fully lined/ruffled kimono and the lightly lined/ruffled kimono:

More wa-loli styles, more dolls

I added some other tweaks to reduce bulk, but it is definitely stiffer.  The doll can’t assume as many poses in the super ruffled/layered dress that look natural.  So if you’re sewing for a Made-to-move bodied doll and want her to kneel delicately with her hands clasped in front of her at a little table set out with tea service in a diorama, you might want to go for lace+ruffle instead of ruffle on ruffle.  If your doll is a 5-point articulated fashionista or just standing on a shelf?  Won’t matter. 

If you’ve already sewn the PS size and pick up this pattern, DEFINITELY READ THE INSTRUCTIONS!  Like I said, I used some tricks to reduce bulk because there’s a huuuuuge difference between 8″ of ruffled fabric and 18″ of ruffled fabric wrapped around the waist of a dolls with only 1″ difference in height!  The PS pattern was also adapted from a friend’s design, but Keely never did that style for this size doll so PS size is made with her style and M is made with my style.  The end result looks similar, but how you get there is a bit different.

Curvy 1/3 Galaxy Gown

Curvy 1/3 Galaxy Gowns

This week’s pattern is “Galaxy Gowns” for 1/3 scale! 

…but didn’t I do this size the week before last? 

Yes, yes.  See, when weeks go smoothly, I work on extra patterns to have in reserve for when things don’t go quite so smoothly.  Coming into the holiday season I had 3 extra patterns saved up in anticipation of holiday stuff in various sizes so that I could slip them into the rotation seamlessly as needed.  Currently I just have one pattern in reserve, this one, so it’s a little more obvious when I sneak it in.  Since 1/3 is the size everyone has been asking for more of, I figure more people will be going “YAY EXTRA 1/3 pattern!” than “Boo, Barbie pattern 1 week delay!”  Either way, March is a 5-friday month so I’d have an extra alt size pattern this month anyway 🙂

OK, back to Galaxy Gowns—  Recently Dollfie Dream has announced a Sailor Moon doll which is absolutely adorbs.  But Sailor Moon has a HUUUUUUGE cast and even if they do the main girls, that would be a lot of dolls.  The chance of them doing a human version of Luna, who is a main character but only appears in human form in a few panels?  Pretty slim!  She also a dress, which is designed in a way that it could be very easily used for non-cosplay styles.

Essentially this is a sweeheart bustline bodice with narrow straps, a hi-low layered tulle skirt and hip flounce.  Skip the tulle skirt and sew it in a summery print and you get an awesome handkerchief skirted summer dress!  Skip the hip flounce and you have a timeless full length dress style that repeatedly cycles through formal dresses, prom dresses, and wedding gowns.   Super versatile, not very hard to sew.  The best kind of pattern!


Mori Girl Fashion for PS size!

“Mori Fashion” is the newest pattern in the shop!

It’s a fashion genre of Japanese origin that combines things that are hardest to do in miniature: draping and layering.  It’s really cute, “forest girl” which is like vintage x boho done in neutral earthy tones and small scale floral prints.  Google Image “Mori Girl” if you’re not familiar with it. Here it is in doll size:

Mori Girl Doll clothes pattern

I’ve gotten a few requests for this one, but it’s one of those styles I’ve let simmer on the back-brain-burner for a while.  I don’t know how many other people are like this, but there are some problems I can’t figure out directly.  Give them 100% of my attention is less effective than letting it sit in the periphery for a couple of days or weeks or even months.  Eventually, I’ll have that “AHA” moment and I’ll be ready to go.  It’s like when you wake up with a snappy comeback for a conversation that’s been over for days (or  years), but slightly more useful 🙂

For mori fashion, the trick is not so much the pattern–which is pretty basic–as much as the instructions on how to fake the draping and which parts could support real layering vs fake layering.  There’s a lot of real layering in this pattern!  So much that I thought it would be a good idea to take a picture of the clothes off the dolls to show the bits that are covered up when they’re dressed:

Mori style dresses

Nice! If you ever find yourself at some point sewing this, thinking “would that be too much ruffles/lace?” the answer is no. Heck, I’m writing this, looking at the picture, thinking “hmm, I should have added more white lace above the green ruffle at the bottom of the dress.”

This is also a pattern that works really well with other patterns.  Like the peasant blouses from the 70s Hippy pattern, the blouse from High Fashion, or the gypsy skirt from the EGL dress pattern.  I also tried sticking the white skirt under the Vintage/Lolita outfit I have on Ashlynn, and it both supported her skirt structurally and the extra lace at the bottom really made it pop!

Mori & other clothes

That’s all for this week!  Remember, the theme for March’s Challenge is GREEN, and that’s a core color for mori girls  😉

Qi-Loli for Curvy 1/3

Qi Loli for Curvy 1/3 dolls!

This week’s pattern is another sponsored pattern!  And a good thing too, because while I love this style I wouldn’t have chosen to do it in 1/3 size for a while yet because of the complexity.  At 6 pages of pattern pieces, it took a LONG time to draft ^^;

I also tried something new with this one!  Previously when I had to break up a pattern piece to fit on a page, I cut up the pattern and traced the parts out separately.  This time, I used pages big enough to fit the whole pattern piece and broke it up digitally on my computer.  It took a bit longer, but I think doing that will make it much easier to assemble the pattern pieces before cutting out fabric. 

Check it out and enjoy I really look forward to seeing what other folks make with this one, it’s just so cute <3


This entry was posted on March 2, 2018, in BJDs, Patterns.