Thursday, July 17, 2014

3D Thursday #1

One of the primary lesson I've learned in sewing is - shocker - to always start with a pattern. (Before all you experienced seamstresses start laughing at me, some people can sew perfectly well by estimating and eyeballing, but for me that just ends up with a lot of wasted time and fabric.) For this dress I made my own bodice pattern based on a Trio for Blythe tutorial, and adapted the skirt pattern from the free MHD sun dress pattern. Here's a look at my desk in the middle of this process. 

Below, the separate parts of the dress are sewn together, preferably with the skirt and bodice seams lined up. I only realized after I'd constructed most of the dress that my seams were a little off, and as befits a lazy sewing newbie, decided to just leave it be and try to cover it with embroidery. Don't make my mistake!

To decorate, embroider whatever patterns you like on the dress. I drew heavily from the floral designs on the Trio bodices, and also did it all freehand (see "lazy sewing newbie", above). This is the most fun part, in my opinion, so really go wild with designs and embellishments. I added some Czech glass beads for sparkle, but it's all up to you.

Don't forget to try it on your doll every so often to make sure that it fits properly.

Sew up the back up to an inch below the bottom of the bodice, and then close it however you like - with buttons, snaps, eyelets, Velcro. You can even get really fancy and make little thread loops on the back of the bodice to thread ribbon through. While that method looks really nice, it's too complicated for me so I just went with the eyelets (though I tried snaps and those worked well too). 

Thread loops. This dress is, once again, by Trio. 
Make a lining if you're interested, and you're done!

I hope you enjoyed this simple walkthrough. If you have any questions or suggestions, please let me know in the comments.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Duel Nature

I started this blog about a year and a half ago with the intention of sharing one of my favorite hobbies - making paper dolls and miniatures. It's been fun and exciting, but the thing about paper dolls is that they're simple. This is great for putting together a fun plaything or scene in a hurry, but the downside is that there's really not much to do in terms of tutorials because they all work the same way: come up with a design, draw it as a flat figure, cut it out and fold or glue together. There's only so many times that you can read or write the same basic steps without getting bored, and the last thing I want to do is bore you.

Also, a side effect of creating this blog is further segmentation of my life. I try to keep my personal life off the site for obvious reasons - you came here to read about paper dolls, not about my daily life, and also basic internet safety - but this separation further cements my feelings of having a dual personality. I don't want to have a "doll side" and a "regular side"; I want to be a person with many interests, and one of them is paper dolls, but due to the things I mentioned earlier that's going to be difficult to mange on this blog.

When I began this blog I had the intention of creating a persona similar to that of Agoverseasfan, who never reveals any personal information - we don't know anything at all about Agoverseasfan except  interest in dolls. For the reasons I previously stated I thought that would be the safest option, but the truth is that I'm miserable. I'm tired of trying to hide my liking of dolls in my everyday life, and I'm tired of not being able to talk here about the other things I enjoy. I just can't reconcile that with my idea that Paper Doll World is specifically for paper doll related posts.

Honestly, I wish I could emulate the blogging style of Beast'sbelle of Never Grow Up and Kristen Rosenau of Pastry Affair. Both are talented writers and photographers, and gracefully walk the line between internet privacy and sharing some of their life and thoughts about it (I particularly admire Beast'sbelle's confidence in taking doll photos in public, something I've always been too scared to try). Reading their blogs gives me the sense of communicating with a real person, not a cardboard cutout like I worry I've become.

I'm torn between wanting to keep all my blogging to Paper Doll World and setting up a separate blog for what happens on my side of the monitor. What are your thoughts, and how do you deal with balancing your online persona?

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Dress Sneak Peek

Okay, I'll come clean: this is essentially Viola picspam. I can't help it - she's just such a beautiful doll! Even under harsh and dull lighting she's lovely, but in late afternoon sunlight she just shines. 

No filters need apply. 
A little bit about the dress: it's really simple, just one bodice piece and four skirt panels (I didn't line it for lack of fabric), and all straight stitching except for the bodice hem. The pattern calls for eight panels, and then gathers them when sewing them to the bodice, but I wanted a sleeker look so I left them off.

The bodice closes fully in the back, so you can use snaps, velcro, or buttons to do it up. I personally like the laced up look of a corset, so I sewed up the back of the bodice a little smaller and then put in eyelets. It was a bit of extra work (and more than a bit of extra expense - thank goodness for Joann's coupons!), but I'm happy with how it turned out.

Ostensibly a photo of the back closure, but let's be real - I can't get enough of Viola's gorgeous hair.
The best part of the dress for me is the embroidery. This was my first time freehand embroidering, and I had so much fun with it, though I still struggle with French knots. 

I can't wait to share the tutorial with you, and hope you enjoy it as much as I did. While I love making things for all my dolls (paper or otherwise), Viola is my especial muse, and it's such a pleasure to create with her in mind. I hope that, no matter who is the lucky recipient of your dress, you have a similar crafting experience.

Monday, June 9, 2014

Summer Series 2014 Big Reveal

Finally the supplies have been purchased, items photographed, and at last I can reveal the new project. Kudos to Cinnamon Swirl and Ashley A. for being closest to the mark regarding what the new project is!

You may recall that last year's summer project series featured Juliet, a paper Ellowyne doll, and involved several tutorials for summer related paper doll items.

This year I decided to do something similar, only with several alterations. This series is not restricted to summer themed projects - in fact, it's not even restricted to paper items. Like last year, Ellowyne Wilde is involved, but she's of a completely different sort altogether. 

I would like to present you with "3D Thursdays," featuring Miss Viola Blair Wilde.

Viola, "Behind Blue Eyes," was a fairly good eBay deal (a gift to myself for completing my senior thesis, which is a greatly simplified version of the process of getting a PhD) and just what I needed to break me out of my creative mental block. She arrived without clothes or accessories, and since I won't abide having a naked doll around (paper or otherwise), I began to explore the whole new world of fabrics and clothing patterns. In this new summer series, I'm going to share what I've learned about making three-dimensional doll items, and provide tutorials for making your own. The first will ideally be up this Thursday or the next, and in it I'll show you how I made the dress in the photo.

I say this both as a caution and as and encouragement: I'm no sewing guru. That dress is the third doll garment I've ever made. Don't expect any fancy sewing terms or tricks, but at the same time, if I (a complete beginner) could make doll clothes that are functional and not hideous, anyone can too. I look forward to sharing these tutorials with you, and seeing what you make with them!

Friday, June 6, 2014

Texture Teasers Part 4

At last, the final teaser post! This one is the most obvious, as well as my favorite aesthetically:

Hope this cleared things up for you somewhat. I can't wait to reveal the rest!

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Texture Teasers Part 3

Below is the penultimate photo. You may have noticed that they have been decreasing in difficulty (at least I think so). Sorry about the lack of quality - the zoom feature was not being cooperative. I need to get myself a zoom lens.

Did this help in your hypothesizing? (Sorry, I'm all about the alliteration today.) Share your thoughts!

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Texture Teasers Part 2

As promised, here's the next photo in the series, this one perhaps a bit easier:

Hope this was helpful in your guessing! Let me know what you're thinking, and, of course, don't spoil the fun if you already know what's going on.
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