Sunday, May 28, 2017

FID Bichun, a Kilt, Tee Shirts, a Swimsuit

I have a hodgepodge of stuff this week. First of all, FID Bichun arrived in time to go to last week's meet-up but didn't get a formal introduction. So here he is:
Pecs? Check.
Biceps? Check. Abs? Check.
Attitude? Check.
Seems a shame to put a shirt on that, doesn't it? He certainly thinks so.
Miho likes it, too. She's in love. About time, too. She's been lonely for too long.

If you looked at last week's post of my dolls at the meet-up, you'll have noticed Claude in a too-small kilt. I realized he needed one that doesn't look like he borrowed it from a younger brother. I put this kilt together early in the week, along with a new plaid, sporran and belt.

Those FID men not in kilts got tee shirts. Rex had his in time for the meet-up; I made Bichun's and Lawrence's tees this week.
I'm not in love with how the white one turned out. It's difficult to get on and off despite four-way stretch fabric. I was afraid I'd rip his eyelashes off. I'll make another tee from a looser knit. They all use the same pattern so that should do the trick. For now, here's the white one again. You can see how tight the neck is.
I didn't put a collar on Rex's (the blue tee in the photo of all three), which is probably why it fits so well. Bichun got a collar plus good fit, so go figure.

Last project of the week was a bathing suit for my Maxima Suntan Zinna. Next month's meet-up has a beach theme, so I've decided to feature my tan dolls. Two of the Raccoon girls already have crochet bikinis. I thought of putting Zinna in a crochet bikini also, but couldn't wrangle her into the top. She has extra torso joints--which makes her wriggle when I try to dress her--and the resin is too slippery for the yarn to get a grip. Plan B calls for a one-piece suit made of fabric. It's almost there but not quite:
The bottom half is a decent fit but the top is a disaster. I worked without a pattern, trying to drape, cut and sew as I went. The darts ended up too high to make the fabric conform to her bust. I thought of adding more darts, but it may be better to cut the suit right under the bust and substitute something more fitted on top. Zinna is simply too full-figured to go with an unconstructed top. The minute I try to change her pose she literally falls out of the fabric.
When I finish her suit, I need to crochet a bikini for Raccoon Gene; then I need to sew a romper-style suit for tan LittleFee Ante. FID Lawrence has black briefs that will have to do double duty as a swimsuit. We'll need a few hats and beach totes, as well as another blanket or two. Before I know it, the meet-up will be here.

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Vermont Doll Lovers Meet-Up May 20, 2017

Four members attended yesterday's meeting in Essex Junction of the Vermont Doll Lovers: Lyrajean, Melface, Modern Wizard and Vermont chick (that's me). Our theme was Vice, although most of us didn't adhere to it. My excuse? No suitable props.

Lyrajean brought four Volks dolls: Hijakata, Date, SDGr Jun, and YoSD Kira. Little Kira brought a Hatchimal (still in the egg).

Melface brought a group of tinies, from left to right: a Ruriko Birdcage, an Obitsu 25mm (dark hair, no face-up), an Azone Pure Neemo Yui, a 2D Doll Miki (no wig or face-up), an Obitsu Chara head on an Azone Pure Neemo body (with flower headpiece), and a Polynian Shamrock robot.
 Modern Wizard also brought tinies: a Mattel Mulan repaint/reroot on a Spin Master body, a Barbie fashionista head on Wolf King Female Joker body, and a Barbie repaint/reroot on a Spin Master body. She also brought Re-ment food items in gluttonous proportions, none of which seem to have found their way into my photos.

I thought I'd give all my FIDs an airing, and since three of them were wearing Highland dress I added Soom Idealian51 Summer Monologue Cuba (romantic head) so my Jamie Fraser could be with his Claire (FID Grace).
Cuba and Grace as Jamie and Claire
FID Claude and Leonard
FID Miho and Bichun
FID Rex
FID Lawrence


Sunday, May 14, 2017

Outlander Jamie and Claire in BJD

I can hear you grumble: Will she ever finish with these Scottish Highlander costumes? No verra likely, seeing as I continue to be obsessed with Diana Gabaldon's Outlander (books and television series). From the minute I first entertained the idea of creating doll versions of these characters, I knew Soom Idealian51 Cuba (Summer Monologue version) would be my Jamie Fraser. The ID51 body has broad shoulders and a thick chest for its height. Paired with the romantic head's narrowed eyes it fit Jamie's description to a tee. Claire was harder to cast--until Iplehouse released their Grace sculpt in FID size. Grace has a no nonsense look about her, perfect for a former 20th Century Army combat nurse transported to 18th Century Scotland. With a long red wig the sculpt could also stand in for Claire's daughter Briana, but if so I'd need another Claire and then I'm back where I started. I guess I'll wait and see which female sculpts Iplehouse releases next.
As for costumes, there are official Outlander tartans on the market. (For example see The Celtic Croft, http://www.kilts-n-stuff.com/ .) Scale is problematic, as the fabric is designed for humans rather than dolls. I knew I would have to make do with something in the spirit of, even if the colors differed. That goes for patterns, too. All the kilts I've made so far were inspired by a pleated skirt pattern for Kaye Wiggs MSD girls. Designs by Jude has a pattern called Dandy for male dolls. It said 18th Century to me so I went with it. So far I've used the shirt, coat and waistcoat, although I've shortened the long waistcoat to waist length. I'll probably alter the frock coat pattern to get a short jacket that Jamie can wear for everyday, because the coat looks too much like his wedding finery. I went to a completely different pattern for his stock.
For Claire's outfit I bought Scottish Claire from Designs by Jude. This pattern does not come in anything near FID size, so I purchased the size for Tonner's American Model dolls (the waist measurement was close) and ended up redrawing the rest of it to fit. I also noticed as I was working on it that the jacket included a peplum. In consulting The Making of Outlander, the Series by Tara Bennett, it seemed to me that the pattern most resembled a costume in shades of brown whose jacket most definitely does not have a peplum, so I felt justified in omitting it. The pattern recommends cutting apart a sock to make the cowl and fingerless gloves. Instead, I crocheted a cowl and made the gloves from a knit fabric.
I'll probably have to make Claire's wedding dress, if only because Jamie already looks dressed for their wedding. I figure I can resize the Opulent gown to suit. All I need to do now is hunt for fabrics.
I've been lucky to find suitable wigs for both characters. Jamie's wig is Ellowyne Rose by Monique Gold in double red, size 6-7. I tied it back with a ribbon because that much hair can easily overwhelm his face. Claire wears the same wig in brown black, size 5-6. For those times when Claire wears her hair up, Monique's Margie wig in brown black, size 5-6, does the trick.
You may have noticed that I haven't said a word about problems with pattern instructions. This is not to imply that there were none, only that I have (so far) not bitched about them. Let's just say that I had to refer to a different pattern altogether in order to attach the pockets to the Dandy coat, because there were no instructions--at all. And that's just one example. Patternmakers: Please proofread your pattern instructions.
A word about my background. It's a view of the Craigh na Dun stone circle, printed on fabric. (There is a collection of licensed Outlander fabrics available at https://www.fabric.com/ and other sites.) The cotton panel is 24 inches wide by 44 inches tall, so there is enough to clip to the top of my 36-inch tall shoji screen and still have a little left over for the dolls to stand on. Much as I wish it were wider, I am thrilled to have it because the only thing better would be to have my dolls actually on scene in Scotland.
If you haven't had enough of my Jamie and Claire, I posted a wordless photo story to Den of Angels late yesterday. Maybe I should do another one with dialogue. What do you think?

Sunday, May 7, 2017

LittleFee Ante in Tan Resin

Succumbing to impulse last week, I ordered an in-stock LittleFee Ante in tan resin from Denver Doll. Yes, I already have an Ante; she's an elf. Her white resin has now mellowed with age. Although I still love her, I felt it was time she had a human sister. And I've been wanting to get at least one FairyLand doll in tan resin. So, win-win.
White Ante elf and tan human Ante
One of the pleasures of ordering an in-stock doll is that it arrives within days, unlike the months it takes for the preparation of a preorder doll from the company. Denver Doll always keeps a few FairyLand dolls in stock in each of the smaller sizes, so when you need a quick fix it's the way to go. (I still feel the pull of a tan PukiFee Zoe they have in stock. I had a natural Zoe years ago and foolishly sold her. If it weren't for the male Raccoon dolls due to debut next month, for which I am trying to save money, I would order Zoe in the blink of an eye.)
My three LittleFee girls: Lishe, Ante elf, Ante
Human Ante arrived so quickly that I had no time to prepare anything for her. Luckily I have wigs, shoes and clothing to fit LittleFees, so all I had to do was choose from my stash. Even so, I was surprised to find that most of my wigs in her size didn't suit her. (No wonder my existing LittleFees don't change wigs very often!) There was just too much hair; it either hung down in her face or else trailed on the floor. Her head is too big for the next size down. I have some cute mohair wigs that do fit, but they're old and impossible to style. I don't want her to look like she's wearing a dead animal on her head. What to do? Ooh, I feel an excuse for more wig shopping! (As if I needed an excuse: I bought four wigs last week for my FIDs.)
Wig from LeekeWorld
Tan Ante arrived with acrylic eyes. After trying some glass eyes, I decided to go with soft silicone eyes from Eyeco. They're 13mm, which turned out to be a perfect fit for her. I figured it was time to give Ante elf some Eyecos, too, especially as the tacky putty I had been using to hold her glass eyes was disintegrating. Going with soft silicone eyes lets me use Mack's silicone ear plugs to hold them. I've used the stuff for years without ever having it get sticky.
Hanging out with a friendly dragon
My LittleFees don't have a display space per se; they hang out on a bed made for Ellowyne Wilde. Ante's arrival bumped Little Shiwoo to the foot of the bed, but he doesn't mind so long as he gets the stuffed rabbit. He has put me on notice, however: the next LittleFee had better be a boy. We'll see.
Not to be left out: LittleFee Shiwoo