Monday, September 1, 2014

Entry #35: Newbie

Entrant Category: Newbie

Please don't vote until all of the entries are available and 
we have announced the voting start on The Doll Wardrobe Blog. :-)

Voting for the 2014 Summer FDC...

Starts On Sept 1st, 2014.

Voting Ends on Sept 20th.

Please vote for this entry by commenting below or 
emailing us at nora.demington@gmail.com.

Vote for Entry #35, by writing -- "I vote for Entry #35."

We recommend voting for one newbie entry, 
one intermediate, and one pro, at least.

______________

To see more of my work, check out my site Paper Doll World
(http://paper-doll-world.blogspot.com).


Isla is, among other things, a science geek and proud of it. One of her favorite things to do, aside from playing around in XCode and Java, is to explore the plants and creatures in her neighborhood and catalog her finds in her journal. She hopes to someday travel the world and discover new species, but for now the local flora and fauna provide plenty of interest. 

For the “school/learning” FDC challenge, I decided to make Isla an outfit to wear while out exploring. This was my first time ever sewing for American Girl sized dolls and my third time ever sewing doll clothes, so this project was an exploration for me too.



For my design I wanted to create something simple and sturdy that would also be easily adaptable and aesthetically attractive. Since the weather around here changes frequently, one of my primary design considerations was layering. I settled on a shirt and skirt as the outfit base, and added a vest and scarf to accommodate for weather shifts. 

I also planned for a pair of TOMS-style shoes and a beaded bracelet to add some sparkle. A decorative block that I received as a gift inspired the color palette; while the design of the block is more loose and artistic than Isla’s style, the vivid colors and flower motif suit her well.



I started with the vest. I used a Doll It Up pattern and constructed it from cream swirl fur. Instead of lining it with a t-shirt scrap, I used a piece of soft flannel in a shade darker than the fur. The combination reminds me of the lambskin vests that used to be trendy a while back, though I prefer the look of the fur facing outside.



Next I sewed the shirt. The fabric I picked for the shirt was a colorful chevron striped knit left over from a previous project. I originally wanted to sew a shirt with 3/4 length sleeves but I didn’t have enough fabric so I adapted a Liberty Jane pattern to create a raglan shirt with short sleeves. The neckline came out a little too wide, so I sewed a small stitch at each shoulder. This not only fixed the neckline but also gathered each sleeve, adding visual interest - metaphorical lemonade from lemons. I played with the tension when hemming the shirt to create a slight outward flare that accentuated the waist. I tend to forget to pause and take pictures in the middle of projects, so the pictures of the shirt and skirt are from towards the end of their construction process.



The skirt was made from another Liberty Jane pattern and some lightweight denim. I sewed all the visible seams and topstitching with a tiny spool of orange thread that I found at the bottom of my sewing kit; luckily there was more than enough available for the skirt. I wanted to make the skirt look like it had been through a few adventures, so I distressed it a bit with sandpaper and a X-acto knife.

The scarf was the simplest sewing project in this ensemble. I used a Pixie Faire tutorial to create an infinity scarf with a wonderfully soft knit in gray and cream stripe, to tie in the cream vest and subtle gray chevron stripe in the shirt.






In contrast, the TOMS-style shoes were pretty difficult to put together. I used pattern pieces from Wren Feathers but had a very difficult time understanding the instructions and relied heavily on pictures of human TOMS and Liberty Jane “Janes” to ensure that the shoes were turning out properly. I really went all out on the little details of the shoes, from braiding strands of embroidery thread in four shades of brown to create the trim for the shoes, to hand-stitching tiny pieces of white knit to the back of the shoes and painting “PDW” (for Paper Doll World, my website) and the two aqua stripes in acrylic paint. I used the point of a pin to apply the paint because I didn’t have a brush small enough. I even covered the insoles with the same flannel that I used to line the vest, and constructed the shoes from a light blue polka-dotted cotton to complement the light blue chevrons in the shirt. Some may think me OCD at this point, but I prefer to think of it as being “detail-oriented.” :-)



I made the bracelet from an old human-sized one whose elastic had snapped. I re-strung the beads on the elastic, but the elastic was fragile and I didn’t have any replacement elastic, so I only took a few photos with Isla modeling the bracelet. To add a little more sparkle, I made a gold bow hairband by gluing a piece of gold metallic faux leather into a bow and then gluing that to a hair elastic.  



The backpack was another complicated project. I wanted to create one of those trendy drawstring bags with outer pockets and a flap closure, so I crossed two Doll It Up tutorials to make the pattern. The real complication came from selecting the fabric; I wanted to use a gray floral knit which complemented the shirt perfectly, but for some reason my sewing machine kept jamming whenever I tried to sew it so I had to sew the backpack entirely by hand. It looked cute but was incredibly labor intensive. I made the straps from olive green grosgrain ribbon that complemented the green in the shirt, and sewed on a decorative gold button on the flap. I attached a small piece of Velcro to the flaps of the smaller pockets to hold them shut.




I stocked the backpack with everything Isla would need on an exploration: a guidebook on the native plants and bugs, a pen, a specimen jar, and a bag of trail mix. I made the guidebook and notebook with another Pixie Faire tutorial, though for the notebook I switched things up by cutting the pages separately and poking holes with a pushpin to create a spiral bound notebook. I drew the cover of the guidebook with markers and pens, but the ink didn’t work properly on the washi tape I used to create the notebook cover so I wrote the words on the cover with black acrylic paint using a pin point.



I made the specimen jar by gluing a plastic tree branch to a small piece of moss, and then glued two ladybugs that I sculpted from polymer clay to the branch. I put the moss and branch in the small clear cap of a spray bottle of screen cleaning fluid.




For the pen and trail mix I used more polymer clay. I used black clay for the pen, dark brown clay for the raisins and M&Ms, and tan clay for the peanuts, cashews, and almonds. When the clay had finished baking and cooling I decorated them to add some realism. I wrapped the pen in washi tape to match the notebook and added a little gold paint to make the pen cap. For the trail mix, I brushed a tiny amount of brown acrylic paint on the almonds and applied different colored acrylic paints to the M&Ms. When the M&Ms dried, I used a pin point to paint a small white M on each one. I cut up a plastic bag and glued two pieces together to create a little bag to hold the trail mix.

With her outfit and supplies complete, Isla is ready to explore!













Some detail shots:





Two bonus shots:




To see more of my work, check out my site Paper Doll World (http://paper-doll-world.blogspot.com). 

Thanks for reading!

______________

Please don't vote until all of the entries are available and 
we have announced the voting start on The Doll Wardrobe Blog. :-)

Voting for the 2014 Summer FDC...

Starts On Sept 1st, 2014.

Voting Ends on Sept 20th.

Please vote for this entry by commenting below or 
emailing us at nora.demington@gmail.com.

Vote for Entry #35, by writing -- "I vote for Entry #35."

We recommend voting for one newbie entry, 
one intermediate, and one pro, at least.


Thank you!

22 comments:

  1. I vote for entry #35! So creative!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Love the gathered sleeves and the accessories. Great job! I vote for entry #35.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I vote for entry 35

    ReplyDelete
  4. I feel awkward doing this, but it's legal, so I'm going to cast my vote here.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I vote for N and Isla!

    ReplyDelete