Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Idealian 72 (68 cm really) Girl: Cloud Goddess

For Youkaimoon's Idealian Calais, a soft, floating version of this bridal dress in Kona Cotton. The pure sculpture of the dress and the doll herself will take over from the glitz. 

Idealian 72 cm girl bridal dress

Looking at the original company styling for this doll, I want to capture the feeling of  a vibrant, ethereal goddess.  Who could just--use a little transfusion.  Are you her type?  ~_^  Youkaimoon's Callais is rather an improvement, don't you think?

I'll be doing the shopping on this one locally, because the entire outfit is white.  I can't mess up white, now can I?  Odd how doesn't have net or tulle in their stock.  I'll be scanning the receipts and letting the customer know what's going on with their deposit for that via email.  Any excess will be put toward the labor fee on the garment: a dress and crinoline petticoat.

This is a good example of the crinoline, you can see the boning hoops just barely through the netting.  It's fluffier by its self, but the weight of the dress will contain it.  Depending on the weight of the finished dress, more netting will be added to fluff it out to the right silhouette.     

Metropolitan Museum of Art
June 21, 2013 Update

I've bought the boning for the crinoline hoops, a very soft 100% cotton muslin for the lining, which I was surprised they had in stock, the Kona Cotton for the gown itself, and the tulle for the crinoline which will be between the cotton fabrics, and not touching the doll.  I'm going to cover the shipping and handling no extra to the labor, because the customer is sending me tape and paper fittings of all her dolls, which will come in very handy.

June 24, 2013 Update.

The fitting shell has arrived and I must say, I am really impressed with the Idealian Calaise figure.  And I can see she has the same set up my Jiji does, a sway back to compensate for her front.  She must pose beautifully.  The fitting shell is a super help because figure 'issues' in dolls are all part of why like people, they can be so unique to fit.  I'll be starting on the patterning next Monday when my schedule is cleared.

July 1, 2013 Update

I pre-washed all the fabric today and started making all my notes on how to pattern the components of the outfit.  I'm going to start with the crinoline, in order to shape the skirt over it properly.

July 3 2013 Update

I'm spending far too much time demanding T-mobile actually give me the service I'm paying for.  At least this time they gave me 2.5 more GB a month for $10 less.  So, patterning the crinoline, which is a leap-frog to the skirt pattern.  Jiji standing on a book puts her waist at the right height to draw out the 'foot print' of the dress.  This is why I stack projects.  The Mephisto cloak will make a good stand in.  (still un-finished, la-la-la-lah...).

The 'foot print' of a gown like this is really important to get right.  You want to know why bridal cost so much?  Things like this. (Well, and crazy brides...)  It's not just the back and front and sides, it's the 'helicopter view', which is easy with dolls.  But if you look at old books on famous designers, you'll see the Great Dior standing on a ladder looking down, with a pointer in his hand, or the atelier will have a mezzanine.  It's because couture design also has to look good from windows, bridges and distances to truly be couture.

After I got the foot print sorted, the paper pattern was simple.  Because the pattern shapes the hoops and there fore, the skirt of the gown, it really has to be an elliptical based cone.  And in the fine tradition of humiliating men in my family when it comes to hemming dresses, Chris (1st gen. AnglesDoll slim) who has a 21 cm waist and the right waist to floor height, gets stuck with the paper fitting.

July 8, 2013 Update

With that turned out to be one heck of a long weekend over, I'm back at the sewing machine.  And so is the triple digit heat.  I try to do all my ironing in the morning early, and then sew over the day, but with only a few hours to work, the project is going to take as long as I thought.  The seams are all in the crinoline, and I'll be working in the hoops and net ruffles over the week.

July 10, 2013 Update.

Some days....I completely forgot that they had only had 2 packages in when I bought the feather boning and didn't get reminded by Fate until it was the very hottest part of a day threatening thunderstorms and flash rains.  So, one more row of boning to go, and then it's the netting ruffles, which I have all cut out and ready to apply.  The fun part is, I keep thinking, Oh yeah, there was something I had to get--thread!  So I've got like 5 spools of white thread and I'm wondering why I thought I needed more!

July 12, 2013 Update

I thought I would get the net ruffles on yesterday but it turns out 40 yards of net ruffle making takes time. O_O, silly me, go figure...  At least I'm half done making them, but I have to take breaks from sitting at the machine.  Basically, you start sewing, for about 1/2 inch, then start pushing the netting up under the presser foot and taking 2 stitches, push netting, 2 stitches, repeat until your sanity breaks.  It goes much faster with the big netting for people, the net being thicker and gathering faster. Live and learn.  Efforts most definitely worth it.  It's making just enough poof on the first hoop to keep it from making a visible hoop line under the gown skirt., despite the weight of the skirt.

July 15, 2013 Update.

One more layer of netting to go.  I'm going to give up on afternoon sewing for the summer and get the work done in the evenings when it's cooler.  I'd rather slow down and do it right, then fight with anything in the heat and humidity and risk a major mess up.  I couldn't even get my doll to stand up for a shape show off photo.  Strings just turn to goo in this weather.  My brain is so cooked, I nearly forgot to add that the waist elastic isn't at the doll's measurement yet.  It's just easier to handle the crinoline with it wide open and then finish waist band last.

July 17, 2013 Update

Finally! All the ruffles are on!  While I didn't want to turn on the steamer to give them a good smoothing down, here are the photos of the crinoline by it's self (once again, my tall skinny guy is stuck with modeling) and with the full weight of the Mephisto cape on it for shape check.

It looks a lot bigger because the cape had to be draped down over the edges of the table, and the weight of four yards of fabric is pushing the hoops a bit to the front, where the gown will be shaped like the panels of the crinoline and conform more.  The over all shape will conform to the paper test in the photos above.  There's a sort of Kuragehime vibe going on with this project, especially with the loops of gathered net trailing from my plastic Japanese clothes hanger while I was working on the crinoline.  How on earth do you sew sitting on the floor unless the machine has an on/off button rather than a foot? O_o

Now for the gown!  ^__^ ! 

July 20, 2013 Update

I've got the gown skirt patterned.  I had a few false starts with the test muslins, but it's done.  Taking the weekend off to let my brain cool down.  O_o

July 23, 2013 Update

With the internet going in and out, it's amazing I can actually get on today.  Probably the fire took out a tower or something.  They never want to admit it.
I'm still patterning, but with the heat it's been a backlog.  Time to just say to hell with the AC bill and go for it.  I'm sure I'll be swearing at the cold in Winter.  Not knowing the back of the gown, I'm going with a matching ellipsis to match the hem.  So the skirt will be as is in the photo in front, and then a slight slop down her spine in back.  I'm trying to find the absolute best way of making the little fabric flowers on all the kanzashi tutorials.

July 27, 2013 Update

I've been fighting a head cold this week (thanks to the man of the house) and the worst seems to be over.  Back on track for the patterning, and hoping to show that everything is cut out by Monday night.

July 19, 2013 Update.

At last!  After a few panic moments with the bust (good lord she's a big doll, I think she's bigger than the Iplehouse EID girls?  I know she is taller in her bare feet.) and then came to my senses.  It's right down the middle, not matter how large the cup size. If you look closely at the top screen left of the cut out bodice pieces, you can see the adjustment for the center front is wider at the bottom than the top, this is to keep the top front from gaping open.  I thought I was screwing up, until I really thought about it and realized, that her bust would expand both vertically and horizontally and then decrease the same way.  Sometimes a gear slips and I have to walk away and then go back to things when they don't make sense.  Been thinking inside the box a bit.

Because this is such a tight fitting bodice, and I want it absolutely perfect, I've decided to send the customer the lining bodice for a fitting check, which can be lightly marked and sent back, along with a swatch sample of the Kona cotton so that she can see what it's like.  So here is the cut out skirt, which is very long because of the mini-bustles or tucks all over the skirt, and the cut out bleached muslin lining for the bodice.  I'll be mailing that out Wednesday or Thursday, depending on the weather.  It's been nice, but it can get vicious hot fast.

August 2, 2013 Update

I don't know why I thought I'd have to send the lining for a fitting, I crossed some wires in the heat the other day, but it's matching up with the fitting shell quite nicely.  I just need to get the bodice proper cut out and decide how to handle the under bust piping trim, and find the Thread's magazine article I stashed on how to make loop buttons out of cording.  Size 5 embroidery thread is going to make the cording

August 7, 2013 Update

I'm still progressing, just so slowly.  I knew this project would take time, but wasn't anticipating all the little things that add up to getting side tracked and backlogged and everything else.  I'm going to clear the Sherlock project and get back to this one next week.

August 12, 2013 Update.

I had some issues with the lining and just recut the whole thing.  I came up with a hanging storage garment bag idea finally that makes more sense then the one I had in mind.  I'm used to the ones people store certain things in for theater, especially gowns with hoop crinolines.  But this makes more sense for a doll item.  It will show up in the update eventually. I need to ask the customer what colors she would like for the cotton calico storage bag.

The top half is the Kona cotton, with the piping strip there to remind me to put it in between the bust and the abdomen, the lower buried under pattern paper is the bleached muslin.  I just got my sewing machine back from the repair shop so I'm ready to go again.  ^_^

August 13, 2013 Update

Today we have the almost complete bodice.  I put feather boning in the side seams, and I'm waiting on getting the cord to do the fake loops for the pearl button false closure, so tomorrow I'll be working with the skirt.  It is SO good to have a sewing machine that behaves itself again.  I'm very happy with how easily and tightly the piping I made went in under the bust line.  (It's actually pinned around the cording spool for photographing).  I haven't evened off the bottom of the bodice yet, because I'm not sure how I want the ellipsis that mimics the hem line of the skirt to go.  In the inspiration photo, it looks as if the skirt is put on over the bodice like wrapping an apron on.  So after the bead/loop/faux button thing is on and the bodice back closure is almost complete, I'll pad my skinny boy up and pin the skirt on until it hangs just right.

August 19, 2013  Update

I have been wracking my brains all weekend, trying to come up with a way to make the skirt so that it can be undone to be washed and pressed and then done back up again.  I have 3 methods figured out.  I just need to test my theories first.  But what I want is something simple and intuitive, that someone who doesn't sew can handle.  And then it came to me.  Buttons!  Chain loops for a string to tie through!  Snaps!?  It might take a little work, but it will be easy, and allow for the skirt to be let down, hung up to dry and then reassembled.  

Things like this are very important to me, because while a human size wedding gown can be shunted off to the dry cleaner and they can deal with pressing up under the poofs, to the point of undoing them and resewing them, the gown then goes back in a storage box and the next time it's pulled out, it's flattened.  So there must be a way to make a doll dress much more facile to handle.  A doll can gather dust, or have an accident at at meet up, or get mud on it at an outdoor photo shoot.  You never know when something can go wrong and a garment need washing.  And this is a white wedding dress On A Vampire.  Accidents will happen, no? ~_^  (And it just now occurred to me that tiny red glass beads would be a fun decoration to make 'safe' drops on a vampire wedding gown, no?  But that's a thought for another gown.)  

I'll finish the bodice today, Monday!  And then I'm going to beat this puzzle!  I will not send off a dress that a customer can not simply work with. 

Later today: I've got it!  While I was sewing on the beads and loops, it finally sorted itself.  (No photo tonight, barbecue smoke).  I've got it figured out so that the skirt can be very easily let down for washing and pressing, or just freshening it up if it's wilted a bit in humidity; and then, turn it inside out over the crinoline, three simple steps to put each poof back, no re-sewing, no tiny hooks or things to tie, nothing, just as easy as putting on a shirt.  Flip the dress, put it back on the doll, fluff it a bit and it should fall right back into place.

August 20, 2013  Update

I was hoping to get more of the skirt done to show today but got side tracked and barely managed to make the support tapes for the skirt poofles, and get the snaps on the bodice.  This is a technique usually done with a zipper but the customer requested no zipper (they get caught) and I think when it's on the doll and the bodice is 'full' the gap won't be so obvious.  It isn't when I put the bodice on my spread hand, so side tension does play a part.   I think my lense somehow got dirty, all my photos are a bit smeary lately, which is odd because this camera has an automatic cap.  The tapes will be sewn to the bodice  and then the skirt hand shaped and fitted over it.  I want to mimic the ellipsis of the top edge of the bodice in the dropped waist seam, which then carries into the sweep and hem of the skirt.  The skirt will be fuller than the design image to make up for the proportions of the doll.  The girl in that photo is tiny and skinny looking compared to the doll. O_o  Hows that for scary?

August 21, 2013  Update

I checked back on my paper work and I had said 6 to 10 weeks for this outfit and it looks like I'm going to make the 8 mark.  If not Monday, then Tuesday, depending on the surger, which decided to spit lint in my eye today.  Well, it was my fault for blowing out the dust and lint and bits of stuff when it broke the needle and started hating on me, but still...
The next step is to start placing the poofs.  I used a doll stand to put the crinoline on and it kept sinking down so the photos are hastily shakey.  All the excess skirt is going to be looped up for the design.  As you can see, the crinonline netting has calmed down so what was a huge blob before is now under control, and nice and smooth.  You can't see the hoops through the layers.  

The bodice is distorted by the curved boning in the side seams right now. The back seam of the skirt needs finishing, the straps that will support the poofs are in place sewn to the top of the skirt.  

Moving along to part two, Blogger says this post is at it's limit.  ^_^ 

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