Thursday, February 4, 2016

A retro science textbook collection

Samantha here.  This is another one of those projects that the human made and then forgot to photograph for a month.  It does get annoying for us after a while because we like to show off our books.  This time, the human decided to finally make us some more modern textbooks from the 1940s and 1950s, with an emphasis on science.

First up is a set of readers at the second and third grade level, give or take.  There's three 'general' readers and two science/nature readers.

And here's a set of six gorgeous reference books on various science topics.

And finally, a set of astronomy textbooks (just in case Maryellen needs a library).  

Two of the books are school textbooks from the late 1930s on general science, but the human just took excerpts of the astronomy sections.

Saving the best for last, 'Guide to the Planets' by Patrick Moore (look him up) published in 1952, with 24 plates of photos and illustrations.  Also 'A Guide to the Heavens', which has the most detailed maps of the moon and what features of the moon are visible during which phase.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Status update

I just started a new job this week, so doll time is going to go down significantly.  I'm hoping to have at least one post a month with a largish project and one post with just a quick project.

The big project right now is an elaborate Hina Matsuri doll display papercraft.  And there will be Valentines Day papercrafts up this weekend, I think.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Now with lightsabers (Free Star Wars doll clothes patterns)

Lily and Shepard here.  We're evil twins.  Or evil clones.  Or something of that sort.  (Only since Shepard is such a renegade, I think I might be the good twin by definition.)  But we're both persuasive, and in this case, we convinced the human to finally do something with the giant pile of old clothing in her sewing room.

With all the talk about the latest Star Wars movie, and the fact we *already* own a droid, it was only fair that the human should make us Star Wars costumes.  I'm dressed as Rey, and Shepard is dressed as Luke from 'A New Hope' (desert planets are pretty much the same, right?)

 Shepard is wearing a modified Japanese hippari and monpe made from an old gi.  Turns out there's no better way to get the weathered and worn look than actually using weathered and worn fabric.  The leg wraps are a pieces of woven brown ribbon, and the belt is a piece of nylon strapping with a buckle.

And I'm wearing a tunic and a pair of shorter monpe made from the same gi fabric.  It's a lightweight twill.  The sash is a piece of vintage Japanese cotton 3" wide by about 45" long.  The belt is all one piece with two buckles.  The arm wraps are the same woven ribbon as Shepard's leg wraps.

These is a modified and resized version of the Little Darling in Japan patterns offered by JenWrenne.  Her instructions for making a hippari and monpe are here.  The pants have elastic waists.  Rey's tunic closes in the back with velcro.

Also, you can buy the lightsabers at the Museum of Science store here.

And now for some more pictures! (Yes, the lightsabers actually light up when we hold them.)

Dual wielding!
This should be a book cover pose.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Doll Cosplay

Nothing much.  Just finishing up a project involving old gi pants and scrap cottons.  New free patterns for doll cosplay coming up when it's not 11pm and I have time to set up lighting.

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Young Ladies of Leisure

It's not very often we have a leisurely day around here.  But today Nellie and I spent a lovely morning in the parlor.  There was a breakfast buffet laid out on the sideboard, and new books in the window seat.  As is traditional for a proper breakfast, there was bread, pastries, fruit, sausages, bacon, and eggs.  None of that cold instant cereal.  We started breakfast off with a yogurt parfait, croissants, and cups of tea.

After breakfast, I worked on finishing some letters that I'd been putting off for too long.  Nellie, lucky duck, got to start reading novels.  (So Lord of the Rings didn't exist in 1906.  We took some liberties with time travel or whatnot.)

Card games are definitely ladylike.
And then we played Set.  If you've never played before, there's a deck of 81 cards.  Each card has four attributes: color, shape, shading, and number.  A 'set' is three cards where every attribute is the same or every attribute is different.  You deal out 12 cards, and cards get replaced as sets are found.  So in the first layout, the set (and I was the one called it) is '3 blank red diamonds, 3 shaded green squiggles, and 3 solid purple ovals'.  And you call a 'set' by yelling 'SET!' and grabbing for the cards as fast as you can before someone gets them.

Nellie: SET again!
Sam:  Scourge
Sam:  SET!
Nellie:  Scourge.

Sam:  Do you see a set?
Nellie:  No.  Do we need more cards?
Sam:  Wait, no.  SET!
Games get heated sometimes.  But we're technically young ladies, so we're civil.  Sort of.  It's way more fun when there's six or seven players.  It is also traditional to call the other players a scourge if they get any sets at all.

Interjection from Nellie:  'The human doesn't want to referee that...'

Sam:  OK, who won this time?
Nellie:  Scourge.
Nellie:  Yay!  I have more sets!
Sam:  Scourge.
If you want to play the game at home, here's the printables for a doll-sized SET deck of your very own.  It comes with box too so you don't have cards everywhere.  Just print it out double sided on cardstock.

Our furry footman
And he didn't even knock anything over.

Monday, January 4, 2016

Fun with Chirimen Crepe (plus FREE jeans/pants pattern)

The human bought a small collection of Japanese chirimen crepe when she and Shepard were off at Seattle last year.  (Wow.  2015 is now 'last year.)  This would normally not result in clothing for us except that the human has also acquired a large stash of free patterns she hasn't tried before and some ever elusive free time.

And so I was pressed into service as a model for the latest batch of creations.  The ultra-bright colors looked best on me.

Each piece of chirimen was slightly bigger than a fat eighth (so about 11" x 19"), and the human had two each of 5 different prints.  The fun was trying to figure out just how to get a two full outfits from each print.

 First off:  a red drop waist dress and a peasant blouse with a pair of jeans.

The human has been playing with the free patterns offered by Phoebe&Egg, and the pattern for the peasant top and the dress came from there.  The top is about an inch too short to really look good, I think.  And chirimen drapes well, but does not gather well at all.

The pattern for the jeans came from a pattern the human modified.  We have yet to find a good free pattern for non-elastic pants, so the human finally lost her temper and made her own.  This was the first revision, and the legs were way too wide.

 Next up: the Oliver and S popover sundress, which only took half an hour to make up, and the 'Inspired by Zooey' dress by Matilda Jo patterns.  This is where the human learned just how slippery chirimen is, and how she can screw up the cutting if she didn't pin everything down first.  (There was, suffice to say, a large amount of 'language inappropriate for young ladies', but I was the thesis buddy, so I've heard much much worse.)  You can't see it in the picture, but part of the skirt is actually patched together to make up for the bad cutting.  The human managed to get the print to match perfectly, so you can't tell unless you're looking for it.

Finally, a retro pink dress (Phoebe&Egg) and a LJC bandeau top with white jeans.  The jeans are the second version the human made, and fit much better.  I'm not swimming in the legs, for instance.  It could probably be refined more for more styles, but I actually like plain straight-leg jeans.

 And now, for that elusive free pants pattern:

What this pattern has:  variations for both jeans (with pockets and a back yoke) and a plain pair of pants.  This was based off of the shorts pattern from the Lee and Pearl Paris pattern set.

(Follow the instructions from the Lee and Pearl Paris set if you have them.  I'm giving just the bare minimum to work with.)

1.  Sew front and back of each leg together.
2.  Finish seams and hem leg.
3.  Sew up inner leg seam of each pants leg.
4.  Place legs one inside the other, right sides facing.  Sew back seam and about 1/3 of the front seam.  Go from 1/4" seam to 3/8" in the front.
5.  Attach waistband and line.
6.  Zigzag stitch or serge front opening.
7.  Attach velcro in front.

Friday, January 1, 2016

New Year's Giveaway Winner and some Japanese Fairy Tales

NEW YEAR'S GIVEAWAY WINNER:Congratulations SummerLeigh!

Please contact me at jinjia.mixed.goods at so I can send you your new book patterns!
And now back to your normally scheduled papercrafting.

Lily here.  I know someone mentioned wanting the books on Japanese legends by Lafcadio Hearn.  We don't have those yet, but we do have replicas of a set of Japanese fairy tales and stories from the late 1890s/early 1900s.  It's a set of 16 picture books total, each with 20ish pages of text and illustrations.

The print inside is large enough to read, and it has the most gorgeous illustrations in color.  I think my favorite is 'The Mouses' Wedding'.  Though I also like the story of Yamato-no-Oorochi and Momotaro.  I mean, you have to like the real classics, right?

The full collection will be for sale on the human's etsy store here, but I'm letting you have my favorite book as a New Year's present to everyone.