Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Commission: Sherlock lounging outfit for Zenith

MonkeyGraph's Sherlock lounging outfit is now officially on the boards for next month! ^_^
The same outfit is also pending for another customer who was sweet about splitting the fabric.

Note: Post moved up to Start date for Project organization: Sept 3

Robe through Sherlockology, not sure about the shirt and pjs image. 

The striped silk arrived yesterday, I got the grey t-shirt stuff today and the striped for the PJ bottoms are on its way (2-3 weeks or so, knowing Denver Fabrics. >.<;;)   Since it was sort of impossible to match the fabric in the proportion, I think we can just pretend something explosive killed his old pair and Mycroft was nice enough to get him new ones.

August 26, 2013

I discussed it via email with the customer this morning and I'm going to pick up some black Dylon which is a more professional choice than Ritt, and works on polyester as well as holds better over time.  I'm thinking a little in some water and that stripped cotton will be fixed up just perfect.  Then I'll photo it and the t-shirt next to the silk and let her have another look.  I'm thinking some navy blue Dylon, just a bit, will sort the bright purple 'read' of the silk.  And then a good long soak over night to rid everything of the excess dye.  

Sept 6, 2013  

Late start this month, but everything is ready to start Monday 9.

Sept 10, 2013

Okay, soaking the purple silk to get all the original purple dye out of it.  And there is a LOT of it.  Then I'm going to put a bit of the Dylon 'Black Velvet' in with the shirt fabric (stripes) and grey out the white background.  After I've caught that up with the color as closely as possible, I'm going to grey up the purple as well.  According to my color wheel thingie, that should do it, since the silk is a vibrant purple blue.
The patterning is simple enough, I just need to knock that out.  I'm still debating where to open the t-shirt to make it still look 'real' without breaking the poor guy's neck when it's put on.

I did realize one thing, dressing a doll the other day.  Put a plastic baggy over the head so you don't drag fabric over the face up, or mess up the wig.  I got that from a description of how in house models used to be quick changed for private showings to a customer in the atelier show rooms, a gauze bag went over their heads and kept their make up (that serious red lipstick)  from smearing the terrifically expensive garments.

Edit: I hate Dylon.  It looked perfect.  I followed instructions, got it a shade darker than I wanted it when wet, and it looked perfect.  Then I had the audacity to rinse it out.  o_O  I'm going to go get some Ritt later this week.  That stuff works.  I think the problem was, I didn't boil it in a kettle on the stove.  Usually just putting hot water in the big metal enamel pan is enough with the Ritt.  I did learn one thing though.  Black dye will grey out the back ground of the stripes and make the silk more deep navy/purple.
I've got the t-shirt patterned, and I'm going with a placket opening in the back, just low enough to let it be pulled down over his head and shoulders, but not a whole seam down the back.

Sept 11, 2013

The Ritt did the job.  Looking at the now dry striped fabric, I think just a touch more dye and it's going to be exactly the same as the photograph.  The silk took the color this time.  It's woven on white wefts and when I took it out of the Dylon, the threads were still white as if nothing had touched them, today they are nice and dark.  I'm soaking the excess dye out of the silk until it doesn't bleed color any more. A lot of it seems to be the original dye of the fabric, because it's so blue purple.  But yes, just a pinch more and the striped will be exactly what it should be and that just makes me inordinately happy.  Definitly a boo-yah! moment.
Now I can say, the whole outfit will most definitely ship this month.

Needs just a bit more greying. 
Sept 12, 2013

I still have blue running out of the silk.  I'm going to try steam ironing it to set the dye and then soak it again for 24 hours and see what comes of it.  The stripes are only leaving the water a bit grey now.  So I'm positive the blue color is the original silk dye.  I didn't get a daylight shot of the colors, but everyone has stared at the fabric and the photos and the decision is: good enough, don't drive yourself crazy.  Tomorrow I'll be cutting out the pj bottoms and the t-shirt and set them up for sewing while the silk soaks again.  I'm hoping cauterizing it, will stop the bleeding. O_o

The flash makes it lighter in the photo than it is to the eye.  But the stripes are now darker than yesterday and the purple is much calmed down from the neon it was before and reads Navy in some lights and purple in others.

Sept 13, 2013 

Okay, the blue dye is obviously coming from another universe.  The silk is still bleeding even after steam ironing and soaking again.  However, it's very thin with all the sizing out of it.  India silk strikes again.  So, it can be lined!  Problem solved.  I'll put a navy blue lining under it.  I'm also going to put a very sheer white cotton lining under the grey fabric, because it's still loosing a light amount of greyish into the water when I rinse it.  Now, this shouldn't be a problem if the doll isn't in high humidity and everything stays dry.  But as always, wash the garments separately by hand and air dry where they won't do anything to anything else.  Ritt eventually stops bleeding after about 30 washings, and even so the color is so mild that it doesn't stain anything else in the wash after the first 10 washing.  But the blue from the silk is not the black dye I put in.  You would think that fabric would be WHITE by now. O_o So, Monday, I take the scissors to the shirt and pants and pattern the robe sometime during the week.  

Sept 16, 2013

Mondays, gotta love 'em.  Working on the robe pattern.  I'm going to get that roll collar perfect if it drives me nuts.  It keeps doing this conical thing around the neck.  Pants and t-shirt cut out and ready to sew. ^_^ 

Sept 19, 2013 

I've finished patterning the robe and everything is laid out for sewing, but I'm patterning other jobs with the idea of doing nothing but sewing next week.  Just a tad behind because of other things but still expecting to be ready to ship by next Friday evening, meaning in the package ready to go.  

Sept 24, 2013 Update.  

Just a bit more trouble with the shawl collar but it's fixed now.  I just had to pull out the pj bottom pockets to redo tomorrow.  I'm pretty sure the doll can't get his hands in them as is.  My camera was not happy this evening, and I'm too whacked tired to take the photos again.  It's been murdering the colors on all the photos this evening. 

Again, because of the dye, the pj bottoms will be lined, as well the robe.  The white is a gauzy cotton, and the lining to the robe is a very thin polyester.  Because the silk is thinner than paper, it should be about right. 

I'm pretty happy about the t-shirt pattern.  I've come to peace with the fact that there can be no t-shirt for a bjd without some sort of opening I can't entirely conceal.  (damn it). 

Sept. 26 2013  Update

I'm going to focus on this job tomorrow, Friday.  I had another order due to ship tomorrow and wanted to get that in the shipping bag today.  

Sept 28, 2013 Update

I've only got the robe to put together and the hand sewing (hems, snap, etc) and the project should be done today if nothing else turns up like yesterday.  It'll be packed up to ship Monday AM and I will get decent daylight photos before packing them up. ^_^ 

Sept 29, 2013 Update: Finished! 

I tried to get some photos in natural light through the windows but yeah...not so great.  With flash and without flash.  Ready to be shipped! 


  1. Sorry I've been out of the loop, but wow, what a journey a simple robe and PJ set have turned out to be! As always, so grateful for your hard work, patience, talent, and endurance, lol! THANK YOU! - MonkeyGraph

    1. It's FUN, LOL, or I wouldn't be doing it. I love having a customer who's as exacting as I am, too.


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