Sunday, September 25, 2011

A New Dress for Brooke

Today's post will be a short one.  I have made dresses from Gracefaerie's Play Day pattern several times, so there is no need to show a step-by-step progression. 

I wouldn't have attempted this dress for Brooke at all, assuming it was too small, but after seeing several other Laylas wearing variations on the same dress, I thought I would give it a try.  It's a bit snug, but it does fit.  And I love the fabrics: purple gingham for the dress, a pale green print for the underdress, and a colorful mushroom print for the pinafore. 

If I had had time, I would have made new stockings.  I still might, even though the rose works well enough with the pinafore colors.  I'm sure I have green stretch fabric somewhere.  If it clashes with the shoes, well, I have the same shoes in purple.  Wish I had a different shade of green for the ribbon.  Or maybe I'll make a hairband from one of the dress fabrics...

I have decided to attempt to make a wig.  I have all the supplies needed, down to the hair itself, purchased back when I was making cloth dolls.  The hair is loose (it's goat or sheep, not human) so it needs to be wefted.  Still debating whether to make a wig cap from a stretch fabric or to crochet it.  My crochet skills are close to non-existant, so I suspect I will end up with a fabric cap.  At any rate, it is a project for next week.

Last Monday I placed an order with IpleHouse for clothing for Barahan and wigs for my BIDs.  Yesterday (Saturday) the package arrived.  Wow!  I wish the dolls arrived as quickly. 

It has been interesting to watch the progress of doll orders in the IpleHouse waiting room on Den of Angels.  Elemental Guardian Claude has begun to ship.  IH seems to be making the real skin versions first.  Dolls ordered blank (i.e., without faceup) shipped first, followed by dolls with Faceup A.  I have a feeling I will be waiting a long time -- I ordered Claude with normal skin and Faceup B.  In fact, I appear to be the only person in the waiting room who ordered Faceup B.  I also appear to be the only person who ordered Elemental Guardian Barahan.  I don't know if that means IH will make him quickly, or if they will wait until they get a few more orders.  I ordered him in real skin.  Do you suppose that means he will arrive before Claude?

Sunday, September 18, 2011

At Last, the Wait for Layla Is Over!

She's here at last.  I continue to marvel that a doll can reach me in three days from Korea, but it takes a full week from the west coast of the US.  There was a strange orange sticker on the box that read:  Released from Address Correction.  Say again?  I looked at the label.  All was in order.  There was an extraneous N/A in front of my condo unit number, but the house number, street, town, state and zip code were in order.  I'll never know what caused the package to be sent to Manchester, NH.  It's not our usual sorting office, unless that office is still feeling the effects of flooding caused by tropical storm Irene. 

Layla Fair Elf is my first MSD sized Kaye Wiggs doll.  I must say I was surprised by the sheer weight of her.  She is taller than my other MSDs and has a much larger head.  The wigs that I purchased in anticipation of her arrival don't fit.  I was under the impression that she would wear a 7/8 wig, like my other MSDs, but the first wig we tried on quickly dispelled that notion.  I find myself now in the position of needing more 8/9 wigs, because there will be barely enough to go around when my other orders come in.  (Ball Jointed Woman has been very bad indeed, and has two IpleHouse SID boys on order, in addition to the two Oasisdoll heads.)

Brooke in a blonde IpleHouse wig and high-domed green glass eyes.
Outfit from the #50 Kaleidoscope pattern by Gracefaerie.
I am also in a quandary about her eyes.  She came with 16 mm glass eyes, and I already had others in the same size in different colors.  Most are high domed eyes, which seem to make her look wall-eyed at times, or like a deer caught in the headlights.  I tried a pair of low domed eyes from Elfdoll; they seem to work better.  I'm not in love with the color, which is why Soah is not wearing them.  Soah is wearing Souldoll eyes instead, but the irises look too small for Layla.  The hard acrylic eyes from Eyeco are beautiful but don't fit in Layla's eye sockets.  It looks like some more experimenting is in order.

As soon as I got Layla (renamed Brooke) out of her box, we tried on the outfit I made for her a couple of weeks ago.  All I had left to do was to sew on the snap sets.  That task took a good chunk of my morning and caused me a bloody thumb.  Snap sets are my nemesis.  These were particularly ornery as some of the holes were not punched completely clean.  I could barely get my needle in and out, hence the puncture of my finger.  But I finally got her dressed and wigged, and found some shoes that fit.  (Although not the color I would have chosen, Brooke liked them.)  We set off in the car for a doll meet-up.

Monique Gold Lucky wig

Our group (and yes, we were actually a group this time -- three people instead of two!) met at the same Thai restaurant as last month.  And, oh my, the waitstaff remembered us.  The dolls!  One supposes the restaurant does not get many resin patrons.  Some of the human patrons glanced our way, but most ignored us.  I should have brought one of the Asian-featured dolls in honor of the restaurant.  Maybe next time I'll bring Soah or Hazy.  Or one of the Oasis girls, if the new heads arrive in time.

Janvier Jett, an Angelsdoll Ieseul Cat-Avatar, with a Custom House Ai Ange Gaby on her lap,
an Asleep Eidolon Jiao Jr., and Brooke, a Kaye Wiggs Layla Elf MSD
Missing from photo: a Loong Soul floating head
(And thanks to E.A. for filling in the missing sculpt names.)
The dolls posed for photos outside at the gazebo and the butterfly chair, and also on a stone bench and in a tree, because the light was right.  To be honest, Brooke felt a little queasy on her tree perch.  The bark was slippery and she didn't want to fall.  She stayed put for a few photos and then demanded to come down.

Home at last, Brooke posed for a family photograph with Millikin and Lillibets.

"See you next time!"

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Shorts and a Tank Top for Byuri

Poor little Byuri.  He has been wearing the same outfit since his arrival.  Every week he sees one of the girls decked out in new finery, and every week he stands there in his Iplehouse jeans and sweater.  The poor boy stands because the jeans are so stiff and tight he can't sit in them.

The reason he hasn't had anything new is simple.  The only other little boy clothes I have are for LittleFee.  Byuri's shape is different.  Not only is he a little taller, but his torso is thicker, his legs narrower and set closer together.  Little Shiwoo's clothes don't fit him.

Gracefaerie's #53 Perfect 10

It has taken this long for me to find a pattern that would work.  Gracefaerie to the rescue!  Her newest pattern is called #53 Perfect 10 and it provides a whole wardrobe of separates (overalls, tank top, turtleneck top, panties, vintage blouse and shorts, slim shorts, dress, and even a hat) for two sizes of dolls:  10.5 inch Goodreau and Creedy, and 10 inch LittleFee.  The Goodreau and Creedy toddlers have larger waist, chest and hip measurements than LittleFee, very much in line with Iplehouse BIDs.  After making the slim shorts and the tank top for Byuri, the only thing I would change in the pattern is the rise (the crotch was a bit short).

Little boy blue and friend

I can't wait to try the dress pattern for Erzulie.  The dress has short sleeves, but it should be a simple matter to substitute the long sleeves from the blouse pattern for a different look.

Back view
My only regret is that it has taken me so long to make summer clothes for Byuri that soon he will be needing something warmer for fall.  As soon as I figure out how to adjust the rise, I will make him the overalls and turtleneck from this pattern.

From the side

Good News:  My wait for Layla Fair Elf is nearly over.  I have received my shipping notice.  Layla should be here in the next day or two, in plenty of time for me to try on her new outfit, set the snaps, and get her ready for Saturday's meet up of local Den of Angels members.  Or should I take Soah to the meet?  Decisions, decisions...

Three votes for Layla

Monday, September 5, 2011

Still Waiting for Kaye Wiggs Layla Fair Elf

Milliken and Lillibets (Millie and Lillie) got new dresses this weekend in honor of Layla's pending arrival.  They are so very excited with anticipation that it was the only way I could keep them in check.

Now Lillibets, as we know, is not overly fond of dresses.  She is a tomboy who would have preferred trousers and tee shirt to a dress.  She also caught a glimpse of the pattern cover (MHD Designs' Simplicite) so she knows that pants were an option, if only in the form of a romper.  It's a good thing she hasn't spied MHD Designs' A La Ferme, because I would never hear the end of it.  That one has honest-to-goodness pants, plus a hooded coat, hat and scarf.  Unfortunately, this weekend's heat and humidity kept me from tackling even the cardigan and hat included with Simplicite.  It's not much fun working with cold weather fabrics when the sweat is pouring down your face.  The coat and pants will have to wait.

There are two dresses in the Simplicite pattern, the one I made (top right in the photo) and a petal dress (lower right), where the skirt pieces are shaped like flower petals.  The reason I didn't attempt that one was time:  I knew it would take longer to sew. 

Normally when I make a dress, I line the bodice only.  This dress is fully lined.  I'm not sure I like lining the skirt.  For one thing, it makes the skirt stiff.  For another, it adds to the thickness of fabric at the waist.  It's a good thing KazeKidz have tiny bodies.  They would look quite plump otherwise.  In the plus column, all the shredded ends of fabric are neatly tucked inside.

"Hooray!  New pictures!  No flash this time."

M:  "I'm a little teapot, short and stout..."
L:  "If you're the teapot, what am I?  The cozy?"
Did I mention it was hot and humid all weekend?  It also rained -- all weekend.  Today was probably the darkest of the three days, not optimal conditions for taking photos.  The little bit of sunshine we had on Saturday and Sunday were of little use, as I had nothing ready to photograph.  So today we dealt with the gray skies by turning on all the lights in the sewing room and facing the window as much as possible with a mirror to bounce the light -- and still the flash kept going off.  I don't mind the flash on Lillibets as she is dark enough that she doesn't wash out.  Milliken, however, turns pasty white.  Photoshop can only do so much.  Maybe if I had photographed her by herself, the camera's light meter would have been satisfied with the amount of light available and the flash would not have gone off.  If the sun shines in the next few days I will attempt new photos.*

"This is fun, Bets.  You should try it."
"How do you make it go?"

* It took until the following weekend, but we finally got natural light photos without flash.  Two whole days of sunshine!  How did we get so lucky?

Comings and Goings:

I may have mentioned earlier that Limhwa To You Sara has found a new home.  Rosette Marguerite will ship to her new home tomorrow.  And Limhwa Luna awaits one more payment before she, too, ships out.  This is good news inasmuch as Ball Jointed Woman has been a very bad girl.   In addition to Layla Fair Elf, I am awaiting the arrival of Lagoon, a new doll designed by Batchix.  I also have two heads on order from OasisDoll:  Yaoyue and LingLan.  They will share a body with OasisDoll Natalie.  And as if that were not enough, I ordered IpleHouse SID Claude.  That's it for the year.  My property taxes come due in mid-November.  I need to start putting money aside, because I don't think the tax man will want to be paid in dolls!