Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Fancy Footwear: Stocking Shoes

I wanted to do one last tutorial before the end of the year. While surfing around the internet, I discovered a new trend...."Yeezy Sock Shoes" along with a few DIY ideas on how to get the look without the expense.

Yeezy "Sock Shoes"

Sock Shoes are neither practical (for humans) nor new (I've had a pair in my closet for MANY years). On the other hand they are perfect for the dolls!

Classic Stocking Boots
Some of you may remember that a while back, I did a post on spats for those of us who wanted to make boots to match our doll's outfits without the hassle of actually making boots. Those shoe coverings--which rest over the top of the shoe-- had the structure of rigid boot. On the contrary,  my dolly version of the stocking shoe, covers the entire shoe, is supple and form fitted to the doll's legs. In essence, we will make a pair of stockings that stretch over the shoe but allows the heel to poke through.

For this project you will need your doll, a pair of doll shoes of her choice and a small bit of 2-way stretch jersey or knit. (That means knit fabric that stretches both horizontally and vertically.)  Men's dress socks, tights, jersey, Tshirt fabric is perfect. I begin by making a pattern for my stocking shoes using a bit of Tshirt material. You can make them any length for a wide variety of looks, for both day and eveningwear.


1. Put a pair of shoes on the doll that you want as your base.
2. Decide on the length of the boot you want to create. For this exercise, I want thigh high boots. Stretch a bit of jersey around the doll's leg and around the shoe. Pin along the back of the leg, and then under the foot, being careful to leave the heel exposed.
3. Mark and make your paper pattern.
4. The final pattern should resemble something like this.

Cut out your pattern, then sew down the back seam of the stocking and again, under the foot, ending at the toe. Clip away any excess from the back seam. Turn right side out. Put the doll's shoes back on her and slip each stocking over the leg. Make sure the heel pokes out from the hole. You can adjust how much of the shoe back you want exposed afterwards.


I cut this from a pair of men's socks so as to take advantage of the ribbed knit top edge. Here is what my end result looks from front to back. Because these are stocking shoes (and not simply stockings) I glued a piece of leather on the bottom of the shoe. Keep in mind that there is a seam there which means it will not be at the same level as the sole of the heel. So use a thin leather or felt for your soles.

The stocking shoe adds a dramatic compliment to a long gown as well!

Both the dress and these stocking shoes were made from silver lame socks. Note that the doll is wearing the lavender chunky heeled shoes pictured above.
For a completely younger, more casual look, I used fabric from a striped sock and cut a short "sock boot."
I could have stopped there, but had still another idea when some stretch lace fell out of my drawer. Underneath, Renee is wearing light beige heels to give the illusion of a nude foot. Should you have problems with the heel poking through the lace as you slide it through your stocking...put bit of tape over the both sides of the shoe. When you get the heel through the back hole, you can carefully pull it away.


All photos and text property of Fashion Doll Stylist. Copyright 2016. Please do not reproduce without first asking permission. Thank you.


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Sunday, December 25, 2016

Home for the Holidays!

Me and my dolls wish all of you and your dolls a very warm and wonderful Merry Christmas!!!

This year, I was determined to get every last doll in the house dressed for the holidays. This was no small feat. And since they are all decked out in their finest, they insisted on being photographed throughout the house! (Special thanks to my father who puts up with my dolls invading most of the house during the holidays.)

My bedroom is ground zero for all operations. The dolls all want to be downstairs on the piano, but there simply is not enough room AND.....SOMEBODY'S got to keep me company!!!! (Still on Christmas and New Year's Eve, they sneak downstairs to the livingroom.) I have two doll size Christmas trees, one on each nightstand. Each one is decorated with mini-ornaments, tiny angels. The one nearest the side where I sleep, also are decorated with my late mother's costume jewelry.

On my nightstand:
 
On the other nightstand:
 
High above, on my chest of drawers:
They are dressed and waiting for Saturday night's Black & White Ball downstairs on the piano!
 
Next door in the guest room:
These dolls have their own party on New Years. This year, I had enough clothes for everybody to be better dressed than in previous years.

On the nightstand:
Yes, another tiny tree, covered with tiny toys.

Out in the hallway:
A few of my mom's dolls under a slightly bigger Christmas tree.

Meanwhile, downstairs in the dining room:
They mix in with old family photos on the buffet cabinet.
I took the idea from the Doll Conventions and created my own "centerpiece." Of course, once the food arrives, dollies must get out of the way!!!!!
 
Everybody to the living room!
These three dolls at the foot of the tree, are part of a large doll collection of my late mother. They stay in the living room year round.

On one of the cocktail tables, I've put the dollar store and "homeless" dollies (who insisted on being part of the action this year.) Inclusion is a good thing!

And of course, there is the piano. My dolls' "stage" where they come to model all throughout the year!

And here we are, back upstairs, in my room, atop my dresser drawers. Nice work, girls!!!
 
 
 
All photos and text: Fashion Doll Stylist 2017. Please do not reproduce without prior permission. Thank you.
 
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Friday, December 16, 2016

Christmas Centerpiece

Christmas is one of the most popular holidays amongst my dolls. They love getting dressed up to parade around the house. They love being the center of attention. And while most can only think about the New Year's Eve Black and White Ball, an increasing number of them requested red gowns to participate in all the Christmas action happening in our living and dining room, this year.

They didn't want just any old Couture. My divas wanted that great big, red Barbie doll style dress with lots of "centerpiece" glamour. So I pulled out...Christmas fabric. You know--cheap, glittery tulle, polyester organza and red tulle--materials usually reserved to decorate tables, for example.In my mind this should be perfect for holiday gear.  But I soon discovered working with this stuff can easily turn your design into something completely overwhelming. The trick to working with it is to keep things simple. So for this project I am using a strapless foundation and evening length circle skirt as my base.

The first dress starts with a slim evening length, basic skirt out of gold lame. You make the skirt in red, but I like how the gold shines through the red and gold starry tulle.
Next I cut a circle skirt out of my glitter tulle which goes on top.
The corset is from my post "Paper Gladiators" using gold paper doilies. You could really stop here and have a fabulous flared look right there. Or push the volume of the skirt over to one side and tack on the side of one hip.


Accessory note: golden tattoos. I was inspired by BlackKitty who, a few months ago on her Facebook page, suggested using nail art as tattoos for dolls. They sell nail art here, but I haven't been happy with the designs in the stores near me in the US.

However, I found temporary tattoos by a French company, Ki-Sign in a crafts store in Paris which I liked. (You can search on Amazon.com for other companies selling metallic temporary tattoos.) Putting them on was a snap. The design is placed face down and wet the back. However, removal takes a bit more time. Alcohol. which removes them from human skin, didn't work so I rubbed a little oil on the doll, waited a bit then gently scraped the design off with my fingernail. No scratches on the doll, but I'd like to find a gentler way to remove them before using this product extensively.


For my next dress, I wanted something more delicate, more discreet. I had some polyester organza left over from my post, "Flaky Pastry."
 In my head, I wanted to create a Christmas rose with delicate petals over the torso of a sheer corset worn over a whisper of a circle skirt in the same fabric.

1. I begin by making a strapless foundation out of my sheer organza. I flame seal all external edges (refer to post on Flaky Pastry). Don't worry if the edges are uneven. That will simply add to the rose petal effect.
2. Trim the darts to within 1/8"
3. Fasten the back with hook & eyes.

4. Cut a number of irregular squares and flame seal the edges.
5. Pin, then sew in place, overlapping each petal with the other.

Make the circle skirt. You can either cut two layers or, like me, cut it in a single layer and slip a sheer slim skirt underneath.

Tulle is another cheap, "glamorous" material. The best is silk tulle which costs a fortune and only available at high quality stores. Otherwise, it comes in fine and course. Use fine if available because it will be less bulky at the waist and yield more volume. For this look, I've kept it extremely simply.
 1. This look also begins with a circle skirt.
 2. Next, I gathered 2x 1-1/2 yards (meters) into a ribbon, cut an inch (2.5 cm) wider than the doll's waist. This is to create a double layer of gathered tulle.


3. Put the tulle skirt over the circle skirt.
4. Tie a wide ribbon around the waist of the doll and tie into a bow in the back.
5. Take a wide length of tulle and tie around the shoulders of the doll to one side. Adjust the gathers over her torso and tack in place.
The models presenting these holiday fashions are all "Christmas dolls," gifts from my father. Opening photo is this year's gift, "Akure" (Barbie Top Model Nikki), the next doll down is Nichelle, Christmas doll 2013, (Barbie Model of the Moment) and the last photo is Grace (Integrity Toys Nadja R Out of Sight), last year's gift.
 
All photos and text courtesy of Fashion Doll Stylist. Copyright 2016.
 
 
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Thursday, December 8, 2016

Christmas Windows in Paris


One thing I can always count on this time of year...festive, creative, breathtaking store window displays all dressed up for Christmas here in the French capital. The girls didn't find much in the way of clothing they liked, but they sure enjoyed looking at the Christmas decorations all over Paris.

As usual, dolls jovial figurines play a major part in many of these displays. They dance, they play, and sometimes they help Santa prepare his haul. We also noticed another trend: tiny scale models of scenery and buildings cut from white cardboard. They were in the displays at Galeries Lafayettes, one of the city's iconic department stores. But they were also in the windows of other types of boutiques as well.

The dolls' photos need no words. So I'm simply putting them up for your enjoyment.

Galeries Lafayette Department Store
 Indoors, a larger than life white paper Christmas tree that spirals to the top of a stain glass dome.
 While outside in the window displays, a tiny white ship takes you to an imaginary world.

 There are polar bears galore!
 All bears work on a big machine to prepare presents galore.




 And voila....a ski jacket for humans emerges!


 Indoors, there are tiny displays. About 1/12 scale....all out of white Bristol board.
 Tiny scenery with incredibly cut details.
 A forest alongside of a grand staircase (but all in 1/12)
Adding to the feeling of North Pole chic....White paper ornaments all over the store interiors including these which drop into a boat.

Musee des Arts Decoratifs
A larger than life old fashioned typewriter in the windows of the Decorative Arts' Gift Shop.

A Jewelry Boutique
The dress is full scale, but the packages and the tiny façade of a local high fashion jeweler are all small scale!

But Christmas is also about color....

Au Printemps Department Store
 Dancing dolls take center stage in the windows of any major department store.


 Of course this store also uses figurines to hawk gifts for adults.

Bringing the outside indoors. A scale model of the store's dome was built inside of the store. Of course the dolls enjoy climbing up the side.

Bazaar de l'Hotel de Ville (BHV-Marais)
 A larger than life size Santa, enjoys sitting high atop a hill overlooking a tiny village below.
 Be careful Santa. Don't crush the locals!!!!

 The elves are on hand to help prepare toys for good girls and boys.


A Local Florist
The great thing is how even the local merchants all get into the Christmas spirit. Here's the one in my neighborhood.


A Christmas Ornament Store
 In the Passage Jouffrey (where you'll find Paris' wax museum (Musee Grevin) and two stores specializing in dollhouse miniatures), there is a store that only sells Christmas decorations, knick-knacks, home décor, and sparkly novelties. There was so much stuff in the windows, it was hard to photograph. Nonetheless, it is a treat to the eyes!

With that, we're all on a plane headed back to the US for the holidays. We didn't see clothes we liked this time around. But we did see a few details, and found some interesting fabric remnants. And it's time to start dressing our rather large community of dolls for Christmas. We'll have another post up shortly.


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