small knitting

I realise I’ve been a bit quiet here of late . . . days turning into weeks without any crafting natter . . . time to remedy that because I have been crafting.  Mainly knitting, but it’s been doll-related, so the following photos were taken specifically to post here (without scarey dolls’ heads)  to share.

First up, I discovered the lovely patterns of Debonair Designs (available to buy on etsy and Ravely) and had lots of fun knitting her “Maya” pattern twice.  My first attempt, in Stylecraft Special DK turquoise & sherbert, was before Avis taught me how to cable, so I altered the bottom border and just knitted seed stitch to give some texture.

For the second attempt, in Stylecraft Special DK  grape & clematis, I had mastered the art of cables, therefore was able to follow the pattern exactly and knit the correct spine stitch pattern.

“Maya” is a poncho style cardigan/sweater that can be worn with button fastening at the back, to give the impression of a turtle-necked sweater, or with buttons at the front.  Then, because I was having so much fun, I knitted a matching hat to go with the turquoise & sherbert sweater.

After that, and having gained in confidence with my knitting needles . . . I cast on for a new garment.  This time without a pattern!  I set to work, knitting a  “fisherman style” sweater for my large (67cm) male BJD doll, using Stylecraft Special DK in parchment.   As I say, I wasn’t following a pattern this time which was a very novel (and quite scarey) experience.  I also made things slightly more challenging for myself in that I wanted to have texture, so decided to stitch a “broken rib” throughout.  Basically two rectangles, for front & back, with a little bit of shaping for neck/shoulders.  I worked for the first time ever with DPNs to pick up stitches and do ribbing on neck.

 

 

And then after some maths & measuring, I knitted sleeves.

One advantage of BJD dolls is that, aside from being fully jointed, their heads come off!  This means I knitted this sweater without worrying about button fastenings (usually when making doll clothes they need to have an opening in the back in order to get the garment over doll’s head.   With BJD clothes, it’s possible to cheat and remove doll’s head when dressing.

I was ever so pleased with how well this turned out!  I also took care to write down all the important things (stitch count, increases, decreases, number of rows etc) so that I can hopefully make this again. Or play around trying different stitch combinations.

 

ScrapHappy # July (beware contains photos of dolls).

It’s 15th of the month, time to link up with Kate and Gun and share a ScrapHappy post!

Followers may remember some past clothes-making projects . . . which always provide many scraps for future projects.

Way back in June 2016 I made myself a wrap-around skirt

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which left me with lots of scraps.  And in April of this year, I made a shirt

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which also left me with scraps.

Both lots of fabric scraps called out to me when I saw a free pattern by Antique Lilac, to make doll dresses.  And since I had only recently unboxed some of my BJD dolls . . . it seemed like the ideal occasion to use a few scraps.  I had said I’d try and keep my doll hobby separate from this blog, and recently started a new blog especially for my dolls: Claire’s Collections.  But since today we’re talking about scraps . . . I’m afraid you have to put up with spooky dolls photos in order to appreciate the sewing.

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Hence . . . one pretty summer dress in pink floral for Erin and one in more autumn shades for Kyra.

Erin, on the left, is approx 43cm tall but has quite a large bust. Kyra, on the right, is approx 45cm tall but has a very narrow torso and wide hips.  I therefore made alterations to the bodice part, as well as making a longer skirt for the pink floral.  Dolls look the same height in photos because Erin has proper BJD shoes with quite a thick sole & heel.

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Whereas Kyra is wearing a pair of lace-up ankle boots I made, in the same fabric as her dress!  Found a tutorial for that here:  Sneakers.

dolls – all shapes & sizes

I had something of an excavation in the attic the other day.  I have to explain that when we moved here in 2014, we also brought with us the belongings of our 3 adult children who had all left home by then, but none of whom had a large enough flat/house to take all their “stuff”.  So “stuff” was simply packed in boxes which now take up a corner of the attic, awaiting the day when adult children decide they have room in their own homes.  Anyway, our daughter has asked for a few of her belongings to be sent over . . . hence me opening boxes and sorting what needs to be sent . . . which also meant climbing the extra flight of stairs to the attic, where I rediscovered these!

Corolle dolls

These are 30cm Corolle baby dolls, which date back to 1995.  We bought them for our daughter when she was just a tiny toddler . . . and as you can see from the almost pristine condition, she didn’t play with them much!  However, since I am into playing with dolls myself these days, I’ve brought these two dolls down to my sewing room.  I learned, from DOLLS magazine, that Corolle (a famous French doll manufacturer) is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year!  It therefore seems appropriate to have unpacked my daughter’s Corolle baby dolls and have them on display in my sewing room.

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Alongside, three very cute “Jellybean” bunnies (also belonged to my daughter) which I found in with the dolls.  I gave the dolls a clean, clothes & bunnies went in the washing machine, and they make me smile, sitting there on the sofa.

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Here are the two Corolle baby dolls, next to Noah, my Berengeur doll, just to show scale.

Title of this post mentions all shapes & sizes . . .

After playing with the Corolle dolls, I also opened boxes to rediscover my BJD (ball-jointed doll) collection.  That was something which began in 2007 when my daughter (aged 13 at the time) asked for a BJD for her birthday.  I had no idea what they were way back then, so research was necessary.  When I saw what they were, I wanted one too . . . and 2007 saw the beginning of a BJD collection, which sadly, hasn’t been paid much attention in years.

Anyway, for those of you who find dolls spooky . . . don’t scroll down any farther lol.  For those who are curious . . . here are a few photos of just some of the dolls in my collection.

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This is my very first BJD, bought in 2007.  A Soul Kid, by Soul Doll, face is the model Miryu, and she measures 45cm tall.

Ines

This one is a 56cm LUTS Juri Delf 06 doll.  She came second hand from ebay.

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As did this doll which (I think) is also a LUTS, a Kid Delf (Delf meaning, she has pointy ears) and measuring approx 44cm.

They are just 3 of the seven resin BJDs in my collection.  I also have some plastic BJDs very Manga-like dolls . . .

Hujoo

These are Hujoo dolls . . . that somehow seemed to multiply after buying the first one!

Anyway . . . I can’t believe it’s been so many years since I spent any quality time with these dolls.  I’m still all fired up with my reborn baby dolls, and Daisy, but I also plan on spending some time crafting for my BJD dolls too in the coming months.   When I started collecting dolls, I couldn’t really sew, and I certainly couldn’t crochet or knit.  Now I have mastered crocheting, my little brain is buzzing with ideas of fun outfits that can be made with yarn & a crochet hook.

JAPAN EXPO 11th Edition

July is an important month for fans (in France & Europe) of all things Japanese because, around the first weekend of July there is the JAPAN EXPO which takes place at the Villepinte Parc des Expositions.  It’s a 4-day event, which attracts visitors from all over. There is something for everyone: martial arts, video games, karaoke, cinema, Manga, fashion . . . and BJDs ^^

I went along today, with my daughter and one of her friends – we weren’t too interested in the video games side of things, so spent most of our time wandering around the hundreds of stalls in the “Jeune Créateurs” (Young Creators) section, where amateur (and professional) artists had their artwork on display.  I also stopped by to admire many of the BJDs on display but avoided having a rummage through all the BJD fashions on sale as I knew if I started buying there, I would never stop. 

Here are some of the BJDs on display (not for sale)

Then to the art section where I splashed out on a few postcard sized photos and bookmarks to have a souvenir of some of the artwork that I really admired (I’m afraid I didn’t think to jot down the name of each artist as I went so I can’t give credit where credit is due) 

The last two photos are artwork by Sybile ART www.sybile.net AND I’m also encouraging young authors because I bought a copy of Dario ALCIDE’S first novel which he autographed for me and also gave me a CD of the soundtrack he composed while writing the novel ^^

and couldn’t resist taking a photo of his colleague, who was busy sculpting a dragon’s head

Anyway, we came home tired but happy after a really great day out.  My feet are killing me, and I’m glad to be back home where it’s a little cooler than inside an exhibition centre with tens of thousands of other visitors but come July 2011 I have no doubt we will return for the 12th edition ^^

Denver has a FACE ^^ (bjd news)

Way back in January, I posted some photos of my newest BJD, a 64cm Impldoll “Bosco” who was my little treat to myself for Christmas/birthday/do I need a reason to treat myself ^^.  When he arrived from Denver Dolls Emporium he looked like this

rather scarey ^^ and (as one person suggested, rather a Jean-Luc Picard look-alike for those of you Star Trek fans lol).

Anyway . . . I named him DENVER (after the online shop I bought him from) and he then sat around patiently, waiting for somone to do something about his FACE (since, to keep costs down, I had ordered the basic doll, hence without “face-up” as it’s called in the BJD world).  Originally a friend was going to do it for me BUT she had too much to do, and not enough time . . . I’m hopeless with both make-up and paint, so I didn’t dare . . . and eventually managed to persuade my 16 year old daughter, to do it for me ^^

My daughter (aka Lindashee) isn’t entirely happy with her artwork (but then she’s always self-critical) however I am well pleased!  I’ve changed his eyes, and gone for a lilac shade, rather than the bright blue he came with, and he is sporting a wig which sort of matches his bushy eyebrows lol.  So, Jean-Luc Picard no longer . . . I think he looks rather dashing – my idea of a very aloof, dashing Darcy (yep I’m a Jane Austen fan too). 

Next photos, when hopefully, I get round to some clothes making (because I haven’t made anything so far).

If you’re interested in seeing some of Lindashee’s photos, BJDs, sewing or artwork, she has a photo album on Flickr here http://www.flickr.com/photos/lindashee/

and a blog here http://artschoum.blogspot.com/

a comment if you stop by would be much appreciated as she doesn’t get many visitors (apart from good old Mum).

new BJD (Impldoll SD Bosco)

I’m adding another category to my blog today:  for BJDs (Ball-jointed dolls – most commonly in resin) which is something I enjoy when not stitching.  I did actually start up a blog a while back to use that as my little gallery, but never seem to have time to keep it up to date and no one ever stops by to visit so it was quite pointless.  Don’t worry – I won’t be inundating these pages with photos of my “dolls” . . . just every now and then ^^

BJD fever hit this house in 2006 when my daughter bought her first MSD sized doll (43cm), soon followed by yours truly who wanted one too . . . and things went from there. We now have a fair collection between us, but have been branching out of late to larger sized dolls (SD – anything from 57cm plus) and I’ve posted photos before now to show off my daughter’s sewing skills because THAT is one of the main attractions with this hobby: making clothes for our BJDs (as well as “customising” them, by changing eyes, wigs, and make-up).

You’ve already seen photos of this young lady here: 

Her name is Inès.  She’s a a CP Luts, and is my pride and joy ^^ I bought her second-hand on ebay and think she’s the best thing since sliced bread.  For a while now, both my daughter and I had been drooling over male dolls and in October we placed an order for a new brand IMPLDOLL (a Chinese manufacturer) each . . . waited patiently, and our parcel arrived last week. 

They look a little strange at the moment, as we ordered them without “faceups” which means they have inexpressive faces and need a ‘”paint job” to make them look more human . . . they also have very little to wear as we haven’t had any serious sewing sessions yet – but that will be remedied as the weeks go by (trousers in photos were bought on a BJD forum).

Anyway, without further ado . . . I proudly present my newest BJD: a 64cm “Bosco” Impldoll who I have named Denver.   First wig-less 

with hair 

standing tall in socked feet because shoes are on order 

and with Inès

HAPPY CHRISTMAS TO ALL

Very warm Seasons Greetings to one and all.  I hope that you are spending a good Christmas with family and loved ones . . . and dare to hope that you (like me) found some wonderful gifts under your tree ^^

I can safely say that I had more presents labelled to me under the tree this year than any one else in the family ^^.  Thanks to stitching friends, parcels just kept on arriving in the run-up to this festive seasons and I’ve really been spoiled rotten this year.

From family I received a brand new digital camera (combined pressie from my husband and second son) as the ‘”old” one had a slight accident a while back due to one of our cats and the view-finder screen has been slowly turning blue following a fall.  Haven’t quite gotten to grips with all the super-dooper options on my new camera, so apologies for quality of photos – I’ll learn as I go.  Eldest son bought me Season 1 of FRINGE which I’m going to really enjoy watching . . . Walter is so excentric I love seeing what he has to say each time he opens his mouth ^^ and my daughter bought me some gorgeous embellishments, a cat collar (since I’m forever buying new collars to replace the ones lost) AND she had been doing some secret sewing for one of my BJDs . . . enough talking . . . time to show you some photos!

First up – the outfit made by my daughter, modelled on my 57cm CPLuts, Inès. 

 

From Karen;  a Friendship calendar, a silver plated cat bookmark and a zany cat coaster ^^ 

From Sabine: a RICO cross stitch kit and RICO chart book to make lots of lovely xmasy things for next year;  two skeins of hand-dyed threads AND a lovely felt stocking and gingerbread man decorations

From Sandra http://mollycaff.wordpress.com/ (who already stitched two magnificent tree decorations for me) . . . I had all this to open !!!

loads of hand-dyed threads (some silk and some cotton), some handcream to keep my hands silky soft ^^, a piece of fabric from Polstitches . . . a Brittercup chart with charms . . . AND . . .

a little Welsh doll to add to my doll collection ^^

A HUGE thank you therefore to Karen, Sabine and Sandra for these lovely gifts . . . I have had a lovely Christmas!!

sewing skills (not mine)

The proud mother that I am wants to share a few photos of my daughter’s latest sewing efforts.  Over the summer hols we didn’t get any done (mainly because sons were home and our sewing room was turned back into a bedroom for the duration) but with sons away at uni, my darling daughter, aka Lindashee has been able to get machine out, have a good rummage through boxes of fabric and be creative.

Here are the two latest creations therefore . . . blue dress modelled on Lindashee’s  Elfdoll WYSTERIA and the other, in more earth tones, modelled by her Domuya  CHLOE  (little golden crochet bolero, black stockings and shoes are all shop bought).  bothtogoct1_dashee1

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Both BJDs are approx 58cm tall.