Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Set is Aside Sunday... on Tuesday...

It's Sunday, and you know what that means... time for another SET IT ASIDE SUNDAY!!!!

Now I have to tell everyone something, I started off the day with another doll. A doll different than the one you'll see shortly. I made a few items for her, but nothing that I really liked. Nothing that I wanted to present for Set it Aside Sunday. So I switched gears, set aside what I was doing, and changed dolls. Now I have some more items to work on for Finish it up Friday. Aren't you psyched? I know you are, I can just feel it.

The doll I picked up was an Integrity toys play line doll. I currently have three of these dolls. One I found at Walmart years ago, and two that I found at K-mart more recently. I really like these dolls with their unique and lovely faces. I think Kmart is the only place to find them at, which is a shame, because they are lovely. They also come with really nice clothing, not a fan of their styling as a whole, but you get some nice separates for a good price. Their body molds are nice for the most part. Their torso proportions similar to the BB body, they also lack a twisting waist. Their hand sculpts are pretty, although a little odd for real people hands. The angle of the fingers is a little extreme. The only issue I have is with their legs. Their legs suffer the worst, if it wasn't for the legs these dolls would be stellar. The legs are very thick, especially at the ankles. They really don't have any ankle definition. They also suffer the cheap doll weird not defined feet issue. If they had better legs I think these dolls would give Barbie stronger competition. With some minor modifications and quality upgrades I think these dolls could really work well. (There's some issue with the hair quality too).
Now with one of these dolls I re-bodied her to a Mattel body. She was an Asian doll with a tan skin tone, so I had a spare body kicking around. This doll is AA so I don't have any matching skin tones. So I started off today with some plastic surgery. This might be part of Set is Aside Sunday, working with a doll physically, not just re-dressing. I tried by carving her some ankles. I figured if I gave her some actual ankle definition it would really mask how thick her legs are. It didn't come out as I hoped. So I wouldn't really recommend this. You can really tell that I did this. I tried to be very subtle when carving away at the rubber legs. But with the material they're made of I couldn't get it smooth enough to hide the fact that I had to cut them. Also when I was doing this I found some air pockets in the legs material. So there's some odd digs and holes in her ankles. Not what I wanted at all. This mean I now had another thing to keep in mind when re-dressing her. I also did something to her hair. Originally when I got her she had two tendrils in the front. They looked like bug antennas. They were just a smidgen too short to be pulled into her ponytail. Usually I would just slick them back and keep doing that whenever they decided to "Pop" back forward. Today I just got so annoyed I just cut those suckers off. I had planned to re-root the holes with black hair, but looking at it, her part covers it enough, that I didn't have to bother. I would have done it anyway, but her head is hard plastic, so I really didn't know how to work with that to re-root.
With her plastic surgery and haircut done it was time to focus on what she would wear. When I picked her she was wearing a blue turtleneck, with a blue broadcloth skirt. It was an outfit that I took off another doll, tried on her to see how it would look, and just moved on. I like the look, but it wasn't her. It was very retro, and she doesn't have that look. So it was time to find something for her. I started with asking people's suggestions for where to look for dressing ideas. My Mother asked me a wonderful question. "What nationality is she?" I had never thought of that. I just pegged her for AA and that was that. Looking over her with her long black hair, and strong cheekbones, something about her said Indian. With that in mind I did some research on modern Indian fashions.
I didn't want to do a sari, that was a little too on the nose for my taste. But I wanted to bring part of that long flowy element into my design. I found a picture of a woman wearing a long beautiful scarf, and knew that's what I wanted. I didn't even know what else I wanted to do, but I knew it needed to have a scarf in it. It just needed it. I looked though my fabric stash looking for the perfect colors for this outfit. I knew that I would need at least three different colors, the scarf, a top of some sort, and the bottom. I found colors in earth tones and jewel tones. While I was favoring the earth tones (as I normally do) the general consensus around here was that with an Indian dress I was able to use the rich vibrant colors that they use. This was a chance to go outside from the muted 50's pallet that I stick with often. So jewel tones won in the end.
I used this wonderful red fabric that I've had forever. It's a lovely heavy fabric with the most wonderful texture. It also frays like no tomorrow. I keep using bits and pieces of it, but have never had anything good come out of it. That changed with this project. I basically made it into a tube. Then at the ends I added a line of gold ribbon on each end. Then I purposely frayed it at the ends. It drapes over her neck, and down her shoulders. I also added a hook and eye that keeps it attached at her back. I think it's lovely. Really happy how that came out. I knew that red fabric would be good for something.
With that done and setting the tone, I started with the pants. I made this out of orange broadcloth, that I got way back in the day. Nothing really big to say about this. They came out pretty easy. I had to widen them at the thighs since hers are thicker than Vintage Barbie's. Also since they are rubber the fabric tended to stick to them when pulling them up. It's all hemmed with red thread since I don't have any orange thread. Eventually I will get the basic colors of thread, but that day's not today.
For the shirt I was a little stumped. I originally wanted to make one that was a bit flared at the waist with a Mandarin collar. I made a mock up of it in brown. But I really didn't like it. It wasn't up to the of the rest of the outfit. Just for an idea I put on one of the yellow turtlenecks. I knew I wanted yellow, but I did like the look of the more contoured shirt. So I pulled out my handy dandy yellow calico! Bet you couldn't see that one coming. And I made the steampunk blouse again. But this time I used different sleeves. I wanted ones without the puffiness like the steampunk blouse. So I used another one from my pattern pile. It came out pretty nice. There's still some fit issues, but it's minor.
With the principle outfit completed I looked at it. It was cute, but still missing something. It was a little plain and straightforward. It was missing any embellishment that you find on Indian clothes. So I did some decorative blanket stitching on the hem of the shirt, in orange (Okay, I lied, I had a small spool of orange thread) I also ended up doing that at the neckline, and armholes. And for good measure I did it on the pants too, this time using yellow thread for it.
I ended up adding some gold colored flats for the shoes. I like the style and the look, although I don't think she's going to be wearing them for a while. Her feet are a little wide, so I don't want to split the plastic. I'll keep them near her, so she can wear them when she needs to.
I also made her a head ornamentation. It's gold chain, with a large red bead in the center. I think it's pretty, but I'm not sure if she's going to keep it. It's a little dressy for the outfit, but for now she's wearing it. I also used yellow elastics cascading down in her hair, it's a little Princess Jasmine-y, but works for now.
And with that she's done. And with that I'm done with this Set it Aside Sunday... Finally.


  1. Very cool! I love what you did with her. I have 5 of those dolls and I only ever see models when I look at them, nothing much else. You transformed her. Kudos to your mom for posing such a great question that got your creative juices flowing. And when I look at her all I can hear is "Game On" by The Guild in my head. LOL!

  2. Thank you, glad you like her. I'm happy with how she came out. These dolls are hard to dress, I think it's because they have such strong features. Which I think is my problem with Vanessa. Yeah, my Mom's suggestion really made it work in my mind, it was a great launching off point for this project.