Monday, February 2, 2015

Terrific Twos!

Wait! Don't touch that dial!!! You've come to the right place. Today, Fashion Doll Stylist celebrates its second anniversary with a new look! Since our dolls are always in the glare of the spotlight, we thought we'd go with a background that literally keeps them on the catwalk!

Over the course of the last 12 months, I published 69 posts which, though substantially less than the year before, have included tutorial videos for basic techniques, homages to iconic designers, and instructions for making dolly designer luggage, leather handbags, umbrellas, quilted parkas and even men’s shoes! With so much content on this site now, I made the decision last year, to spend more time on each post instead of rushing to publish. For the most part, I've gotten myself on a weekly schedule, though there are times when things don't happen exactly as planned, resulting in slight delays. On the other hand, many of my posts are longer and have more pictures and more detailed explanations.

The initial mission of this blog was to keep everything simple and I've tried very hard to maintain that premise. I've also resisted the temptation to move into fashions for the 16 inch dolls, simply because our 12 inch friends have special problems related to their miniscule proportions that demand solutions.

Throughout 2014, I’ve made lots of new friends, some of which also have blogs that I immensely enjoy. Thanks to everyone for taking the time to leave a comment. Your communication helps to make these exchanges much more personal, like a network of doll moms (or dads) getting together to converse over our vinyl “children.” We drool over each other’s newest acquisitions, pat each other on the back for the clothing, accessory, or diorama the other has created. Everyone is so nice, so supportive and so much on the same page…it’s the nearest thing to a perfect world! "Make doll clothes, not war," should be our motto!

In between projects, I’ve often pondered…..what is it about dolls that gives us so much pleasure? Why are we so eager to buy them things, dress them up or create lush settings for them? Is it the wide-eyed child inside us trying to recreate the thrill we had opening packages on Christmas morning. Perhaps it is our fascination with fashion, pure and simple. Dolls allow us to fully “participate” in fashion at a fraction of the price…and on our own terms! We can reconnect with iconic styles from the past or restyle current trends to suit our tastes, then sit back and enjoy the fashion show atop the dresser, on the piano or perched on the shelf.

Two years ago, I choose the name “Fashion Doll Stylist” for my new venture. “Stylist” in French, means fashion designer while in American English it describes a person (sometimes a magazine editor) responsible for the overall fashion “look.” That person chooses the cloths, accessories and everything else to create the look for a magazine photo shoot or for celebrity on the red carpet. Isn’t that exactly what we do with our dolls?

Even when we try to duplicate a designer dress in miniature, we are not really copyists because it is impossible to copy line for line an adult garment to the scale of a 12-inch doll. Compromises must be made. In the process of this modification, you’ve created something new with your improvisations. In the year to come, we will continue our ever popular Doll’s Eye View (and Ken’s Eye View) Fashion Week reports, major red carpet events (where the dolls often outshine the actresses), and fashion exhibitions. This is our "homework" and it is essential because we need sources of inspiration and information on the current trends. Since textiles is the life blood of fashion today, I want to do more surface treatments techniques as well as, perhaps, discussions about suitable fabrics for doll clothes. (It might be interesting to do some comparisons.)

The runway reports have so many ideas. I’d like pull these reports back up, from time to time, and  bring more of those looks to life. Fashion is also about accessories. In our first year, I occasionally did accessory trend reports. I’d like to bring this back as well, so that we may keep dolly up with the latest jewelry, handbags and the like.

True to my promise last year, I added videos which drew lots of attention, particularly on YouTube. Honestly they take so much more time to put together than the standard post, but I will try to add few more.  Finally, your input is quite valuable to me. So if there’s something you’d like to see in particular, or have links, tips or short cuts relevant to each pst, don’t hesitate to share. I’ll be putting together another “Tipster” post and would love to include them for everyone's benefit.

With year number three a blank slate waiting to be filled with new fashions and projects, me and all my gang would like to thank you for your visits and support. We look forward to sharing our fashion adventure with you in the year to come.

Big hugs. Gros bisous!

April.

Up Next: The girls will be right back with Spring 2015 Haute Couture fashions from Paris!



But first, let's have another piece of cake!




Follow us on Twitter: @FashDollStylist
We're also on Pinterest: www.pinterest.com/fashdollstylist
 
 
All images and text property of Fashion Doll Stylist. 2015.



18 comments:

  1. Happy Anniversary and keep up the good work. I've learned so much about design for my fashion dolls and it's all thinks to you.

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    1. Thank you KMQ. I really appreciate your comment.

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  2. Happy 2nd Anniversary! I really do enjoy your blog and tutorials. You do make some beautiful clothes for your dolls and your photos are great. I look forward to more from you in 2015!

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    1. Thank you, Phyllis. Looking forward to sharing lots of new adventures ahead!

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  3. Happy anniversary April! Your blog is very valuable, keep up the amazing work :-). Birthday hugs xxx

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    1. Thank you, Night Owl. I am sooooo happy you left a comment because I wanted you to know how much I will miss your blog!! If you change you mind and decide to relaunch another, we'll all be here for you. In the meantime, don't be a stranger. Come back and see us from time to time. There will always be lots of fashion and fun here!!! Big hugs back!!!

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    2. Of course I will keep following your blog, and other blogs too, I love your blog! I will keep making miniature clothes, for a few dolls I will keep, I won't be a collector anymore, but I love making little doll clothes :-). We keep in touch! xxx

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    3. So VERY happy to hear this. Big, big hugs!!!!

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  4. Happy Blogiversary! Your blog remains one of my favorites, and I can't wait to see what you do this year.

    I'm excited about surface treatments. I love working with hand-painted fabric, and I'd love to discover other ways to make my textiles unique. Speaking of which, if you ever want to do a post on hand-beading doll clothing, I would be very interested. As a bead embroiderer I know how to make jewelry, but I've only just thought about embellishing doll clothes -- I imagine they would have to be lined? Also, I've heard there is a great sequin store in France called Fried. Might be a great source for sparkly bits.

    Also... have you ever thought of writing a book? I can't think of a single book that tackles doll clothing the way you do, teaching actual pattern making, or that makes such stylish clothing. I see plenty of cutesie clothing for 18 inch dolls, but nothing modern. Just a thought! Feel free to call me crazy.

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    1. Thank you Saturday Sequins. Fashion is a living breathing thing so there will lots to do and explore this year. Textile-wise, I have lots of ideas I'm sure you'll love. The idea of embellishments is a good idea. Couture beading techniques involve something called "Luneville" embroidery. With what resembles a miniscule crochet hook, you are crocheting the beads onto the fabric upside down. The end result is as beautiful on the inside as it is on the outside. But it is quite difficult to master and supplies (frames, hooks, special silk thread, glass beads, tiny sequins) are not readily available everywhere. However I'll play around with some simpler techniques and more easily accesssible supplies. And, yes the idea of doing a book had crossed my mind. I too, hate those silly, typically dolly dresses and wanted to do something more connected to current fashion, which, by the way....is really what led me to do this blog!!

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    2. I keep meaning to try tambour/luneville embroidery, but you're right. It's hard to find the supplies. I'm still looking for a good frame. I actually did a post on tambour if you're interested: http://www.saturdaysequins.com/2012/04/tambour-embroidery-resources.html

      Also, Mastered.com offers all kinds of classes online. I got to preview their tambour class, and I was impressed. One of these days, I'll have to see what else they offer.

      As for the book, I'm happy that you've thought about it, too! If you ever want to talk books and writing, let me know -- I read a great book on creating the perfect book proposal for traditional publishing, and I have some contacts in the indie publishing community, too.

      (Once upon a time, I entertained thoughts about writing a jewelry book. These thoughts come back every now and then...)

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    3. Thank you so much for the offer. And I will be taking you up since the idea of a book is still on my mind! I took a course in bead embroidery from a professional embroiderer who had previously studied at Lesage. I still have my frame and some supplies which she had purchased from a special shop somewhere near Lyons France. I really struggled with that course enough to know I would never earn a living at creating beaded clothing. LOL. I should have, perhaps started with English embroidery (stitches) before attempting Luneville embroidery. But there are simpler techniques (with needles) and since we're talking doll clothes, perhaps we can figure out how to use a needlepoint frame instead. (In theory, the pattern has to be cut in fabric then sewn onto the frame then embroidered before assembling the garment.) In the meantime, I'll give your site a look because I think it is something that could be quite interesting. Thank you for sharing the links.

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  5. Hello from Spain: I like the hat fruits. Very original and creative. Great outfits. Nice pictures. Keep in touch

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  6. Happy anniversary!

    I am drooling over the furs and leather jackets... clearly it's time for an archive dive as I get less terrified of the sewing machine.

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    1. Thank you, Smaller Places. If you look at the upper right hand side of this page you'll see "tutorials" on the list. Click on "Patterns" and that will lead you to a "table of contents" with direct links to the many tutorials we've covered over the past two years. Pssst....the fur coats are super simple!

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  7. Happy Anniversary April!
    you blog is a great place to find infos and inspiration (this place is my bible, eact time I find myself stuck with some complicated pattern, I come here and start to make it simpler!). I loved each and every post and can't wait to see more.
    Kisses Billa

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  8. Thank you Billa for your kind words. And thank you for your friendship. I look forward to sharing.
    Big hugs, April.

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