Sunday, January 25, 2015

One Finished Outfit and a New Faceup for Mirwen

Mirwen has had an exciting week.  I finished one of the outfits I've been working on for her--and I repainted her face.

The outfit consists of the second corset top I made a few weeks ago, coupled with a skirt.  This is not the outfit modeled by the first Fairyland/Victoria Frances collaboration (the doll that was not released to the public).  Rather, it is a different style of skirt put together with the same style of corset.


I had some issues putting it together related to the fabrics I selected.  Much as I love the silver fabric that forms the underskirt, it is extremely hard to iron.  I should have steamed the hem before putting the skirt together.  I didn't, so the hem is unintentionally poufy.  Where you see the black tulle layer I originally intended to use a beautiful coral organza with a bit of sparkle to it, which picked up the color of the small flowers in the printed fabric. Gathering that fabric and trying to fit it between the other two layers was a nightmare.  I ended up taking the skirt apart and discarding the organza.  It seems to be the sort of fabric that wants to be the star of the show; obviously it is not content to play a supporting role.  My main regret is that now the organza is cut, I'm not sure what to do with it.  It was a remnant to begin with (most of my "fancy" fabrics are) so there is no extra and I've had it so long I can't get more.
As far as patterns go, I used the Sans Pretention pattern from MHD Designs for the underskirt.  The top skirt is a rectangular piece rounded off at each end, to which I added a row of white lace.  The sandwich layer is simply four thicknesses of a rectangular piece of tulle cut to fall midway between the bottom of the top skirt and the bottom of the underskirt.  I cut a yoke from a scrap of black fabric, using the yoke from the Sweet Jane pattern by Adams-Harris Pattern Company, to connect the tulle to the top skirt.  Without it there would have been too much thickness at the waist.  As it was, there was so much thickness to deal with that I ended up doing a lot of hand sewing.  Better that than trying to unsnarl tulle that my sewing machine has chewed to bits.


 A word about the choker.  It is simply a piece of black elastic with a built-in ruffle, to which I have glued a paper flower.  What's interesting is that the flower is made from printed paper that resembles the print in Mirwen's dress.  What a lucky find!

If you are looking at the photos and wondering what's different about Mirwen's faceup, the answer is Nothing.  I took a set of photos of the finished outfit with Mirwen in her Fairyland default makeup.  Although I have always intended to repaint her, with winter upon us I didn't think I would be repainting her anytime soon.  Yesterday, however, the weather report called for sunshine and temperatures above freezing.  In the past I have sprayed MSC outdoors in freezing temperatures, but it's risky.  No one likes to spend time painting a doll's face only to have the finishing spray freeze on contact with the resin, or else turn white and flake off when you take the head back indoors.  Yesterday's conditions were as good as you can expect in northern New England in wintertime.  They spurred me to action.

Before I could give her a new faceup, I had to remove the default.  I don't think I've ever encountered a makeup job that was so difficult to remove.  It's a good thing I started early in the day, or else I would have missed my narrow window of favorable temperatures.  I wanted her to have the faceup shown on the prototype Victoria Frances Mirwen.  I had already printed out color copies of the original faceup.  All I had to do was copy it. 

I don't usually employ a magnifying lamp to do faceups: I find it disorienting to see a pencil as large as an oversized crayon under the lens.  The marks it makes are huge!  It became easier as I worked at it.  I think it helped that Mirwen's head is larger than most I have repainted.  Seeing the big fat marks on the resin encouraged me to make shorter, finer strokes.  Needless to say, I am pleased with the results.  The faceup is not perfect, but it is better than any I have done before.  The worried eyebrows are part of Mirwen's look, but they still need a bit of tweaking.  I couldn't fix them yesterday because the temperature began falling earlier than predicted.  It was only 2:30 p.m. and already the thermometer read close to freezing.  I'll wait until another warm-up and hope it comes without rain.


Next up is the skirt for the first corset.  I have figured out how to put it together.  All I need to do before starting it is to practice making a rolled hem.  The prototype skirt left unfinished edges, but some of my fabric threatens to fray easily so I'm planning handkerchief hems.  A product such as Fray Check is not an option because my fabrics are sheer; any discoloration will show through to the front.  Wish me luck!

8 comments:

  1. That outfit came out beautiful, even though it was a struggle! I like the new faceup too, it suits her!

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    1. Thanks. I'm glad you like her, and the outfit, too. I always complain about how much trouble I have sewing doll clothes, but the fact is, I think I simply enjoy complaining. LOL

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  2. I'm so amazed at how you can make your dolls look like totally different dolls by changing their face & their clothes. How fun!

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    1. I know, right? Makes you wonder why I keep buying new dolls, when all I really need to do is change up the ones I already have.

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  3. Hope this helps http://www.threadsmagazine.com/item/25887/roll-hemming-a-curve-made-easy/page/all
    great face up and cute oufit.. good job

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    1. Thanks for the link, Kath. That looks relatively easy, although the rolled hem I was referring to is a hand-sewn version where the thread disappears into the rolled fabric. I must say I'm awfully tempted to get a hot knife. Clean, sealed edges without a hem--what's not to love?

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  4. Nicely done! I love the outfit and how you put together the Adams Harris and MHD Designs patterns!

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    1. Thank you! The fact that it looks as good as it does is one reason I haven't rushed to complete the other skirt. I'm enjoying looking at this one for now.

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