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Dolly Jackets!

Recently I asked people what kind of patterns they’d like to see on the Facebook page.  There were a lot of requests for jackets (and for 1/3 dolls, which is why I did that size last week), so I tried to see what I could do to accommodate!  As an unexpected result, I ended up with TWO patterns for this week:

Pour Femmes

Pour Hommes

OMG!  A BOY PATTERN?!

I know, I said I wasn’t doing those anymore.  However, I never said I wasn’t doing unisex patterns anymore!  When I started out this pattern, I thought I’d be able to do that: Back when I did the Letter Jacket/Hoodie pattern, it worked equally well on guys and gals.  But that was using stretchy jersey fabric to make clothes that aren’t supposed to look especially tailored.  The boy patterns technically fit the girls (not quite so well vice versa), but they don’t look right.   If I wanted to make a bunch of jacket patterns that really looked good on boys and girls, I’d have to make pattern sets for boys and girls.  I didn’t realize this until Thursday morning or so, which suddenly tacked on an extra day or so of work late in the week, which is why instead of publishing on Friday morning like usual, I pulled about 12 hours on Thursday, Friday morning, and then published mid Friday.

(And a couple of extra hours setting up this shot.  I couldn’t help myself)

Zombie Shake

So you can pick that up along with the Girl Jacket pattern in the shop!  It comes in 3 different styles with 2 different lengths.  Enjoy 🙂

New design in PS Size: Meido

Meido aka Maid Cafe type Lolita uniforms

This week’s pattern is one I’ve been wanting to do, but also kind of avoiding doing for a while!  Lemme explain:

I love black and white combos.  I have to actively add color into my own wardrobe because if you present me with two dresses, one being black and white and one being color, I will almost always go for the black and white one.  I don’t know why, I just do.  I LOVE color and brightly colored things, but there’s something about black and white combos that seems so perfect.  Black by itself is boring, and white by itself is boring, but together? Perfection!  So obviously I have a thing for any kind of dress, suit, or uniform that takes advantage of this combo.  At the top of that list is the iconic, often-reinvented, classical European maid uniform!

So that’s the part about where I love it.  Here’s the part where I hate it: do a search for ‘maid outfit’ and you’re going to get results that are 98% either lingerie or sluttified Halloween costumes.  Not really the kind of thing I’m into making patterns for.

BUT I’ve been watching some anime lately, and it’s reminded me of the Japanese meido obsession which has more of a focus on cute than sleazy.  It’s like Maid x Lolita style.  In fact, structurally this is essentially a classic lolita dress pattern with a lacy underskirt, ruffled dress with poofy sleeves, and blousey/pinafore layering options.  Do it up in pastels prints and you’ll have a knockoff sweet lolita Baby the Starts Shine Bright type fashion! 

Another fun thing about the Meido pattern is that you can absolutely swap around pieces with patterns like High Fashion (sew the dress with a ruffled collar, high sleeves, and use the wide waistband instead of the narrow one for the pinafore, for example) or pop the pinafore over the Wa Loli or Qi Loli dresses for instant traditional Japanese or Chinese x maid styles (also totally a thing!).  And of course, you can use the lacy, layering-friendly bodices from the Drndl pattern under the dress instead of a blouse top, or swap pinafores with the Looking Glass Lolita pattern for a slightly more ruffly Alice type lolita dress. 

 

Check it out in the shop and enjoy! 

 

Qi-Loli Dress Pattern for PS Dolls

I am super psyched over this week’s pattern!  It’s one I’ve been working on for a while:

PS Qi Lolita pattern now available!

(Link to shop listing)

The fun thing about Lolita style is it’s like fashion ad-lib.  Country western Lolita?  Sure, that’s a thing.  Military lolita? Huge thing.  Punk lolita?  Of course. You even had to ask?  Pretty much everything in the world can be lolita-fied with lots of ruffles and a big poofy skirt.

Qi-loli style is like traditional Chinese wear x Lolita.  It isn’t quite as popular as Wa-loli (traditional Japanese wear x Lolita), probably because Loli fashion is such a huge thing in Japan and it’s where most of the big Loli designers are.  But that’s not a bad thing!  Since it isn’t as mainstream a style, there’s a ton more diversity in the styles that could be considered Qi-loli.  I kind of felt like Goldilocks trying to figure out what my final design would look like and being like “Nah, too frumpy” or “Dude, that’s just a regular Lolita dress with a cute Mandarin-collared jacket” or “I love it, but it doesn’t really look loli to me.  Not enough layers.”  I really liked these and this one, but without the fabric choices and decoration, I think they would have looked like regular cute lolita dresses.  Since small-scale Chinese prints are *SO* hard to find, I really wanted a dress that would still look Qi-loli even if it was made with plain solids, or not with Chinese prints at all. 

It took a while and a lot of experimentation, but my final design incorporates almost all of my favorite aspects of the different styles and makes them look elegant and properly-to-scale on a tiny doll. I couldn’t be happier!  I hope you all love it as much as I do 😀

 

PS Convertable Mini Dresses

PS Mini Dresses

When I was a kid, I wanted a Barbie that had a dress that was made up of pieces that according to the commercials and the box, said you could rearrange to get over 100 different looks.  I got her, and then spent a very frustrated afternoon trying to figure out all the different ways.  I think I hit 18, and that was by getting frustrated and doing desperate things by turning her tutu (which could also slide down to her ankles and turn her cocktail dress into a mermaid dress) into a scrunchie for her hair and counting that as another look even though the only way it looked was utterly ridiculous.

It was one of those things that stuck with me as liking the idea of, but not so much the execution–at least in that circumstance!  Can you get over 100 different looks with this pattern?  No.  You can get 5 different ways to finish the bustline (which can be combined in different ways) as well as 3 detachable skirts to layer or leave off the basic dress.  I’m sure I could work the math to come up with a ridiculous yet correct number, but let’s just leave it at “many.”  Enough to satisfy inner or actual children 😉

This is also a VERY EASY pattern!  You can sew up the basic dress in 15 minutes or less on a machine.  No fiddly sleeves or collars, nice machine-friendly quilting cotton.  So, y’know: check it out in the shop, and if you get it before the end of the month, maybe win a demo dress 🙂

New pattern! Salwar Kameez and Angarkha

Salwar & Angarkha pattern

This week’s pattern is Salwar Kameez and Angarkha.  This is kind of tricky because Salwar is also spelled Shalwar and Angarkha is also spelled Angrakha.  I went with the spelling that google auto corrected the alternate spelling to ^^; 

ANYHOO, if you’ve been following me even a little, you probably know that I’m as big a fan of sampling different cultures’ fashions as much as I am of sampling their cooking 🙂  And, while the saying ‘fashion is cyclical’ is true, fashion also diffuses across cultures just like any other idea (or recipe!).  Like tempura!  Most of us think of tempura as a totally Japanese thing, but until fairly recently it was considered foreign cooking (in Japan) because frying is a technique they imported from Euro cuisine.  And don’t get me started on tomatoes (a new world crop) in Italian cooking!  Tracing shapes and fabrics in sewing is like following ingredients in cooking: you’ll be surprised where the history takes you!

This fashion pack is to highlight some of the clothes from the Indian subcontinent.  With a lot of Asian cultures, you can trace back the national costumes to various periods in China’s history (ex. the Korean hanbok and Japanese kimono). Over time, they gradually diverge and become their own distinct thing.  Because of geography, the Indian subcontinent has not had as much cross-cultural contamination so it’s a little more unique.

Now, when you think about India, you’re probably imagining the sari. While the sari is pretty gorgeous, it’s more draped than tailored, which would make it very hard for most people to manage in miniature.  It also hasn’t really caught on, globally.  But there are other clothes that have!  India is HUGE, and even bigger before British colonialization subdivided the area.  There’s a ton local diversity.

The salwar suit originated as a unisex garment in the Punjabi region of India and is big in western India/Pakistan.  It consists of the salwar (bloomers) and kameez (tunic).  The traditional bloomers are tight at the ankle and loos around the hips, which doesn’t work so well for layering doll clothes.  Fortunately, most modern gals prefer churidar, which are like extra long skinny jeans that bunch up at the calves like leggings and work way better on dolls.  (Actually, most of the local girls I see wearing this *have* swapped out for spandex leggings or skinny jeans. )

Angarkha is more like a wrap dress.  You really should google image search it because it’s one of those fluttery things that you can’t quite do justice to in miniature.  The skirt is composed of a ton of sewn together darts instead of gathered fabric to make the skirt flow out, and is covered in ornate decoration.  SO pretty <3 Instead of in the west, you’ll find in more in the north: Pakistan, India, Nepal, and Bangladesh (and, as it’s geographically closer, it’s a little more obviously related to Chinese fashion). 

So how do these fashions show up globally?  Easy!  Forget the fabric, and look at the basic structure: a tunic and leggings.  A wrap dress and leggings.  I’ve gotten tons of requests for these fashions over the past year, and I’ve seen them every time I go to the mall.  They’re made with different fabric combinations and called ‘boho chic’ but structurally, they’re pretty much the same thing.  Hippy/Boho fashion has been borrowing these styles since the 60s.  We’ve been wearing them and adapting them so long we forgot that they came from somewhere else, just like tempura and tomatoes!

/end fashion history lesson

A note for next week: I’m having the carpet replaced in my office, so everything has to go (and then everything has to be brought back and put away…) so I’ll be checking most of my emails and Etsy messages on my phone.  A pattern will be released like normal (I already finished it except for the written instructions!), I just will be a tad slower in responding to messages because I’ll be typing them on my phone. 

Have an awesome weekend everyone!