Wednesday, 24 May 2017

Handmade outfits for Kaye Wiggs dolls



I seem to have built up several items of clothing for KW girls lately, due to the productivity with the sewing and knitting patterns. So I've added a few bits and pieces and they're up for grabs in my Etsy store, in the handmade doll fashions section.

Raccoon's Rags at Etsy:



First off is the little pink and grey outfit I made for SSP-047.   I've devised a new hat and cardigan, which needs work, but could be a new knitting pattern at some stage.

I added bead trim to the hat, and a little pink elastic.

Gracie looks so lovely in this, it's a bit of a wrench to sell it, but if I don't sell my outfits, they just end up filling drawers and boxes, and never getting properly loved.

£85.00


With extra snaps on the waistbands of the petticoat (unseen) and bloomers, it fits the MSD body too.  
I do like my Lilac Layla in greys.




Next is the shift dress I made during the production of SSP-048.   I had fun with the embroidery on the chest, and want to do loads of embroidered items now.

I added some pretty leggings, and a very cute hat.   It sits well behind Layla's elf ears, or is large enough to cover them.

£45.00


I was careful to make sure the hat fits the larger Gracie head too, as I know she's a popular sculpt.  (I think Missy has quite a large head too? But I'm not dead certain of that.)

I love this hat, and want one.  Maybe I should make human sized hats too.   The crochet flower is newly-learned.  You can find anything on t'internet.  I added blue beads to the centre to tie it in. Clicking on these photos should show you larger more detailed pictures.



Bringing  up the rear is a lovely outfit I've had for a while.  It's been in my stock box dying to come out into the limelight.  the yarn is Berocco Comfort Sock 3ply, and the colours are just gorgeous.   The russet of the Italian crinkle viscose dress teams with it perfectly.

£65.00


Again, these fit both MSD and Mei Mei.  the tam style beret fits my Layla head as well as the larger Gracie head too.



Okay, so I keep promising something for Ell, but the blue hat gave me an idea for a KW mini-pattern, so I may just do that first....

I should never really complain of having too much inspiration. But.


_______________


Friday, 19 May 2017

SSP-048: Ruffle Dress & Jacket for Kaye Wiggs dolls.


A rainbow of ruffles!

I've had some custom printed fabric in rainbow shades for a while now, and they were ideal for this little outfit for the Kaye Wiggs MSD and Mei Mei dolls.



*Available in my Etsy shop:

And right here on the blog: (PayPal shopping cart)

My Craftsy store:

On CD disc from Ebay: (No VAT payable, and no charge for the CD itself, just postage.)

If you wish to buy directly from me,  I can supply a PayPal invoice and email the pattern to you within 24 hours of payment.  Usually it will be faster than that, I'm just allowing for the potential differences in time zones.  

Email for a PayPal invoice:

If you do buy from me by email, and you live in the EU, the rules state that I don't have to charge you VAT as it's a direct sale.  So I won't.

Price without VAT is £5.99.

*Etsy will charge EU customers VAT (This does not affect America or other non-EU countries).  I always recommend people to look in my Craftsy store anyway, as the prices fluctuate, due to the international exchange rates.  I always recommend comparing prices.




The dress is a simple shift dress and is not fitted as tightly or exactly to the doll's body as my usual bodices.  It should go over a leotard quite well as it's designed to be slightly loose fit and quite straight.

It looks lovely on both dolls bodies, the MSD (18" or 45cm)  and teh mei Me (17" or 43cm)  but of course will be a bit longer on the shorter Mei Mei body.



With the addition of the jacket, you could use a while rainbow of fabrics, or just mix and match fabrics as you want.  

The dress and the jacket can have as many or as few ruffles as you wish.  I've provided a quick note on how to make the single ruffle dress, and once you're familiar with the pattern, it would be easy to have two ruffles or add lots of ruffles to the dress and the jacket.

You can also easily just hem the basic jacket and/or shift, to have no ruffles at all. 




Obviously you can throw as many embellishments at it as your heart desires.

I love both my girls in this, and the garments I've made while developing the pattern will be available to buy once I've added some fripperies.

That was a fun project, but I think definitely something for Evangeline, or poor neglected Ellowyne next.

________________


Sunday, 14 May 2017

Total lack of days off.



I usually manage to force myself  to take a break from sewing at the weekends, but honestly, I've had a really quiet sales week, and when that happens I tend to panic and sew my head off.   So I haven't had my weekend this weekend.  I've had headaches though. Heh.

And I have done some embroidery.

That's something different, right?



I'm making shift dresses with ruffles for my Kay Wiggs girls. I'm hoping there will be a jacket too, but i'm having issues with the hand size.

It took me a while, but I'm pleased with this little floral motif. I picked out colours from the ruffle fabric to decorate the bodice.   It looks dead cute on Gracie, but I'm keeping the pics under wraps until the pattern is published...

BECAUSE...


(Damn, he's so sexy, even hidden behind a bit of paper.)

Here's a close up of the embroidery though.  Just simple stitches. I want to add some french knots, but am waiting for some white floss to arrive.



There will be Ellowyne and Evangeline things soon.  I just have so many ideas spring into my head that I want to make everything, right this minute. NOW.

I need a Tardis.

_____________________



Saturday, 6 May 2017

OOAK outfit for Kaye Wiggs MSD - "Sugar Plum".



This one is my favourite so far, probably because it's purple...

Available now in my Etsy shop:

£130.00

Outfit for Kaye Wiggs MSD (45cm/18") only.   (The petticoat and bloomers waistbands will not fit the smaller Mei Mei body.)

ooak outfit for Kaye Wiggs MSD


The shoes this time were quite an achievement.  The method of construction is a little different, and I had the perfect shade of Ultrasuede to match the dress.   I'm so glad I made the shoe lasts, they're proved vital in designing and constructing dolly shoes.

For the waistband, I made a little waist cincher that fastens in front with some matching thread.  I'll be adding a couple of spare lengths of thread to the package, but you could use anything to fasten it, narrow ribbon or thin kumihimo cord for example.

Ultrasuede is frighteningly expensive!  I invested in some last year, and have been too afraid to use it, but it's just so soft and lovely to work with, and matched the fabrics so well, that I had no excuse.

This hat fits my Gracie's head, over a wig, and is a little looser on Layla's head.  But as you can see from the pics, it still sits beautifully over a wig.

ooak outfit for Kaye Wiggs MSD


There are two petticoats, one goes above the other.  I've given each one different closures so they can be told apart. The hook end bar petticoat goes at the top.

outfit for Kaye Wiggs MSD


She's such a cutie.  I love that little face.


outfit for Kaye Wiggs


I think she's getting used to this posing lark.

outfit for Kaye Wiggs



I still have a few more outfits to list, but I'm craving something new.  Maybe another pattern, and I'm still wanting to make something for Evangeline.  I've been a bit tired lately, so inspiration is a bit slow,  but I'm on the case.

A corset for Ellowyne is in the offing... and maybe something new for Blythe.   If there were 48 hours in the day, my life would be a lot easier.


____________







Friday, 5 May 2017

Current outfit for Kaye Wiggs MSD



Just a drive-by post. A teaser for the current outfit for KW MSDs.


Hats on dolls are lovely and I adore these little bakersboy bonnets.   The flower is ultrasuede, which is horrendously expensive, but so nice to work with.

Once I've finished the cardigan, this ensemble will be ready to list.

As you were.

____________________

Sunday, 30 April 2017

Fun with wool.



Sunday funday.

So I made Layla some dreads.

Trust me, this is the worst -made wig in the history of wigs, but now I've figured out a method of how to do it, I may make a few more with a bit more effort.   It's a hot mess under those top layers, but it does look good when photographed, so I'll keep it as a prop.

It would look great with hats too.

DIY Kaye Wiggs dreadlocks


I used King Cole Riot chunky for this.   I bought some to make myself some hats, and yeah... I ended up using some of it on the dollies.   Tell me about it.

It's a multicoloured yarn, so I picked one with lots of brown shades in it.. I think mine is called Potash.   It's a single ply too, so it looks like little dreadlocks, and they're a great scale for the doll.  

King Cole Riot chunky


King Cole do a DK in this yarn too, which means thinner dreads, if you want to have a go with a smaller doll.   Kaye Wiggs MSD's have SD sized heads, but a normal head-size MSD doll might look better in the DK.

King Cole Riot DK

Anyway, she looks great in it.  Now I want to sew something kind of hippie-elfish for her.  Urban Elf maybe? Is that a thing?  this is why I usually prefer the human dolls to elves or fauns. I find them easier to design for.


diy dreads kaye wiggs

Obviously Gracie wanted to get in on the act.   I'm surprised this fits her, actually.  But I did make the wig cap very stretchy... and I cheat with wigs.

Can I keep it mum? Huh? Can I?

Resin dolls heads are SO DARN SLIPPERY it drives me nuts.   And those silicone wig caps don't always work, or don't always fit.  So I use - and you'll all shriek in horror when I say this - Bostik white stick-n-fix.   Because it's white, it doesn't seem to stain, and it's good and sticky for holding maddeningly slippery wigs in place.

That said, I don't leave it on the doll for any length of time.  Two or three days at most, but more usually just for a photo session.  And it doesn't seem to do any harm.



I have a few more balls of the riot in different colours, and find myself tempted to make a fantasy version.  Of course it would have to contain purple... and I was supposed to be making hats for myself... But summer is coming, so I suppose I can wait until October.

__________________


Saturday, 29 April 2017

"Aqua Splash" Outfit for Kaye Wiggs Resin Dolls.



Another one down, four to go.

This is another of the outfits I made whilst developing the recent pattern (SSP-047.)   I'm a fan of monochrome, but I thought this one needed an accent colour.  I've used a lot of pink and lilac recently, so I went for aqua, which I love. It's so fresh-looking and pretty.

Up for grabs in my Etsy store:

(£130.00)




Again, I had to make a knit, so I've used a fine 2 ply fluffy yarn in kid mohair and silk.  It's lovely to knot with, but working in black mohair is just...  not such a great idea if you have questionable eyesight.

I finished it though, without any mistakes!  But I've put the ball away and will avoid using it again if I can.

Any old hoo,  The ensemble was created from SSP-047 using the MSD bodice, but the dress, petticoats and bloomers have all been fitted to my 43cm girl too.

Here it is on Layla.  (I do love Layla, and she's so cute, but I'm never happy with the pictures I take of her.)


The outfit looks fab though,  I'm very pleased with it.  Lots of layers, and very girly.  

I carefully hand-tinted the underskirt layer, and the brim of the bonnet with fabric dye.  I wet the fabric first, so it bled in nicely, and used a pale wash of dye, rather than pure colour, as it would have come out too dark, and less is more in this case.  I do love uneven dyes when I'm colouring fabric.  You get more subtleties of colour variation, and it really adds to the shabby chic effect.




Again these shoes were such fun to make.  I'm getting a little faster at it now too.   Maybe I'll make some embroidered ones.  I have a pile of ideas for shoes, it's just a case of finding time to create new shapes for them.

The bonnet is the one from SSP-023, the Regency outfit for Patience.  It fits both Layla's head, and Gracie's.  It's obviously a little looser on Layla, but it does accommodate her elf ears nicely. They can be tucked inside the bonnet, or the bonnet can sit back so the ears peek out, and look just as nice.



And of course Gracie looks adorable in it too.

I taught myself to make these little ribbon flowers by googling for tutorials, and I've added glass pearl beads to the centres.

The belt is black satin ribbon overlaid with aqua satin ribbon.  I hand stitched the aqua to the black as neatly as I possibly could.  The stitches are tiny.



It's hard to say which is my favourite part of this ensemble.   I love the shoes, of course, but the cardigan knitted up so beautifully, and fits so nicely. Plus it's a bit cold today and I'd quite like one for myself.

So. yes, I have two more outfits from SSP-047 to go now, and a dress with sweater and beret to add lovely accessories to... and a beret and sweater that needs a frock and some bloomers.

After that, I'm kind of dying to make a crinoline for Evangeline.  I'm treating that as my reward for getting through all these KW projects!

_______________


Wednesday, 26 April 2017

"Spring Sorbet" Outfit with shoes for Kaye Wiggs dolls.



Having made four outfits for the recent sewing pattern, I'm now enjoying the process of adding accessories and fripperies to these little sets.  And this first one is mouthwatering.

Here in my Etsy shop:


£130.00 plus shipping.



The whole look for this one was very pink, and because I made so many petticoats, and added one to this ensemble, it was screaming PINK rather a lot.  Being a fan of pinks and greens - which remind me of flowerbeds and gardens, I added some pretty spring greens to the look.  Complimentary colours often make each other pop a bit (in this case red and green)  and it looked a lot more lively.

Then, I made up a little cardigan in some gorgeous yarn I have, Katia Jaipur. I wasn't sure if it would work, but the sorbet colours are so scrummy, I couldn't stop knitting.

Fortunately, when I added it to the overall look... it really made the whole outfit sing.



The shoes are a result of my playing with silicone molds and plaster casting, to make shoe lasts.  And the lasts I made are worth their weight in gold.  Luckily, my first prototype shoe went perfectly, so I embarked upon a proper pair for the girls.



MSD feet are the tiniest bit bigger than the Mei Mei feet, but the shoes fit both dolls perfectly.




I may try some of these in real kid leather some time.  I made an attempt using Ultrasuede, but it's a little bit springy and tricksy to work with.  I'm nervous about using kid leather because I have a limited stash, and my old supplier went out of business, so I'm a bit precious over how much I use.

So, felt it was.  I adore felt. It's the single most underrated craft fabric of all time.  Some people think its cheap and nasty, but good felt with 30 or 40 percent wool is quite dear, and I find it very good quality.

It's also a dream to sew and manipulate, and shape into shoes.   So, what I've done wit mine, is use the raccoon mystery process to coat the felt.  This makes it feel leathery, and the coating smooths down the surface, so the felt won't fluff up or pill with age. This is my secret process, so don't ask me to share.  I do need to keep one or two trade secrets!



The soles are kid leather, and the insoles are lined with ivory cotton jersey.   I'm a fan of elastic, and didn't realise you could get 3mm doll sized elastic in lots of colours.  After my usual perusing of Ebay, I was pleased to find some very pretty elastic, and have ordered many colours!

The shoes have little wads of stuffing poked into the toes to give them a nice shape.  The doll's feet fit perfectly with this stuffing.  Its a neat little tip to keep softer dolly shoes in shape.



As for the rest of the outfit, I added a pretty crochet flower to a tiny 1" crocodile clip, which is easy to put onto a wig.   And a detachable satin belt.

Whoever buys the outfit will be sent two satin belts, one is slightly longer and fits the MSD body, the other one is for the Mei Mei,



And while I made this outfit using Gracie as my model,  I fitted it to Layla, my MSD too.  That petticoat peeks out from under the dress a little further on the MSD, due to the shape of her body and where the waistband sits.



The waistbands are fitted with extra snaps, so they will fit both the doll's waists. (A is the Mei Mei snap, B is the MSD snap.)



And here are all the layers.   There's a lot in this outfit!



So that's outfit one.  I have three to go, plus one and a half more that I'm making to match some of the knitwear I seem to have produced.   I do love doing some knitting in my evenings, to give me a break from the sewing, but it's addictive - and I keep making lovely little sweaters, hats and cardis that need dresses to match.

No rest for the morally ambiguous.

__________________________


Sunday, 23 April 2017

Ruff guide: Prototype doll shoe


(From Part 1: Making a Mold from a doll's leg)


Finally, I had the day off to sit and faff again.    Last week, I made the plaster lasts from my doll leg mold (Using Kaye Wiggs MSD.)    The whole process was a bit messy and I cocked it up at one point which got even messier, so I didn't want my digital camera anywhere near the work area, so I apologise for not photographing the process a little more.

But.  Here are my plaster casts, taken from the silicone molds.

When you buy packets of plaster from Ebay, they should come with instructions on how to mix.  I always add a bit more plaster to my mix than it says.   Here I've used stone cast plaster,  it's much tougher than standard plaster of Paris.

You can see where I had my doll's leg taped up with masking tape, over the clingfilm.   This means the lasts are a layer of tape larger than the doll's actual leg.  This is fine.  I sanded mine down a bit, which took some of the thickness away - you shouldn't over-sand though, or the last will be too small. All I did was take the most obvious lines and rough bits off mine.


It doesn't have to be perfect.  You can see little air bubbles in the picture below.  These can be filled in with some white Milliput or Sugru, but it won't make a whole heap of difference.



To get the shape of a shoe, I made a template using my last, and added a curve to the toe, to get a nicer shoe shape, rather than just the toes.

Then I used white Sugru to add to the toes of the last, and made a nice shape, so I can form my shoe around the last.  Sugru is expensive for what it is, but I like it because it air drys, and it's quick and easy to use.

Take a bit of time to make sure both your lasts are identical.


I left my lasts for a few days, because of sewing like mad to try and get all those Kaye Wiggs outfits done.   I took today off, in the name of R&D.  I like R&D days (Research and Development)  It's just a posh name for finnicking about and having fun.

Or in other words... playing with my dolls.

I embarked upon a prototype shoe pattern, and to my amazement it went right first time.  These lasts make it SO much easier to wrap bits of fabric around and form patterns that the dolls leg itself.   For one thing, there's no unweildy doll attached that you must keep clean and damaged.  For another, the plaster is less slippery than resin, so my fabric stayed where I wanted it, as I wrapped my last and made markings for the pattern.

Here's my first little shoe. Felt is great for making doll shoes. I may try Ultrasuede and even real leather later, but felt is an inexpensive practice fabric.




Once I'd taken the shoe off the last, I couldn't get it back on, so I was worried it wouldn't fit the doll. But because resin is slippery, it went on nice and easily.  Hence, note to self. Don't remove the shoe from the last until it's ready to be put on the doll.




I've surfed around looking at baby shoes and doll shoes, it's easy to find inspiration.  I kept these pretty simple with just the eyelets and the ribbon shoelace.   I fancy trying some Mary Janes at some point though.  I'll need to sort out some handmade buckles and figure out how to do it.





I also cant decide if I want to go further and line these shoes.  They have an insole and an outer sole, but I'll see how much time I have to play with ideas over the next couple of days.    Suffice it to say, I'm very happy with the prototype.  Now I need to buy some felt that actually matches the outfits I have lying around.

Any excuse to buy fabric!  :D

_______





Saturday, 22 April 2017

SSP-047: Sewing pattern for playsuits for Kaye Wiggs dolls.


Isn't it typical, you wait weeks for a pattern to come out, and then two come along on the same day.    This one is for both the Kaye Wiggs MSD sized bodies.  It took some working out, but I've ironed out all the wrinkles (if you'll pardon the pun) and the outfits are looking good!

This fits MSD body (45cm/18") AND Mei Mei body (43cm/17")


*Available in my Etsy shop:

And right here on the blog: (PayPal shopping cart)

My Craftsy store:

On CD disc from Ebay: (No VAT payable, and no charge for the CD itself, just postage.)

If you wish to buy directly from me,  I can supply a PayPal invoice and email the pattern to you within 24 hours of payment.  Usually it will be faster than that, I'm just allowing for the potential differences in time zones.  

Email for a PayPal invoice:

If you do buy from me by email, and you live in the EU, the rules state that I don't have to charge you VAT as it's a direct sale.  So I won't.

Price without VAT is £5.99.

*Etsy will charge EU customers VAT (This does not affect America or other non-EU countries).  I always recommend people to look in my Craftsy store anyway, as the prices fluctuate, due to the international exchange rates.  I always recommend comparing prices.




£9.50





The pattern includes two bodices, one for Mei Mei, and one for MSD.  Although both bodices will fit both dolls.

The skirts and bloomers are a little longer on the Mei Mei body, and still look charming.

There are also two waistbands for petticoat, and two for the bloomers, each sized to fit both dolls.    I do give instructions on how to make one dress, petticoat and pair of bloomers to fit either doll too.   So you can make something exclusively for your MSD, or exclusively for your Mei Mei, or an outfit that both your different sized dolls can share.

The petticoat is the same for both versions.



Two versions of the bloomers:



And two versions of the dress:




As you can see, to illustrate my publication, and to test all my patterns, I had to sew four outfits! I was up to my ears in petticoats at one point, because I kept getting confused over which doll I was sewing for.  Because the petticoats are the same for both designs, I just... yeah. SO MANY PETTICOATS.   I don't know what to do with them all, but I'm sure I'll make outfits in the future that I can team them with.

The result is well worth it though, even if I did post on Facebook tearing out my hair.  And it's always fun to dress up my girls in their finery and play with wigs.

I adore KW dolls with all my heart, and I've been incredibly naughty... I've bought sunkissed human Missy on pre-order.  I am SO excited.  But have to wait until September.  At least by then I'll have paid for most of her.

I hope...

Here she is... Not my picture, it's from Jpop dolls.   Such a lovely sculpt.  Kaye is gifted.  Her dolls are so much fun.




That's it for now. A short break to try and make shoes, then back to the drawing board for something new to sew!

_____________________________