Tuesday, March 31, 2015

First of the Spring/Summer Etsy Dresses and Tops Up

I'll be loading these up on Etsy over the next few hours, but here's a preview.

This batch has a mandarin collar that can be worn up or folded down, and a rolled short sleeve. The dresses have a knee length skirt; or a version of the same pattern as a tunic/blouse that can be worn various ways. These are a 'real girl' type of clothing that fit most SD girls, large or small chest, and even Iplehouse EID range size.  They come with a matching little tie string belt.  

I'm seriously hoping to get another batch in a different style up next week and the week after will be more retro style dresses.  

(and yet my fabric stash is still staring back at me, like the fabled abyss. >.<;;) 

Monday, March 30, 2015

Alice in the Garden

Okay so this giant rose isn't going to talk any more, since it's been beheaded, but we had the first rose of Spring in our back yard, blooming right on the first day.  The hubby was messing with the camera and since Sakuranbo was still in the alice costume, doll photo time!

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Weekends Around Here

One of my New Year Resolutions was to let myself take weekends off, no matter what.  It took me two months to get that down, but it's still a matter of "Zomg stress! I need to (insert thing I think I need to do, but if I were not self employed would have to wait till Monday, or be paid over time for, if you get the drift of that)."  One of the big problems with being self-employed is not giving one's self down time, to let go, to do other things that have been piling up.  And to do so guilt free, knowing that the other thing will still be there during 'business hours'.  It's helping me get my mojo back to make myself step away from the business. I've got a lot of creativity back just from making myself NOT work on things.

Saturdays are morning: half the flat clean; afternoon: my doll projects.  Sundays are morning: other half the house clean; afternoon: personal sewing projects.  So this morning I get out the vacuum cleaner and start on the back end of the flat.  Tama, who was in his bed by the sliding glass door, flees for his little life.  Because after more than six years of living with this, he still doesn't understand that I will not vac him up, never to be seen again.  O_o  OR maybe it's because the vac has a tendency to catch on fire?  (Well, it did last week, but I fixed that!)

So we found his new 'safe' spot in the living/sewing room.  Behind the sofa.

Before I got the camera out, and we started laughing at him, he was squooched up in that little space as far back as possible with his butt further up the wall and his face down on his paws.  It had taken me a random 20 minutes to find him after putting the vac away.  We always give him cat nip after the vacuuming or his claw clipping, so he knows when we get the little plastic tub of dried stuff out, it's safe.

However, he has been known in the past to sleep with the enemy: 

Our old Sony canister vac on the cell phone. 

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Arm Measuring: Why I Say Do It MY Way

This is the problem I've had over the past year and a half.  Not any more, because it's caused by the customer not understanding the instructions.

I had to clarify my shoulder width instructions with a photo.  Now I'm clarifying "Arm (length, from armpit to beginning curve of palm at thumb)" with a photo.

I'm using an SID girl as an example.  The Iplehouse measurement listings on Den of Angels puts this at 19.5 cm.  Yep, it's 19.5 IF you measure OVER, from the armhole top to the base of the thumb with the doll's arm straight out from her shoulder. I'm using a ruler here so I can take the photo and show it clearly, but I prefer the tape for accuracy.

But I've had arm lengths that must have been taken like this.  It's the only way to explain what happened. 

But if you measure with her arm down, now her arm is 20cms! 

THIS is what I'm asking for! 

You see how that works?  If you measure the way I ask for, from the armpit to the base of the thumb, it's going to be the right measure for what I'm using it for, no matter what, up, out or down, the length is the same.  It's also 18.5 cm, which means if you told me 19.5, it's going to be too long!  If you got your measurements by reading a chart some where, how do you know HOW the doll was measured?  Over, under, copy pasted from the company?  You don't know unless it's stated on the chart you found!  And then guess what?  Your sleeve is either too long or too short.  

I say, measure your doll, fill out my chart.  These are the measurements I use for a reason.  I'm the one doing the patterning and sewing here!  I'm the one who needs the specific information I require to do the project right and have it fit right.  If you copy paste rather than measure your doll, I'm going to use those measurements and if it doesn't fit, you're going to have to sit down and think about it. 

If you need measurements and don't have the doll yet, ask someone who has the doll to help you out.  I can't remember how often I've fact checked wack measures on Den of Angels and someone has been nice enough to take their doll and measure for me when a customer doesn't have the doll yet and is ordering an outfit in advance.  I can't do this any more, I don't have the time.  It's your doll, you are responsible for the  measurements.  A tape measure is not rocket science, and they cost as little as 50 cents!  And if I measure a sleeve and you'd told me 18cm, it's going to be 18 cm.  

And another thing: 

Slapping a naked doll down next to a ruler and taking a photograph and telling me to do all the work from that, nope.  I've done that, it cost me 3 free hours of online research and squinting and it's totally inaccurate and the 'customer' never followed through on the order.  Think about that.  Would you work 3 hours for free for your boss and expect not to be paid?  Um--yeah---not doing that any more.  Your job not mine.  Unless you want to start paying an extra fee in your orders.  Remember, when I'm contacted about an order, I do about 3 to 4 hours research FREE anyway, before I say yes or no.  

Please, just measure the doll exactly as I ask.  UNDER THE ARM TO THE BASE OF THE PALM.  Yes, I'm yelling, because my chart has been up there for 3 years now.  If you have doubts or questions and need a little advice, email me!  But please, measure properly!  Save us both the agony! 

Thank you.  Rant over.  I expect from now on, all sleeves will be PERFECT the first time I make them.  

Friday, March 13, 2015

Etsy, Ebay, and the Black Market of Free Patterns

Seriously, there is a reason why I don't make and sell patterns, for people or dolls.  But the one thing that's irritated the heck out of me since Etsy first came online is the fact that anyone can and will scam you into thinking you're getting something special for a reasonable price.  Especially PDF items.

Last night I was checking the patterns on Etsy and found a lot of people selling the free patterns from Sew Magazine.  The reason I noticed this was because a friend of mine had the magazine when she came back from a trip, had gotten the Colette Truffle Dress pattern download offered in the magazine, and had me make it up for her.

A few years ago when I was looking for some how to on traditional Romanian men's shirt embroidery motifs, I found a digital archive, rather like a museum of ephemera, The Antique Pattern Library.  Then I saw almost everything they had available for anywhere from $5 to $50 on Etsy.  In other words, people get free PDFs and sell them as their own work.  Out of copywrite or not, they call it their own work.  But downloading FREE patterns from the internet and marketing them for sale, yeah, nice.

I will buy a pattern if the person is honest, as in they took the time to scan an out of print magazine and cleaned up the pattern files and made it easy to print them. In other words, they did the research, they did the work and they left in that it was from a certain place, now out of print.  But to download a modern copywrite pdf that was given away FREE and sell multiple copies of it (rather than selling a new printed pattern you decided you just didn't want after all) is like the guy with the dark glasses pretending to be blind in the subway.

I've even seen someone selling the PDF files of the Alexander McQueen scanners kimono jacket!  A pattern that's been all over the internet along with tutorials both human and doll sized!  Basically, it's THERE on Pattern Vault, in the FREE DESIGNER PATTERNS page!

Before buying anything on Etsy or Ebay, Google it!  Chances are you'll find out 75% of the time that someone made the same thing less expensive, it's on sale at Walmart, or it's flat out free somewhere!  And lets not forget the guys who buy an Apple laptop on Ebay, and get: a photo of a laptop in a shoe box!

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Thanks, Flickr. Spleh to You, Too!

Someone favorited my Flickr account and I got an email about it.  Despite having my account name, which it tells me is Taken half the time and Available the other half, and my pass word, I can't access my account.  The only 'help' I can find is a list of sentences that cycle right back to "enter your account name" and that's the problem!  Sure, I'll waste hours of my time sorting this out.  Not. *eye roll* what ever.

I'm done with Flickr, obviously.  Having been done with them years ago, due to the problems they created, there's not point in fighting with them for hours and days to get my account back. PhotoBucket is better anyway. I suppose now that my account has been 'abandoned', someone will start using my photos as their own or something idiotic like that.  And the ones of my friend's dolls belong to her.  I was given permission to show off her Voice of Angel doll.  Crappy thing is those are the links to my custom shop portfolio on Den of Angels.  I'll have to deal with that soon.

More appointments, Car won't start, Bus isn't worth it (how can we save up for a new starter with all the money is going on the bus?), what a week!  And it's only Tuesday! *head desk* I'm working on the dresses for the Etsy shop in between everything else.  The first batch should be up in a week or two.

EDIT: So Flickr finally lets me in, then keeps screwing me over, making a new account every time I sign in!  I quit.  Not even trying any more.  To hell with it!

Monday, March 9, 2015

Commission: Lilsgirl EID Girl Coat

3/12/15 Edit: We're adding a pencil skirt and possible blouse to the order. ^_^

A classic design that's been iconic since the 1920s; the simplicity of a straight out torso and arms combined with a shawl collar lending itself to all kinds of fabric and accenting trims.  Literally, the fabric makes the coat.  In this case we're going with a leopard print heavy velvet.  I asked for and received a sample swatch first before agreeing, not wanting to disappoint because 'upholstery' fabric has a very wide range of thicknesses.  Lilsgirl sent a fitting shell (made like a boss!) of her EID girl and is now on the 10% off , free shipping list for any of her EID girl clothing.  Deposit paid, waiting on measurement chart, and desired hem length.  Estimated project time, two weeks or less.

Customer's example image.
March 9, 2015 Update
The fabric and buttons and lining have safely arrived! Further updates will be under the cut link at the bottom of the same post.

Monday, March 2, 2015

Piles of Dresses for The Etsy Shop

We spent Saturday planning and adjusting patterns, and sorting out fabrics to cut out doll dresses and modifying the patterns for some tops as well for the Etsy shop.  When it will all get sewn up is another matter, because wasn't I supposed to be working on sewing up the UFO pile?  But all this cold weather has got me thinking Spring/Summer Dress Sale, and to do that, I have to have dresses! And de-stashing my hoard of fat quarters is a valid part of the Big Clean Up.  Of course it's only adding to the over flowing doll quilt stash with the scraps, but we have a 1 1/2" square rule so anything under that goes.

After a dedicated week of hard work and merciless throwing things away, the living room is now live-able.  The dark secret is that my sewing drawers are still a jumbled mess inside.  However, there is nothing but sewing stuff in them, not the combination office desk/sewing/tool box/cat toys/what ever could be stuffed in them when we moved mess.  I had liked my little cubby corner arrangement before, but once again, the lighting sucked.   I was so happy with all the light from the windows, but it's proved overwhelming from both front and sides.  I'm much better off with it bouncing off the wall.  And having the open space makes 2/3s of the living room much more like having my previous sewing room all to myself again. Plenty of room for my ironing board and cutting table when I unfold them.  I just need to get some new covers made for the ironing board and machines. Fishcake might recognize some of the fabric she sent me, which was perfect for making project files! And I've moved everyone into the bedroom but the dolls doing modeling duty for the day.

There's also a window from behind the camera and this was taken with natural lighting.
Blinds closed, reasonable.

Front blinds closed, side blinds even slightly open, KLIEG LIGHTS!  

We've got chilling rain again despite the morning sun. It's like, Okay Winter is over, Yay!  One month of sunny weather, open windows and enjoying lovely walks with the flowers all blooming and everything green.  Now it's Haha, back to Winter; put the extra blankets back on the bed, drag out the big bulky sweaters, wool socks and get the space heaters back out of the garage, fooled you!  The cat is not happy.  He keeps trying to sleep in his happy spot and ends up curled up freezing, so I have to move him under his blankie for his own sanity.  

You do realize there was a short period of unusually warmer weather before the last micro-ice age, don't you?  >.<;;  Both the warming and global minimum had an interesting effect on fashion (and bathing or the lack of interest in it) in Europe and the demands on textiles, which is why I'm aware of it.  I need to finish my knitting projects!