Saturday, March 31, 2012

Where's the progress????

Although it seems glacial, I do have some progress for the week:

I've only been able to work on these for very few hours as my mom's health has been declining.  My brother arrived a couple days ago and is visiting with her... (that's a whole other story).  I am Soooo thankful she did not have to get admitted to the hospital.  We are watching her carefully and she is on antibiotics --

I can breathe a little easier.

Yellow beaded dress is getting some random beading here and there -- takes a lot of beads though...

Then there's the coral dress, it needs the finalization on the seam and a bodice...

I don't know what it is called (I call it a double blind seam) -- this is part I, then it gets folded over and hemmed.

I think it is interesting that couture clothes don't have labels???  That's why many of them say "attributed to".

And lastly,

Friday, March 30, 2012

Super Baste... Yeah Nicki Minaj spin off...

I kept having that song play in my head (I have teenagers) -- I was thinking of a title for today's blog post -- viola.  I know it is Super Base...

I wanted to show some of the "work" on the coral dress.

The underside of the hem.  I used coral thread.  If you look along the top fold, you can see the hem.  The white baste thread.

The display side, you can see where I "picked up" the fabric.

It needs ironing.

The collar has 4 tuck/pleats and is finished in a straight stitch.

You can see the baste thread..  I've removed the baste thread from the tucks.

Here's a look at the other side:

This will be all hand stitched, I am moving on to the seems next...  Hand stitching (my favorite...) -- this is going to take forever.  See the weirdness of my stitches.  I take my time, it's just that I'm not neat with stitching.  Practice, practice, practice.

I've basted the rear seam.  I just need to sew that.  I've also used a baste thread to gather the waist.  I'm still thinking about the bodice -- I'm thinking mesh?? or something super sheer.  I have to make a trip to my less than ideal fabric store... I have to keep an eye out, maybe I'll find something.

** Funny how life is, I had written this post as I needed to take photos during the daylight (It is dark here when I post in the mornings -- so many times I had to either use a flash or take the photos in the evening before it gets dark).   Florida is funny that way it doesn't get light until about 7:10 am -- then it doesn't get dark until about the same time in the evening...  I couldn't reach my sister last night, she was at the ER with mom so she probably had to turn off her phone.  Hospitals in Florida take hours.  My phone went dead...  I found myself checking my emails this morning and going of all places to Flickr???  Check out the new Immortal Classique doll Red Riding Hood -- AMAZING costuming.  

Thursday, March 29, 2012

while searching.... I found the perfect fabric....

I was looking through all my fabrics to find the sequined yellow mesh so I could make a detachable bustle--

I came across this fabric... It reminded me on the "design" I sketched out for the sports challenge (basketball couture) -- this would be the skirt -- representing the net.

I remember thinking, you would never find the right material for that.  Here it was in my stash (my stash is pretty big) -- I mostly buy unusual -- if I've never seen any thing like it before -- I have to have it.

Anyway, this would have made the perfect skirt (I may have to make it for fun) --

I buy fabric and then find something to make from it.  Most people have some thing in mind and go looking to find "the perfect fabric". 

**   Post script.  Bad day!  My mom went to the ER tonight.  Makes me realize how insignificant dolls/costuming really is :(  

I have tomorrow's post all ready... My blog may be slow for a while...

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

I really liked this

Looks simple enough.  They used a braid to make a bustier type top.

If I can find a narrow (and thin) braid, I'd like to make this in black (or gold)

I'm back to stitching today (I don't like hand stitching) -- or beading for that matter. So, I don't have to like it ;)

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Progress, thus far...Finished painting... I think

Coral dress:  Finished painting the skirt and the collar.  I have to think about the bodice.

Orange dress:  I'm super frustrated.  I lost the beads and the thread to my orange dress.  I went out and bought new thread... Now that one is gone???????  What is going on.  So tired of it.  I went to 4 stores on Friday trying to get the thread and the beads.  NO LUCK with the beads, can't find them... Ughhh.

(Hey, I found my beads -- the ones in my house, so I'm back on this one :))

Peacock dress:  Only in developing stages.  I have the materials and the drawings, not motivated (yet).

Yellow sequin/beaded dress -- still working on the beading.  There's a lot of beading.  I beaded forever  (Can hardly see the progress).

Pink Petal dress:  I think the petal portion is mostly done, deciding on the bodice.  Here's what I have so far.  Love the back...

And the back....

I always think: no matter how bad my photos are, I always like to see what is going on -- would rather have a bad photo than no photo ;)

And for bad photos with a mystery....

I bought these.  They are from... (can't think of the name -- german company)

Now, it's bugging me.  It is from Gutermann.  Any idea what they are??  They are some sort of plastic (I suppose) -- they are pressed so they have ridges...

They are some sort of scallop shell bead/sequin.  There is an iridescent coating on them.  Very interesting...  I have another idea with real sea shells that I have collected that have holes in them. -- I want to use them like danglies.  

Monday, March 26, 2012

Having changed my mind... Several times

I think I'm settled on this as my "final, final"...

When applied, it looks like elmer's glue to me (I kind of liked that effect) -- when dry it is clear, flexible and glittery.  Works.

See the elmer's glue effect.  White, milky....

Once it is dry it is much more subtle.

Almost ready for stitching.  Have to let dry....

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Spent much of yesterday reading about Couture.

As you may recall, I ordered 3 books.  I spent most of yesterday leafing through and marking outfits.  I am so enamored by these books.  Really love them.   I love the explanation (and chart) of couture vs. Luxury/high end ready to wear  -- if it was found in a store -- it's not couture! :)

The books go into the explanation of how measurements are taken and dressforms are built.  One discusses couture vs. Art -- I guess that is almost like couture vs. costume -- very elaborate but machine made dresses.

I highly recommend these books if you have an interest in fashion (if even to get at the library and thumb through to see the different designer concoctions).

Now... I'm very motivated....  I have a new idea -- I'm going to continue it using this blog...  Did you ever see the movie Julie and Julia... The woman who cooks from the Julia Child cookbook -- making every single recipe???

I remember thinking... overwhelming really...

I have an idea that I would like to pursue (later this year) -- There are reasons I have to wait, but I'm thinking come September, I'm an official "empty nester"  -- what to do.... travel? (too expensive) -- I don't want to say I've done enough travel for a life time (as it seems like a life time ago -- due to unusual circumstances, I have travelled extensively). my other choices are:  long walks on the beach, get a job (my husband may favor this one), hang around....

I've started the ball rolling and been ordering things.  I made another order yesterday...

Saturday, March 24, 2012

I interrupt my burst of creative energy

To highlight yet another artist:

Jessica of Cozy Couture.

I contacted Jessica and told her I'd love to have a sweater for my Agnes... I have loads of patterns, but I neither have the time nor the energy to execute one any time soon.

I picked black...  It is gorgeous.

Yes, my pictures are pretty much terrible (that's part of the charm of this blog -- they are bad and I know it)

Here's a close up

Beautiful workmanship; yeah the pictures can't do justice ... blah, blah, blah.  

You get the idea.  I highly recommend these sweaters.  I've just edited this to add her link (silly me)

Also, I have another surprise, looks like the doll I've been saving for may be in my horizon, after all.  The artist and I have been in contact... I'm excited... I'll give you glimpses when she arrives...  It's going to take a while.  ooooooohhhhh.....can't wait..........

Friday, March 23, 2012

I'm working (slowly but surely)

I have a new embroidery thread.  It is iridescent white.  I thought it was funny.  One of the few things sold in the US that is made in France.

Yes, the "made in France" is out of focus.  This is just DMC floss (specialty).

I did two different stitches (A chain stitch and a straight stitch) -- when I was about 10 years old, I "took up" crewel work.  I learned a ton of stitches -- I don't remember most of them, I'm sure if I saw them, I'd remember.

I'm not that happy with either result, I may decide to do fabric paint or something stitching doesn't capture the essence of the drawing... Back to the drawing board!!  I hate when I do this, but I don't want to do all this work and then decide I didn't like it (better sooner than later).

Now what???  Oh well, it's a trial and error process.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

I found just the material for my "Coral" dress.

I may make 2 -- one white and one coral as I can't decide.

I think I'm going to need more.  I only got a 1/2 yard....  Back to the store.

I started by drawing (free hand with fabric marker) what I thought coral branches should look like.

I cut the skirt and the collar then drew on them.

This is another super labor intensive project (don't expect to see it finished any time soon) -- It's in the making and when I get some progress, I'll post.

The color looks red, it's not.  Probably the flash.  I'm writing this late and there's no sun...  

I'm thinking white embroidery thread, or maybe silver and beads.   I guess I could just use beads and make it all beads...  I think some "structure" would probably look better.  The material is very thin, similar to a voile??  It's thicker than voile, looks almost dupioni-like in that there are threads visible at different thicknesses.  Weird fabric.

I remember reading about a house in Paris that did most, if not all, of the hand embroidery that is done on couture clothing.  It started with an L??  (maybe) -- I think it was W magazine that had the article about it -- years ago.  It showed all these older women sitting around and all working on one garment -- wish I knew someone who could/would do all this embroidery that I'd like to have ;)

I feel more inspired.  

(I know I'm not in the league with the professionals).  All these things inspire me nonetheless.  I saw the CDDC challenge for #3 today.  Wow.  I can't believe the outfits.  I must also mention that Immortal Classique is releasing a new doll -- I saw the pictures.  AMAZING!  The cloak is unbelievable.  The headpiece -- really a masterpiece.  Terri Abel's kimono for her new series of dolls -- also so labor intensive -- just gorgeous.  I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE her new doll.   Check it out.

Adriana is an immortal classique and Agnes is a Terri Abel doll (PaperWhite).

I've been saving since November for another doll and every time I'm about to have enough money, it seems like another "comes on the market" -- Ahhhhhhhh!!!  An Enchanted doll is up for sale.... on the secondary market.   I'm not so sure I still want one.   I really wanted one -- I was on the waiting list for, gosh, I think a couple years.  Then the wait list turned into a wish list as the artist isn't making nudes to order any more -- I figure I can't go on wishing and waiting.   

I'm happy with the dolls I have so far and have to concentrate on wardrobe.  When I'm able, I'll add may be one or two dolls.  I think I should sell or trade my resin dolls.  I got those before Agnes, and well although Narae is a nice enough doll, as is JamieShow, Gene, Tyler, Madame Alex's Alex...  See where this is going.  Perhaps it's time to make room by clearing some of the others out.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

I'm still working.... also I have a new inspiration

I saw something over the weekend that really sparked my creativity...

It had to do with coral... I've done some rough (and I do mean rough) sketches -- just a preliminary.  I get these things in my brain, I have to come home and jot it down or it "flies back out"  ;)

I have lots of decisions as to execution.  I can't even decide on the color.  Should it be white or coral (that orangey pinky color?)

Recently, I saw the fashion doll challenge and I had a crazy idea about a couture dress that looked like an inverted basketball net.  There would be a hoop that is orange -- similar to a basketball rim.
The top/bodice would mimic a basketball itself -- made of pebbled leather with stripes.  High stockings with garters that looked like the traditional tube sock top.

This was for the sports challenge one -- If you are not familiar with the challenge.... /  Click on challenge 1 on the menu along the left side.

I stumbled across it a few years back--- when some of the most amazing designers were in (some still are)...  I'm pretty sure that's where I first saw Huckleberry Jackson. -- I can't be positive.  Really, there are some masters out there.  Many should be designing for doll firms...  Superfrock, Tonner, Mattel should all take note!

I probably will never execute this dress, but it was fun to think about.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Crazy, some times I get these strange urges. Shoes....

I had this strange urge to try to make some strappy shoes for Adriana.  I'm not good at making shoes (I know this) -- any way.

This is what came of it.  As strange as this sounds, I think I could work on this until I "mastered" it.  They are very rough looking, but with time....

I want to make crazy bases/platforms I saw some they were just fabulous.

I have all kinds of ideas.  That's for another time...

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Petal dress progress

The progress looks slower than it actually is.  I think I'm about 4 to 5 rows "into" it.  

Saturday, March 17, 2012

I've been spending all my free time working on dresses

Free time.  That's a laugh.

Knowing what I know now... I've got to make time to work on my doll stuff.

I now have 3 patterns that I want to work on, but I first want to finish up these dresses:

The yellow dress progress.

I've beaded the top in an asymmetric fashion. 

Here's with a flash.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Here's where I am so far... Petal dress.

I like the effect so far, can't decide if it should be cocktail length, full length, or even short.

In the photo, it looks "fairy like" -- in person, it doesn't.

Here's another shot.

Still working on "others" also, next up....

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Pink Petal dress

Well, I know I promised pictures, but this is all I have for now...  I figure if I showed an in progress photo it would be easier to imagine (the finished item) -- also once it is all layered, it would be harder to figure out how it was constructed.

So here's a sneak peak:

It may not be obvious so, I'll describe.  I'm on the second row(on the left) it looks like it could be the 3rd.  The petals are staggered and sewn by hand to tulle.  (I'm pretty happy with how it is progressing) -- It is slow going with alignment and hand sewing.  

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Best day ever!

Both my daughters made it into their first choices for schools!  Couldn't be happier.  With all the stress lately, this is a welcome relief.

This past Saturday, I attended a miniature show....

I had been anticipating this show for months (didn't know what to expect) -- there were two sections -- sales room and displays.  I headed straight to sales, the displays weren't going anywhere....  There might be something I need and someone else is going to get it :) -- see where this is going.  Got to stay out of salesrooms.

I usually start off with, "I don't need anything", followed by "Oh, look at that", followed by "I've never seen that before", finishing up with "I just have to get one of those".... Dangerous.

I've picked up a bunch of things in hopes of eventually making a diorama.

Let's just say, I'm glad this only happens once a year... (I did sign up to be notified for the next show.)

There were really cool things such as make your own buttons... yeah I said buttons.  A woman showed how you could take this "caning" cut it into slices to decorate things.... I need make your own buttons....  You can make jewelry, decorate miniature food, and make buttons!

 These are tiny (imagine the size to make buttons or doll earrings) The detail is amazing.

I got this cloisonne box that opens.  I didn't get a good picture of it..

Then I got a bunch of things.... a wooden jewelry box, an ash tray, a covered urn, a small podium, on and on...

I love tiny things (especially if they "work").

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Feathers arrived!!!

Just what I need more materials...  I wish I had more time....

These arrived last Friday from Hong Kong.

In the sunlight,  the glare caught the cellophane wrapper on the organza.  Here's a photo of the feathers indoors with flash -- you can see the iridescence of the feathers a little better, but I'm sure you've seen them before.

The "eyes" are quite pretty:

With flash:


I can't wait to get to the making of this dress, but I think it will take a while.  

I think I may want to do black velvet, heavily beaded for the top, or perhaps organza, I have some sketches...  I was thinking I could do a detachable bottom, so the dress could be a worn cocktail length or as a full gown,  I have to think about that.

It will come (It reminds me of the Zuhair dress)... It should be pretty time consuming.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Orange dress!

I'm working on the bodice of the orange dress.  I wanted to do some smocking, but the organza wasn't holding it.....

I then started beading....

Not happy, back to the drawing board....

I hate wasting time but more so, I hate to have a design I don't like :)

I tried pleating/smocking but the pleats are too deep, back to square one.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Here at Dressmaker central...

I see other people's work (you know who you are) and I'm so intimidated.  These people are beyond professional, I mean masters!!  They bring doll fashion to a whole new level.  I'm in awe of their talent, but I know my limitations :).

Anyway, these are just some of my (simple) designs (simply) executed.

I'm trying to get to another dress. I worked on the orange dress and the petal dress yesterday, but not nearly as much as I worked on:

The yellow one.  First, I made the little loops that go over the buttons (for closure)

 Then I started beading.... this is going to take forever.  I think I've sewn over 100 beads... doesn't look it.

Here's a close up of just the midsection (tons of beads)

Yep, I'll post more photos tomorrow!

Saturday, March 10, 2012

I wanted to work on the pink petal dress...

but Adriana still had on the yellow dress, I worked on that.

I added the buttons on the back and attached the train.  I still have a peplum to add, lots of beads... More work for sure.

I need to add the loops.

Ok hopefully some progress on pink dress (tomorrow).

Friday, March 9, 2012

Dress 3 that I'm going to be working on (for now)

You saw petals and tulle....

Here's what I'm doing with them....

What's that you say, you can't imagine it...  check my progress (maybe tomorrow) for a better idea of what it is....

Thursday, March 8, 2012

As promised another citrus confection

You can see from the colors why I thought citrus.  Actually you'll see as I go along, tropical is more fitting.

lots left to be done on this dress.  It has micro sequins on the fabric, but I think I want to bead it (heavily).  The most interesting part of the design (I think) is the back.  I can't decide whether to make the train detachable (or not) and I also want to add a detachable peplum (to give the rear some volume).

Ok, so this is dress 2... There will be more... Tomorrow is a yet another preview.