Sunday, December 27, 2015

Gearing Up for a Delivery

Two new Raccoon girls will join the family tomorrow. At least, fingers crossed that tomorrow is the day. They are in transit, having left New York this morning. I don't have a lot of clothing in their size, so I have been sewing in anticipation.

Both girls have the new body style: slim as opposed to the original glamour body. The only real difference is a slightly wider waist (0.5cm larger) and narrower hips and thighs. This actually opens up the pattern possibilities. Many of the DeeAnna Denton patterns (Designs by Jude) are fitted through the waist and hips, which made converting them for Sarah's and Mika's pear-shaped bodies more work than I cared to do. The slim body's measurements are almost exactly the same as those given for DeeAnna. I bought two of the close fitting patterns in anticipation.

But first I had two other patterns I wanted to use. One of them was so unlikely that I never would have attempted it if I hadn't tried a finished garment on Sarah first. Gracefaerie's #14 Mini Wardrobe for 43cm Narae includes a Gothic Lolita dress designed for a doll whose 5.1 inch waist is the only measurement she holds in common with Raccoon girls. The original pattern was obviously designed with enough ease to accommodate a variety of mature minis. Why else would the bodice fit? The dress's full skirt has plenty of room for Raccoon's larger hips. It's one of those basic patterns I use over and over, in different fabrics and multiple variations. I haven't set the snaps on this one yet. I'm waiting until I can fit the dress exactly to the new body. As you can see below, I turned the dress into a sleeveless, more grown up style with little embellishment other than a few tiny gold beads (nearly invisible in the photo). I will add a ribbon belt when I dress the doll.
The second pattern is Dressing Up (Designs by Jude), a dress designed for Tonner's Hermione Granger doll. The hips are the main difference between Hermione and Raccoon, but because this dress has a full skirt the wider hipped Raccoon girl can wear it. I tried the dress on the glamour body and the dropped waist did not pose a problem, so as soon as the new girls arrive I can set the snaps.
I could have stopped there, because each girl would have an outfit all her own. On the other hand, I bought patterns especially for them. I needed to make at least one. I selected Lunch Date (Designs by Jude), a pair of wide legged pants fitted at the waist and hips, coupled with a short sleeve blouse.
But why stop there when I could turn it into a pants suit? Urban Beat (Designs by Jude) has a waist length jacket that should work perfectly with the pants. I started making it yesterday, so only the pants are done. I'll sew the blouse today so that the doll has something to model, then finish the jacket afterwards. I wish I could remember where I bought the fabric, because I want to get it in other colors. I think it's a stretch twill. Whatever it is, the finished pants have just enough stretch to allow them to go over the glamour body's hips, which means all my RaccoonDoll girls can wear them. You've got to love a fabric like that!
Below you see the pants, finished except for the snaps. I encountered only one problem with the directions: I had come to the end of them and still hadn't sewn the inseams. I'm not sure where in the sequence that step should go, but I did it at the end without having to undo anything else.

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Mirwen Snow Queen

I'm always surprised when I look in my stash of unpainted heads and faceplates to see how many there are. Most are event gifts. I add one to the stash each time I order from FairyLand during an event. There is another coming with the Basic FM60 Lacrima I ordered. It's either MiniFee or LittleFee size but probably the latter, as I ordered the doll with no extras this time. (Lacrima is the doll I will be styling as Frozen's Elsa.)

A couple of weeks ago I took advantage of a warm day (in December--yes!) to paint some faces.  As you may remember, I needed a third LittleFee elf to bring to the holiday meet-up. Luckily I had an unpainted Juri 2013 event faceplate that I was able to paint and put on LittleFee Lishe's body. Here she is. I'm quite happy with how she came out. She does have eyebrows, only you can't see them through the bangs. She will inhabit Lishe's body until I decide Lishe needs to come back.
Around the same time I saw a beautifully painted Mirwen sleep head on Den of Angels, which made me wonder if I had one. I don't always buy the sleep head with a FairyLand doll, so I was pleasantly surprised to find it. The trouble was it already had the default face-up. I remember I ordered it blank. FairyLand sent me an e-mail saying they had painted it by mistake and did I still want it. I accepted it as is, even though I didn't care for the face-up. It appears I placed it in the faceplate/head box and forgot about it.

So, on that same warm December day I wiped off the default paint and repainted it. I'm sorry now I didn't photograph it first to show the difference before and after. Essentially her makeup is now more subtle. When you think about it, what woman goes to sleep heavily made up? So I painted her using the principle of less is more. In my photos she wears a winter white gown trimmed in fur, with a matching hat and a white wig. I love the effect of white on white. It's perfect for a snow queen. Here she is. Enjoy!
Just for fun I played with some PhotoShop filters. The second photo has a light flare, the fourth has a diffuse glow, and the last has a blizzard effect. I also smoothed out her visible shoulder joint.

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Vermont Doll Lovers Meet-Up December 2015

Six of us met yesterday at the Brownell Library in Essex Junction to celebrate an early Christmas with our dolls. (ModernWizard has also posted the meeting at  The dolls were in an especially festive mood, inspired no doubt by their holiday attire and a number of Christmas trees. Let's look in on the festivities:
ModernWizard's Araminthe and Sardonix enjoy snacks with a bear-y friend. Scarves and Sardonix's hat were intended to dress wine bottles.
Here we come a-caroling: my MiniFees Lishe, Shushu and Mirwen, dressed in fashions from Wilde Imagination and wearing Iplehouse boots. LittleFee Ante Elf looks on.
Dashing through the snow: my Soom Quartz and FeePle65 Siean cozy up for a sleigh ride. A better look at the sleigh (from Plow and Hearth) below:
I don't know if they started out with a horse or a reindeer pulling the sleigh, but the LittleFee elves (Shine, Star and L'il Frost, otherwise known as Juri 13, Ante Elf and Soso) seem to have magicked it away.
Lyrajean also brought a sleigh. Riding in hers are her two Spiritdoll Bastet cats, with Petite Ai Sariel in front. Volks YoSD Kira and an artBimong Meronica round out the group.
Another look at Meronica. I'm very tempted to add one of these to my collection as she would fit in well with my Raccoon Doll girls. Lyrajean also brought her Volks Chiyo (not pictured), a new U-noa Lusis (red lips, below) and her U-noa Sist:
DragonGems' Russell, whose sweater started life as a Christmas sock, compares dolls with ModernWizard's Submit.
Melface's U-noa L-Bi competes with her MiniFee Rin for the most colorful Christmas sweater. Seated are her Dollzone Raphael, Doll Chateau Charles and SoulDoll Cubarem.
Above is a look at DC Charles in all his glorious full length, to prove he can indeed stand unaided, albeit not for very long.  I wish I had taken a closer photo of his fabulous body painting/tattoo work. Hiding behind him is Melface's Dream High Studio Hiro, he of the jointed hands. To the right is a lady elf sculpted by DragonGems.
Melface acquired her Luts Honey Delf Centaur (Choco Cookie version) without a head. I hope she finds one to match that lovely light tan resin.
Up in the tree top, Dollpamm Bebe Poyo. She belongs to Melface.
Another candidate in the colorful Christmas sweater contest: Shannon's Doll Chateau Bella.
Melface's LittleFee Lewi joined the party late, as Shannon was still knitting his sweater. I picked up some knitting pointers from her as she worked. Thanks, Shannon!
Lyrajean's Luts Delf Chiwoo Vampire is having a melancholy Christmas, although whether it's because she's had her fangs removed or because Lyrajean is putting her up for sale, she isn't saying. Also up for sale (but not pictured) is her Soom Sabik.
And we heard him exclaim as he drove out of sight, 
Happy Christmas to all and to all a good night!

Friday, December 11, 2015

Sneak Preview: L'il Frost and the Starshine Elves

The costumes for tomorrow's doll meet-up are finished! Yay! Here is a sneak peek at Star, L'il Frost and Shine. I'll probably make a couple of tweaks to the frost wands so that the dolls can hold them more securely. The wands are blue on one side (ice) and white on the other (snow). And of course, L'il Frost still needs to put on his roller skates. Hey, I had to save something for tomorrow, right?

Actually, I am tempted to enlarge the tights pattern and make three new pairs. They don't take long to sew and I'm afraid L'il Frost will burst his current pair at the seams if he tries to sit down.

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Li'l Frost and the Starshine Elves

Before you go looking for actual dolls named Li'l Frost and the Starshine Elves, let me say that Li'l Frost is my LittleFee Shiwoo (wearing a Soso faceplate), while the Starshine Elves are Star (my LittleFee Ante Elf) and Shine (my LittleFee Lishe). Shine will soon become a Juri 2013 elf. For the time being she wears her default Lishe faceplate because I only got around to painting the Juri 2013 this afternoon. By the time I finished it was too dark to take photos.

Three outfits in progress
So why the role playing?  Next Saturday the Vermont Doll Lovers will hold our annual Christmas meet-up. My MiniFees are going as carolers, which doesn't require a change of character, only the addition of coats and boots.  I thought it would be fun to dress the LittleFees as Santa's elves, but as I started assembling fabrics and patterns a whole other story emerged. I'm using left-over, rejected and extra fabrics from the Elsa Project (I had to take a break from that in order to dress up the little ones) which means I have a lot of blue, blue-green and silver. Icy colors. So instead of Santa's elves we have Jack Frost's elves. They go about the countryside on Christmas eve touching everything with snow and frost to guarantee a white Christmas.

Tights (and leggings) done
With three costumes to make, I am working in assembly line fashion: three pairs of tights, three tops, three hats, three vests. It's quicker this way. Of course where I have a color change or a change from knit to woven fabric, I try to do all of each at one time. Anything to get it all done by Saturday. (I could have started sooner but I tend to procrastinate.)

The tights, tops and hats all come from the same pattern: Happy Little Jack-O-Lantern from The House of O'Brien. I've made the entire outfit before so didn't anticipate any problems. I guess I got lucky the first time and the knit I used was just the right weight. This time I hit a snag. One of my knits has two-way stretch only. The resulting tights might fit a PukiFee but they don't go up past a LittleFee's knees. The other knit has four-way stretch so I cut three pairs of tights without testing one first. They had to fit, right? The first pair was so tight going on that I didn't sew the feet on the other two. Abracadabra--leggings! With shoes you can't tell. The tops, on the other hand, fit just fine in both fabrics. The hats will be pinned to wigs, so fit is not an issue.
Shine's shirt is almost finished.

That leaves the vests--or tunic and dresses, I haven't decided. I'm using the bodice from 1800 Ange Ai by Adams-Harris Patterns. I'll probably attach a short skirt to it for the girls and something to turn it into a vest for Li'l Frost. You'll notice he is wearing sturdy shoes. That's because he will be donning roller skates for the meet-up. Though ice skates would be more in season, I don't have any in LittleFee size so we make do with what we have. Either way, he is guaranteed to terrorize the other meet-up attendees.