Friday, March 21, 2014

Commission: Volks SD Girl Traditional Basic and Princess Hanbok

A Dec '13/Jan '14 Project, for V/R's Volks SD Girl.

Project post bumped up and on the work table, again March 21.  

A basic hanbok set for every day, and a 'princess' hanbok' set with medallions and embroidery.  Set includes the outer skirt, jacket, pantaloons, for the princess set, a head band.  The outfits are to be traditional as possible, not modernized, but if you look around the web, some of the 'modernized' hanbok are actually quite in keeping with the classic lines and modesty.

These are just found images, credited to one web site for information purposes.  I have a bunch of images in the working file.
Images from
There is also a very nice YouTube video called The Beauty of Hanbok you might want to check out.

Oct 22, 2013

Deposit for fabric purchase and partial labor charges has been made.  Just awaiting further decisions on the fabric order and then the moment the work table is clear in December, the project is on!  
The customer has been kind enough to offer to loan me some real garments to examine for the construction.

Oct 26, 2013

Colors for the project:

Chima and amyam - hot pink.
Jeogori - green with light blue cuffs and a chili red stripe separating the green sleeve and light blue cuff.
String ties - chili red.
NOTE: check length of ties  

Chima - royal blue.
Jeogori - canary yellow.
String ties - Light blue
Embroidered flourishes along neck line, sleeves, and hem of skirt.
NOTE: check length of ties  "half the length & width of the 'everyday' jeogori measurements"

I'll be making the order up this Monday, the 28th, with these 6 colors plus the White for the under garments.  That's 6 at 1 yard each and 2 yards of the white.  

1 yard light blue
1 yard Chilli red
1 yard green
1 yard hot pink
1 yard royal blue
1 yard canary yellow
2 yards white

NOTE: check length of ties  
REAL: "The left one (left, as worn) is 54" (137cm) long by 2-3/4" (7cm) wide.
The right one (right, as worn) is 47" (119cm) long by 2-3/4" (7cm) wide."

October 28, 2013

I ordered the fabrics from Pure Silk today and the customer has sent the sample garments.  I'm hoping the new postal box system doesn't cause our not to swift on their feet post persons to have a break down.  It's happened before with substitutes for the regular route person.  And then there's my favorite USPS brilliancy.  The guy who just pulls up and SITS in his truck, not even bothering to come to the door or even acknowledge you, then spends half an hour looking over the paper work before he actually lets you have the package.  I'll be so glad when HE retires.

October 30, 2013

Okay the new box thing might just work.  For a little while.  I'm betting someone breaks into them with in two weeks, now that the whole block can see packages being locked into the big boxes for them.
So, the customer's sample garments showed up safe and sound, and I'm going to go over them when I have a quiet hour or two of brain function.

November 4, 2013

Emailed PureSilks USA to ask them why I haven't heard from them, concerned that "complete" refers to the whole order, not just the making of the order. O_o  Still haven't opened the Hanbok samples yet, it's been one hell of a bad weekend with no time to do anything but deal with emergencies.  I will open it this week and get the samples back to the customer.

I heard back from PureSilks late this evening. The order is shipping from Mumbai, India and should be here in 2 weeks. The web site gives the impression it would ship inside the U.S.  Ah well, now I know for future reference.

November 7, 2013

I haven't had a spare moment the past few days, to report that the silk showed up.  I haven't opened the sample box or the silk.  The ongoing transportation problem has slowed everything down.  I'm hoping to get to it all on Sunday and be able to ship back the garments on Monday.

November 11, 2013

I have a few more things to do that got delayed on another project, and will finally get the notes made and the package ready to go back tomorrow.  I've already opened and checked the silk and it is just beautiful, the colors are just as vibrant as they are on the web site.  I'm very pleased with the company and will order from them from now on.

November 12, 2013

I went down and picked up a flat rate box today and managed to get the silk photographed.  Then we had repair people come through for estimates again and my day went off kilter.  I want to get the samples back in the mail tomorrow. I have the whole day set aside to go over them.  The colors are much more vivid and jewel like in person, the store's images are spot on for color and sheen.

November 13, 2013

I finally got to settle down and go over the sample hanbok items the customer sent.  The box will be going in the mail tomorrow.  I've got lots of photographs of the construction and a seam type I've never seen before.  Another technique to add to my repertoire. I have lots of questions but I need to write them down after looking over the photos in December.     

November 30, 2013 

OMG, the agony of decision making!  I've been searching for a fabric to use to applique as the basis for the medallions on the jacket and skirts of the hanboks.  The sample ones are poppys, with the forget-me-nots and wheat branches that are all oddly central european in significance as wedding trim.  Silk road influence? 
Anyway, I took a poll here (basically yelling at people to get in here and tell me what to think!) and this looked like the closest I could come to the right size and look.  If you squint they look like the flowers on the sample the customer sent. The larger bunches are 2 inches across, and there are enough flowers to vary the sections I use in each bunch.  Then I just need to cut them out, and embroider them on to the garments, and toss on some wheat branches and forget-me-nots.  Extra fun, it's hard to see, but there is gold embossing on the fabric.  I just hope nothing goes wrong, because this was the last half yard in the shop in Yokohama. O_o  

December 10, 2013

Where the living hell is that fabric!  (now watch it show up tomorrow.)

December 11, 2013

I should go to Los Vegas with this talent.  The package was in the box today!  And the print is even more gorgeous and brilliant in person and perfect for the bright silks.  Patterning starts tomorrow!

December 14, 2013

Healthcare run around has been delaying actual sewing work but not the sketching and lining up the pattern pieces  and construction process.  This is so that I can toil, double check proportion against a doll close in size if not measurements, adjust decorations and cut (seams) to look 'real' on the doll, and catch any trouble before it starts.  I've been stuck in this phase all week, but now it's the weekend and there's no one in the various offices to bother me. GRRRR!

Dec 15, 2013

As I stated in another post, I have to watch my updates and photo uploads, because I got T-mobile to give us a six month break at the cost of bandwidth.  So, I'm going to start with the white garments and ran into the mess of them only sending one yard instead of the two ordered.  The fabric was so thin, I didn't think anything except, whoah, thin, and put it away for later.  As I've already told the customer, Lesson Learned.  I went to Joann's, and they didn't have the china silk but they had a very thin dupioni.  I will use the super thin for the lining and bits where super thin is good, like the piping on the skirt seams, and the oddly thin 'dupioni' for the pantaloons and slip.  It's silk but it's the thinnest darned dupioni I've ever seen. I shant complain too much because Joann's gave me 50% off without a coupon when I told them what happened with the silk order. has INK STAINS on it and I'll have to work around them (easy enough, but still...) AL-WAYS check an order completely, not just look at it and see if it's the right fabric.  I'm so used to only buying one yard or half yards for dolls.  Ball dropped.  This is the second reason why I blog orders, to remind myself to be careful things don't happen again.  
Because of that drive out there and getting lost and wondering back yesterday, (they really like to hide the Joann's, I swear) I am prepping the fabric at the moment, when I should have been cutting out this Sunday afternoon.  I like to start a Monday with everything cut out.  It's a good thing I gave myself plenty of time for this order.  >.<;;  
And thanks to Mr. Smith, we are secure for the first very critical months after disaster, and that has helped more than can be expressed by words.  

Dec 17, 2013

I've been pre-shrinking and bleeding the fabric of as much excess dye as possible while working on the patterning.  I'm down to the yellow and green pieces in the bowls of hot water, and the red and voilet blue are waiting.  The blue is behaving in a timely manner, usually 12 to 16 hours of soak, rinse, soak, rinse will get down to a pale shade in the water.  But the green, it's lime green jello color water for the past 12 hours, with no sign of it getting lighter!  I noticed the silk actually smelt of the dye when I dunked it the first time.  Usually only red is this persistent.  It may actually be a lighter color under all that dye, because I believe it was supposed to be standard lime color, and not fully ripe on the tree lime 'skin' green.  I'm giving it 24 hours because there's no rush at the moment.  I hope the violet-blue and the red aren't this stubborn.

The quality of the silk is very nice, so despite the flubbed yardage, I would order from this place again, just be more on the ball about double triple checking the goods.  The not quite dupioni from Joann's is going to really make better slips under the skirts, I think.  It's going to make them stand out better in the bell shape than the super thin "Marie-Ann" silk.  Sometimes things happen as an improvement.  Life is weird that way.

Dec 19, 2013

I've got the last of the prepped fabric hung up to dry.  Out of all the colors, the green was the most full of excess dye. At this point the water from all the colors was pastel rather than "lets dye fifteen more yards!" of fabric.  If the region the customer lives in is known for humidity, I would suggest silica bags on the shelves behind the dolls, (the kind you put in shoes?) as well as any anti-humidity devices in the air conditioning or filtering in high humid seasons.  This is based on where the customer lives according to the address.  We occasionally have hellish humidity one month a year here, and I haven't seen any issues with staining, but never give humidity a chance is my thought.  Not after it killed my electronics one year before I got smart.

Dec 21, 2013

My apologies for slowdown of work yet again.  I got a batch of paperwork to fill out yesterday, and today, in the mail and have to see my husband to get things signed Monday.  Hopefully this is the last batch of papers, ID scans, declairations, notarizations and all that for a while.  

Dec 22, 2013

I've got everything patterned but the Jeogori. I've got that in a paper towel test, and will check it on paper tomorrow. The curves are tricky. The sleeves have to be open enough at the end to allow for a permanently spread doll hand to go through, with out looking bagged open afterward. And I've seen the little jackets with and with out shoulder seams or a seam down the back. I'm going with no seam down the back and no shoulder seams, depending on how the muslin toil works out for it.

Dec 25, 2013

I forgot to post yesterday that I finally got the Jeogori patterns done.  Maybe I'm too obsessive, but the curves in the sides and bottoms held me up for most of the patterning of this part.  I kept double checking and comparing and finally decided I was dealing with something that had a wide enough margin for difference in reality that I would just let it go!  

Volks dolls have some very strange proportions compared to other dolls of the same height and size range.  The torso can be the same, but the arms very short.  The heads are larger by a few cm around, also.  Normally I would go with the fingertips of the dolls hand at the side of the leg as the length for a jacket or top and not have a problem.  But with the Volks dolls, I have to use the waist to knee, knee to floor measurement and back track it.  And of course as I said before, the Jeogori sleeve opening for the hand would have to be wider than normal to allow the doll's spread hand through.  

So, now it's down to sewing finally, thank goodness! My favorite part!  (Edit: I should mention that to me, 'sewing' means the actual cutting of the fabric and then putting needle and thread to it.  Patterning is three dimensional abstract geometry.)

Jan 5, 2013 Update (yes fiinally. >.>;;) 

I'm still cutting, and trying to be very careful to deal with the construction of ethnic garments I have only just laid hands on mentally.  (Laid brain on?) Having ironed out the silk there are some flaws in the fabrics to avoid. I wonder if the whole 'natural fiber has flaws' thing can really be accounted for in the 21st century when everything is machine woven.  In a way the white silk mess of is advantageous.  The thin stuff is going for lining, the thicker for the actual petticoat and pantalettes, etc.  Once everything is sewn, I'll hang the garments and lightly steam them to improve the 'drape' of the garment on the dolls.  My phone minutes and data plan roll over at midnight the 7th and I'll be able to update more. 

Jan 20, 2014  

I had some trouble finding a green thread at my store of choice to match the green silk but I found a very close one and the stitches are so tight, it doesn't show.  I'll have to check the 'expensive' store for Metrosene brand which has an amazing range of colors.  I'm loath to order thread on line to match a color.  They usually take forever to ship, as well.  I've made a good dent in the white sewing. Just too tired to set photos for what will be a cryptic pile of pins and fabric pieces.  

Jan 30, 2014

I'm going to have to start another post because this one won't save any more, soon! O_o  


  1. That is going to be so cool! Plus you will have patterns for more later!

    1. It's a very interesting project. I would have never thought of making something like this on my own. One of the great reasons to have customers bring new experiences into my repertoire.


Thank you for your comment! ^_^
Sometimes Blogger doesn't let me reply to comments on my own blog, but I will try to get back to you!