Just three weeks until our next big trip, and I think I've finally decided on what dolls to take, and what costumes I'll need to still make. Fortunately my current commission customers both say they are in no rush for their Tedros outfits, so I can take as much time as I need to get my own dolls ready for their Southwestern adventure. I had really wanted to make my Isar a fantasy Elven Archer, but there's no way I can still get that particular costume made, so I've decided to make do with the basic Topaz Fairy outfit. Take away the wings, make a new overskirt without all the "fairy talismen", hike up the longest skirt a bit, give her some boots, and make her a bow with a quiver full of arrows, and she'll still be an Elven Archer. Not the beautiful Lord of the Rings design I originally had in mind, but still nice, and it will be doable along with the other outfits planned, because Nami and Byuri will need whole new outfits too.
Anyway, today Tedros is still the focus. Shirts are done, and next week I can take final photos for the tutorial. I need to get the tunics and over-sleeves ready for embroidery and beading so I have something to do this weekend. And I need to gather all the dolls and props I need for wilderness photography this weekend. I'm hoping to finish parts of "the Quest" - at least the photos that need wilderness settings. I also need to gather props for a few more Alphabet shots. "H" and "I" are getting clearer, and I'm getting an idea for "G". Maybe I should also address "K" and make some props for that today too, now that I suddenly got an idea for that one as well.
With ducklings and a donut.
Elin borrowed the hat, dress, and porcelain doll off an old doll I made at a porcelain doll class many years ago. They were a bit big for her but would probably be perfect on a KID.
The next two letters - "E" and "F" - are already taken care of, so the next challenge is "G". I already know what I'm doing for "H" and "I". But today I seriously need to get somewhere with my Tedros commission. We are going away on the long weekend, and I need handwork to bring along for when Jan goes kayaking - tunic, over-sleeves, and/or collar. So I better get to it
I got a bit carried away while taking a photo for the letter "E" this afternoon. I had decided the little girls were going to help me scrub the elephant in the pool (bird bath), but things got a bit out of hand as is usually the case when you give little kids water and bubbles to play with. So, in addition to getting my "E" photo, I've also got a whole little story to post.
Went to Fabricland last night, and hit the jackpot! I found some very nice textured earth-tone fabrics for the Tedros' costumes. Several things came from the upholstery department - like the reddish-brown with a diamond pattern, and the mossy-green brocade for the over-sleeves. The brown brocade for the tunics came from an old vest I picked apart. It's interesting how there's pinks -and maybe even purple - in the brown brocade in the photo, but in real life neither of those colours stand out - it's a much darker, more even brown.
The solid dark brown and "army green" were very expensive, but I didn't have any choice, as they were the only fabrics close to the colours I wanted and had a good drape. Oh well, I did save some on the other fabrics, which were on sale - including the same pale green crinkle gauze I'd used up for the shirts.
I'm way behind where I thought I'd be with the shirts (the one above belongs to my Tedros), but that's because of all the time I took to draw up patterns yesterday, and this morning I had to quickly make another sundress for my little Iplehouse girls, because just two of them have one, and the third girl needs one too for some of the photos I'm planning, and the sundresses for Cinnamon and Tillie are way too small, so she can't borrow one of theirs.
I'm starting on two outfits for Tedros. It will be a variation on Adrian's costume, but in earth-tones - browns and greens. I tried looking through my fabrics for nice combinations, but with Tedros being so big, I'm going to need much bigger pieces of fabric. We did race over to Fabricland yesterday afternoon, but it had already closed. So now I have to go again this evening. In the meantime I was going to start the shirts this morning, since I do have the fabric for that. All I had in the way of patterns was some marked up bits of paper towel and a piece of paper with a sketch and some measurements. I decided I needed to draw up proper patterns. Then, while I was doing that, it occurred to me that it might be a nice idea to scan in the patterns and make a "Tedros Shirt Tutorial" with free patterns and instructions. I know I don't want to be making lots of these shirts, so why not let people make them for themselves?
So, now it's several hours later, and I have a proper pattern pdf, I've cut out the set and glued the pieces together (the patterns are way too big to fit on a single sheet of paper) and I've cut everything out of fabric. Now it's time to sew - and take photos at each ste
I finished the second magenta party dress this morning, and took photos and made a For Sale page for them. I started cleaning up all the purple and pink beads and other supplies I've had out the past two weeks, but got side-tracked with some Iplekids Alphabet ideas. While looking for props for one photo (letter "D") I stole an old porcelain doll's outfit I made years ago. It was too big for Elin, but would fit the new KIDs perfectly - which makes me really want to order one even more now. Fooling around with those old porcelain dolls - which look pretty ugly to me now - I got some more inspiration for another letter photo ("H") but first I have to address "C" which is next. I started an "Iplekids Alphabet" page, but it's going to remain hidden until there's a few more photos. It isn't much of an alphabet yet with just three letters illustrated.
The Tedros commission is next, so if I get some time this weekend, I'll start looking through my fabrics for some nice combinations. Then Monday I can start. First the pants and shirt, and then the fancier outer wear. I'm hoping to have it ready to take along next weekend for when we go up north. I'll need something to work on when Jan goes kayaking. I also need to think of some final photo ideas to finish off my big doll adventure.
The first of the party dresses is done - I'm making two identical ones. There's much less beading than on the fairy bodices, although I did bead the hemline. The slip has a lace edge, which shows below the hem, but if someone prefers a slimmer silhouette and without lace the lace showing, then they don't need to put the slip on their doll. I just need to finish the beading on the second dress and it will be done as well.
......and blue-eyed Byuri peering through the bars to look at him.
I know it would be easier to just pull a photo out of my archives for the "Alphabet Game", but for now I'm enjoying the challenge of coming up with something new.
Well, all the fairy pages are up. There's Gallery pages for both outfits. The customer chose the Lavender Ice Fairy, so the Magenta one has gone up for sale. There's also a Favourite Photos page with some lovely photos of the two of them.
I checked the two original test bodices, and had to throw out the one with the stretch metallic knit, as it tends to really run uncontrollably, so can't be used or sold.
Martha Boers is an award-winning Canadian doll maker and costumer specializing in fantasy and historical-style costumes.