I posted all the photos in Favourite Photos 2012, "The Snowmen"
Woke to a fresh blanket of snow this morning, but the temperature is going way up so by the end of the day it will be all gone. My little elves took one look out the window and decided the snow was perfect for making a snowman....or two. So, out we all went, and I took photos.
They had a lot of fun making two snowmen.
I posted all the photos in Favourite Photos 2012, "The Snowmen"
The first angel ensemble - a commission - is finished. I love how the wings turned out. Layla looks beautiful in the pale cream and white ensemble, her golden red hair setting off the gold sparkle on her wings. I have three more just like it to finish now, but I couldn't wait to share this first photo.
I needed a collage of all the dolls that came to live with me in 2011, and decided to post it here as well. It's quite some group. The only one missing is Cuprit, who stayed for only a short while - I usurped her body for Hazy, then sold her original head. It will be interesting to see who joins the group in 2012.
Top row(L to R): Hazy (Elfdoll), Tedros (Iplehouse EID) Asa (Iplehouse EID), Kaye Wiggs Layla
Middle row: Carina (Iplehouse EID), Maya (Doll Leaves) Elin (Iplehouse BID), Kaye Wiggs Miki
Bottom: Narae (Narindoll), Nami (Iplehouse BID), Rosy (Supiadoll), Kaye Wiggs Nelly
Well, I decided to try making angel wings from white craft foam. I thought quilted fabric wings would look too "cloth-dollish", and not enough like real feather wings, so decided to give the craft foam a try. I drew a bird's wing, broke it down into four levels of feathers, and made cardboard templates for tracing onto the foam. The craft foam was very easy to work with, and took colour from pencil crayons and paint beautifully. I cut a strip of felt with my scalloping shears to cover the top edges of the foam, then totally smeared the felt with sparkle paint so it wouldn't get fuzzy or fray. I thought the wing turned out very well.
Now to make another just like it. . . then three more sets.
Went to pick up Byuri this afternoon. Charie did another great job - she looks amazing! She has a bit of an exotic look to her, and after trying on several different wigs, I settled for the dark brown I had ordered with her in mind - the wig Nami had been wearing since she arrived.
All the tiny girls put on their only clothes warm enough to go outside - their elf outfits - and rushed out to make snowmen, but the snow wasn't wet enough, so they just posed for a group shot. Oh well, gives me time to make them some mittens for next time. Several of them could also use some boots.
Well, the white fairy has been cancelled, so it's onto angels. I bought some beautiful beaded bridal fabric recently, and I thought it was 'white', but when I went to my lace closet to gather laces and trims, it became clear the fabric was actually a very pale cream. Most of my bridal laces are pure white, but there were a few nice light cream ones too. After a day of mixing and matching fabrics and laces I think I have the final design in my mind. Today I'm cutting out fabrics but all are challenging to work with. You can't just cut into beaded fabric - I have to carefully remove beads that will be in the seam allowances or in the way of the sewing machine presser-foot, and work away the loose beading threads. Satins and sheers slip and slide all over the place, so I have to take it very slow.
There will be four angel outfits for Kaye Wiggs MSD girls. I was thinking of having a cream satin ribbon sash, but maybe pale pink or blue might look nicer - will just have to see after the dresses are sewn. I'm still not sure about the wings. I designed and cut out layered templates for foam wings, but also made tracing templates for quilted fabric wings. I have several satins which are a bit darker cream that the dress fabrics, so should work well. But first the dresses.....
Well, I finished everything I was working on, posted two tutorials, checked them again today to make sure everything makes sense, and now it's time to move on to something new. Problem is, it's the first time in weeks I don't have a clear picture in my mind of what's next. I spent some time this afternoon leafing through my 'Making of Lord of the Rings' books trying to get some fantasy costume ideas for Maya and Klye - who arrived Friday. But first I need to address another commission, and it's either a white fairy or a white angel, and I've not figured out how to do the wings for either one. I tend to use butterfly wings as inspiration for my fairy wings, but angels traditionally have wings like birds. I sure don't want to work with real feathers. I've seen the most amazing bird wings made from craft foam sheets so am thinking of trying that. At least they would be lightweight, but I don't know if I trust the strength of wings made just using glue, even if it is special glue for gluing craft foam. I guess it's time to experiment, and I'm not a fan of experimenting - I want everything to turn out great the first time. Better go look for some bird wing illustrations.....
The page with free patterns and instructions is now online in the Tutorials section. I think everything works - at least it did when I tried it. It's interesting, that when I went to post the button on the Tutorials page, I noticed that I used the exact same fabrics for one of my Nami's dresses as I did when I made the sample for the 'Cute & Colourful' Narae pattern! I guess I really liked those fabrics! Anyway, I hope other BID lovers who want to sew their own doll clothes find the patterns useful.
I've decided to also create a tutorial for the chain-stitch which I used to embellish one of the dresses - as well as many of my other doll costumes. It's a very handy way to add a very narrow embellishment to the edges of outfits. So, on to make that tutorial next.....
I'm working on creating the tutorial page for the free BID patterns, but it won't be done until late today or tomorrow. The two dress variations are done, as is the pattern pdf. Here's a sneak peak at Nami modeling my two samples; one a very simple ensemble, and the other a fancier dress with lace and ribbons. Both outfits can be worn without the separate striped sleeves.
We got a very light dusting of snow this morning, so I took Nami outside for some pictures. The reds and greens of her elf outfit work so well with the snow.
I'm working on a free pattern for BIDs. It's a very simple dress just like the one Nami is wearing as part of her elf outfit, with the sleeves cut as part of the bodice. The free patterns will also include the separate sleeves and tights, and ideas for embellishing. The elf collar and hat will not be included as it will be a summery dress - and some things just need to stay my own personal property. It's progressing well - the first dress is sewn - but I have to stop and take a photo at each step, so it goes kind of slow. Next I have to sew and photograph each step of the tights and sleeves. Then make a second variation, draw and scan in the patterns, process the photos, and write the instructions, make a tutorial page, and announce it.
Martha Boers is an award-winning Canadian doll maker and costumer specializing in fantasy and historical-style costumes.