Thursday, April 10, 2014

Magic Attic Doll!

She must have been hiding somewhere for two days, because by the time I saw her the 48-hour employee restriction was over and I was able to purchase her with no problem. She was $3.99 minus my 30% discount plus 7.725% sales tax--you do the math (because I seem to have tossed out the receipt, knowing I would never return her!).

Magic Attic Megan
I had no idea who she was but I was pretty sure she was special. I thought at first she was an Oldenberg Ashley doll, like Auntie Berman used to have and re-homed.

It wasn't until I had googled around a bit that I realized she (my dolly) was all vinyl instead of having the soft body that so many play dolls do.  I thought she might be a Kidz N Cats doll, but apparently they all have 11 points of articulation, which this doll didn't. I finally recognized her when I went to the Just Magic Dolls website. She is Megan of the Magic Attic Club! I had never given these dolls much thought, never having seen one in person. She is much prettier in person than her picture would indicate. She has a very elfin smile. HLP mentioned that she is more realistic looking than most of my dolls. It's nice to know he notices!

She had no clothes when I got her and had a couple of ink marks on her face. A magic eraser took care of the ink marks and I let her wear the sock monkey dress, although it was slightly too big on her. These are slim-bodied dolls, smaller around than American Girls. Her hair was a bit wild and had an elastic band entangled in it. I snipped out the band and brushed her hair against my well-protected leg until I was able to untangle it enough to braid it, although it's slipping out now. Mrs. Smith has promised to bring me some fabric softener for a Downy dunk, but so far she hasn't remembered.

Then I made her a summer dress using a free pattern from the Carpatina website.

I named her Sara
I have a bag of shoes somewhere and I'm sure I'll find it soon, but she likes going barefoot since we are having lovely warm weather. I would have taken pictures of her with one or more of her sisters but there was an Unfortunate Coffee Incident this morning and I have to wait until everything dries out thoroughly to see if I still have a working camera. (I know how you feel now, Nymphaea!)

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Handkerchief Dresses

Biggie Sis sent a link to a BJD handkerchief dress tutorial by skelly jelly and since I have a lot of handkerchiefs I thought I'd give it a try.

I chose Elnora to be my model because she is so often neglected.

Elnora's original dress
I got Elnora at the Doll and Teddy Bear Show several years ago. Although her tag says $20, I think I got her for $12 or $15 because the vendors were packing up and eager to leave. She is a 12 inch hard plastic doll. She had stapled-on clothes which I removed as soon as I got her home. For a long time she wore this dress that I made for her.

Elnora's green dress
So anyway, back to the handkerchief dresses. First I spread out my hankies to see what I had.

Elnora surrounded by hankies
Then I chose one and made my cuts.

Then I pinned and sewed per the tute, although instead of pleating the skirt I gathered it.

More pinning
I sewed 6 inches of ribbon to the point of the bodice but I recommend a much longer piece, unless you have very small hands or a small child available to tie it. I put a strip of velcro up the back rather than use a snap. Also, the tute doesn't say what to do with the excess waistband, so I just cut it off.

Elnora models her dress
I was so impressed with the dress that I made one for Glinda too. Glinda is an 11 inch hard plastic doll. I think I got her on eBay. Here is her original outfit.

Glinda's Glinda outfit
Apparently I named her Genevieve but I always call her Glinda and I think Glinda she will always be. I made her a hankie dress too, and a headband.

Elnora and Glinda in their hankie dresses

I tried a headband on Elnora but it didn't look right
Now I am eyeing a couple of bandannas that HLP will never miss, for the bigger girls.

A couple of hours later--I couldn't resist making a bandanna dress, this time for Caroline.

Caroline shows off her dress

Friday, February 14, 2014

Flouncy Skirts

Mrs. Smith and I went thrifting last week for the first time in ages. When I found an infant/toddler sized flouncy skirt, I had a sudden inspiration!

18-month size skirt
Easy flouncy skirts for the girls! I simply cut down both side seams and wrapped each piece around a doll to see where to sew the side seam for the new skirt.

Maria and Temerity show off their new skirts
I had also found trousers with flouncy legs.

These were size 2/3 Toddler
Lorraine had been giving me very furious looks because she was being neglected. Also, after reading Nymphaea's latest post at The Doll Barn, I was feeling guilty about neglecting Casilda too. SoI decided to use these flounces to make skirts for Lorraine and Cassie. The trouser legs were nice and stretchy so they worked well for the bodices.

Lorraine is too young not to have straps on her dress
There was even enough fabric left to make one more dress, so I chose Starla, my 16" Tonner doll. I wasn't sure how long it should be so I haven't finished it yet. I tried three lengths.

Who wore it best?
That's all I was going to sew yesterday but then I started looking at Belinda. She didn't say anything but I knew she was hoping. So I took a little toddler dress with a picture of fireworks on it and began to cut it down for her. I didn't get very far but she knows she's next on the list.

"I was afraid I'd been forgotten."
And just so you know that Cassie hadn't totally been neglected, a couple of months ago Mrs. Smith stopped by and took over my computer, so I was forced to sit at my sewing machine. I picked up a couple of pieces of felt and was inspired to make something for Cassie.

Very mod
Now I can't wait to get back to work and look for more flouncy skirts!

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Beauty and The Beast (No, Not Dolls)

Three weeks ago Husband-Like Person did some car work for a friend who was moving away. As well as paying him, the friend told him to come look in his garage because he had a lot of stuff he was not taking with him. HLP returned and said to me "You'll never believe what I got!"

Beauty, the Rocketeer
It was a Singer 500A sewing machine which I have been wanting for years! It was nicknamed "The Rocketeer" by customers who thought it looked like something Jane Jetson would have. I had told HLP about it and shown him pictures, but you never really know how much they pay attention or retain, do you? HLP is a machinist by trade and even though he doesn't really have an interest in sewing machines, he appreciates a beautiful machine of any kind. It had belonged to the friend's girlfriend and she didn't want to "drag it to Arizona" with them. It is in near perfect condition, missing only the top spool pin and the secondary spool pin that goes to the left of the spool pin that pops up when the lid is up. It also doesn't have its cams, but I am not into fancy stitches so I don't mind.

With its lid up
I named it Beauty, a name that just sprang into my head after looking at it. It sewed beautifully, after a few thread-tangling starts.

Temerity and Beauty
Then a couple of week ago at work, I saw another Singer in our store. It was a 401A.

The Beast
It is similar but not as space-agey as Beauty and was obviously once in a cabinet. It was $19.99. After a few days of thinking about and seeing no one had any interest in buying it, I decided to get it. I had a $10 gift certificate from the store and my discount on furniture items is 30%, so it only cost me $5.08! After I got it home I realized it didn't have a power cord, which is separate from the foot controller. I found one at Sew-Classic for only $6.99. Every place else I looked wanted twice as much or more. I also ordered a package of bobbins and two spool pins. I ordered these on Thursday, January 23, and they arrived on Monday the 27th! How's that for fast service?

The Beast seemed to run fine until I actually tried to sew and then it came to a grinding halt. I am going to clean it thoroughly and put in a new needle. I already oiled it. It was getting dark when I tried it and my light is rather dim so I decided to wait until I could see what I was doing. The spool pins went in nicely on top, with gentle taps from a hammer.

I made simple dresses for Temerity and Maria with the Rocketeer.

The girls check out the new machines
Maria's dress is a little longer, because I was having the thread-tangling issues when I sewed the shoulder seams of Tem's dress but I have figured that out now.

This is proof that good things come to she who waits. And HLP got a lot of nice bike parts from his friend, so we were both happy!

Thursday, January 9, 2014


UPS kept NOT updating the Tracking on her until last night, finally, it said she had arrived in Sparks, Nevada (where the UPS center is) at 9:28 p.m. I briefly considered rushing over there and pounding on their doors and making them give her to me. This morning Tracking said she had gone Out For Delivery at 3:30 a.m. Then I had to go somewhere until 11 a.m., at which time I stopped in our park office and asked the landlord if she had arrived. I explained it was my Christmas dolly I was expecting. He looked a bit baffled (not a doll person, obviously!) and said no, UPS hadn't come yet. So I went home and planned to call in a few hours, but at 12:30 the dear man called me and said she was here!

First photo
Out of the plastic
I wasted no time opening her. She was well secured with twist ties but I made short work of them.

Our first selfie
She is going to be Steampunk and Biggie Sis had suggested Temerity as a name. I like it. It's a Steampunk Virtue name. Her full name is Temerity Jane and she wants to be an airship pilot when she grows up.

Meeting Maria
I introduced her to Maria. I can see now that Maria is younger than Tem, but I think that will work out well. Everyone should have a big or little sister! Or both.

"How was your journey?" asked Maria.
Then we tried on a couple of hats.

This is pretty
And so is this
Maria tries on Tem's hat
I haven't yet taken off her clothes. I was pretty mentally exhausted by then and Tem, Maria, and I had to take a nap at that point. Maria wants to have some Victorian clothes, Steampunk or otherwise, and I will work on them tomorrow. I need to start looking seriously at patterns and fabric and dust off the sewing machine!

Monday, January 6, 2014

And a Little More Catching Up


There was a day back in November when all sorts of little things seemed to go wrong. Nothing major--just things like I had forgotten to put the basket in the coffee pot before putting in the filter so there were coffee grounds all over; I almost ran over a bicyclist on the way to work and even though I tried to tell myself it was his fault, I knew it wasn't (he knew it wasn't too but just looked resigned); and I spilled my coke all over my lap as I got out to go into work. "I must be very careful today," I told myself. "No sudden moves." So I worked away cautiously and as I was checking on the Collectibles (to make sure nothing was out of place, of course, not to look at dollies) I saw HER:

I knew at once she was Special
Who could she be? Not a Barbie, obviously. I looked under her skirt and saw she was made by the same company that made Spideyman! I do have an eye for the best, don't I? Now my dilemma: should I attempt to buy her now and hope Mark the new supervisor didn't notice that she had just come out that day or should I wait until she'd been out for 48 hours? Remember, I had been having a Bad Day and I didn't want to jinx anything. I decided to go ahead and try to buy her. It occurred to me that my Bad Day had actually started the night before when I set the coffee maker up, so maybe the curse was over. And what was the worst that could happen? Mark would just say no, I couldn't buy her. So seizing the day, or something, I took her up to the cash register on my break and good ol' Mark never even looked at the date. And I would like to add that the curse ended then and there.

Once I got her home I had to undress her, where I discovered that she and Spideyman/Nigel have the same problem--detached, duct-taped leg syndrome.

Arwen wishes to put her dress back on
A little googling revealed her to be Arwen from Lord of the Rings. When I first got Spidey and was looking him up, I found mostly LOTR dolls made by that company and I remember thinking, "Oh, I'd never want one of them!" I really think the best dolls are the totally unexpected ones that just come to us.

I was inspired by her to reattach Nigel's head to his original body and duct tape his leg on. Girly Man was happy to have his body back.
Spidey doesn't mind too much that he can't sit down now.
"How careless of the human to lose my tiara!"
Yes, somehow I lost her tiara while I was redressing her. I am hoping it will turn up but I may have to get her a new one.


"I'm not even going to look at the doll wall," I told myself, "because a very special girl is coming to live with us next week." But somehow one caught my eye.

The poor girl had no shirt but her pants are original. I think she is the cutest Mulan I've seen. Her hair's a bit wild so I put a headband on it.

"Ahoy, matey"

 She has told me she wants to be a pirate girl so I'm trying to think of a piratey name for her.

And Coming Up:

Amelia, a Girl For All Time, is coming to live with us, thanks to Biggie Sis!! She is expected to arrive on Thursday. I hope they wrapped her in a blanket since she's coming from the heart of the Polar Vortex. She will be glad to get to civilization and semi-warmth.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Catching Up

Last spring Auntie Berman gave Lulu texturized hair and did a great job.

At the Bunch O'Hair Salon
The back
It still needs a little touch-up either with a Magic Marker or a paintbrush, but she is very pleased with it. Months later, I finally got around to making her the dress I had been promising her.

New dress
The material came from a pillow sham and it was rather slippery fabric. Next time I will use cotton.

I thought my Monster Girl collection was complete, but then I found HER at work!

Clawdeen and Alienna
Her ears intrigued me. I didn't know who she was but to my amazement, Terri the supervisor who claims to not like dolls, knew who she was. "That's Howleen's sister," she said, as I stared at her in surprise. She looked embarrassed and explained quickly that her son watches Monster High on TV.

I had two more finds at Salvation Army Warehouse. First Hawaiian Girl, a rather pitiful attempt at dolliness. She is made of really cheap plastic and her hair was falling out but I felt so sorry for her that I had to get her.

In her native costume.
I also found a Vogue Ginny Doll and felt compelled to get her although I'm not really fond of Ginny dolls. Mrs. Smith didn't want her at first but then realized she did, so Ginny now lives with her.

When Hawaiian Girl's hair really started falling out, I pulled it all out, removed her sewn-on grass skirt, and gave her another Hawaiian dress I had.

Ginny, Lorraine, Lulu, Hawaiian Girl
I tried a little wig on her and although it's still too big, she looks pretty cute in it.

The new Hawaiian Girl
The Monster High story continues. Monday I found, hanging on the toy wall in plain sight, Deuce Gorgon! He had been there for three days but I think no one wanted him because his right lower arm is missing.
Neither one looks too happy.
I think Monster dolls don't mind missing body parts. They can tell the others they were part of a Mad Scientist's experiment.

Deuce meets the girls.
Deuce meets the guys.
As you can see, Nigel's head is off again. I dropped him and the cork broke. It's on my To Do list . . .

In closing, I want to ask did anyone else notice the resemblance?

I tried to put the photos side by side but couldn't figure it out. Of course Ceddie will always be his Mother's Little Prince.