Saturday, February 26, 2011

Hello Baby IpleHouse Doll!

He's here!  Baby IpleHouse Byuri arrived today after what must have been an arduous journey through some nasty weather.  He left Korea on February 25th and arrived at Resin Corner on February 26th.  That is no mean feat until you realize that when he left on Friday the 25th it was still Thursday the 24th here.  So, two days in transit instead of one.  Still not bad considering the winter storm wreaking havoc up and down the East Coast yesterday.  Rain and high winds delayed his arrival at JFK, then heavy snow closed the airport here for a time.  No one was more surprised than I was when the postal carrier rang my bell this afternoon, box in hand.

This is the packaging inside the box:  the doll box and
the other items are wrapped separately in bubble wrap.
But enough of his travels.  Let's look at IH's first foray into tiny BJDs.  Byuri is one of their series of Elemental Guardians.  As first presented on the website, he appeared as the element Air or Wind, with cloud hair, cloud shoes, a pinwheel wand and wings.  I was immediately enamoured of his face, if not the rest.  I was prepared to wait for a basic edition, when IpleHouse announced that, by popular request, the babies would be available separately from the costumes.  That was all I needed.  I put in my order and settled in to wait.

Did I mention that he's adorable?  The Elemental Guardians are 26 cm tall, with a size 6-7 head, and either 12 mm or 10 mm eyes.  Each one is available as either a boy or a girl.  There is a choice of skin colors and either general or mobility thigh.  (The mobility thigh joint's rotation allows for more natural poses when a doll is seated.  On the down side, it makes a doll less stable when standing.  Two of my Little Fees have the mobility thigh joint; the one that doesn't is a lot surer on his feet.)  I chose the general thigh.  Byuri had additonal hands available (one cupped to hold the wand) and I ordered those as well.
Clothing and wigs I ordered with the doll
Three of the Elemental Gardians appear to be baby versions of other IH dolls.  Naias, the Water Guardian, is the spitting image of JID Amy; Erzulie, the Earth Guardian, is obviously baby Benny (also JID); and Efreet, the Fire Guardian, could only be the small version of JID Vito.  Byuri, on the other hand, has me stumped.  The closest resemblance I can find is with YID (Young IpleHouse Doll) Ryushin, especially if you look at the Special Edition Ryushin with real skin.  I chose my Byuri with real skin.  To me they look very much alike.

IpleHouse notified me the day before Byuri shipped that the wig I had ordered was not available and that they were substituting another wig rather than delay my order.  Until he arrived, I sat on pins and needles wondering what color and which style I would end up with.  I needn't have worried.  The wig that arrived with Byuri was the same style (whew!), only it was saddle brown instead of the darker brown.  He looks good in it.  Ball Jointed Woman is happy.

Byuri with big sister Anastasia (Asa)

Packaged with my order was an extra wig and an extra piece of clothing that I had not ordered.  A mistake?  Or a gift to make up for not sending the exact wig I had requested?  The wig is for a BID girl, so I will hold it until Erzulie arrives.  (Have I mentioned that I couldn't resist baby Benny either?)  I have another month to wait for her arrival.  I ordered shoes for her in Byuri's order but not in her order.  Maybe that's why they included the wig?

Little Fee Shiwoo and BID Byuri --
different degrees of realism
I wasn't sure if the clothing I made for Little Fee Shiwoo would fit Byuri, so I bought him several items from IpleHouse.  We have gray jeans, a black sweater, aviator-style goggles and hood, and black loafers.  IpheHouse added a black hooded cloak -- he could almost be a student at Hogwarts Academy in it.

One reason I ordered Byuri with real skin was so that he and Anastasia (Asa) could pass as brother-and-sister.  I recently bought her a brown wig, thinking it would make for a closer resemblance.  And then Byuri arrived with a different color.  Sigh!  Such is life.

Big Sister is watching over you.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Adapting a Dress Pattern for IpleHouse JID Girls

Anyone who has welcomed a Junior IpleHouse Doll into their home knows that these girls, although lovely, are hard to find clothes and patterns for. 

Let me be the first to admit that I am not a seamstress.  My mother taught me the basics many, many years ago.  The rest I have picked up on my own, mostly by struggling through pattern instructions, and very much by trial and error.  Lots of error.  What follows is my unscientific take on adapting a pattern for my JID girls.

The pattern in question is Kiss & Tell, from Adams-Harris Pattern Company, designed for Elfdoll Sooah, large bust.  I have had some success in the past reducing SD patterns on the photocopier to make them fit MSD dolls, so I attacked this project without a doubt that I could make the pattern work.  Just to be sure, I photocopied it at three different reductions:  75 percent, 80 percent, and 85 percent.  I knew that 75 percent would be too small to fit JIDs; I made that reduction anyway, thinking I could use it for some of my smaller girls.  I was pretty sure 80 percent would work, but I made the 85 percent just in case, because these girls are broad across the back and hips.  Three sizes.  What could go wrong?

The jumper pattern pieces at 85 %, with darts sewn,
including front placket and front pleat.
Skirts can always be made to fit.  It's the bodice that is tricky.  I started by making a trial bodice at 85 percent from a fabric I don't like.  I didn't line it, just joined all the seams and tried it on for fit.  It looked like it would work, so I made the bodice again from my fabric of choice, with lining, even adding lace under the front placket.  What I can't figure out is why the finished bodice looked bigger than the trial piece.  I tried it on Tania, who let me know that she really did not care for it at all.

At that point I could have ripped out the seams and made adjustments, but I figured it would take less time to cut another bodice using the 80 percent pattern.  This also gave me a chance to choose a lining fabric that had less tendency to fray.  I found a smaller size lace.  Hey, this one was going to work!

The 85 % bodice on top.  Below it, the 80 % bodice is
pinned to the skirt prior to sewing.
I stopped at several points in the process to try it on Tania.  It looked like a perfect fit, with one exception.  She needed a bit more fabric at the back seam just below the waist, because there wasn't enough skirt fabric to turn the edge under for a clean finish.  I solved that problem by cutting a strip of the same fabric on the bias and wrapping it around to form a placket.  Thus, no more air on the derriere.

All in all, I am fairly pleased with the results.  I'm not sure I like the light blue organdy ribbon.  I will probably change it out for a blue or a white satin.  I didn't make the belt loops, so there is nothing to hold up the ribbon in front.  It's too late to add fabric belt loops, but I could crochet a couple of loops that would serve the purpose.  Because the bodice is tight, there is no point making the blouse that goes under the jumper.  I am already planning a version of this for Asa, with sleeves and a false shirtfront to simulate the blouse.  This adaptation is still very much a work in progress. Undaunted, Ball Jointed Woman marches on!

With no room for a blouse, it looks like
we'll have to call this one a sundress.

Close-up showing front button detail.
Wig from IpleHouse.  The color is Siena -- a rich dark red.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

"In Powder and Crinoline" for Blue Fairy Jasmine

It stands to reason that I should make this gown for this doll.  Arcadia Dolls designed the pattern for a Blue Fairy Tiny Fairy.  I have finally added a Blue Fairy Tiny Fairy to the family at Resin Corner.  Therefore, she must have the dress.

A few posts ago I showed how I remade the first version of this gown for U-noa Chibi Lilin.  I had made the gown originally without trying it on anyone, so of course it didn't fit a single doll.  After I remade it for Lilin, it would never fit a Blue Fairy again.  (At 35 cm, Lilin is considerably smaller than 43 cm Jasmine.)
Although I shortened everything else for Chibi Lilin,
I left the sleeves alone as I rather like their longer length.

It didn't take me long to settle on a fabric: a dainty floral cotton from April Cornell in two shades of blue on an ivory background.  Finding coordinating trims was the problem.  I found a piece of scalloped organdy ribbon in aqua.  Not exactly the shade I would have chosen, but not bad either.  But would there be enough of it?  It didn't look long enough.  Perhaps it would stretch.  A length of blue lace, another of ivory lace to go over it.  Some small organdy ribbon flowers and some blue satin ribbon.  My pattern in the April 2008 Haute Doll.  All set.

My fabric was so soft that, although the pattern did not call for it, I decided to line the bodice to give it a firmer structure and a neater finish.  I used an ivory polyacetate.  I wish I didn't have so much of this sort of lining fabric on hand, because it invariably gives me grief.  It's hard to see in the photo above, but I had to repair the lining after it pulled away from the side seam on the left.  Pulled away and shredded.  Luckily I had some seam binding in my stash.  You can see how old it is from the price on it.  I haven't priced this stuff lately, but it sure isn't selling for 35 cents!  I sewed one side of the seam binding to the lining and the other side to the seam.  Good as new and almost invisible.

I also deviated from the pattern by creating a full underskirt instead of the crinoline and front skirt panel it called for.  Working with tulle makes me crazy.  It snags the thread in the sewing machine, causing it to bunch and shred.  I will make any number of skirts rather than sew one tulle crinoline.  Of course, it is more difficult to lace the bodice across the back because it now has to fit over two skirt waistbands.  On the bright side, the scallop ribbon trim did stretch, so I was able to make it last across neckline, waistline, and both sleeves.

I bought a second wig from Blue Fairy/Minoru World at the time I ordered Jasmine.  If I remember correctly, it is called Lollipop and the color is called Ivory.  Actually, the tag on the wig net says #88, which is the number denoting a pale blonde no matter which company's wig you buy.

The outfit still needs a hat or floral wreath for the hair and a necklace or two.  I didn't take the time to make either because I was running out of daylight in which to take photos.  The sun shone on Resin Corner for a couple of hours this morning.  Unfortunately, the dress was not finished then.  By the time I finished sewing, the clouds had moved in and stayed for the rest of the day.  Such is winter in the North Country.

U-noa Chibi Lilin and Blue Fairy Tiny Fairy Jasmine model their gowns:
 In Powder and Crinoline, by Arcadia Dolls

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Blue Fairy Tiny Fairy Jasmine

Let me begin by saying that until now, there have been no fairies at Resin Corner.  For the longest time Resin Corner barred the door even to elves.  Then Fairyland's Little Fee Ante Elf arrived, followed some time later by Fairyland's Puki Fee Zoe, whose elf ears surprised the dickens out of me because I hadn't noticed them in her publicity photos.

Blue Fairy dolls are another matter.  They do not look like fairies.  (What does a fairy look like?  I imagine something small and slim with wings and vaguely pointy ears.  Think Disney's Tinker Bell.)  Blue Fairy dolls look like sweet, pensive children.  Their faces are more doll-like than those of the mini-mature dolls I usually collect. Their body proportions are more childlike.  Not my style, to be sure, and yet I like them.

I can thank Arcadia Dolls for my infatuation with Blue Fairy.  As if their lovely fashions and gorgeous photography weren't enough of a draw, sisters Mercedes and Concha Rodrigo have exquisite taste in dolls.  I bought their book, Arcadia Dolls Complete Galleries: Photo Sessions 2006-2008, published by, so that I could enjoy their work even when I am offline.  Part of the attraction is that they showcase dolls that I do not have in my collection.  I am intrigued.  The models are not identified in the book, only on their website,  I look at a beautifully costumed doll and think, "Who's that doll?"  One of those dolls is a Blue Fairy Tiny Fairy.

Given the name Tiny Fairy, one would expect the doll to fall into the Yo-SD category of 25-28 cm (10-11 inches) in height.  That is not the case.  Tiny Fairies measure 42 cm (girls) and 43 cm (boys).  There are more mature versions of each:  43 cm for the girl's blossom body and full blossom body; 44 cm for the boy's dandy body.  The three girl bodies differ also in the chest and waist measurements.  The girl body has a 17 cm chest and 14.5 cm waist; the blossom body has an 18.3 cm chest and 14.2 cm waist; the full blossom body has an 18.6 cm chest and 14 cm waist.  All versions have a 7-8 inch head (same wig size as Soulkids and IpleHouse JIDs) and 5.5 cm feet.

Blue Fairy also has a very tiny doll called a Pocket Fairy at 14 cm/5.5 inches (a wee bit smaller than Puki Fee's 15.5 cm/6.1 inches).  And at a website called Minoru World, there is a 30-33 cm doll they call a Junior Fairy.  I am not sure of the exact relationship between Blue Fairy and Minoru World, but they appear to be sister sites.  In fact, I bought my Tiny Fairy from Minoru World after they advertised a special edition Junior called Kitten Mittens.  The outfit was adorable, but I would have preferred it on another doll.  Browsing the site, I found a Tiny Fairy Limited edition Jasmine that I didn't see on Blue Fairy's site.  It is this Jasmine who has joined the family at Resin Corner.

I placed my order and settled back to wait the usual two months or more for the doll to arrive.  Most BJD companies wait until they have the order in hand before they make the doll.  Jasmine made the voyage halfway around the world and arrived within a week of my order.  I can only guess that Blue Fairy/Minoru make their Limited editions ahead of time and sell them until they run out of stock. 

The Limited edition is a fully dressed doll.  I am not sure what her costume represents, but it suggests to me a Korean schoolgirl's uniform.  If any of my Korean readers would care to enlighten me, I would greatly appreciate it.  Just leave a comment at the bottom of the page, with my thanks in advance.

Now that I have remade the Arcadia Dolls pattern In Powder and Crinoline for my U-noa Chibi Lilin, I am in the process of making another dress from the same pattern for Jasmine.  I would have finished it tonight if not for the necessity of writing this post.  To make sure it would fit her, I made a trial bodice yesterday from a fabric I don't care for.  It's a perfect fit, so today I began work on the actual dress, only to come up short on the trim I was using.  (That's what happens when I buy trim without a specific project in mind.  When I finally want to use it, I find I don't have enough, the fabric store is 25 miles away and it's snowing.)

Before I close, Bambicrony Toto and I would like to wish our Asian friends a happy and prosperous Year of the Golden Rabbit.