Monday, March 30, 2015

New Look for Ivory

On Saturday, my friend Carol and I went to a doll show where I was lucky enough to score four new wigs. Two will be used for my incoming iMdas, this one for Ivory (Elin) and the other for my Sophia (Anne). I am pleased with how it looks on her, it's much better than the one I had on her beforehand.

I had previously purchased the pair of yellow shoes she is wearing from QMagic on Etsy and decided yesterday to make her a dress that would match. She is wearing pale lemon bloomers underneath and I will probably add an underskirt at a later date, but she will do for now.
Here's a rather grainy close up.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Tutorial: Easy Summer Dress

Many years ago I used to make these little dresses for my daughters, so it wasn't difficult for me to make them to fit dolls. It's a simple little dress that even a novice could make themselves and I figured it was time to share.

Before we begin, there are two things I consider an asset when sewing is (a) an iron for pressing as I go and (b) thread to match fabric. (I'm using white for this tutorial in the hope you will see it.)

This dolly dress makes up best when using finer fabrics, like Tana lawn and Japanese cotton, and the latter is what I have chosen.

The measurements for this dress are easy to measure for any size. Determine the finished length you want by measuring your doll from shoulder to knee or where you would like the hem to be.

For my LittleFee it was 12cm, then you must allow for the casing (the size of the casing will depend on the width of the ribbon you use. I'm using 6mm ribbon so I allow another 1.5cm) and hem (another 2.5cm) giving you a total of 16cm. The width I use is simply double the length, so I will cut a piece 32 cm long by 16cm wide.

Fold the fabric in half, like so, then cut the fabric in half up the side.

Fold each side over 5mm and press it down with your iron, then stitch each side.

Now put right sides together and measure the length of an armhole plus the top casing allowance and mark it with a pin. In my case I allowed 4cm from the top to the pin. Should you be unsure how big it should be, measure one of your doll's tee-shirts.
Sew both sides of the dress from the pin, to the bottom edge. Then open both seams all the way from the bottom to the top and press flat.

Next, make the casing for your ribbon on front and back top.  Fold the fabric down 5mm and press. Fold the width of your ribbon plus approximately 4mm down again and iron. Stitch them both down along the bottom of the casing.

For the ribbon, you may use a piece on each side twice as long as the dress is wide. Or for a different look, one piece three times the width, which is what I'm doing so I have one bow on the shoulder. Attach a safety pin to the end and feed the ribbon through the casing.

For the two separate ribbons, I fold the dress in half and make sure the ribbon is equal on each side, then sew a little seam in the middle of the casing to hold the ribbon in place. Heat seal the ends of the ribbon to prevent fraying. To do this, hold the ribbon near a flame, but not so as it burns, just to melt the end and seal it off. If this scares you, just tie a little knot at the end of each ribbon.

Now to hem the dress. Fold up from the bottom 5mm and press. Fold up another 10mm, press again then sew the hem down, either by machine or hand using small stitches (which is what I will do).

You can pop a long sleeve skivvy underneath for cooler weather or make a shorter version and pair with shorts or crop pants! Of course if you were using plain fabric, you can always trim with lace or ricrac.
Happy sewing!!

Friday, March 20, 2015

Tutorial: Backdrops

As you know, I tend to use backdrops quite a lot when photographing my BJD's. I find them very useful, especially when the weather isn't it's best and having the ability to sit on a chair to photograph my dolls at eyelevel instead of getting down on the ground is definitely an advantage to someone of my age!

I generally use a clothes rack behind my kitchen table (but a card table works just as well). Then I pop the top of the backdrop over the clothes rack and hold it in place on the bar with Bluetac and lay the remaining backdrop on the table.

However, today I am using my bookcase behind my ironing board!

As you can see, there's nothing fancy used here, I try and keep things as simple as I can and use things I have on hand.

The rack folds up out of the way when I'm not using it and the backdrops are rolled up together and stored in a PVC tube (we had some left after bathroom renovations).

WHATEVER YOU DO, DON'T FOLD THEM. You can iron them on the back side if they wrinkle a bit, but if they have been folded they stretch slightly on the fold line and don't iron completely flat.

I don't have a steady hand, so I always use a tripod for shoots. If you need more tips on how to photograph your dolls, drop by HERE, it's a lovely blog and Martha shares some very easy to follow tips that have certainly been a great help to me.

My finished photo with Bon Bon, Truffles and Gum Drop showing off their new pants! I'm pretty pleased with the way this one turned out, as I photographed it RAW and used my photo editing programme to crop etc., before bringing it down to 1000 pixels wide / 72dpi. If you would like to see it at 1000 pixels, just click on the photo.

Taken the same way (RAW), with a different backdrop and edited with a different programme. So I don't think the editing makes as much difference as actually shooting using the RAW format. Love to hear your thoughts, how do you shoot your photos?

Have a great weekend!

Monday, March 16, 2015

200th Post

I can hardly believe I've been blogging about dolls for a little over two years, with just the occasional slice of downtime to enjoy holidays and complete our renovations.

When I first launched my blog, I wasn't too sure which direction it would take and whether I would just post about my dolls or add some personal stuff and I am sure my friend Diane was the only one who actually bothered to read it.

I had little interest in other social media, and even now I avoid Facebook like the plague. So it's just my blog and the rare visit to Flickr, but I do enjoy writing, I guess to some extent it's rather like talking to yourself and I am quite used to that, seeing as hubby has had a bad case of "man ears" for years!

However, in saying that it would be nice to nurture more interest in this blog. So if you’ve found the occasional tutorial helpful, my waffle or photos interesting, please share my blog address with a friend.

More importantly, please feel free to ask questions, post comments and suggestions. Your input helps me provide content that you are interested in and besides that, I've got to admit it, I just love hearing from my readers.

Now I really wanted to do something special to celebrate this event, but for the life of me, I couldn't think of what to do, so here I am saying THANK YOU FROM THE BOTTOM OF MY HEART FOR STICKING AROUND THIS PAST TWO YEARS and hopefully you will continue to stop by and help me celebrate in a better way in another 200 posts.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

The Boys New Clothes

It's been a busy time around here of late. The entertainment room is finally finished and all the furniture has been returned to it's rightful place. I am so pleased with the floor, the country oak planks look fabulous, they were so easy to lay (thank heavens) and we're glad we decided to paint the walls and complete the panelling first.

I have been knitting in the evening and sewing every spare minute during the day as I had a few custom orders that needed to be completed quickly. Now those garments are all on their way to respective clients, I am able to enjoy a little dolly time myself. I had placed a rather extravagant clothes order with Iplehouse and it's arrived, so I've managed to dress the boys in clothes that were more befitting lads of their age. (It was just as well Iplehouse had so many available at great discounts, otherwise I would have blown my budget completely.)

Yesterday, hubby and I took some well earned R&R and went to see "The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel" and although the story line wasn't quite as good as the first, we both really enjoyed it, especially the dancing. Lunch was delicious, and much better than last time, as we found a new place to eat with a good variety of dishes on the menu!

Today, I realised I am almost at my 200th post, so I'll have to think about doing something special, not sure what, but I will think of something you can be sure. :)

Hope you are all well and enjoying life!