(In what should be a surprise to absolutely no one)
Ok, this week’s pattern is Kimono for curvy 1/3 dolls like Smart Doll, Dollfie Dream, and those more mature proportioned 1/3 BJDs like Fairyland’s F60 and Volks SDGR. After all that fabric shopping I did, I ended up using the only uncut 1-yard of kimono fabric I got back in like 2006. Why didn’t I just use that to begin with? Er. It isn’t really that color. It’s a blue-green-cream pattern with pink flowers that doesn’t really suit any of the 1/3 dolls I have. Thus the color swapping on the demo dolls to make it match them ^^;
Mirai (red) wears the kimono curvy style. She is padded out slightly, but the obi is fit to the underbust/top of the hips instead of bust/full hips. This gives her the busty, curve-hugging look of some anime girls in kimono. I thought it was important to be able to achieve that look because it’s about 50-50 curvy/classic when an anime girl sports a kimono and a lot of these dolls are anime styled.
Melty (purple) wears the kimono classic style. She is shorter, so the kimono is folded around the waist the same way a kimono would be shortened on a human, and padded out a little more so that the obi makes a smooth line from bust to hip. This is a traditional fit, and despite being every bit as busty as Mirai under that fabric, she achieves the slender, graceful classic kimono silhouette.
The difference comes to how you dress them, and don’t worry, the pattern comes with illustrated instructions on how to get just the right fit for either style on your doll along with regular sewing instructions!
I’m very proud of this one! Any curvy girl will tell you how hard it is for the busty to pull off styles designed for straight silhouettes, and these dolls can’t be squished down with a sports bra or kimono bra like a human girl would to don a kimono! It has hidden darts to help the fabric lie smoothly over the bust without interrupting the print, tailoring through the back and sides so that when the obi is put on, the fabric doesn’t bunch up. Some things are removed, other things added. It’s a great example of dolly sewing, in which a finished look is achieved by different means due to dolly proportions and miniaturization 🙂
Why am I suddenly kimono crazy with the recent wa-loli patterns and going to a kimono shop in NYC?
‘cuz I’m going to Japan! I’ve got a whole folder of doll-and-fabric shopping tips set up and I’m super, super excited.
So help me get even more excited with this month’s challenge: Kimono!
If you post an outfit you made using a pattern from the shop in the Facebook group this month, there will be the standard pattern-winning-raffle but ALSO the kimono I like the most will win the maker my personal fabric shopping service while I’m in Tokyo and Kyoto. I like to tailor my prizes to something that will be useful to the prize winner, so depending on the doll size preference the prize will be fat quarters or yards (about the same amount of fabric in total either way) in the color/style preference of the winner (traditional, kawaii prints, etc). The only thing the winner will have to pay for is shipping the fabric to her/im after I get back to the US!
And remember–there are LOTS of different kind of kimono, and you don’t have to go traditional! You can make a lolita style frilly kimono with the wa-loli pattern or make a steampunky kimono using unusual fabrics and decoration. As long as it’s recognizably some kind of kimono, it counts! So have fun, and I look forward to seeing every single entry 🙂
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 🙂
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!
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