I just can’t help myself

Just one more plug for my shop before Valentine’s day.  I know, I keep trying to go in new directions, but I just keep ending up going back to the dolls.  I’ve sold a couple of my new ballerina dolls, so I thought I would make a Valentine-y one just for kicks and see if I could get one sold.  This time she’s a brunette- in pink.  I think she should be called Rose.

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I’m rather pleased with how the hair turned out on this one.  A kind lady I know gave me a large bag of yarn she was never going to use, and this one has a nice ruddy tint to it.  It is also kinda curly, which I love.

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I felt that Rose needed a few roses in her wavy locks.

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Dainty ballerina feet and fluffy tulle- just because.

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I was dissatisfied with this first little tutu I made, so I decided to add another tutu as an overlay.  It ties on with a satin ribbon and can be removed if desired.

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You’ll notice that I put a few little red rose “petals” in the layers of the tulle because, well, “Rose” and also because, well, Valentine’s day.

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Oh, and don’t forget she has a wire framed body, which would help her pose in a display case if perhaps you are an adult and want an excuse to buy a doll for yourself.  (pssst, you wouldn’t be the first)

See, she is looking pensive now, wondering if she will ever find a new home.  (My daughter has taken a fancy to her and has already tried to eat her several times) So she wouldn’t mind being adopted…..

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Prototype

It’s been a while since I put anything new on my shop, and I’ve been meaning to for a while, but the holidays are a bad time to start prototyping anything, and so this doll has been about two months in the making.  You will see right off that she is primarily a ballerina doll, although with different clothing, she wouldn’t necessarily have to be.

Although this doll may not look very different, (just looking at her face) she really differs in several significant ways. For one, she is the first pattern I drafted myself (almost from scratch)  She is taller and thinner, has pointed, rather than flat feet and is made entirely from one piece ie, I didn’t have to sew arms and legs on seperately.  I was looking for a doll with a more defined waist since my other dolls are so square in shape and sometimes their clothing doesn’t stay on very well.  So I gave her a waist, and I also gave her a wire frame- something that gave me quite a lot of trouble, and needed a lot of tweaking.   This is also the first time I have attempted yarn for hair.  Since she is more delicate looking, I thought she needed something finer than the jersey strips I usually use.  And though I like how it looks, I miss the stretch that the jersey gives me since stretchy hair is much easier to style.

At any rate, here she is.  She may or may not be a limited edition, depending on interest and what I can charge for her. (she took me quite a bit longer to make than my other girls)DSCF3034 (2)

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I had lots of fun with the clothing, both in sewing the beads and flowers, and in adding as many layers of tulle as possible.

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Here she is, crossing her ankles like a lady.

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Now she will demonstrate various poses to display her flexible wire frame.

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Her bendable knees also allow her to sit quite nicely when she is tired of dancing and decides to let her hair down.

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And speaking of hair- here are a few closeups, both up and down.

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So now we have arrived at the part where I ask for feedback and suggestions.  I have to laugh at myself because I keep hunting for something that might be a little less time consuming, and end up making something more complicated.  Oh well.  Let me know what you think!  Thanks!

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Ballerina dreaming

When I was a little girl, I shared a dream with many other little girls. I wanted to be a ballerina.
It was for all the usual reasons- the lovely, floaty dancing- the shiny, pointy, pink slippers- and of course the tutus. If there were tutus involved, I was in.
But I was one of six girls. My mom worked part time and we were in school full time. Ballet lessons just weren’t on the agenda. But did I let that stop me? No siree. If I couldn’t have real lessons, I would teach myself.
Those were the days before Youtube, of course, and there were no handy online tutorials I could google. But we did have a well worn VHS recording of the Nutcracker, performed by the Pacific Northwest Ballet that I watched ad nauseum. I imitated the dancing as best I could, hunted around the house for ballet -type attire (one of my mom’s fluffy old slips was a pretty good tutu substitute) and thus attired, I pranced around the house to my heart’s content.
One year, I was given a pair of silky, pink, ballet-esque slippers for my birthday. With those on my feet to spur my imagination, I felt capable of starring in a ballet of my own. And one of the beauties of having five sisters was that I could make such a thing a reality. I coaxed them into joining my venture, and we started production immediately.
First, we had to decide on the music. That was easy enough. Dad had just purchased one of the first compact disc players on the market, and we were the proud owners of two cds- Handel’s Messiah and Rachmaninoff’s 3rd piano concerto. Handel didn’t seem very suitable for ballet, so that left Rachmaninoff.
Then it was decided that we were all to be flowers, as pink and fluffy as our dress-up box would allow. There we would huddle in the living room while the opening bars of the concerto began. I was in the center of the flower huddle- the self-appointed prima donna- because, if you remember, I owned the pink slippers.
Then, as the music quickened, out ran my baby sister, trailing a bright orange blanket. She was the sun, of course. She circled the flower huddle once or twice, and as she toddled away, we flowers would slowly awaken. Then I had to do my own little bit of solo dancing (the pink slippers demanded it) and after that, it was pretty much every dancer for herself. (Just imagine a whole lot of twirling)
The grand finale always included the same dramatic scene- the six of us lined up according to size on the living room stairs, and with arms gracefully extended, we would leap more or less simultaneously onto the worn brown carpet below. Despite our best efforts to land lightly, we always came thudding down like a ton of bricks, causing the cd in the player to skip around violently and bring our performance to a sudden end. It was not, perhaps, the best ballet in the world, but it has left plenty of good memories. Sometimes I still think about being a ballerina, even though that ship has long since sailed. And I will always enjoy watching ballet.

But all of this is to say, that when a friend suggested a few weeks back that I should try and make a ballerina doll, I had to mentally smack myself in the forehead. Of course! I love ballet, I love dolls, and I love tutus!

So without further ado, let me introduce my first ballerina doll.

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Generally, when I think of ballerinas, I think pink, but I only had a little bit of red and white tulle, so I thought I would see what I could make out of the materials I had on hand before stocking up on new supplies.

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A view from the rear.

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And a view of her slippers. I thought about altering the doll pattern so that her toes would be pointed down, but again, figured I would see how things looked before I made any major alterations. What do you think? Should I change the feet?

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Here is her little leotard, with the tutu removed.

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And when I put her tutu back on, I accidentally had it turned around. But I kind of like it reversed as well. Two tutus for the price of one, eh?

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So there she is. (By the way, I have already sold this doll, but I plan on making more if there is interest.). And I’ve also been contemplating some design ideas for Nutcracker dolls, what with Christmas coming and all. Or maybe just some custom ballet dresses.

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So I ask again~Feedback? Suggestions? Good places to buy lots of tulle?
Thanks!