Kanani’s New Look

Did I mention I’d rewigged Kanani? No, I don’t think I did. Well that’s a thing I did. I was really torn because Kanani with the light brown hair is SO adorable, but mine was getting pretty dry and it just wasn’t look so great. Yes, there are things I can do to remedy that to a degree, but I decided why not, let’s rewig her and see what I think? Her wig came off super easily and so I can always pop it back on lickety-split.

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I’m still torn. I think she’s beautiful with the darker hair, but since I didn’t dislike her old look, it’s hard to say whether I like this better or not. I think it’s going to take some time to just get used to, some playing around with. I can always put her old hair back on or, if I can’t decide, someday get a second Kanani and decide who’s who (crazy!) I think she loses a lot of the little kid chipmunk look, which is what drew me to her in the first place. I also think the darker hair makes her skin look lighter, ha. My husband is happy that she looks more Hawaiian.

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So anyway, we’ll see! I feel like I prefer whatever I looked at pictures of last…

 

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Final Doll Group Photos

I don’t mean final ever but good god I am not doing this again until I have a house with a doll room and can make some proper risers and set up my lighting kit and do the whole thing in stages. Also because, to be honest, looking at my collection as a whole makes me both happy and guilty. I have SO MANY dolls, and it feels selfish when we’re saving for a house and have a kid and all that. Doll collecting is such a luxury and I’m grateful for the time and money I’ve been able to put into mine. I try not to let myself feel too guilty.

Ok, more than guilty, I feel tired and lazy. Taking aaaall the dolls out of the dollhouse and getting them aaaaall set up at varying heights and checking aaaaall their hair and skirts and then making sure they’re aaaaaall facing the camera and then putting them aaaaaaall away… it takes forever!  have so little time for this.

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So anyway, here they are:

IMG_1478Now, I know what you’re thinking. This is the most POORLY laid out photo of a doll collection that has ever existed. They are at all sorts of different, weird heights. The photo can’t be cropped so you can see my kid’s toys and dog toys to the side. There’s a shadow cast by me and a shadow cast by the window shade so the girls in the back are 7 miles away and blocked out by the light?

You know what? Too bad. 🙂 This is all I had time for and I’m not redoing it. Do you know what a time-consuming thing it was to even construct this awful photo? My photo teachers from college are turning over in their beds (not their graves! I’m not that old!)

So I was unhappy with the photo but not about to set them all up again to redo it. Instead, I decided a more manageable way to photograph my collection for now was in clusters. Ok, also I’m just a big nerd and I like categorizing things a LOT and I’ve made enough lists just writing out my dolls’ names in the past few weeks to look crazy, so this was an excuse to do something dorky.

Now, don’t be prepared to be amazed just because I decided to do smaller group photos. These photos are still TERRIBLE. But you try photographing a collection of like 34 dolls with a toddler who’s cutting his molars. It is not easy!

First, the fantasy girls: Kestrel, Evelyn, Delaney, Tinuviel, and Eirlys.

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Then the 18th century girls: Kaya, Felicity, Vivienne, and Rosie.IMG_1480

Now the photos get even worse than standing on a blue towel. The 19th century girls: Josefina, Jemima, Caroline, Kirsten, Addy, and Gracie. (First, did you know I was almost named Jemima? I’m disappointed. It’s cute. Second of all: YES, I am trying YET ANOTHER doll for former-Ellen-then-Deirdre-now-Grace.)IMG_1505

What’s that? You miss shadowy pictures? Ok here you go! 20th century girls: Samantha, Nellie, Rebecca, Odette, Kit (whose eyebrows get totally lost), Bea, Emily, Molly (who needs her bangs cut), Maryellen, Nina, Meldy, and Ivy (who refuses to look at the camera). Also my dog Watson’s face because he refused to move away.IMG_1527

And finally, the modern girls. I don’t think i was even trying at this point. It looks like someone sneaking a cell phone picture on a closed movie set. Uh well. Here’s ???, Parisa, Margo, Flora, Leyla, Lenore, Sorah, and Kanani. Top left girl needs a name. Kanani has dark hair since this picture was taken mere days ago. And Margo and Flora have both been contemplating some time travel lately, so we’ll see what happens with them. IMG_1531

Ok, whew. We can all agree those are terrible pictures but there’s the fam and let’s not do this ever again*.

*Ever being until we get our house like I’m dreaming of and I have a dedicated doll room because I’m an overgrown child who refuses to buy a house that doesn’t have enough space for a dedicated doll room. 

Kanani’s Green Dress

I am on a mission to sew through all my fabric because I keep buying more. For my birthday a month ago, my mom and grandma gave me a JoAnn’s gift card, which I spent this past weekend in a 30 minute dash similar to a Supermarket Sweepstakes. What this means is that I am bursting at the gills with fabric while also short on outfits for girls because I’ve added more new girls in the past year and a half than I’ve been able to keep up with.

Now that I’m going through another intensive sewing period, I’ve got lots of blogs to play keep up on, even after doing that quick catch up with just small photos of a bunch of new stuff. Up first, this summer green dress for Kanani!

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I love this girl in neon colors and when I couldn’t decide what to do with this neon green fat quarter, I realized it called to her. I used Forever 18 Inches’ Endless Summer pattern. The pattern was easy to follow and pretty quick to make. I think it’d be a lot of work for just a shirt, but seeing as I need some dolly shirts, I suspect I’ll be using it for just that in the coming weeks.

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It does make a cute, simple sundress, which is precisely what I was looking for. I like that the pattern has several options –dress, rounded hem longer shirt or straight hem short shirt, or sort of friled/peplum shirt. I thin you could even do a crop top with it. I used ribbons instead of fabric ties. I think doing some lacy on the bodice could be fun too. Lots of options with this one!

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So now Kanani is so ready for summer. I love pink and green together. It looks like summery watermelon to me. Too bad it’s still lower 50s here in Boston. We’ll have an occasional nice day which makes me ready for summer, only for it to get chilly again. Sigh.

Pajama Party

I forgot to post this in January, but that’s the month each year I put my dolls in their PJs. For me, it’s because January is the worst month –the holidays are over, it’s cold and dark and snowy, and I’m always in a slump. This year wasn’t so bad, since my kid kept me hopping, but it still made me warm and snuggly to see everyone looking cozy in their jammies.

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Random Modern Sewing

These aren’t beautiful photographs, but I’ll show off some other things I’ve made recently. I had another fabric shopping blackout and maybe splurged a bit on too much fabric, so I was frantically trying to sew through my stash before the new box arrived. LOL! At this point I have 2 20-gallon tubs of fabric, a tall leaning pile beside my desk, and a drawer with several cut out patterns ready to sew. OOPS.

Anyway, I didn’t even make a dent. But I did discover that maybe I’m getting closer to being able to sell things than I thought! That’s ultimately my dream, but in general I think I’m still a little too slapdash and imperfect. But some of these simple modern pieces weren’t turning out so badly, so maybe that will ultimately be my gateway.

Kanani kindly modeled everything for me. These are made from a variety of patterns but mostly Liberty Jane.

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^ Frankensteined Liberty Jane patterns.img_9471

^ Tank top was a purchaes on eBay but skirt is new.img_9472

^ Sweater was purchased on eBay but skirt is new. Love Kanani in these colors!img_9500

Actually really happy with how ^ turned out. That gold stitching took foreverrrr. But all the seams are finished and tidy. Just needs some ironing and it’s probably one of the most professional things I’ve ever made!

Ok and now the jacket. This took me TWO DAYS to make and was way harder than I’d expected. It’s a Liberty Jane pattern, and one of those where you have to just hope and pray you’re constructing right because it doesn’t make sense until you tug some things into place at the end and suddenly it looks like a jacket. img_9437img_9438img_9463img_9464

On Instagram it was pointed out it has a real Belle vibe and they’re totally right! Unintentional. They’re just such pretty colors together. Despite the challenges of the jacket, I love how it looks and will definitely make more. How sweet is the lining and, most of how, HOW CUTE IS KANANI? I will answer for you: so cute.

 

Merry Christmas from the family

In chronological, meandering order with some modern girl bookends:

Tinuviel, Evelyn, Delaney, Kaya, Rosie, Felicity, Vivienne, Caroline, Josefina, Ellen, Kirsten, Addy, Samantha, Nellie, Rebecca, Kit, Molly, Emily, Nina, Maryellen, Melody, Ivy, Kanani, Flora, Lenore on the right, and Margo on the left!

I wasn’t going to do a full family photo, especially because I’m about to get a new girl (yikes) and because I’ve hit the point where full family photos feel… I don’t know, sort of braggy? Or they at least leave me feeling a little bit overwhelmed with how big my collection has gotten I think 20 dolls was the point to me where I went holy cow, I’ve got a lot of dolls. As you’ll see, I’ve made some changes, tucked some dolls away (sorry, Peter!) There will always be dolls I love and want, but I think after I get the new goty, new dolls are going to have to wait for a good long while. I am very, very fortunate to have added so many girls to my family and yes, I’ve been collecting for a long time (I got Samantha 21 years ago!) I think I’m at a good point to sit back and enjoy all the beautiful girls I have!

Photographing this year was pretty difficult as it’s been raining all week so what little light I usually have was even worse than usual, and my phone camera was doing a poor job.

And of course one of my trusty sidekicks helped oversee the photoshoot, made sure everyone was looking where they were supposed to, stitched up any wardrobe malfunctions…

Preparation… yowsa.

T-Shirts and Purple Skirts

I have so little clothing for the modern girls and went on a fat-quarter-buying-spree a couple months ago. And last Sunday, while I was dying, I ironed (I know, who am I?) and even, get this, pre-washed the fabric! Which was a shame because it’s basically ruined two, which faded horribly. Lame! So husband took the baby for a few hours so I could quickly churn out a couple of items and boy was it an adventure.

I used the Liberty Jane baseball t-pattern to make both shirts. They’re simple enough, except that using a woven instead of a knit meant the first shirt (the star one) turned out so tight it would barely go on. So for the second one, I made the pieces each wider, and it worked out much better. Although I’m never happy with the way my collars turn out.I think this fabric is just not great for anything that needs to relax. I definitely used the wrong fabric. Hey, I’m learning!

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So then onto the skirt. I used Forever 18 Inches Elastic-Back Circle Skirt and boy did everything go wrong. First, I cut out my fabric before reading closely and didn’t notice that two pattern pieces needed to be taped together. Then, once I sewed the panels together, they were waaaay to small to fit around Kanani’s waist. I still have no clue how or why. I had just enough fabric to cut out another panel, which made it wide enough, but the waistband was also just the right size –as in, not in need of gathering.

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I don’t know. I have no clue how it got so messed up. Serves me right for sewing when I’m tired, I guess? I’ll give it another shot soon and see if I can figure out the mistakes.

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The skirt Lenore is wearing is clearly not one I made: it’s from the holiday skirt set last year. But I wasn’t about to set off on another skirt debacle so late in the evening. Sigh!

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Still, I think they look cute. Just for fun, here’s a photo of all my modern girls now that they’re all named. And to think I’d sworn I had no interest in modern dolls… I just hadn’t met the right ones yet!

I decided to try out the white background for the lightbox this time. It’s definitely a little small for more than one girl. On my phone the lighting looked right but once on my computer it’s too warm, and the white shows its wrinkles really badly where the black didn’t as much. I’ll have to try to iron it next time but it’s going to be pretty useless if I have to iron it each time I want to use it… I’ll have to think.