Sunday, January 26, 2014

Steampunk for MiniFee, Part Two

I'm so pleased.  Not only did the pants to this outfit turn out to my liking, but the sun came out today and stayed out long enough for me to get lots of photos, not only for my blog but also for my next batch of eBay listings.

The pattern calls for the pants to be fastened with a couple of snaps and trimmed with buttons.  Never one to like being told what to do, I decided to play with other types of fasteners.  First I tried sewing on the rounded metal eyes from hook-and-eye closures and then threading a brown ribbon through to lace them up.  Not bad, but the lacing didn't look quite as I had envisioned it, so out came the seam ripper and off came the eyes.  I didn't photograph this look, only because I didn't trust the sun to wait for me to take photos and then redo the fastenings.

After giving it some thought, I decided to go with hooks and eyes, replacing the round eyes with straight ones to minimize gapping.  I actually toyed with the idea of putting the hooks and eyes on the outside of the garment, thanks to a photo I came across last night while surfing on Den of Angels.  It showed a doll wearing a steampunk outfit that had a corset done that way.  I thought it looked pretty cool, but realized it looked better on a corset than it would on the front of cloth pants.  Maybe another time.

Cute little butterfly butt.  It's actually a bow.

There was still the matter of what sort of decoration to add to make the outfit a little more steampunk.  Recently I bought a package of small metal gears in different sizes and colors.  I think they're meant for scrapbooking.  I figured I would want them for this outfit in one way or another.  The only question was how to put them together.  I played with them for a little while, arranging them in different ways before deciding to thread two together with a brown ribbon, tie a bow at the top and hang it from the waistband something like a watch fob.

I wanted to make pale blue socks to echo the color of the blouse.  After tearing the house apart looking for the one pattern piece that makes socks that fit MiniFees (and not finding it), I looked through the socks I've already made and settled on the tan and cream stripe Calandra is wearing in the photos.  They work well enough with the cream and brown Luts shoes.  Now, where in the world did that sock pattern go?  If it got into another pattern envelope I won't find it until I'm looking to make something else.  Isn't that always the way?

Calandra's wig is Hope in Honey Ashblonde by Monique Gold.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Steamppunk for MiniFee, Part One

Seeing as FairyLand has embraced the Steampunk theme with two new LittleFees and a new FeePle65, I thought this would be the perfect time to start sewing a pattern from Adams-Harris called Steampunk for MiniFee.  To be honest, there is not a whole lot of steampunk in the design.  The three pieces are slightly Victorian in inspiration, but there is not a hint of science fiction.  No steam, no punk, just a very nice, slightly old-fashioned outfit.

I guess I'll have to jazz it up myself with accessories and trim, once I get all three pieces made. 

I made the blouse a couple of weekends ago in a pale blue fabric with white dots.  It's not exactly a dotted Swiss, although it resembles one.  The blouse has short, puffy sleeves and is trimmed in lace with a flower accent.  I replaced the flower with a bow, for no reason other than that I had a blue bow left over and saw an opportunity to use it.  Until I could start on the accompanying pants, I let Calandra wear it under a sleeveless dress.  Bad choice, because the blouse is now wrinkled.  Little things like that are hard to iron.  Not to mention my mini iron is a piece of junk.

Today I started on the high-waisted, cropped pants.  As always when I start a project with only a few pattern pieces, I figured I would be able to finish in time to take photos and blog them.  Not a chance.  First my thread knotted itself on the underside of my work.  Then my fabric started shredding.  I can't stand the liquid that stops fabric from fraying.  It always spreads beyond the place I attempt to put it and then it dries dark and stiff.  I'd just as soon take my chances with pinking shears.  How I wish I had a serger!  My thread then proceeded to knot itself on the underside of my work--again.  And once more.

Aside from the purely technical difficulties, I encountered an instruction I didn't understand.  Steps 1 through 10...easy-peasy.  Step 11 talked about fold lines.  I must have read that sentence over and over for 15 minutes straight, all the while folding the fabric this way and that to see if I could make it do what I thought the instruction was saying.  I finally had my ah-ha! moment, but getting there gave me a few more gray hairs than I started out with.  The pattern envelope shows only the empire-waist duster that covers the rest of the outfit.  A drawing of the other two pieces would have helped immensely.

I came close to finishing the pants.  I really did.  Unfortunately, near the end the sewing machine started making unwanted loops in my line of sewing.  I opted to take the stitches out, but by then it was getting dark.  Maybe if it hadn't been snowing outside, I might have had a few more minutes of daylight.  As it was, I couldn't see well enough by artificial light to continue.

The lighting conditions also played havoc with my photos.  Calandra's resin is called beautiful white.  Every time I tried to photograph her, the flash went off and whited her out completely.  The only way I could get a shot at all was by looking down on her from above.  So, very few photos.  I promise more when the outfit is completed. 

Now...what shall I add to it to make it truly Steampunk?

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Chittenden County Doll Club Meeting, January 11, 2014

I confess:  I always wait for ModernWizard to post first after a meet-up so I'll know which dolls were in attendance.  Her blog post is finally up,enabling me to edit mine.
This is a U-noa Sist belonging to Lyrajean, who made her dress from a sock, no less.  Cute!
Here she is with the rest of Lyrajean's crew, plus one of mine.  Left to right, U-noa Sist, a Volks F26 (named Tony) in the brown suit, Hujoo Freya (the white cat), Volks Yo-SD Kira in red jacket, Volks Masha sitting in the back row, with Customhouse Petite Ai Sariel standing in front of her, and my Iplehouse KID Lisa (named Ophelia) in the eggplant colored dress that looks brown when I photograph it.
This is Sardonyx, a hybrid Fairyland Juri head with a Shiny Doll Thaasa II body.  She belongs to ModernWizard.  That's some ice cream cone!  Do you think she'll share?
There's no mistaking this fair lady.  It's my Fairyland FeePle 65 Siean, dressed in the Sleeping Beauty set for SID from Iplehouse.  I took way too many photos of her.  I love this girl!
Here are three of Goldi's dolls:  left to right, a Volks SD10 Nana, a Fairyland LittleFee Bonnie (Denver Doll exclusive) wearing a Soom centaur's leg wings, and a Volks SD13 Rinon.
This cute little demon (named Peekaboo) is a hybrid consisting of a customized Barbie head on a modded Spin Master Liv body.  Love the boots!
ModernWizard's Epona, a modded and repainted Takara Cy girl/satyr.  What you can't see in the photo is the lovely tail she has.
My lovely Fairyland MiniFee Chloe, in a dark wig.  She has been a blonde up until now.  Frankly, she makes any wig look good.
This hybrid belongs to Goldi.  She is part Soom Adamelli and part Soom Mylo.
LittleFee Bonnie without the head appendages.
Volks love!  (Both pretending not to care.)
Don't forget next month's special Valentine's Day meet-up.  It's on February 8th.
Same place, same time.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Sleeping Beauty Siean

Around Halloween, Iplehouse released a number of fairy tale themed costumes.  In true Iplehouse fashion, most of them were black, with or without touches of red.  There was one brown costume, the EID Witch Hunter set (which I purchased for Lahela) and one blue costume, the SID Sleeping Beauty dress set (which ended up on Zera).  My outfits arrived in time to be photographed as part of a Halloween Gala, along with some other costumes I had accumulated over time.

Fast forward past Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's.  Next Saturday the Chittenden County Doll Club holds its January meet-up.  One of the girls has asked me to bring FeePle 65 Siean.  Sure, not a problem.  I had been wondering which doll would accompany Iplehouse KID Lisa.  Siean always enjoys a meet-up.  But what could she wear?  My eye fell on Zofia, my SID Zera.  She was still wearing the blue Sleeping Beauty dress set and eying me warily.  I experienced the proverbial "Ah-ha!" moment.  They have traded clothes before, so I knew the set would work.

Not only does it work, but it fits Siean better than it fits either of my SID girls.  It's her body shape.  Siean has a larger bust than either of my SIDs.  She also has a narrower waist.  The top and skirt that strain to fasten over the SID's generous midsection both fit Siean perfectly.  She and I are very well pleased.  I added a tiara I made from metallic trim and glue-on beads.  Here is a sneak peek in advance of next week's meet-up.