Friday, September 28, 2012

Hellos and Goodbyes

Hello everybody.

While I know that today marks the end of my week long hiatus from blogging, I have some bad news... it's going to be going on for a bit longer. But, not by choice. You see, today my computer officially died. Well not the computer but the power cord, but the end effect is the same. It's been giving me trouble for the longest, and today it finally bit the big one. I was hoping it would last me a bit longer, but it was not meant to be. So for the time being, I'm without a computer.
A new cord has already been ordered, but it won't get here until the fourth, so I won't have regular access to a computer until then. For this post I'm using my father's since he's out and he let me borrow it. But I don't want to inconvenience him too much by always borrowing it.
I do have things to share with you all, but it's just going to have to wait. I just wanted to let you all know why I'm going to be quiet for the next couple of days. Hopefully once my cord comes I'll be able to get all caught up, even though I'm not really thrilled having to learn this new blogger interface.
Oh well, I'm sure I will!

Friday, September 21, 2012

Well it's happened again

I've decided I needed another break from blogging. And while usually it's because I'm overwhelmed, this time it's because I'm underwhelmed. I've simply run out of ideas and I am low on creative juices. So instead of driving myself crazy and doing a bunch of "I tried to sew and it was a mess" posts I'm going to take a break from sewing and from blogging. If some rare accident happens and I find myself doing some doll sewing, I'll share it with you.
But unless that happens, I'm going to be laying low for a week. Like usual I'm still several days behind, so you should be hearing some catch up posts from me, but usually when I say that I find myself putting it off each day and never getting caught up.
Really, I'm not sure if I'm in the right mood to be getting caught up anyway. I'm not sure what's up but I've been feeling a bit blue lately, and it may color my attitude. So hopefully this break will help me clear my head and get back into enjoying doll sewing again.
Oh, and I'm not saying this because I want people to console me, I just need to give myself and write a given time for me to be away so I don't feel guilty about saying nothing and not updated the blog. This post is mostly for me (which can be said for all of the other posts too.)

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Dear blogger,

You made me "upgrade" to your terrible overhaul today.

I hate it, and it seriously makes me rethink blogging with you.


-Aubrey

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

It's over...

It's official, my creative streak has ended. We all knew this day was coming, but it's finally here. I am a bit saddened by it, I was hoping it would last 2-3 more dolls, but it was not meant to be. I am greatful that with it I was able to dress eight dolls, which is huge. During that three week period I created the same output of four month.
But that it's over we get another period where nothing happens. I did do some sewing today, working on the patterns for Joe's Halloween costume. I'm going to need to draft all new patterns, so work will be slow going. Good thing I have about a month and a half to work on it.
Also today I finished Fluff's outfit. It was 99 percent finished, but I had a hard time figuring out how I wanted to decorate the blouse. I originally had a bow at the neckline and buttons, but after deciding she needed hair bows (I do love hair bows), the one at her neck seemed a bit excessive. I tried lots of stuff in my mind, but nothing seemed to work. In the end I just attached four seed pearls to it for mock buttons. I'm not totally in love with it, and if I found something better I'd have no problem ripping these out and redoing it, but it works for now. Fluff is also our second dressed doll of the month, which is awesome. Here's Fluff in her finished glory:


Now that I reached my month average, I can take the rest of the month off, right? Just kidding! I still have to finish P.J.'s outfit. I did include her for the total of the dolls I got dressed during my creative streak, now I just have to finish it so I can add her to the collection.
Right now I'm hoping my creative streak will have a second wind and more will get dressed. Keep your finger's crossed for me. Even with my optimism I'm thinking it might be a bit of a dry spell.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Go away today!

Today was not such a good day.

I made attempts on dressing two dolls, and both of them were terrible failures. All I have to show for it are two piles of fabric destined for the trash heap. I'm going to have to start from scratch for both of those dolls, but not today. I won't lie, I was not in a good mood when that happened. It's been a while since I had two failures like that back to back, so it really threw me into a tizzy. I was really mad about it.

So I took a break. In the evening after a couple hours of not sewing, I started to work on a different project. One that I already had the patterns worked on for, I just needed to do it. It was the underskirt for Charlotte's Halloween costume. I had started it the other day, but ran into trouble and quit. I originally tried gathering the skirt because I really didn't feel like doing those pin pleats like I usually do, and going with the pictures I'm using for reference, that's how the original underskirt was constructed. But since the original character is practically twice the size of Charlotte, getting that full of a skirt using the gathered method leaves a lot of bulk at the waist, and since I'm skirting (pun intended) a too thick waist already, I couldn't use that in the end. Today I went and pinned it. I made decent progress on it, even managing to get it done today. No pictures of it since it's late and the camera won't take a decent shot, but it's really cute.

I'm about halfway done with this costume now since the bodysuit isn't alone anymore. (Although I have decided I'm going to need to remake the dress entirely.)

Sunday, September 16, 2012

I think I'm getting carpel tunnel from this Blog..

So, another day where I sat down and worked on getting caught up on blogging. I'm still behind, but at least now I'm four less days behind. I guess I'm going to have to keep doing this in order to get back on track. Lately instead of working on the blog each day like I should I've been putting it off. But at least I'm working on it sometimes. After today and this post I'll only be five days behind, so I'm making progress, however slowly.

But I do have a doll related question for you all. Today I fished this vintage Ken outfit out of the clothing bag to try on that third Mod Ken who's still undressed. I forget the official name, I bought it a while ago. I'm missing part of it, so I'm going to have to make a shirt for it. I'm still on the fence if I like him wearing it or not. I'm thinking it's looking a bit... stuffy compared to everyone else. What do you all think?







Saturday, September 15, 2012

Third time's the Charm

I went out again this morning, yes I know, again. But this was a really quick trip, and a necessary one. I needed to get those patterns into the mail today. I've already made one person wait several days before doing so and I already felt really bad about it, and would feel even worse if I had to make them wait any longer. They were all ready to go last night right after I got home, but I had to wait until morning to actually get them to the post office. So today I got them all taken care of and they're in the mail system and out of my hands. One's going to Germany, and the other to the United Kingdom. I still think it's so cool that my patterns are going to these places all over the globe!
I also went to one of the thrift stores while out since it was on the way and we hadn't gone yesterday. It was a real quick stop, and I didn't find anything I wanted, sometimes those things happen.
When I got back home I started working on Charlotte's Halloween costume, but not the dress. With this costume there's two undergarments that go underneath it. There's a bodysuit, and a petticoat. Originally I decided to only make the petticoat since I felt the bodysuit would add bulk to the costume, and I didn't plan on taking the dress off her, but since I wanted to work on it, but haven't made a decision on the dress I decided to take a stab at it. Also it looks like the dress would fit better if Charlotte was wearing something under it, so I decided to make it. It was like this was a sign or something.
I did have to draft the pattern for the body suit. I used photos of the original one to create my own pattern. I used the pattern for Charlotte's turtleneck with sleeves bodysuit to make one that was sleeveless. I did change something from the original bodysuit, what material it was made of. The original is a cotton organza, mine is jersey knit in order to make it more form fitting and less bulky. Since Charlotte is an adult and the character she's portraying is a child I will need to do some adapting to keep the outfit less bulky and not throw off the proportions of Charlotte too much. While it would be nice to be able to say it was a totally accurate reproduction of the original, at the end of the day whether or not it looks good on Charlotte is my biggest concern.
Since I've worked with this pattern a lot and wasn't changing a whole lot, I skipped making a test piece from what I adapted. I started with attaching the sides together. That's usually a late step in the original way these things are constructed, but with changing the top part, it also made the pattern three separate pieces instead of one single one, so I needed to sew them all together before I could start working on the rest of it. I used the tulle trick to help hem the leg holes, but I needed to add something when I was topstitching them. The bodysuit I'm copying has a cute scalloped trim around both leg holes (it also has it around the top). I did have a useable trim that I had bought a while back. It was some eyelet material, and I'd have to trim it since it was too wide and just use the scalloped edges. So I did both legs like this, but when I was cutting away the excess material, the back part of the bodysuit swung down and got caught in the scissors, and I cut it. I haven't had this happen often, but when it does, it infuriates me! I hate it! So, that end up being a waste of time. I used it to see if it fit Charlotte, and when I figured out it did, I threw it into the trash. Grr. I guess I ended up making a test piece after all.
But I wasn't ready to give up just yet. After I cooled down, I started on it again. I made sure that this time I didn't get the fabric caught between the blades of the scissors when I was cutting. I managed to get all the machine sewing done on this one. I even was able to add the scallop trim to the top when I was doing the topstitching, including mitering it to match up with the corners. But when I was working on finishing it, I ran into some trouble. Since I was adding a cotton trim to the legs, I was really getting rid of the stretchy aspect of the fabric. It could still stretch, but not as much as normal. I was able to get Charlotte's legs in it, but it was a little tight, and it was really hard to take it off her. Also since I had used a small seam allowance for the legs, there was a bit of extra fabric... down there, between her legs. This isn't that big of a deal, but with Charlotte's legs together... it created some wrinkles... that were very.... unsightly and inappropriate. So I decided that I couldn't use it. Between the fit issue and that other issue, I wasn't happy with it, and was never going to be.
So I made it for a third time, using a large seam allowance for the legs. That seemed to fix both issues (even though there's still some wrinkles down there, but they're not nearly as obscene as before. I managed to finish this one, even attaching the ribbon straps (which also use that scalloped trim on each side). I did have to take one side out entirely and reposition it, but boy am I glad to be finished with it. This was quite the ordeal. But I will say that I like it, it's a really cute bodysuit. I think this will end up in Charlotte's wardrobe, even if the rest of the costume does not. For a gal with so many clothes, she does end up nude a lot, so it's always nice to have some quick and modest underthings to throw on.

And I got a present in the mail today! From Muff at "Hey, It's Muff". She graciously offered to give me this darling dress that she got in a box of stuff. I know I'm normally "I dislike pink", but this is too cute! It has a tag in it for Disney, (which I kind of guessed just based off it's design before I found the tag) so I assume it's for a line of Ice Skating dolls based on it's fur trim and general design. If I had to take a guess I'd say Sleeping Beauty, since her usual colors are Pink. I roped my lemon bubblecut into wearing it since she was the closest one handy, but I'm not letting her keep it. I'm definitely going to be using this in my Christmas decorations!
Thank you so much Muff!

Friday, September 14, 2012

Conundrum

I went out again today. I sort of didn't need to, but I sort of did. You see I had another two pattern sell, which is just awesome. The thing is, I went to get the padded envelopes to pack them in, and wouldn't you know it, I was out. I honestly thought I had another package left. I did have larger envelopes, but I decided that they could slide around in them and get beat up when traveling, so the smaller envelopes would be better. But that was a problem, because it was already so late in the day that I could either make it to the post office before it closed, or make it to the dollar store to get envelopes, I couldn't do both.
I ended up getting the envelopes today. I guess the patterns will get into the mail tomorrow. I bought three packages of them, as well as one of the larger envelopes (it was the only one in the store). So next time I sell a pattern I won't have to make a decision to mail it a day later or in a too big envelope. I now have enough packing supplies for four more patterns, and hopefully I'll be more aware of my envelope status and not run out again like that.
Since the post office was closed by this time, I ended up making my way over to the Christian Second Hand store. We had just been there the other day, but we were in the area, and it was still open. I didn't find much. I managed to avoid getting some newer dolls to resell since they wouldn't bring in that much money and I still have a pile of other dolls waiting to be listed, but I still got something. It's an older Halloween jack-o-lantern bucket. I only got it because it was cute, looked vintage, and was only fifty cents. I'm not sure how old it is, but it was made in Norfolk Virgina. I think he's going to stick around for this Halloween for decorations, but not sure if he'll end up living here. He does have a fun expression, I keep chuckling whenever I look at it.
I also stopped into Hobby Lobby today. Now that my phone is working I had the coupon to use. I ended up getting a half yard of that brown fur I scoped out last time I was in there. It's actually "Furry Felt". All I know is, that it was brown, was short enough to work in 1:6 scale, and had a right side and a wrong side. That's all I was looking for. Hopefully it isn't too terrible to work with. I haven't done anything with it yet, but so far it seems okay. I also made an impulse buy when I was there. I was looking though the fabric section when I found a new bolt of black calico. They had finally restocked it. It was the expensive stuff, but it was not gray like the other bolt. I ended up getting a half yard. I need it for at least three separate projects right now so I figured that I should get it. Hopefully there will be some left over after these three projects so I can have some in my stash, but I've lived a while without any black calico not having any for a bit isn't that big of a deal. I guess I don't use black that often.
Back at home I started working with Charlotte's Halloween costume again. Last time I was working with it I noticed that I had messed up in a spot where the collar met the neck hole opening, and I had to rip the entire thing out to fix. I did that, and fixed it, but it ended up being worse. I tried it for a third time, and while it's better I'm noticing some issues with the dress. The fabric is starting to look a little pulled in several spots, especially in the sleeves. It's starting to look bad, and there's some fit issues again. I'm starting to think buying my fabric from Walmart was a bad idea. This is the second time that just from sewing the fabric has started to show more wear than it should. Not happy about that. There's also some fit issues going on so I'm thinking about just redoing it. But I'm not thinking about that right now. I don't even want to deal with that tonight.
It's a good thing nobody replies to yesterday's post, since I did absolutely nothing to do with any of the options (okay, maybe the Halloween costume one, so barely nothing).

Thursday, September 13, 2012

The Clicking of the Keys

What a dull day.

I've been really bad about getting caught up on my blog posts from last month, and to make matters worse, I've been getting behind in this month too. So I spent today working on it. I managed to get four entire posts written and posted, not including this one. I'm still an entire week behind, scattered over the past couple of weeks, but I'm glad that I'm slightly less behind. I guess that's what I'm going to have to do, taking days where I devote the entire day to getting caught up. The days where I'm both sewing and writing rarely work out well.

So hopefully I'll get back to sewing tomorrow. But I haven't decided what I'm going to do yet, so I'm going to ask you, my dear readers to decide for me.

Which do you think I should do tomorrow?
A. Work on P.J.'s outfit
B. Work on Fluff's outfit
C. Work on Charlotte's Halloween costume
D. Work on getting caught up n the blog
E. Work on dressing a different doll (my choice of who)
F. None of the above (Fill in your idea in the comments)

I eagerly await your decision dear readers!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Back out with Reservations

When I decided to skip going out yesterday it was with the knowledge that today would be a better option to go out. I had more time so I didn't have to rush and in general less other stuff to get done during our time out. It's just... I didn't want to go.
I was again feeling guilty for being such a burden on my parents. There are times were I just feel so bad for still living with them it just gets me down. I honestly thought about skipping the whole trip. That way if I don't go, I wouldn't be tempted to spend any money. Late last night I made the decision that I was going to skip the trip and just stay home, but I ended up needing to go. I had two things sell last night from my Etsy store. Not to the same person, but two separate orders. It was quite shocking since lately I haven't had anything sell, and then I had two back to back sell. And I'm not complaining or anything, I'm thrilled that something's sold. It just meant that I had to go out in order to get them into the mail. Yes, I didn't have to go, and could have just sent my Dad to the post office on my behalf, but I always feel bad making him run my errands like that. So I ended up going. I did however skip getting the more expensive items on my list (which I will need to get eventually), and tried to curb my spending into what I need compared to what I want. Not that I was always so successful in that.
We did stop into the second hand stores, and I managed to avoid getting anything in the first two of them. It's just at the Christian Second Hand store I found my downfall. I managed to get two things there. One of them was a bit of adorable rose fabric for a dollar, and the other one was a pattern. The fabric is super adorable, and would work wonderfully for a vintage doll. I got about a yard with a tiny but cut out from it. The pattern is Vouge pattern number 8658 for a 23" Teddy Bear. Don't worry, I don't plan on going into stuffed animals, but I'm going to need to use that pattern for a project of my own. I don't need it in that size, but the shapes will be very helpful in what I'm going to be doing. That was only a quarter, so I really didn't break the bank on either thing actually.
I also stopped into Hobby Lobby, where I was also trying to be frugal. I was there for a couple reasons. The first one was to pick up some more bobbins. They were on sale this week, and I needed more. Since my Kenmore is still down and out I'm using my mother's Brother machine. All the bobbins I have are metal, and the Brother one needs plastic. I have about eight that are plastic, but that's not enough. I've been running out of empty bobbins and have been forced to undo some when I'm in dire need of an empty one. I bought a new package, so I'll have plenty of spares. And when my Kenmore gets fixed I can give these to my mother. I needed to stop in this week since they were on sale and I didn't want to wait several weeks until they were on sale again. My second reason for being there was that I was looking for a specific fabric for Joe's Halloween costume. It's going to be a companion piece to Charlotte's. I just didn't have anything for it in my stash, and was curious if Hobby Lobby had anything that worked. I was looking for some craft fur. I looked in that section, but everything I found was either the wrong color or the hair was too long. I didn't want Joe looking like the Shaggy Dog! I did find something that would sort of work for what I wanted in the fabric section, but held off getting it. So all I bought there was the bobbins, and a new sheet of snaps since I started using my last full sheet and didn't want to run out (and they were also on sale).
There's a reason why I didn't get that fabric when I was there, it wasn't on sale, and I didn't have a coupon. That's because I didn't have my phone. I have yet to get it to turn on from turning it off yesterday to show my mom what was going on, so I didn't even bother bringing it out with me. For someone who rarely uses my phone, I really feel so lost without it. It's such an inconvenience to not have it the few times that I actually need it. Luckily I'm going too long without one. Yesterday the people at Verizion sent me a new (to me) phone overnight. It actually arrived when I was out. So I won't be without one after I get this new one all set up. Please keep your finger's crossed for me that this one works. So far it's worked like it should. I'm going to slowly start putting everything back on it. I'm not totally raring to go on that since this will be the third go-around of having to do that.

Oh! And update on the Pork Chop glass incident. My Dad took the package back to Food Lion where they swore up and down that the glass couldn't have come from them (I think that's standard procedure so we can't sue them easily). They did apologize and refund our money for them. I just hope that never happens again.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

If you told me my day was going to be like this, I wouldn't have believed you.

Wow, what a day.

So my day started off with someone calling Verizion on my behalf. You know how they sent me a new phone to replace the one that had that hardware issue that rendered it useless? Well I didn't mention it (or at least I don't think I mentioned it), but my new phone's been having trouble. When you turn it on, it doesn't start. Instead it goes to a lit black screen and stays like that. In order to "fix" the problem you have to take out the battery and try it again, and pray that it works. I have never have this phone turn on from the first try, I have to take out the battery 2 or 3 times in order to get it to work. And it's not a problem with me just not giving it enough time to start up, I let it sit for two and a half hours like that just to test if it was just taking a long time to start up. And I think having my "new" phone doing that is a bit much. So we called and they're going to send me another refurbished phone. And it's a good thing too, I turned my phone off to show my mom what I was talking about, and I have yet to get it to turn back on. I really think it's dead. So it sucks that I spent all that time putting my music and contacts back into my new phone, but at least I didn't get spent my time putting everything back on it only to have to do it for a third time. But I'm totally without a phone which is normally not such a big deal but I was planning on going out today.
I needed to go out to pick up some supplies for a craft that I'm doing as a gift for someone. So I would like to have my phone in case I needed to call someone, but I ended up not going out. It's just ended up being not worth going out today. We had a lot of places to go, and not much time to do it. I didn't want to rush and get the wrong thing, and really my stuff can wait. So instead of going out I worked on Fluff's outfit. I just ended up finishing the shirt today, I didn't get to start working on the jumper because...
I went to go see Paranorman again! Yes, I saw the movie twice, which is the second time I've ever seen a movie in theaters twice. The first time was "Corpse Bride", another stop motion film. Anyway, this time I went with my brother, and again with my father. We went to a different theater since it wasn't playing at the one we went to last time. We got there with a few minutes to spare, so we were sitting there and the screen is frozen, then it went black. So we're waiting, wondering what's going on. After a little bit, someone that works there came into the room and said there was an issue with the projector and the manager was working on it. And he gave us some free tickets for waiting so patiently. So we kept waiting, and they managed to get the sound working, but not the picture. So the guy comes in again and says that we could either take another ticket, or go see another movie that was starting at that time. We go to get our second ticket and go home, and the movie starts, so we're able to see it. I won't lie, this was my first time getting a comp ticket due to some technical issue, so it's kind of cool in a weird way. Not sure what I'll see with it, but I've got my options.
And btw, Paranormal, just as good the second time. I still highly recommend it. My Dad mentioned seeing it again with our comp tickets, which I'm sort of on the fence about. I am planning on getting the DVD when it comes out, but seeing a movie three times in theaters seems a bit excessive, no matter how good it is.
After the movie and back at home, my stomach was rumbling. It was around nine, and I hadn't had dinner yet. So I decided to have a pork chop that my Dad had made when we get home. I rarely eat pork chops, but I was hungry. So I was eating it, and having a good time, when I bit down on something really hard. It was a bit unusual so I fished it out of my mouth... it was a piece of glass! A small bead of broken glass, it looks like it came off of something that shattered. I showed it to my mom who verified that it was glass. We tried wracking our brain as to where it came from. Nobody could think of the last time any glass like that was broken in the kitchen, so we think it came from the pork chops themselves. Which is scary. I'm just glad I didn't break a tooth or slice open my mouth on it. We're going to go to the store tomorrow and return the package and tell them why we're doing that.
Luckily that was the last weird thing of the day, but I think that's enough, don't you?

Monday, September 10, 2012

Fluff, put some clothes on!

Apparently my mind didn't realize that yesterday's day off was not the new norm. Since it was a new day I should be getting back to work, but that was easier said than done. I had the worst time getting a fire lit under me and starting anything. Now, this is not a new situation, I've bemoaned this fact before, and often. This is different because I actually I wanted to sew.
Yesterday while I was not Blogging I was still checking in to see what the people I follow were posting. One of the blogs I follow posts vintage Paper dolls. It's a really interesting site, and I love looking at paper dolls for inspiration. Their clothes are usually more colorful than regular clothes, and since they're a product of their time, they are wonderful sources of period clothing. Here's the link in case anyone is interested: Mostly Paper Dolls. Yesterday they posted a set of paper dolls based off the Chrissy doll. (The link I shared will take you directly to that post). I looked through the outfits to see if I liked any of them. I actually ended up liking several of them, so I copied all the pictures and stuck them into my "inspiration" folder. While most of them I couldn't see working for the dolls I'm currently working on, (most of the remaining dolls are vintage) I did have one doll that could easily wear several of these outfits, Living Fluff. I looked over all the outfits I liked and decided that for Fluff I wanted to make her the jumper with a shirt on the third page (the upside down one).
I wasn't going to make it exactly like was in the drawing, I clearly didn't have that fabric the jumper is made out of, and I also wanted to change some parts of the shirt. I was going to make it puffy sleeves, and make the collar a turtleneck instead of an actual folded down collar.
I stared off with the jumper. For the fabric I picked that bright green floral fabric that I used on P.J.'s outfit. For something I bought a while ago and haven't had anything successful come from it, it's gotten a lot of use this month. For the pattern I need to do some adapting. I was planning on using the Skipper pants with the fake pocket I adapted for Ricky, but I was going to make the legs wider. The original pants are close to the leg in that late 50's/early 60's style, but the ones I was making needed to be wider. Part of the reason I picked that outfit was because of the wider legs since it would be easier to dress her since she has the rubber legs that make pants and socks impossible to get on.
I ended up adding a half inch to all sides of the original pattern on the bottom, but when I made my test piece for it, it was way too big. I ended up taking out one of the adapted sides, so only one part of each pattern got the added half inch. I was feeling a bit cocky, so I didn't test it after that, and started cutting it out of the correct fabric. Even though I cut out the pants, I didn't start sewing them first. I actually started working with the tall waistband for the pants. On the drawing the pants are sort of high waisted, which I liked the look, but not the fact that they were high waisted. Instead I just made a tall waistband for the pants to connect to. My pants fall at the waist like normal. You've seen the waistband pattern, it's the one for Barbie's Let's Dance outfit. I just folded in the ends so they fit Fluff. It's also fully lined since I didn't want to deal with hemming it.
I got the entire jumper done in one sitting. I had to be really careful when sewing. I'm almost out of that bright green thread and I still need it so I can finish this outfit and P.J.'s, so I had to make sure I didn't mess up and have to rip stuff out. But it went together well, I seem to have decent luck with pants in general. I don't want to sound too conceited, but even back when I started sewing, pants were the clothing item that I had the highest success rate with. Although you wouldn't know it looking at the collection. Only nine people are wearing pants I've made, and most of those are men. I usually favor skirts for the women. Like I said, I got all the machine sewing done on the jumper today, there's lots of pins holding things together, but I can see that it's heading in the right direction.
I even started the shirt today too. I had put a temporary shirt on Fluff when I was working on the jumper so I could make sure the jumper was big enough to fit over the shirt when I was done. It was an older shirt, made for Skooter that was very similar to what I wanted for the final outfit. I honestly could have used it for the actual outfit, but there were a couple technical issues I didn't like with it. Also since her arms were that same rubber as her legs the sleeve holes were too small and a pain to get all the way up her arms, so I was going to make the shirt again.
For the pattern I picked the Skipper top I drafted for TNT Skipper last month. I looked over her before I started working on the shirt to see if I could figure out the reason for the tightness in the sleeves. I think that I made the front part of the bodice too narrow. When I was cutting out the shirt I shifted the pattern back a little, so it wasn't sitting directly on the fold. I fitted it on her after cutting it out, and it seemed to fit, so hopefully that was my problem with the original pattern and I've fixed it. I would love to have a decent working Skipper top.
For the collar I used a bit of white bias tape for it. It's easier than making a turtleneck collar my usual way. I even used the tape for the sleeves. When I cut out the puff sleeves I made them a bit longer. Then I pinned them into the bias tape, then I sewed them shut. This cuts down on the loose threads at the sleeves opening where her rubber arms will catch them and make the shirt look poorly made. The entire shirt went together pretty easily, I did have a problem with one sleeve not getting set in properly, and there's still some rippling in the shirt from it, but I can live with it.
And the best part is, I still like it! Now I have to finish it, but that's going to have to wait. Since I got such a late start today, I'm really late. And I don't have the patience, or the eyes to deal with it tonight.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Taking a Break

Yes, it's true, I woke up this morning, and wanted nothing to do with anything productive today. No sewing, no blog writing, nothing at all like that. And since I had been so good lately I felt I had earned a day off, so I took it. There's no need forcing creativity, especially since I've had quite a good spell of it lately.
Instead I goofed off, and played video games. While Aubrey the fashion designer didn't make much progress today, Aubrey the Adventurer reached level twelve.

I did actually end up doing some sewing late in the evening. I wanted to do something, but in all honesty I don't have any projects to start. I'm still avoiding that P.J. outfit, and everything else is still in the design phase. I ended up working on Charlotte's Halloween costume. Again I'm going to keep it a secret from you, I'm not sure why I'm always so secretive about her Halloween and Christmas outfits, everything else I won't stop blathering on about. Anyway, you will find out in time, especially if I finish it before the actual date, which at this rate I will be done long before October, much less the end of it. Although I still have a long way to go with it, and several pieces to make. You know me and my love of separates. Today I started on the dress. I still have to make the underskirt and the apron, but that can wait until another day.
I've already said too much!

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Not much to talk about...

I didn't do any sewing today, I forbid myself to do any sewing, instead I focused on stuff I've been avoiding, but really needed to get done.
I spent my morning cleaning. I'm still being bad about putting stuff back when I'm done with it, and it needed to be done. And even with my most recent cleaning days I've been neglecting cleaning off my folding table. Today I remedied that. Now all that's left on there is the stuff I actually use compared to just leave there. I'd like to say I'm going to keep it that way, but we all know I won't. At least I'm aware of my shortcomings.

In the afternoon I turned my attention to this blog. I'm still several days behind from last month, and I really need to get caught up. It would be easier if my computer wasn't being a pain and shutting down randomly when I shift the power cord accidentally. But I managed to get four posts written (Including this one). A couple of them are already posted, but a couple of them still need photos before I can share them with everyone. Hopefully tomorrow will be sunny so I can do that.
So really, not much to talk about for today, but plenty to talk about (and catch up on) for past days.

Friday, September 7, 2012

The First of the Month... on the Seventh...

I started off this morning working on that dress I made for my blonde TNT Flip last night. Charlotte is still wearing the first version, still unfinished. I don't think I'm going to finish it. The more I look at and work on the second version I like that one so much better. It just looks so much more ... better, both style and technique wise. Besides, I really don't think anyone with the belly button body needs a dress like that. I'm just going to stick it into the unfinished project box to die.
But I did finish the second dress, seam reinforcement and snaps, all that good stuff. I also replaced the ribbon on the dress that I was using as a stand in as I was working with it. I do that, if a dress or something needs ribbon I'll grab a piece out of my cut pieces of ribbon bag to use to give me an idea of how it will look. I was using a bit of that icky pink plastic ribbon I bought by mistake, but when I went to replace it with the satin type ribbon, I liked the look and width of the plastic one better, so I just replaced it with a less used piece. I figure since it's just tied on, if I want to replace it later on I can. I don't know what it was with this dress, but it took me several hours to finish it, but I did finish it today.
But I wasn't ready to put it on the doll just yet. She needed a bath first. Since she's on a spare body, when I first got it I did wash it, but not that well. So today I gave it a bit of a scrubbing. I also used some tape to stick her leg in place. Like I said yesterday she's on a Quick Curl Body, that suffers from some melting. So not only does the tape keep her leg on, it's also a layer between her and the dress. I have a couple other dolls with melting issues, and I try to keep something between their clothes and their melting spots. The tape helped me not have to make a pair of shorts. And when I find a new TNT body for her, I won't have to deal with the melt issues and her dress will be safe!
Also I should mention something about this doll, her face has yellowed. And while I know that's a common issue for Mod dolls, I have no idea how it happened to her. She didn't arrive like that, and I've kept her out of the sunlight since she showed up, and P.J., another Mod doll who arrived the same day as her, is sitting right next to her is still the same color she was when she arrived. So I'm really not sure how that happened. It's weird.
Anyway, when she was dried from her bath, I worked on finishing her outfit. I tied a bit of small pink ribbon in her hair, and for shoes I gave her a pair of light pink pumps I had. I think these are clone shoes so they don't fit most dolls, but her feet are narrow enough to be able to fit them. And like that she was done! My first fully dressed doll of the month. But enough prattling on, here she is in her dressed debut:

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Goodbyes and New Beginings.

I'll start off with the bad news, I've given up on that dress for the Brunette Ponytail. Sad thing is, I really liked it, but it just wasn't working out. It was just looking too chewed up in places, I even tried making it again today, but had the exact same problems where any spot that I had to remove stitching it looked really beat up. I think it's because while the fabric itself is navy, the backing is white, so when you sew it, it pulls on the backing and makes it show slightly. I think a better sewer could deal with this since they wouldn't have to rip out stitching, but that's not me. I don't think I've ever made anything where I didn't have to rip out one line of stitching at some point. And it's a little depressing that I had to nix this dress because of that, I mean I'm working with cotton, the easiest fabric to work with. I really shouldn't be having such trouble with it! But while I gave up on that version of the dress, I'm not done with it entirely. I still like the style of the dress, I'm just going to find a different fabric for it. I looked through what I already had, and didn't see anything that really that that spoke to me, so I guess I'll have to look for something the next time I'm out. At least I have a plan B, I just wish plan A worked.
Anyway, since I need to go out in order to work on that project you'd think that the most logical step would be to go back to P.J.'s outfit, but when was the last time I did anything logically? I'm being serious, can you think of anything? I know I can't. Instead I started working on something totally different. It was an outfit that was inspired by a pattern I found online when I was doing those searches a couple days ago. It was something that would work for my Blonde TNT flip that was currently on a broken Quick Curl body. The dress was a cute little white sundress, that was covered in lace. I had worked with lace overlays a while ago, but it's been a while. But I was looking over the picture, and thought that I had the materials and the patterns that would work for it, so I decided to give it a go.
I started working with the bodice. The dress had an empire waist, so I pulled out my go-to pattern for those types of dresses. The most notable dress made from this pattern was Charlotte's Regency dress. For materials I went with simple white cotton for the actual dress, and some lace that I bought a while back from the Antique stores on Sunset. I bought it several months ago, but haven't used any of it yet. Finally I had a reason to use it. The bodice went together pretty easily, it's really nothing new. I did have to be a bit creative when placing the lace over the bodice. It really wasn't long enough to totally cover the bodice, so there's a spot at the bottom in the back that doesn't have the lace overlay. I figured that since it was on the back it wasn't that big of a deal, and I do plan on having a ribbon at the waist, it'll cover it, and like I said, it's in the back. Nobody should be looking there most of the time. The skirt gave me the worst time. I wanted the lace to be a bit longer than the underskirt, and to flair out from the waist. I had the hardest time dealing with a curved skirt, and a straight lace hem. I ended up making three different skirts before I managed to make one that was passable. Luckily there's enough lace so I can make mistakes like this. Finally I got the skirt sewn on. After that I started working on finishing it... but... had to admit, it wasn't working.
I tried to ignore it, but the waist was falling at the worst place on the doll. And since there were four layers there, it was having a really terrible bulging problem. It was just not a good look, also the skirt despite my best efforts was looking pretty terrible. So I decided I was going to make it again, with a different pattern. This first dress isn't a total loss. It looks better on Charlotte (not perfect though) since she's got a different body shape. Not sure if I'll end up finishing it for her, but if I do, at least someone can wear it. There are a couple people with that body type in the collection, so I've got my options.
I even worked on the second attempt at the dress today as well. For the new pattern I picked that Twiggy pattern that was too big for her, but worked for Barbie that I used for that Mod doll last month. I did do some tweaking. I ended up lowering and making the neckline square, lengthening the bottom, and trimming down the sides of the skirt. Since this new dress is two pieces (front and back) I had to be smart with how I placed my lace. Instead of covering a seam like it originally did, the ribbon now covers the spot where the first piece of lace ends, and the next one begins. I managed to get all of the machine sewing done for it today, and I really like it, it's an improvement over the first one. I really like it, and I think it's going to be what this doll ends up wearing. I still have to finish it, and you'll have to wait until then to get pictures of it, but I think it'll be worth it.
And I didn't even tell you the best part, I even have shoes that match! Sadly, that's been happening less and less lately.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

I play with dolls... for free!

I did some sewing today. Nothing new, just some work on that dress for my brunette ponytail. I managed to finish it today, but I'm not sure she's going to end up with it. I mean I do like it, but from all the working and reworking I had to do with it, parts of it are looking a bit... worse for wear. I'm wondering if I should remake it, taking into consideration what I learned from this go around.

But I didn't start with that today, instead I went out. I went to see "Paranormal". I said I'd go see it with my dad a while ago, but kept putting it off whenever he asked. I even declined about going today, but felt bad afterwards, like I was giving him the runaround, so I asked if he still wanted to go today, and he did. And I'm glad he did. It was a really great movie! It was a good mix of creepy/funny/deep. I will say that it was a bit more mature in some aspects than I was expecting. So I'm glad I wasn't there with a child, but I really liked it. My dad was even talking about going back, I think if he does, I'll go too.

I do love me some stop motion animation (I want a job where I can play with dolls all day!).

Monday, September 3, 2012

Just Whistle While you Work....

I started off today with some cleaning. With all my sewing I've been really lax on putting stuff away when I was done with it. For the past week I just sort of left everything out because I moved onto the next project as soon as I was done with the previous one. And when you're working in such a small space as I am, a little clutter really becomes a big problem. Lately I've been just moving stuff off my desk onto the bed during the day, then moving it back at night so I can sleep. It's really not the best system, but works when I need it. But today I worked on putting away all of the materials, patterns, and general clutter that I've been moving around. But I didn't stop there. I even managed to put away some stuff that I've been trying to find a place for several months. I boxed up several books that I've been meaning to and moved them into the attic. The small pile of clutter on the floor is about half the size it was this morning, and the pile that lives on my desk is so much smaller. I wasn't able to clear it all away, but it's so much better after my efforts of today.
I also managed to get a couple things posted over on the Dollpage. I've also been really bad about getting stuff posted over there, but today I managed to get five things listed. Still a lot more to go, but progress is progress. I'm going to have to start forcing myself to get the rest of the stuff listed, it's really doing me no good cluttering up my dresser. I know I say this every time I talk about listing stuff on there, but here's hoping something sells. I really want to pay those Ken dolls off.
Not much to report about doll sewing. I did do some work on that dress for the Brunette Ponytail. I'm sort of on the fence about it. I like the top part, but I think it needs some sort of design element at the waist. I don't care the the wide expanse of the polka dots . I tried a couple things in an effort to fix this issue, including a white belt and adding some pearl beads in a mock double breasted look, but I didn't care for either look and removed them. In the end I decided it was the style of the skirt giving me problem. So I removed the straight skirt and replaced it with a full skirt. I think it works better. Also with this new skirt I can use some white ribbon around the waist and it looks better that how it did with the straight skirt. I didn't get around to finishing it today, but that's what tomorrows for. And at least now I have a clean desk to work on. Yay for that!

Sunday, September 2, 2012

The Month Starts Anew

I was actually a little bit worried that once I got Skipper's dress finished, that my creative streak would be over. I mean that's happened before, once I ran out of things to do, I had a streak where nothing happened sewing wise. Maybe that's why I held of finishing Skipper's dress, because once I had finished that last thing, it might have been the last thing for a while. By avoiding it, I always had something slated so my creativity wasn't stifled by obsessing over what project I'd start next.
And it was true, that after I got Skipper dressed I was really didn't have anything planned. All the dolls that I had ideas for had been either dressed or I had discarded what I was thinking about dressing them in. So I turned to my old stand by, doing some online searches in an effort to find something I liked.
I ended up picking a doll that was still waiting to be dressed, my Fashion Queen. I've been thinking for a while she was going to end up in a suit, but haven't decided on what kind of suit yet, so I did some searches for "60's Suit" over on Etsy. There was actually a lot of results that came from that, and a great deal of them weren't actual suits. I found lots of things, for many eras that I liked. I saved a bunch of pictures for inspiration for several different dolls and eras. Sadly I didn't find anything that really called out to me for Fashion Queen, so she ended up going back to the sewing cabinet for another day, and I selected a different doll.
Instead of the Fashion Queen I picked up my brunette Ponytail. In my search I found a dress with an interesting collar. It was a familiar collar because I had actually made something like it a loooooong time ago. Many years ago before the blog, and before I had been sewing very long. It was a dress that while usable at the time, it was a very early effort. I still have it somewhere, I should take it out and show you all it... maybe. I believe the collar is called a rolled collar. For an example it's the same collar used on Barbie's "Dancing Doll" outfit. While I had made it years ago, now the pattern was not up to my standards. So I started working on it. I ended up doing several small tweaks to it. It took me a while, but I managed to get a decent fit and I felt confident to make an actual go at it.
For the fabric I chose a navy cotton with tiny white polka dots. The collar was going to be plain white cotton. I got all of the machine sewing done today. I went with a simple straight skirt to pair with the bodice. I didn't finish early enough to start finishing it, but that's what tomorrow is for.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Good News - I'm not dead!

Yes, it is true you haven't heard from me in a while. But I do have a valid excuse as to why.
You see I didn't have the time to blog because I've been too busy sewing! I'm not sure why but the final week or so in August I had a massive creative streak which left me with five dressed dolls. Bringing this months total to six, SIX! A never reached number before and one I doubt will happen again (but I would welcome happening again). And since I wanted to get all those dolls dressed when I could, I took a break from blogging. I didn't want to stop and talk about what I was doing and miss out on getting another doll dressed. I did however stop in each day and jot down quick notes as to what I did each day and I do plan on going back and writing the posts. It will take me a while to get caught up since I'm so behind and my computers having issues but I will get caught up in time.
I won't leave you guessing about the dolls that I got dressed.
Here's a photo of everyone I dressed last month. Their posts will be coming up eventually, and yes, two of these dolls are new. That will be talked about too. Did you miss me?