Sunday, November 7, 2010

This and That

Balljointed Woman has been somewhat remiss in updating her blog lately.  Outside events keep getting in the way of sewing and photography, without which Balljointed Woman has no blog.  So, today has been designated as catch-up day.

You are no doubt wondering what happened to the jacket and hats that I promised McKenna (U-noa Lusis ) to go with her jodhpurs.  I finally finished the jacket, although not without some toil and strife.  The pattern, which comes from Her Delicate Strength, was published in the February 2009 issue of Haute Doll.  Let me admit from the outset that any difficulties I had with this pattern are due to the fabric I selected.  The pattern recommends "lightweight stretch denim or a stretch cotton poplin."  I dutifully bought a stretch cotton poplin.  Did I use it?  No.  I had a stretch cotton suedecloth on hand that I thought would work up like a dream. 

My sewing maching thought otherwise.  It delivered one straight seam without fuss or argument -- and then proceeded to chew up the fabric.  Fine, I thought.  If that's the way you want to be about it, I'll sew the jacket by hand.  And so I did.  It took forever.  On the plus side, I ripped out only one seam, and only because it didn't measure up to my expectations.  This garment calls for a lot of topstitching.  I know my stitches are not small enough, but I could barely see the dark brown thread against the dark brown fabric.  I am still not sure if I positioned the lining pieces correctly.  There seemed to be excess fabric in a couple of spots.  I didn't know what to do with it, so I turned it under.  Out of sight, out of mind.

I also know my seams were within the 3/8 inch allowance, but somehow the end result came up short.  And tight.  The stretch in the fabric is supposed to allow it to fit both versions of U-noa:  the large bust and the small.  Perhaps it is not also meant to fit over a tee shirt.  As you can see from the photos, I did not even bother to place the snaps because the jacket does not close over McKenna's chest.  I need to try it on Chloe (my small bust U-noa Sist).  I am even toying with the idea of shortening the sleeves so that Fiona (U-noa Chibi Lilin) can wear it, although the shoulders might be too wide for her.

McKenna insisted on modeling it, even though I haven't started her aviator cap and goggles (we were going for an Amelia Earhart look) or an alternative newsboy cap.  That's a project for another day.  I feel guilty attempting it now when there are other dolls waiting for clothing.

Poor Marguerite, my Rosette School of Dolls girl, has been wearing her factory-issue dress ever since her arrival.  That's not entirely my fault.  She is an odd size and no one seems to be publishing patterns for her.  Even Soom, which produces the Rosette dolls, offers very little in the way of extra clothing for them.  The matter is further complicated by the fact that the Rosette girls are offered in two body types:  girl and lady.  Of the six dolls in the series, only two have the lady body.  Marguerite is one; Fir is the other.

I did make one discovery when trying various items of clothing on her.  A dress made for Tonner's Tyler Wentworth fit her upper torso.  The waist was a bit too high and the rest of the dress was snug in the hips and way too short in length, but I can see where a Tyler pattern could be adapted to fit.  I have a pattern I want to try.  I should tackle that project next.

I am also awaiting the arrival of a Kaye Wiggs Millie, a 30 cm doll with a sweet face and a girlish figure.  One of the outfits I made for my Little Fee girls is a bit big for them.  Might it fit Millie?  I have purchased a couple of patterns designed for Unidoll Tinies that look like they will fit her.  I am itching to get started on them.

Much as I hate to admit it, I have a Limhwa To You Sara who has been out of her box only twice since her arrival.  The poor girl has no clothes.  Again, she is a size that is unique to my collection.  I have not yet made anything for her.  Goodness but I feel like a bad mother!  Maybe I should stick to one or two popular sizes of dolls.

One doll who will not need new clothes is Bimong's NeoNarae:  ordered last April when the doll was first announced, and cancelled in October when it became apparent that Bimong was not going to fulfill his orders.  Anyone who is interested can read all about it on Den of Angels and BJD Collectasy.  All I'll say is that I won't be ordering anything from him again.

That has not soured me on buying BJDs from other artists and companies.  I recently ordered an IpleHouse JID Asa.  She is a reworking of the sculpt for their Senior IpleHouse Doll Asa to fit the Junior body.  She has a lovely, serene Asian face.  The JIDs are also hard to fit; luckily Asa can share the IpleHouse clothing I have already bought for Tania.

I have also fallen in love with Oasis dolls, which are sold on the Elfdoll website.  I don't know what the relation is between Rainman and the young woman who designs the Oasis girls, but the dolls look to me as if they share the Elfdoll body, even down to the fist hands and heel feet.  There are three dolls, all SD size, all girls, all lovely.  It was so hard to choose among them.  In the end I picked Natalie, despite the frumpy-looking mohair wig in which she is depicted.  A little more than halfway down the column of photos, she is shown in a different wig -- and that, for me, made all the difference.  (Dear Santa:  I still want the other two girls.  Please?)

Last, but certainly not least, is Souldoll Ahee, a cutie that I have always wanted to buy but never got around to it.  I just won her on e-bay.  No problem finding patterns to fit her -- the only problem is deciding which one!

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