Saturday, March 31, 2012

March Marches Out!

I had the chance to go out this morning, but I didn't take it. I'm still feeling remarkably anti-social. I just don't want to deal with other people at the moment. Perhaps if I thought that something for the collection would come from me going out I would muster up the energy to go, but the past few times I've been out I haven't found anything that I really needed so I decided to skip it. My time could be better spent doing other stuff, stuff that actually would benefit me.
Which I did. Today was the day that I finally got off my duff and posted Miko for sale over on the Dollpage. She's been sitting on my dresser with some other dolls waiting for me to get to them. Today it was finally Miko's turn. The other dolls will have to wait for more motivation to get them listed. I wrote the ad, and took lots of pictures, making sure to show her long flowing locks. She is a pretty doll, so I'm hoping she'll catch someone's eye. I'd think about keeping her myself, but she really doesn't fit into what I'm collecting at the moment, and space is limited. I hope someone buys her and gives her the love and attention that I'm currently not. Once she was listed I was finally able to put her away in the closet where I store all the stuff I have listed. She's finally no longer in plain site. Now I just have to get Little Debbie and Happy Birthday listed and I'll have finally have my dresser cleared from dolls. Until I get something else to list that is. I'm sure the moment I list the last one, I'll end up with something else to list. That's always how it happens!

But I did do some work with the dolls in the collection. It's the last day of the month, my last chance on getting dolls dressed for the month of March. I didn't mention this yesterday, but I made some progress on a doll yesterday, Living Barbie to be exact. But I didn't actually do any sewing. You may remember that I made a dress for Living Barbie a while ago. I don't think I ever shared a picture of it with you. By the time it was finished I wasn't planning on using it, so I never bothered photographing it. I still finished it however. I liked it, but wasn't in love with it on Living Barbie. It ended up in the spares bag, but I pulled it out the other day to try on Sweet Sixteen Barbie. It looked okay on her, but I didn't end up keeping her in it. Since it was still out after I took it off her, I decided to try it on Living Barbie again. I still liked it on her best, but something was missing. Nothing about the dress, but the accessorizing. I thought maybe a hair bow would help. I cut a small piece of fabric and played around with it. If I gave her a low ponytail and used a large (to her) bow in it, I really liked the look. I didn't have enough energy to remake it yesterday, so it was today's goal. I made it pretty quick, it's just a simple rectangle. I actually made it twice. The first one ended up being a bit thick looking in the back, so I redid it. I did this after I took the picture, so if I ever photograph her again it might look a little different. I really like it now. It's very peasant-y looking, but with lots of crisp details that I usually do. It's also a bit Disney Princess-ish (a fact that was originally a strike against it, but I've come to embrace). I think it has a lot of Cinderella in it, but someone else also commented Belle, which I can see. I just like Cinderella best, so I'm more inclined to view it that way. But that's enough talking about it, here's the picture of it:And I'm pleased to say, I was able to make something from that hot pink fabric that I bought for another project. Finally! That stuff was expensive!
But Living Barbie wasn't the only one I worked with today. I also have come back to Sweet Sixteen's dress. I think one of my issues was that she wasn't connected to the dress (either that or I just don't like her that much). First off I gave her a bath (girl was seriously filthy, I guess I never gave Hair Fair a bath), then I styled her hair. I gave her two pigtails, and tied them off with ribbons. I also made one of those clear plastic rings to hold her hair down. This helps smoosh her bangs down to keep them closer to her head. I don't know what's up with Sweet Sixteen's, their bangs always have so much volume. And that's an 80s' thing! I like it much better now, so she's going to be keeping it. Here's a picture of her in it:Cute, right? (Although the flash for some reason make her head look darker than it actually is). And I'm pleased to say, that mean's two dolls were dressed today, bringing our March total to three for the month, and just in the nick of time too! Cutting it a bit close, eh?

Friday, March 30, 2012

Ugh, a Step Back in Progress...

I was hoping my creativity from yesterday would stick around and I'd manage to make more progress on dressing people, but it just was not meant to be. Since I finished that dress yesterday, I don't have anything else in the works, really a wonderful place to be when nearing the start of a creative week. But, isn't that always the case with me? Creative weeks are lacking in creativity and selling weeks are lacking in sell-a-tivity. I am pleased that I managed to get that dressed totally finished yesterday. I don't need anymore stuff to go into the unfinished project box, it's practically overflowing as it is. But I have a confession to tell you all, I'm rapidly falling out of love with the dress. I mean I like it, and there's nothing wrong with it technically, but it's quickly falling out of favor. I thought it might be I didn't like it on the doll (Not the biggest Sweet Sixteen fan), so I took it off her and tried in on some of the other dolls who are waiting for clothes, but I didn't like it any more on them either. I didn't bother dressing Sweet Sixteen back in it, not sure if I will...
I actually did do a little sewing today. Since I switched sewing machines I wanted to try making Skooter's shorts again. I mean the last pair was fine except the tension was all screwed up and they looked bad in that one aspect. So I pulled out the material and gave it another go. These look much better. They're a little bit tight, but since they're for under the skirt it's fine. They actually have a bit of a connection with the dress from yesterday, I used the same eyelet material for both of them. I just barely had enough for the shorts, so there's no more left. I'm quickly running out of eyelet material. I'm really not sure what I'm going to do when I'm out. The last time I was in Hobby Lobby looking for it, I didn't find any that was small enough. All of what they had was too wide for Barbie sewing. I guess I'll cross that bridge when I come to it. I finished the shorts today, and Skooter's wearing them. I thought about giving her shirt another go, but I wasn't feeling it. I really, really, really don't want to make it for a third time. That's usually my breaking point. If I haven't made a passable item the second time I give up. Don't believe me? Just ask Living Barbie's tennis dress. She isn't even wearing it anymore, it's moved into the Unfinished Project box, and it's going to be staying there a while. It was such a disappointment! I hope I have more success with Skooter's shirt, when I make it for the third time. Ugh, third time!

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Finally, some creativity!

I continued to avoid posting patterns today. This week was supposed to be a selling week, but it really has not managed to be much of one. I don't know why I'm not feeling like posting anything, it's like I don't want to make money, and we all know that's not true.
I wasn't totally honest the other day when I was talking about not having anything from the 70s' that spoke to me, there is one thing, this:It's a Barbie dress that for some reason I kind of like. I've liked it for a while, but it's only been recently that I had the skill or the need to make my own version. From looking at the original, I can see that most of the outfit can be made from pattern pieces I've used before. Only the sleeves would be something different. They're "mutton sleeves", which is nothing I've ever attempted before. I have seen a pattern piece for something like that, but it's nothing I've ever tried myself. And I only saw a picture of a cut out pattern piece, I don't have the pattern or anything like that. I did post that picture on Flickr and asked for help. I didn't get much of a response, I guess they're not that popular of a sleeve option.
I was weighing my options (even thinking about resizing a people sized pattern for it) when I realized something. I couldn't get something exactly like the original, but I already had something similar. If you think back to the very start of the blog, Charlotte's steampunk outfit basically had mutton sleeves, or at least close enough to mimic it. And while I made that a long time ago, I still had the pattern pieces to make it. For the bodice I chose a dark green floral that I've had for a while. I've tried making things with it, but every time I use it I end up not using the outfit (If I even finish it). I started with the bodice first. I ended up lining it since I don't have the correct color thread to hem it. After I made it I tested it out on the doll I was planning on putting it on. And I just wasn't feeling it. The pattern was just too... heavy? Dark? Something like that. So I decided I needed to switch fabrics. There's no point making something when so early on I'm not liking my fabric choice. I don't need another thing made from this fabric cluttering up my spare clothing bags.
So I searched through my fabric stash to find a suitable replacement. I ended up picking some navy fabric with a small floral print. It's a fabric that I got from my Grandmother. It's the same fabric I used for Walk Lively Miss America. I don't have much of it, so I was going to have to be careful when making it, I didn't have enough to redo it. I lined the new bodice as well. When that was done I started in on the sleeves. They were very similar to the ones I made for Charlotte, except for a few minor tweaks. Charlotte's sleeves actually flair out at the wrist, this one tapers, also it had a cuff of eyelet material. The steampunk blouse has that too, but that one is gathered, this one is straight. I was able to get the sleeves done pretty quick, and started attaching the sleeves to the bodice, but then I ran into trouble. The tension was really, really, really off on my machine. Like I could pull on it slightly, and the thread was totally visible. It was really, really, really bad. Like the worse the tension has ever been. I couldn't leave it like that. It was just terrible. I did more research to try and fix it, but couldn't. I guess I'm going to have to take it in and get serviced. There's just no way to sew with it how it's sewing right now. Sad face for that.
But I wasn't done sewing it just yet. I did have a plan B, my mother's sewing machine. It's been in storage since I got my Kenmore, but I needed it. I pulled it out, set it up, and started relearning how to use it. It took me a little bit to remember how to use it, but eventually I was sewing again. The tension was much better in this one, better than the Kenmore has been in a while. So I did like that. I do like several features on the Kenmore better, but since it's down for the count for a while, I'm going to have to deal with the other machine.
After I was confident I had remembered the use the other machine I started working on the dress again. I tore out the wonky stitches and sewed the sleeves on again. I hate having to redo sleeves, but those original stitches were unusable. I was able to get the sleeves set in and finally was able to move onto the next step. I didn't have too much trouble until sewing the skirt. I didn't want to have much volume at the top, but still have it flare out at the bottom. I had to redo it a couple times, but eventually got it to work. It took a lot of work but I managed to get the entire dress finished today. Did the seam reinforcement and snaps, the whole shebang.
Here's a photo of it:I'm glad I actually finished it. It fought me tooth and nail the entire way. It's cute, but I'm not sure if I'm totally sold on it. I put it on the doll I made it for. Time will tell if she ends up keeping it.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Another Day, Another Day

We had another birthday today, my sister's. We didn't have a party for her since she's several states away at the moment, but I wanted to acknowledge that it was today here on the blog. I already texted her "Happy Birthday". And I'm pleased to say she got her Rice Crispies today! I got a text back from her late this evening, "OMG, Thank you!". At first I was confused since that seems to be a little overexcited over a simple Happy Birthday text, but when I opened it fully I saw she sent a picture of her nibbling on the block of Rice Crispies I sent her. So I guess she really liked it. I'm glad she did, who knew it would be so easy to make her happy. Had I known that earlier our teen years might have not been so miserable together. I just hope she is able to sleep tonight, there's a lot of sugar in those things.
I wish I could say today was the day that I started back on patterns, but it wasn't. I just don't feel like doing anything with patterns at the moment, I mean I don't want to even look at them much less bother to post them. And I'm just as stuck on doll sewing. At least with that I have the desire, but not the idea. I've been trolling the internet looking for more 70s' fashions, and while there's a lot out there, nothing that really calls to me. I keep saving pictures of stuff that looks interesting, but when I try to apply it to the dolls, I'm just not feeling it. I've been sketching and even came up with something I liked, but when I pulled out the material and patterns I decided I didn't like it enough to actually bother sewing it. I've been having that a lot, where I'm okay with the idea of something, but when it comes to actually making it the desire just isn't there. It's a weird place to be, and I for one don't care for it. It's basically sewing for sewing's sake again, but this time the thought of the clothes are so boring I can't fake the enthusiasm to actually start it. I don't like it. There's dolls to dress and they're not going to dress themselves. Hopefully I can shake myself free from this... apathy, but right now I just don't care.
Meh.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

It's a VERY Special Day!

Guess what? I had another pattern sell! Like last time, this wasn't one of the ones I most recently posted, it was one I posted two weeks ago. It was a mini skirt pattern, sold to a girl from France. Those french girls were always on the forefront of what was hip and happening in the fashion world! Normally right after a pattern sells I start getting it ready to go out into the mail, but not with this one, I had more pressing stuff to do this morning. It was my Mom's birthday!
I didn't have as much work to do as I could have had, I'd been chipping away what I needed to get done earlier in the week. I didn't mention it, but I've been wrapping presents the past few days. I wrapped what I got her first, and the rest I was doing as a favor to my father. And last night I made her birthday "cake". (It was actually a cheesecake mousse.) I told her I'd make whatever she wanted, and that's what she requested. So my morning wasn't as busy as it could have been. I did start setting up for the party and get everything in order.
We were having a lunch party, that way everyone could be there. (My brother has an evening class on Tuesdays). When we were done eating it was time for presents. I made sure she opened mine last. I can finally tell you what I got her, a video game. It's called "Professor Layton and the Mysterious Box", it's the second one in the series. It's a puzzle solving games, and she loves doing mind puzzles. She's had the first game for a while and beaten it, but never got the next one (It's actually been out since '09). She's not one to splurge on herself and just buy it, and nobody else remembers to get it for her when it's her birthday or Christmas. She was talking about wanting it for her birthday earlier in the month, and I decided to get it for her. I bought it a few days after she mentioned it, when I found the best price for it.
But I was sneaky, I didn't want to just give her the game, I wanted her to be surprised. If I gave her a wrapped game box I'm sure she'd know what she was getting. So I disguised it. I ended up borrowing one of her jewelry boxes that had a pair of earrings in them that someone else had given her. I took the game cartridge out the game case, and put it in the box, underneath the earrings. So when she opened it up, she'd see the earrings, and then I could insist she put them on and she'd find the game underneath. And my little trick worked perfectly! She thought I gave her earrings! Silly mom, I know you never wear earrings, I gave you a game! She was very happy to get it, she's been playing it all afternoon. And now I know something to get her for the next holiday, there's at least two more games in the series she doesn't have yet.
When the party was over I ended up going out. I wanted to go out and get that pattern into the mail, I won't be able to get to the post office for the next couple of days so if I didn't do it today it would have to wait. I did stop in at a couple other places while out, but I didn't find anything that I wanted. I did see a vintage Ken while I was out that came with a Ken case, but they both were in terrible shape and they wanted 24 dollars for both of them. I don't pay that much for a good condition Ken, much less one that's been through the ringer. But I got the pattern into the mail, and that's a good thing!
When I was back at home, I knew I should be working on the patterns, but I didn't feel like it. Instead I did some cleaning, and did some more fashion research. Patterns can wait until tomorrow, I'm just not in the mood...

Monday, March 26, 2012

Floral Madness!

I woke up this morning to some good news, a pattern of mine sold during the night. It was an older one that I posted... last selling week (I think). The buyer was from London, it's pretty cool the places I'm sending these patterns to. What a good way to start of this selling week, right? I was able to get the patterns for today edited and added back to the site. I even have one person contact me asking me to put one on reserve for her. She's actually been a repeat customer, which I think is pretty cool. After I got the patterns listed onto the site, I got to work getting the one that sold ready for the mail. I was expecting to go out later in the day and wanted to get it taken care of so I didn't have to rush getting it done later in the day.
Before going out I got some frustrating news, the person who asked to put the pattern on reserve decided to not get it. She sent me an e-mail telling me that she needed it in a different size and didn't feel like doing all that work to up-size it. Whatever, really not that big of a deal. I was a little annoyed since for the peak posting hours it was marked "Reserved" and I can't get those back. I kind of wish the "buyer" had been a little apologetic in their e-mail to me, I did put the effort in to reserve it for them per their request. But what's done is done, I'll just know to be a little less trusting of this buyer, but at least they did tell me, so that was good. Maybe someone else will want it.
I was finally able to go out in the late afternoon. The first stop was getting that package into the mail. It's on it's way to London, and the buyer. I hope she likes it. After the post office I visited Hobby Lobby. I'd like to say that I was good, I'd like to say I didn't spend much, and I can! I was stopping in for an actual reason. They had snaps on sale this week, all of their "sewology" brand stuff was on sale, and that's the best place to get snaps in town. I don't really need them (I still have a full sheet from the last time they were on sale), but I figured that since they were on sale this week and I know I will eventually use them I might as well get them. This way I know I won't run out anytime soon. I did look at other stuff in the store, but I didn't bother getting anything. Don't have any sewing projects I need supplies for, and I've seen enough of their fabric section to know that I don't want anything from there. I know it's only been a month, but I think that month break really did help my overspending in that store.
I also stopped in one second hand store while out, the United Christan Outreach Center. Not much to see there today. The toy section did seem to have some new stuff, but nothing that pertained to me. Fabric section was pretty bland as well, except for one thing. I don't know why, but this one piece of fabric really called to me, even though it's so not my usual style. It's this linen type fabric in an remarkably mod over-sized floral print. It's really incredibly too big for Barbie. Check out how big the pattern is compared to the Cinderella pencil in the shot. But I could not leave it there, it was much too much of an amazing print to just leave behind. The bold colors and wild print just called to me. I needed to have it, I could not leave without it. It was only fifty cents, but I think it's money well spent. No clue what to do with it, but that pattern is divine. Funny thing is, my favorite part didn't get in the photo. In the bottom left corner is a while flower with red and pink accents, you can see part of it, but not all of it. That's my favorite part of the fabric, it's so pretty! I think I'm going mad for mod! (I blame Twiggy!)
I didn't get back home from being out until pretty late in the day. When I was back, I really didn't feel like doing much of anything, especially not the patterns for tomorrow. It's pretty bad, it's only the second day and I'm already tired of doing them. That does not bode well for this week!

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Back to Business!

So it's the start of another selling week. I'm kind of glad the creative week is over, it was creative in title only. So now that's behind us, it's time to get back to posting patterns, although this is a bit different. Instead of picking new patterns I'm working with older ads that expired from the site.
Most of these are ones I posted long before this most recent surge of selling, so the ads are less than ideal. I didn't have a system yet so they aren't written as clearly as the could be. With experience comes knowledge. So today I went and rewrote all of them. I also copied all the pictures from the ads and did some editing. For some reason when I was originally posting I wasn't lightening the photos to show the accurate colors of them (my flash has a nasty habit of darkening shots). I fixed them all. Tomorrow I'll go and re-post the ads, adding in my fixed photos and my updated descriptions. As well as updating some of the prices. Here's hoping this will motivate them to sell, I'm tired of looking at them. Good thing I was able to reuse the original photos, the batteries in my camera are dead!
I even did a little sewing today, but not for the dolls, or even myself. My parent's sheet got a small "L" shaped tear in it and my mom asked me to fix it so it wouldn't get any worse. She just wanted me to zig-zag it, but I did more. I did zig-zag, but I also made a small patch to go over it. Figured that while I was doing it I might as well work on making my mending better, and it's not going to get any better without practice. Still dislike mending though!

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Just "Hanging" around all morning...

A pretty uneventful day, nothing to write home about, except I got something in the mail! You know how I love getting stuff in the mail. This was something that I was hoping would get here today, or else I'd have to wait all of Sunday until Monday for it to arrive (at the earliest). I did have tracking info and it was listed as being in Greensboro last night, and arriving in town at seven this morning, so I was hopeful that it would get here, but I've been fooled before. I held my breath as I opened the mailbox and was greeted with a package with my name on it! I skipped inside and quickly opened my latest acquisition.
Don't worry, it wasn't a doll. I'm not crazy enough to add one of those to my work load at the moment (who am I kidding, I'm always going to add more, more, more). It was something just as fun though, some doll dress forms! I was over on the Dollpage the other day when I saw someone had posted two dress forms, for the price of ten dollars for both. And if that wasn't already a good deal, the seller also uploaded some stuff that you could have for free when you ordered from them, and one of the items was a lot of hangers! HANGERS! TEN OF THEM! Sorry for shouting, but lately hangers have been quite the addiction around here. They're almost as bad of an addiction as fabrics, doll shoes, and dolls themselves. I've been looking into buying some and here I find ten of them. I didn't need much motivation to buy the dress forms, but the free hangers sealed the deal. I quickly contacted the seller about buying the dress forms, and asked for the hangers if they were still available. They were, and were added into the package.
So that's the reason why I started working on another garment rack, like I said there's not enough room for ten more things on Charlotte's garment rack. But I have been thinking about making a second one for other people's clothes, this just motivated me to do so. After they arrived I went and started finding clothes that I wanted to hang up. I found several clothing pieces that I wanted to put on the new rack, mainly Joe's stuff. I also went and upgraded some of Charlotte's hangers as well. I still have a couple of these new hangers as well as some older ones that are now free, so I can hang up more stuff, when I find it. I still have to make the new garment rack though, hopefully I can get that done soon. I have clothes that need to be hung! (Hanged? Hunged? Gah, put up on a bar).
But enough about the hangers, the dress forms are also a big part of the package. I've actually seen these before, I think these are the dress forms they used to advertise in the now defunct Barbie Bazaar Magazine (which I still miss). If memory serves me right, they were originally 14.99 plus shipping. Since I got both of them and ten hangers for the price of one originally, I think I got a good deal. They are a bit different than the other dress forms I already have. These ones are actually designed for the vintage type body. I won't be able to display Charlotte's clothes on them since they're too big in the bust area. (Believe me I tried.) Not a huge fan of that, but I guess this just means I can use it to display some of the vintage clothing I create (except for the fact that most of the vintage clothing I make is already on someone), so right now I don't have the perfect outfit for display, but I'm sure eventually I'll fix that. I have been having fun just putting clothes on them. These forms are also much taller than the other ones I have. These are actually the same height as the dolls they represent, meaning I'll be able to display long dresses on them. All the other ones long skirts would either drag on the ground, or I'd have to put something under the form to give it the added height. Don't have to deal with that with these. It's even got a cool feature that I didn't know when I ordered them. The bottom part, the stand, instead of being a flat surface is actually turned upwards so the bottom piece can actually be used like a try to show off small accessories (like shoes). This is actually patented, or at least has a patent number molded into it.
They do have a bit of an issue though, seems like both of them are coming apart at the seams. Not sure if it's because someone tried to take them apart, or it's a design issue but there's some definite spreading between the front and the back. It's not too bad and doesn't change how they're supposed to be used, but it does mean I'm going to have to be careful with them. The insides of them are a little sharp. Not dangerously so, but it does have potential to snag clothing. I'm just going to have to be careful when putting clothes on them and taking them off. Still a pretty good deal. I might end up using some superglue and trying to glue the two pieces back together, right now I just have some elastics at the waist holding them together. Hopefully that will keep it from spreading more.
Yay, two more dress forms to display stuff on! I don't know why I love dress forms so much. They just make everything look so professional, like a museum's collection. And I do like how they display a garment without adding any personality. I know doll's technically don't have any personality, but to me they do. Something that would work on one of them, wouldn't work on another. These dress forms are blank canvasses that can pull of whatever look I want to display. And sometimes it's nice to just put something on a dress form and just have it work!

Friday, March 23, 2012

Too much of a green thing

I went out this morning. It was my first time leaving the house in a while. It's not like I didn't have the option earlier in the week, but I just didn't feel like going out. I just didn't want to deal with being social. All this week I just wanted to be alone and avoid people. But today I needed to go out, so it was time to face the world.
First up was the post office, the package for my sister was all set and ready to go out into the mail, giving it more than enough time to get to her before her actual birthday. It ended up being way more expensive than I was expecting to ship, over eight dollars! I didn't realize it was so heavy. It actually cost more to ship it than to buy the supplies to make it. I would say that next time we can just give her the money to make it herself, but she has mentioned that when I make them, they come out better than when she makes them. Plus it would be pretty rude to send someone the money so they can make their own birthday treat. Good thing she only has one Birthday a year, so we don't have to pay that much for shipping all the time.
I also hit up Hobby Lobby, my main reason for going out. Since I had the cabinet drawers all I needed was the dowel for my newest garment rack. I know Hobby Lobby sells them for a decent price, so that's where I went. I also checked out their fabric section. I wanted to see if they had a fake shiny leather material, they did not. I'm not disappointed over that, I really wasn't expecting them to have it. They did have dowels however. I had a small cut away from one of the dowels I used in the original one (one of those ill-fated hangers that never panned out) to gauge what size I needed. They didn't have exactly the same size, they had thicker and thinner ones though. I weighed the pros and cons of each. I ended up picking the thinner option. I was worried if I picked the bigger one if the hooks of the hangers would fit, I've had that be an problem before. Also the thicker one was more expensive. The smaller one only cost 29 cents, 31 with tax. I was able to pay for it with the change I had. I think that's the cheapest I've been able to get out of Hobby Lobby when I was buying anything! (I did have the forty percent off coupon that I could have used, but that seemed to be to cheapskate to use. I'm cheap, but I have my limits.) Now I just have to get the holes drilled in the wood, and I can get started on making it!
That's going to have to wait though, in the afternoon I was able to start some sewing. I had an idea for some 70's sewing that I wanted to try. Good thing it was a 70's outfit because those gals are really filling up the Naked Party Pad, I even heard whispers they're planning on unionizing. It was going to be a solid color blouse, with a printed skirt. I started off with the blouse. For the fabric I chose that bright green calico that I love the color, but have yet to make anything I really love with. I ended up making the top twice, the first time I had a real issue with the collar, and had to start over again (did I mention that I loathe collars, stupid things). I did some tweaks for the second time and made it so I could make an inset collar. They add their own sewing troubles I have to deal with, but I do like how the finished effect look. I got most of it done, but when I tried it on the doll I saw nothing but troubles. There was a couple fit issues, but the worst part was the color, there was just so much of it. I keep forgetting that this super saturated green is a hard color to pull off. I don't think I'll be able to use this blouse, at least not whom I intended it for. I just don't care for it. I did make an attempt at the skirt, but my heart wasn't in it.
I was pretty mad when I finally stopped sewing. I spent all that time and effort in a top that was not going to work! I was ready to start throwing stuff. Normally I'm a bit more controlled than that, but I do have an issue of getting mad when overheated. And lately it's been super hot in my room. I've been trying to be good and avoid putting in the air conditioner, but when two fans can't help keep you cool, you eventually break. I put the air conditioner in and have been using it to keep the room temperatures liveable. It's been so hot lately.
What happened to spring???

Thursday, March 22, 2012

What is with these creative weeks?

That makes me feel anything but creative? So far this week I've only managed to finish two dresses, but they weren't even new, I made those last week and just needed to finish one thing on them to call them done. For some reason when I get to my creative week, it just seems to kill my drive, and I can't find the desire to even turn on the machine, much less sew something. But on my non-creative weeks all I want to do is sew, sew, sew. I guess I'm a true procrastinator at heart, I want to do anything else, just not the thing I should be doing.
I did have an excuse for not being creative in the morning, I had plans. Not outside the house plans, but cooking plans. On this upcoming Wednesday it will be my sister's birthday. Normally we have a combined party (my mother's birthday is the day before), but since my sister moved late last month, that's not possible. We still will have a party for my mother, but nothing for my sister. My parents were planning on sending her a check and a card, but I felt she should have something special to eat on her special day. Since cake will not travel well, and I know she really likes Rice Crispy treats, I decided to make her some. That's what I did today. I made an entire batch for her, I even found a box that it fit inside perfectly, her own rice crispy cake. Hopefully we can get it into the mail tomorrow so she'll get it before her actual birthday. I just wish it didn't need the entire box, I was hoping to be able to eat some of the leftovers! Luckily I know the recipe.
In the afternoon though, I still wasn't feeling much like sewing. Instead I wrapped one present for my Mom (what I'm giving to her), then spent the rest of the afternoon with my main doll, Charlotte. I haven't talked much about her lately because I haven't done much with her. Recently she's really been neglected. I've used her for a fit model a couple of times, and I haven't been bothered to dress her when I was done, leaving her in her underwear. I even let her hair get really messy. For some reason I just didn't feel like doing anything with her, so I just ignored her.
Today I stopped doing that, and spent some quality time with her. I picked out one of her lovely dresses, all the accessories that went with it, and dressed her to the nines. I also fixed her hair. We're back to the pulled back look compared to the ponytail she's been wearing for the past few years. I even went and dunked her hair into boiling water to get rid of the crimp the elastic gave her hair when she was in the ponytail. And she's so pretty again! I leave her alone for a week, then she pulls me back in, my pretty, pretty princess. Let's never fight again!
Oh, I did actually do something creative today, no sewing however. I started working on making another garment rack. Yes, we've finally reached the point where I need another one. This one however will not be a continuation of Charlotte's, it will be for other people's clothes. There's actually a couple outfits on the original one that don't belong to Charlotte (Vanessa's Christmas dress, Ashley's Jason Wu dress, and others), and while I like having them hung up, they would be better on another rack. Also, there's another reason... I'm getting some more hangers soon! I was able to get a great deal on ten hangers, and I jumped on the chance to get them (more about those when they arrive). But the original garment rack simply does not have room for ten more items. Things are already a bit tight, and adding more would mean things would start getting really crammed and wrinkled, which sort of defeats the purpose of the garment rack. Today I made some progress on the second one. My father had some of those cabinet doors that I used to make the original one and he let me have them. I already marked on there where I need the holes drilled. I still need to get the dowels for the bars, but that should be easy to find.
I also need to figure out where the thing is going to go! Not enough surface area around here!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Admitting Defeat is never easy

Since I finished Twiggy's dress yesterday I was able to add her to the collection. She's living on Vintage shelf 2 with all of the other recent vintage additions. It's a bit of a disorganized mess (I still don't have the best way to display them), but she looks to be happy being among her peers. I do like looking over there and seeing her. I'm so happy that the dress came out as well as it did.
But since she was done, it was time to start working on another doll. I wanted to work on finishing another outfit that I started earlier in the month. I could pick between the dress from last week, or Skooter's outfit. I ended up picking the dress. Skooter's outfit needs a bit more work, and I'm still a little wary of the sewing machine. This other dress just needed some minor finishing details that I could do by hand.
And so I finished it. I was looking at it when I was done, and just wasn't in love with it. I tried adding a white ribbon belt to it to see if that would help warm me up to it. I liked it better, but... not on that doll. It was still a perfectly lovely dress and all, but I just wasn't feeling it on the doll I had it on. I tried it on Charlotte, and I could get it to fit (the dress is actually Francie sized), but it was a little tight. I thought about keeping it for Charlotte, but I wasn't in love with it on her either. Besides, she has so many dresses already, what's the point of giving her another that she'll never wear? I was looking though the collection for dolls with the BB body to see who else could fit it. Most dolls are either already dressed how I want them, or wouldn't work with that style, but I did find someone. Mary Clair caught my eye. She actually was still wearing her Christmas outfit (one of several dolls who still are). The fit is a little tighter on her than Charlotte (not sure why since they're both on the Belly Button body), but it still fits. I do like it on her, but I don't love her in it. I think eventually she will end up in something else, but it does look cute and it gets her out of her Christmas dress. It's March already!
It does stink that the doll I made the dress for will be going back to the naked party pad. I was hoping to get her dressed and into the collection, but there's no point in forcing myself to like something. At the end of the day it's my collection and I have the final say, and if I don't like something, I don't have to display it. I'm sure that doll will get dressed eventually, they always do.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Back to work people!

Continuing the theme of today's "creative week", I did some more work on some doll sewing. I didn't however pick back up Skooter. While I like her outfit and the direction it's going on I'm not ready to get back to making her shirt for the third time, especially since I haven't figured out that tension issue the sewing machine's been having. Instead I picked up another doll. This time it was Twiggy.
I do have a bit of a confession, she was already mostly dressed. I had managed to work on dressing her last week, but held of sharing it with you. She was basically done except for the back seam on her dress. That's usually the last thing I do when sewing. So today I finished it. I did end up having to tweak the back ends a little bit to get the bottoms to meet correctly, but it was an easy fix. I even took a photo and with great pride I'm pleased to introduce to you all, Twiggy:I'm pleased as punch how it came out. Let me tell you, for such a simple dress, it took days for me to make it. Part of it was from drafting the pattern, but a lot of it was the little details. The pattern was made using another Francie dress pattern as a guide (itself drafted from a Barbie dress pattern). I ended up dropping the waist, getting rid of the under bust darts, and adding the flared skirt.
The fabric might look familiar, it's some orange broadcloth that I used on that TNT Skipper dress a while back. It's broadcloth because I liked the vibrant color, and it was way cheaper than calico. Normally I try to not use broadcloth, but when it's the only option, I use it. It's fully lined in white. I manged to get most of the sewing on the dress done in one day, it was all the little touches that took forever. I hand hemmed the skirt (which I have been doing a lot lately). It's a little different since instead of sewing like normal I ended up using a whip stitch on it. I don't have the correct color thread for this fabric (my only orange is much lighter and stitches show up like a sore thumb) so in order to keep the stitches hidden when I sewed I only caught the lining fabric in the front. First time doing that, so it was a bit of a trial and error.
The plackets on the sides also gave me trouble. I had the worst time keeping them even and straight. It took me several times to get them anywhere decent. I was so mad, I got the right side in first (after a lot of work), then spent longer trying to get the left side to match. I ended up ripping out the machine sewing and hand sewing them in place. So not going to do that detail again any time soon. The black buttons are beads, they're a little wide, but they're what I had that worked. I liked the outfit as I was making it, but once I added the beads I loved it. You can't tell, but there's a matching bead on the back too.
For accessories it was both an easy and hard decision. The shoes were easy, they're actually the first thing I had for the outfit, and the reason why I went with orange for the dress. I've had them for a while, one of the Momoko dolls wore them for the longest, but when they changed clothes they no longer went with what they were wearing. They're reproduction Francie shoes that I bought from a store online that sell shoes for a great price, but gets you with the shipping. They are a little "rough", but passable. The socks were the hard part to decide on. The knee socks, while they usually are, were not my first choice. I actually purchased some other fabric for this outfit (my only actual purchase for it, everything else was on hand). I found this orange knit type fabric, which actually spawned me designing this entire outfit. It was bright, bold, and very mod. The thing was I didn't want to buy it just in case the outfit never came to be. I don't think I'd ever need something like that elsewhere. So that made me get to work on making the dress. If I liked the dress and it came out well, I could freely purchase the fabric to make the tights.
Needless to say, I made the dress, and liked it so I went and bought the fabric. I even drafted a pattern and made a test piece, followed by the actual tights (or in reality really high socks), but when I tried them on Twiggy I had a problem. The three orange pieces of clothing (dress, tights, and shoes) were all different shades, it didn't look that glaring when they weren't together, but in one outfit it was pretty bold. Just for the sake of discussion I tried on one of Charlotte's white tights (High sock) to see how that would look. I liked it better, so I ended up making a pair of knee socks for the outfit. I was flip flopping to which one I liked better, but ended up going with the white socks. The orange tight material ended up having a big issue, it has a lot of dye still left in it. I've been color fasting it for over a week, and the water still is orange every time I change it. I don't want to think of what that dye could do to poor Twiggy's legs! At least with the white socks she'll be safe, plus I love white knee socks!
And with what I did today she was done and free to join the collection! That's our first dressed doll of the month, but certainly not the last (I promise you that)!

Monday, March 19, 2012

You can just cut the tension with a knife

I spent most of today working on Skooter's outfit. I still like what I'm doing so I'm eagerly moving forward hoping that this will finally be the outfit she ends up with. I started off with the jumper. I did a few minor tweaks to it, and other than the back seam it's done! I also realized something about it. If she does end up with this outfit she'll be the first Skipper sized doll with a full skirt. Everyone up to now has either pants, or a pleated or aline skirt. It's usual because I can't get enough of Barbie in a full skirt, but her younger sister, no full skirts what so ever. Weird right?
I also made her a pair of shorts. Since she's going to be wearing a full skirt I wanted her to have something under it to preserve her modestly. Certain dolls get underwear, it's really a random thought process around here. Some dolls do, some dolls don't. I made hers with the dotted fabric I made her shirt out of. But when I was nearing finished with them, I noticed the thread tension was really off on them. It looked terrible. I think I'm going to have to redo them. But it's not that easy *Spoiler Alert* I have no clue how to fix the thread tension. Sure, I fiddle with the knob and try to make it better, but thread tension is easily the biggest thing I struggle with on using the sewing machine. It's one of those times I really wish I had some who knew how to sew in order to ask questions. I tried doing some online research in an effort to fix it, but only managed to make things worse with whatever I did. I did eventually manage to undo what I did, but I'm still having those tension issues. At least this finally motivated me to open the machine and clear out all the lint. It was really bad, especially in the presser feet. I'm hoping that my dusting will help fix some of my other sewing issues, because it certainly didn't help any with my tension issue. I won't lie, I'm a little intimidated by this issue, I just don't know what to do. I ended up avoiding the sewing machine for the rest of the day because of it.
But I do have more to report, I got something in the mail today! Hair Fair's new body arrived today. I was hoping it would get here today, but I wasn't counted on it, I hadn't ordered it that long ago, but when I went out to check the box it was here! I opened it, hoping for the best, but expecting the worst. First off, I was correct, the head was Growing Up Skipper's. I boiled some water and popped off Skipper's head and put Hair Fair's on. The body was basically in the shape I was expecting. The toes were damaged (the left side looks totally cut off), but other than that it was in good shape. All the fingers were there, and both knees clicked and held position. She was however very, very dirty, so I got my toothbrush and ivory soap and got to work. Her legs were the dirtiest, seems like those rubber legs just attract dirt. When I was cleaning I noticed she had two green spots on her left leg, one on her upper thigh, and one mid-thigh. They looked almost exactly like the spot that was on that Francie's face I bought a while back. With the dark green center and the lighter green ring round that. I took pictures of them and asked people online if they thought they were mold. I got several comments back, all different. Once person suggested they could be oxidization from metal in the legs seeping through, one person suggested it was tiny flecks of metal that had gotten into the skin during the molding process, and another suggested it was the remains of a already treated stain. Only one person seemed to think that it was mold. I thanked everyone kindly for their suggestions, but I was really thinking it was mold. I looked it up online, and actually for most of these issues, the only way to deal with it is to use acne cream to bleach it out. So that's what I'm doing. Luckily both spots are high enough on her leg that her dress covers them, and once the acne cream has dried on her leg, she can wear her dress without fear of it getting damaged. I'm just going to have to remember to check her every once in a while and redo the cream on her leg, and to see if it's working.
I checked the original ad, and the seller didn't mention the green spots. I could have made a fuss about it, but I only paid five dollars for the body, and other than those two issues, it's in really decent shape. So I decided to suck it up and deal with the spots, hopefully they will eventually clear up. And I do like having her on a TNT body. It does take a little getting used to, (I'm used to her having the curved Mexico arms) but I think it's definitely an upgrade. It just feels more like the kind of body she should be on. And I do like being able to use the original body she came on to upgrade Sweet Sixteen. Really, eleven dollars well spent!
(And don't tell anyone I said this, but I've been thinking about redressing her, not sure what yet, but it may happen. I find myself liking her dress less and less.)

Sunday, March 18, 2012

A step in the right direction!

Good news everyone, today has managed to be much better than yesterday! Although, it would be hard to actually tie or manage to be worse than yesterday. Luckily all those dreadful things that happened yesterday managed to not happen again today.
I even had a bit of luck, while I was online searching for fashion ideas, I found one, for Skooter of all people! I had a bit of a false start with an outfit for her earlier in the month, but this one seems promising. It does have something better than the original outfit, I have all the supplies for it on hand already. I'm going to need some red calico, and that red dotted fabric I bought recently. I do like it when I don't have to go hunting for anything, especially since I rarely find it when I'm looking.
I even made progress on it today. It's going to be a two piece outfit, a shirt, with a red jumper. I made both pieces today, but I'm going to have to remake them. There's some sewing issues that happened with both that I'm not really pleased with. So I'm going to remake them, and change how I did a few things. Luckily I decided to call it quits on the jumper rather early on and saved myself the trouble and fabric of adding the gathered skirt, but I did all of the machine sewing on the shirt before I decided it needed to be remade. Including putting the collar in, twice. I had to do it a second time because the first time I did it I did it wrong. I put the wrong side facing out. This fabric is really hard to tell the wrong side and the right side, it's different, but you really have to look close and it's easy to mistake it when you're working with it. I was so not happy about having to tear out a collar I just did, I still hate making collars so very much.
I didn't make much progress on the redo of the shirt, but I did make some on the jumper. I ended up lining the bodice this time, and it does look better. I got most of the machine sewing done, and even started on the seam reinforcements, and hand hemming the skirt. With a little more work, it'll be done. Now I just have to suck it up and remake the shirt.
Oh, I hope this is the outfit for her!

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Happy St. Patrick's Day Everyone

I hope your day was better than mine. I don't know how or what Leprechaun I managed to p.o, but he certainly made his anger known. Today was one of those days where if something could go wrong it did. It was this terrible one thing after the other that just kept kicking me while I was down.
I'll start off with the worst, I lost an E-bay auction. Like usual I was sniped at the last second. I re-bid with ten seconds left to go, ended up being the high bidder again, but I guess I left enough time for the other bidder to one up me again, and not enough for me to go higher. It sucks, and I really hate that practice. I know it's a perfect legitimate way to play the game (blah, blah, blah), but I just think it it's a pretty sucky way to win. I'd rather know I have the competition than have someone join in at the last fifteen minutes. So I'm mad about that, but I know I only have myself to blame, I do get too invested in these things. I'm trying to think about the big picture of things, but sometimes I don't want to have to be the bigger person. Just let me be small and petty, other E-bay user, you suck!
I also did some sewing today. It was an idea for Skipper. I liked it, I drafted the pattern, I made a test garment, I liked that, I picked out some vintage fabric for it, I cut it out, I made it, and I hated it. I was hoping for a 60's look, but it ended up more in the 70's. And to make matters worse, it ended up being far too tight. There was no way I was going to be able to make it close in the back. I'm really not sure how that happened. The test piece managed to close in the back, so I don't know why this one can't. So I'm unable to use it. Which is pretty common around here for one reason or another, but I'm pretty annoyed that I used vintage fabric for it since it's totally unusable. Just add that to the reasons why today was so dreadfully terrible.
I also noticed something really upsetting about my machine. I was re-threading it when the spool just fell off the machine. Curious I picked it up, it had never done that before. For some reason the oddest thing had happened. The spoke that holds the thread was broken. Not actually the spoke, but whatever was holding it in place on the machine. It wasn't holding anymore and the spoke now just falls into the opening when it's in place. I have no clue how this happened, I didn't hear anything snap or anything, it just happened. Luckily there's a second spoke I can use, but if that ends up failing I don't know what I'm going to do. I'd either have to find someone who can repair it, or buy a new machine. I guess I should start keeping my eyes peeled for cheap machines, just in case. I just hope it doesn't have to come to that.

I can't wait for today to be over, it sucks, SUCKS!

Friday, March 16, 2012

Restock!

I woke up super late this morning. I'm a little embarrassed to say how late, but I'll say this, if I slept an hour more I wouldn't have been able to say the "this morning" part of my first sentence. I was passed out! And I really did need it. I've been having sleep troubles again, and this was the first time in several days that I managed to actually make any progress in catching up on my missed sleep. So while I'm glad that I slept in, I know it's going to bite me in the backside tonight. I'm sure I won't be able to sleep at a decent hour. But you know what? I'm not going to dwell on it, I finally woke up feeling well rested.
Even though I was feeling more awake than usual, I didn't feel like doing anything. No pattern postings, no doll sewing, nothing, nada, zip! And so I didn't. I should have posted patterns, but doing six yesterday really burned me out. I did manage four days of getting them posted this week, so that's good. I even had one sell late last night, to a buyer in Canada. I did manage to get it all packed up for shipping. I made myself do that because I was going out today, and wanted to get it off into the mail the first chance I got.
I also had a few other places to go while out. One of the most important ones was Hobby Lobby. Yes, I'm going back in there again, but for a dire purpose. I'm very close to running out of white thread. And if I do run out of white thread, I'm going to be very cranky until I get some more. So I wanted to go and get some more before I officially ran out so I'd never actually be out. I bought the big spool of thread, and used the forty percent off coupon to make it more cost effective. Pretty standard purchase, so I'm not going to bother adding a picture. I also bought another thing at Hobby Lobby, some 1/8 white ribbon. The other day I used up the last of what I had and knew that I was going to need it again at some point so I wanted to stock up on it when I was in the store. I only was going to buy it if it was on sale this week, but ribbon by the spool was half off. I didn't get the exact same one as I normally did. They had it, and I planned on getting it, but as I was leaving the fabric section I was walking past the wedding section I had this feeling I had wanted to check something out in that section but couldn't remember what I was thinking of. Since I had time to kill I decided to look around. I ended up finding that section's ribbon display. Since there's a certain type of ribbon I'm looking for I checked what they had. I didn't find the ribbon I was looking for, but I found something that made me put back the ribbon spool I had in my hand. In this section they also had 1/8 white ribbon, it was a different company, but looked basically the same as the other one. But with this one was 75 feet compared to 18. I was expecting that it was going to be more expensive, but it was also 1.99, and half off. Of course I was going to get the 75 yards one, I'd be foolish not to. I haven't opened it yet, but when I do I'll let you know if the ribbon is the same as the one I used to get. I wouldn't be shocked if it was a cheaper ribbon, but for 53 more yards for the same price I had to try. I was good at Hobby Lobby and just got those two things. I'd like to say that I avoided all sorts of temptation, but I really didn't see anything that I wanted. Good news for my budget, right?
I didn't get much else while I was out. I did get a couple t-shirts at one store, but they're not for fabric, they're for me. I ended up "retiring" some of my older shirts, and needed some replacement ones. I didn't find exactly what I wanted, and had to get some a bit smaller than I was hoping for, but I think with some wear and washing they'll relax and fit better. And if not, I can always use them for fabric! I do have that option. But that's all I got.
Back at home I didn't do much, I hope tomorrow I feel more energized to do something. I have all this new thread that's dying to be used!

Even my computer is tired of patterns!

Today was a remarkably productive day around here. I managed to get six whole patterns posted over on Etsy. I also did six yesterday to make up for that one day I skipped earlier in the week. It literally took me all morning to get them listed. Normally it shouldn't take that long, but I had to take and edit all the photos this morning, and that's one of the biggest time wasters. Also my computer was being incredibly slow the entire time. Felt like every three seconds I had to stop what I was doing and let it think. If not it would freeze and I'd have to wait longer for it to unfreeze and I could get back to work.
Sadly, this is going to be the new norm. My computer is getting up there in years, and it's never liked being hot, even when new. With the recent warm up it's been dreadfully hot in my room. I may hate the winter, but it at least keeps the computer cool. I have a fan turned on that seems to be helping. I just hate when it's frozen like that, it's precious time that I could be using to get these patterns posted! Time is money computer, time is money.
When I was done with that (well, after lunch), I turned my attention to the blog. I'm still a couple days behind on it, and I've been working to get caught up. Right now I'm making decent progress, but it seems whenever I get caught up, I end up pushing myself to do so, then I don't want to blog for a few days, so I fall behind again. It's a vicious cycle!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Violence is never the answer.

That's what I keep telling everyone in the collection, but some of them just refuse to listen. I mean just today Hair Fair Barbie lost her head. Sweet Sixteen Barbie came along and just tore her in two. Then, Sweet Sixteen body had the gall to steal Hair Fair's body right out from under her when she was down. How Sweet Sixteen managed to do all that since she was only a head herself, I'll never know. But since it happened Sweet Sixteen has refused to listen to reason and just give back the body. She is quick to point out that it is a Sweet Sixteen body and if anyone should be using it, it should be her. She does have a very strong case.
And even if I tried to just take it from her I wouldn't be able to. She's been keeping her eyes locked on me ever since it happened, refusing to let me get out of her sight. I think since she's back to being a complete doll, she's not going back to being a head just so easily. Luckily, this problem is easily resolved. Because, I found and bought a new body for Hair Fair! Yes, again I find myself spending the money I had saved up. I should just admit it now that I really suck at saving money. I can't stop looking for bargains, and when I do I can't just let them get away from me. Today I found a TNT body in okay shape (missing toes, but the legs still click), for the super low price of 11 dollars (Five for the doll, six for shipping). And that's a really nice price, so I bought it. It also comes with a head, which I think is Growing Up Skipper's, the picture wasn't the clearest. Since that head clearly doesn't belong to that body I have no problem removing it and using the body for another doll.
After I bought the doll, I had a decision to make. Did I want to get a new Mod head to use for the new body, or use it to upgrade Hair Fair to a more accurate TNT body? If I did the latter I'd be able to add a Sweet Sixteen doll to the collection, since I now had a free body, and I bought her head in that bag of random stuff a while back. I decided to do the upgrade. I've been wanting to switch hair Fair to a TNT body, but didn't have the chance, and now one's presented itself. I already took of Hair Fair's head and put Sweet Sixteen together. I haven't gotten the body yet (I just ordered it tonight), but I figured that Hair Fair can wait. I mean she's already dressed, all I need to do is put her back together when her body arrives and redress her. Sweet Sixteen is a new addition(technically), so she needs all the help she can get in the dressing department. I'm glad I have a Sweet Sixteen doll, but another 70's doll! I'm so terrible at 70's clothing. They are easily the largest era in the Naked Party Pad!
I'm also pleased to say that when I completed Sweet Sixteen, that meant I used another thing from that bag I bought at the antique store, which means that Living Barbie isn't the only one who's benefited from it. Since she no longer has to carry the cost of the bag on herself alone. Living Barbie went from costing me 19 dollars to 13, and I totaled Sweet Sixteen Barbie at 17. That's six dollars for her half of the bag, plus the eleven for Hair Fair's replacement body.
And the cost for Living Barbie and Sweet Sixteen could go down even more. Right now they have the twelve dollars split between them, and if I use something else from that bag, then it'll be split over three dolls, making them 11 and 15 dollars. And in a best case scenario, someone will buy Brooke and that will make up the entire cost of the bag making Living Barbie seven dollars, and Sweet Sixteen eleven. Hey, a guy can hope right?
I did a quick search on Ebay, even at seventeen dollars that's not that bad of a price for a Sweet Sixteen doll. Especially since mine's in really great shape. Other than the fact that her torso is loose she's in wonderful condition. No melting or anything! She does need a bit of a more thorough bath, but other than that she's great. I just hope I can dress her somewhat quickly. Wish me luck, and also wish me luck she stops being so violent, I'm not used to dolls like that!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

TueZZZday

I had a terrible night's sleep last night. I went to bed like normal, but as soon as my head hit the pillow I was wide awake, which I sometimes happens. No matter how much I tried I just couldn't fall asleep. It was the kind of tired where I was too awake to go to sleep, but I wasn't awake enough to get up and do anything. I ended up watching TV for a while hoping it would lull me enough so I could sleep, but it was still several hours before I was finally tired enough to fall asleep.
I did sleep in a bit in the morning, but not very long, or very well so I've been a little tired all day. It kept me from posting my patterns today. I just wasn't feeling like fighting with my computer to get them all posted. Plus I missed the peak hours, so I might as well wait until tomorrow. I'd like to say I'll manage to make up for today some other time in the week, but I rarely manage to do it all five days. So at least I'm being consistent in that! I really didn't do very much today. It's hard to be motivated when tired.
But I did see something on Flickr today what was interesting. I saw one of my contacts posted a picture, (which is the point of Flickr). In it he had grouped all of the dolls he had that were wearing clothes he had made. That got me wondering about my own collection. What would a picture of all my dolls that are wearing my clothes look like? Since I just LOVE making an absolute mess of the collection I decided to try it. I pulled through it all selecting out the dolls that I made everything they are wearing (except shoes and the occasional accessory). I left behind dolls that were wearing any clothing items I didn't make. I might have made the shirt, but if I didn't make the pants they weren't included.
I used Charlotte's shelf for where I assembled everyone. It filled up surprisingly quickly. I've made lots of complete outfits for the collection. Several shelves looked pretty deserted when I was done. I actually ran out of room. I was planning on putting Charlotte in the picture front and center, but I didn't have the space for her. It's a really interesting sight, but since there's so many dolls you really can't see everyone. Most of the back rows are totally covered by the dolls in front. I will share the pictures with you, but they're not the clearest. That's what happens when you have so many dolls in one spot. It is everyone who's wearing clothing I made, except for Charlotte, one Ken I forgot to add, and without the Chatty Cathies or Cindy Sad eyes who I left out because they're so big. I know I've been sewing for most everyone in the collection, but it's so overwhelming seeing it all in one place. You'll see what I mean:And some close ups:

See what I mean about overwhelming? At least when I had most of the collection in one place it finally motivated me to dust most of their shelves. Now it's all nice and clean!

Monday, March 12, 2012

Starting Strong!

I woke up this morning, ready to start another week of posting patterns. I got the four I did yesterday posted on Etsy this morning. They are now out there for shoppers to see. I got those done pretty quickly, the more I do, the more efficient I become. It helps that they're all patterns and I can just do the exact same thing I did for the fifty other ones before it. When I start selling other stuff it's going to take longer since I'm going to have more actual thinking.
I even made some progress on tomorrow's patterns in the morning. I got all those ads written, and the photos taken. I still have to edit the photos. I would have done it in the morning, but I ended up going out instead. Yes, I could have skipped it, but I wanted to go out. Not for any real purpose, but to just get out.
I'd like to say I was good, but I try to not lie to you. I will say however, truthfully, I didn't go to Hobby Lobby. I could have if I wanted to, but I just didn't need anything there. I'm really trying to keep being good and only stop in when I really need something compared to wandering in just whenever I feel like it. I'm sure my wallet's happier about that bit of self control. I did however visit all of the second hand stores. That addiction is still up and running. Hey, one step at a time people.
The Christian United Outreach center was the first place I visited. Their toy section continues to be remarkable bare. I guess they haven't gotten anything in lately. I did managed to find something in the fabric section. It was this small bit of yellow cotton. I didn't really need it, but I really liked the color and since it was only a dollar I figured that I could get it and find a use for it later. I just love the color, it's so nice and sunshiney and not too over saturated. It kind of reminds me of the color of the room I grew up in. Sometimes I miss the yellow, certainly better than the light purple that I'm currently living in. Anyway, I got that and I also got a scarf. I don't actually need a scarf much less one that's pink fleece, but I did need the faux lambskin it uses on the other side. There's a Barbie outfit I want to try and make, and another project that needs it, so I figured that finding it was a sign. Also it was only a quarter, and you can't beat that price wise. And knowing my luck if I decided to not get it I'd never be able to find something like it ever again, so I might as well get it while I can. But also knowing my luck, that means I'll never get around to using it. Like usual!
After that we visited the Salvation Army, which was pretty barren. I ended up getting nothing there. The final store was the Goodwill, where I actually found something. I did have to talk myself out of getting a fuzzy orange hat for a fabric source, but the three dollar price tag really helped seal that deal. I have no idea why such a cheap hat was so expensive, I doubt it cost three dollars new. But like I said, I found something, two things actually. Both of them Barbie dolls. The first one I found was Happy Birthday Barbie. I looked her up online and it looks like she came out in 1990. She's in really great condition, with her original hairstyle and outfit (she even had her shoes)! I thought about keeping her, or at least swiping her outfit, but I don't think I'm going to keep any part of her. I think she's going to be listed over on the Dollpage, eventually. She's in such wonderful condition I'm sure somebody will want her. The other doll I found was one I was familiar with the moment I found her, she's a Little Debbie doll. I'll confess something to you all, when I was younger I wanted a Little Debbie Barbie. There was just something about her look that really interested me. But my family never really ate Little Debbie products, so I never was able to get enough proof of purchases to get one, or wouldn't know about the offer until it was well past. But this was more of a passing regret, it's not like I had sleepless nights over it or anything. It was always a "could have been" moment. Besides, I had plenty of dolls as a child, I really didn't need another one. (Not like I really need more at the moment either). But here she was, so I decided to get her. She came in her original outfit, but without shoes. Her dress and apron are both dirty, so I will need to clean them. They're not dirty from play, so I'm not sure what happened. Most of her clothes still has the stitches holding them into place. I had to remove them from the apron so I could put it on better. I'd like to say I'm finally happy to own a Little Debbie Doll, but I'm really not that impressed with her. I guess she's another doll that while coveted in childhood doesn't really hold up well. I mean, she's a pretty doll and everything, but her outfit is so cheap. The fabric is really thin, and the execution is pretty shoddy. I mean the sewing has some issues that mine does, and I'm doing this for fun, not for business. I know they were "given away", so they didn't want to invest a ton of money making them, but you'd think they could have done better. Depending on how her outfit cleans up I think she too has a date with the Dollpage. It's disappointing that neither doll is going to be sticking around, but at least I get to own them for a little while. And besides, I don't really need more dolls! (Unless they're vintage, those dolls are ALWAYS welcome!)

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Now's the time to sell, sell, sell!

Here we are again, back to another week of posting patterns. I sorted though the box of the ones I still have to post today. We're really making progress on them. I don't want to say that I'm going to be running out of them any time soon, but I'm at least more than halfway done with them. Now that the end is in sight, I'm not sure what I'm going to do once they're all posted. Maybe I'll have to start buying other stuff for resale in Etsy store. I kind of like having a working shop, makes me feel somewhat more productive, plus the money is always good. These dolls don't buy themselves.
I managed today to get four patterns all ready for listing tomorrow. I worked my way through them pretty quickly, without much trouble, except for with the last one. I had most of the ad written, but when I checked the pattern pieces, most of them were missing. I looked in the box to see if it was there (there's a couple pattern pieces that are just floating around in there), but didn't see it. I decided to list it anyway, just at the super low price of a dollar. I wrote in the ad several times that it was incomplete, just to make sure there wasn't any misunderstandings. I hope whoever purchases it (if anyone) reads that. I'd hate for any trouble to come about over it.
Once the ads were written and the pictures taken and edited the day was mine. It's just I really wasn't exactly sure what to do. I'm still stuck on dressing any of the undressed dolls, but I wanted to get something else done today. Eventually I ended up going back to the dress that I started yesterday. I wasn't exactly thrilled to pick it back up again so soon, but it was the best thing I had to work with. So that's what I worked on today. I started off with ripping out the skirt stitches that I messed up right before I called it quits last time. Once that was undone it was time to work on the biggest issue I had with it, that darn fit problem. I ended up having to rip out a lot of what I had done, including practically take off the entire skirt, but I managed to make the fit a little sharper. Confident that I had solved that problem, (or at least fixed as much as could be fixed) I started working on finishing the dress. I basically was finished it, save for a few minor touches, but when I was going to add the second snap, those horrible fit issues flared up again, and they brought along a friend. From all the work and rework I've had to do with this dress we've had some fraying of the fabric. Since it's a larger woven fabric it tends to really fray quickly, especially when you're putting it though all the torture that I did. So there were several spots that ended up looking pretty terrible. I knew that I could technically leave well enough alone and just live with it, but I didn't want to. I want to be better than just settling for what's easiest. So I decided I couldn't leave it like that.
But that wasn't an easy choice to make, that meant that I was going to have to remake the dress. There was nothing I can do to fix that bodice, it would be more work to take it apart then to just redo it. Also more handling means more fraying. I might as well start fresh, using what I learned from the first dress to improve the second one. Redoing it is harder than it sounds because I didn't actually have enough fabric to totally redo it. I was using a small scrap that I had that barely enough to make the first dress, much less a second one. I had enough left over to remake the bodice, but I was going to have to use the same skirt from the first one (which was a good thing, since I hand hemmed it, and I'd hate to lose all that hard work). I was a little concerned that the skit fabric couldn't handle more sewing, but I was going to have to try. It's either that or settle for something I was already unhappy with. So I ripped off the skirt and got started remaking the bodice. This time I was going to line it. That would hopefully get rid of that fraying problem. I was also going to taper the side seams a little better (before adding the skirt) to make the fit better. Hopefully I'd be able to get rid of those pesky fit issues.
The second go around actually did go much better. Although I did have some issues with the collar not going in correctly, something new each time. I like the lined bodice much better, it looks much more professional. While I made lots of progress on it, I didn't finish it today. Therefor there's no pictures to share (sorry!). You will get pictures when I'm done with the few things that still needs finishing, but that might have to wait until next week. This week's all about the selling!

Saturday, March 10, 2012

End of a "creative" week in title alone

I have to start off this post again saying I've hit another financial snag. Before you all start gathering your pitchforks and lighting your torches and assembling as an angry mob, let me tell you, I didn't buy a new doll. In fact I didn't buy anything for myself. I spent my money on my Mom's birthday present. Her birthday is rapidly approaching at the end of the month (in fact all my immediate family celebrates our birthday's between the months of March and July) and I needed to get her something. I wanted to get her something she really wanted, and I did have a decent idea of what she wanted I just needed to find the best price for it. Late tonight I managed to find a new one at a decent price, so I bought it. It's going to be here sometime next week. I doubt she reads my blog, but just in case she stumbles onto it I'm going to keep the present a secret. I just need to remember to tell my Dad so that he doesn't get the same thing for her. I'm not gong to bother updating the money counter since I didn't clear it completely out, but the next couple of sold items I'm not going to be able to update it either.

I did do some sewing today. It started off as an idea for Skooter, but after making most of the bodice I just was feeling it on her. I didn't gave up, I still liked what I was making, but just not on Skooter. Instead I gave it to someone else. Luckily with some of these dolls even though they're older there's not much difference in size. After I switched dolls I kept working on it, but it wasn't easy, the fabric I chose is super fray happy, and is being such a nightmare. I ran into some fit issues and while trying to fix that managed to screw up the skirt. That's when I called it quits for the day (it was pretty late in the day to be sewing). I'm not totally sure if I'm done for just tonight or forever on that dress. I'm not liking how it's turning out. Stupid fit issues!

Friday, March 9, 2012

Oh, Skooter...

I started with some sewing today. I decided that even though I didn't have the right fabric I wanted to make a go at Skooter's outfit. I need to draft the pattern for the sweater, and I figured I might as well try it before I invest any money into it. I pulled out some thin blue fleece I got in a group of random fabric to use for the test run. I figured it's close enough to flannel. It's the only flannel like thing I have. Well, that's not true, I actually do have some flannel, but I'm not using my patterned stuff on a test run like this. So I drafted a pattern and sewed it up. And I won't lie, it was very unimpressive. It was just very bulky and boxy. Not at all what I imaged in my head. I think I'm going to have to work on something else for her. So I guess it's good that Hobby Lobby didn't have what I wanted. I will begrudgingly admit it saved me money. But it still doesn't make up for the hundreds of other times it's let me down!

I was done sewing for the day after that little hiccup. Instead I focused on cleaning. Again I've managed to let that get away from me. It's hard using a desk when it's piled under a million things that don't belong there. I didn't start cleaning off the desk right away though. Honestly part of the problem there is that most of the stuff on there doesn't have a home yet (other than on top of the desk). I started to the right of the desk, on my dresser. Which has also become quite the catch all for my stuff. But the difference between the two is the stuff on the dresser actually belongs somewhere, and just hasn't been put away yet. So I started there, clearing it off, and finally putting things away. While I was doing that I also organized Charlotte's garment rack. It's now much nicer looking, and everything's been put back where it belongs. I got the entire thing cleared off, which is rather nice. I'm too embarrassed to say how long it's been since it was this clean. But I wasn't done just yet. I also cleaned off the set of plastic drawers I use for the Barbie clothes. Typically when I'm done with a clothing item I usually just stick it on top. I eventually put it away, but the drawers are so full it's a bit of a hassle to deal with to just put one thing away. Once I have several things on top to file I go through and put them into the correct bags so I can find them again when I'm looking for them. I did that, but I also cleared out a lot of other stuff that had piled up on there. Stuff that I put there in case I needed it soon, but it's been a couple months, and I still haven't used it. I cleared it off, put stuff away, and threw out a couple things that I realized I'd never use. Again, please don't ask me to tell you how long some of that stuff's been there, it's been months for some of it.
And my desk wasn't neglected during my massive clean up. While it didn't get the massive clearing off like the other two did, I did manage to get several big space wasters sorted out and put away. So it's not clean, and there's still lots of stuff littering the surface it's certainly an improvement. One of these days I'm going to have to suck it up and do a massive clear off. But today's work made it much easier to actually use my desk. Although, I'm sure I'll mess it up again. I always do.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Never Sew when Mad

It never ends well.

I really didn't do much today. I'm a bit stuck in my doll sewing at the moment. It's supposed to be a creative week, but I certainly don't feel very creative at the moment. I guess I used up all my creative energy when I got both that Fashion Queen and Ken dressed and moved from the Naked Party Pad late last month. At the time I did have several ideas for other dolls, but the more I thought about them the less I liked, so I ended up deciding against what I was planning to make.

I have been noticing a disturbing trend lately. I've been becoming increasingly hypersensitive. It's weird, lately whenever anything bad happens, no matter how small, no matter how easily it should roll off my back, it manages to upset me far more than it should. I'm not normally like it (or at least I normally don't think I am), but for the last week or so I've noticed that the littlest things to go wrong affects me in a really harsh way. I guess I'm feeling a lot of frustration right now and while I'm trying to stay above it, the second anything goes bad I fall right back into it. Even sewing falls under that problem. I was sewing something today, just really to sew something (which is still something I do), and the moment I ran into an issue, anger flared up. Instead of dealing with it, or stopping and calming down I just kept going. And I actually ended up breaking a needle (Oops!). I kind of think it was both my fault and the fact the needle was pretty dull. I was trying to make it go through several layers of fabric at one time, but it was also way overdue for a new needle.
So I sewed while angry. Made most of the dress. Hate it, don't plan on working on it again to finish it. It's just ugly and terrible. So really, I could have skipped sewing and had the exact same result.
I hope these anger issues clear up. I don't like being this way.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

And Repeat

I went out again today, I know, I know. For some reason I've been going out basically every day this past week. I'm not really sure why, but when I'm asked, I go. It is easier than saying "no" twenty or so times. Also I did need to go out and get something into the mail. I had something sell late last night and I wanted to get it into the mail as soon as possible. So I was able to get that taken care of. I also pleased to say that because of this sale I'm now twenty dollars closer to my financial goal. I've already updated the money counter two full bars. It's looking pretty full, even though we're still pretty far from our goal. Although, we are inching our way to the halfway point. And when we reach that, that's when I'm going to e-mail the seller to ask if the dolls are still available and if they'd be willing to lower the price if I bought three of them. Here's hoping that we keep making progress!
So after going to the post office, I had some other places to go. One of the places I really wanted to visit was Hobby Lobby. I know, I'm trying to keep from spending so much money there, but you'll understand why I needed to go there once I explain it. I was buying materials, for an outfit, for Skooter! I finally had an outfit idea that I really, really liked for that Skooter doll that I bought last year. I'm not normally so thrilled over an idea for dressing a single doll, but Skooter is the hardest vintage doll to dress for me. She's just got so many looks that don't work for her that when getting her dressed just right it's near impossible for me. So I was psyched when I found something I liked and wanted to make for her. I just needed some supplies to get for it.
The first thing I needed was some yellow flannel. I was going to use it to make Skooter's "sweater" for the outfit. I needed yellow, which I thought was pretty common, but nope. Oh, they had yellow, but my options were sick urine, or "maize". Sick urine (lemon tree by their naming) was this harsh super over-saturated color. I've never seen a lemon of that color. It was just gross looking. Skooter's face is actually a bit yellowed, so I'm pressing my luck using yellow in her outfit in the first place, but that color would have definitely made her look very sallow. And while yellow is my favorite color, even I would admit it was an extremely ugly shade of it. So it was pretty unusable. And that left me with "maize", which never should have been classified as yellow. It was the whitest yellow I've ever seen. No joke, I held a bolt of "ivory" flannel next to it, and they looked identical. I really think they were the same fabric, just with a different label. So I couldn't use that one either. It really shouldn't be that hard to find your classic yellow flannel. I'm not asking for the stars here. I guess I'm going to have to start shopping at Hobby Lobby without any expectations, because it always manages to never have whatever I'm looking for no matter how common I think it should be.
But I did have some good luck while I was out, just not at Hobby Lobby. Since we were going out so late in the day we could only visit one second hand store, the Christian United Outreach Center. It's in the same plaza as Hobby Lobby, so while we stop in at one, it's easy to visit the other as well. It was almost closing time and they were already packing up the stuff in the front, but we still stopped in briefly. The toy section was still just as desolate as last time, and it looked like the fabric section was going to be a disappointment as well. But then I found this:Oh, I am super excited about it. It's some of that "dotted Swiss" fabric that I used to moan about not having any more of early on in the blog. It came from Walmart, and the bit that I had was a remnant that was the last I ever saw of it in the store. I've been checking every fabric store I've been in for something like it, but have never seen anything like it. I was hoping that when the fabric section came back to Walmart we'd get a bolt of it, but we haven't yet (or didn't before I started not shopping there). This was one of my favorite fabrics and one that I used every last bit I had. I even using the scraps to cobble together a blouse that Cinderella is still wearing. I was so thrilled to find some more of it (and it was only a dollar!). I've already opened it, I have about a yard and a half of it. The first piece I had I used most of it to make a Chatty Cathy dress (which I still love and she's currently wearing), but she's not getting a thing made from this one. Sorry Chatty Cathy, this stuff is rarer than gold. I need to make it last a long, long time. Who knows who'll be the first person to get something made from the fabric.
I'm so happy I have more of it! Makes the sting of being burned by Hobby Lobby hurt a little less (at least I can say that I didn't spend any money there this trip).

Monday, March 5, 2012

Some Mail on Monday

I got out early this morning. I had stuff to do. I have two dolls sell over the weekend (to the same person) and I wanted to get them into the mail today. If I didn't do it today I'd have to wait until Wednesday at the earliest. So I wanted to get them taken care of and on their way. I got that done, and I've already e-mailed the buyer that their package is on its way. I'm glad someone wanted these dolls. I bought them a while back for the collection, but we never really bonded. I hope they'll be happy in their new home.
And I was able to get back their original cost to me! So I'm pleased to say I can finally add some color to the money counter thermometer. Look at it over there, do you see how full it looks? That's only twenty dollars in there. It just looks so much better compared to when twenty dollars would have only been a drop in the bucket. Here's hoping it'll continue to get higher!
While I was out I managed to also visit the few remaining thrift stores that I missed yesterday. It was only the Salvation Army and the Christian United Outreach Center. The CUOC was really bleak. I think they cleared out their shelves recently and haven't gotten much back in. I didn't see anything remotely interesting, and didn't bother getting anything. At the Salvation Army I didn't see anything of interest for me. I did however pick up this black ceramic poodle. But like I said it's for someone else and not me. It may look familiar because I bought one similar a couple of months ago, to "repay" a Flickr friend who sent me a present. I actually got both of them from the same store, I think they're from the same company, they both look way too similar to be just a coincidence. This new one is a little more beat up, I can see where the head broke off and was re-glued, and one of the eye is missing it's paint, but it's still cute. I actually haven't sent the first one yet (how shocking I'm procrastinating on something...) because I was hoping to find something else to send in the box. Just the one poodle plus some other minor stuff seemed like it was missing something. Now that I have the second one I feel like that's enough stuff to feel like a real present. I just have to pack it up and get it into the mail. Here's hoping I don't drag my feet on that too long. I need to be getting stuff out of my room, not adding more things, especially when it's not something I collect.
Maybe tomorrow will be more productive, but at least I got those dolls mailed!