Thursday, October 11, 2018

Commission: Kai Noctis of FF XV for an SID Male

This is going to be a fun one!  A custom order from the Etsy shop and one of my favorite things to do, Sci-Fi Military.

Deposit received.  I'm having a problem finding the blasted correct size separating zipper online, so I shall try the local Joann's Fabrics tomorrow.  I think I have enough thin fake leather fabric left over from another project, but I have to get the pattering done first.  If not, there is another piece of a very slightly thicker fake leather.  I might use the thinner one for the jacket and the other for the pants, too, come to think of it.  In other words, I have the fabric.  The thinner one is self lined with stretch knit and the other has a white lining, but yeah, I think that will work.

I really like this figure the photos are taken from, it's beautifully made.

Update: 10/13

I couldn't find a separating doll zipper the right size anywhere for what used to be a normal price, so I bought a human size one.  While the teeth are okay for size, the pull tab is enormous and I am going to try changing it for a smaller pull tab of some sort.  I think I can hide the body of the pull piece behind the fabric and still get the proportionate look I want.  I got shiney silver floss and grey floss for the trim and faux zippers.  I am thinking shiney black paint for the skull stencils, because there was no flat black Scribbles brand fabric paint anywhere.

The power outage has really messed up the patterning process because my sewing studio is in a storage unit, and without the power for the gate and security cameras, they would not let anyone in, but they said come back this afternoon and it might be working. If not, well then, tomorrow is another day.

Update update...LOL
I found a lightweight separating zipper on good old amazon, but it will not be here until the 20, but still in plenty of time to finish the outfit in the stated time, so happier than I was about it.  I keep forgetting Amazon has taken over the world and has everything.  O_o

Update: 10/15  vid on evolution of the character.  Need to think about that extra tail and those ties some more.  The model is supposed to be from XV, but there appear to be differences.  And is that a skull and cross bones scatter pattern on the t-shirt?

Update: Oct 17

Trying a new trick, making stamps from craft foam.  You reverse stencil your design on craft foam, glue the cut out to something firm, like a piece of wood or a block and voila, a stamp!  Let's hope this works on the t-shirt fabric, and that I can manage to get the tiny skull and cross bones to look right on the foam.  It may take a few tries, as this is the first time I have done this.  I have the basic patterns finished for this size doll, and need to sort out what extra measurements I need for the design.

Update: Oct 18

Stamp test fail.  Stencil.  Nice, simple, stencil.  More control, better effect, time consuming, but accurate.  In the mean time, patterning.  The t-shirt is patterned, so I can start working on the stencil.  I'm working on the Jacket.  The sleeve was easy.  The main puzzle in translating Manga/Anime/Game art to fashion has always been that one little oddball stray 'seam' the artist has fallen in love with drawing in, but the fashion patterner would like to strangle him or her for!  I give you the shoulder/collar of doom!

If I sewed it the way it looks, I would have a hella lot of bulk in the area I least need it with a human size zipper to sew in.  But if I fall back on the way the anime in the game looks, and the figure design, I can just slot that weird fold piece over the pocket as a separate piece under the shoulder seam line and then run the front edge of the jacket up into the collar as shown, and as part of the collar stand on  what is known as a stovepipe collar.  This eliminates all that bulk at the zipper edge.  

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Dentists and Drowned Phones

So the dentist's office makes appointments, then badgers you about showing up, and threatens days in advance to give your appointment away if you do not respond to the robo-call reminder.

Hubby let the phone slide off his knee into his soda cup in the truck last week and we got the new one in the mail just in time to spare 20 minutes before the dentist's office cancelled my appointment two days before I was scheduled to show up.  Seriously?  I always call in the few times I have been unable to make any appointment the required 24 hours in advance, but that's just ass-ery.  Then I go to the appointment today well over the required 15 minutes in advance.  They seat me in the little room 20 minutes late, and make me wait 30 minutes for a 5 minute treatment!

However, the problem is solved.  And despite good reason to want to, I did not bite the dentist's fingers off!

The weather has been cool enough to work in the storage unit in the mornings, so I have been going through the sewing boxes first.  Still no sign of Kiki's long dark brown wig!  Of all the things to lose in a move, that one little wig?  No, it has to be there!  It has to be!

I have one MSD outfit knit fabric outfit done and rinsed out, and needing pressing before I photo it on Kiki, and an SID outfit just needs a row of beads and some hooks and eyes, and rinsing and pressing and I should have two new things up on the Etsy.  I got slowed down on the sewing by all the searching and sorting, but I also slipped and fell about four feet off a step ladder, landed on my butt, and the hand sized very purple bruise on my left hip, where the bone is, is rather amazing.  They need to come up with a new purple to describe this, it is seriously gorgeous, and no you can not see it, this is not facebook.  

Sunday, September 30, 2018

Maybe I'd Better Keep Inventory

So I'm going through all the patterns I have, either having made them for customer's dolls in the past, or acquired in books with doll patterns in them. I did not realize what a batch I had accrued until I found myself patterning a pattern I had already made...derp.

I basically have patterns for everything from Idealian, Male and Female, to 11cm tall tiny.  Time to make a computer file.  I'll get Hubby right on that as soon as it cools down enough not to be able to bake a chicken in that storage unit at mid-day.

The biggest problem with tiny dolls (or anything under 45cm) is finding the lightest weight fabric.  Cotton especially.  That reduces everything to either nylon or poly chiffon, or very sheer silks.  Maybe hunting antique shops for vintage handkerchiefs?  Not a bad idea, really, as I have seen some wonderful articles on making doll clothing from handkerchiefs in the Japanese publications.  Another problem with the smaller dolls and the thinner fabrics is that fraying is a given.  Too much stitching and over-locking can stiffen fabric, (check a summer cloth hat; the brim is rows and rows of stitching just to stiffen it) so you want to use fabric glue and fray check, as well as some seriously tiny stitch settings on your machine.  If you sew by hand, you want to watch your hand sewing tension, lightly pulling the thread through just to set the stitch, rather than pull it snug.

I found a lot of this out in vintage hand sewing books (the Butterick 1920s one) and non-BJD doll sewing books.  I just lucked out and found this at the library used book store Friday.  A whopping 75c purchase.

The pattern that comes with it, is of course useless for BJDs (or American Girl for that matter), but the sewing instructions and plates of children's late Victorian fashions from toddlers to teens are wonderful inspiration for everything from lolly-style to fantasy.  The fashion plates are especially useful for my Ceil, who's anime character is set in the tail end of this era and I had been unable to find anything realistic for him outside of the craziness of the manga.  I wish I had had this book when I made the Norfolk suits for Teddy.  I remember having some conflicted thoughts about how that belt went.  The few paragraphs in the book settled that in a second.  So the customer and I did find the historically correct way to put the belt on.  But vindication is a wonderful thing.  

So, if you find doll books that have nothing to do with ball joint dolls or what ever you collect, don't just ignore them right away. Pick them up and go through them, you might find something really fabulous to use in making your own doll clothing, or explaining to a doll couturier what you want.  ^_^

I STILL have not found that blasted wig!

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

The Mystery of the Missing Wig

I have been searching for months for this wig:

I have found every last wig I have for my dolls, but this wig.  Kiki has been wearing her little black 'flapper' bob wig for ages, and I think this was the last photo/time I saw this wig.  Having gone through all the packed up neatly sensible places, I am now stuck with going through 'everything' else.  It could be in with some fabric, or in a box, or gods forbid, having migrated up and over and out the back of a plastic drawer never to be seen again!
It's not in the bag with this outfit, either.  I do remember this one was done for the Victorian underwear tutorial.  and the corset for this is not in the ziplock with it.  Maybe the corset ran off with the wig?

I may go mad.

Thursday, September 20, 2018

Thoughts on Sewing

I’ve been wracking my brain trying to think of things to make to draw attention to the business again.  So far, I have a list of everything from street clothing to three piece suits.  Having been unable to torture myself looking at the doll forums and shops for a while, all I can do is look at the fashion magazines and see what might appeal to doll owners.

In my experience, the whole fun of dolls is that anything goes, from lacy holes in the body to tattoos, to outrageous horns.  So where to begin?  I guess as always, with what I know, just fresh stuff to show off and put in the Etsy.

In organizing my storage, I found my ‘inspiration’ file the other day.  A collection of magazine clippings and print outs of things that made me think ‘wow’.  I also have my collection of doll sewing books to dip into.
Basically, all the stuff that I have always wanted to make, first for myself ages ago, then for my dolls as things piled up.  There was a time when my closet (yah, mine all mine, hubby had to have his stuff in the spare room and only half of that, evil me) looked like a Halloween shop.  That’s when I came to my senses and started collecting dolls.  They still have a lot of stuff, but now, when we have a place, Hubby has room in the closet, LOL!

I have a pile of new things cut out after looking at the fashion news for this year.  Most of them are for Etsy, because hey, that R-Pod isn’t going to be stuffed down the chimney at Christmas any time soon on it’s own.  In the mean time, I am working on making the 2/3 of the storage unit (yah, yah, hubby has some room in there) look more like a sewing room.  I have my folding screens to spiff up the utilitarian walls, but the bicycle has to be gotten out of the way of my work table.  I know I have battery run clocks packed away somewhere.  I need a clock in there, since my cell phone is usually left in the truck to charge.

It’s as bad as moving into another apartment, trying to get a working version of life sorted out again.  But over all, things are moving along, and if the weather stays sane (95 or lower) I can keep getting in about 3-4 hours sewing a day and finish the outfits I have in progress from one of my favorite inspiration photos, and working on a sort of fabric art coat that needs a pattern that will agree with the fabric manipulation.

And I finally got the drawer of thread untangled and sorted out this morning!  Yes that is earth shaking progress.  I hate organizing the little things.

Tama tests out the new tablet camera in the parkinglot.  It's pretty bluery.  He fits on the dash just perfectly, according to him, but I have to pry him off when I want to drive.

You know why cats don't drive?  Because it's imposible to get a car going full speed into a paper grocery sack.

Sunday, September 9, 2018

DoA Commissions Post Up

Now I am seriously open for business!  ^___^

I think my photos are too big, but it's hard to tell with the size screen I'm working with.  I tried to keep it down to a wide range and let people have the links to go look for themselves.  I need to update my Feedback page link here, too, but no time as the library is closing.  

My external drive claims to be contaminated on this tablet, but when I connect it to the library computer, I was able to get it to work, no problem.  I put some important stuff up on Dropbox and hope the thing will let me at the rest later.  So many, many files, so little time!