Sunday, January 30, 2011

Oasis Doll Natalie's New Dress

I am proceeding with extreme care, as my computer has not quite decided if it will let me remain online or go "Poof!" into the webisphere. 

My first post about Natalie was necessarily brief, as I was experiencing computer problems then, too.  I know what the machine's problem is -- it's old.  If I could only stop buying dolls, maybe I could buy a new computer.  Somehow, the thought of a new doll is always more enticing ...

Oasis Dolls are sculpted by Sarina W. and sold on Elfdoll's website.  There are three dolls available:  Ling Lan (a closed-mouth Asian girl), Yaoyue (an open-mouth Asian girl), and Natalie (a Caucasian girl).  I love all three, could afford only one, couldn't decide between the two Asian girls and so ordered Natalie.  The dolls' bodies look like Rainy Elfdoll bodies but their measurements are different.

The current generation Rainy Elfgirls are 58 cm tall, have a 20 cm head, 9.5 cm neck, 24 cm bust, 17 cm waist, and 26.5 cm hips.  Oasis girls, by comparison, are 60 cm tall, have a 21.5 cm head, 9.2 cm neck, 24.5 cm bust, 17.5 cm waist and 26 cm hips.  I am finding that some of the items I sewed for Hazy will fit and some will not.  I am also finding that fashions pattered on large-bust Sooah are not an exact fit, either.  (I don't have her mesurements handy for comparison.)

The dress that Natalie is modeling here was made from the Country Ruffles pattern by Martha Boers for large-bust Rainy Elfgirls.  I find I could have taken it in at the bust (or else stuffed the bust with tissues for the photos).  The shoulders are snug.  The waist is not an issue as the waistline lies under the bust.  The dress flares out from there so the hip measurement didn't matter, either.  Natalie's dress achieved even greater flare from the string of gold beads I added to the row of lace.  The strand is so stiff that it makes the skirt stand out without the use of a crinoline.

The fabric I used is a cotton printed with a variety of timepieces -- perfect for a steampunk look.  The belt looks like leather but is actually fabric printed to look like leather.  It's a very good imitation and almost as hard to sew through as the real thing.  I alternated small black and brown buttons on the sleeves.  They are sewn on the check fabric but their shape echoes the watch faces on the main fabric.  As luck would have it, they can't be seen on any of the photos I took.  Neither can the flowers on the back of the hat.  C'est la vie!

Natalie's wig is from LeekeWorld.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Remaking a Dress for U-noa Chibi Lilin, Part 2

I have finished remaking the Rococo dress for Lilin. 

Removing the original trim from the bodice's lower edge was less difficult than I had imagined.  I put it aside and cut a half-inch off the bottom of the bodice.  Lilin tried it on.  Although the length was just about perfect, the fit still left something to be desired.  I decided to remove the back darts.  They weren't doing anything for Lilin's figure.  Without them, we had an even better fit.

On a whim I removed the ribbon loops that allowed the bodice to lace up the back.  I had enough fabric to overlap, and so I added snaps.  Not true to period, perhaps, but much easier for me.  Before, when I would try to lace up the back, I would pull the bodice out of shape.  Now it stays put.

I sewed the trim back on.  All of a sudden there wasn't enough of it.  Removing the back darts had added about a half-inch to the width of the bodice back.  Luckily I had a small piece left over from the new sleeves.  There was just enough to finish the bottom edge.

Here is the dress after the first set of alterations described in the previous post.  This photo shows how the bodice rides up because of the bulk of the skirt and underskirt.

Here Lilin models her slimmer fitting Rococo gown:

If you read Part 1 of this post, you will recall that the Arcadia pattern was shown in Haute Doll on a Blue Fairy Tiny Fairy doll.  Now that I have remade the dress to fit the much smaller U-noa Chibi, a Tiny Fairy has joined the cast of characters at Resin Corner.  It looks as if I will be making this gown again -- as originally designed.  Well, maybe not entirely as designed.  I rather like the full underskirt that I substituted for the crinoline and front panel.  I believe I will go that route again.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

New Outfits for LittleFees

Instead of going on at greater length about Oasis Doll Natalie, whose steampunk outfit is not quite ready, Ball Jointed Woman this week turns to her latest outfits for LittleFees Lishe and Shiwoo. 

Poor Shiwoo has been sitting there for so long in his overalls with no shirt on, as if it were still summer.  It was high time he had something else to wear.  But what?  Until I get around to ordering again from Adams-Harris Pattern Company, I have only a couple of suitable patterns, both intended for girls.  (But don't tell Little Shiwoo that.)  Too cold for shorts, which means another pair of overalls.  The last pair was blue sprinkled with random letters of the alphabet.  This time I am using a narrow stripe fabric left over from the pirate pants I made for Tan Limho Mono. 

The pattern is Adams-Harris' Butterfly Garden.  Obviously, we are not going to embellish with flowers and butterflies -- too girlie for Shiwoo.  I pawed through my appliques and other add-ons and discovered a package of ladybug appliques.  Perfect!  Boys love bugs.  I also found a pair of ladybug buttons, but decided to hold them for another project.  There is, after all, such a thing as too many ladybugs on one outfit.  I used plain red buttons instead.

Lishe wanted something that would give her the freedom to play on the floor with Shiwoo without crushing her dress.  I found a pattern for an adorable little romper in the February 2010 issue of Haute Doll, designed by Susan Rethoret.  I had the perfect fabric with leaves and little owls.  For buttons I used one pink and one blue, to echo some of the leaves in the print.

For Lishe's long-sleeve tee shirt I used a variegated pink knit.  I used the same pattern for Shiwoo's gray tee, but made his in a more substantial knit in gray.  One thing I noticed as I sewed was that the tee shirt held its shape better in the heavier fabric.  Lishe's tee seems to have stretched some as I sewed.

The tee shirt pattern calls for gluing a piece of ribbon around the neckline.  That seemed a little flimsy to me, so I sewed a piece of pink trim to Lishe's tee.  For Shiwoo's tee I cut a small strip of the gray knit and folded it in half lengthwise, then sewed it to the neckline to make a turtleneck.

Toto keeps looking my way with the same sad expression, as if to say, "When will it be my turn?"  I think she needs a romper, too.  I have some delightful fabric by Laurel Burch with cats all over it.  As soon as I finish Natalie's dress, Toto is next in line. 

Monday, January 17, 2011

Oasis Doll Natalie

This will be an abbreviated post, because Ball Jointed Woman continues to wait for any one of the three computer repairmen she phoned to return the call.  That means that I am blogging from my office computer on my lunch hour, which is nearly over because (a) I needed to eat lunch and (b) I had to download and edit photos.

I managed to take a few pictures of Natalie yesterday, in spite of the weather that makes for such poor indoor light.  It is winter at Resin Corner, and all is gray, gray, and more gray.  Correction:  the sun did shine briefly on Saturday (for about half an hour) and again on Sunday for a brief time.  I have learned to take advantage -- quick, grab the camera and the dolls and set up in the sunniest room, because who knows when I will get another chance.

There was no time to pose Natalie in a variety of wigs and costumes.  For this shot, she is wearing a dress previously shown on Sooah.  The pattern is from Gracefaerie and I believe it is called Takeshita-dori.  (If I were at home, I could pick up the pattern envelope and verify that.)  Her wig is from Jpopdolls:  the style is Kanalong and the color is Blush.  This photo does not show her fabulous Soom shoes.  They are the same shoes that Rosette Marguerite wears, but in a dark red.

Natalie came with two pair of hands:  fists (shown here) and open hands.  The fists actually go through sleeve openings more easily than do the delicate, extended fingers.  She also came with an extra pair of feet.  I think one pair is supposed to be flat and the other for wearing high heels, but frankly, I can't see any difference between them.  I also bought sunglasses for her, but before she can wear them, she will need a modern, hip looking outfit.  They just don't work with the Lolita look.

I spent the day yesterday working on a new dress for her.  It is a steampunk version of Martha Boers' Country Ruffles.  More about that when I finish it.

Lunchtime is over.  Back to work.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Natalie is Here and the Computer is Down

Oasis Doll Natalie has arrived and she is gorgeous!  I can't wait to share photos of her.  We have tried on every size 8-9 wig in the house and she doesn't look bad in any of them.

I had wondered if the clothing I had made for my two Elfdolls would fit her.  It turns out she is larger than Hazy, in the bust if nowhere else.  We'll have to try on every outfit to see if any of them fit.  Sooah's clothes appear to be a little loose.  But the Soom shoes I bought fit her perfectly!

I will go on about her at length later because the computer at Resin Corner is down with a bug.  If I can get a repairman out to the house in all this snow, I'll be back sooner rather than later.  Right now I am blogging from the office on my lunch hour and don't have access to any of my photos.

More later!

Saturday, January 8, 2011

EMS Tracking, Part 2

Ball Jointed Woman is not happy.  Oasis Doll Natalie is most likely at my local Post Office this very minute, but I can't get my hands on her.  The fault is not with EMS but with the US Postal Service, or more precisely, with my area delivery center.

I learned some time ago that international packages are delivered to a separate postal facility in another town.  From there they go their separate ways to their intended destinations.  My local Post Office gets a package only when a delivery attempt fails.  Can you guess where this is going?

The EMS tracking site shows me that my package left the facility at 10:12 this morning.  A delivery attempt supposedly was made at 10:28.  Ironically, I left the house at 10:24 to shop for groceries in the very town where the postal facility is located.  I did not pass the delivery vehicle along the way.  (I would have recognized it.  It's a white sedan with a US government license plate.)

What usually happens if I am not home to accept a delivery is that the carrier fills out an "attempted delivery" form and either tapes it to my front door or else takes it to my local Post Office with the package.  My regular carrier then delivers the form with my mail. 

I suspect that the special carrier went directly to my local Post Office.  This suspicion is based on the thin layer of snow that covered my front walk when I left the house.  When I returned later, there were no footprints in the snow and no notice on the door.  This is not the first time this has happened.  There have been so-called "attempted deliveries" when I was home.  One of the women in the local Post Office says it has happened to her, too.  A fine example of our tax dollars at work!

At 3:00 p.m. I tried my mailbox.  Nothing there.  If they don't leave the slip until Monday, it will be Tuesday before I can pick up my doll, because the Post Office is closed by the time I get home from work.  I have half a mind to stop in Monday on my way to work.  I don't have the official notice in hand, but they know me.  They will probably have the undelivered notice there for me to sign.

You are probably wondering why I didn't go straight to the Post Office and pick up the package today.  It's simple.  The local office closes to walk-in traffic at 11:00 a.m. on Saturdays.  (I learned this at 11:05 one Saturday morning.)  I got home from shopping shortly after noon.

And to think -- it took only one day to get from Korea to New York...

Friday, January 7, 2011

Tracking a Doll from Korea

This will be a first for me -- a post without photos.  I haven't any photos to post, because the doll is still in transit.

I ordered an Oasis Doll in early November.  Oasis is sold by Elfdoll on their Korean website.  In the past week I have taken to checking my order status to see if there was any change.  And lo and behold -- on Wednesday I saw that my Natalie had shipped.  Or, more precisely, I saw that my order was "In shipping."  Not sure what that meant (in the shipping department at Elfdoll, perphaps?) I clicked on my order to see the details and discovered a tracking number.

I Googled Korean EMS tracking and found the website, typed in my number, and saw that she had in fact left Elfdoll and was at the post office in Korea.  No other details until the next day, when I saw that she had landed at JFK in New York.  Today I find that she is still at JFK airport, at the Inward Office of Exchange.  Now I don't know about you, but this sounds like "Customs" to me.  I could be wrong.  I checked at work during my lunch hour and again an hour ago at home.  She is still there.

JFK could be backed up with packages after the huge amount of snow they received a week ago.  To make matters worse, there is another snowstorm working its way up the East Coast.  That could bring things to yet another standstill in New York.  Up here in the North Country, snow may slow us down, but it doesn't stop us.  I grew up in the greater New York metropolitan area, and I know how a few inches of snow can paralyze transportation.  They simply are not equipped to deal with large amounts of snow.  Unlike here, where we push it out of the way and go on with our lives.

Will Natalie make her way out of New York in time to join her new family at Resin Corner this weekend?  This is a question that not even Ball Jointed Woman can answer.

I think I'll check EMS tracking again...

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Remaking a Dress for U-noa Chibi Lilin

Some time ago I made a dress from a pattern in the April 2008 issue of Haute Doll.  The pattern was called In Powder and Crinoline, a rococo gown for MSD girls from Arcadia Dolls.  At the time I didn't recognize the doll in the photos, so I had no idea what her measurements might be or how they would compare to the dolls at Resin Corner.  Undaunted, I made the dress anyway.

I have since learned that she is a Tiny Fairy from Blue Fairy dolls.  The doll has an immature figure, but because the bodice had darts in front, I figured it would fit.  Long story short:  the dress didn't fit any resident of Resin Corner then or now.  The bodice was too long and too wide, the skirts were too long, and I made a mess of the sleeves.  Why didn't I just throw it out?  Because I loved the fabric.  Because I knew that someday, as Project Runway's Tim Gunn likes to say, I would "make it work."

On the left is the original bodice with the back panel removed.
On the right are the old sleeves (above) and the new sleeves (below).
Recently I pulled it out again (it tends to drift down to the bottom of the dolls' fashion box) and reassessed it.  The crinoline would work for any number of dolls without alteration, as I had made it shorter than the gown.  The outer gown could be shortened.  The matching inner skirt (just a panel, actually, sewn to the crinoline) could be shortened from the top so as not to disturb the lace and trim at the bottom.  The bodice was totally problematic and the sleeves simply had to go.

It would have been better to remake the bodice, but I had only a small piece of the yellow trim left, just enough for the sleeves.  I was reluctant to remove the trim from the original bodice for fear of shredding it.  I tried the bodice on U-noa Lilin, an ironic choice as she is smaller than MSD.  For starters, she didn't need the back panel, so I removed it.  The bodice was still too long, so I shortened it from the shoulders.  It still needs shortening, because when the bodice is put on over the skirts it rides up.  Add a doll stand underneath the dress and the effect is magnified.

The new underskirt in green; the original front panel in yellow print.
(Blogger has inexplicably turned my photo on its side.)
There was enough of the yellow fabric left for me to remake the sleeves completely.  Originally when I made this dress I used inexpensive lace purchased by the spool.  I'm sure you have seen it in your local fabric shops:  it's stiff, pre-gathered, and the gathers are held in place by a strip of tulle.  The pattern called for three rows of lace placed one above the other.  I ended up with sleeves so stiff they could stand unaided. 

This time I used a softer lace sold by the yard.  It also comes pre-gathered, in three layers sandwiched together and held in place by a trip of tulle.  I started buying lace this way when I needed colors that I couldn't find on their own.  The middle layer of each sandwich is a color (pink, blue, lavender, etc.) between two layers of white or ecru.  I take the layers apart, use the color where I want it and save the white or ecru for use in other projects.  (Taking the lace apart requires a little patience and a seam ripper.  Once you find the right thread, all you have to do is pull and it all separates.  The trick is finding that thread.)

I decided to make a full underskirt in a contrasting color in preference to the front panel in the pattern.  There was a piece of green-and-yellow trim in my stash.  It was long enough for the skirt, but what was left over wouldn't extend to a remake of the bodice.  And I can't buy more of it, because I've had that piece for many  years.  That style of trim is still around, but not in those colors.

The fit is not perfect.  I still want to remake the bodice.  But Lilin didn't mind showing off the dress as a work-in-progress.  She is wearing a Mini Shirley wig from Kemper, and for a hat she wears a silk flower trimmed with a piece of lace.