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:

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:

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:

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...


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.


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, 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.