I thought I'd stop by to show you what I've been sewing recently and to fess-up to my new obsession!
To describe Blythe succinctly, I took this excerpt from Wikipedia:
Blythe // is a fashion doll, about 28 cm (11 inch) tall, with an oversized head and large eyes that change color with the pull of a string. It was created in 1972 and was initially only sold for one year in the USA by toy company Kenner (later purchased byHasbro). In 2000 the photo book This is Blythe was published and in 2001 the Japanese toy company Takara[nb 1] began producing new editions of Blythe dolls. There is a network of hobbyists who customize the doll for resale and create clothing and shoes for Blythe. Enthusiasts share photographs of their work and other types of dolls on the Internet.
My little obsession began when I came across an Instagram account called Dolly Treasures. I fell in love with Eileen's "girls" (as they are lovingly referred to by their owners), and my love affair grew from there! For several weeks now I've been eagerly researching how to customise the dolls, from sculpting their faces and painting their eye-chips, to making mohair wigs; from sewing realistic clothing to molding leather to make handmade boots. I love the diversity of what Blythe has to offer. There are so many different avenues to follow, the photography and "staging" of the doll, the building and crafting of room sets, and the most fun part - meeting fellow enthusiasts from all over the world!! I love their attention to detail. It all ties in so well with my love of miniature - and of course for those of you who have known me for a long time - my passion for dolls!
I purchased a few clothing patterns from Craftyline, here. The patterns are in Japanese so there are no written instructions, just diagrams and pattern pieces. This was my first attempt, following a this pattern.
I found it tricky! I became all fingers and thumbs, and the collar had me stumped until I thought to make a half-lining. I used a Sevenberry fabric to line the coat and trimmed with velvet ribbon. I glued the ribbon on because I didn't want any stitches to be visible and I'm not that skilled yet. I learned a lot from my first sews, and practice will eventually make perfect.
This dress pattern is freely (with the option to donate) offered by Linda of XOXOBlythe Linda's patterns are professionally produced and easy to follow. I used a mushroom print which was part of the Scandinavian Christmas range by Lynette Anderson, and some variegated thread for the top-stitching.
Today, I just finished a quilt and pillow set for a new friend I've made via Instagram, who lives in France. It is in miniature form for her Blythe "girl", of course!
The squares measure just 1inch. I machine-pieced then hand-quilted the set which is made from my leftover fabric scraps of Scandinavian Christmas. The pillow is over-sized to accommodate Blythe's rather large head. It has an envelope pocket with a removable pillow. I loved it and it was a little bit hard to package it up to be sent away, but I can never keep something when I have made it with someone else in mind, no matter how much I love it. It just wouldn't feel right. The lady doesn't even know I'm sending it to her - it's a surprise!
So I am making clothes for a "girl" I do not yet have. They don't come cheap. But there are "factory" dolls, that are made by the same manufacturer and better quality than clone dolls. They are still expensive, if you think of it as a doll, but when you think of it as a hobby and an investment, then I think they are worth saving up for. I have my eye on a couple of dolls on eBay and hubby is all clued-up for my birthday in May! I would love a customised doll but they are well in to the hundreds of dollars... the kind of money that makes you think you might have kittens! When you consider the talent and craftsmanship that goes in to them, their price is justified, but still it isn't for the faint-hearted.
So there you go! Blythe has been a fantastic distraction therapy from my back pain! Talking of which, I found out a couple of days ago that I have an appointment this coming Wednesday to have my procedure done! I've never been so excited in my life about going to hospital (except when I went in to labour with my children!) I'm going to have this procedure done, Wish me luck! I pray that it works. It's reported that if successful, an individual can expect anywhere between six months and two years of pain relief, it all depends on how long it takes for the nerves to regenerate. During my window of opportunity I'm planning a strict diet and exercise programme. I've packed on so much weight over the years, but particularly over the past few months after taking a new medication, I put on ten kilos in just two weeks, initially. Not good. But hey - these things can be changed if we are determined to make those changes, right?!
I will be back to tell another tale once I've recovered! Till then, happy sewing!
Much love! Vikki xoxo