Sunday, August 26, 2012

Enlarging a Dress Pattern for Feeple65 Siean

I am inordinately pleased with myself tonight.  For the first time, I managed to enlarge a pattern without resorting to a photocopier.  And what an enlargement it is:  from a dress sized for 16 inch Ellowyne Wilde to a dress for the amply endowed F65.  Until now, I have only made versions of this dress to fit slim minis like Narae and U-noa.  Working in Siean's size was a bit of a stretch.  I should have photographed the dolls together to show you what I mean.

The method I used came right out of a book.  Basically, to enlarge a pattern you cut it apart, then re-assemble it on a larger piece of paper, leaving enough space between the pieces to achieve the desired size.  Because I didn't want to cut Ellowyne's pattern pieces, I first traced them onto plain paper.  Then I made a vertical cut in each plain paper piece, followed by a horizontal cut.  This gave me four pieces, which I spaced apart on another piece of paper until the resulting new piece fit Siean's measurements, plus a one-quarter inch seam allowance.

The pattern is Rodeo Drive from the Fletcher Pattern Company.
My new pattern pieces are in the upper right corner of the photo--
under the scissors.
I tested my pattern pieces in muslin to make sure they would fit.  They did, and so I cut out the dress using a crinkle gauze for the top and the bottom skirt trim, and a good quality quilting fabric for the midriff and skirt.  Previously, when I made this dress for the smaller girls, I made it all from one fabric.  It worked well enough for the girls with little or no bust.  This time I needed a fabric that would drape across a much larger bust.  The gauze allowed me to "make it work".

There is a big quilt show held every summer in this area.  I always go, even though I don't quilt, because I always find some fabric there to make into doll clothes.  This year's find is the print I used in Siean's dress.  There's a lot of it left, so I can use it again for another garment.  I'm so glad I bought it in blue-and-tan, instead of the predominantly purple hues I had been looking at.  Then again, I probably should have bought both!

Siean is wearing the new wig, eyes and shoes I ordered for her earlier this summer from Soom.  The eye color is baby blue eclipse.  It's paler than I thought it would be.  The wig needs a bit of styling.  I think I want to braid the front sections and perhaps tie them at the back of her head.  I don't know.  I'll have to work on it.

It is fitting that Siean's accessories should come from Soom.  I just caved in and ordered a Soom Super Gem named Quartz--the Ice Dragon.  I think he will make a wonderful consort for Siean.  Fairyland makes a Feeple65 dragon male named Roke.  I considered him, but in the final analysis didn't care as much for his facial sculpt and body.  One thing is for sure:  I won't be keeping the Ice Dragon's fantasy parts (horns, dragon legs and icy blue talons).  The wings were described as tinsel (!?) and are most likely part of the costume, which I didn't order.  Either way, the fantasy parts will hit DoA's Marketplace the minute they get here.  Elf ears are as fantasy as I get. 

Quartz will take 2-3 months to get here.  Until then, Siean will just have to get used to waiting.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Beatrice Discovers the Wig Bin

I love Beatrice (my Iplehouse nYID Bianca) to pieces, but that red wig she came with is one hot mess.  We still haven't tried on the thick, light brown braided wig, because it goes with her maid outfit and she is still wearing the Scandal set.  I'll save those for later.

After trying a couple of 8/9 wigs and 7/8 wigs for comparison, it was clear that Beatrice would be wearing 7/8s.  They're a little snug, but they fit better.  Some 7/8s were too small.  That's to be expected, because they are probably closer to a 7 than an 8.  Likewise, I may have some 8/9s that fit if they are closer to an 8 than a 9.  We haven't gone through the 8/9 bins yet.  Another project for another day.

This one was a surprise fit, because I didn't think it had any stretch to it.  It was an extra wig that I bought from Blue Fairy for my Tiny Fairy Jasmine (who has since gone to another home).  The original bag and tag have gone missing, but I seem to recall something like Marshmallow.  Not sure if that was the color or the style.  I love the contrast of the pale blonde with the peach gold resin.

I knew this one would fit as it has plenty of stretch.  It's Faith by Monique Gold in light peach blonde/white blonde.  What I like about the smaller wigs on Beatrice is that the bangs don't obscure her eyes the way a larger wig's bangs do.  Her eyes are small; this lets me see them.

This one is by Leeke, sold by Denver Doll as Darcy.  The color is baby brown.  No surprise here, either, as Leeke's wigs tend to run a little large.  There are exceptions, but this wasn't one of them.  What I like is that there is a brown ribbon braided through the hair, perfect with her brown and white outfit.

I think this one is a Reiya by Jpopdolls.  The tag on the bag has the color, Autumn Moon, but not the name.  It's for times when Beatrice wants a red that's a little less of a mess.

I'm sure the tag on this one is wrong.  It says Wine-Wine, but it's obviously Black-Wine.  The style is Kana Wavy from Jpopdolls.  The wine color is underneath, at the bottom of the wig.  I like Beatrice in dark hair.

And finally, another Reiya from Jpopdolls, this one in Pearl.  We tried on a number of other wigs that didn't photograph well, as well as some that didn't fit.  And we still have two bins of size 8/9s to go through.  More fun for later on!

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Iplehouse nYID Bianca Has Arrived

Of course, if you read my earlier post from this afternoon, you already know that, but this is her official introduction.

Beauty in the Box.  The amount of light in this room is making
her resin look lighter than it is.  I shouldn't complain.  My former
condo was always too dark for photos.
Some dolls take forever to tell me their names, some never tell me at all, but this one told me even before I ordered her:  Beatrice.  Pronounced softly, in the Italian manner.  Blame it on Iplehouse.  They have been running a limited series of dolls focused on the Italian opera, so my imagination was already hovering on the edge of the stage.  Bianca is not from that series--instead she is an Elemental Guardian--the first of the EG's to turn to the dark side.  You could say I am rejecting her official story and sneaking her into the other set.  Never mind that I haven't bought any of the Opera dolls...yet.  She'd look nice with Giorgio.

There were two other faceup options:  one with freckles that looked
a bit too young, and one with heavy red lips that looked too old.

Beatrice is my first nYID as well as my first doll with the new resin color:  peach gold.  It's a gorgeous, rich color.  I was afraid it would look too pink but it doesn't.  It's a lovely bridge between Iple's normal and real skin resins.  How it weathers remains to be seen.  I think if it yellows at all it will still be a lovely color.

Iplehouse retired the old YID line at the beginning of the year.  I'll have to photograph Beatrice next to YID Harin for comparison, but I can tell you now, the new body is much more shapely.  The SID and EID female bodies look clunky beside it.  Her hands are so delicate that I am taking extra care in dressing her for fear of breaking off a finger.  All of the fingers are separated, which makes it possible for her to wear rings and gloves.  She even came with a French manicure.  Her hands look better than mine!

Standing unaided in high heels.  I
wouldn't try this on carpet.
I ordered Beatrice with a medium bust, instead of the glamour bust that was introduced with the nYID line.  Iplehouse listens to its customers.  Luckily for me, lots of people clamored for medium and small busts or the only choice would have been between glamour and large.  As it is, medium is plenty large enough.

Although I ordered Beatrice/Bianca with one of the two outfits available for her character (excluding the Cyborg version), for now I have her in an outfit called the Scandal set.  All she needs is a little tray and some steins and she can be a waitress in a beer garden.  There are many small pieces to this set, which took a long time to put on.  Despite the medium bust, everything was tight.

I love that she came with green eyes.  Even so, I will no
doubt change them for a lighter green at some point.

In addition, I had to change from her basic flat feet to heel feet so she could wear the shoes.  That was a near disaster, as the elastic that had been holding her right foot got away from me and shot up into her leg, taking the tiny metal S-hook with it.  After I finished shrieking, "No, no!  You can't do this to me!" I reached for a metal crochet hook and used it to catch the errant elastic and pull it out again.  It got away from me a second time before I was finally able to hook the heel foot onto it.  The other leg's elastic must have been looser, because I changed its foot with no problem. 

As I am not eager to repeat this process, the other outfit will have to wait.  It does not require high heeled shoes.  We should have put that one on first, except that I wanted an outfit that would show off her figure for the doll meet-up yesterday. 

That is a lot of hair!
We also need to try on other wigs.  I bought the two that go with her character:  the curly red one and a light brown wig with with a long, thick braid.  I'm curious to see how other wigs will fit, particularly as she appears to have a small head.  I suspect that some 7/8 wigs with some stretch to them will fit, and other 8/9 wigs will be too big.  That will be a subject for another post.

August Doll Meet-Up

It's that time again.  My local group of doll enthusiasts is meeting only every other month this year.  That means the next meet-up won't be until October.  Such a long time to wait!  On the other hand, new doll orders typically take two months to arrive, so if I order now, I can bring a new doll to our next get-together.  It sounds like I'm looking for an excuse to buy another doll, doesn't it?  (Since when do I need an excuse?)

There were four of us at this meet-up, but everyone brought three dolls, so there were twelve dolls to examine and photograph.  That's a far cry from our first meeting, where two of us brought two dolls each for a total of four dolls.  I miss the early meetings at the Thai restaurant, but these days the amount of resin on hand means we would have to commandeer an extra table--or two!

Enough babbling from me.  Let's get on to the dolls!

Here is the line-up.  From left to right (more or less):  Nathaniel, a Volks Emma who belongs to Modern Wizard.  MW's other two dolls are August, a Buddy Doll April Winking (pink hair, back row) and Mellifer, a Soom Metato (small male fairy with black hair, also back row).  Next to Nathaniel is Goldi's MiniFee Chloe, her Dollzone Ulli (hard to see given the photo's size, but he's a tiny goat dressed in blue), followed by her LittleFee Rolly (yellow dress).  Next we have my Iplehouse EID Soo, Iplehouse SID Lahela, and my brand-new, just-picked-up-at-the-Post-Office Iplehouse nYID Bianca.  At the right are Lyrajean's three Volks girls:  Masha, a YoSD Kira, and an F26 (sorry, don't remember her name).

LittleFee Rolly next to one of a pair of talons from a Soom Galena that Modern Wizard brought.  I'm very curious to see the doll that will wear THOSE!  Run, Rolly, run!!!

Lyrajean's three Volks dolls.  The public library that hosts our meetings always has displays of local art on the walls.  The current exhibit, titled "Own the Night," was created by students.  I used Photoshop to replace the crooked lettering describing an adjacent piece of artwork with a clone of Volks YoSD Kira.

Lots of cuteness going on in this photo.  That's Kira, August, Rolly, and Ulli the goat on August's lap.

My three ladies:  Soo on what was Lahela's original body, Lahela on Soo's original body, and Bianca on her own body.  As she is new, Bianca will get her own post separate from this one.

That's a lot of hair!  Bianca is a new resin color called peach gold.  This photo seems to have washed out the color so that she looks like Iple's normal resin.  The photo above it is truer to her real color.  More Bianca later.

Visit Modern Wizard's Blog of Stench for more meet-up photos:

Sunday, August 5, 2012

"Afternoon of a Faun" for Iplehouse JID

I was looking at Kaye Wiggs' Nelly in her new dress made from Gracefaerie's pattern #54, Afternoon of a Faun.  Standing nearby were two of my Iplehouse JID girls.  Despite the overall difference in the dolls' proportions, Nelly's bodice looked like it would fit my JIDs.  I tried Nelly's dress on Tania.  It was long, but not so long that it would trip her up.  Better yet, the bodice fit.  I may make her a long version of this dress for her very own, perhaps with the cropped jacket.  That's a project for another day, because the sleeves will need some adjustment to fit the JID's shorter, slimmer arms.

One of the looks included in the pattern is a tunic dress, a short version of the dress meant to be worn with pants.  I figured this should be near perfect for JIDs.  I rifled through my fabric stash, selected a few likely prints, and started cutting.  The first two dresses would be for Asa--both of them.

The tunic dress with pants is shown on the back of the pattern.
It's the look pictured in the lower right photo.
I decided to give the first short dress a suggestion of a sleeve, much as I did for Nelly's dress.  The sleeve consists of a short length of blue lace overlaid with narrow trim.  I also cut ties from the same narrow trim.  I would have liked to string some beads on them, but none of my beads have a large enough hole to fit.  Maybe if I had made the ties from fabric, I could have threaded them through the beads.  The trick there is in making a thin enough tie, which means trying to turn an impossibly narrow tube rightside out after sewing it.  I decided that today was just too hot and humid to deal with that sort of frustration.

White skin Asa, with small bust, is on the left.  Real skin Asa,
with large bust, is on the right.

I made a second version of the tunic dress, this time without any ties or sleeves.  I also omitted the interfacing, which seemed to add unnecessary bulk.  This dress was intended for my small-bust Asa and I discovered, after I finished it, that it did not fit her as well as I initially thought.  As soon as I removed her from her stand, the dress started slipping down.  Oops!  The stand's metal prongs around her waist were helping hold up the dress!  I may have to open up the top and insert ties on this one after all.  Either that or reposition the snaps on the back of the bodice.  Moving the snaps is easier, but it means I can't hide the stand under her dress. 

Asa I's wig is Monique Gold's Pretty Girl in brown black/honey blonde.

I gave both short dresses a fabric ruffle, even though the original pattern didn't call for one.  The ruffle adds a bit of interest to the plainest part of the dress.  It also makes the dress a little longer.  In addition, I gave the second dress a fabric belt in the same contrasting color as the ruffle.  Both outfits could use some embellishment, or at least a bit of jewelry.  With a storm approaching, I couldn't take the time today; I had to hurry and take pictures before it got too dark.

Asa II's wig is Monique Gold's Faith, in peach blonde/white blonde.
This look is a departure for her, as I usually have her in dark wigs.

Monday 8/6 update:  Iplehouse nYID Bianca has shipped!!!!