Thursday, July 31, 2014

3D Thursday #2 + Surprise!

You may have wondered about the radio silence lately (if anyone's still reading...), but at last I can finally reveal why I was MIA. Aside from the typical chaos of my everyday life offline, I've been tremendously busy with two special projects and I can finally reveal one of them!

The Doll Mag is celebrating its third birthday this month, and when I found out that the celebration theme was Secret Garden Party I couldn't not share a tutorial. Frances Hodgson Burnett's The Secret Garden was my favorite book when I was small (I was a strange little child, and the book inspired my lifelong interest in cholera and water treatment. Guess I've never outgrown being strange.), so of course I decided to create my own rose garden scaled down for paper dolls. Click the link to view the tutorial! I'm counting this as a 3D Thursday project because it technically fits the qualifications, even though it's cheating just the tiniest bit by being a guest post.

Some more photos of the garden party (like with many photo setups, I went a little photo crazy) :

Treehouse pictures are practically a staple here, so of course I had to include one in the garden. I think it's a tremendous improvement over the original treehouse.

Credit goes to my sister for styling the dolls - I was rushing to get the photos together for Bella and Lulu, so she took care of the outfits. I wouldn't have come up with Alia's outfit on my own, but it works, and of course there's no way to go wrong with Isabelle's cape. You know how I am when it comes to Sitara.

The lanterns really make this garden special, but for me the best part is the table and food. I didn't want to go full-on with sweets, but this is a party so I tried to create a balance between treats and cookout food. I was originally just going to use a pizza table and cover it with a tablecloth, but this picnic table turned out so well that I couldn't bring myself to cover up the nice wood grain pattern. 

While the Doll Mag is primarily focused on the 18" American Girl dolls, I couldn't resist sneaking Sad Sally into the scene. She doesn't seem to be too sad about gatecrashing the party.

 A look at the lanterns, my second-favorite part of the scene...

and the flower bushes. I used maybe eight shades of pink on each bud, but it was worth it.

Hope you enjoyed the tutorial! If you make your own, please send me a photo; I would love to see it. Come back soon for the second reveal, and happy birthday again to the Doll Mag!

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?
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