Monday, October 17, 2011

My Weekend Projects

Niel from Niel's Doll Room made an awesome wrap dress not too long ago.  You can see it here.  When I saw it, I was inspired.  This weekend when I decided to sew a couple of things to continue trying to get my sewing skills back, I ended up creating a wrap dress of sorts.  I think subconsciously Niel's dress was in my head because I didn't set out to do a wrap dress like this.  LOL!  My goal was to sew a sleeveless, no collar wrap dress without a pattern or instructions.  I HATE patterns and pattern instructions.  I have decided to use my creativity to make this sewing thing work.  If I can't mentally figure out construction from looking at a picture, it is not going to happen.  When I threw out the cookbooks and relied on techniques, I learned how to cook.  When I decided to create my own techniques for working with polymer clay, I was finally able to make food.  I am going to try this same method with sewing and see how I do.

This is what I ended up with for what I am calling a coat dress.  It went through many iterations before I settled on this.

I felt like I was on Project Runway with all the cutting and adjusting and designing on the fly.

Lydia is headed to meet with Darius and Nikki to get their bedroom and bathroom moving along.  This is the perfect little work dress.

I also made some cropped pants.  They could use a little more ironing. 

This jacket isn't quite finished yet.  I still need to add a lining.  Again I was just creating on the fly.  The jacket started off as a poncho, then it was 2 more things before I settled on this jacket. 

I think adding a black belt to the shirt will add a little pizzazz. I am not good at styling. One thing at a time.

Finally, the pants go nicely with her ski jacket.

I finished Nikaya's and Zahara's comforters and sheets and installed a throw rug.

This room will look a lot better when I work on the walls and the curtains. Nikaya is waiting to go to dance class.  Her outfit is from the $1 store.

Antoinette even got her French doors worked on (the curtains are temporary) and the hutch installed above the desk.

Girlfriend decided she wanted more cabinets installed, so the workers (me!) decided to make her some more.  Can't wait til this project is over.  She is literally driving me crazy.

So that was most of my weekend.  I did work on two furniture commissions, as well.  Hope everyone had a wonderful weekend.
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  1. Awesome clothes! I have been sewing in 1:1 since I was a kid, but sewing tiny things drives me nuts...I've pretty much given it up except for the occasional sock dress. This almost makes me want to take it up again. What type of fabric for the dress? Stuff that ravels makes me want to drink.

  2. Miss Lola - You are too funny. I too think it is difficult sewing in both scales. You get used to the seam allowances, etc and having to change that drives me crazy. I think the dress fabric is just a cotton, but I'm not 100% sure, because there is a tiny bit of ravel, but not enough to cause drinking. Fabri-tac is the answer to raveling, but I didn't use any on these projects.

  3. Vanessa you are too cute! Love the kitchen. I suppose she want her contractor to hurry and finish! You know how women are about their kitchens! LOL. The bedroom is nice also. What wrong with the clothes, they look fine!
    Thanks for visiting and your comment! I always love hearing from you! Have a wonderful weekend and finish that kitchen before she sues for breech of contract! LOL! Love you!

  4. Loretta - Thanks a million! You are right about getting that kitchen finished. I forgot I had a high powered lawyer (Rod's ex-wife) in town and she don't play. I'll get right on it.

  5. The clothes are fantastic! I love the green neon furry jacket. I would love to find a jacket like that in my size. What type of material did you use for it.

    Loving the kitchen with the cabinets. Awesome!

  6. Frannie - Thanks. The green fabric is fleece. I think I may have caught the sewing bug now. My dolls like having custom clothes. Hope to have the cabinets built and ready for staining by tomorrow.

  7. Everything came out great. As far as I have gotten with my sewing is one crib comforter. Maybe if I practice I can get as good as you. I love the girls. Bright beautiful colors.Your dolls are cracking the whip on you. My dolls do the same thing, want everything People don't believe me I say they have their own personalities but they sure do. Doll people know that for sure!

  8. "...cutting and adjusting and designing on the fly."

    Sounds like someone I know... me!

    Sometimes what I plan to do becomes far from what I'm actually creating but as Tim Gunn says, "Make it work." And you did!

    Love the pattern on your wrap dress. The color scheme of the pants and jacket and my wrap dress seems like they are from the same collection. :)

  9. Awwww ... love your coatdress, too, Vanessa. The foamy green jacket and cropped pants look cool, too. Sigh. Can't wear cropped pants myself, but the dolls can.

    Love seeing the progress on the girls' room and the kitchen. Thanks for sharing and inspiring.

    Have you, Ms. Lola, any sewers here tried Dritz' Fray Check? I have some just in case I do some sewing. Might help with the strays ....

  10. The outfits are nice and I love the comforters. The colors are very nice and colorful. Also, I love how the rooms are coming together. Vanessa, you really are so! I am always left smh like wow.

  11. mrscarissa - Practice definitely helps. I have to keep telling myself that so I will keep sewing. You know the ladies have definitely been cheering about this one. They've started putting in requests.

    We doll people know all about those personalities.

  12. Niel - Designing on the fly is a lot more fun than cutting a pattern, sewing it per instructions, then figuring out it doesn't fit so well. I watched 8 seasons of Project Runway, back to back this past year, hoping to get inspired to be a designer vs just a sewer. I wish there was a Tim Gunn doll out there that I could sit on my sewing machine. He would be inspiring.

    I hadn't noticed the similar color scheme. I will have to go look again.

  13. D7ana - Thanks. Yes, the dolls can pull off just about any style.

    Oops, I meant to say Fray Check, not Fabri-Tac. Sorry Miss Lola. I didn't have to use fray check either for the dress fabric.

    By slowly designing some rooms, it allows time for the right fabrics, accessories, wallpaper, etc. to show up. I just picked up that material, for the girls' comforters, a week ago at a huge fabric sale. I've never tried designing such a colorful, pattern filled, room before. It will be interesting to see it finished. Now I have to figure out wall decorations.

  14. Georgia Girl - Thanks. God blessed me with a strong desire to "figure things out". I don't have the patience to make it all perfect, because I am always on to the next project. But I can live with that. Designing a lot of rooms at the same time works really well with my need to move from one project to the next. LOL.

  15. I totally agree with you on the pattern thing, I prefer to just design on the fly. I love project runway. Lots of my inspiration comes from that show and others. I love to flick thru magazines for inspiration as well :) I love the fleece jacket. Really nice! The rooms are coming out wonderful. Well done!

  16. Chynadoll - Thanks. You are definitely an inspiration when it comes to fashion designing. Your designs are wonderful!

  17. Both the clothes and the rooms suit the personalities of your characters well. One advantage of working in 1:6 scale over 1:1 scale is that you don't waste as much fabric when cutting and designing on the fly if your first and second drafts don't work out. You also don't have to worry as much about construction engineering. Dolls don't put as much wear and tear on seams and they don't have saggy body parts that need support. Consequently you can get away with some things in 1:6 scale that would not work in 1:1 scale.

  18. limbe dolls - Not the saggy body parts! LOL! You forgot one more advantage...the dolls don't complain about your design. They are just happy to wear it. You are right about the amount of fabric, although I hate wasting even the tiniest bit of fabric. So I still treat it like it's the only piece I have. So crazy, I know.

  19. Hello from Spain: your new update is great. I'm so hooked to your blog. May I have many ideas for my Barbies and to families. I look forward to a new update. Kisses and keep doing so well.

  20. Marta - Thanks again for your wonderful comments. I've been busy filling orders for furniture, so my blog posting has slowed down a little, but it will pick back up soon.

  21. Um... do you ever sleep?


    I am amazed by your creative spirit.


  22. Nikaya's and Zahara's room is perfect for the two princesses! I love the color explosion, it so fits them.

    The, you have skills!! The Taylor's home is beautiful. Those french doors are awesome. You have such an eye for detail, great job!

  23. Tracy - Thanks. I got up this morning and started working on the princesses room again. A little bit at a time. I was trying a different technique with the door. I think I will eventually make one out of glass.


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