Sunday, February 7, 2016

The Anna Project, Part 4

This past week I accomplished a number of small things that advanced the project without providing many photo opportunities. The biggest photo op came with a small break in the cold weather last Monday, when I decided to repaint Elsa.  Her previous face-up wasn't bad, it was simply marred slightly with stray pastel powder that extended her lip color to her cheek. Even though I fixed my photos in Photoshop, I knew that showing her at doll meetups meant others would photograph her smears and all. For her first face-up I had used photos of Elsa as a guide to eyebrow placement, freckles and makeup colors. This time I decided to forgo photos and let her face sculpt be my guide. I even left off the freckles. She didn't need them. (What she does need are new eyelashes, as her present ones got mashed during removal and re-gluing.)

The result surprised me. My renewed Elsa looked younger than her sister Anna. I took some photos and studied them. There was only one thing to do. Elsa became Anna and Anna became Elsa. I'm thrilled with the new pairing. Mirwen as Elsa looks more like the young queen who is terrified by her powers. Lacrima as Anna gives off the feeling of happy optimism that marks the younger sister. I only wonder why I didn't see it sooner.
The garments that I have sewn so far have been bothering me for a while. Both Elsa's and Anna's skirts were loose at the waist.  I decided to alter both of them to fit. Elsa's was an easy fix; all it took was moving the snaps. Anna's skirt took a little more thought and a lot more work.  The skirt has four pleats--two in front and two in back. Adjusting them would have been easier if I hadn't lined the skirt. Even though I planned to alter only the back set of pleats, I had to take out the back seams, the two skirt pleats, the corresponding lining pleats, and the waist seam that encompassed them before I could sew everything back together. The finished skirt is a better fit. Of course, now that it sits at her waist instead of below it, it's also shorter. This skirt definitely could have used more length, but with all the embroidery on it there is no way to add fabric. I could always remake it. Tantalizing as the opportunity to perfect my embroidery might be, do I really want to go there?

I had hoped to finish a muslin to check Anna's cape for fit. As luck would have it, I ran out of muslin before cutting out all the pieces so I had to go back to the store. I got as far as basting the body to the yoke and pinning the capelet at the shoulders.  Just eyeballing it on the table, I think it needs to be longer. I'm hoping the shoulders will fit. If not, I'll have to alter the pattern for width as well as length.

After spending time online looking for the right trim for Anna's cape, I settled on a dark red half-inch gimp braid whose color was identified as ruby.  I had hoped for a wine or a burgundy.  It looked dark on my monitor, but we all know how very different colors can appear in real life versus online.  I ordered two yards of it and held my breath until it arrived.  Big sigh of relief! It's even darker than the small length of gimp I was hoping to match. My old piece of gimp braid is narrower, so I may use it on the collar and save the wider braid for the body of the cape. I didn't bother ordering pom pom fringe. One, I couldn't match the color of my braid and two, I don't like pom poms anyway.

To cap off my week I ordered some fabrics to serve as photo backgrounds for the finished outfits. I wanted snow and/or wintry scenes, two motifs that the local stores seem to have put away for the season. In fact, the nearest fabric store had progressed beyond both Valentine's Day and St. Patrick's Day and was showcasing Easter.  I guess that means that a few weeks before Easter we'll be treated to the red-white-and-blue of the patriotic holidays as well as the beachy colors of summer. Welcome to retail!


  1. I liked lacrima as Elsa, but it's true that she seems younger than Anna, so it's a good change.
    I am waiting for the cape, good luck with it!

    1. Thanks! The muslin cape is wide enough, but I'm going to lengthen the actual cape. I may as well make it a little wider as well. In for a penny, in for a pound, as the saying goes.