I have been on a sewing kick recently, ever since I started working with DollsAhoy’s raglan sleeve sweatshirt pattern last weekend. I have made 4 sweaters so far. My small populations show them off below in chronological order from left to right. Continue reading 1:6 scale sock sweaters!
I’ve been focusing on digital for so long that I don’t even recall the last time I posted about doll-related creative projects! I’m shifting, though, away from an all-consuming obsession with digital to my first love, actual dolls. Right now I’m working on Zombieville stuff, but [eventually!] I’ll get to those BJDs who have languished, unfinished, for a year or more. [I’m sorry, Delmar and Fritillaria!] In the meantime, see below for details on Isabel’s wardrobe and workplace. Continue reading Isabel’s shitty sock sweater and in-progress office
I’m cleaning off my memory card before the end of the year, and I have quite a few photos on it that I have yet to blog. Les voici.
At Vermont Doll Lovers on December 12th, I purchased some gachapon minifigures from Lyrajean. They represent cutesy versions of some Japanese airline’s stewards’ uniforms throughout the airline’s history. Lyrajean, who picked them up in Japan a few years ago, says that they came as promotional items with different kinds of soda. [I think she was buying the soda just for the minifigs…] Continue reading December doll update 1: more dolls for dolls
Vermont Doll Lovers has its Halloween meetup in about a week and a half, so I’ve been collecting seasonal props appropriate for dolls of various scales. Today I took the inspiration even further and decorated one of my 11″ fake pine trees, previously serving as a piece of my forest set, to be a Halloween tree. Since a Halloween tree is exactly the sort of thing Isabel would enjoy, we may see one shortly in Zombieville. Pictures below.Continue reading What’s more fun that a Christmas tree? A Halloween tree!
Mattel gave the Monster High license to Megabloks, the building brick company that is not Lego, and the Megablok playsets have recently made it up to the northern reaches of the US. At Toys R Us yesterday I picked up Ghoulia Yelps and her Creepariffic Lab, as well as Ghoulia and Clawdeen figures sold separately. Here’s my sold-separately Ghoulia hanging out in her little lab.Continue reading Monster High Megabloks as dolls for dolls
After recently determining that 3×5″ sample swatches of faux fur yield at least one, if not two, size 4 wigs apiece, I ordered some samples of versicolor faux fur. This is a multicolored pattern where, instead of appearing in discrete tufts or stripes, the various colors blend more organically in round-edged patches. The samples obtained from my preferred supplier, LuxuryFaux Fur on Etsy, have a surprisingly long pile, maybe about 4″, and fine, silky, high-quality fibers. I made Isabel wigs from two samples today: orange/pink/purple [top photo] and light pink/dark pink [bottom photo].Continue reading Today’s hair for Isabel
This weekend, I also made some stands for my Dellamorte gravestone magnets. Isabel kneels beside them while showing off another creation from yesterday: yet another faux fur wig.Continue reading Other creative projects this weekend: grave stands and Isabel’s wig
I found a size 4 Pinky wig [the same style as that which I originally intended for my Cutey Honey, but recently ruined] in light greenish blue in my doll supplies drawer. It looked like it might go well with Polly’s tail, so I tried it on her.
I had one of those evenings where I felt dissatisfied with all my accomplishments. Continue reading A frustrating evening with digital and 1:6 scale dolls
In the past few days, I finished off another shirt for Isabel based on Andrea’s pattern. I have concluded that all the shirts I am making from this pattern will of necessity look disappointing, not as a function of the pattern, but because the pattern is not made exactly for Isabel’s measurement. For example, the pattern features shoulders that are too high and armscyes that are too big.
I tried to fit this shirt better to Isabel by lowering the tops of the shoulders. This tactic successfully reduced the amount of loose fabric around the upper chest. However, because I did not lower the back of the neck as well, the collar remains high up, looking silly. Next time I’ll just modify the pattern, rather than hacking at a partly sewn shirt. Oh well, at least the fit around the lower torso is okay…Continue reading Update on creative endeavors #2: Isabel’s shitty shirt
I finished my second handmade shirt for Isabel last weekend. It’s still an obvious mess, but, compared to my first finished shirt, it went much easier. Everything went more quickly because I understood how the pieces fit together; therefore the steps of construction flowed logically into one another. I was also more comfortable with hand sewing in general, so I made smaller and more even stitches and fewer mistakes. I guess my skills really were developing during those six months that I was avoiding my sewing kit! Continue reading Recent projects #3: another LOUD shirt for Isabel
Someone on MWD asked for dressed shots of Isabel posing, so here they are. Standard stuff, really. Insert your own witty captions here because I’m too tired to make them.
Isabel’s strung resin ball-jointed body, a 5StarDoll “tiny” BJD body with an Elfdoll Doona Ryung head, has the correct chunky shape for her character. However, I value more than just an accurately fat body shape. After years of playing with action figures whose well-engineered articulation allows for fluid posing, I want sophisticated poseability too!
…that my *next* serial melodrama is going to use plastic action figures with resin heads. That probably means I should make an action figure body for Isabel, just so she’s poseable. I would also love to have swappable hands and feet for her!
I have been moving very slowly toward sewing my own doll clothes. I have hemmed and altered existing clothes. I have also crudely constructed simple raw-edged skirts and capes, fastened with hot glue and/or a running stitch. I have not sewn an entire garment, using a pattern, from beginning to end. Taking on such a project seemed to be the logical extension of the modifications that I had already done.
I acquired a pattern for a Tyler doll from Andrea [DollsAhoy] for a collared shirt in October, 2014. I also took advantage of the Halloween season to buy three cotton prints — dancing skeletons, bats and spiderwebs — appropriate for Isabel’s tastes. Then all of the supplies just sat on my desk for about two months.
Earlier this month, the hiatus between Zombieville chapters gave me more time for other projects. My interest in sewing reawakened. I hit Joanne Fabrics for some quilter’s packs of REALLY LOUD fabrics to supplement my Halloween prints. Armed with a high level of enthusiasm and approximately 0.5 of a clue, I set to work.
My first two attempts will not be exhibited here. They were too large and/or sloppy and/or filled with mistakes, which tends to happen when you only have 0.5 of a clue. However, I learned enough about what NOT to do from failures #1 and #2 so that I could apply my new skills to failure #3.
Behold now the glory that is failure #3! Modeled by Isabel [here and in chapter 5 of Zombieville], it’s a snugly fitting collared shirt with long sleeves, intentionally constructed with contrasting prints, fastened with snaps.
Evethecat [whence Muggins] has diagrams that prospective owners can print to see how various sizes of ball-jointed cats scale out in real life. I printed a diagram for Muggins’ size, that is, 4cm at withers, and posed Isabel with it. Look! A 1:6 scale articulated kitty cat!!!
Now that I see how small all the tail sections actually are, I can’t say I’m looking forward to their assembly. I’m seriously considering sculpting a solid tail, jointed only at the base, myself.
Isabel’s glue gun is a ray gun from the Takara Cy Girl Aurora, repainted with green spray paint. I drilled a hole in the back end and inserted a polymer clay glue stick that DLSarmywife on Figurvore made for me. I wrapped a little tin foil around the nozzle for the metal and then added a blob of actual hot glue.
Continue reading “Say hello to my little friend.”
As much as I enjoy constructing or customizing many of my 1:6 scale dolls, set pieces and accessories, I always appreciate an accurate, detailed, appropriately scaled piece that looks and functions great straight out of the package. Sometimes I just don’t want to invest hours of work into everything.
Continue reading 1:6 scale upright vacuum and handheld vacuum
I have finished salvaging all those earlier wigs that I could, cutting out the hot glue center parts and stitching in hand sewn ones. I have taken the opportunity to try various hairstyles. Some of them even came out looking good!
Continue reading More salvaged and improved wigs for Isabel
I have been improving some of Isabel’s wigs this afternoon by trimming off the hot glued center parts, tracing the remainder on my Isabel-specific pattern and hand sewing them instead.
I have refined my wig making procedure. I used to hot-glue both the hairline edges and the center part. Hot glue, however, is not that flexible, so it often rendered the center part blocky and unrealistic. I changed from gluing the center part to hand sewing it. The results are more flexible, and they curve around the head naturalistically. I’m still hot gluing the hairline, though.
Continue reading Further wig experiments for Isabel
I created a workable pattern for Isabel’s wigs! This is the second one that I made with the pattern. Shockingly enough, I got tired of plain ol’ magenta, so I added a purple understory for variety. Came out well!
I see that I need to even out the pink highlights on Isabel’s lips. Will she ever be done?!
I’m in the midst of making a wig pattern specifically for Isabel’s oddly shaped head. Here’s the latest iteration of the pattern, almost there, but with too much bulk and height in the front hairline. Isabel looks great with 3" magenta shag as hair, though!
Well, technically, it’s Isabel’s doll studio, but it’s a barely organized heap of several projects in progress, so it’s pretty messy. I should start making this. I’ve been amassing dolls, doll parts, shelves and tables for her for quite some time, and I think I need to just dive right in and do it. The huge list of supplies I want to stock her with looks daunting, but, as much of it is either easily made or cut down from my own supplies, I should be able to quickly generate it.
Just a comparison shot.Continue reading Isabel: the quick and the dead
A test of the forest against the deciduous background reveals that it needs more filler.
Continue reading [Isabel] Forrest in the forest for the fifth time
I finished the large trees tonight.Continue reading [Isabel] Forrest in the forest for the fourth time
Okay, so technically Isabel’s not in these pictures. Let’s pretend she’s standing just out of frame. :p
Behold the understory! Yesterday I harvested some slender twigs from the nearby woods, then turned them into the understory for my forest set. I made bases for clusters of twigs using the same principles that I used when making them for my underbrush this weekend. This time, though, I did things differently.
First, I didn’t use polymer clay. I used Aves Apoxie Sculpt. It is a two-part sculpting medium that requires manual blending in 50/50 composition before use. It then has a working time of approximately two hours before it dries rock hard. When pliable, it may be tinted with acrylic paint. When dry, it may be sanded or carved.
I really like Apoxie Sculpt. I find it easy to use, with the caveat that hand-mixing just about three-fourths of a handful of it at a time is best. Otherwise I hurt my hands in an attempt to blend huge wodges at once!
Once blended, Apoxie Sculpt starts off slightly tacky, soft and very pliable, slowly stiffening and drying as time wears on. It responds readily to tools, cut it’s also easy enough to form with one’s fingers. [The instructions recommend wearing nitrile gloves and make it sound like the stuff is difficult to get off, but it’s really not. The second time I used it, I didn’t wear gloves, and I removed the sticky bits from my fingertips with soap and water.] Unlike polymer clay, it cures on its own, so no putting things in the oven, then juggling hot items as they come out.
Second, I didn’t glue the twigs into guide holes the way that I did with the underbrush. Instead I just stuck them in the Apoxie Sculpt bases and let the Apoxie Sculpt cure around them. As much as me and hot glue are BFFs, sometimes it’s nice not to have to use it.
When we last looked in on my forest in progress, it was pretty much uniformly green. In the mean time, I have made some improvements.
Erica’s end of a trade — a bunch of commissioned clothes for Isabel — arrived earlier this week. Forthwith, pictures of selected items.
Continue reading Clothes from Corsetkitten/Erica
I did a quick mockup of my spring/summer forest set. I used a moss table runner for the ground. The backdrop is North American Wildlife 2011 Forest Green cotton print by Elizabeth’s Studio [no really!]. The trees are my aforementioned sticks.
Here she is with her BJD, played by Jujube. Isabel is about 11 inches tall [28cm]. Since 2 inches = 1 foot in 1:6 scale, Isabel would be 5.5 feet [1.67m] in real life. Jujube is about 5.5 inches tall [14cm], which would make her 2.5 feet high in real life. That’s 76cm in real life, on the huge end for a BJD. 1:12 scale [Jujube] is like 1:2 scale for 1:6 scale [Isabel]. Therefore, even though Jujube is minuscule to me, anyone who sees her in Isabel’s arms will certainly remark on how huge she is! ^_^
I improved Jujube this evening by wiring her limbs with 22 gauge wire, repositioning her wig and removing her way-out-of-scale shoelaces.
More fur wigs with the tricolored swatches I’ve had lying around the house. Isabel looks good in pretty much anything, but I like the ones with the red bases the best. She’s bad ass!!
Isabel takes it in.Continue reading Another Rement Jumbo Food mascot
A smallipop, of course!
I finished making a bunch of 1:6 scale lollipops last night and tonight by modifying a tutorial by Linda Chang on WonderHowTo. She uses polymer clay for both lollipop sticks and the candy parts themselves, but I used toothpicks painted white, trimmed down and sealed with matte varnish for my sticks. I also lacked any colors of polymer clay besides white, so I tinted my clay with shaved chalk pastels, which worked really well! I was able to get surprisingly vivid colors, especially in my second batch of pops [red/white/purple].
These smallipops were really fun to make because they required very little effort to create a really cool spiral/swirl effect. My favorite smallipops are the green/yellow/white swirls and the red/purple/white ball pop.
Here’s Peter and Isabel showing off my smallipops. I love taking pictures of both of them because they have so much expressiveness in their faces. Peter’s all "Oh shit!" and Isabel’s all "No shit." Continue reading What do you call a little hard piece of candy on a stick?
You can’t tell, but Isabel is on her final and improved body. I got my second 5StarDoll tiny girl body earlier this week and reduced the neck this morning. Fweeeeeeee!Continue reading Isabel on her improved body
I have a few people with whom I am trading stuff for clothes for Isabel, so I figure that I should consolidate all the information about her measurements and style in one place for convenient reference.
Isabel is a 1:6 scale resin BJD made of an Elfdoll Doona Ryung head on a modded 5StarDoll tiny girl body. 5StarDoll’s measurements for that body are all still the same on Isabel; I just reduced the length of her neck and tapered it a bit at the top.
The only significant difference besides the neck is that Isabel has breasts, but they are made by stuffing tissues in a cropped tank top, which means that they are compressible and do not add much to her chest circumference. If you need any other measurements from me, please let me know!
For comparison’s sake, tops and jackets for male action figures fit her well, especially if stretchy or baggy. Pants/Leggings for female action figures fit, but only if they are really stretchy. If it helps, I have a post showing her in some clothing made for "regular-size" 1:6ers.
Like most of my favorite dolls, Isabel adheres to my signature style. You can find a discussion and examples of this style here. Other sources of inspiration may be found in Motylalka’s Etsy shop [I love the stuff with pink, green, yellow and orange!] and Manhattan Toy’s line of Groovy Girls, who know how to make multiple patterns work!
Isabel wears the following:
- tank tops
- arm warmers
- short skirts to mid-thigh
- leggings, lots of leggings
- legwarmers to knees
- things that stretch
She does not wear any of the following:
- sheer tops
- low-cut tops
This is because she has a red cropped tank top for a bra, and I don’t want her bra to be visible through her shirts! [Bra straps can be visible, though, if she’s wearing a tank top.]
Just remember…bright…stretchy…patterned…obnoxious! You can’t go wrong! :p
I improvised a sports bra for Isabel using a stretchy cropped tank top. Then I cut up a quarter of a tissue into strips, balled it up, then stuck it in each of her cups. Look — breast forms! And she’ll still fit into most of the clothes that I tried on previously.
Continue reading “Spare me the bullshit.”
I got a shipment of maybe 15 swatches of faux fur recently, including a bunch of new color schemes. I chose my favorite and made some more fur wigs this afternoon.
The ones in vibrant colors look different than the earlier set of vibrant colors because these have all fibers the same length. The first set of vibrant colors had short bases with longer spikes in different color. As a result, the first set provided lots of color without adding bulk. But the current set of vibrant colors adds bulk, thus making the hair less likely to respond to simple styling. That said, I love the tricolor zigzag pattern, from which all of the vibrant ones in this set are made. My current favorite, usurping even the white base with pink and green spikes, is a pink/purple/green zigzag at top right.Continue reading Isabel shows more fur wigs.
I started working on Isabel’s faceup last night, but eventually swapped her out to a Soom Uyoo body, as the Elfdoll Doona Ryung body she came with was weirding me out with its childlike proportions. Though her temporary body represents a shape Isabel has never had, it certainly disturbs me less than seeing the head of a 35-year-old on a 7-year-old’s body.Continue reading Isabel acquires faceup, hair and temporary body.