Monday, April 23, 2012

The start of a new doll. . .

Tonight I started a new doll in class!

She is Bell mold #MD2637, an 18" French Fashion doll, who should some day look something like this picture from the Bell web site:

New things I needed to learn to make this doll was beveling the eyes, and also dealing with hands that have spread out fingers. I was so sure I was going to break a finger, but I didn't!

This is the dress pattern that was made to go with her (Bell #RP2637B):

Not sure if I'll use it or not. . . Most likely I'll use bits and pieces, and change it here and there to make it my own. Still plenty of time before I get to that, since Marie Louise took about two months, start to finish, so I'm guessing this doll will be somewhere near that. So yes, lots of time to daydream about clothing. Meanwhile, I should maybe make something for poor Marie Louise to wear! This nude doll thing is getting to be quite an epidemic in this sewing room of mine! For shame!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Introducing: Marie Louise!

Very quick, before I go to work, here are a few pictures, as promised:

I am not a photographer. I couldn't find how to get it right so that the gold shows as shiny as it is in real life, and so you can't see things like the reflection of the screen in the window on her. But, you get the idea! Full-length view:

I am SO happy with how she turned out! The only real "mistake" I think I made is that on the back of her neck, I had a little bit of an issue with the gold dripping, because I did not mix it well enough. At the time, I did my best to wipe it off, but the funny thing about the gold is that even when it looks like you've wiped it off, it's still secretly there, and wiped areas turn purple when fired. My teacher used some nifty gold-removing stuff and managed to drastically reduce it, so all that's left is a tiny bit that you will never see because the doll will be facing forward! :)

I showed it to my husband and he said "she has a birthmark!" Ha ha ha!

Anyhow. So one tiny purple mark, but totally content with the rest of the doll? I'd say that's a pretty good turn-out for my very first doll, especially considering how very critical I can be of the things I create! ;)

Next up: Underpinnings!

Monday, April 16, 2012


It's official: My first ever porcelain doll is done! I finished assembling her in class tonight. She turned out awesome, and I can't wait to show you, but, the lighting in my sewing room is crappy after dark, so, stay tuned for pictures tomorrow! :D

Hooray for multi-doll patterns!

I love it when I am about to start drafting a pattern for a doll, then think, "hey, maybe this thing I already drafted/made is close in size," and it turns out to be almost perfect!

Charlotte's corset, on the new "Marie Louise" doll's body:

It is perhaps a little loose around the bottom, but not enough to bug me. I even already have a second corset all cut out and mostly assembled. I'll finish that up, and voila! A corset for Marie Louise!

This is exactly the sort of reason why I like all my dolls to be right around 1/3 scale. Then, they can share furniture, accessories, and apparently, sometimes even corsets! ;)

In other news. . .

Over the weekend, I thought I'd start Marie Louise's underpinnings. I pulled out the patterns and think I'll use the drawers and petticoat from the official pattern, but it looks like there is no chemise included, so I'll be drafting that. Not a big deal since chemises are easy. :) So, the only real hold-up is that I could not find a lace that I had enough of and thought would suit this project. And I'm going to go out on a limb and guess I'm not going to be able to find pretty trim at a fair price at JoAnn's. . . So I'm shopping online for it. Actually, trying to order it as we speak, but eBay is fussing. Which is odd, since I rarely have issues with eBay! I might have to go eat some dinner and try again later. . .

Doll class tonight! And this is an exciting night because I put the finishing touches (hopefully!) on Marie Louise last week, so tonight, I get to see her! And, if she really is done, take her home and finish putting her together! Hooray! You know, I didn't think I cared much for china heads, but this one has somehow weaseled her way into my heart. Probably because she's my first. ;)

Monday, April 9, 2012

Almost done!

Another week of working on my "Marie Louise," and, this might have been the last of the painting on her! Tonight I did all her gold jewelry. I sort of messed the back of the necklace up a bit, but, this is my first doll, so I'm okay if she's not perfect. . . I'm just glad I started at the back so I could make my mistakes there, and not on the front! The front, I'm pleased to say, turned out quite well. I'll have to see it after firing, to know if I need to go over the beads a second time. If I don't need to, then guess what? I get to attach her to the body and finish her! Hooray!

Next, she needs clothing. I seriously can not have another nude doll laying around this place, LOL! I think I'm going to use a combination of her official patterns, as well as some of my own invention, to create her complete ensemble. I should have everything I need for her underpinnings already in my stash, but I'm not sure about her dress. I sketched an idea for her dress from a book of antique dolls in class tonight, and it is pink and black (of course, this is ME we're talking about here, LOL!) On the way home, I got to thinking that the dress is actually described as lavendar, and I do have some lavendar silk taffeta in my stash, so maybe I'll use that. . .

Speaking of the drive home. . . I am being TERRORIZED by spiders! Seriously! The past two weeks before tonight, there was a GINORMOUS one crawling all over the windshield. After I got home last week, I finally managed to get him out. I thought my troubles were over, but tonight, he was back, and he BROUGHT A FRIEND! Ugh! One of them climbed the windshield and vanished and I was just waiting for him to dangle down onto my head, while the other one paced back and forth at the base of my side window, taunting me, until he finally crawled down the door (no doubt so he could creep up my leg and thus torment me, but too bad for him, I got home before his evil plan was carried out!) I don't even know what to do, but seriously. . . I have to get these little eight-legged fiends out of my car or I am going to die in a horrific accident because one of them finally landed on me! (The last time a spider made contact with me, I quite literally tore like a 4" hole in the seat of my pants trying to escape him!) Yeah. Spiders. Not my favorite!

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Progress and babbling. . .

And my first doll is even closer to being finished! Last night, I prepared the molded-on jewelry for getting the gold next week. . . And next week's gold will be the last of the painting, so she's nearly there! And, I traced the pattern for her clothing yesterday. I don't know if I'll use the dress pattern, but I'll probably use the drawers and chemise pattern just to make life easy. Oh, and no more pictures of her until she's done, because then she can have a "grand reveal." ;) I will say though that the gold looks amazing! I think it was definitely worth the extra cost. :)

Before class, I was also tracing off some potential patterns for the 12" FFD that I have not talked about much here. And I've got a mock-up for an outfit for Fanny under way as well. You see, I just know that once I have my dream FFD, my other dolls will probably get neglected - at least for a while! So I'm on a mission to clothe them all!

And in final doll-related news. . . I totally woke up this morning having a dream that I was at the doll studio. In this case, I was painting a doll-size tea set. I was hand-painting little tiny flowers on them, and putting a fine line of the liquid gold around the rim. Now I kind of want to do this project! I'll stick in the back of my brain for future reference, where there's also the idea of doing my ornament for the annual Christmas ornament swap we do with friends, since we were looking at the different ornaments in class last night. People apparently do a lot of fairies around Christmas time, and that could also work as an ornament for our swap - a little fairy ornament! We'll see how amibitious I'm feeling when the time comes nearer. . .