Sunday, September 28, 2014

The Day the Bees Tried to Steal the Pumpkins

When bees find something of particular interest, they typically return to the hive and tell everyone so that all can take part in the bounty.  Let's look in on one enterprising drone whose find is so special that he has raised, not the hive, but the queen bee herself.


There!  Do you see it?  A pile of pumpkins, already picked, and a barrow to carry them away.

You have done well, little drone.  What is the bigger one?  It has hair!

I don't think it's anything to worry about.

Bees!  Go away!  Shoo!  Shoo!

You can't shoo us.  We're taking the pumpkins.

I am the Pumpkin Guardian and I say you can't!

Just watch us.

I'll stop you.

You can't.

[Climbing aboard.]  Just see if I can't.

She looks heavy.

I don't care.  We'll take her, too.

I wonder if she's good to eat.

Listen up, pipsqueak.  You are not eating me nor any of these pumpkins.

Pumpkin Guardian, prepare to be eaten.

Pumpkins can gain up to 40 pounds in one day.  You'll never get these back to the hive.

I think she means it.  I can't budge this barrow.

You know I don't like to lift a finger, but in this case I'll help you.

C'mon, barrow.  Move it!

It's not moving.  We'll go back to the hive and raise the alarm.  All the bees will come.  We can devour the pumpkins on the spot.

And while they're gone, my pumpkins and I will vanish from this place.  We will never be taken alive!

Thanks everyone for watching our Halloween play!

Sunday, September 21, 2014

One Bee Down, Another Bee to Go

I took advantage of an extremely windy weekend to stay indoors and sew like mad.  Much as I hate to rush these costumes, I still have a few to make for the dolls who will accompany me to the Halloween edition of our doll club meet-up.  Maddy's (Ringo girl's) costume is done.  Max (Ringo boy) is up next.  You'd never know it to look at them, but both are relieved they won't need to wear the dreaded pumpkin costume.  I might draft another small doll--like Erzulie--to wear it.  She'd make a cute pumpkin.

Considering how much trouble I had last weekend with the girl bee costume, it finished up nicely.  It did give me one surprise early in the day yesterday:  the dress bodice requires a lining and I hadn't cut one out.  Ideally I would have lined it in the same bright yellow as the stripes, but the closest color I had on hand was a dull gold.  Oh, well, it's better than nothing--and quicker than a trip to the store.

Originally I planned to make a two-tiered skirt:  black lace for the top tier and yellow tulle for the bottom.  Instead, I used only black lace for the skirt and made a separate crinoline from the tulle.  The result looks the same, but the fabric is distributed so there is less thickness at the waist.  When you're as chunky in the midsection as Maddy is, every little bit helps.  I could eliminate the tulle altogether; however, she gets the extra bit of froufrou because, after all, she's the Queen bee.  Hmm, perhaps she needs a tiara, too.

After last week's mess, I remade the stockings from a different fabric.  And because I can't see what I'm doing when I sew black fabric with black thread, I sewed them with royal blue thread this time.  Very little of the thread shows in the finished product, so it worked out well.  I also drew my seam line onto the black fabric with a white Dritz pencil.  All I can say is I wish I had thought of that sooner.

I was going to make little bee wings to attach to both costumes.  Now I'm not sure.  Maddy's wig is too long and full.  The wings would get lost in all the hair.  Max still might get wings.  He needs something, because without a skirt his costume is rather plain.  I actually got his turtleneck, stockings and antennae done today.  His shorts and wings are all I have left to do.  The sun, which had come out briefly in the afternoon, disappeared for good once I took out my camera, so I didn't get photos of him.  So far he's looking good.

My RealPukis want to attend the meet-up, too, so they will need costumes. They would look so funny as the Three Musketeers.  I doubt I'll have that much time, but wouldn't it be fun if I did!

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Halloween Will "Bee" Fun This Year

Browsing through a recent American Girl catalog, I came across a Halloween costume that inspired me to come up with something similar for my dolls.  The costume consisted of a yellow tee shirt with black ruffled stripes, a black and yellow tutu, and striped black and yellow tights.  Yellow wings and a hairband with antennae completed the look.  I studied it for a few minutes and decided to make bee costumes for my Iplehouse Ringo twins.

I went into this project knowing that fabric with narrow black and yellow stripes would be next to impossible to find, so I was prepared to accept a workable substitute.  After going up and down every aisle at my local Jo-Ann Fabrics, I finally found a multicolor stripe fabric in the very last aisle.  The knit was somewhat loose and the stripes were wider than I wanted, but by George, there was enough black and yellow for my purpose. I also bought a length of plain black knit (actually, it may be bathing suit lining fabric--it looks and feels the same as a lining I have in another color) to use for tights.

To fabricate the wings I will probably glue yellow tulle over florist wire and frost it with a little glitter.  The antennae will be black pipe cleaners.  I haven't decided whether to attach the antennae to a hairband or to make a cap or hood instead.  It depends on how much time I have.  (The Halloween meet-up occurs almost three weeks before Halloween.)  The girl's skirt will be black lace over yellow tulle. I also picked up a pair of bee appliques that I can attach, one to each costume.

My pattern is #53 Perfect 10 by Charie Wilson for Gracefaerie Designs.  While it is not specifically sized for BIDs, I have used it in the past and found that the pattern pieces sized for 10.5 inch Goodreau and Creedy dolls work.  That said, I sewed the thigh high socks first, thinking to get off to a running start with something easy.  Not only did I run into all kinds of fabric-related problems, but the finished product was too big.  (I should note that the sock patterns are one-size-fits-all.)  Out of curiosity I tried the socks on some other dolls, getting progressively larger as I went.  The feet didn't fit anyone until I got to U-noa Sist.  I almost tossed the socks aside for U-noa, then figured nothing ventured, nothing gained.  I cut off all the seams, leaving a considerably smaller sock piece.  I'll try again next weekend.  They may end up knee-high instead of thigh-high, but at least the foot will be small enough to fit.

I did manage to finish one piece of this multi-piece extravaganza:  the panties that go under the girl's dress.  It's not much to show after a whole weekend's work, but I'll admit the sock fiasco shook my confidence, coming as it did a day after I sewed leggings for JID Tania.  That was another case where I ended up cutting off part of the garment.  Seeing as the panty part of the leggings wouldn't go over Tania's gigantic hips, I cut the panty off and turned the leggings into leg warmers.  Not sure I'm going to keep those.  I may try again--as time permits.

This was not a good weekend for sewing.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

A Tale of Two Red T-Shirts

Remember this shirt from a few weeks back? 

I had planned to make a red t-shirt to go with it, but ran out of time, so Pendaran went to the meet-up wearing a yellow t-shirt instead.  It lacked the punch a red tee would have given it, but it sufficed.
I had cut out and started sewing the red one, but didn't finish it until after the meet-up.  Now that it's done, I like how it sets off the white pants and the black-and-white shirt.  He also has a red swoosh on his tennis shoes, so the red is really spot-on.  His significant other likes it.

Even though I bought only a small amount of the red knit, I had some left over.  Enough for several small projects, as a matter of fact.  So this weekend I started another shirt.

Who is this one for?  I don't recognize the fellow on the envelope.

Not a fellow at all.  I'm making it for one of the girls.

I guess that explains the black frilly stuff.  You had me worried there, for a minute.

It's going to be a dress.  Or maybe a tunic.  It depends on the final length.


It's for one of the smaller girls.  Trust me.

Sometime later:

You two do look nice together.

There's a size discrepancy, don't you think?

Nothing a stool won't minimize.  Try slouching a bit more. 

So tell me, Tania, how do you like it?

Um, the skirt is a little see-through.  And my legs feel bare.

You've been wearing jeans all summer, so of course you feel the difference.  The outfit will have leggings.  Don't worry, you'll be covered up.

The skull and crossbones are a nice touch, although not something I'd usually wear...

The outfit is for Halloween.  You'll see.  I have a few more touches to add to it.

I can hardly wait.