Sunday, 30 August 2015

Procrastination is the thief of time.

Woke up in between patterns today. Deciding to take the day off, but knowing I had to clear my desk before I started the next thing.

I hate tidying my desk... and my day went something like this:

Drink coffee.
Faff around on new computer.
Workdesk still messy.
More coffee and some toast.
Tidy up a fabric drawer.
More coffee.
Tidy up three other fabric drawers, all folded and neat.
Add excess fabric to the under-bed stash that I really need to clear out.
Workdesk still messy.
Drink coffee.
Open up art program and play with new brushes.
More coffee.
Five minutes on Facebook.
Workdesk still messy.

It was about 4.30 by this time.

Earlier, I picked a drawer and tidied it.   It was packed full of fabric just stuffed inside, and although it doesn't look amazing, it's a lot more organised.

Then I did the other three fabric drawers:

So then I was happy with that.

Finally - I got around to the desk. Then just as I'd finished, dinner was cooked so I'm back again, and sitting here full of pasta.  And with a halo.

I really want to organise some wall hooks or some means of hanging my tools and bits up, so less desk space is taken up. I love a really clear, empty work surface.  Even if I do  litter it up with bits of card pattern, fabrics, shoes and dolls.

So now I can go back to playing with TEH GLADIATOR.  That's my new computer.  :D   I love it.   I LOVE Linux with a passion.   Seriously, Windows sucks big-time, it's so prone to infection.   I'm now running Linux Mint, Cinnamon, and I'm utterly in love.

Here's a screenshot of my desktop.   The wallpaper is beautiful - I actually found that online -  and I don't have to have any irritating icons littering it up, because I can put everything (including the kitchen sink) on the panel (taskbar) at the bottom.  It's so customisable, you can have the desktop looking pretty much any way you want it.

And my god. Talk about fast. And silent. It's so quiet I can't tell it's on.  This setup has a quad core 3.10GHz processor, one 120gb solid state hard drive, one 2tb SATA drive, and I had 16gb of RAM installed when it was made.   I've always bought my computers from Aria, online.  

Do not go to PC World.  Their prices are inflated and their assistants are trained to sell things to you, as opposed to informing you.

Aria build computers to order, and you can choose one of their standard models and have it beefed up a bit. Or you can order something that is to your own specifications.   This is the third Desktop I've had from them, and I've never had a problem.   They are knowledgeable and helpful too.


So anyway.   Back to dollies.  I think the next project will be that long-promised tutorial on how to make Alice bands.


Saturday, 29 August 2015

Sewing pattern for Patience Wilde SSP-027 jacket/coat

Another versatile little garment from Raccoon's Rags.

This fully lined summer/Autumn jacket has two choices of overall length, and an extra option for longer sleeves so you can turn up the cuffs to revel the contrast lining.

Available in my Etsy shop:

Craftsy store:

Or right here on the blog:  (Via Sellfy)

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 suggest comparing prices.

I've cunningly tailored the sleeves to fit over long-sleeved garments underneath, and is cut loosely enough to button up over layers:

(Poor Patch. He's not  terribly impressed at being made to model a girls jacket.)

These little jackets look great over SSP-026, the summer capsule wardrobe for Patience.  I've made all mine to match the outfits I made whilst developing that patterns.

Short jacket over a dress:

Longer version over a top and pants.  Here you can see the turned-up cuffs too.  These printed fabrics are all my own design, created to be worn together.

You can always leave the buttons and/or snaps off.  The coat will look good edge-to-edge, over maybe a fuller dress.

The collar can be left off too, the instructions cover this as you sew.   It would look particularly nice to have a collarless shorter jacket - as a little bolero.

My Ellowyne dolls are glaring at me from their shelves, thinking I've had way too much fun with Patience, and it should be their turn next.  

....Then there's Evangeline, looking wistful at having only one pattern devoted to her.  

So many dolls, so little time.  


Monday, 24 August 2015

Tonner boy dolls sewing pattern SSP-021 Leotard & vest.

Here's another offering from Raccoon HQ.    I've designed a leotard for 17" Tonner male dolls, so that if you're looking for a top that stays tucked in to jeans or pants, this is the one for you.   There is also a fully lined waistcoat, which looks great with the lace-up front leotard, especially if you're going for something like a steampunk or olde-worlde look.

This fits Matt O'Neill, Rufus Rutter, Imperium Park Phin, and also Wilde's new boy, Penn.

Available in my Etsy store:

At my Craftsy store:

And here on the blog:  (Via Sellfy)

(EDIT:  Craftsy and blog page links now added.)

I will list this in my Craftsy store, and on the blog, as soon as the problem has been resolved.

Here's what the leotard looks like, without the waistcoat.  I'm not crazy about the onesie look on a bloke - but these look great once the boys are in pants or jeans!

And the plain tee-shirt version, with short sleeves:

The waistcoat is great for a smart outfit, or can be worn as a dressed-down look.

If you need jeans, or plain pants,   Pattern SSP-020 provides those things, and is available in my Etsy store, as well as here on the blog, and on Craftsy.  (The tee-shirt pattern pieces also found in SSP-020 are fully interchangeable with this leotard.)

The waistcoat from the back.  The back-strap is optional, as are the buttons really, if you just want an edge-to-edge vest.

I particularly like the waistcoat when the back is in a contrast fabric to the front.

The little buckles are hand made too.   They're quite easy, but you do need some small craft pliers, and some wire.  The instructions for the buckles are not included in this pattern, but there is a link in the instructions to my free tutorial on how to make your own belt buckles.

That's it for now.  I'm highly perturbed that I can't get Sellfy or Craftsy to load.   It's all loading in plain text, and it drives me nuts when I can't access my sales sites.   I pray it's just some glitch in the ether!


Sunday, 16 August 2015

Patience shoes tutorial TUTE#018

I've spent the weekend making these cute little shoes for Patience, inspired by my recent sewing pattern SSP-026.  There's no sewing involved at all, just cutting and gluing, with minimal tools and materials.

Available on Etsy:

Or Craftsy:

Or here in my blog: (Via Sellfy)

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 suggest comparing prices.

I've made all 3 pairs of my own shoes to match my recent outfits. Wols, raccoons, and flowers abound.

These would be fun to decorate with tiny ribbon flowers, beads, or bits of fluffy marabou.  I can see them as slippers as well.

The low heel is optional - because the shoes look perfectly nice either with or without.   I've also included a section on how to add slingback straps.

The shoes can be made from fabrics, or soft kid leather (thin, like the stuff used for gloves)  or Ultrasuede, even felt could be sued, and painted over with acrylic or textile medium, to fix the felt and stop it stretching.

Once you have the basic templates, there's all sorts of creative things you can bring to this project.

Next up (hopefully) will be a tutorial on how to make Alice bands.


Saturday, 15 August 2015

Sneak peek at my next tutorial....

...Usually I prefer to wait for the big reveal, but I'm so in love with these little summer shoes for Patience that I couldn't resist showing them off.

I'll be making a few of these to compliment the outfits I made for the latest Patience sewing pattern.

That's it for today. I have shoes on the brain, so I must love you and leave you.


Friday, 14 August 2015

Patience sewing pattern SSP-026: Summer capsule wardrobee.

So here it is.   I wanted to sit and make something a little more simple to sew this time. So I designed a pretty sundress, which can be worn with or without the cropped pants.  To add a girlie touch to the pants, I've added an optional turn-up cuff to the pants.

In my Etsy shop:

Or my Craftsy store:  

Or here on the blog:  (Via Sellfy)

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 suggest comparing prices.

So on with the pattern. I went a bit further, to play around with the design, and you can also use this to make a peplum-frilled top, and a little cropped top too.   If you want plainer pants, you can simply hem them instead of  sewing on the cuffs.

It's a proper little capsule wardrobe.  Just the kind of thing a little girl could pack in her suitcase for holidays by the sea.

Because the skirt is very full, if you want to make a lined skirt, or peplum, you will need to use cotton lawn, or a lighter weight fabric.  I know a lot of people like to use quilters-weight cottons for dolly clothes, and they do come in an incredible variety of colours and patterns.

So for  this slightly heavier weight fabric, it's best not to have a lining for the skirt, as the bulk around the waist would be a bit too much.   The instructions do show how to make an unlined version of the skirt.

The bodice needs to be lined whichever fabric you choose.

Here's my lined skirt in Lacuna Press cotton lawn.  Very full with a frothy lining that resembles a petticoat.

And here's the peplum top version.  Basically the dress without a ruffle, and sewn in quilters weight cotton, in a beautiful print.

Last but not least, here's the little top, which is made from the bodice, without the skirt. The raccoon fabric is my own design.  The pants-cuffs tie the outfit together nicely.

And a view of the easy-to-sew pants.  They would be quite easy to make into shorts.

So there we go.  I still have ideas that this project sparked off, so I may be making a couple of mini-tutorials next.


Wednesday, 12 August 2015

Charity event featuring Raccoon's Rags mini-tute, hair barrette.

A while back, a lady bought my mini-tutorial TUTE#017, for a doll's hairslide/barrette. We had a pleasant chat via Etsy, and because she was asking permission to use my pattern for a workshop she was running at an event - which was absolutely okay by me -  and the proceeds were going to charity, I refunded her the money for the pattern, as a minor contribution to their cause.

I'd almost forgotten about it, but today had a lovely email from this lady and her co-organiser, thanking me, and showing some pictures of the workshop. I was delighted! The little barrettes are so pretty, and I love what people can do with a little creative flair.

The two ladies I've been speaking to are Hazel and Marie. The event was organised by Cindy at Rainbow bazaar. It was a convention event, in Nashua, New Hampshire. It featured Wilde Imagination dolls, and Robert Tonner was one of the attendees.

Hazel and Marie organised the workshop - which involved my barrettes. The event and the raffles raised over 1,100 dollars for the Greater Nashua Humane society to help animals in need.

Here's a link to some photos of the workshop.

(Edit: Link fixed now)

A little Raccoon's Rags flyer was printed up and handed out, so I'm really grateful to these ladies for the publicity. It seems the event was a roaring success... and it's just so nice how supportive the doll community is.

There are also photos of the workshop (and the event) on the Wilde Imagination Facebook page. It was great looking them up and seeing them!

Thanks Hazel and Maria! I'm happy to have helped in some small way, and was delighted to see the pictures. 


Monday, 10 August 2015

Cute lil' wols.

That's not a typo.  I have this wol fabric (my own design from Spoonflower) that's just so cute, I really wanted to use it.   Also, I keep going back to Patience, because she's such fun to sew for.

Here's a little sneak peek at my latest project. I have a few ideas that I want to get sewn, made and published. It'll be very cute and summery - with hopefully an autumnal option in the form of a separate pattern.


I made the scale of the fabric suitable for dollies too.  This is actually the prototype fabric, which has one correct way up.  The one that's available in my Spoonflower store has been worked on, it looks good the right way up, and upside down, so pattern cutting will be easier.

I have a few similar fabrics too, in my "animal cuties" collection.


I've been considering a series of small one-garment patterns that are fairly simple to sew. Separates maybe, and accessories.  I'm not quite sure if there's a market for that, but it would be nice to concentrate on something simple, in between devising new patterns for whole outfits.

We'll see.  I may try a couple and see how they go.

Back to the workdesk I go...


Thursday, 6 August 2015

Gown ensemble for sale on Etsy.

I've put a ton of work into the gown outfit for Evangeline, and it's looking gorgeous... this one is kinda hard to part with, but needs must.

Available in my Etsy store:

I've enhanced the bodice and the armlets with white guipure flowers. I've hand-painted the centres black, which makes them merge into the dress nicely.  To blend the skirt up into the bodice a little, I've also added tiny white seed beads.

The armlets have been given the same treatment and are looking fabulous.

Besides the choker I've been shouting about on Facebook all morning, I've made a lovely little fascinator which is Lilith's (my lovely model) crowning glory.   I just love marabou, and must buy in some more at some point.

I love everything about this outfit.  The silhouette, the way everything ties in.  I keep saying this, but if I was in my twenties again I would so love to wear this.

Loving that choker too. I used to make jewellery as a business, and I miss the odd pleasant afternoon of beading.  This is my first fascinator too.  Something I've always wanted to try making, and it was such fun, I'm thinking of releasing a mini-tutorial on the subject.

Despite the challenge this doll's bust presents. I've really enjoyed sewing for her, and am  looking forward to lots more.  :)



 Just a quickie.  This went so well, I just had to show it off.

This choker for Evangeline is made from 15/0 seed beads. The smallest you can get ( I think.)  I've used black and pewter - the latter of which looks like silver, but is actually darker, like, well... pewter.

The beads are sewed onto Ultrasuede, which is the perfect material to bead on. It's incredibly strong, doesn't fray, and you can take the tiniest stitches right on the very edge of the fabric and it doesn't break away. Ultrasuede is actually more expensive than real kid leather.

This very small choker took 4 hours of work!

In between publishing the patterns, I like to enhance an outfit ready for selling.   It gives me a break, and it gives some lucky person the chance to buy a ready-made outfit.

I've also been embellishing the dress.

15/0 seed beads are gorgeous. I need strong craft glasses to be able to sew them and loads of light, but the scale is just lovely for dollies.

Righty. I have in mind a fascinator for Lilith next, and maybe even some shoes.  The more I add, the more it pushes up the overall price, but sometimes I just can't help myself. Frippery is fun.


Tuesday, 4 August 2015

Evangeline sewing pattern SSP-025: Gown & armlets.

Loved making something for this little lady.  Here's my gorgeous Lilith modelling the latest offering from Raccoon HQ.

Available in the following places:



Here on my blog:  (via Sellfy)

Etsy will charge VAT to European Union customers.  I recommend EU customers go to Craftsy to compare prices.  America, Canada, Australia, and other non EU countries are not affected.

I'm most pleased with these lovely armlets.  I managed to cut the pattern so that the ruffles form a lovely shape when on the doll.   The view from the back is just as nice as the front!

This pattern is slightly more advanced than most of my others.  The corset panels can be tricky to sew if you're not at an intermediate level. That said, the instructions are photographic, and are nice and clear with helpful hints on how to sew this really well.

I'm very happy with the corset bodice too.  It fits  well over Lilith's huge bazooms, and over the yoked petticoat.

And here's the petticoat:

A lovely project to sew for a very elegant doll.

I've also been busy working on my TUTE#014 for the pirate lass outfit for Ellowyne Wilde.  I've published a condensed SSP version of this full tutorial.  The new pattern is still very detailed, and of course is offered for a slightly lesser price.

This can be found also in my three outlets:

Whew.  I've been busy.  Now I need to tidy up my bombsite... er, my workspace, before embarking on the next project.


Monday, 3 August 2015

Beautiful armlets.

The loveliest armlets I've made to date.   They're a bit of an odd shape when you sew them, but they look fabulous on the doll.

I wasn't so sure about fitting things to Evangeline when I bought my first doll.  But she's proving huge fun to dress.   I'm loving the overall effect of this gown with its detached armlets.  I've even made them so they fasten up once on the doll - negating any need to pop off the doll's hands.

Here's my beautiful Lilith in the finished outfit.  

I'll be drawing up and scanning in the pattern pieces tomorrow, and hopefully my first Evangeline Ghastly pattern will be available before the end of the week. 


Saturday, 1 August 2015

Gown for Evangeline.

Getting closer to finished.  This girl is Lilith, my... er, second Evangeline Ghastly.  I couldn't help but buy another one, and you can get good prices on nude dolls, if you look on Ebay.

Here's the gown with the corseted bodice.  I've managed to get a really nice fit, and the yoked petticoat sits nicely underneath.  She's a tad soggy here, as I've dampened the skirts to style them.

There's three layers of full skirt in this design; two layers in the petticoat, and one in the gown - although it's not too hard to make the gown with two layers of skirt as well.

Just a quick snap of the work so far.  The bodice needs another press where it meets the skirt, because dampening the fabric took away all my neat, flat seaming:

I quite like this wig on her too, it's  a Monique Gold "Ginger" Wig that I've cut and styled a bit.

Next up, something for her arms I think. :)