Monday, 16 October 2017

SSP-053: 2 Dresses for 13" Dianna Effner Little Darlings


And here's a new sewing pattern for Little Darlings. It's a favourite style of mine, and utilises a fairly simple bodice, with two options for the skirts.  (Three if you use the petticoat pieces to make a simpler dress.)

*Available in my Etsy shop:


*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.



And right here on the blog: (PayPal shopping cart) You can find the sales pages at the top of the blog, in tabs for each section.  I will email you the pattern PDF files directly, after you've cleared checkout.  Click this link to email me, if you have any queries.




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


Or right here on the blog: (PayPal shopping cart) 
If you do buy from me here on the blog, and you live in the EU, the rules state that I don't have to charge you VAT as it's a direct sale. 

You can find the sales pages at the top of the blog, in tabs for each section.  I will email you the pattern PDF files directly, after you've cleared checkout.  Click this link to email me, if you have any queries.







£9.25





Price without VAT is £9.25.

*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.

~~~~~

A really charming set for your Effner Little Darlings.

This first one is a real favourite of mine. I love the ruffled panels in the skirt, and they're fun to make.



The second version has seven panels in the skirt. You can use just one fabric, or two, or you could use up scraps and make a really shabby Chic dress out of seven different fabrics.


And of course I like to add a petticoat.   You could use the petticoat skirts to make a much simpler dress if you like.

Also, the skirt pieces are compatible with bodices from my other Little Darlings patterns, and vice versa.


And yes, there will be some outfits for sale, once I've done all the little extras.  :)


Next, I'm wildly excited to make something for my new Tobi body, which belongs to the Kaye Wiggs universe.   She's tall and skinny, and has proportions which I love.   A long dress with a short version is going to be coming up.

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Saturday, 7 October 2017

Kaye Wiggs Tobi body



I've been unable to afford another Kaye Wiggs girl, since buying my Little Darling.  No regrets there,  but I did want to get a doll with the Tobi body next.  Eventually I plan to get a Laycee body,  but am holding out for a sculpt I really love.

The Tobi appeals because I adore tall thin figures.  I have a 47cm Soom Rosette that is very tall and gangly-skinny.  It just appeals. I used to paint and draw fairies and I always exaggerated the bodies, so I love to see a similarly proportioned doll body.

Whilst perusing Ebay - which I often do, for the sake of it, I came across a Tobi body, without head, on offer from a UK seller.

No customs!  Yippee.  So that was a no brainer.  And the lovely seller posted it very quickly, it arrived this morning.

I've spent some time fitting my Gracie head with some foam washers, so now the head poses beautifully, and I'm loving this body.   I mean ... it's huge! It's the tallest doll I own now, and I've no idea how I'm going to photograph any outfits. My background boards are all too small.

But eh, details.

Here she is anyway.  I do like Gracie on the Tobi. Her head is a good size for any KW body really,  and she's so poseable. She stands like a rock, even without the boots.  In fact she's far more solid than my MSD bodies, which have a tendency to keel over at the ankles with no warning.



Can I have some pants, mum?



She's not terribly impressed about the lack of pants.  But professionalism took over...




I'm not sure what to sew first, but have an idea for the right dress.

This is fun and all, but can I get some pants? And y'know, like... a bra? Soon?

It's nice to have a slightly more mature body.  More mature and feminine garments are nice to design for a change.

Mum!  I want UNDERWEAR!

For some reason, all my KW girls have American accents, in my head, despite calling me mum and not mom.  I suppose they are American born and created.  You'd think none of my Ellowynes or Patiences  et al would have British accents for that same reason, but inexplicably, they do.  Apart from Deja Vu, who sounds French.

Us doll people are weird.

______________

A word on resin doll joints - not quite a tutorial.



Someone posted in one of the Kaye Wiggs Facebook group, asking what they could do with their doll, whose head was very 'kicky' and unposable.  My sympathies with that dolly owner,  as my Gracie has a very awkward head, which shoots around unbidden just as I'm taking a photo.

A lot of people recommended restringing - as the strings were probably too tight.  I agree with this, but also someone recommended silicone washers or grommets sold specifically for resin dolls and BJD.

I personally find these washers a bit of a rip off.   You buy two at a time, and they're about a couple of quid.  You also can't be sure what size to get, even if you measure your doll, because the joints distort the washers - which means you need a slightly larger size than you actually think you do.  I've ordered a couple and will report my findings, but I'm impatient, and I thought of a cheaper alternative.. which I happened to have lying around in my crafts stash.

Take some craft foam, the kind that comes in sheets of about 2-3mm thickness.  Use a white or pale colour for your doll, and cut your own washers to size.



I cut one and pushed it into the joint of Gracie's head, and tried it out on the body.  It works brilliantly!   I may cut a smaller one, as I've removed the plastic neck insert that came with my Gracie, located in the neck hole of her head, and the resulting hole is pretty deep.

The hole in the middle of the washer had to be elongated to accommodate the metal hook,  but that's okay, nobody is going to see it.

Here it is, after I tried it out.   It does squish a bit, but that's the whole point, it cushions and gives the smooth resin some soft (and importantly, safe) purchase.


It might not be the prettiest, but it is as cheap as chips, and you can cut washers for the shoulder and hip joints too, Playing around with size, and seeing what works best.

I know about sueding. I have used hot glue, and actual suede in the past for my doll's joints, but this method uses no adhesive. The foam washers can be removed at any time, and no there's no having to pick off hot glue or white glue.

I hope this is useful to someone out there, I plan to use it with all my resin dolls in future.

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Friday, 6 October 2017

Special outfits for Evangeline Ghastly


After over a fortnight's work, I've finally completed two really lovely outfits for Evangeline and friends.

Available in my Etsy shop:


"Flowers after the Storm"
SOLD
I started off with a classic slash-neck fifties silhouette, and it ..well, just growed.

I'm loving this unusual floral fabric from Spoonflower, by my favourite designer, Joan Mclemore.



I may have got entirely carried away by adding lots of extras,  but I regret nothing!



And the second

"Peaches and Coral"
SOLD

I found some of the softest and tissue-thin cotton lawn online.  It's just beautiful.  A little delicate to work with, but very rewarding.  I'd hate to sew this stuff with a machine!  I love the colours too. The soft pinks and corals, with a little green.  Angelique looks perfect in it.

I love Angelique. She has such a sweet appealing face.


Again with the extras.  But a girl has to be well dressed.



So that's that.  I had a blast with these.  I do love to flit from doll to doll. Sometimes it's fun to make little-girly outfits, and then it's nice for a break to make something adult and feminine.

In other news:
Only yesterday, I had a great piece of luck. I managed to find a Kaye Wiggs Tobi body on Ebay, from a UK seller.   It's just the body, but it's fair skin, so my Gracie head will work with it. Lucky girl, I wish I had two bodies.  A healthy sensational body as well as my regular slob body.

That would be nice.  I'd send the healthy one out to exercise while I sewed. Or ate chocolate.

Or both.

But yes...  Gracie.  The Tobi body is lovely and new, the owner just wanted the head, and as it's in the UK.. no customs charges!  This alone is just.... I had to buy it.  I just HAD to.

I'm super excited to start making something glam for the new KW bod.  :D   But I am planning a LD outfit again next, and then something for Patience.  But we all know how well I stick to plans.  Heh.

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Saturday, 30 September 2017

Dolly shoes - Evangeline Ghastly



One of the best investments I made, was all that silicone rubber and Jesmonite.  If it wasn't for my shoe lasts,  making footwear for my dollies would be just ... the biggest pain.

This weekend I'm making some shoes for a couple of special Evangeline Ghastly outfits.   It's a long messy business, because I'm not the neatest person who graced the Earth.  My desk is a tip, but it does seem to be going okay.

After a couple of teething troubles because I wasn't concentrating. Ahem.

This might not look horribly messy, but I did tidy a bit, and zoomed in. There is carnage all over the rest of the desk. CARNAGE.



There will be a grey pair and a pink pair.  I'll show the completed outfits when they're done.  So far so good!  The thing about shoe making, is that you not only need to be neat, and precise, you also need nerves of steel, because each successive step can mess them up completely.  Good thing I'm kind of good at gluing.  And I don't know what I'd do without good old Aleene's.

Also - I mainly posted to let people know I've added a search gadget to my blog, so you can look up things like shoes and items for specific dolls, and tutorials, etc.

Raccoons rags search blog


For really great shoe tutorials though, go to Tarja's Blog. Her shoes are amazing, and I've learned a lot of what I do from her.  If you scroll back a fair way, there are easier methods shown, than casting the shoe soles, etc.

Ima go back to mah shooz nao.

______________________



Sunday, 17 September 2017

Three outfits for Dianna Effner Little Darlings.


I've finished my very first batch of Little Darlings outfit, and I'm in love with them.   People ask me if it's hard to sell the things I make.. and the answer has to be yes.   But, it's always nice to know that my work is in private collections all over the world.

These are all little princess dresses, made whilst developing the Princess dress sewing pattern (SSP-052) and they look very cute on my working model, Bonnie.  She's a consummate professional for one so young.



Princess Posie:
SOLD

This is the first prototype of the dress, and fits perfectly. This was made before I went with the overskirt idea, and is a lovely little set.

You can click on the photos for a larger version.


Classic pink for a little girl.




Princess Primrose:
SOLD

I don't usually use yellow, but these prints have a lovely golden quality to them.  It would look gorgeous on a brunette doll methinks.

I was going to make hats, but I thought for a princess dress, little tiaras or crowns would be nicer.  And as I'm really not sure how to go about making a tiara for a doll, without loads of R&D,  I opted for crocheting these little 'vine' crowns.  I devised the method to do it myself.  I haven't seen any such crocheted item online, and certainly no patterns for one.


The dress alone is also very cute.





Princess Polka:
SOLD

My personal favourite and I've already had an enquiry for it. If  the lady doesn't want it, it will go back on general sale.

I love aqua, and this looks very fresh and pristine.

I'm also partial to a polka dot.  And I like these two prints combined.




The dresses look longer on the doll, due to the difficulty in getting the right angle photographically.   They are actually around lower calf length on the doll.



Each outfit comes with the petticoat....




..and these adorable little knicks.  They fit beautifully around the doll's derriere, and finish off the outfit nicely.




So that's it for now.  I'll be making something new for LD very soon, but have recently bought some mouthwatering cotton lawn, and I want to make 50's style dresses for Evangeline.

Bearing in mind how easily distracted I am though... I could end up making anything...

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Tuesday, 12 September 2017

SSP-052: First sewing pattern for Dianna Effner Little Darlings



I've loved every minute of making this pattern, and Raccoon HQ is proud to announce the very first sewing pattern for Little Darlings.   I went for little-girlie, and a princess dress seemed just the thing.

*Available in my Etsy shop:


And right here on the blog: (PayPal shopping cart) You can find the sales pages at the top of the blog, in tabs for each section.  I will email you the pattern PDF files directly, after you've cleared checkout.  Click this link to email me, if you have any queries.



£9.25







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


If you do buy from me here on the blog, 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 £9.25.

*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.

~~~~~


I started off with the princess-y skirt combined into one dress, but then, me being persnickety, I decided to make the clever little overskirt, so you can get more looks out of the outfit more easily.

Here's the dress...  you could easily cut the sleeves in the skirt fabric instead of the bodice fabric, for more contrast. 


For those of us who find setting in sleeves a bit of a bore,  this bodice has raglan shapings, making it much easier.


The overskirt was fun to make.  I may do some of these for other dolls.






The back opening of the overskirt is quite large, so it's fairly easy to slip on over the dress, once it's on the doll.  The waistband acts as a sort of cummerbund too.


And of course, I always like to add a petticoat, for extra value.   You could make this dress with a ruffle instead of the skirts, like a peplum frill, and put it over the petticoat to use as a skirt, if you wanted.  It's a little shorter than the dress, so you have two length options. 




I love my little Bonnie, she's just adorable. So much so, I've spent a small fortune on YOSD shoes for her. Eeps.   She's worth it though. 

The prototype dress will have some fripperies added, and I shall be offering them in my Etsy shop soon-ish. Watch this space.

There will definitely be more patterns for LD. I have so many ideas.  But next I really fancy making some floaty dresses for Evangeline.  I have a fifties style in mind for  her. 

______________________


Saturday, 9 September 2017

Home made doll stands



Having bought one or two Cami dolls, and a Tyler... Oh, and a Nu Mood ballet doll (heh)  I found I had way more dolls than stands.   So getting onto Ebay I duly trawled through the available stands for this type of doll.  

I much prefer straddle stands. I seldom give the other kind any house room.   But, I was somewhat downcast to find that straddle stands cost about twenty quid a pop.

Sooo...  Yeah, you know me by now. I decided to make some.  

I bought the following:

Blank MDF coasters 10cm in diameter and 6mm thick.
Some 3mm brass tube
Some 1mm gold plated brass wire... I had in my supplies.


And here's what I did with it.    

Cut the brass tube to length with a jewellery or coping saw - fine blade -  using an existing saddle stand as a guide... Tyler and Cami have longer legs than Ellowyne, so the tube needs to be about 5mm shorter for Ell. (I had to cut some of my tubes down after I'd made the darned stands because they were too long for Prudence, whom I was using as a model, as well as my lovely Tyler below. Awkward. Very. At least the wire comes out easily.)

Cutting the tube is a pain. My saw is cheap and cheerful, and I had to cut a bit, turn the tube, cut a bit more, until my saw marks met.  I sanded off the rough edges with a bit of fine grit abrasive paper.
 
There's two coasters to each stand. The top coaster has a hole drilled in it, just the size of the brass tube.  The holes are not central. I placed them to the side of centre, similar to the stand bases you get with these dolls. The un-drilled bottom coaster is glued on, and the rod sits in the hole.  I secured mine in its hole with superglue.

Then you cut about 10"- 11" of wire, and fold it in half, press the fold point with pliers so it fits into the tube.  Feed it into the tube.   Make a couple of loops with round nosed pliers to finish off the raw ends.

Lastly, I put a dab of superglue at the fork of the wire (see the second picture below) and wrapped thread around the wire, just to keep it together.  You don't need to tie knots, just dab a little superglu on after you've wound the thread, and wind a bit more. It dries quickly, and you can snip the thread ends away.

And voila, you have a cheap doll stand.   Mine cost me about £3.50 per stand.

They're not beautiful objects, but they're neat enough, and I may use some polymer clay, or Milliput to make a proper saddle for the doll's ..er, undercarriage. A soft clay can be modelled around the wire, and sanded down afterwards.



They do the job well enough - and are height-adjustable.  I like to have my dolls on stands on the shelves, so I can reach for one to dress and photograph.

Here's a close up of the thread wrapping. It doesn't need to be uber strong, but then it's surprising how strong several layers of thread are.



So that's that,  I'll try to post some kind of tutorial if I make more, but they're really easy to make and you can get the idea from the pictures.

They can of course be decorated any way at all. I'm considering gluing ribbon around the bases, to hide the seam where the two wood circles are glued together.


________________


Sunday, 3 September 2017

Weekend drive-by - Prototype dress for Little Darlings


Not the best photo, but I've made a prototype dress for Dianna Effner Little Darlings.

This will be a sewing pattern, but it will be a couple of weeks yet, before it's in any fit state to publish.  So far I'm loving it, but I need to tweak the pattern a little, and try a slightly different construction method.  I'm not sure about the cummerbund yet and I may make the wiast a little higher.




And below, her wig is a mess!  Sorry sweetheart, you deserve better I know.

New dress for Little Darlings

Here's my inspiration picture...




I've also renamed my little  LD  Bonnie.  I just think it suits her.  :)

As you were.

____________________

Sunday, 27 August 2017

Three outfits for Kaye Wiggs dolls




Having published the sewing pattern (SSP-051)  I had three delightful outfits to primp a bit, and play with.    So I've added an oversized bow for the hair, for two of them, and for the third - my personal fave - I've made a hat and some shoes.

The shoes take WAY long to make, but I do like to offer the occasional outfit as a complete look.

Well worth it, because I love this first one. <3   My newly face-upped (that's totally a word) Gracie looks divine in this.   It's so girlie and charming! The little shoes are so cute too.

"Mathilda" Outfit: In my Etsy shop:
£82.00




 Secondly,   As I also adore aqua and turquoise shades, this one was equally a labour of love to make.  I do like making these little bows for the doll.  A customer once asked me to make a hair ornament for one of my Kaye Wiggs outfits, as she liked something to finish it off, so I did that for her, and now I try to include something for the head or hair in every ensemble.

"Harriet" Outfit:  In my Etsy shop:
£55.00






Bringing up the rear is this very pretty outfit.   I love using Kaffe Fasset's Cotton Shots fabric for dolly dresses.  It has a lovely subtle sheen that I just can't capture with my camera, and is slightly lighter weight than traditional quilters-weight cottons.  

Teamed with Liberty Tana Lawn,  it all meshes together nicely.

"Millie" Outfit: In my Etsy shop:
£60.00




So that's those all done and finished.   I'm fond of olde worlde looks on these dolls, and the three sets do have a nice Holly Hobbie feel to them.

I may have a couple of days off as I've worked through my last two weekends, but will be cracking on with something for Little Darlings for sure.

_________________






















Friday, 25 August 2017

Kaye Wiggs Gracie, brand new face up.



I've sort of known Dr Krowe (Krowbar)  For a few years now, and he's done a fair bit of work for me, most notably on my Phineas Bennett dolls, but he's also done a soulkid boy and my Soom Rosette girl.

This is a UK based artist, whose prices are very reasonable, and you can see his work here on Flickr: 

He also does fantasy mods and all sorts.   You can email here if you'd like some work done. (I have been given permission to post the email address because it's a dedicated email for doll work.)

Now I present Gracie,   Dr Krowe's worked his magic on her and she looks lovely. Her brunette wigs look a lot better on her now!


This first wig is a bit messy, I need to work out how to tidy it up, but the hairs are so springy.


So I resorted to her custom Tibetan Lambskin wig, the first one I made her. I think it loooks a lot prettier.



I asked the artist to give me darker brows, and to hide the teeth.  Please don't hate me, but i'm not a huge fan of dolls with open mouths or teeth showing.  It's just  a personal preference, despite owning a couple of Deja Vu dolls!


And I almost always cave in and ask for freckles. I love the way Dr Krowe does them, they look so natural.   I've tried to show the details of the work because it's so beautifully done.   You can click on these images to see larger versions.




So that's my Gracie... I just know I'm going to end up buying her some new wigs!

______________

Thursday, 24 August 2017

SSP-051: New sewing pattern for Kaye Wiggs MSD and Mei Mei.



SSP-005 for Patience has been one of my most popular patterns ever, so I've made a version for Kaye Wiggs girls.  This is not simply a scaled up version, it's entirely re-drafted from scratch, and fits both the MSD (45cm/18") and the Mei Mei (43cm/17") bodies.

*Available in my Etsy shop:

And right here on the blog: (PayPal shopping cart) You can find the sales pages at the top of the blog, in tabs for each section.  I will email you the pattern PDF files directly, after you've cleared checkout.  Click this link to email me, if you have any queries.



£9.25




My Craftsy store:

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

If you do buy from me here on the blog, 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 £9.25.

*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.

~~~~~

First, the little leotard is good if you're using a dark fabric for your dress, it guards against staining.   The dress is fully lined, but the construction means that the dark seams are on the inside, so it's just a precaution.

This fits Mei Mei, but stretches to fit the MSD body, which is approximately 1/2" longer. Just make sure you use 4 way stretch fabric.


The dress has adorable puff sleeves, and can be made sleeveless.



The pinafore is very cute, and can be made with front and back skirts, or as an apron style garment, without the back skirt panels.







I quite like the full skirted version left open at the back, but snaps can be added if you prefer it closed.





The outfit is very slightly... but only slightly, looser on the Mei Mei body, and is longer.


The mock ties at the sides can be made out of fabric or ribbon, and are a very pretty trim.



You can click on these images to see them larger.  All in all, this is a lovely design. Really charming for these girls.



Next up, I'll be working on something for Little Darlings by Dianna Effner.  Although I'm just a wee bit terrified of marking my beautiful dolly!

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