Tuesday, April 28, 2015


Designing anything from scratch is fraught with problems.  It's disheartening when your great idea turns out to be near-impossible to achieve.  At least not the way you THOUGHT it could be done.  Nine times out of ten, it's much more complicated than you anticipated.

And so it is with clothing design.  Many years ago, I took a European pattern making course.  It was my first experience with templates and I was so excited when I created a pattern for "hip huggers" that actually fit me.  With a full time job and a full load of domestic chores, I didn't have time to use the course often, but the confidence stayed with me.

Now, I'm designing costumes for art dolls, those dolls that are somewhere between Barbie and American Girl; and I'm grateful for those years of drafting at CDI Marine as well as the pattern making course.  Ships' curves work just fine for doll clothes.

Case in point is the aforementioned Opera Cape.  After the first pattern and first revision, I made a "muslin" and revised it before I could finish pinning the thing together.  The pattern now is two inches shorter, and almost two inches wider at the shoulders in back.  That extra space will be taken up with a deep pleat on each side which will (I hope) add volume to what will be a "bubble"  created by a gathered hem.  Finished, the hem should reach about mid-thigh.  I'm sure there will be more about this cape.  The fabric I've chosen for it is terrifying just to contemplate.


Today, we took a new set of shots of the Spanish Dancer doll.  The first set was just too dark and couldn't be photoshopped.   This new photo will be sent to Art Doll Quarterly and hopefully, be published in the Winter Dance Challenge.

 This will probably be my last ADQ challenge for quite a while, as I have two very special dolls I want to make.  One and perhaps both will be offered at public auction, the proceeds to go to a children's hospital and to a seaman's fund.

The Spanish Dancer doll has already been donated to a fund to help a dear friend who has been hospitalized for almost three months.  She is a very talented freelance artist and as soon as I know whether or not the doll has been accepted (or rejected), it will be sent to her daughter who will put it to auction or sell it, however she feels would be best.                                                  

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

She's a Winner!

Of the two dolls I took to Houston last fall, the one entered in the Gypsy Challenge took a Judges' Choice award.  The theme of the challenge was Mardi Gras and as usual, the winners are featured in the Art Doll Quarterly, which thrills me to pieces..

The second doll I took to Houston was my  grand daughter's D&D figure, Flynn Hollysharp.  Our participation in the "In Celebration of The Doll", was by invitation only - which is why we were in Houston in the first place.  And while Flynn didn't win anything, she was accepted for publication in ADQ's Super Hero challenge.  A fitting place indeed, for Flynn.  We will see her in the fall issue of Art Doll Quarterly.

Meanwhile, my Geeky Grand Daughter is mucking out all the thousands of duplicates and just plain trash from my computer.  A two day job at least.  I take  LOT of in-progress photos.  They're my way of stepping back to check proportion or balance, etc with a new eye.  Many of them could be deleted as well, but I can do that another time, one project at a time.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Well, I blew it.

----- was pretty sure I would.  Guess I need an over seer or something.  Naw, even when I had one , I'd get up in the middle of the night to heed the call of an urgent idea.  Okay - I have NO self-dicepline.

SO.I came up with an idea for a gorgeous black evening gown.  We're talking 70's and 80's uber glamor here.  The drawings were making me salivate.  Even did her sexy undies.  And you know what's coming next.   The doll is tall and slim and I'm trying for that glamour pout look on her face, like the fashion dolls in Haute Doll magazine.

Although I hate the idea of covering the gown, I've also designed what I call an Opera Coat - or perhaps a cloak - made of stunning gold and silver brocade.on sheer black.  It will need lining, of course, which will be a major challenge.  The cloak is sounding better by the minute.