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, .) 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 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?


  1. Oh I love your Scottish costumes! And I also find your stories about your pattern fitting so interesting. You work so different on how I do things (I draft my own patterns), so I always end up learning a lot from what you share.

    I think the oufits came out stunning! You are getting me curious about Outlander with the bits you have shared, though. And please... do the wedding gown!! I'd love to see it!

    And that fabric background is great, I definitely need something like that!


    1. Thank you Musume! I have no idea how to draft patterns, so I have to start from something that someone else has drafted and then play with it until it fits. I bought a different American Model pattern to size down for FID Miho. It's more fitted than Claire's outfit--I have a feeling it will be more difficult to resize. I think I prefer enlarging smaller patterns.

      I already have fabric that will work for the wedding gown's underdress. All I need is something for the overdress. But first I have to crochet some more bikinis for next month's doll meet-up.

      I'll do another Outlander photostory when the wedding gown is finished--with dialogue this time. :)