Posts Tagged ‘dollstown’

And so we meet again, Sewing, my old nemesis!  But be warned, this time you cannot prevent me from creating something beautiful from woven fabric, no matter how vilely you struggle!

A while ago I started to suspect that at least some of my sewing misadventures were due, not to my incompetence, but to the imperfection of the free patterns I was using (of course, no pattern can take the blame for my ability to break sewing machines just by looking at them).  For whatever reason, I don’t feel like this is a problem where knitting patterns are concerned – I’ve encountered a few disappointments that were barely worth the zero dollars I paid for them, to be sure, but I’ve known way more patterns that were actually excellent.  Maybe it’s because, especially since the Ravelry-, Etsy-, and Patternfish-supported boom in indie designers, a lot of people who design for yarn think of free patterns as a fantastic advertising tool that lets people try out your design skills and style of pattern writing before they shell out for your pay patterns.  Maybe it’s just because I understand how knitted fabric works in a way I don’t understand woven fabric, so I am both able to evaluate a free pattern before I start knitting it and nix any real stinkers, and also capable of adjusting it as I go if I think something’s not working.  Either way, it was a bit of a revelation to find that, yes, I may have been shooting myself in the foot by sticking only to free sewing patterns (at least for dolls – I think there are some great patterns and recipes out there for people clothes that don’t cost anything, like Tally’s recent tutorials on making a dress from a t-shirt and making a hood for a Halloween costume over at I Could Make That).

See, I had this great idea for a Halloween costume for Rada & Posy.  But it required a dress.  And yeah, I could knit a Box-Opening Day Dress in a suitable colour, but I did that last year!  And anyway, I really wanted more of a Mori Girl feel for this outfit, a feel which is supported by woven-fabric garments.  And I looked around at some of the free patterns I have bookmarked, and the best choice was something I’ve sewn before with so-so results.  So I started looking at pay patterns and ended up on the Gracefaery site.  I shelled out for Seasons For Seola, which is actually designed for the DollsTown Elf body, but comes much closer to the measurements of the DT 7year body than most garments designed for minis (I had been looking at Adams-Harris as well, but all the dresses that looked right were only available for slim mature minis and I knew they would be tough to adjust for my chunky immature girl).  Anyway, it took me two arduous days (torturous, even, when it came to sewing the pleats along the bottom, because, remember, I’m doing this all by hand) but I came up with this amazing piece of work.  Sure, it’s imperfect, but I am in no way embarrassed to show it, unlike many of my other sewing escapades.


Like I said, there are a few issues (mostly at least kind of hidden) because I did some of the adjustments by guesswork rather than by measurement.  If & when I sew up other patterns from the collection, I will definitely be pulling out my tape measure.  But so many things went really well – the way the neckline and sleeves were made in particular really awed me; they turned out so neat and tidy!


There’s at least one more piece coming (if you’re following along at home, this is the Spring pattern from the Seasons set, so I have a pinafore to make; I am also planning to make up an apron, and if I have time I may put together a petticoat as well) as well as one or more props, but even if I had to take her to the local Halloween meetup just as she is I’d be super proud of myself.  Have to get that fancy wig out and give the bangs a trim, though, because as cute as she is in this wig my vision for the costume includes cascading ringlets.  Ooh, I’m so excited!

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A new look for Rada

So, DollsTown Seola was/is pretty much my grail doll.  I was fortunate enough to be able to get her early on, and I adore her (as is evidenced by the fact that my “Rada” set on Flickr is twice the size of most of my other dolls’ sets), but one thing is a constant challenge: her wig.

For starters, the DollsTown minis have unusually large heads (8.25″ to most dolls of that height’s 7.5″ or so).  I find that this means wigs designed for minis in the 7-8″ range are so tight as to slip off her head easily, and often look “gappy” at the temples where there aren’t many wefts of hair once the elastic cap is stretched to the utmost…but on the other hand, wigs for 8-9″ doll heads are a bit loose and often just have way too much hair.  So while most of my dolls have had about 2 wigs, Rada has now owned 6.  The other problem is that she insists on having curly hair, or at least wavy, and curly wigs are a nightmare to keep from getting tangled and fuzzy.  So I exist in this constant state of feeling like her hair really doesn’t meet the standard set by the rest of her!

However, I think this has just changed!  Wigs 5 & 6 arrived recently from a group order from LeekeWorld.  I’d heard about Leeke wigs, that they were great quality, and I could see from the website that they had an excellent range of styles.  Having actually beheld the wigs in person now I will vouch that they are superb.


This is going to be Rada’s everyday wig.  It’s straighter than I would normally go, but I feel like it works.  This is a 7-8 wig, and although it’s a tad tight, it doesn’t suffer from the gappiness at the temples that makes Rada look like she’s balding (at age 7!) when she wears, for example, her Luts Kid Delf wig.  No, Leeke don’t skimp on the hair they attach!


The neon yellow elastics have to go, obviously, but I think the little braids are adorable!


The second wig I haven’t had a chance to photograph yet (and may not for a little while).  It’s a size 8-9 wig, so there is quite a lot of hair for my wee darling, but it’s meant to be a short cut on a 60cm doll, so I feel like it works.  The big problem is that the bangs are WAAAAY too long (which is why you won’t see it until I or my hair-cutting sister have a chance to trim the thing).  It’s curly, a huge spill of ringlets, and it will live safely tucked away in its wig net, individually wrapped in a little plastic bag, hidden in my wig box, in the hopes that when I pull it out for meetups or special photoshoots it will look as good as the day I received it.  If you’re curious, it’s this one on the Leeke website.

Hey, bonus, in this picture you can really see the lovely shawl I whipped up from leftover alpaca (the same local stuff as her winter coat) using the star chart from Laminaria!


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