Sunday, 13 August 2017

Weekend wigs - One down, one to go

Please be aware that I can't take any credit for this as a tutorial. All credit goes to Mozekyto, on YouTube:

Oookay, so this morning, when all the glue was dry, I primped Saffie's new wig and managed to get it into some sort of style.

She does, however, as usual, look beautiful in it.  But then, these girls would look great dressed in loo paper.

I'm a bit meh about it, because the hairstyle itself is a bit too glam, or too conventional to really go with the more edgy shaved side.  (You can click on the multiple images for a larger version.)

The glue on the 'shaved' section doesn't work for me either. If I try this again, I think it will be with straight locks, and I'll just double-flock the shaved bit.

But, for a first attempt,  technically, it's okay; artistically, not so much.  I made this one using Robin acrylic DK knitting yarn.

Next, it's Pru's turn.

I carded my yarn and made the glued wefts before I checked the yarn label. I've used King Cole riot chunky here, because I bought some ages ago to make dreadlocks.   There is a post here:

This yarn is 30% wool and 70% acrylic.  Which bummed me out a bit, but it's my own silly fault. However, it did press nicely, and went shiny, but I could feel the wool content as I worked.  Real wool makes any yarn or fabric quite springy.  So after all that effort of carding and gluing my wefts, I just gave them an extra press and went for it.

Here she is, in progress:   Using Aleene's Tacky Glu on a cap made of PVA, and wefts fixed with PVA, is bliss.  It sticks almost instantly, and you have to be quick if you want to pull off a weft for whatever reason.

Doing the side-parting was the scariest bit.  But if you keep wiping the glue off your fingers, and tools,  it's not too bad.

The first pic shows one side of the part, and you can see the second one in the second pic.  No gaps in between, which is good.  The parting looks slightly uneven, but once I've wrangled it into shape, it should look straighter.

I believe one just puts polythene over the head, without any need to use hot water.  Which makes sense. The heat and moisture would probably weaken the glue, even after it's dried thoroughly.

So she'll be left overnight, and I'll post results probably next weekend.  That's when I plan to make something curly and cute, or maybe try pigtails, for my Little Darling.


Saturday, 12 August 2017

More on the weekend wigs

Please be aware that I can't take any credit for this as a tutorial. All credit goes to Mozekyto, on YouTube:

Here, I'm having a go at the undercut wig - here's the linky:

Having made my wefts and wig caps, I followed the tutorial on how to curl hair wefts.  It was a bit hard going, because I don't have hair straighteners so am using an iron, but it worked beautifully.   Acrylic fibre is fab.  It's easy to manipulate and shape, and smooth.   

I actually had a load of fluff after brushing out my wefts, and have put them in a bag to give to my housemate who likes needle felting.   She's going to give it a try and report back.

But returning to the curled wefts:

Here are mine. they remain nice and shiny.

I marked out the wig, and started glueing on my wefts. For this part I used Aleene's tacky glue and it hold really well, and quickly!

The 'shaved' portion of the wig looks unsightly, because I've coated it with PVA, as the tutorial advises. I may not do that in future.  I liked my flocked area better before coating with glue.  What I did though, was to flock it with my hand-cut flocking,  wait for the glue to dry, and brushed off the loose stuff, then re-flocked it over the top.  It stuck well and looked really good.

The coated bit here looks too gluey for my taste, but I'll see how it looks when fully dried.

It was a bit scary gluing that top weft, and flicking it over.  But it worked nicely.

And here's the progress.   I'll wait until morning, for it to have dried, before I do the final styling.

It's horribly tempting to fuss and finagle before the glue dries, but allowing it to dry really is the best way to success.   I'm going to ignore the project and do some knitting now.  

It's very hard not to poke things about....


Wednesday, 9 August 2017

Dianna Effner Little Darling - Claire

My first (and possibly my only?)  Dianna Effner Little Darlings doll!

I'm still freaking out about the big hole in my credit card, but she's so beautiful, it was worth every penny!

So yes, there will be LD clothing and LD sewing patterns, possibly knitting and crochet patterns too. I'm so excited to get her!

But too much in awe to take her out of the box yet.  So there will be more pics, but I want to savour the moment - for a couple of hours.



Okay... as you were.


Monday, 7 August 2017

Wig progress

Please be aware that I can't take any credit for this as a tutorial. All credit goes to Mozekyto, on YouTube:

With all the glue dried,  I was able to attend to my wefts and the caps this morning.  (Note: I am procrastinating and messing around when I need to be working.)

I'd glued the wefts to some clear plastic, as per the tutorial instructions.   I keep all my thick acetate from any playline doll boxes I buy. It really is enormously useful.

It took a bit of scrabbling with fingernails to lift the glued parts from the plastic, but in general, peeling off the glue was easy, and somewhat satisfying.

They're a bit messy, so need to be trimmed down.  Rather than use my good scissors - and you do need good sharp scissors for this project - I cute them down with a scalpel.

Trimmed wefts, all ready for use.  They'll have to go in an envelope for now, as I won't be able to do any more until the weekend.

As for the caps, I'd put five fairly thick layers of PVA over them, and they've dried beautifully. Before removing them, don't forget to mark a rough guide of where you want to trim them.

Those hairs you can see are stuck to the cap. They come from my uber-cheap glue brush.  I wouldn't use good painting or artists brushes for this.

They were a bit flopsy as I cut them to shape, but are a perfect fit on the doll's heads.

Saffie and Pru look  a bit less miserable now.  My trimming was uneven, but I made sure I cut the caps a little too large, so I can re-mark them, and trim them down more symmetrically.

That's that for now.  I really must go and do some work.


Sunday, 6 August 2017

Weekend project

I've long been a fan of Mozekyto, on YouTube.   She makes these fabulous wigmaking tutorials, using - guess what - common old acrylic knitting yarn.   Now, since the rise of polyester (which I sorta despise, but has its uses) one doesn't find too much acrylic around, but thank the gods that be, acrylic yarn is still easy and cheap to find and buy.

As an art student, I made a load of bits and pieces,  learning just how versatile acrylic is, compared with other manmade and natural fibres.  For dolly wigs, it's easy to style and manipulate; easy to brush out, and can look so beautifully silky - it really is a great scale of fibre for making doll's locks.

Here's the channel with all the videos:

This is the one I'm following at the moment:   How to make hair wefts.

Then I'll be trying the cool half-mohawk style:  Maybe...

And also, the most recent video shows how to colour your yarn safely, to make ombre wigs, without having to use fabric dyes.   A word to the wise, standard fabric dyes that you can purchase have little effect on acrylic anyway.  It's similar to polyester, damned difficult to dye, but the video shows how you can do it so easily.

Oh, and how to make a wig cap, to glue your hair wefts to: this one explains it, as well as how to make the whole wig.

Mozekyto makes wigs for Monster High dolls,  but I'm trying it on Saffie (one of my Ellowyne dolls) and Pru. You have to feel a bit sorry for them, standing around like this for a few days...

Here's my progress so far.  This has all been trauma-free and loads of fun.  I got some cheap yarn from Ebay, in hair colours.  I just like natural coloured hair on dolls, but I will be trying some fantasy shades, if this works out.

The ironing part is lovely, so satisfying, transforming a fringe of fuzz into smooth silky locks.  You can't see the lovely sheen very well in the photo, but it does feel nice and soft and satiny now.

I will endeavour to post progress reports, but as this is a 'spare time' project, it might take a while.


Friday, 4 August 2017

MONET - A WOW outfit for Evangeline Ghastly

And again, excuse the massive picspam, but I couldn't stop photographing all of this!

Announcing my latest OOAK outfit for Evangeline Ghastly.   The colour palette is based on Monet's Water Lilies - perhaps not the most original inspiration, but still. There's a reason those paintings are loved the world over.

The way I like to start, is to gather all my matching bits and pieces together. then I make a shell garment out of cotton lawn, over which I'll 'build' the art piece.  I found these fabulous scarves on Ebay, and bought one, as it matched my scheme perfectly.  It gave me something use while I picked out my embroidery threads.

First I pinned it to the skirt while I figured out how I was going to make this thang.

Using different shades of really lovely soft tulle, which I had to buy from overseas, I worked out a way to attach the panels to the lining.  The panels are not sewn down the sides, but are so full and frothy, they overlap and create new shades.

I pinned all my fabrics to the doll, and left her overnight (I do feel sorry for her, having her arms in the air for so long.)  It's good to wake up and the first ting I see is my idea.  It helps me to mull it over and work out the practical methods I'm going to use to sew it all together.

I love this with a passion. So much so, I'm going to make a gown similar, for Ellowyne.  Or Maybe Deja Vu.  DV has a lovely body to sew for, very feminine.

The underskirt here is still way too long for my Lilith, so she's standing on a box.

The bodice was a challenge.  It had to fit, and look gorgeous.  The hand embroidery is detached chain stitch (lazy daisy stitch) and french knots.  It took me four solid days to embroider the bodice and the armlets. Oh my!

Once that was done, I assembled the dress.  It took a very gentle touch to make sure the mesh over the top of the skirt went on nicely.  I could never have done this with a machine, they're just too brutal.

The basic dress looked lovely, but I had lots more work to do.

I was dreading the shawl shoulder part.  I knew what I wanted, but wasn't sure how to make it happen.  I had a good day that day, it went exactly right first time.

After that, the whole thing, like Topsy, just growed.  And it's available now to purchase:

In my Etsy shop:


I know, it's not a cheap item at all, but the hours and hours of work, and pulling together all the right materials all adds up.   With the shoes and the lavish accessories, It's a very special piece and I wouldn't be able to repeat it if I tried.

Had me a blast making the choker and the fascinator.  And yes, those little flowers and leaves are all hand crocheted.

The armlets are lovely too.  I think they really add to any outfit.

To make it easier to dress the doll, the shawl 'collar'  (what do you even call it?)  fastens and unfastens at the back, with snaps.

And here are all the pretty extras:

Some of you will have seen the shoes before.  They worked perfectly, one of my real first-time successes.

The veil is easy to roll up, or tuck under, if you don't want your girl's lovely eyes too hidden.  This looks so good on my "Dreamstate" Evangeline.

So that's it.   Next, I have an idea for a new Kaye Wiggs sewing pattern. It'll be something little-girly and charming, and based on one of my Patience patterns.  I hope folks will love it.

 I will get around to making a corset for KW girls, but I keep getting daunted because of the MSD body bulge.  It's on the list though.


Saturday, 29 July 2017

Saturday drive-By - Tullegasm.

I've just sewn some different shades of tulle to the lining of my current project, and had to take snaps. I love tulle.  I hate cutting the darn stuff, but once I have my pieces cut, I'm enjoying using it - and the effects!


Can you tell which doll this is just from the picture?


Tuesday, 25 July 2017

FLEURS D'ÉTÉ - a WOW outfit for Ellowyne Wilde

It may not be cool to say WOW to myself, but I'm so ecstatic over this latest outfit.  I've been banging on about wanting to do something a bit creative and artsy, and I've long loved experimental embroidery.   I've just never known what to make.  Doll's clothes seemed a bit daunting, because you can't just go mad and embroider, or applique, or whatever takes your fancy... the thing has to FIT. It has to take shape and look amazing on the doll.

Well, I've been sewing dolly clothing for so long now, I finally bit the bullet and got on with it.  All those learned skills over the years stood me in good stead.  The dress grew organically, and now my glue has arrived and I've finished the shoes, I'm ready reveal all.

First, the making of the new Ellowyne Wilde outfit.

It's impossible to create a pattern for this, so I hope people will enjoy and be inspired by the creative journey.  You can click on the images to see larger versions.

Mostly, I wanted the new project to fit my girls, so I used the corset from SSP-050 as a lining, and decided to build the dress around the lining, as it were.  I've added a couple of straps here, because I wasn't confident that the resulting garment wouldn't slide down the doll when it was fastened.

I've bought bagfuls of hand dyed open-weave muslin (also called scrim) from a very lovely Ebay seller, and thought it was high time I used some.  I've applied the fabrics to the dress shell here, basting with tiny touches of Aleene's tacky glue.

Then I picked out some suitable embroidery threads from my not inconsiderable stash, and got to work.

Here's the dress with embroidery holding the applied fabrics to the shell.  It doesn't look much, and I admit at this stage, I was considering a do-over.

 But, I persevered and started seeing light at the end of the tunnel once I figured out a way to form the bust.

I used french knots to blend the colours of the bust fabric a bit, and then started crocheting flowers.  I made dozens and dozens of these, and have used them all.  I think I may have one left over somewhere.

It's beginning to look much nicer. More cohesive, and organic.

I crocheted some tiny leaves (you really can find anything on Pinterest!) and added those.   Green seed beads were used for the flower centres too.

The neckline and shoulders were looking too symmetrical for my liking. I'd wanted this to be faerie-like from the start.  So I made more flowers, and crocheted some chains for the arms.  You can see here where I placed them. I use tiny sequin pins for dolly dressmaking, and they're so useful for pinning fripperies to a dress.

That paid off. I made yet more flowers, and added them to the shoulders and neckline.  Here's the left arm:

And the right arm:

The textures and colours made me very happy.  This was working beautifully.  

I had an old pair of Ell shoes, which I took apart, because the uppers weren't that well made, IMHO.  And set to work on some matching shoes.  Usually I make my own soles and heels, but as I was using cast resin soles/heels, I had to wait for my clear resin glue to arrive. Aleene's is marvellous, but wont hold plastics permanently.  And these had to be professional.

Once I'd finished primping and changing my mind, I sewed some cute knickers, made some gloves, and some jewellery.  And the outfit is complete.

Here she is, in all her summer glory.   The title of the outfit is French for Summer Blossoms.

Fleurs D'été. 

Available to buy in my Etsy shop:

£165.00 plus shipping.

The bodice is fully lined, I'm quite pleased with myself for being able to line something after the fact.  I've never attempted it before!  I'm so inspired by upcycled vintage shabby fashion.  You can find a wealth of it on Pinterest.  And this dress really fits the bill.

I changed the ties on the shoes, making them longer, and adding beads.

And here are the little knickers, and the gloves.

I have thrown in a free pair of tights, but I prefer the shoes over bare feet.  But tights are always useful, so.

The jewellery is very pretty too. I'm pleased with the wire flower pendant.  Not easy to make! It took me several attempts.

So that's that.  I think that's my main piece for this summer, although I am attempting something in a similar vein for Evangeline, at this moment.  It won't be by any means the same, but already it's kinda fun.