Saturday, 28 February 2015
Having recently turned 50, I bought myself a couple of new dollies. No surprise there then.
I've always loved Poppy Parker, but the 12" body I have (it's actually Darla, not Poppy herself) is so awkward and the knees won't stay straight, that I though I'd prefer a 16" version. But then did I choose Poppy or Tulabelle, who is equally gorgeous?
So I bought both.
Well, it is a landmark birthday.
I'm happy to buy nude dolls from Ebay sellers, because it's so much less money than buying the dolls fully kitted out. This is no problem when one can sew.
Tulabelle is the first to arrive just a wee while ago in fact. I'm so pleased with her. The joints are good and firm, and I love her proportions. It's going to be fun designing some clothing for her.
Here she is ... managing to look fabulous in a bit of scrap fabric. (Well I couldn't leave the poor girl in the buff.)
She's kinda cute and sassy, great fun to pose. Her hair is thick and lovely, but seems to have some kind of oily stuff in it, so I'll give here a bit of a shampoo and a restyle. Later on I may even scalp her and use wigs.
Not the best pics ever, and excuse the chaos on my workdesk.
Can't wait for Poppy to get here. :)
Wednesday, 25 February 2015
I think that's what it's called, although I think of it as a rosebud skirt. Anyway... This attempt at couture was inspired by Tommy Courtney over on Facebook, whose blog I follow and whom I rather admire. Tommy is currently making a couture gown and showing pictures of progress over on FB, and it made me want to try something a bit more "engineered".
My inspiration is not exactly royalty in the doll world, but I have an Ever After High Briar Beauty, whose dress has been making me want to take it apart and figure it out for months now.
I'd got myself a tad worked up over producing sewing patterns non-stop, and when I get anxious I get ill, so I really do need a short break. With this in mind I spent the day 'plying' and had a go at making something similar for Ellowyne today.
It's just a rough toile to start with, so all the fabric is mismatched - because I prefer to use up scraps rather than making my toiles in plain white calico or muslin.
The first attempt is kinda interesting, but looks as if it's just a little too big all round. I'll have another go tomorrow. It looks nicely sculpted though, which is what I was aiming for. The exaggerated size might be quite interesting though.
Here's the inspiration pic. My own Briar Beauty dress is now lying in neatly unpicked and ironed pieces! I think this would look pretty sweet on Blythe too.
I think it should look sort of mini and cute, but is rather bulky, and probably too long. Also - I fully lined all four skirt panels, and with the four crossed-over layers at the front, the waist seam got really bulky. I'll have to either make unlined skirt panels, or reduce some of the gathering.
I played with rolling up the hems like an opening rosebud, and it could look pretty if sewn this way, but I still think the scale is off.
I'm not the worlds most experienced pattern cutter. I have to go and look up blogs like "Well Suited" To find out what shapes I need to cut my patterns when making something with a particular sort of drape. But knowing what shape to cut doesn't mean I know how the sizing goes!
Ah well. I had a load of stress-free fun, so was worth doing.
Monday, 23 February 2015
This will be the last one for Patience for a while. I'm moving back to Ellowyne for my next few patterns, and then I have had requests for Pedigree Sindy patterns too... and after that, perhaps I can get around to publishing the waistcoat and coat patterns for the Phin guys.
I made this outfit for Pedigree Sindy a few years ago now, and I've just turned 50 so I felt like celebrating my approach to old age with a little trip down memory lane... I always think of the Rubettes when I see a bakersboy hat.
Available here in my Etsy store.
(I'm not selling patterns from the blog for a while, until all the EU VAT legislation is a bit clearer)
Patience wears a pair of exaggerated flared pants, (stencils & stencil instructions are not included in the pattern,) a floppy-sleeved top, a short tomboyish waistcoat and my all-time fave of hats, the bakersboy hat. I believe they're called newsboy hats in the States?
Included are some extra pant styles, A regular flare, and a straight-leg. So you can modernise or re-style your outfit if you prefer.
The top looks cute on its own. The sleeves can easily be changed if you leave out the ruffles.
I like my bakersboy hats nice and oversized. This is the way I like them to sit on dolly's head, but it's an easy matter to alter the size, just by shortening the hatband. There's no need to scale down all the other pieces.
I stencilled my pants with pearlescent acrylic paint, mixed with a little textile medium. These are the extra-flared pants.
And here's how the top looks with the waistcoat from the back:
And did I mention I love purple? ;)
Sunday, 22 February 2015
I had this retro 70's idea in my head that I just couldn't let go; so I made some stencilled flares, a bakersboy hat and waistcoat for Patience, with a flouncy-sleeved top to go under it all.
I love purple. I have a friend who loves purple (you know who you are,) and purple set in a 70s context always reminds me of Donny Osmond's socks. So yes, purple it is then. Although I was always more of a Rubettes and Slade girl myself... although I didn't really become an interested teenager until Punk Rock happened. I was born about 5 years too late to really get into Glam rock, but there we go. I can claim to remember it.
I'll be publishing the pattern hopefully in the next couple of days. It will include these exaggerated flares, some regular flares and some straight-leg pants too.
There's quite a lot crammed into this pattern, so loads of pieces to draw up and lots of labelling to do.
Friday, 20 February 2015
Until the new VAT rules become clearer, or until Sellfy starts to offer VAT administration to its sellers, I won't be able to offer my sewing patterns or tutorials direct from my website.
It's a tad frustrating, but seeing as there have only been one or two sales from here, I'll stick to selling only from Etsy for a while, until everything becomes clearer!
My Etsy shop link can be accessed in the right hand panel of this page, under "Links".
As you were. :)
Tuesday, 17 February 2015
New tax laws for digital downloads sold online. (EU only)
So it seems Etsy are going to take responsibility for VAT that has to be charged to customers in whichever EU country - at the customers location, not the sellers location.
This is great news for sellers, because basically the whole VAT thing would be a nightmare, but it means that customers will be charged VAT at the point of sale, and the VAT they will pay, will be whatever applies in their EU country.
Etsy are yet to announce how they will do this, but I imagine the VAT will be applied when the customer goes to pay for their digital product. (In my case doll clothes patterns)
Once I find out whats what, I'm planning to try and revise the prices of the patterns to try and take some of the VAT impact off my customers. I don't think I can absorb it all, but I'll try to absorb something reasonable.
I'll be posting about it once I know.
I don't think this affects anyone outside the EU, as these new rules come directly from the Europen Union.
It bums me out some, because I don't want to put off potential customers off by their having to pay more.
Sunday, 15 February 2015
Here's something very easy to sew. I started out with a simple tights pattern, but have added options for leggings, shorts, stockings and socks too. There are two pattern pieces for each garment, one for 4-way stretch jersey, and one for 2-way stretch jersey.
They're also no-elastic, so if you don't happen to have anything appropriate and you want a quick pair of tights etc to finish off an outfit, these are for you. If, like me, you like the look of lingerie elastic at the tops of stockings, or around a tights waistband, there is an option to do this contained in the instructions.
In my Etsy store:
Or right here on my blog:
Patience looks very cute in these. :)
And stockings. I used elastic for mine, but you don't have to.
You can also make little shorts, but I've made around 12 items whilst working out this pattern and have run out of steam. I'm sure I'll get around to making some though, they would look cute peeping out from under a short skirt, especially with some stretchy lace around the legs.
Jersey fabric varies in stretch, but I've included a guide to help you sort out your single jersey from your rib jersey; and what properties to look out for in the stretch.
Next, I'm planning a retro 70's style outfit, also for Patience. Looking forward to that!
Thursday, 12 February 2015
I thought I'd make a tights pattern for Patience, because I often want to make a pair of tights, stocking, or leggings, just to finish off an outfit.
The trouble with this is that all stretch fabrics vary so HUGELY. So it's hard to come up with one really definitive, beautifully fitted tights pattern.
Mulling this over, I also decided I wanted the tights pattern to be versatile, so leggings, shorts and socks can be made quite easily. I'm still on the actual tights and leggings at the mo.
In the past couple of days, I've made 8 pairs of tights/leggings (only half of which fit) and a pair of socks. I'm actually on my 8th pair now.
What I'm doing is making two pattern pieces for each garment, one for fabric with 2-way stretch, and the other for fabric with 4-way stretch. To try and help matters along, I'm putting a section of information about stretch jersey fabric at the beginning of the pattern. With pictures, and the supplier I use mostly.
I hope it all works. The only tights pattern I could find for Patience came with a whole other outfit, which I didn't want to buy, really.
Anyway. I'll persevere. I think I'm nearly there. They're no-elastic tights/leggings too, so they're really easy to make.
Saturday, 7 February 2015
Et voila the twins, in their new gear, with this latest pattern from Raccoon HQ. It took a little longer, but the extra effort was worth it for a great fit and a really nice pattern with extras.
Available in my etsy store:
Or here in my blog:
Pepper has a nice long skirt for her bib dress, and Patch has a pair of denim dungarees for getting up to - Well. Whatever little boys get up to.
The leotard is versatile. You can have long or short sleeves, three different styles of neckline. The dress and dungarees could also be shortened very easily.
And, due to the fact I used my Ken tutorial patterns #001 and #002 to create this package, the dungarees and leotard fit Ken very nicely.
Zane has gotten in on the act here. You would need to lengthen the dungaree legs buy about 1/4" or a smidge more, because they're just a teeny bit short on him.
(I do like a guy in dungarees and nowt else.)
So there it is. :)
I know I promised more pics of Patch on Facebook yesterday. Here's the one I posted over there:
Patch is a Dorothy/Wizard of OZ Patience, with the eyebrows repainted, and freckles added. I also trimmed down the eyelashes just a wee bit, but left them long at the outside corners of the eyes. Boys and men can have just as long eyelashes as we girlies.
He makes a great boy I think. So here's another shot:
The wig I have here is too tight, and I can't style it the way I want, so I'm waiting for a new one, which hopefully I can alter and trim just right.
My Patience is now called Pepper, because she likes the nice lady in Iron Man. ;)
Friday, 6 February 2015
I've been wanting to show the work of some of my customers, who have been using my sewing patterns. I tried to wait until I had some more images, but what I'll do is post these two now and post any more takers later on.
This first is by the very wonderful and talented Trish from tillietogs, whose own work in crochet and knitting can be seen over on Flickr. Trish has used pattern SSP-005, which is available on Etsy.
The ensemble is made in mouth-watering Liberty Tana Lawn, to which both Trish and I are addicted. ;)
This second outfit is by the lovely Julie, over on Facebook. It's pattern SSP-004, and also readily available over at Etsy.
I love the combination of floral fabric and stripes in this. It's just gorgeous and the blonde Patience in the background looks somewhat envious, methinks.
(Just as an aside, Thanks to both ladies for permission to show these - and I jut want to add that I don't really like putting people's full names on the Internet.)
Yet to be finished is the newest pattern in the SSP range. It started out as a leotard and dungarees for Patience, but I couldn't resist adding a bib dress for that bit of extra value.
Here's a sneak peek of things to come.
This pattern has taken a long time to do, because I'm designing it as I go along. It's almost done. I just need to sew up a turtle-neck leotard and convert my newest Patience doll into a boy for the cover photos.