My Kaye Wiggs Christmas dress prototype turned out very nice, so I've decided to make eight for sale - four of each colour combination. All the purple dresses have been cut out, all eight tights have been sewn, and now I'm working on the next seven black lace and tulle petticoats. It's kind of nice to be working "assembly line" on several of these outfits at once, especially since my mind is elsewhere these days. The only drawback is that with velveteen, every seam has to first be hand-basted, and that's a big enough job on just one bodice - baste, then machine sew, baste some more, machine sew that seam, etc. - but with eight at once, the job can seem endless.
I've still not made the bow and hair clips for the first purple dress, and that's on purpose. I know as soon as I have a fully complete outfit ready I'll just have to take a photo and post it, but I really, really want to wait until I have at least one outfit in each colour finished so I can photograph both together. We'll see how long I can hold off. Not too much longer, I suspect.
With the two Tobi outfits finished, I've decided to take a break from commissions and just make whatever I feel inspired to make. Iplehouse recently released their Xmas Special Editions, and in that group there was a very cute little BID with the most beautiful purple and black holiday dress. Inspired by that little dress, I took a look at some special holiday dresses for little girls and thought it would be so nice to make some to fit Kaye Wiggs MSD girls. I have two pieces of embroidered, sequined taffeta that I bought many years ago with the intent of using them for Rococo gowns. Well, those gowns never materialized, and there's no point saving things forever, so I thought those fabrics would be perfect for some special holiday dresses - combining the purple taffeta with purple velvet, and the red taffeta with black velvet. So, I've started.
The dress will be worn over a black lace and tulle petticoat, with black tights. I'll decide on hair ornaments after the first dress is done.
This is the first time I've had to use several different models for the same outfit, and they aren't exactly cooperating. Maya doesn't much like that he had to give up all his clothes. I let him keep his coat so he could at least maintain some sense of modesty, but he's finding it a bit drafty with nothing on underneath. He wants his pants back! The girls don't much like being just partly dressed either - not to mention that they are being forced to model BOY clothes!
Miki is channeling Maya, standing in as model for my next commission - an outfit like Maya's but for Kaye Wiggs Tobi. Tobi is as tall as Nelly, but without her huge hips, so I have to use a regular KW MSD, and make everything way too long. Maya is considerably slimmer than Miki, so the pants are way too tight for her - she can barely breathe - but the shirt and vest fit nicely. At least it gives me an idea of where and what to alter when I draft the patterns for Tobi.
This is a whole new look for Miki, and I think she looks rather cute, but she's not the least bit impressed. I'm told I have to hurry up and make the commissioned outfit because she wants her girly dress and long hair back. "Well, I'm sorry Miki, but you're going to be stuck like that for a few days more. And the new pants will fit better, so you won't be quite so uncomfortable".
I finished the first outfit in my current commission - a Nelly-size version of "Jennet". I really like this outfit, and have now made it in four different sizes. It's interesting how the dark wine overskirt looks purple in the photos, but it just seems to be the way my camera captures it - it does the same with my dolls when they wear their version of that same outfit. The red velvet and plaid are now all used up, so that's the end of this line - or at least in these colours.
Next outfit is a larger version of what my Maya always wears. I'm not sure who will get to
model it. It's ultimately for a Kaye Wiggs Tobi, who is the same height as Nelly, but is
slimmer - especially in the hips - so she definitely can't be the model for the pants.
I was going through some old photos, and came across some I'd taken on our Labour Day weekend trip up to Kilarney at the beginning of September. I had taken the opportunity to shoot some missing scenes from our spring adventure. So, here's just one image from the part of the story after Kyle, Maya and Aeran have come across the lost little Pacific Princess.....
And who, or what, is Aeran protecting Maya and Byuri from?
Probably this big guy......
Well, that's enough of being distracted by old photos - it's time to get back to sewing!
I have almost all the parts for the Tobi girl clothes cut out. Now I have to baste all the velveteen parts by hand. I'm totally out of 1/4" elastic so can only go so far on the things that need elastic today - until I go buy some. Why is it that even with tons of supplies, I'm always out of one small thing? There's lots of 1/8" and 1/2" elastic, but is there any 1/4"? No, of course not!
The four tiny dresses are all up for sale now, but I noticed that several of the older small outfits made this year only have thumbnails without links to pages to show the details of the entire ensembles yet - like the costumes Nami and Byuri wore on our fall trip, plus a few others as well. I was in the process of putting everyone in their Christmas elf outfits, but maybe I first better go back and take all the studio shots of all the costume details for the missing links.
I've been taking photos all day of the new dresses so I can post them. Everything has been shot, removed from the dolls, and put into baggies, so the next thing was to choose who would model the "Little Mary" dress, and take pictures of her. I chose Nami with her pale skin and shy smile. I even gave her a blonde wig, then took her outside with some bunnies.
So that's two doll dresses made from the one old yellow baby dress so far, and there's still enough fabric left for one more. I'm thinking maybe for Lonnie when she comes.
I've also been gathering fabrics for the two Tobi outfits. I was happy to see there's just enough of the plaid and red velveteen, and even happier to see I've made the "Jennet" outfit in Nelly's size before so I won't have to draft new patterns for that one.
I needed some "mood" shots of the new BID dresses, so took my girls outside for a picnic with a lot of the toys and props from the recent alphabet series. Of course, now there's so many cute photos of them that I'm going to have to make a Favourite Photos page for them all.
Sewing goes slow this week - I had expected to be a lot further along. Seems to be a trend these days. But all three new outfits are now complete and just need studio shots before they can go up for sale. THEN I can move on to the Tobi Commissions.
I'm both excited and embarrassed to admit that I succumbed to the "Goodbye Bimong Sale" at D-Storic. Bimong is the artist behind all the Narae dolls (of which I already have two) and D-Storic is the company currently making them for sale. I really wasn't planning on ordering anymore dolls so soon, but Bimong's contract with D-Storic runs out at the end of December, so they are having one final sale. I've always loved the Butterfly Narae sculpt with her delicate smile - there are very few smiling dolls out there, and Butterfly Narae is a beauty - and this could very well be the last chance to get one. With the mess concerning Bimong the last few years, there's no way of knowing what will happen next. Plus a 30% off sale is just too good to pass up. Now I seriously need to ignore all the rest of the upcoming Christmas sales.
I'm majorly running out of display space, and would really like to have my whole collection somewhere where I can see them all at once, anytime, so I've been eyeing my doll cabinets, and think I may have a solution. I'd need to empty off two or three shelves to make room for the BJDs - the biggest dolls will need two shelves height-wise worth of space. I'm eyeing the felt dolls and the porcelain doll shelves right now. Some of the oldest art dolls can be sold too. And Christmas is coming, so guess what - everyone in the family might just be getting dolls for Christmas this year! I'll think about it some more.
Yesterday I found four very nice striped knit tops at Value Village, which will make great tights and arm warmers - a turquoise green, yellow, light pink, and a dark wine with black stripes. I was happy to find a yellow stripe to go with the new orange dress. Today I washed the tops and now have to cut them apart into "flat fabric".
I was very happy with the new yellow drop-waist dress. I had based the design on one of Mary's old baby dresses, which I'd already repurposed some of to make a dress for my Kaye Wiggs Hope. I decided to use some of the remaining fabric from the original dress to make a tiny version for my little Iplehouse girls. I'm also in the process of making lacy slips for all the new yellow and orange dresses so they can go up for sale soon.
Martha Boers is an award-winning Canadian doll maker and costumer specializing in fantasy and historical-style costumes.