Sunday, 16 November 2014

Harlequina Maria - New Art Doll

Harlequina Maria earns her money entertaining the crowds at the Masquerades every week. She dresses up in her finest and cavorts through the crowds of revelers, dancing, singing and performing acrobatics and tricks. She particularly likes to take the gloves or handkerchief from handsome rich gentlemen and make them chase her through the ballrooms until they agree to dance with her in her elaborate show dance.

By the time the night is over she has sore and tired feet. She’s always worn out and hungry, looking forward to her small fire and comfortable chair in her neat little apartment. Her pockets are filled with coins from the entertained party people, and she usually has enough to afford a small treat for tea the next day after she’s paid her bills. Once she wakes in the morning she’ll be back to work sewing and mending her costumes ready for the private balls and the next grand Masquerade.

Maria has a very lavish outfit of soft diamond pattered fabric trimmed with gold and cream lace, satin rosettes, beads and gold thread over cotton underwear. She has long knickerbockers and a short full skirt over petticoats that has two gathered and ruffles over skirts. Her bodice is laced at the front with gold thread and she has a rich red glittered mask to wear to the Masquerade.

She sits on a green velvet cushion which is included with her.

Next I'm working on a Wonderland Caterpillar while I wait for different fabric to arrive for my Effie. The embroidery I did for her skirt looked good, but not quite right so I tried to nick and fray the fabric to get the pattern I wanted. It wouldn't work on the faux silk I had and after trying it on a piece of real silk I've ordered new to do it to that. Hopefully she'll be finished soon.

I have a few small commissions for Christmas to do but still have spaces open if you'd like a doll from me. Let me know what your looking for and I'll be happy to talk it over with you.
Oh, and look!!!
Cris bought me this wonderful little model spinning wheel from a local charity shop this weekend. Isn't it adorable! I'll have to start thinking about Fate or Rumpelstiltskin for it :)


Monday, 3 November 2014

Puzzles To Solve In Doll Dressmaking

This week has been a puzzle week.
I have a custom order to make a doll dressed in a beautiful sexy black dress. And while I can't tell you just yet who she is or who she's for I know I can show you all my puzzle so you can see what I've been up to.

After fitting my lady with a shaping petticoat or two to give her some curves I added her sleeves as they were easy. Next came my draping and pattern cutting, and as I'm sewing in a soft black silky fabric I used iron on interfacing for my patterns so I could sew around them. Both the top and skirt part of this dress are made in a double layer of fabric.

After sewing the neck line of the bodice I couldn't get it to stay where I wanted it, so my lady had to have a lazy day relaxing while the glue I used to stick that plunging neckline in place set thoroughly. She looked very 80's with huge shoulders as I hadn't put in the shoulder seams. I wanted to wait so that I could sew them while in place to make sure I got a super slinky fit.

Now the skirt.
And this was my puzzle.
The rest of the bodice was straightforward enough apart from working out the pointy shoulders, and the bodice came out looking fitted and glamorous just as I wanted it. My issues with the skirt took some working out as the fishtail train is big and dramatic, flowing out behind the dress with even the front of it longer than floor length.
It needed to have no seams in the front that could spoil the line of the dress, but the fishtail fan had to be wide and trailing.

This shape isn't my usual style, but I really wanted to make it special for my lovely customer and really wanted it to be a good copy of the original dress. So I was determined to have as few seams as possible. In the end I managed to work it out with three (also a dart in the back).
One seam on each side and another in the back at the top of the fan so that I could add as much shape and train as I could by inserting an over-half circle of fabric.

It came out just as I wanted it and now my lady is sitting in her tight slinky sexy number waiting for the ruffles I need to add to her dress and her stunning blond hair.

I'm looking forward to sharing with you how she comes out in the end, but as she's to be a Christmas gift my lady has to remain un-named for now xxx