Saturday, 29 July 2017

Saturday drive-By - Tullegasm.

I've just sewn some different shades of tulle to the lining of my current project, and had to take snaps. I love tulle.  I hate cutting the darn stuff, but once I have my pieces cut, I'm enjoying using it - and the effects!


Can you tell which doll this is just from the picture?


Tuesday, 25 July 2017

FLEURS D'ÉTÉ - a WOW outfit for Ellowyne Wilde

It may not be cool to say WOW to myself, but I'm so ecstatic over this latest outfit.  I've been banging on about wanting to do something a bit creative and artsy, and I've long loved experimental embroidery.   I've just never known what to make.  Doll's clothes seemed a bit daunting, because you can't just go mad and embroider, or applique, or whatever takes your fancy... the thing has to FIT. It has to take shape and look amazing on the doll.

Well, I've been sewing dolly clothing for so long now, I finally bit the bullet and got on with it.  All those learned skills over the years stood me in good stead.  The dress grew organically, and now my glue has arrived and I've finished the shoes, I'm ready reveal all.

First, the making of the new Ellowyne Wilde outfit.

It's impossible to create a pattern for this, so I hope people will enjoy and be inspired by the creative journey.  You can click on the images to see larger versions.

Mostly, I wanted the new project to fit my girls, so I used the corset from SSP-050 as a lining, and decided to build the dress around the lining, as it were.  I've added a couple of straps here, because I wasn't confident that the resulting garment wouldn't slide down the doll when it was fastened.

I've bought bagfuls of hand dyed open-weave muslin (also called scrim) from a very lovely Ebay seller, and thought it was high time I used some.  I've applied the fabrics to the dress shell here, basting with tiny touches of Aleene's tacky glue.

Then I picked out some suitable embroidery threads from my not inconsiderable stash, and got to work.

Here's the dress with embroidery holding the applied fabrics to the shell.  It doesn't look much, and I admit at this stage, I was considering a do-over.

 But, I persevered and started seeing light at the end of the tunnel once I figured out a way to form the bust.

I used french knots to blend the colours of the bust fabric a bit, and then started crocheting flowers.  I made dozens and dozens of these, and have used them all.  I think I may have one left over somewhere.

It's beginning to look much nicer. More cohesive, and organic.

I crocheted some tiny leaves (you really can find anything on Pinterest!) and added those.   Green seed beads were used for the flower centres too.

The neckline and shoulders were looking too symmetrical for my liking. I'd wanted this to be faerie-like from the start.  So I made more flowers, and crocheted some chains for the arms.  You can see here where I placed them. I use tiny sequin pins for dolly dressmaking, and they're so useful for pinning fripperies to a dress.

That paid off. I made yet more flowers, and added them to the shoulders and neckline.  Here's the left arm:

And the right arm:

The textures and colours made me very happy.  This was working beautifully.  

I had an old pair of Ell shoes, which I took apart, because the uppers weren't that well made, IMHO.  And set to work on some matching shoes.  Usually I make my own soles and heels, but as I was using cast resin soles/heels, I had to wait for my clear resin glue to arrive. Aleene's is marvellous, but wont hold plastics permanently.  And these had to be professional.

Once I'd finished primping and changing my mind, I sewed some cute knickers, made some gloves, and some jewellery.  And the outfit is complete.

Here she is, in all her summer glory.   The title of the outfit is French for Summer Blossoms.

Fleurs D'été. 

Available to buy in my Etsy shop:

£165.00 plus shipping.

The bodice is fully lined, I'm quite pleased with myself for being able to line something after the fact.  I've never attempted it before!  I'm so inspired by upcycled vintage shabby fashion.  You can find a wealth of it on Pinterest.  And this dress really fits the bill.

I changed the ties on the shoes, making them longer, and adding beads.

And here are the little knickers, and the gloves.

I have thrown in a free pair of tights, but I prefer the shoes over bare feet.  But tights are always useful, so.

The jewellery is very pretty too. I'm pleased with the wire flower pendant.  Not easy to make! It took me several attempts.

So that's that.  I think that's my main piece for this summer, although I am attempting something in a similar vein for Evangeline, at this moment.  It won't be by any means the same, but already it's kinda fun.


Friday, 21 July 2017

Another teaser

I do so love to tease.  This is a brief sneaky glimpse of my current Ellowyne project.

It's proving to be a real art piece using different skills, and I can't wait to finish. I'm waiting on glue at the moment.  Might take three or four days to arrive so I can't finish the shoes yet.  Bah.

Love these colours.  <3


Tuesday, 11 July 2017

Crochet fest for Ellowyne Wilde

Whee.  I've been on such a crochet buzz lately.  It makes a change from the sewing and I sort of needed a break.   I'm addicted, and have bought loads of new yarns, and have plans for su much crochet and knitting, I can't even.

But here's the initial collection.  The outfits start at £25.00 because I've wanted to offer something a little less expensive in my Etsy shop.  That is never easy with handmade items.

Available in my Etsy shop: (In the 'handmade doll fashions' section)

Besides the rain we're having here in South Wales today, summer 2017 has been hot and sunny and glorious.  So these little outfits reflect that.  I've called it the English Rose collection, and each outfit has a quintessentially English name.  It's been fun, and  I still have outfits on the go, so will be adding more.

The first eight look very glam on Ell and her pals.  So here they are.

The dresses are not simply tubes with skirts added, but are fitted to the doll's bust and waist.   I've used cottons and rayons for these. The rayon is gorgeous.  I keep raving about it, but there it is. Fabulous for doll scale. The cottons are equally lovely, and handle differently, but I'm loving htese raw materials.

"Camden Lock"   A fun and trendy part of London. Pru looks set for a good stroll along the canal to the fashionable market.

"Bayswater" A delight in peaches and lilac.

"Regents Park". A gentle stroll to feed the swans.

"Mayfair" A fashionable address for a select garden party.

"Kew Gardens"  A horticultural afternoon, followed by tea on the lawn.

 "Glastonbury"  A rainbow to wear in the VIP enclosure at the festival.

"Henley" Perfect for the regatta.

"Kensington"  because Amber insists on looking divine whilst visiting the museums.

I have my crochet stuff set up next to my sewing spot, so I only have to reach for it.  Which I do all the time. Lots.   I've got a couple of 1940's style outfits on the go at the moment, and after I've made some of those, I'll be devising a more 1920's look with cloche hats.

So off I go to watch a little Wimbledon.  I missed the Djokovic game this morning, and I'm very fond of Novak.  (Although I still hope Murray wipes the floor with him.  I'm so evil.)

Then more crochet.  I love yarns.  The colours I've spent ALL THIS MONEY ON are mouthwatering and irresistible.


Thursday, 6 July 2017

Crochet for Ellowyne Wilde

I don't do things by halves.

I think in a recent post, I said I was going to brush up on my crochet skills.   This usually  means sitting and creating a dress or something, and keeping at it until every last piece is perfect. Obsessive much?

You bet.

Hence ... I've made lots of these. The ones here on mah dollies are complete outfits, apart from Pru on the far right, who's wearing a dress I've laundered and have put on the doll to dry. Which is why the hat doesn't match.

Some of these yarns are rayon (The USA seem to call it Rayon, we Brits call it viscose) which is a natural fibre but is created by chemical means, so it's classed as semi-synthetic.   This does not mean it's a cheap material, like polyester. It's very much like silk and is very shiny, soft and slinky.  It has amazing drape, which is lovely in doll scale. 

When you've crocheted it up, it's sort of rough and a bit squeaky, but if you rinse it gently in warm water and a generous amount of fabric conditioner, it transforms once dried, into a soft, slithery and drapey fabric.   It's strange stuff. When wet, it seems to shrink (which made me panic) and is almost too tight to put on the doll, but once dried, it's soft and perfect. It behaves very much like silk, but if you're dying it, rayon dyes like cotton.

I have four or five sumptuous rayon crochet yarns I inherited from my dear mum, but as I only have a few, I've been looking into buying some more.

It's so hard to find!   Most of it is vintage stash that people are selling, but even on the vast world wide web, it's really difficult to find a supply.  I've found a couple of sellers and have ordered samples, and am excited to try them.  

Rayon yarn is not cheap, so the rayon dresses will be a little dearer, especially my precious vintage - and sadly finite - stash.

On top of that, I've bought a load of crochet cottons, and some of the dresses are made in these. They'll be a little less, as you can buy them reasonably inexpensively. I'm trying to devise outfits that I can offer for sale at less expensive prices than my hand-sewn items.   So far so good.  

When I go quiet, it's usually because I'm spending lots of time making. And this time it's crochet.   

Loving it, and it's been so hot that all I want to do is sit in front of my electric fan and crochet.   Watch this space.

Also Wimbledon is happening.  So yay for that.  :) Go Andy.