Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Happy Halloween!

There were going to be others, but this year I managed only one Halloween costume for the 18 inch dolls like American Girl, Springfield, Our Generation, etc. A year or so ago I stumbled upon the cutest toddler’s costume and pinned it immediately. I didn’t know at the time how – just knew someday it would happen. And, it did! Now, somewhere in Texas, the chicken is on an AG doll, ready to trick or treat!

What a fun fun challenge!

During the interim, I happened across the tutorial: MakingAmerican Girl Doll Tights from a knee sock and, of course, pinned the link under Clever Ideas for safe keeping until needed.

Sofia (Springfield) was a good sport throughout the process!

I followed the directions to make the tights from a sock I had, and cut out the “feet” from felt. I then put the sock/tights on Sofia and hand stitched the feet on top of the sock.

The “base” is from the smallest onesie I could find/buy
then adjusted to fit Sofia.

I used a second onesie to form the hood.
Once the 2nd was pinned down to the first,
I hand stitched, then trimmed away excess.
I then attached the beak and red comb (or crest) on top of the hood.

With needle and thread, I quickly realized the boa used for the toddler was MUCH too big for Sofia. To make this work, I had to come up with Plan B.

I took plastic wrap and totally covered Sofia, securing well, then put her onesie back on.

Yep, pulling out individual feathers from the boa, and using good ole fashion Elmer’s Glue worked great. Tedious, but great. As a result of this plucking, the boa also became thinner. Then it was perfect size to wrap around here and there and across the shoulders and over the chest and back up to the snaps between her legs – hand stitching along the way to secure.

I let the costume (glue) dry thoroughly for several days before removing, to remove the plastic wrap and put the tights back on, then the feathered onesie.

She’s ready!

At the last arts/craft show, I had her standing at the table facing the aisle … so wish I had a candid camera going to share now! The expression on people’s faces (especially the little ones that were at eye-to-eye level) when they realized what they were looking at was absolutely priceless!

I’m thrilled the woman who bought the Chicken Costume was as excited to get it as I was to create it!

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Another First - A Fun Challenge

Last week, my sister asked if I could create an 18 inch doll cheerleader uniform to match her niece’s uniform – with a due date of October 26th (her birthday!). Without hesitation, I answered, “Yes!” However, I had to ask for a couple of things. Because of matching school colors, I wanted the fabric provided. I also needed several pictures showing different views of the little girl’s uniform for a “go-by”.

Over the weekend, while in Dallas doing an arts/craft show, I received the “washed and dried” fabric (THANK YOU!). Then, over the course of the next few days and requests for specific views needed, I received enough pictures via email to get a good idea of what needed to go where. And, the challenge began!

Light source is not good... coming from computer's monitor!
Needed to see side seam - light source coming from behind camera - MUCH better view!
In case you didn’t know, an 18 inch doll’s body, and where it bends and where it doesn’t, is a bit different than a real person’s body. Therefore, rather than a pull over, the top had to have an opening along the back. No problem. Done.

NOTE: Sewists know stretchy fabric (which this was a lightweight knit rather than quilt type cotton), stretches out of whack VERY easily! One must take extra care when dealing with knits!
Waiting to hem shorts whenever skirt is done!
The original uniform had webbed trim zig-zagged together to make the “stripe” – which is much too wide for an 18” doll. Therefore, I had to create the stripe using the knit fabric. That was fun!

After spending hours trying to work it out proportionally, I realized the original skirt’s stripe detail was too big for the doll’s skirt (even though the stripe was much smaller on the doll uniform). There was simply not enough skirt fabric, or “time” for it to come around and make the V. The doll’s skirt stripe is now simply around the hemline.

While meeting this challenge, trying to get it perfect, Mother kept reminding me when she made my oldest niece’s uniform to “match” my High School drill team’s uniform. Two year old Leasa was our mascot my senior year. It didn’t “match” exactly, but it coordinated nicely.

The letter “H” – oh so tiny! I tried different ways to get it cut out from the fabric provided, but it kept tearing apart due to the thinness along the sides. My sister sent me a commercial letter H but it was too big! I finally decided to simply cut it out of one-side sticky thin foam! Seems to work okay… will be a gently hand wash item!

Sending out in the mail on Monday and it should arrive in time for her birthday on the 26th! Love it when a plan comes together!

P.S. This was a fun challenge!

P.S.S. I absolutely LOVE the back drop Mother created for me and my doll pictures!!!

Sunday, October 7, 2012

I'd rather sew

In January 2012, I wrote a series of themed articles on different marketing strategies. The plan was to do this every Monday throughout the year. I will be the first to admit, the “Monday Marketing” aspect may have helped in some ways, but then went flat when I got so confused with all the information out there – it was a struggle to make it through January! Because…

I’d rather sew.

Going Viral Through Social Media relies on others to share!

Monday Marketing – Aha Moment mixing it up all year!

But, it’s time to do a bit of marketing prep. I have business cards. Now I would like to create a brochure for the upcoming craft and specialty show in Arlington, Texas. I’d like a little bit of information for visitors to take away with them, for reference and provide contact information. So, I go back to the ole trusty Google and do a search:

I find a gazillion opinions.

A couple tips/suggestions, however, keep reoccurring:
  • write a catchy headline, something that will grab their attention
  • focus on persuasion, not information
What type of attention grabbing headline could I write? What do I write about doll clothes or aprons or e-reader covers, to persuade someone to purchase from me rather than someone else? Geez!

I’d rather sew!

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