Monday, February 28, 2011

May I complain to you all for a second?

I'm sure you're all tired of hearing my complain about things, but I have a need to do so again. If you simply don't want to hear it, feel free to skip this post into something else, but I must admit, I'm regularly pretty complainy, so good luck finding something else here. Quick note, this isn't about sewing, I have complaints about that too, but not enough to warrant a post.
I'll set the scene: The other day Integrity Toys (is it still labeled toys for their collectible dolls, or is that just what the playline is called?) released photos of their upcoming lines. Since I'm always curious about what's going on in the world of fashion dolls, I peeked. I saw a lot of interesting dolls, although not a whole lot for my personal style (or budget!). I did however find something that I wanted, in the Dynamite Girls line.
This year the girls are getting an interesting addition to their group, boys! Boys that happen to look a great deal like the Fashion Royalty Hommes. I've wanted a Homme doll for a great while now. I really like their look and their handsome style (Hot, hot, hot!). I think it would be nice to have such a type of doll in the collection. Even though we're mainly Barbie around here I like having a variety of dolls besides her and her friends. Plus if you saw the boy:girl ratio from yesterday's post, we could always use a bit more testosterone around here. Unfortunately these dolls come with the Fashion Royalty price amount. Which is why I only have one fashion royalty doll, and that I only have her head, she's on a BB Barbie body. These types of dolls rarely go for under 100 dollars, which I certainly do not have. The most I have ever payed for a doll was 60, and that was for my blond ponytail Barbie, and she came with an almost complete Solo in the Spotlight fashion. Plus with that deal I got a better price the more I spent, so she actually was cheaper when you average the price of all the other dolls.
I simply do not have that much to spend on my doll collection. My finances are in such a state that I don't have a lot for the doll budget. Sure I get a lot of little stuff, but no really big purchases. If I had to hazard a guess I would say that my entire doll collection has cost me about 1,500 dollars. And that's everyone on the bookcase, over the course of at least a decade. And honestly even as I type this I think that's a grand over-estimate since a lot of these dolls cost less than the 15 dollars per that I've estimated (Some have cost more though). I've seen collections that were the same price estimate per display shelf compared to my entire collection. And honestly, I'm fine with that. While I wish I had more money to spend on them, I enjoy having a collection that's based partially in thrift, it's part of my enjoyment. Even if I had more money, I would just buy more compared to better. The thrill of the hunt and finding that perfect bargain is a big part of it. Besides knowing that I don't have a lot of money invested in them allows me the freedom to actually use them. I like playing with the collection, redressing them, fixing their hair, posing them. I think if I had a doll that cost hundreds of dollars I wouldn't even think about personalizing her, I couldn't justify that kind of cost, unless it's an investment.
But with these Dynamite Boys would be a happy alternative. They have the same body and looks of the original at half the cost. With my low end standers I probably wouldn't notice any different from this one compared to the official thing. (Since I collect, *Gasp* Barbie!) Within Dynamite Girls this year there's two lines coming out, one of dressed dolls, and one that's basically a swimsuit group, with two different price tags. The dressed dolls are 59.99 (I think, don't quote me on that!) and the swimsuit dolls are 44.99. Luckily for me I like the cheaper male doll, Ryu. His swimsuit is "meh", but that means nothing to me, I'd be sewing him clothes anyway. Usually stock outfits aren't really used in the collection. Only 6 dolls are wearing any piece of their original clothing. But even though he's a "cheaper" doll, he's still expensive to my budget. I'm honestly going to have to save up my pennies, and hopefully sell some things before his May release date, and maybe use some money that I'd get for my Birthday in June, and hopefully manage to find him on sale, or so I hoped.
Turns out that a lot of dealers have been taking pre-orders for this line (as all the others) and a lot of places are already sold out of these guys. Even thought pre-orders aren't technically supposed to start until the 3rd. Even then I wouldn't be able to get him, I don't have enough saved up for a pre-order. It's just so depressing to have my hopes dashed so early in the game. Did you know that there's only 300 of each doll being produced? That's nuts, especially for such a big toy producer. That's less than Mattel's top line production run. And that's for a doll that's more of their low end selection. It's just upsetting because I finally thought I'd get a chance to own one, to have it snapped away from me over something that I had no control over. It's like, "I want to be a customer, why won't you let me?" Sigh, Ryu, I guess you won't be mine. At least I have Joe to console me, he'll dry my tears.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

A few statistics about the collection:

Number of Dolls in the Collection:97
Number of Men: 23
Number of Women: 74
Number of Children/Teens: 27
Mattel Dolls: 70
Non-Mattel Dolls: 27
"Barbie" Character Dolls: 28
Momokos: 4
Takara Jennys: 3
G.I. Joe: 3
Chatty Cathys: 2
Dolls not in 1:6 scale: 3
Celebrity Dolls: 6
Vintage Era Dolls: 27
Mod Era Dolls: 8
70's dolls: 14
80's dolls: 1
90's dolls: 15
2000's: 32
Oldest Doll in the Collection: Cindy Sad Eyes
Newest: Monster High Goulia
Blonds: 45
Brunettes: 37
Redheads: 14
Blue Hairs: 2
People in collection wearing something I've sewn: 55
Amount of those that I created their full outfit: 42
Number of People wearing turtlenecks I made, or a variation on it: 30
Colors of Turtlenecks;
White: 7
Red: 7
Yellow: 4
Blue: 5
Black: 4
Green: 3
Number of people wearing the "Barbie In Japan" bodice type: 7
People wearing pleated skirts: 20
People wearing Red: 30
People wearing Orange: 6
People wearing Yellow: 13
People wearing Green: 12
People wearing Blue: 37
People wearing Purple: 3
People wearing Brown: 3
People wearing Black: 21
People wearing White: 43
People wearing Pink: 7

Saturday, February 26, 2011

It's a no clever title Saturday...

Today took me a while today to get to actually do something. I'm still not fully up to speed just yet, if I had to hazard a guess I'd say I'm maybe at 75% right now. Hopefully I'll keep making better and get back to normal. (If that really exists for me!)
I did finally get P.J. off my desk, there was no need to have her there when she was fully dressed. Not sure why all these dolls have been loitering around the desk, but it needs to stop, there's simply not enough room over there. Anyway, I had to pull though the collection to find her a stand, since she doesn't have any legs she's going to need a stand in order to... well stand. Unfortunately in order to preserve the silhouette of her drop waist-ed dress she needed a Kieser stand, which I only have three of. (But want so much more.) I ended up having to take the one that my Francie was wearing to give her. I didn't want to, but I had to. I gave Francie one of the less attractive stands from Hobby Lobby that I was using for Sindy. Right now Sindy's sitting down, so it's not a real loss for her. I need more stands, but I don't want to buy them from Hobby Lobby anymore, they're the same price as the nice stands, just the difference is one is in town, the other it's in Greensboro. Oh well, someday, someday. Still have to figure out where she going to be displayed. Honestly at this point I don't think I'll figure out a solution that makes me happy, until the next time I go and buy a new doll that's a mod doll to add to the collection. But since I don't have any money that's a long time coming. I guess P.J. here is going to hang out on her own for a while. Right now she's just standing on the vintage shelf, just to get her off the desk. Let me appreciate getting her dressed before I put here somewhere.
There's also something I wanted to confess to you. I went and returned to "In the Pink" today. I know, I know, I was just complaining about over there, but I think enough time has passed. Also yesterday when I was bored I stumbled over there and found out the person that made me want to quit was taking a break from there, so I might as well go back. Also since I'm using flickr, I'm already taking pictures and posting them, that's the hard part. I might as well post them somewhere else and show them off. So I did that, posting a few photos of my recent sewing projects. Got some nice comments, which I always love to hear. Let's see if this takes.
And I did do some sewing today. (Shocking I know!) One of the other dolls that was hanging out on the desk was the Ken that I got for Christmas. He was partially dressed, well, fully dressed but only partially completed. His shirt was done, but his pants weren't. That's because I didn't like his pants. They were fine, but nothing special, I hadn't even bothered to finish them, so I decided to make him a new pair today, with some minor modifications to the pattern. They came out decently, better than the last pair but not perfect. But these I did finish. Right now they and the shirt are soaking in some tea. I'm trying to dye the white thread that I used to make them to something a bit more muted. Here's hoping that works, but it's not a huge deal if it doesn't. Either way he's dressed and almost on his way to the bookcase, unlike P.J. he already has a place to go on it. Although, now that I'm thinking about it, I don't think I have any shoes for him, or at least I haven't picked out any for him yet, not sure if I have any. Hopefully I have something for him to wear, or else he'll be forced to rock the shoeless look. I'll update you later with pictures, right now his clothes are all wet... and in a tea cup...
When I was done with his pants, I stopped sewing. I'm not really sure what my next project is going to be. I'm kind of out of ideas. I'm back to that point where I don't have anything to do. Back to having dolls that I should dress, but none that I want to dress. I mean, if I had an idea of how to dress them, I would have done it already. Hopefully something will come up. I just hope it doesn't take too long, I get antsy when I don't have anything to work on. So for the rest of today I played more video games, Fable again. I'm switching from evil to good. Being evil was so... boring. I reached my limit, and switched over to good. But I didn't play long before I got bored, right now I'm just going from one mission to another, not really having fun. I'm just doing it to get it to the next one. So I changed video games, I decided to hop back into playing Second Life. I've been hesitant about playing it because sometimes I get a little too focused on it and ignore other things. But I wanted to hop on and see what was up. So much has changed! But I was able to chat with one of my friends on there for a bit before it crashed on me. I'm thinking that I might start playing a bit at night, just for fun, but once again, we'll see. I might simply not have time!
I actually got a lot done today, weird!

Friday, February 25, 2011

Shopping on a Friday? That's new

No finish it up Friday again this week, I'm sure by next week I'll get back to the routine of things, but right now I'm still taking it slow. I have a bit of a head thing going on, I'm blaming the weather that's going on, but I could be lying. Either way I'm still feeling a little "fuzzy".
I however, did not let my sickness keep me from going out shopping, very few things would keep me from going shopping if given the chance. Especially since I had a few things I needed to get. So I started off today at Hobby Lobby like usual. I wanted to get some black flannel, I've decided that would be the best thing to make Joe's pea coat from. It has the look and feel of wool, but none of the bulk, also I needed to pick up some more white and red calico, since the kimono projects and the pea coats projects have made a pretty sizable dent in each of them. Boy, was I in for a shock. Sometime recently the price of fabric at Hobby Lobby went up, a dollar per yard! What used to be 2.99 a yard was now 3.99 a yard, I couldn't believe it. I was seriously flabbergasted over that huge price jump, I mean it was a 33% markup! It's needless to say that I left there empty handed. I'm really growing more and more disenchanted with Hobby Lobby. With this big price increase, their lackluster fabric, and that there's never anyone to help in the fabric department I'm really not enjoying my time in there. It sucks that they're the only real game in town, but lately I haven't been buying anything there. This price jump may be the final nail in the coffin for them. Before I used to go in and get some stuff, and pick up a few more things, just because I might need them, but now I'm going to have to be really careful with what I buy there since my dollar don't go as far, even thought nothing else has changed to justify the price jump.
But I didn't come home empty handed. At this point if I didn't get something new I would have cried, yes I am that spoiled. It's just that it's been so long since I got anything new, sewing wise. The last time I bought any fabric was on the first, 24 days ago! Can you believe it? It's shocking, especially since I've been fabric shopping several times since then, just never found anything that I wanted or liked. Anyway, Walmart was a bust too, but I was expecting that. They don't have much of a fabric section, and nothing new for toys, not that I'm looking to buy any toys, I just like looking and seeing what they have in stock. As of right now, I can't think of any new toys that I'm waiting for, anything that I'm seeking I'm more than willing to wait for them to trickle down to the second hand stores (The monster high line) before I get them. I will admit Gloom Beach Frankie is really cute, and if I was to get one from a store I'd pick her. But I'm sure if it was meant to be, I'll find her later and cheaper.
Anyway, on to what I got today, it was over at the Dollar Tree, where everything is a dollar. Not like those cheaters at the Dollar General, where everything is in increments of a dollar. I like dollar stores, not discount stores pretending to be dollar stores. Anyway, while there I picked up a mini camera tripod. I saw this a few weeks ago when I was there, but I couldn't remember if the camera I use had the connector thing on it. I checked and it did, so I could get it and at least see if it would work. I'm hoping having a tripod will help me take better pictures, it would at least stabilize them, right? Make them less blurry? We'll see, hopefully it works, but if not it's only a dollar spent. But right, sewing I said I got sewing stuff. Well I got a couple of t-shirts, one for me (cream colored), one for my father (yellow), and one to use for doll clothing (low hue turquoise blue...ish). I just liked it's coloring, thought it would be interesting to make some clothes out of it. I also bought a pair of socks, brown ones. Once again for doll clothes. It's got a very interesting design at the top, which I think would look really cool as a winter "sweater" for Joe. I just have to break down and draft a pattern for it. So that's what I got today, very disappointed in Hobby Lobby, but glad I was able to get something that I wanted. No pea coat for Joe, but he still gets a sweater. Now I just have to make the darn thing... it's always something with me!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Typewriter Thursday makes me ill...

Well, I didn't get any writing done today, but there's a reason for it. I've been sick all day. Last night I had some chicken and I think it gave me mild food poisoning. All last night I had stomach cramps, all so far all day I've felt really queasy. I didn't think I was going to throw up, but my stomach was certainly doing flip flops. So instead of writing I took it easy, nothing really got done, but I didn't heave, so I'm considering today a success, here's hoping tomorrow is better.

Tomorrow I get to go shopping!
Wish me luck!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Mid-week sewing is always fun!

Even though I started this yesterday, I'm still chalking this up to today totally. Sometimes I do that, in the late evening I decide I want to do some sewing, something new. So I cull though my patterns and find something that I haven't tried yet, and if it speaks to me, I use my father's printer to print it out. (If he's at work and it's free.) Then I play around with it to see what comes out of it. Sometimes it's a total tragedy, but sometimes it does work out. I like doing this because it helps me unwind before bed, besides at that time I don't have anything to do, so it's productive.
Anyway, this time I found a pattern that I thought that I could use to make something I've tried to make at least a half dozen times throughout my sewing career. I'll try to explain it as easily as possible, it's a dress, long sleeved with matching collar and cuffs, with a drop waist and a pleated skirt. Honestly, I call it a "Miss Hathaway" dress because that character from The Beverly Hillbillies wore outfits like it a lot. I just really like that 20's/60's vibe that it has, not to mention I'm a sucker for a pleated skirt. So I've attempted to make this item several times, and each time it's managed to get derailed and not work. I don't think I've ever had something get finished from when I attempted this before. Each time I just end up tossing it. One of the biggest issues is the fact that it doesn't really work for Charlotte's body. A drop waist really works for a doll that has a very straight figure, or at least top heavy. Charlotte's built with a bigger hip section, so she's more bottom heavy. When you work with the pattern for this, it kind of makes it look really odd, and makes Charlotte look really bottom heavy, which she's not that much. They usually just hang like a sack on her, not very flattering. So usually they don't get finished, not to mention all the other issues that arise from my shoddy sewing. But this time I had a lot more practice behind what I was doing, so I figured I should at least give it a shot.
I started off with a muslin, which came out okay since I was just testing how it would fit on Charlotte. Sometimes I find a few older pattern are huge on a doll for some odd reason, and that's even on the vintage dolls that they were drafted for, guess they weren't made that well. Anyway, this one fit decently, although I did trim off a bit from the front to make the darts hit better. With that done it was no time but to actually try it. Originally I grabbed some brown broadcloth that I've had forever (I bought it for the steampunk project, yeah that long ago.), but I decided that it was a little dull, not to mention a little thin, so I grabbed the medium blue calico that I last used to make that blue dress for Charlotte. And so I got to work, checking it for fit several times along the way. Honestly, I'm not going to lie, it went together shockingly easy, even the inset sleeves. (They both went in on the first try.) I got a good chunk of the bodice done without any problems. I didn't hit any big issues until I got to the pleated skirt. I made it like I usually do, why mess with a perfectly good system? But I forgot to take into consideration that since it was attaching lower in the hip that I would need more fabric to go around. I ended up having to take out several of the pleats in the back to make it fit, but it still looks good from the front. I did have to sew the skirt on several times to get it right, which was a pain, but at least it's done. When I finally got the skirt on I tried it on Charlotte again. It was very cute, but very tight in the hip section. She was wearing a pair of underwear and I had to take them off her. The added length of the snap in the back made enough of a difference for the skirt to not close. That's how tight it was on her. Then I made a foolish, foolish mistake... I tried it one someone else. P.J. in fact. She was kicking around the work table waiting to be redressed, along with an Integrity Toys dolls and a vintage Ken (He's at least partially dressed). Anyway, curious to see how it looked on a larger busted doll I tried it on her, and that's when Charlotte lost another dress. Which isn't fair, but I really liked it better on P.J. than Charlotte, besides I'm still in love with Charlotte's red pea coat. So it wasn't that big of a loss to her. So from that point on I used P.J. for the fittings. Actually the dress is actually a bit tight in the shoulders for her, which is becasue I did take the top in a bit to fit Charlotte, but it's not that bad. If this dress was going to get a lot of play I would make a new one, but mainly once P.J.'s dressed she's going to just live on the shelf. Honestly, the vintage dolls don't get a lot of action unless they're getting redressed, which makes this issue a mute point. After P.J. claimed this dress all I really had to do was add the collar. Can I talk about how much I hate making collars? Hate, hate, hate them. I always manage to screw them up and have to redo them over and over again, almost wreaking the practically completed outfit. I seriously hate collars. I detest inset sleeves, but collars are terrible. With enough blood, sweat, and tears I managed to get it finished (mostly tears by the way). After that it was time for seam reinforcing, adding snaps (two), and pulling out the stitches on the skirt. I also added a ribbon around the waist hem, I felt it added something and broke up the great expanse of blue of the dress. After that it was done! I had finally made a drop waist-ed dress! Even though, it wasn't for the doll I intended it for, I was still pleased that I had finally made it. I'm beginning to realize that this type of dress will never work for Charlotte's body, so unless I want to return her to an older style body, she's going to have to live with that fact. And if you know me, I will never return her to that type of body, the belly button body, and the fashionista body have ruined me to older body types. I will never go back, the fashionista body literally made me fall in love with Barbie again. (Vintage is the exception, for history sake) And random tangent about the fashionista body; I'm eagerly awaiting the dolls from Toy Fair to start showing up, there's a new knee joint, which looks promising.
For accessorizing, you have to jump back a little with me, back to Talking Barbie. I've realized that I don't really like her tights, or her shoes. They're a little much, plus the shoes didn't really work. So I spent some time looking thought all the shoes in the collection. I was even willing to swipe some shoes from other dolls to give to her. I settled on a pair that weren't being worn, some black pointed toe Mary Janes. I originally thought she should have tights because there's some odd spots on her legs, but reflecting on that, they're really not all that bad, besides it's not like the rest of the dolls are perfect, her legs are fine, pretty shapely even (scandalous!). What does this have to do with P.J. you ask, well P.J. ended up with her socks. I decided against making stockings for her because I didn't really want to. Also I couldn't find the pair I made the other day and use them for a guide as to what needed to be fixed for the new pair. Honestly I've been losing things all day, so far I've lost two spools of thread, two shoes, Charlotte's underwear, and the tights. As of writing this all had reappeared except one of the spools of thread. So she got socks instead of tights, which work much better on her than Talking Barbie. Her legs are hard plastic and the socks just slide up, Talking Barbie on the other hand, I had to force them to go all the way up, and even then they still had fit issues.
But with the addition of these socks, there's another issue that arises, now her legs don't have anything keeping them on. That's one of the reasons why I was forced to make her stockings. To remedy this I made her a special pair of underwear. One made out of calico, so there's no give, and it keeps her legs "attached" to her body. I made these out of the red flowered fabric that I made Skooter's dress out of. That way if anyone looks up the dress, they get a little shock! ;) (P.J. can be a little wild!) After that I paired it with a pair of Mary Janes that came with the Jason Wu School Girl outfit I bought two years ago that Ashley's been wearing since it arrived. (She's using different shoes.) I really like it, even though it's got a total Veruca(Sp?) Salt look to it. I can't believe that I dressed another Mod doll. February's been an oddly productive month for the redress list. At this rate I'm going to need more dolls so I can keep sewing (I wish)!
P.S. sorry for the shoddy picture, I couldn't be bothered to set up the usual, plus the underwear was getting color fasted, so her legs weren't attached. Eventually she'll get a real photo shoot, not to mention a real place on the bookshelf, right now I have no clue where she's going to go. Oh well, that will come in time. She's dressed!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Not a Success, but not quite a failure...

Well, Typewriter Tuesday certainly didn't get very far today. I did however get past that section that I was stuck on last week, but I stuck directly after it. So it's good that I got past where I was stuck, but literally I got stuck on the next line. I did however do a dialogue breakdown of what I wanted to be said in that section, so it wasn't a total loss. Before that I just had a very vague breakdown. I just needed time to think about the correct wording that I want for it. I was also able to incorporate something that up until now I hadn't been able to, incorporate it very well actually (If I say so myself). So today I got about a half a page written, and a half page worked on. Even though it's going slowly, I am making progress. "Meeting Room Chat" is at this point a 9 page word document, right now I'm at the top of page 8, so we're getting there, it's just taking it's time. Thursday is another writing day, and I hope by then I'll be able to get more churned out. Usually Thursday is a better writing day because I've been just thinking about it the previous day. But I'm not going to add another writing day to my schedule just yet. Maybe once the first draft is done, but right now I still need that break from writing, it's so very emotionally draining.
When I decided that I wasn't going to get things any further today I kind of wafted from one thing to another. I played some more Fable, although for about an hour today. I wasn't really that interested in it for very long. I also did some more research for Mod sewing. Even though Talking Barbie has been dressed, I still have the recent arrivial of P.J. to dress. Although honestly I've cooled a bit about getting it done "NOW!". Since I got one of them dressed satisfactorily, I'm not feeling as pressed to get it done. I know that I can successfully make something Mod, I don't need to prove that I can do it. I guess the pressure's off, or at least I've had a short burst of successes compared to a onslaught of failure. I don't know, if I understood me, it would take all the fun out of being me. I did do some sewing today, I started really late this evening working on a new dress for Charlotte. Nothing that I or she really needed, but I was curious if I could make it. (I was working with a new pattern.) Hopefully it will come out, right now it's looking good, but there's a long way to go, no pictures today, but maybe tomorrow if I finish it.
Oh! My Dad has a job interview tomorrow, I would appreciate if everyone would send good thoughts his way. This one would be much better than the one he currently has. (Fingers crossed, everyone!)

Monday, February 21, 2011

Brr, it's cold in here...

Last night I set up the coat I made for talking Barbie on my dress form so it could dry after I color-fasted it. The dress form is displayed on Charlotte's shelf, in plain sight of her. She was stuck staring at it all night long. Today, when I went to take the coat off the dress form I heard her sigh. So I asked her what was wrong. She explained that she really liked the coat, and even though she knew that it belonged to someone else, could she please try it on, just once? How could I say no to that? I can't say no to my little moppet. So she tried it on, and it looked adorable. Gently I took it off her when she was done trying it on and gave it back to Talking Barbie. Redressed I put her back onto the vintage shelf, to rejoin all her friends and show off her new, and new to her clothes. Glancing down I noticed that Charlotte was looking a little down. Knowing what she was thinking I spoke to her, "You know, I made that coat, and I can certainly make another one if someone wanted it." Her little face lit up, and I knew what I was going to be doing today.
The pattern was still out and on top of the rest of the junk on my desk so it was easy to find. Cutting it out went easily, although it's really putting a dent in my red calico. I'm going to have to add that to the shopping list soon, but we'll see if I keep going though it. The coat went together basically the same as yesterday's, although I did change the sleeve pattern. This time it's lined, eliminating the hem on it. That's actually how it's supposed to be, but I ignored the pattern notes when I made it yesterday. I also did a few other minor tweaks when I made it, using yesterday's coat as a learning experience. This pattern really comes out nicely, so you might end up seeing it again for someone else. With a few minor tweaks it could make a really nice A-line coat, so that might come up sometime, or I could make Joe a Pea coat (which I want to do). Time will tell what this pattern becomes.
Anyway, I managed to add the three snaps, making sure my threads weren't visible though the top front layer. That's the most annoying part of making these. You try holding a snap down, making sure it doesn't shift while trying to sew though one layer of fabric. Very tedious, and my sewing on that part looks terrible, but you can't see it, which is the point. I was going to add button's to the front of this jacket like to previous one, but I just couldn't. While I like the idea of the buttons, I think they're too big. So this time I attached seed pearls, six compared to four. And the jacket was done! I'm not going to lie, I really really like how this jacket looks. It's a bit better than the one I made yesterday. Honestly I'm thinking that when Charlotte's done with it, I'm going to see if Talking Barbie can fit in it, if she can't I'll replace the buttons on her jacket with pearls and eliminate the buttons. But like I said, when Charlotte's done, it's her coat after all.
For accessories for the coat I added a few of my favorite things. I was able to use the red gloves that came from the Speed Racer gift set. She also got a hat, the red Myscene beret that I adore. Her shoes are the Mary Janes from the recent shoe pack (love, love, love Mary Janes). For underclothes she's wearing the turtleneck that she was wearing before she got the coat. And she's not actually wearing anything under the coat on the bottom, I didn't find a skirt short enough, so I just added her underwear so she would have something on underneath. I don't plan on having her wear this out in public, so she's not going to have an issue. I also added a red Barbie hatbox purse, as well as a red Barbie suitcase that I had. It's so "Girl moving to the Big City", I just love this look on her. She looks amazing in the coat, I'm so glad she wanted me to make her one. J'adore this coat.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Set is Aside Sunday happened today! Even though I wasn't planning it!

Yes, it's true, "Set is Aside Sunday" made a grand reappearance after I announced it's retirement from the Blog. The weird thing is, it was totally by accident, and not at all planned, it would do that to shut me up.
I started off today lazy, doing nothing, although I have stopped playing video games. I guess my tolerance for that has been reached. I go though phases like that where I want to play for days, then stop for long periods of time. Last time I went though something like that I played the Sims over and over again, haven't touched it for months. I did manage to do some sewing, but nothing even remotely fun. My father needed his pants mended, again. One of the pockets had separated from the lining, and there were several holes in the pockets themselves. He actually gave them to me yesterday, but I didn't get around to fixing them. Since he needs them for work on Monday night, I made sure I got around to getting them fixed. The holes in the pockets were simple fixes, each hole was in the corner, so I was able to just sew them and make a new pocket bottom. The hole on the pocket was a little trickier, but I managed to do it, although I did manage to bend the needle. Luckily it wasn't permanently bent, but I probably should get some new sewing needles, it's been a long time since I replaced them.
After I returned his pants to him, I was asked by my father to help cut more pallets, fun, right? I told him that I would help him after lunch (It was lunchtime when he asked me). So that's what I did. I really threw myself into getting it done, and have the cuts and splinters to show from it. I also managed to twist my ankle slightly, but it wasn't anything serious, doesn't even hurt now. After that I went and played around online. Looking over at a fashion site I visit I saw a photo from Prada's most recent collection. Here's the link in case you're interested; Prada 2011 Fall Collection . Now some of these clothing is a little "bold" for real women, but they really spoke to me for Barbie, they just had that look, ya know, a little too matchy, matchy, which fits Barbie in my opinion. One that really spoke to me was the green pea coat with the heart buttons. (How cute is that coat?) It just read very mod to me, so I set out to make one. I had to find a pattern first, luckily I had one on my computer. Unfortunately for me, it seems it was designed for felt... ew. I don't like using felt in my sewing, it just looks so amateurish. I mean I have used it, someone's wearing a felt vest right now, but it's not ideal, especially not for the vintage shelf. So I decided to not use that pattern, it didn't help that I was having the hardest time figuring out how it went together, so it was an easy skip. Instead I turned to the internet to find a doll sized sewing pattern for a pea coat. (OMG, how much do I want a pea coat for myself? Sorry, super random) I found one for a larger sized doll, but with some resizing, I at least had the basics for a pea coat. I made a quick muslin, and tweaked the pattern, like I usually do. The one I had was a bit short for what I wanted, I wanted a jacket that would cover the entire doll, modestly. And so I made it. I decided to make it out of that bold red calico that I've been drawn to all week. It came out really nice, especially since it was second time I was making it, and since I had adapted the pattern right before. I really liked it. To finish it, I put three snaps on it, making sure to hide the threads on the front since it's lined in the front. After that I added the classic four buttons on the front. Interesting note about buttons, they came from my Great-Grandmother. My mother had a tin full of white buttons that my Great-Grandmother had collected up. She got it when she passed away in 1983 (before I was born), and recently she passed it down to me. Even though the buttons are a little large for the scale I usually go for, I just wanted to use them. It's the little touches that makes things special, I guess. Besides, this is just for my own enjoyment.
Anyway, with the jacket finished it was time to figure out what she was going to wear underneath it. Even though the jacket covers her fully, I still didn't want any flasher like moments going on. My girls are modest if anything. I wanted one of my turtlenecks to go underneath the jacket, since I liked that look, but I didn't want to have to make one, so I looked though the bags of spare clothing. That's when I found the sleeveless one I made a while back. You may remember if from "Finish it up Friday", I made it for Momoko, but it fit Barbie better. Now I finally found a way to use it! Love it when things work out like that, guess those Friday themes really do have a purpose. It's great because the lack of sleeves is great because they don't interfere with the coat. For the skirt she got a short simple one that I made yesterday, but didn't tell you about. It was going to be for a different attempt at mod, but this idea came up and I liked it better. I also finished it yesterday, and since it's so short you actually can't see in under the coat, but she still has something on. After that I wanted to give her some white tights, but decided to not use the ones I made yesterday, they need some work. Luckily I had a pair of long white Barbie socks that give the appearance of stockings. I think they are from Charlotte's Halloween costume, before I made the tights for it. Anyway they were done, and quickly added to the outfit. Man it was a pain pulling them up her legs, but they're on, and are going to stay. Looking over the outfit with the coat I felt it needed some accessories. So I added a belt. It's just a simple bit of ribbon with a bra strap slider, tied in the back. I was going to make one with a snap, but then I found this one that was already fray checked on the end, and realized, I don't need to sew on a snap, I can just tie it. And her outfit was done, completed without a single stitch having to be sewn today. Love it when things work out like that. With that done, it was time to style the outfit. I added a red purse that I got at Christmas, as well as some red sunglasses. I also gave her a pair of red squishy Mattel loafers for shoes. And boom, I had a Mod doll dressed! When it was all over I took the pictures, then took all the red clothes off to colorfast them. Talking Barbie here probably though I was pulling a Charlotte and stealing her clothes to give to someone else. She couldn't be more wrong! I was just making sure they didn't stain her, since she's going to be wearing them for a while! I do like how they came out, what do you guys think? Pretty good for something I wasn't even planning 8 hours ago, right?

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Saturday with Mixed Results

Saturday went as planned, more video games. I did however go out for a bit, you know me and shopping. Although once again I managed to not find anything I wanted. I skipped Hobby Lobby today and just focused on the second hand stores. But they had nothing I wanted. They did have one fashionista (I am waiting for them to come to the second hand stores), but she was missing a hand, and I can't do anything for that, so she stayed. I'm also running out of dolls that can use the fashionista body, we're down to one that needs to be rebodied. (Come on new skin tones Mattel) The other stores had dolls that were "meh", nothing I needed, and certainly nothing I wanted. Right now there's no room for any dolls that I don't really want. The only way someone can come in is if I really like them, I want their clothes, or they belong to part of the collection (vintage), don't need more just hanging around dolls. I have plenty spares that I'm just waiting to get rid of. I didn't leave completely empty handed, I did pick up a spool of white thread at Walmart... yay... I guess. I did need it, but it's just a supply nothing fun. I did look at each second hand store for mod looking clothes to use for Barbie, but didn't find anything. So annoying! Not sure what's going to happen with the mod dolls, each day I care less and less about getting them dressed. I wish I could go back to vintage and work with them some more, I miss vintage.
I did do some sewing today, even though I wasn't planning on it. My mom gave me one of her shirts that needed some patches. A simple job since it's a shirt she only wears around the house, no rush, but I wanted to get it out of the room. So I did it and returned it. After that I felt like doing some more sewing. I worked on making a pair of tights for P.J.. She needs a pair to keep her legs attached. The pair she's wearing in yesterday's photo are actually Charlotte's from her Halloween costume. She'd keep them except they are much too big for her in the back. Charlotte's on a different body, one with a bigger caboose. So today I went and changed the pattern and sewed it up... it didn't come out right. I managed to mess up one of the legs, it still works, but doesn't look the best. I think I might just toss the ones I made and make another pair, don't know yet.
But in some exciting news someone commented on one of my photos on flickr, about the shirt the doll was wearing. Asking where they could get one. I said that I had made it and could make one for them if they wanted. And they did. It's actually evolved into possibly making them quite a few shirts (and some socks), but nothing's set in stone yet. So, I may have to put all my projects on hold for a while, and just work on shirts. I just know that I have to tweak the pattern some. Let's see what comes from this. Here's hoping something good, and who knows, I might end up making some new shirts in new colors for my own people! I do love those shirts, making them is a pain though. But so worth it.

Friday, February 18, 2011

A Day off...

No Finish it up Friday this week, I'm taking the rest of the week off from Dolls and Sewing. Instead I played more video games, Fable still. I spent hours playing today, I actually developed a bit of "gamer's thumb" on my left hand. I guess I'm not used to playing video games for that long! Still fun though, hope I don't have any issues tomorrow.
But that's not all that happened today, P.J. also arrived! Which was super nice, learned a lot about her. But before I forget the seller also included a really cute little pad, in the shape of a car, that was very sweet of her. I can always use another pad, so score on that! For not such good news I learned that the vintage legs I had would not work for the body, sad. The holes in the lower torso was much smaller than the legs. I did try to get them to fit, but couldn't get them to fit, and I didn't want to break her. So I gave up on them. Instead I found a pair of knock off Barbie legs that I could at least use temporarily to give her the appearance of legs. It's not perfect, but it certainly looks better than her having no legs at all. She can't stand on her own or anything. I spent some time figuring out which P.J. she is since she looks so close to the P.J. I already had, except that she didn't have rooted lashes. Turns out there were two P.J.'s that used the same face paint, Talking and TNT, but they both had rooted lashes. Looking over the doll showed that she was supposed to have lashes. Someone went though and pulled out her lashes, giving her a pretty big tear on her eye. It's not noticeable unless you push on her head, just sad that it exists. Also pretty sad, my other P.J. is starting to develop a neck split, going to have to be very careful if I ever have to take off her head again, but I doubt that will happen any time soon. Isn't it freaky that someone decided to pull out all her lashes? It's really weird Anyway I've decided that she's TNT P.J. since she came on a TNT body, it just makes sense, to me at least. Still figuring out what she's going to wear since I have no clue what to do yet for her. I did make her that headband today, she has a bit of hair cut at that spot on her head, and it covers that. Other than that there's nothing to really say. Just welcome P.J. I'm sure you'll get dressed soon, and have a place on the shelf!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Typewriter Tuesday gets done... somewhat

Well, I actually opened up the word document today, isn't that exciting? I mist admit I did stall a bit before getting to that point, but I did get to that point, so that's a good thing. Originally I was going to work on a different section that what I have been, but I wasn't feeling it. So I went back and worked on "Meeting room Chat", which is where I have been working. I shouldn't jump around really, right now I'm at a point where each section is building on top of each other to the conclusion. So I should respect that and not just jump around. So I worked on the correct section, getting about 1.5 pages done. Then I got stuck and stopped. Even though it's short of my two page goal, I'm fine with it. Lately will all my struggles I'm happy when something even comes close to being successful. I know that next Tuesday when I come back to it, I'll have had a big chunk of time to think about what I want to say, and be more able to commit more to the page. This isn't anything but me taking a mental break to think though a story section, nothing more.
After declaring that done I did nothing for the rest of the day. Which felt nice, I know that I say I don't do anything lots of day, but that's usually when I'm ignoring something else I should be doing, this was different. This was me saying that I wasn't going to do anything, and just do something fun. I ended up playing video games, something I really haven't done in a while. I mean a few weeks ago I played that game my sister got me for Christmas, but only once. Today I sat down with the video game "Fable" and played it for several hours. Which was fun because I didn't have to deal with not having the right fabrics, and not having the right patterns. I've played and completed this game before so today I started a new profile in it. The cool thing about this game is that you can either be good or evil. My original game I was good, this one I was evil, which means I steal everything that's not nailed down and kill anyone I can. I will admit that even when I'm good, I'm usually a bit of a kleptomaniac in video games. I just want it all. But that's how I spent my day, being evil. BWAHAHAHAHAHAHA!
No P.J. today, no mail at all in fact, weird.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Ugh, when will this rut end???

My day started today at 5 am. My dad was bringing a bookcase that he built up to Raleigh for my sister's boyfriend, he wanted to get it taken care of early since he's working tonight, and he bribed me into going with a trip to Joanne's Fabrics. So after breakfast we were off on the road by 5:45, the world still dark and darn chilly.
The first part of the trip went well, since we were out so early there wasn't much traffic on the roads, although there were a few spots that dragged. But we still made it to my sister's pretty easy, and were able to unload the bookcase quickly. My dad and her boyfriend took it all the way up the stairs, which was nice because my ankle was still really sore from when I re-injured it the other day. (Not sure if I told you that before) Anyway, that was pretty quick, so we said our goodbyes and left.
Next we did an errand for my dad. He had a guy in one of his online groups that was kind enough to give him a drill press that he needed. He's been looking for one for a while now, so it's wonderful that this guy had one and was willing to just let my dad have it. It took us a little bit to find the house even with the GPS, but we did find it. I stayed in the truck when my dad talked with the guy, there was really no point in my going, nothing for me to do.
When he came back it was time to go to Joanne's! This wasn't in Raleigh, it was in Cary. Once again called the GPS into service, actually we've been to this once before, but it's been a while. And let me tell you I'm seriously underwhelmed. It was really a shoddy experience. I mean, sure they had a lot of fabric (compared to Walmart and Hobby Lobby), but nothing that I could really use and their bargain section was a MESS. I only found one thing that could have worked for mod, but I wasn't in love with the color. It was this icky mustard green, pretty gross. And when I tried to find that same color in a solid, I couldn't, so I passed on it. The only other thing I found that I like was this mushroom print, although it wasn't for mod, I just thought it was cute. It was just rather expensive, and I couldn't see what I would use it for. It would have made a cute skirt for Charlotte, but once she moved from it, it just would have ended up in the clothing bags, and I already have enough things in there, don't need anymore. So once again I left empty handed. I'm noticing a theme here that I definitely not happy about. It really shouldn't be so impossible to find something Mod, really it shouldn't. Anyway, we did try to find a Handcock's Fabric, but we couldn't. At that point I was so mad I just wanted to go home. Which was easier said than done since we got lost. And even with the GPS my Dad just had to go his own way, which ever way that was. It took us longer to get home that it should have, but we did. It's just so annoying when we're lost and he's getting mad, but still won't listen to the GPS. I mean we have it for a reason!
At home I tried working on some sewing, but honestly nothing came out. I'm just exhausted, but I can't go to bed yet. I'm very frustrated and pretty touchy, several time I just wanted to throw stuff, including dolls. It's so annoying that nothing I do has been coming out, so annoying. Honestly I wish I never opened the can of worm that are mod dolls. Even though I'm still impatiently waiting for P.J. to arrive I wish I never ordered her. If I never did that I wouldn't have thought about redressing the talking Barbie and gotten myself into this mess.
Stupid Mod, going to bed, I am beat. Not waking up until Friday.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr, I says, Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr

Today was a very frustrating day, which oddly enough seems like I've been having a lot of lately. I guess I should really say, "My Frustrating week continues", that's much more realistic. It reflects the struggles I've been having all week. (And I wish would end.)
I must admit now that even though it's Typewriter Tuesday, I didn't do any writing. For some reason I just kept stalling on even opening the word document. Soon enough the morning passed by and I hadn't accomplished anything. Although, after lunch I still didn't get anything done on it. Instead I went shopping, but honestly I should have just stayed home and worked, then I would have accomplished something, and not wasted my time.
I started off at Hobby Lobby, promising myself that I would find something Mod, and even if I had to talk myself into it, I would get something, darn it! But I just couldn't. I must have walked though that section a dozen or so times, but still couldn't find anything right. All the smaller prints were too bland (and not really mod), and all the large prints were too big (and not really mod). It's just so annoying, and super frustrating. Since I was going to leave there without my mod fabric I was going to get some orange calico since it matches a pattern that I saw at Walmart last week that might work for Mod, but all their orange calico was 6.99 a yard! That's nuts, I don't think it should be that expensive, they literally had nothing cheaper. So I left, I didn't need it that badly, not spending a penny.
And it's a good thing I didn't. After that we went to the grocery store were we went way over our estimate. Had I spent any money at Hobby Lobby we wouldn't have had enough, forcing us to put something back, which would have been super embarrassing. So I guess it worked out for the best, still plenty livid that I didn't find anything that I could use at Hobby Lobby. And Walmart was a bust too, since we didn't have much money (i.e. any) left over I didn't bother even checking the tiny craft section, no orange patterned fat quarter, and even worse, no white thread for me. I'm almost out of it, and need to get a new spool, it's the color I go though the most. There's plenty of projects on hold because of that. But it's going to have to wait, couldn't afford it this week. So you can believe I was pretty bummed, nothing fun for me this week, so I guess all my projects are still in a state of suspension.
Which sucks! *Sigh*

Monday, February 14, 2011

Happy Valentine's Day Everyone!

Hope everyone had a good day today. It was business as usual here at Aubrey's mind. No Valentines related specialness here. Although, I'm going to say the weather was my Valentine, because it was glorious today, a really wonderful day, which was really nice because it's been so cold lately. (Brr) If only the wind chill was a little lower it would have been perfect, but that's just a minor gripe, can't win them all.
Even thought it was a Holiday I didn't let that stop me in terms of theme days. Etsy Monday rolled right along. I manged to post all three items in my shop in record time. It didn't hurt that one of the items something other than a pattern. It was a vintage sewing machine manual that I bought in a random lot of stuff a while back. I honestly forgot that I even had it. I meant to sell it back when I got it, but didn't have a way to, but now I do! The other day when I was looking for something else I stumbled across it. (Isn't that always the case?) Since I still don't need it, I listed it over on Etsy, might as well see if someone out there wants it. After that I posted two more patterns. Bringing my total items in my shop 10, which is the self appointed amount. So I may skip next week and see if anything sells, but I might ignore that and list some more stuff. I just wish something would sell, give me a sign that I'm doing things correctly. Is that too much to ask? I don't think so, but that's just me.
I did do some more sewing today, which was... interesting. Nothing Mod today, thankfully, but still just as screwy as when I am doing mod. I made a sheath dress, testing out the pattern, but it was really wonky, not at all how I wanted it. Once again it got added into the finish it up box to wait until I decide to come back to it. After that I moved onto Charlotte's Valentines dress. (Pretty Late, huh?) Honestly I didn't even bother making her one becasue I'm not really feeling this Holiday, besides she already owns plenty of red clothes. If I had found the right fabric for it, I'm sure that I would have made her something, but everything I found didn't work for it, so she didn't get something. Anyway, this dress ended up being another pile of fabric, so annoying. So I took a step back, I don't really like what I was doing. It just wasn't my style. And there's no need pulling my hair out on something that I know I don't even like when I'm making it, much less when I was done with it. So once again it got added to the box. At this rate I'm going to need another box to hold all the stuff I haven't finished!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Another day, another pain in my side

Ugh, stupid "Mod". I once again spent a huge chunk of time sewing a mod dress only to have it not turn out at all how I wanted it. I was so mad at it I just threw it into the "finish it up" box. Not sure if I'll come back to it and finish it up, but at this point I really don't care, I'm just so frustrated with the whole project in general. Nothing I'm doing seems to be working, so whatever. Stupid mod.

But I did do some other sewing today, which was nice. Since I decided I was done with mod for the day, I decided I should do something that was on my "should do" list. I decided to make that Ken shirt using that red check calico I bought last week. I needed to do it, plus when that was done it meant that I've used 10 out of the last 11 fabric purchases, which is a decent amount, especially when you count that I'm only including it when I actually make something from it that goes into the collection. (Either in the bags of clothing or actually on someone) But I'd have to make it before I could actually count it. So I got to work, oh, it was so wonderful going back to the 50's. No guessing if it was correct, no wondering if it was going to look bad, just simple work. I did have my fair share of issues, (Had to sew the collar in 3-4 times) but overall it was much easier that working with mod. Even sewing in the sleeves weren't that bad. When I was done I went and showed it to my mother. This was sort of an homage to the Ken she had as a child. I was worried that she wasn't going to like it, but she did! She actually said that it looked even better than the one she had as a child. Pretty cool huh? While I was watching television I finished it; seam reinforcement, adding snaps, and hemming the bottom. It came out really cute, I really like it. It feels good to have something come out, especially when the past few days have only resulted in piles of fabric.
After that I also made a pair of jeans, using a mommy made pair as a guide... they did not come out so hot. They're more like jeans than I usually make, but sometimes the stitching is ... totally off. So we're like getting to better jeans, but there's still a long way to go. These I would not comfortably put into the collection. Besides looking at the outfit as the whole the jeans look with the red check is reading a little "country", and I'm not a real big fan of that look. I'm a little more "suburban" with my styling. So I may end up just making new pants for this outfit, not sure what color just yet, I'll have to mull it over. That's all I got done today, and at least I have something to show for it.

Stupid Mod.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Saturday with some stressed hair pulling!

Today's been one of those days, one that really tests you. I've been sewing on and off for several hours today, and have nothing to show for it. Each time I make something I manage to mess it up, and have to stop, or decide I hate what I'm making and stop. Days like this make me want to stick the sewing machine in a closet and forget about it.
It didn't start off that way. This morning I was able to take pictures for yesterday's post (Finish it up Friday), getting that taken care of. I even managed to post a couple new shots to flickr. How fun is flickr guys? So glad I finally joined over there, even with all the issue I have with it sometimes. After that I played around with the collection. With the soon (hopefully) arrival of P.J. I've been forced to do some thinking as to where she's going to go. Which is tricky because I have several options, none of which are ideal. Since I'm thinking about the vintage dolls I was doing some counting.
Right now over on the vintage shelf there's 20 dolls, and that's all that can fit comfortably on that shelf, and that's including five Skipper sized dolls, and two seated dolls. Counting the dolls that are not on that shelf but still under the vintage category there's 15 (including the yet here P.J., but not including some vintage dolls that I like keeping on other shelves.). So today for fun I took all the dolls that weren't on the vintage shelf and arranged them as if there was a vintage shelf part 2. Basically it's all the dolls from Vintage Runoff shelf; the titan bubblecuts, Hong Kong Lilli, painted hair Ken, number one Ken, etc. I cleared off Charlotte's shelf for this little endeavor since it had the least number of people it's the easier to clean off.
Setting up the dolls how I like them was easier said than done. It actually proved to be quite a task, since I have such standards for how the shelf is set up. I like the dolls to be mirror images on each side. Some of them were already in pairs, but I had several that didn't have any type of counterpart that I liked. Eventually when I do break down and get another bookcase for the dolls I'm going to have to find some specific dolls to counterbalance the ones I already have. But that's a bit of time away, so we'll see what happens to the collection by then. Honestly, there's always room for more vintage dolls here, even if I have to move out to make them fit! Another point that I should mention is that these 15 don't include any shorter dolls like Francie or Skipper, who are good for being in front and not blocking the dolls behind them. All of these other dolls were tall Barbie and Kens. Luckily this was just a test and I wasn't doing it for real. Also it was good because some of the dolls didn't look pleased to be on a shelf together. There was a lot of mad looking faces happening, so I was quick to put everyone back. But not before I took a chance to dust the vintage runoff shelf since all the dolls were off it. Then I moved everyone back. (Pulling aside someone to give their clothes a washing. For people who never do anything they certainly manage to get quite dirty.) Since I still had Charlotte's shelf empty I dusted there too. And I couldn't stop there, I also pulled everyone off the vintage shelf, dusted that too, as well as fixing some people's hair that had gotten mussed. After that I also dusted and organized the Japanese doll shelf. That's where I stopped. Those are the easiest shelves to dust, so they're the ones I normally do. I put Charlotte's shelf back in order and I was done dusting, the ones I did look good though.
It was after that I got around to doing some sewing... mod sewing... ugh... enough said. This project is literally like pulling teeth, maybe this is why I didn't collect anything mod for the longest? I spent a good chunk of today doing more research, which still has yet to lead to anything. I did however think of something that I kinda liked, so I drafted a pattern, which lead to a muslin practice piece, which lead to another, which lead to... a tangled pile of fabric. While I kind of like the pattern, I just don't have any mod fabric that really makes it work. Up until this point I've been working with 50's era clothing mainly, and my fabric stash reflects that. So this foray into Mod fashion is really frustrating, I just don't have the resources handy. Not to mention the grasp on the fashion like I do for the 50's. Not having the right fabric is made even worse because last week I was actually looking for mod type fabric but ended up empty handed. So I stopped sewing, I guess I shouldn't be forcing myself to make stuff when I'm not really feeling it. Whenever I do that I never end up with anything, just a mess and a headache. Oh well, tomorrow's another day, right?

Friday, February 11, 2011

Is it the end of another week already?

Here we are, another Finish it up Friday upon us. It's kind of hard to believe it's been a week since the last one, especially since I didn't want to do it last week, and I really didn't want to do it this week, so I stalled. I ended up looking though the bag of solo doll shoes to see if there was any pairs that I had missed yesterday. Unfortunately I didn't manage to make any pairs, and it's a shame since there's some really nice shoes there that I wish I could use. I guess the next time up in Connecticut I'll have to see if I can find anymore, although as I've said before last time I was there I grabbed all the shoes I could find, so there's very few left, if any. So if I do manage to find anymore up there it's not going to be as many as last trip, which is a shame. I also put back one of the pairs of shoes that I put together yesterday, it was just too far of a match, I didn't want to claim it was a match when they were so far apart. Other than that I managed to put the other shoes I got yesterday away, as well as use one pair in the collection. It was a pair of 80's/90's mold red Barbie heels. I ended up sticking them on the Bubblecut in the kimono. It's not a perfect solution, but it works for now. I have this thing where I like everyone to have shoes, even if it's not the perfect ones for their outfit. Them having shoes in the first place is the big deal. Other than that all the shoes went into the shoe bags, nobody else could use any of the pairs that I got yesterday. (It doesn't hurt that many, many people have shoes on that I think DO go with their outfit, and therefor, don't need new ones.)

I managed to loaf around (getting some stuff done) until lunchtime. After lunch I actually forced myself to get to work, knowing that if I didn't I'd never get it done. I started off with some simple. Here we have a fake fur stole. I made it for Charlotte's "wintery" kimono. It's made from that white fur that I begrudgingly use because it sheds everywhere. The shocking white didn't work with the muted color pallet of the kimono, so I dyed it. It's actually dyed using acrylic paint, my first foray into that technique. Then I decided that her kimono didn't really need this accessory so I moved on. Today I just added a hook and eye and it was done. I kind of like the look of the dyed fur, so I might have to do something with that again soon. Maybe mod?

Anyway, next I moved onto a failed part of Skooter's latest outfit, the yellow tights I made. One of them just needed to have the top and bottom reinforced and the stabilizer ripped out. The other one needed all of that as well as to be taken in at the ankle. I did that by hand, not bothering to thread the machine. These came out pretty quick, and into the Skipper bag they went, not sure if they'll get used, but they're done.

Next I moved onto a dress for Barbie. It was for Charlotte when she came back from getting repainted, but today for the life of me I couldn't get it to sew. The tension was all screwed up in my machine so it looked terrible, so I ended up scrapping it for now. Eventually I'll go back to it, but not today.

After that I moved onto this skirt. Originally this was a dress designed for Vanessa. I messed up the armholes, and was so mad I threw it into the box. There it sat for the longest, until I was willing to admit that the armholes were shot, there was no way I was going to salvage them, so it became a skirt. Seam reinforcing and snaps were all that was needed and it was done. The hard part was already done, I just wish I didn't spend all that time making the top then messing it up. Live and learn I guess, live and learn.

After that was another Skipper/Skooter doll item. Here we have a shirt that I made a week or two ago. This was actually the reason why I bought that stripped fabric that became the Ken shirt, but I never finished it. I was going to, but Skooter moved onto that red dress I made earlier in the week, so into the to be finished box it went. Today I hemmed it in the back, *by hand* then added two snaps. Not sure why the sudden influx of Skipper clothing, but I'll certainly take it, she's always in need of more clothes.

Finally I moved onto another part of that Skooter dress. This was a cut away from when I made the dress, and I couldn't bear to throw it out. It just looked like a head scarf, and was almost perfect in size, but not quite. Either way today I went and carefully hand blanket stitched the entire edge, followed by sewing a ribbon on it, so it can tie under the doll's neck. I'm not going to lie, it's adorable and looks amazing on Skooter. I ended up color fasting it, since the ribbon ties under the doll's head. While this is really cute, I think that she's going to only wear it during photo shoots, I can't afford to have it stain her head. Still really cute though.

After that I spent the rest of today researching Mod fashion, and I must sadly say, I still don't have anything that I want to sew for the dolls. It's just such a hard era for me to work with. Hopefully something will come along that I'll want to sew, but until then Barbie's going to be naked, and P.J. when she arrives, will be stuck in that same fate. Always open for suggestions of anyone cares to give me any.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Well, kinda successful...

Well, Typewriter Thursday didn't start off like it should, didn't end like it should either. Turns out today was a shopping day, and I was certainly in need of going. So I just skipped on writing altogether, bad I know. Since I knew I wasn't going to be able to focus on writing in the morning I actually spent the time cleaning. I managed to clean off my sewing desk to a point where I can actually see most of it. I can't tell you the last time I actually had it this clean. I'd take pictures, but the rest of my room is still a mess. Maybe it time I'll get it clean enough to take pictures, but I wouldn't count on it. Whenever I finish up one project there's always three more laying around that I need to get to next.
But, my desk is clean, for a change, although once I start working on projects again, it's going to get messy again, fast. Anyway, I stopped cleaning for lunch, and after lunch it was time to go out shopping! The goal of this trip was mod, mod, mod. I was searching for fabric for both my current talking Barbie, as well as for the new P.J. that's due to arrive sometime next week (I assume). I started my search at Hobby Lobby, like usual. And was severely disappointed. I really could not find anything that worked for mod. It's super frustrating because this was a chance to use all those cool big prints that I always see, but can't use. But at Hobby Lobby I couldn't even find something I liked. I found a couple of fabrics that were kind of mod, but for 6.99 a yard, I didn't want something that was "close", I'd want something perfect. I kind of wonder if it's just the fact that I've seen everything at Hobby Lobby, I mean beyond the seasonal stuff, everything there's pretty much the same as it's been for a while. Not a whole lot of turnaround. Does anyone know if they ever like, "refresh" the fabric section with like the next season stuff? I just wish there was another option for fabric locally. I guess I should just be patient. Once I move to NYC, I'll have lots more fabric stores at my fingertips. Although I won't have any money, or a sewing machine, so it's a real catch 22. Oh well, can't think about that now. Walmart didn't have anything that was really mod in their fat quarter section either. I found something that I was kind of interested in, but I put it back. I wasn't that interested in it, I didn't leave there empty handed though. I got another spool of yellow thread. I'm super duper close to being out of it, and whenever that happens that's the one color that I need to use time, and time again. Like almost every project I was doing needed yellow, it was so annoying! Now, I have some so I don't have that issue!
But I didn't leave the shopping trip with just yellow thread, I did manage to go into the Christian Second Hand store (it is close to Hobby Lobby after all). First off, they redid their craft section, all of their sewing patterns are gone, which is fine by me since they didn't have anything interesting. Nothing for dolls or men. They also had some new fabrics, but once again, nothing mod. Over in the toy section was something different. They actually had some plastic bags full of Barbies for 3.00. Which was cool, but they were all newer dolls that I had no desire or need for. But they also had a bad full of random doll clothes and shoes, for 6.00. Not sure why it was twice the price, but I felt like I needed to get it. I didn't know how many pairs of shoes were in there, but I had to risk it. When I got into the car I opened the bag to match shoes. Turns out in that bag there were only 4 pairs of regular Barbie shoes. There were also 3 pairs of Bratz shoes, and 3 pairs of myscene shoes. The rest of them were all solo shoes without matches. I was able to match up three of those solo shoes with ones that I had in my spare shoe bag. One was a real match, one was a close match, and the last was a "It looks fine from a distance of 20 feet" match. I've since listed the bratz shoes and the myscene shoes over on the show and sell page because I don't need the myscene ones, and I don't have any bratz dolls. Hopefully they will sell. The clothing in the bag was an odd lot. Mostly Barbie, but there was some Ken as well as some larger dolls clothing. The larger clothes actually fit a doll I had, which as great, she needed more options. For Barbie I got, a nice pair of jeans, a nice tan shorts, pajama pants, some shirts, and some dresses. Not everything is going into the collection, but some of it is. It was a surprisingly good purchase!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Wednesday is "Sew" Sweet!

I started off today working with my Mod project. While I'm working on what P.J. is going to wear when she arrives, but I've also become disenchanted with what my Talking Barbie is wearing, so I want to make something new for her too. Today I worked with a new pattern that started off adapting to make a simple dress. I was using a little bit of pink broadcloth that I had very little left, really had to make it fit when cutting it out. Unfortunately I didn't have the correct color thread, so it was a chance to use the nylon thread I bought a while back... and I'm not a fan, really don't care for how it works. I don't think I'll use that again, it just wasn't what I was looking for. I also ended up messing up the pattern, so I called it quits. While I like the overall look, I'm going to have to find a better fabric, something mod(der). Right now nothing I have really works for that. Hopefully next shopping trip I'll find something that works for this, and something else too, I still need something for P.J. Open for mod suggestions everyone.
After that I worked with the fabric that I bought last week. I'm still trying to use all the fabric that I bought, staying strong with that. I decided to make the red cowboy plastic bag holder for my Grandfather. I didn't have enough to make it from the remnant I had, so there's a seam down the middle. Overall it came out pretty decently for my first time making one. It's actually a bit long, but I'm sure that my Grandfather will collect enough plastic bags to fill it. Right now it's stuffed with a sheet and some spare fabric to give it that full look for the photo. On a sad note, I won't have enough spare fabric to make a Chatty Cathy shirt, not a big deal, I wasn't too in love with the idea anyway. I hope my Grandfather likes it!
After that I felt like I still wanted to do something, but I had no idea what. I'm starting to run out of projects that I have thought out, or have fabrics for. So I decided to get another one done that I had the material for. I decided on the second kimono for Joe, out of the tan material. I think after this there's only one fabric that I haven't at least tried to make something out of yet. Anyway, I made Joe's kimono. It came out quick and easy. I think my love affair with the kimono is over. They're really not that much of a challenge to me. I mean I've made quite a number of them, and only two of them are being worn. Charlotte's not even wearing hers anymore. I think that I'm done making them, unless I find a fabric that I flat out love and need to make into one. Other than that I might have to make another men's juban since there's now two kimonos, but like I said, I think I'm overall done with them. I also made a new obi for this kimono, made out of dark blue to tie in with the dark blue spots on the kimono fabric. And that's what I did today, I have no clue what I'm going to do yet for Saturday's sewing. I'm sure something will come up, but before that I still have two more days of stuff to do. Lucky me?

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Typewriter Tuesday is here again. The internet was being non-existent this morning so that was good and bad. Bad because I wasn't able to check out some things that I needed to, but it was good because it allowed me to work on my story unbothered. I was able to churn out three full pages in "Meeting room Chat" today, which is great since at the beginning of this I thought that section would continue to be a real sticking point. Today I was able to clue Rosebud in about the profecey (sp?), as well as bring in the family portrait, and that's where I stopped for the day. I think by the end of the month I should be at least be out of this section and working on the "Lead Ogre Confrontation" section, which is also dialogue heavy, but not as thought out as "Meeting room Chat" was.
Let be break down all the sections that I have split up. The titles mean nothing, just stand in and general ideas for what happens in each part *Spoiler alert*;
1. Meeting Room Chat
2. Interlude
3. Lead Ogre Confrontation
4. The Sky Cries Black Tears
5. Jadillo Cookout
6. Interlude 2
7. On the Bridge/Safe land
8. Rosebud's Betrayal
9. Epilogue
Hopefully Thursday will be just as productive!

Monday, February 7, 2011

Etsy Monday is a No Go Today

Esty Monday certainly didn't start off like normal. First off I had a terrible nights sleep. I woke up every few hours, and just couldn't fall back asleep. I seriously hate nights like that. So I was already in a bit of a mood when I woke up. Then in the morning when I was downstairs for my second cup of tea, my father came in and asked me for help unloading the truck of pallets. (We burn them in the winter to save money on heating the house.) I really had no choice, so I had to say yes. Turns out it was more than just moving the pallets from the truck, it was also helping him cut them. Which was so annoying. Not that I had to do it, but that I just was expected to do it. I don't mind helping, I just wish that I was told or asked to do it. I'm much better about doing something when I'm able to at least warm up to the idea. So that was how I spent my morning, chopping up wood, and moving the boxes of it into the house. *sigh*.
But I did get something out of it, something exciting! Earlier I was talking to my Mother about a doll I saw over at the Doll Show and Sell page, or at least part of a doll. It was a P.J. doll, or at least her from the waist up. Actually, she was just missing her legs. And it would just happen to be, I have an extra pair of legs laying around. Although they are vintage legs, and she's a TNT torso, so I wasn't sure if they would fit. So I emailed to person selling her asking for a photo of the body in a side view. While I was waiting for them to get back to me I researched if it was possible to do an inter-generational body part trade like that. I still don't know. I didn't tell you the best part, she was only three dollars! Which I have! Although I had to be really careful about shipping, I didn't have that much left to pay for that. Luckily my parents said they would get her for me, since I did the wood thing, not to mention the fact that I made it go much faster than normal. Which is good because turns out the shipping would have been more than what I could afford. It ended up being just 5.75 to ship it from Canada. But she's been paid for, and I'm going to start to think about how to dress her. (Thanks Mom and Dad!) Mod really isn't my strong suit, so I'm going to have a lot of work in front of me. Any suggestions anyone? I've never did find out if the legs I have fit, by the way. I'm going to have to wait to see if they do when she gets here. But anyway, I didn't get my three things listed over on Etsy, although I'd be a bit more motivated if something I posted actually sold. Maybe I'm still over pricing? I just don't want to under price it since I'm trying to regain my costs.
In the evening and afternoon I worked on Skooter. Since she's now using a stand that touches her leg she's going to need some fabric between her and it. Plus I wasn't happy with what she was wearing, so it was high time for her to get a costume change anyways. I started off with one thing before I veered off into another direction. (Isn't that always the case?) Originally I was going to make her a jumper with a turtleneck underneath. The issue is with jumpers is that I like that, but have yet to make one. Today was no exception. I spent a great deal of time working with and drafting a pattern that I eventually gave up on. So I moved onto something else, I guess the jumper will have to wait for another day. I decided to make a simple A-line dress. So I used the pattern that I use to make simple shell blouses for Skipper and adapted that. My muslin worked well, so I moved onto my actual piece. Which came out pretty nice actually. I used that red flower fabric that I used for the Bubblecut kimono, and I had a hard time getting the pattern to fit. Not a lot of that fabric left, which is a shame because I really like it. I'm planning on going back to get another yard, that's how much I like it. I'm even willing to deal with that store again. The things I do for Barbie, right? Anyway, I worked out some kinks with the pattern as I worked with it. When I was done with the initial dress, I did a bow of yellow at the bust, because I love that color combo. Originally this was going add a yellow collar to the dress, but when it was almost done I decided that I didn't need it, it was fine without it. I added two snaps in the back and it was done. Pretty cute, right?
Now it was time for the frustrating part with any Skipper project, I have no shoes for them. Like, no joke. Right now out of the five Skipper dolls (including friends such as Ricky and Skooter) I have, only three of them are wearing shoes, and the ones that are, are just the Barbie sneakers that are in fact too big for their feet. I really need to get them some actual shoes. But anyway, I was going to make Skooter here some yellow tights, but they didn't look so good. So I tossed them. (Not literally, just out of the outfit). I ended up making her a pair of short socks, in yellow. I'm not a huge fan of them, the fit could be better, but it works for now. Eventually when I get a chance to buy some actual shoes, I'll have to get a pair of red Skipper flats and just use those. But like I said, the works for now, although it doesn't solve my problem with her having bare legs. I guess I'll have to do something else about that, I just can't win.
(P.S. Check out the last photo on the left, normally I would crop it to just show Skooter and her new dress, but check out Skipper. Doesn't she look like she's looking at the camera? Super cool and creepy right? I just wish she was more in focus. Also with this you can see how the vintage shelf is set up. You can see Skipper, Francie, Hair Fair Barbie, Allen, a Blond Bubblecut, Midge, and Skooter. The other side is set up as a mirror image with similar dolls.)

Sunday, February 6, 2011

The begining of another week...

A lazy Sunday today, I think I can officially say that "Set it Aside Sunday" is a dead theme day. I really haven't felt motivated to do that day in a while. I think if I really wanted to get someone dressed then I would, regardless of the day. I mean Charlotte's not a dictator, not allowing me to work for someone else when I want to. I can definitely work on someone else when I want to, I just need to want to first. I mean I did the Bubblecut redress yesterday, and that was a Saturday! So, thank you for being there "Set it Aside Sunday", you were fun while you lasted. So as I bid adieu to Sunday's theme, I managed to avoid getting any actual work done.
I did however get out of the house to go shopping. And for the first time in a while, not fabric shopping. I'm trying to be better about using the fabric I've just purchased before bringing more in. As of right now out of the last eleven fabric purchases I've used seven of them, so we're getting closer, but still have some projects to finish. But today I was headed off to the Habitat for Humanity store with my father to buy some wood. He's making my sister a bookshelf, and I wanted to see what else they had. But it turns out they're closed on Sundays. Which is weird. I really am not used to stores being closed on Sundays, back up north the only thing that's closed on Sundays were usually liquor stores. Down here is much more common, but even thought that store was closed I did stop in to the Dollar Store. My father needed a cheap frame and super glue. I took the chance to see what they had that I could use. Sigh, they didn't have anything in Barbie scale. I've noticed that for the past few years, they no longer have any Barbie clones, usually they are Bratz size or smaller. I guess it's the world telling me I don't need anymore cheap dolls. They also didn't have any handkerchiefs, or t-shirt, both of which I use for doll clothes. I did however find some cheap porcelain ballerina dolls. Maybe about 4-5 inches tall. They were unappealing and cheap, but they came with stands. Looking at them in store I thought that they might fit Skipper on the tallest setting. So I bought them, Skipper could always use more stands. Actually, everyone could use more stands, that's a purchase that I need to make for everyone. Anyway when I got home I realized that my sizing was waaaaaaaay off. Those stands couldn't even be close to their waist. And even worse, I didn't have any doll that fit it. They were simply too short for every doll in the collection, except Kelly and Tommy, which they were too big for. I was already kicking myself for wasting two dollars when I realized something, the stands don't have to go around their waists, they just need to attach to them at some point and create a greater sense of balance so they can stand on their own. So I took the stand and put it around one leg on my Ricky doll. And it worked! There's enough balance so that he can stand even though he's only supported by one leg! I used the other one to make my Scooter stand. Although I have to be careful with her since she's wearing a skirt and I worry if the metal stand might react with her skin. It's not a perfect solution, but they look better than when they were just sitting on the shelf. Eventually when my finances are better I'll go and get some better stands for them, but it certainly works for now. I'm glad I was able to use them, even though not how I was originally thinking.
I did also try to get some sewing done, but it was a no go. I was trying to recreate something I saw online, but it was not working. I found myself getting frustrated and snappy. Once again I found myself mad at Charlotte. And I know when I get like that I need to stop. I mean, when you're getting mad at a plastic doll, something's up. So I stopped, and redressed Charlotte in one of her favorite outfits. Maybe I'll go back to working on that outfit, maybe not, not really sure. Don't really care much at this point either.
Oh! I also managed to get some cleaning done. My room's in a general state of disarray, but I do try to stay on top of it. So today I went though and fixed the collection. It was basically putting away the dolls that were out of place and putting clothing away that nobody was wearing. It looks much better now. So pretty!