Tuesday, 19 June 2018

2 "Playtime" outfits for Effner Boneka, and Iplehouse BID

After the pattern, yes there are usually outfits!

Here are the latest two offerings from Raccoon HQ.  Each is a 4-piece set, lavishly trimmed with lace, and very cute.

First up is the Boneka outfit "Playtime in Pink"
In my Etsy shop

I haven't added whistles and bells to these, so they're not as pricey as some of my outfits.  I did make a pretty bow for each one though. I like some kind of head wear, just to finish an outfit.

It's a pretty 4-piece set.  Generous with the lace.

The bows are attached to clips, which can be removed if you want to thread elastic through instead.

Next the BID outfit, "Playtime in Lilac".
Also in my Etsy shop
Also £39.00

I think My Bonnie looks cute in anything I put her in!

What's next?  Hmm. I do want to make something for my nYID, but she's so big, I still feel a little timid about her. So I'll make a party frock for each of these little ones next, including a sewing pattern.

Then we'll see....


Sunday, 17 June 2018

SSP-058 for Effner Boneka AND Iplehouse BID.

It's been a while.  I'm sorry, I know, but I've been forced to take a break and develop things slowly for a while due to burnout.  But what better way to ease myself back into it than with a delightfully simple little pattern for two similar dolls?

I love the size of both of these girls, they're  fun to sew for.

*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.

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.)

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. Once you have cleared checkout, I will email the pattern files to you directly. Please allow me 24 hours, because of time zones. Usually it will be far quicker than that.

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.

I have been working on my files to try and consolidate the tutorial parts and pattern template parts, to create just one document that is neater and easier to download.  There are still two paper sizes, A4 for Europe, etc, and US Letter size for the States.  You will receive the pattern in the new format.


There are two separate bodices, one for each doll.  I have tried the BID bodice on the Boneka, but it is a bit baggy for her.  And vice-versa, the Boneka bodice won't fasten up at the back when tried on the BID.

The other pieces are the same for both dolls, and the fit is really good.

The two dolls have different proportions.  BID has a longer body and short legs. Boneka has a shorter body and longer legs.   So the bloomers will look a little shorter on Boneka, but are very easy to lengthen by about 1/2"

To make things easier for beginners, I've used elasticated waists for the petticoats and bloomers.  I find on this scale of doll, elasticated waistbands are good, as the petticoat will stay firmly put, and won't slide around.

That's that for now.  I may make another pattern for these two girls next. Maybe a longer party dress.  I'm looking at my hugs fabric stash and feeling spoilt for choice.


Sunday, 10 June 2018

Patchwork Perfection - a WOW outfit for Iplehouse JID girls

As promised yesterday, here's the latest offering from Raccoon HQ. 

This one is a beautifully fitted outfit for Iplehouse JID girls.  Fits small and large bust (but not Glamour size)

Now for sale in my Etsy shop:

Making a bodice to fit both Small and Large bust sizes proved impossible in woven fabrics, so I needed a workaround. These two bodysuits are the solution.   the buyer will receive both of these, so the outfit will fit both sizes of bust. 

Alas it won't fit the Glamour bust, as I don't have a doll with this size boobage.  I'm not fond of enormous boobs on a doll, and won't be getting one... sorry!

These girls are so pretty.  I'm sad my Rachel (on the right) has yellowed a bit, but I still love her.

(Click on the images for larger versions)

The skirt and hat were ambitious.  I've had these gorgeous coordinating fabrics in my stash for years now. Literally.  I decided it was high time I made that patchwork splendour I'd always promised myself.  But as luck would have it, I found the same set of fabrics again, and have bought myself larger pieces.  So there will be more to come.

I digress.   Back to the garments.  The skirt took LOTS of work.  I had to arrange all the pieces so they looked right, and then hand sew everything.   The skirt took me 4 days to make!  So I know this outfit is expensive, but would you take a job that pays less than £20 a day?

I had some fabric printed in a matching colour at Contrado.  It's an exquisite powder blue.  Very pretty in this stretch mesh fabric.  I even had enough for gloves.

And from the back...

I love these sorbet pastels.

Lots of bits and pieces as usual.

So that's it for now.

Next up, I've already started a sewing pattern for dress and bloomers for Iplehouse BID and Boneka dolls.  The dolls are so similar, that both can be accommodated in the same pattern.  It's a lot simpler than this last project!


Saturday, 9 June 2018

Drive-by Saturday

Having taken moulds of my JID girl's feets and casting them in lovely Jesmonite, I've made some cute summer pumps to match the patchwork skirt outfit.

I will be tweaking them a little, but I'm so happy with the way they fit.  Very pretty!  I wish I could buy some of these for me.

The outfit is pretty much ready now. I had to wait for the fabric to make the stockings and gloves; but it's all done now.  Pictures will be forthcoming this week.


Sunday, 3 June 2018

Proof I have no life (part 1)

'Tis true.  Am spending the entire weekend organising my trimmings.  They were all stuffed into griplock bags in drawers, so I've wound them onto cards and pinned them all in place.

This is what happens when you look at Pinterest for sewing room inspiration.  You end up wanting all that perfect neatness and order.

Even when, in your heart of hearts, you know your own room will never stay that way...

Still, it looks pretty!


Saturday, 2 June 2018

Teal Ragamuffin outfit for Iplehouse KID

A beautiful little ensemble, perfectly tailored to Iplehouse KID.  Shabby-chic/boho style, with lots of bits and pieces. Nine in all.

As usual, click on the images to see larger versions.

Available now in my Etsy shop

I'm trying to include shoes in most of my outfits these days. It saves the buyer having to shop around for something suitable.  I love these little Mary Janes.

I get carried away making little accessories, but it's lots of fun and really enhances the outfit.  There's a full run down of each item in the Etsy listing.

I'm still working on a bohemian style outfit for JID.  Some of the things I need to finish it haven't arrived yet.  Hence the Spring-cleaning and reorganising my room.  It's hard to start a new project with one already on my desk, mostly because of lack of space.  So I end up finding things to do.


Friday, 1 June 2018

Evolving my Environment

"Evolving my Environment" Is a phrase used by an artist many years ago on a TV programme I was watching with my darling late mother.  We both burst into fits of giggles at what was a really pretentious statement that just meant re-arranging a room. 

Every Spring I get this bug.  It's a mix between spring cleaning, the desire to nest, and the agoraphobic's need to really control their living space.  I'm adding little shelving units, storage ideas I've found on Pinterest, and have given the room a thorough vacuuming.  My back is in bits. My butt and thighs hurt.  I feel like I've gone three rounds with Frank Bruno.  But! It's all good. Once the final little shelving units arrive, I'll be able to fold and stash fabrics to my hearts delight.

The largest addition is this tall CD tower.  Having seen lots of these housing rainbows of fat quarters on Pinterest, I though I'd get one.  I'd like more, but the space I have is so restricted.

I discovered that it houses my gorgeous new Iplehouse nYID perfectly.  I may leave here there for a few days. It's best to tuck her into a satin bag though to keep her out of the light.  My room has a daylight light bulb and two lamps with UV bulbs, and these have already turned my poor JID Rachel slightly green, so.

For now she looks good though. She's out of the light from the window at least and I can sit on my bed and lovingly gaze at her.

Do excuse the rubbish photos.

I may post a few more pics, once it's all neat and sorted. Being halfway through a project though, the workdesk is a tip, as well as the rest of the room.


Friday, 25 May 2018

(2) Hand-pieced patchwork skirt

Part 1 here: 

This is MSD scale, for my iplehouse JID girls. The dolls are approximately 16-17 inches tall.

This is also a drive-by, as I've a stack of sewing still left to do on this one/  (Click on images to see them enlarged.)

Multicoloured patchwork almost complete-circle skirt has taken some 4 days of sewing so far.

Multicoloured patchwork almost circle skirt with partial cat:

Beautiful sorbet summer colours aren't they?  This was fun to make and I'd love to make lots more but they take forever.

We're getting there though.


Sunday, 20 May 2018

(1) Getting that perfect fit...

Playing with my new Iplehouse JID, Amy is fun.   She has the small bust, unlike my older girl, Rachel, who has the large bust.   I've been wondering how to get outfits and patterns to best fit both sized busts.  When it comes to closely-fitted items,  two girls are a little too different to be covered with one single bodice pattern.  I will work on some loose garments at some point, like peasant blouses.

I've been playing around with fabrics for this project. I've lots of small scraps to use up.

Not entirely sure where this is going yet, but isn't it pretty?  (Click on images to see them enlarged)

Returning to the bodice issue, Amy was up first.  I've decided that a bodysuit/leotard type of affair will work best.   Then the two girls can have their individual leotards, and I can make a really extravagant single skirt to go over the top.

Amazing fit though.  I'm ecstatic with this.  It's not easy constructing a garment with woven and knitted fabrics!

And from the back.

Luck played a good part with this (although I would have eventually got the fit I wanted out of sheer bloody-mindedness.)  It seemed that everything turned out right first time with this one.

Will post more pics as things unfold.  I have vague ideas in my head, it's a case of research and development as I go along.

 Part 2 here:


Friday, 18 May 2018

Special outfit for Iplehouse KID

This little doll is a dream to sew for. I love the size and lack of bust, which makes it really easy!

Having bought lots of stash earlier this year, I've put together some lovely mixed prints for this fabulous little ensemble.  Reds are the thing, it seems, along with terracotta and salmon.

Click on the pictures to see them enlarged.

In my Etsy shop:

Again, Inspired by Nadir Positano, I wanted to do more patchwork in this.  I'm loving the piecework skirt ruffles.

I've taken great care to make sure no red fabric is against the doll.  Everything is white, or lined, and the Lycra armlets, stockings and knicks are all white on the inside.  I'm always very careful with my dolly ensembles to eliminate any risk of staining.

The Etsy listing goes into a full description of each piece (8 in all)  So this is mostly for the eye candy.

I love the little undies.  :)

The shoes are really cute too.

And the hat has a lace hatband, trimmed with hand-crocheted flowers.

Lonnie is such a sweet lil' model.  She looks so wistful.  I love the KID size so much that I've ordered another,  Paige.  She has a cute smile.

Also - I received the shipping notification today for my nYID girl with SID Mari head.  I am so excited to get this big girl.  Slightly nervous about sewing for her though.  I only have one other doll that can be called SD, and that's my Laycee head on the Tobi body.  The proportions of Iplehouse dolls are gorgeous though. Very womanly.  She's going to get some lovely boho clothing.

At some point...

So much to do,  etc, etc.


Tuesday, 15 May 2018

A VERY rough guide to getting your designs printed on fabric.

Most of us know about Spoonflower, who print customers and designers patterns to order.    Prinfab are also excellent, and I've mentioned them before.  But for stretchy fabrics, might I recommend Contrado?

Spoonflower - large range of fabrics including a couple of good stretch ones.  Bit slow to print and dispatch. Quality can vary a bit.  I find some SF fabrics are a bit grainy, but nothing too drastic.  A higher dpi in your image will help.  SF say 150 dpi minimum, but I find a 200 dpi image looks clearer when printed.

Prinfab - Good range of fabrics, approaching that of Spoonflower.  Much faster turnaround - I often get my fabrics in 3 working days.  But as yet they don't have stretch fabrics - I'm told by Prinfab that they're hoping to have a stretch jersey by the end of this year.  Quality is always excellent.

Contrado UK - Probably the most expensive company if you're buying yardage and fat quarters, BUT, they do great samples from as little as £3.00 for an A5 size piece.  I like to buy A4 pieces, with two designs on the same sampler.  These can be used for matching knickers, socks, armlets, gloves, beanie hats, etc.  (For Contrado USA, use this link)  Quality is always excellent.

Here is my latest sample from Contrado.  I have one of my exclusive patterns and some stripes I designed. (Click on the images to see them enlarged)

The outlines for the stockings etc are drawn on by myself and not printed by Contrado.  In theory you can create pattern pieces as part of the design, but I've found problems in scaling and distortion throughout the printing process, so I don't bother with that aspect.

With Contrado, you get useful information on the sample too.  This is Lycra Matte, which is nice and thin, with a good 4-way stretch.

Now, a lot of people tell me that they have no designing skills, but it's the easiest thing in the world to create a matching fabric for your doll's outfit.  Stripes are dead easy, or simple dots. 

Here's how to do even stripes. Work on a scale that you find easy, and then just reduce the size of the image to a suitable scale for your doll - you can do any stripes. My sample above has a slightly different original pattern:

  This tiny design when repeated will give you this:

And for dots, this is still not too difficult:

It gives you this when repeated:

Or you can try less regimented and simply random dots on a square. 

USE A HIGHER DPI IMAGE FOR CRISP CLEAR PRINTS.  I find 180 dpi (dots per inch) acceptable, but 200 dpi prints (or even 300) much clearer.  Some sites recommend a minimum of 150 dpi, but I find this a little too low.

These are hastily done, but you get the idea.  Small easy patterns when repeated will give nice simple designs for things like matching stockings and knickers, etc. 

Hope someone finds this useful!   I love getting my sample prints in the post. I spend a bit more than I should, because candy store; but for a couple of bucks here and there, it's easy to make some matching stretch items for your dolly outfits.