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NYC Fabric shopping spree!

My birthday is this week, so we did something I’ve been wanting to do for a while: raid the fabric shops of Manhattan’s Garment District!

Like many cities, NYC has a lot of neighborhoods with distinct specialties.  A little bit south of Times Square is the Garment District, where most of the fashion industry is located.  Not ALL of it, but quite a lot so the stores in the area cater to it.  TONS of massive fabric bazaar type stores where you basically have a room filled with rolls of fabric, like so:

Another place

I’ve been really hankering for some interesting fabrics.  Interesting textures, colors, etc.  Most of the ones I have I’ve already used, and while I like the “Cosplay by Yaya” fabrics that have been showing up at Joannes, I’ve noticed that they are replacing some of the weirder selections that I used to find.  I like weird sh*t. I find it inspiring. 

Also, I’ve been searching every damn fabric store across three states as well as the internet to get my hands on some brown vinyl/pleather.  You’d think that would be easy to find, with all the steampunk fashion out there, but nope!  All the brown stuff is fake suede, or weathered leather.  I want nice, supple, brown calfskin type fake leather.  I figured if there was ONE place I’d find it, it would be NYC.  And I did, but only after like, the 8th store. 

The other awesome thing to be easily found in the garment district and not so much anywhere else, is TRIM!

Whole stores dedicated to trim

so much trim

Ok, sure, you can actually find tons of trim in any fabric store.  But how much of that trim is doll-scale friendly?  Not so much! WHOLE STORES with nothing but spools of trim.  Ribbon, lace, cord.  OMG.  I came out of this store with a very small bag, but it was a very small bag full of yard and yards and yards of tiny goodness!

The drawback is that most of the fabrics in these stores, while great for runway haute couture and wedding gowns…not so great for casuals, or doll clothes.  But that’s OK, I still found a few gems, and I look forward to using them in upcoming designs.   And if I need more… I can always go back 😉

If you want to see more fabric store pics, I uploaded a whole bunch into a Flickr Album

Hascon 2017 (Part 1)

I took a crapton of photos, so I’ll be splitting this up into a few posts!

Hascon 2017

I was pretty excited about HASCON.  I’m not a big con person, but I liked the idea of this because if Hasbro has its own convention, giving each of its properties space, then in theory, they each have a lot more creativity than if they were all crammed into a Hasbro booth at another convention like SDCC.  And they totally did.  My favorite part by far was the Marvel Legends booth, where they had some gorgeous resin 3D printers going live as they printed up stuff on them.  The resin printers look like something out of an 80s evil scientist B horror movie, with beds of liquid resin being constantly swished around figures that are slowly emerging from the gooey depths.  I <3 them.  But more about that later! Continue reading

This entry was posted on September 9, 2017, in IRL.

A mini rant

You may have seen my post from last week about customizing a Halo figure.  I’m probably going to do a couple more.  Why?

WTF.

So before I picked out the figure I wanted to customize, I read a bunch of reviews and looked at a lot of pictures about sizes, poseability, etc.  As a customizer, I’m a whore for articulation.  The little blue guy is from the first line of Halo 3 figures back in 2009, the green one is from the 10th anniversary  Halo 2 sculpt later on.  The blue guy isn’t supposed to be as good quality, and has less advanced articulation, like a swivel toe joint instead of a ball joint in the toe.  He’s still able to stand on one leg while holding the other guy’s head in one hand up in the air.  He’s only 5″ tall!

2009.  MSRP $12

It took over 10 years for US toy makers to realize “oh, girls like to be able to pose their dolls too” after the Japanese poseable dolls became so popular over here, and while I love my articulated Monster High dolls, they’ve got nothing on this.  The new Made To Move Barbie?  She can get into some of the same poses, but she isn’t balanced enough to stand on her own. The new DC Super Hero Girls can stand on their own with the aid of big, flat feet and bigger, flatter shoes, but aren’t nearly this poseable, either. It’s not a matter of “the technology wasn’t available,’ or ‘this kind of articulation won’t stand up to play,’ either.  Bullshit.

GI Joes?  Forget the ones from the 80s, I mean the original ones from the 60s-70s: Exactly the same size as a Ken doll, but instead of 5 meager points of articulation, they also had ball hips, ball necks, knee, ankle, waist, swivel biceps, elbow, and wrist articulation.  They also came with fully removable clothes and different outfits and accessories… that’s right, just the same as a Barbie doll.  They’re all dolls.  I don’t care if you call one an action figure to make it OK for boys to like them without spontaneously turning gay, they are all dolls.

Let’s put it this way: The new super articulated giant 18″ Monster High dolls are less articulated than a 12″ GI Joe from the 1960s. It’s 2016.  Studies have shown that boys are encouraged to interact with and explore their surroundings through their toys from infancy.  Girl toys do the opposite. Girl toys have come a long way, but they still have a LOT of catching up to do, and a hell of a lot further to go before ‘equal’.

Trying out Craftsy

I’ve been pretty happy on Etsy, but I think it’s time to try out Craftsy, which is very pattern oriented.  I’ve been wanting to do this for a while, but with all the moving, etc, I haven’t been able to get ahead enough on patterns to try bigger projects like this.

I finished up this week’s pattern a bit early, so I’m taking the time to start adding stuff to Craftsy.  You can check out the shop as it grows HERE.

I think Craftsy gives you free credit when you sign up, so you may get some free patterns out of it.  I don’t really know their system well enough yet for all the details.

Pro:  It will let me host free patterns.  Sweet!  You know, like that one I have but everyone forgets about 😛

Con: Craftsy does not seem to be setup to let you do Pattern Subscriptions or Multi-Packs (without using .zip files, which is difficult for iOS users to access, so I don’t use that format) so those will be on Etsy exclusively for now.

This entry was posted on April 6, 2016, in IRL and tagged .

Hello, 2016!

Happy New Year! I hope everyone had good holidays 🙂

I like to use the new year to set up goals.  Not really resolutions.  Resolutions I think are more like “things I have to do or I will be a failure.”  Goals are like, “things I probably won’t be able to do, but am going to try my damndest and if I hit even a couple of them I’m going to be so excited.”

The other thing I do is strategize.  This is figuring out what I want to do and where I want to be in the next year, figure out what I need to do to get there from here, and put together a plan. Some of these things are for goals, but mostly it’s smaller things, like finish setting up my office at the new house or trying something new that I think will work better/be easier than something I did before.

Example: the first thing I wanted to do this year was make new pattern packs.    Great! Let’s just whip up some combos and put them on Etsy.  Not so fast girl, you need a new cover graphic for each one.  Better get on the photoshop.  Also need to add pictures to the patterns in the combos if they don’t have them already so people don’t get confused.  You know what?  While we’re at it, why don’t we revise ALL the patterns in the shop that don’t have them.  Ok, that’ll be around…40 patterns.  Might take a while.  Oh right, and those patterns I lost the original files for during last year’s computer crash…gonna need to reverse-engineer those from the PDFs.

At this point, a fun mix up is starting to look like a really scary chore that is going to take a long time and be super tedious. To make things easier, I figured out that I was going to do all those things, but I was only going to do them one pattern pack at a time. Try and get through one a day, while working on other things in between because I know how tedious all of the above is going to be.  In short: I figured out exactly what I needed to do for my task, and then broke it down into manageable bits.  Here’s the results so far:

Tops of 2013! Tops of 2014! Tops of 2015!

I love how they look all lined up like that <3  Definitely an improvement in the graphics over last year’s combos! These ones are the top selling regular and 1.5 sized patterns in that year that weren’t top sellers in previous years. I hope this will be a good way for people to get combos that are useful to them, and to highlight my best patterns!

The “Best Of” packs will be stable long-term patterns while the themed ones will be the ones I redo every year to keep things exciting!  Some of the themes this year will be Backgrounders (pattern packs using designs from background characters in EAH) & Otaku (Japanese culture themed pack).  I’m hoping to have all the new packs up by the end of the week, though as the year goes along I’ll probably add new packs (like when I get around to finishing the 50s and 80s fashion packs I’ll be able to do a Decades of Fashion pack!)

This entry was posted on January 3, 2016, in IRL.