Sunday, November 27, 2011

Changing Methods

Well, I've decided to try making one-of-a-kinds. Everything I see on Etsy is a OOAK, and I'm feeling inferior for planning limited editions. I did a lot of work for the first one yesterday. I may have messed up a leg and I DEFINITELY messed up an arm. But this is a learning process! Mistakes will be made!

I made a model for the cloth portion. The cloth portion will have a blank for the head and shoulder plate, and then full size lower torso and upper legs. The head and shoulder plate will be built over the cloth form, like an Izannah Walker doll. The arms and lower legs will be separate. I will sculpt on the shoes, I think, and glue human hair directly to the head, like in that Japanese BJD-making book (can't remember the name of it).

I think the most intimidating part will be the painting. I've never spent much time painting, so that will be my challenge. I'm going to try watercolor paints, maybe some pastels, but I'll experiment and see what I get.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Making progress...

Here is the smocking I finished:

I have been working on my body sculpt. I'm using Apoxie Sculpt. Yesterday I woke up at 12:30 AM and just HAD to work on it! It's my favorite part. I'll need to dremel a bit off, and add a little bit. I hope to be finished in a week or two. I have a chart of child body measurements for patterns that I'm following. I want my collectors (I hope I get some of those!) to be able to take a pattern for a child, reduce it by 33%, and be able to make that for their doll without worrying about fitting. My problem so far is that realistic proportions look big on my doll. Realistic body proportions are very important to me, though, so I will make this work.

Well, it's Thanksgiving holiday, and I will be spending the week with my parents and my spouse's parents. I'm buying a pre-cooked turkey, I guess because I'm lazy and didn't want to do all that cooking myself. I hope it tastes OK. If there is a lot left over, I'll be making turkey pot-pie! Have a great holiday!

Friday, November 18, 2011

First Casting!

This morning the molds were dry and my casting came out almost perfect! I had to add a little clay in places where the clay didn't go in evenly, and somehow her nose came out too short. Maybe it will be dry tomorrow and I can sand a little.

The smocking looks great, too! I'll be finished soon and will post a photo. I'm reading a book called "Blogging Bliss". Hopefully it will teach me how to have a better blog. I want this place to document my process and show my progress.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

The Perils of the Long Awaited Rain

We've had drought for over a year. It finally rained. On the day I cast my clay. Sheesh. It hasn't dried yet and it's been two days. I'm getting a little nervous, and I'm not at all sure my molds were completely ready. I will pull the clay out tomorrow, I think, regardless.

I've decided to make editions of 12, starting with the head in the first photo below. I'm going to make her in the outfit she's wearing in the photo, which has a ton of pleats. I think I'll do it in some fabric I've died ivory, with white ribbon, and black hat, stockings, and shoes. I'm so excited! If only this clay would dry!

Since I'm basically doing nothing, I decided to do some smocking. It's light blue gingham, which is lovely to smock! Everything lines up perfectly, and in the end, all the darker lines are together. I'm smocking it in a dark blue, and will finish it with white bullion daisies. I have nice ideas for other smocked dresses, too, in fabric that I will dye. I'm having a good time.

Yesterday I ordered tags and a digitized logo! Now I'm just waiting for my armature wire so I can sculpt the body. I just need some hair now. I can't wait to see the first doll! 

Sunday, November 13, 2011

New Direction!

I've officially left sewing for Kish behind and have started making my own dolls! I'm working on making likenesses so that someday I can specialize in portrait dolls. I've been working on these two heads for a couple weeks.

The eyes will get cleaned up in the sanding phase. Today I made plaster molds for these two plus another (I added ears first!) Tomorrow I'll make paperclay impressions and start refining by sanding. I'll do that for as long as I can stand it (!) and then make another set of molds to use for the dolls. I hope to do nine heads by this time next year, but we'll just see how it goes.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

New Underwear

I just put together this set of combinations for my next outfit. I haven't made these before but always wanted to. I think they came out really cute!

I will have to hand-sew the shoulders because I didn't use side seams, but I think it's worth it!

I'm working on the dress today. I had to draft a new pattern. The first try came out pretty close, I was lucky. I hope to have them finished by tomorrow so I can go to the doll show on Saturday without any work hanging over my head.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

What next?

Well, I'm back at it! I will try a second time to make my dolls. My mistake last time was choosing the wrong medium for me. I have always worked in cloth, but thought I could just as easily work in resin. Not so! The last attempt just led to misery and lack of fulfillment.

This time I will use my true medium--cloth. I am sculpting heads in oil clay. When they are ready, I will make a plaster mold of the face and use that to make a paperclay mask. I will sculpt a full body in Apoxie Sculpt and use that to make my cloth body pattern. I will hand dye my Kona Cotton in skin shades. The mask will be covered in fabric and then colored with paints and pastels. I will buy ready-made wigs for now. I am still contemplating painted vs glass eyes, but I'm leaning towards painted eyes. My favorite dolls have painted eyes.

I am very excited about this new venture! I hope I can find fans and buyers, lol, but I have faith that if I follow my heart, the rest will come.

I will be making four more outfits for sale, maybe a few more. I want to pay down my credit card before beginning full-time on the dolls.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Dropped Waist Dress

This is the result of a challenge to myself to make a short dress. I had planned to use a slip that I made too short, but since the slip is not dropped waist, I can't use it with this dress anyway! I will sell the slips as is, and for this dress, I will make a checked dimity overdress. It will take shorter than normal pantaloons and a short, dropped waist slip. I don't think I'll finish the new outfit this week, but I'll be able to post the slips on Sunday.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Almost there!

Well, it's been a little while since I updated. Somehow I get behind with my sewing and an outfit drags on for weeks and weeks. Sometimes I get caught up in little details and just fall in love and lose myself. This week I've been dog/house sitting, and I've treated it like an artist's retreat! I've accomplished a lot, and I'll be able to post the new outfit Sunday, tomorrow! Here is a sneak peak:

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Little Red?

I'm so happy with the outfit I'm working on now. It's a peasant style costume, and the chemise and turned out so nice! I'm leaning towards making this a Little Red Riding Hood outfit. I would have to change two of my fabric choices and buy more fabric, but it may be worth it. I'm putting so much work into this so far. I can't wait to see the end product, but I'm wondering how long it will take to finish.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

So Busy!

It's a good thing to be busy, but I've gotten behind on my internet presence! I need to update my webpage, but it's much easier to update here first.

I've finished my blue dresses and I'm very happy with them! I'm at work on my next project: a peasant outfit with many layers! I've found homespun fabrics in a deep green, maroon, and a maroon check. I'm going to make a sweet cap in white and put long pleats in the underskirt. I'm so excited about this one--that's why I haven't been keeping up with my online duties!

Here are pictures of my dress with the embroidered collar and a long shot of the dress with a plain collar:

Monday, July 11, 2011

Finished Collar

I finished the embroidery on one collar and decided to leave the other three plain with an option to add embroidery for $20. The work took two days and a little more. Anyway, I'm finished with the embroidery on this project and can move on to the machine work. Three slips to finish, three pinafore bodices to finish, four pinafore skirts to design and finish, sashes and headbands. And I'm probably going to sell these for $25 just so that I can make some money more quickly on them without having to ebay them.

In other news, I've decided I cannot continue without adding some dollmaking into the mix. My dream is to be a dollmaker. I'm going to make one more try at it. I've ordered some of the clay I like to work in, and if I can get a face I'm happy with, I'll continue with making the body. I have to try.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

July Pinafore Collar

This week I'll be working on the embroidery for a pinafore collar. Below is the proto-type. The embroidery will go all around the collar. I like the full look of the embroidery. The dress is a very pale blue, so the embroidery will be the main focus of the outfit. I'm not sure how long it will take to finish four collars, but I will keep working at it until I finish!
Yes, this picture was taken on a towel! I have to keep my workspace covered in towels because my cat loves my fabric too much!