Sunday, April 20, 2014

Happy Easter Everyone (If you celebrate)

Hello Dear Readers,

I hope everyone had a nice Easter. Mine was good. The family and I trucked up to my sister's in Raleigh for pizza and just hanging out. We sat around chatting, played a game, and just had a good time.

It was fun.

But I couldn't spend the whole day playing, I had to be back in time to start my E-bay actions. You see, I've started selling on E-bay. It's a long overdue update for you all that started at the beginning of the year. I was surveying my room and I realized I just had too much... stuff. Some stuff I wanted, but a LOT of stuff I didn't. Things I'd buy because they were a deal or something that I ended up with from lots that had things I did want. I'd been meaning to list them online to sell, but hadn't. Some of these things I'd had kicking around for forever, and I was tired of owning them, and tired of them cluttering up my life.

So I started working on it. In January I did a big push to get all the doll stuff I was selling listed on the Dollpage, which I ended up finishing in February. I think like half of the ads on that site are mine. Once that was done I started working on E-bay. It's slow work since I'm so detailed orientated in my ads, but I'm making progress. I'm reminding myself that it didn't get so cluttered overnight, and each thing that sells is one more thing out of my life.

And so far I am making progress. This is a two way street, while it's good to get stuff out of your life, there's only so much it can do if you keep bringing the same amount (or more) in. And I have been trying my best to keep my input down. I've been better in some aspects than others. Quelling my doll habit is nearly impossible, even when I'm not trying I'm still managing to bring in several dolls per month. (Not that I'm complaining) However, I have been a lot better about buying dolls and items for resale. Now that I put (and are currently putting in) all that effort in clearing out some of the stuff I'm being a lot smarter in what I'm willing to buy. I'm able to step away some decent deals I find in town because I know I have so much stuff to get rid of that there's no need adding more to the pile. Maybe down the road when things are cleared out more I can start picking up stuff to resell, but that's a long, long, long, long ways in the distance.

I'm reclaiming my space for me and the junk I want in it, instead of the junk that's just in it!

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Their underthings are nicer than my outerthings!

I did a little bit of sewing, and I wanted to share it with you all.

Our story starts.... last week (time sure flies when you're busy doing other stuff you don't want to). I had an idea for a dress for a doll I had. I just needed a bit of lace for it. So I pulled out my trim bag followed by my lace bag. I have two just to keep things somewhat organized. I found a couple things that would wort of work, but then I found something I loved. The only part was it was the end trim to some fabric I had gotten in a lot. So I put it in the maybe pile, and looked through everything else. I tried but I didn't find anything else I liked for the dress. So I made the decision to use that lace, but only if I made something from the leftovers so I wasn't just harvesting what I wanted and throwing the rest of it out. (Or nearly out since it would go back into the bag to languish forever)

So I very carefully trimmed the lace off the bottom of the fabric. From then on I worked on both of them, but ultimately ended up working more on the second project than the one I started out making! I do plan on going back to the first project, I just finished the second one first.

I was working with a very thin cotton piece of fabric. It was about 5 inches tall and a lot longer. While I had cut off the lace at the bottom, but there was still this section of decorative embroidery at the bottom. It was one row of small boxes, on top of that was a row of larger boxes, and another row of smaller boxes on top of that. It's hard to explain, but there's a picture later that will better illustrate what I'm talking about. Since this fabric was soooooo thin, my options were very limited as to what I could make from it. The best option was an underskirt, a very decorative underskirt.
                                    So that's what I decided to make.

I started off with sewing replacement lace at the bottom. I went back into the lace bag and found a thin bit of lace and carefully sewed it down to the bottom of the dress. I actually like that lace better with the skirt than the lace that was originally there! After that I stared doing more decorations. I took a large needle and some thin pink ribbon I had. I carefully wove the ribbon through the larger boxes at the bottom of the skirt. Taking great care to make sure the ribbon didn't twist on me. This was harder to keep straight than I was expecting. I had to pull the ribbon out and redo it several times. Once that was done I dug through my mother's cross stitch thread and found a closely matching pink thread. I wove this through the smaller boxes in both the top and bottom rows.

After that I noticed there was a small pin hole in the middle of the skirt. So I weighed by options. There were several things I could try to mask it. In the end I decided on trying to make pin tucks. That way I could fold the hole under and it wouldn't be seen. I learned something interesting, I am terrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrible at pin tucks. They're all wavy and not very neat, but they at least look good if you don't look to closely. I had to keep reminding myself that it will be under a skirt eventually so these issues really won't be seen. I ended up doing three rows, I messed up the second one and did it in reverse so I had to tear it out and start over. But eventually I got them done, but I really don't think I'll be doing very many pin tucks in the course of my lifetime, unless I have someone actually teach me how to do it instead of me muddling my way through.

After that I turned from the decorative part to the actual skirt part. I decided to make this underskirt the kind that hangs off the doll's hips, thus keeping the bulk down at the waist. I ended up cutting the material for the waistband out of a similar, but not identical thin white cotton fabric. The waistband was too big to try and steal some from the material the skirt was made out of. The pattern I'm using is my usual underskirt pattern, just shorter. I ended up gathering the skirt where it attaches to the waistband, I normally do soft pleats because I usually manage to mess up gathering but I wanted to give it a shot. I thought I was doing pretty well until I realized I had sewn the front of the skirt to the back of the waistband. I ended up taking it apart and walking away from it then. I was annoyed, but really needed to go do non-doll related things. It was several days before I could come back to it.

But that was yesterday! I went back to it, thinking. "you know what, I'm going to try finishing it.". The first thing I did was sew the CORRECT side of the skirt to the CORRECT side of the waistband. With that corrected it was the usual finishing things. I ended up hand sewing the back hem (where I double folded the hems, fancy!). Then sewed two snaps in the back. I had a hard time getting the back to match up, but eventually I got it where I'm satisfied with it. And finally, I noticed that one part of the gathers to the skirt were making it flair up a little high on one side. I ended up tacking on one of my pink ribbon roses in an effort to weight it down. My LAST pink rose no less! Oh Salvation Army ribbon roses, you were a lucky find and I will miss you going forward. It really didn't work. I plan on ironing it down to see if that helps, but I'm not super worried about it. It's still going under a dress after all. And with that finished, I had just completed an underskirt, the most decorative underskirt that I have ever made.

And want to know something really nutty?

I don't know when I'll ever use it. I really don't dress dolls in long full skirts that need an underskirt like that. This whole project was a spur of a moment thing, not something I needed at this time.

But, at least now that I have it if I do need it, it will be availible.

Plus, I sewed something AND finished it!

Monday, April 14, 2014

A Quick Post (after a long hiatus)

Hello Dear Readers,

It's been aaaaaaaaaaages since I've posted anything here. I have been keeping busy lately, sometimes with good things, sometimes with bad. Unfortunately I don't have much time (or truth be told the motivation) to do to blog posts. Even dolls have suffered from my general un-motivational feelings. Although, truth be told, I'm trying to cut back on doll spending. For the month of April I'm making a personal bet that I will go the month without buying a new doll online. Today is the 14th, and so far I am going strong. However I have had a few minor setbacks. I said no dolls, but I guess accessories and doll parts are free game.

Because I feel no shame that I violated my own vow by sharing you with my most recently received purchase.
So without further blathering on, here it is:
Did you see it? (By the way, the doll holding it will get a post of her own eventually)
It's the miniature Barbie that was released in 1965 in two Skipper outfits and one fashion pack (Day at the Fair, Me 'n my Doll, and Just for Fun Fashion Pack). She was also used as Tinkerbelle for a Peter Pan Kiddle doll, but she had a different paint job (green dress instead of a red swimsuit). She's a charming blonde haired Swirl Barbie doll that's in scale for Barbie to play with (well, Skipper). It's rather hard to find, so I never dreamed about owning it.

But, I was lucky enough to find it on E-bay for a steal. I was over there punishing myself by looking for vintage Barbie dolls with the Buy it now feature. (I may have a bet, but I can lose any time). Under the newly listed items, I found the Mini doll. The person didn't know what it was and had it listed as a "Barbie like mini doll" (or something, I'm paraphrasing). Either way it showed up when you searched "Vintage Barbie". She was filthy and..... glued to a pin. I kid you not, she was hot glued to a pin that was made out of a bunch of vintage puzzle pieces.
Here's a picture from the auction:
The pin.... is really not my style, but I wasn't buying it for the pin. I did some quick research, examined the pictures, then snapped it up. In total I paid ten dollars, including shipping, for it. From what I already knew, I got a heck of a bargain. I bought it on Friday, it arrived early today. It was originally due in Tuesday, but surprise, surprise came today. I do so love when that happens.
I was super eager to check it out in person since I was worried that the doll's neck had been broken and re-glued and if I could safely remove her from the hot glue that was keeping her stuck on the pin. I was relieved to see that her neck was fine, and I was able to quickly and easily able to remove her from the pin. The pin actually didn't suffer any damage either. I have a thought of revamping the pin and reselling it. But if that never happens, no big deal. She's what I wanted, and she's great.

Condition wise, she's in very good shape. The front of her cleaned up better than her back. She still has some dark spots on her back. I'm not sure if they will come off, but overall I'm not totally concerned. She still looks fine from the front. Other than that her biggest issues are a few small paint rubs on her swimsuit one on her front near the bust, and one on the back on her rear end.

Now my Barbie's can have a Barbie! ... I just hope they can share, don't think there's too many deals for this doll out there.