Tuesday, November 6, 2018

AgnesHandWork has Fabulous Faux Leather

When I started the Kai Noctis outfit project I did some searching online and sure enough, Etsy was the only place to go.  I found AgnesHandWork and contacted them asking for a sample, no specific color out of the many they have in pastels and basics, just to see if it was thin enough for doll clothing.  I finally checked the mail box today and the sample had arrived.  I was so thrilled to see how THIN it is, less than a Millimeter, and so soft and the texture is so small and leathery looking, not flat plastic like some. Perfect for doll clothing and purse making, or making purses for dolls!  Very soft and buttery, too thin for human clothing I think, but there you go.  Dolls get all the pretties.
It has a felt like knit backing that gives it some purchase on doll 'skin', too, which is very nice, if you don't want to add bulk by lining some items.  I will be ordering faux leather from Agnes Hand work from now on, so if you have a project you need this fabric for, go have a look and make sure they have your color.  It took about two weeks to get here, maybe less, but I have been insanely busy and lost a few days here and there along the way.  I know someone left a review just a short while ago that contradicted my experience, but I had very little problem communicating with the shop.  

Other news:

I found the missing wig!  Naturally in a place I had looked 2 times before, to the point of turning out drawers on the work table.  This time I started the whole process again, and there the blasted thing was, along with the original baggie, label and shipping papers. O_o  wth?

Sunday, November 4, 2018

Etsy Listings for November and Vote!

I've made a rule for myself to put in a few hours creative sewing a day again, even if it means sewing by hand.  So here are the October productions up on Etsy.

MSD outfits at 25 USD before shipping, SID sets at 45 USD before shipping.  In the mean time, I am cutting out the teeny tiny skulls on the t-shirt stencil for the Kai Noctis job.  ^_^

For some strange reason, the lovely registrars office we have here in San Bernardino County decided that while they would accept my husband's registration to vote, but NOT MINE.  We had been registered to vote for years, and just changed our address, but they don't want to accept a business post box.  Well, big news, thousands of homeless people have postal boxes, business services or regular USPS and to tell us we can not vote because we don't have a residential address is ILLEGAL and I have the letter from them to prove they said I could not vote.  I spent last month and the first few days of this month fighting for the right to vote as a 9th generation US born citizen who's people were here when America was a British colony they got from the Dutch and the Indians.  I voted on a "conditional" vote, but in doing the research discovered how many thousands of native born americans, including whole reservations of indigenous peoples are being told YOU CANT VOTE.  No voter fraud my ass donkey!  

Still no sign of Kiki's long brown curly wig.  But the colder weather is coming so I can spend just hours in storage going through boxes.  >_<

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.  

Oct 22.  Patterning ready for test stitch up.  ^_^  Still no zipper in the mail.  

Oct 25.  The zipper for the jacket finally showed up in the mail today and it is perfect!  Light weight, acceptably smaller pull tab than the so called doll company zippers, and even though I have to trim it to fit, that is the easy part.  I have tested the patterns on the doll, and will start cutting the fabric today.  If I have enough to do the Jacket in the one black faux leather, and the pants in the other, there will not be much difference, except that the jacket one has a black knit self lining and the pants faux leather has a white woven self lining, so I will have to line the pants with a thin poly fabric.  
Nearly forgot, I still need to cut the stencil for the t-shirt, but that is one of those intensive projects that need a day of dedication and I have been running around like crazy lately.  

Oct 29.  I have everything BUT the buttons and the little buckles on the ammo pocket on the left jacket tail back.  And the stencils are still waiting for a time.  Normally I just sew things up, but for this project, I need to write up a step by step to follow, so that I don't get things mixed up.  I have already caught some things that needed re-thinking in the process, thank goodness.  Faux leather is very unforgiving of having to take out seams and does not like pins, so everything has to be basted, and parts prepped in advance.  I should be able to lay out all the cut out pieces and take a photo tomorrow.  I am still trying to figure out the Ammo pocket construction.  Once all that is out of the way, the outfit should go together rather smoothly.

edit: cell phone pics, not so great, but the pants and jacket pieces.  

Nov 6

Still working on the stencil, but the project is moving along.  I have sorted out some construction problems yet again, and am still working on the buttons, but I have an idea to try.  Now that voting is over (gods only know who won...) things will settle down for us more and I can focus better on sewing.  

The big one is for the left leg and tail of the jacket.
12 more to go and only one repair with tape!
Nov 8.  Stenciled.  I want to wait 24 hours before peeling up the stecil so that I don't smudge anything.  I also put a test splotch of the paint on a faux leather scrap to see if it would stick well enough to use.  So, we shall see.  I still need to find two tiny little square buckles for the ammo pouch, but that can wait a while.  I will find something, I know I will, even if  it means raiding Barbie, heh-heh.

Nov 14.  Down with a cold the past few days, feeling better.  Back on track tomorrow.  I still have to go over the t-shirt stenciled areas with more paint, and get started on the basting before machine sewing.  I did run some tests on scraps of the faux leather and got the stitch settings and everything sorted about the time I came down with a sore throat.  Things should go along pretty fast after this.  Sorry for the delay.

Nov 15.  I think this is as good as it gets, with the lighting and the 'wet look' paint not co-operating.  And naturally, a bit of lint left from tearing off the stencils.  I should say here, that while I was tempted to try printing an iron on, my experience with iron ons is that they do not stay.  They crack and flake, and would not make a decent base for the fabric paint, which would just peel off with the flakes.  The closest thing to perfect when it comes to t-shirts is either some magnificent airbrush artist does the job, or it is screen printed.  So, the worst is over, the rest is a down hill slide!

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.