Saturday, November 28, 2009

Nandi shows off a new pair of shoes

I've changed the design on one of my styles of shoes, which I think makes it look cleaner, and will also make it easier to get them on and off. My lovely Jac doll, Nandini, was kind enough to show them off for me. I think they look as pretty in her hands as on her feet.

Still working on shoes! :D

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Argh computer issues!


So I didn't get the page up and running yet, and now I'm leaving for the weekend. Grr. Well, I guess that makes Monday my new deadline for the Sales page. I just hope my computer wants to work when I get back...

I'll still be updating this blog, and I'm bringing my camera with me so I can upload pictures of any new shoes that I make. Stay tuned!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Goals for Thanksgiving week

Well, I didn't quite get my Sales room opened this weekend, so my new goal is Wednesday. After that I'll be back home visiting my parents for the holiday, and away from my computer. So I won't be able to update my website until Sunday, but during that time I am going to make more shoes! I have four special holiday edition shoes planned, that will be offered in a very limited quantity. My goal is to debut this special collection on December 1. So stay tuned! :)

Thursday, November 19, 2009

I am procrastinating on cleaning...

I had started to work on doll shoes again tonight (which I've been doing every night for the past four or five days) but I had to stop because I couldn't find my little bag of tiny rubber bands. These are kind of essential for holding the inner sole of a new shoe to the doll's foot while the glue dries so it holds that shape in the finished shoe. So I started looking for the rubber bands, which seem to have disappeared somewhere amid all the various projects on my worktable.

The obvious solution is to clean off my worktable, which I need to do anyway, but I lost steam and decided to sit at the computer for a while. :p Ended up talking to a couple online friends, and decided to update my blog as long as I'm here. I suppose I should post some pictures of what I've been working on.

I made these two pairs on Saturday, and on Sunday I went shopping and bought ten more colors of the narrow ribbon, which added to the spools I already had in my stash makes a total of twenty-one colors that I can make the first pair in, not counting several color combinations that I came up with, too.

Then I made another pair, first taking a picture of the materials and process:

And of course the finished product:

Then on Monday I made another pair:

I plan to offer all of these styles (and several more that I have in my head) for sale on my website. I am hoping to open my Sales page this weekend, so I need to make more of each style in several different colors. Which means I should get off the computer and find those rubber bands. :p

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

A little history...

My love of dolls began many years ago with American Girl, then called Pleasant Company. My parents gave me a beautiful Samantha doll as a gift when I was six or seven, and I have loved her ever since. I pored over each new catalog for hours and hours, memorizing every detail of every outfit and accessory, marking the pages with the pieces I hoped to one day own.

My mother taught me to sew when I was nine or ten, but I didn't really like it. She started me on embroidering pillowcases and piecing a simple quilt, both of which were boring and tedious to me at the time. She wanted me to start making my own clothes, too. I reluctantly tried, but there was no joy in it. Somehow it never occurred to me to sew clothes for my beloved doll until I was twelve. Mom gave me a lovely hand-smocked yellow dress for Samantha, and I suddenly realized that I could make her clothes, too!

All of a sudden I loved sewing, and I haven't looked back since. I've definitely improved over the years, and expanded my skills to include crocheting, beadwork, props and furniture making, and more recently, shoes. I now sew for three different sizes of dolls: American Girl, Tonner fashion dolls, and Barbie/Tonner Tiny Kitty.

My introduction to the wonderful world of all things Robert Tonner came about through Star Wars. I saw The Phantom Menace probably six or seven times in theatres (it helped that my parents owned a theatre at the time) and became absolutely enamored of Queen Amidala's wardrobe. I wanted to make a costume from the movie for Halloween that year, but sadly my fourteen-year-old sewing skills were not quite up to the challenge.

When Attack of the Clones came out, I was even more impressed with Padmé's costumes. I distinctly remember watching the teaser trailer and falling instantly in love with this gown:

It is still my favorite movie costume of all time, and someday I will make it for myself... But I'm getting off track. I spent hours and hours on the library computers my freshman year of college, scouring the internet for pictures of Padmé's dresses. I stumbled across, and it became my daily must-read. From there I found the Costuming & Props boards of, learned of an upcoming Star Wars convention called Celebration III - which I eventually attended, and also saw pictures of a custom Padmé doll repainted by Laurie Leigh.

I immediately decided that I wanted my own Padmé doll, and began researching options. Although my version is a Barbie/Maxie hybrid, I did learn of Tonner dolls through Laurie's website. I decided to buy a couple so I could sew for them and sell my creations, since a lot of people seemed to collect them. Well, I bought a nude Par Excellence Brenda Starr, and fell in love. I tend to make characters out of my dolls, and she is going to be my Satine from Moulin Rouge, someday. Right now she and five other ladies are my models and muses. I'll talk a little bit about each girl in later posts. I'm going to wrap this up now as it's gone on a bit longer than I had planned. :p

Long story short: American Girl + Star Wars = my love of dolls. :)