Sunday, September 30, 2012

Twice Around the World Fashions

You read that right:  Twice around the world.  As in:  My Iplehouse clothing order took a wrong turn, returned to Korea, and then came back to me.  Or would that make them boomerang clothes?

Whichever it is, tracking this order gave me a headache.  The package left Korea on a plane bound for New York, as usual.  From New York, things got weird.  All of a sudden, the package was in North Reading, Massachusetts, and the note in the margin of the tracking form said, Missent.  Nice to have an admission of error from the Post Office, but would the errant package subsequently find its way north to Vermont?  It did not.  Next thing I saw, the package was back in New York, now marked, Unclaimed.  Unclaimed?  It went to the wrong city in the wrong state.  They couldn't even attempt a delivery!

Here is where I started asking questions, starting with my local Post Office.  Could they intercept the package?  No.  Could they phone or email New York and stop them from sending it back to Korea?  No.  I emailed Iplehouse to let them know what was happening, because without a doubt this package was going to turn up on their doorstep in another day or two.  As it did.  Well and good, but Iplehouse couldn't send it out again free of charge without an admission of error from the US Postal Service.  So we waited.  Once they got it, the package again left Korea, this time via Anchorage, Alaska.  Last time a package of mine took this route, it almost went AWOL and took extra time to get here.  This time things went smoothly.  I finally got my package, albeit a week later than it should have arrived.

Getting my hands on this order feels like cause for celebration.  I know--I'll stage a fashion show!

I dressed the girls in their new outfits.  Soo got a black cheongsam.  Iple calls it a Redline Chinese dress, perhaps because of the red braid and frogs.  It's slit up both sides, the better to show off her glamorous legs.  She also got a pair of peep-toe black shoes with rhinestone buckles.  The shoes are so loose, however, that I ended up putting them on Beatrice after taking the photos.

Carleen (aka Lahela) got a brown dress called Olympia.  It's made of knit fabric, so it stretches to accommodate both SID and EID women.  I haven't tried it on Beatrice yet, but I'll bet it also fits nYID.  I like it when clothing fits more than one doll.  It gives me more bang for my buck.  This dress has an unfinished hem.  I question why it was designed this way, because the hem has a tendency to roll up.  I will either have to hem it myself, or else find a thin brown braid that I can sew to the bottom to weight the dress down.

Outfit number three is a dress called Bali.  This little number also fits multiple sizes because of the shirred top.  I love the colors in it.  Iplehouse rarely ventures into color and print.  Most of its styles come in plain black or brown or beige or the occasional pale pastel.  This dress looks and feels like a tropical island, as the name suggests.  I love it.  And so does Zophia (aka Zera).  She also loves her Korean red wig.  Funny that I had never tried this wig on her before.  She really rocks it.

The final outfit is called Glow.  Don't ask me why.  The name leads one to expect an iridescent fabric rather than stretch denim.  It comes with black panties (good idea, because this is one short dress!), a black choker and black thigh-high stockings.  The stockings are thick.  I had trouble putting shoes on over them and ended up giving Beatrice short boots studded in silver.  They work with the choker and the dress, both of which have metal beads on them.  She already looked punk in the outfit, so I gave her a blue wig to complete the look.

This weekend has seen nothing but gray skies and rain.  I tried to stage my fashion show, but it was hard to find any room in the house that had enough light.  Every time I took a picture, the flash went off.  Soo's pale eyes have a high, clear dome.  The camera flash turns them into cat's eyes.  Of course, I didn't notice this until I was editing my photos.  I changed Soo's eyes, but by then it was too dark to take more pictures.  Maybe next weekend.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

The Wedding Party: Harin

Fairyland's FeePle65 Siean has enlisted Iplehouse Harin as her maid of honor. Together they have chosen a simple little dress drafted on the same pattern as Siean's wedding dress:  Gracefaerie's #10 Takeshita-dori.  I probably should have chosen something else, as this pattern has seen abundant variations in these pages already.  The fact remains that I have only a few patterns in this size and most are either not as versatile or else would cause the bridesmaid to outshine the bride.  So Takeshita-dori it is.  Only this time I am making the dress rather than the skirt and blouse.

Kana Long wig by Jpopdolls in Blush.  Shoes by Iplehouse.

I found a sweet little print in my stash:  pale violet and teal on a cream background.  There was a full yard of it, so I should be able to get the flower girl's dress out of the same fabric.  I would add another bridesmaid or two, except that I don't want to make multiples of the same dress.  Siean will simply have to scale back her expectations.  The dress is intended to have a sash, if I can ever find my roll of violet organdy ribbon.  I know I haven't used it up, but it's not with my other ribbons.  That's what happens when you move.  Things get misplaced.

The dress came together quickly, as happens when I omit the sleeves.  Now I wonder at the wisdom of a sleeveless dress when the wedding is likely to take place during the colder months.  We can't even set a date, as we are at the mercy of Soom, who may take 100 business days to produce the groom.  I don't remember the exact date I ordered Quartz, but I have a sinking feeling that it was a mere month ago, or 30 calendar days.  We have a long way to go.  I probably have time to outfit every doll in my collection for this wedding!

A closer look at the fabric's print.

A short jacket or shrug would solve the sleeve problem.  I seem to remember one among my Ellowyne Wilde patterns.  I can either enlarge it or order one in SD size.  While I wait for it to come, I can start on the flower girl's dress.  That's if Siean ever decides which little girl will have the honor.  There has been talk of LittleFee Ante Elf and LittleFee Lishe.  If one is chosen, will the other feel left out?  Would it be out of line for Siean to have two flower girls?  Or should she ask Unoa Chibi Lilin instead?  Lilin would be very happy to be in the wedding party.  It's been ages since she had a new dress.

Waiting for her sash--if I can ever find the ribbon.  She will also
need a headband and a bouquet of flowers for the wedding.

I will have to outfit a best man and a ring bearer without seeing how they look next to the groom.  Siean picked them out on the grounds that Quartz won't know anyone, being new to the area.  She has selected Iplehouse Mars to be best man (I think Harin may have had something to do with that decision) and LittleFee Shiwoo to be ring bearer.  You can't blame her for choosing Shiwoo.  She is trying to get as many family members into the wedding party as possible.  Even so, I can't imagine what possible role she has in mind for her three RealPuki cousins.  I've asked her, but she isn't telling.  I'm not sure I trust her secretive smile...

Sunday, September 16, 2012

There's Going to Be a Wedding

A doll wedding, that is.  Fairyland Feeple65 Siean will wed Soom Quartz Ice Dragon.  Once he gets here, that is.  And provided that they look as wonderful together as I hope they will.

In the meantime, I have been sewing what will be Siean's wedding dress.  (Siean, by the way, has finally revealed to me what her name is, but I am witholding it until her husband-to-be arrives.  I've got his name picked out, too.)  This dress had its beginnings in a now very familiar pattern:  #10 Takeshita-dori by Gracefaerie.  I've lost track now of how many times I have used it.  The funny thing is no two dresses made from it look the same.  Now that's a versatile pattern! 

I knew from trying one of the versions on Siean that it could be a little looser on top, so I allowed close to an inch of extra fabric in cutting out the blouse front.  The result accommodates her buxom figure perfectly.  I also thought the two-piece dress could use some extra length, so I added 4-inch wide lace to the bottom of both the blouse and the skirt.  There was a shorter length of the same lace wound around the lace bobbin at the fabric store.  I bought it along with the longer piece, thinking they were both 4 inches wide, only to discover that it was a bit narrower and finer.  I used it for the lower edge of the blouse, reserving the wider piece for the sleeves and the bottom of the skirt.

When Siean's groom arrives, I will make her a veil to go with the dresss.  For now she is wearing a narrow circlet with flowers in it.  I will also need to make something for the groom to wear.  Because I'm not sure of his size, that will have to wait until his arrival.  Between now and then, I suppose I could make bridesmaid dresses for some of the other dolls.  I'll try not to get carried away.  After all, it's not necessary for every single doll to be in the wedding party.  Some of them will have to be guests!

I was originally hoping to feature an Iplehouse fashion show in today's post.  I ordered some clothing just over a week ago and tracked the package as it made its way from Korea to New York (the usual port of entry) and then to North Reading, Massachusetts.  Massachusetts?  Are we taking the scenic route this time?  Nope, there in the margin of the tracking report was the word Missent.  I then watched in disbelief as the package made its way back to New York, where it appeared as Unclaimed.  How could it be unclaimed?  There was no attempt made at delivery.  If you mistakenly send a package to the wrong city in the wrong state, the chances that the addressee will be there to claim it are slim to none.

I notified Iplehouse of what was happening.  On Wednesday I filed a claim with the US Postal Service.  They are supposed to reply within 24 hours.  It's now Sunday and I am still waiting for an answer.  The last time I looked, the package was on its way back to Korea.  Iplehouse, bless their hearts, have promised to re-ship it to me free of charge.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Iplehouse Bianca Models Her Full Set

I finally changed Beatrice (nYID Bianca) into her full set.  Much as I love the Scandal set with its short short skirt and hint of beer garden, I was curious to see how Beatrice would look in the Vermeer-inspired laundry maid outfit that goes with her character's story.  It's a pretty dramatic change.  See if you don't agree:

The outfit did not come with shoes, so I bought a
pair of brown boots.  I needn't have bothered, as
the skirt is so long you can't see them.

Portrait of a lundry maid.

Cute little ski-junp nose.

She looks a bit wistful and sad, doesn't she?

There was a second full set outfit available for Bianca -- a military uniform -- which I did not buy.  It accompanied a long, involved story where she goes from a simple maid to a general in the bad guy's army, to a final transformation as a cyborg.  Too preposterous by far for me.  I'm sticking with the laundry maid.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Iplehouse Soo Gets a Makeover

Technically, it's a make-under, because this girl's makeup was way overdone.  It took me a couple of weeks to come to this decision, mainly because the very thought of "improving" on an Iplehouse faceup seemed tantamount to sacrilege.  The fact remains that the company has a heavy-handed artist on its staff, and he or she painted Soo beyond the limits of my acceptance.  I was so unhappy with her that I even listed her for sale on Den of Angels.  Finally, I took her off the Marketplace and went to work on her.  Nothing ventured, nothing gained.

Soo before makeover.  There is so much color on her face that
her neck looks white by comparison.
I don't know what brand of finishing spray IH uses, but I had an awful time getting the blush off Soo's face.  There wasn't a millimeter of resin on her face that wasn't blushed.  Her red nose made it look like she was suffering from a cold.  It took a lot of acetone, elbow grease, and finally scraping with my fingernail before I was able to peel away the color. 

Halfway there.  Removing the eyelashes chipped some
of the eyeliner, so I had to touch it up.  The face still
needs a bit of blush, eyelashes and eyes.
I have been thinking of buying Winsor-Newton brush cleaner to remove faceups.  I doubt I would have used it in this instance, however, as I wanted to keep Soo's eye makeup and lipstick intact.  Winsor-Newton removes everything, because you immerse the doll's head in it and let it soak.  That technique wouldn't have saved the parts I wanted to keep.

The new Soo.
When the blush finally came off, I was surprised at how much prettier she looked.  After spraying with MSC, I gave her a light blushing with a coral-colored pastel and sprayed again.  We tried on eyes in a number of different colors before I settled on a light green acrylic.  Luckily, her eyelashes had peeled off intact, so I was able to reglue them.  On the other hand, the MSC dulled the sheen on her lips.  I'm still debating whether or not to give them a light coat of varnish.  I rather like the matte look.

Diva in a green two-piece dress.
A new look deserves a new outfit.  The fabric from Siean's outfit was still on the table, along with cotton gauze in additional colors.  I picked green this time, to go with Soo's green eyes.  Originally I meant to make a bikini with a skirt to cover up, despite the Labor Day holiday which marks the official end of summer.  I made the skirt first.  No pattern--I just took measurements.  The bikini bottom was almost done when I decided she really needed a top first for modesty's sake. 

I tried draping the fabric on the doll's body and pinning it into shape.  Three tops later, I finally have one that works.  I also have a renewed respect for the designers who compete on Project Runway.  They usually get a single day to create a runway-ready fashion.  After two days, I had barely covered a 65 cm. doll.  I was also running out of usable daylight for taking photos, so I left the bikini bottom unfinished.  Maybe I'll complete it this winter and call it resort wear.

Soo happily tried on wigs and posed while I took photos.  Her EID body is rock solid.  I merely set her down on a table or on the floor and she stood still for me.  No bobbling, no falling.  It's as if she were telling me: "Thank you, thank you, thank you for getting me out of that cowgirl outfit.  Now let me show you who I really am!" 

* All wigs shown above are from Iplehouse.