Thursday, October 29, 2009

The Next Generation...

I am thrilled that my daughter Natalie, 3-1/2 is showing and interest in dolls. She currently has an Ariel doll that she can bring in the tub with her. Long flowing red hair that we can comb and braid. So I figured that this would be the Christmas that I can get her a Barbie. I had a Barbie when I was a little girl that my Mom and Grandma sewed clothed for. I used to love dressing and redressing her in all her outfits. Originally I was a bit hesitant to buy her a Barbie considering the body image is so distorted. I actually started to look for the chubby version of Barbie. But I do not think they make them anymore. I thought Emme was going to be a Robert Tonner doll. But they are kind of expensive, not really a play doll for a little girl. I started on the Mattel sight and was HORRIFIED at how barbie looks, how she is dressed. Barbie a Hooker? I do not want my daughter to want to wear bippy tops and mini skirts like her Barbie. This picture is the sweet looking one.
After further searching I found this one. It is Twilight Bella Swan Barbie. I do not know who the character is...but at least she looks kind of normal, even though the jeans are skin tight.
I then went to look for Barbie patterns. They do not make them like they used to. And the clothes they have for sale are once again HORRIFYING! So I trudged over to Ebay. Just 1 vintage Barbie pattern was going to $7 plus shipping. Then I found this wonderful CD of vintage Barbie patterns that are classic and I know with styling I can make them modern. I am soooo excited!! I think I will have more fun than she will for a while. But I plan on teaching her how to sew so she can make her own fashions.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Emilie Claire Diary Entry

I have arrived! We are having the most wonderful time planning all of our upcoming events. I showed my gown to Sarah. The airing and steaming will bring it to life after the unpacking from the journey. Sarah’s dress is a sweet shade of blue. The dress is perfect match to her eyes. I dream of the sparkles as I waltz in the candle light. Mother has allowed me to bring my tiara and diamond earrings.
I met William for the first time today. He is handsome and charming. He brought news of James Ina’s delay, so I was unable to meet him. William assures Sarah James will be here and in time for the ball. James is required home, as his father had taken ill. It is not too serious I understand, he has a late winter cold but is on the mend. E~C

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Thank you for the great responses!

Dear All,
All I can say is “WOW!” There seems to be a great amount of interest in the paper doll project. First off, there was no contest as such where one wins a prize or anything. There were not enough completed projects by the deadline date to submit to the magazine, let alone win a prize. I thought I’d write about it while I am working on other things so we could share the experience. I have it folded up and haven’t removed it from the box. It really is quite amateur. The pictures might show it to better advantage than the real doll deserves. However, it was fun and I learned a lot.
I have not learned how to answer you each privately so I want you to know I am trying. I write many of the articles and Michelle does both post and write, so please forgive me any bad manners. I do read the posts and I do not take them for granted. I need to learn how to respond. So many things to do with so little time, or maybe I poorly manage my time. I am a “housewife with a hobby!”
Dear Pattyjo, “Are you crazy?” Hahahahaha kit this paper doll! Truly, I would not know where to begin and I believe I would have to get permissions from so many places. I am VERY flattered. If you ever need to do a similar project, I will gladly write and chat with you along the way. Let me know if you decide to try, I will be your biggest cheerleader.
Dear Wanna, Your words are high praise indeed. I have also enjoyed all the things you have done. I especially have a love affair with your Mother Goose. She is delightful and your story telling keeps a smile on my face. The collaboration with Michelle is a good one. I have to admit she drags me through it all. I would not have thought to do a blog, or share these things if not for her. She’s the one behind me doing patterns, and painting fabrics, and well about a half dozen other things. She makes me think!
Dear Judy, I am so sorry, I think I might have confused you. I visited the internet with a search on “Brick Wall” and there borrowed a copy. Likewise, the gate, I think my search was something like “garden gate”, or English Garden. Therefore, I borrowed the pictures I found and imported or inserted the pictures into my Microsoft Publisher program and sized them from there. Once I sized the items correctly for my project, I printed them on 81/2” X 11” photographic paper (matte) and began working from there. Another thing you can do for your American Girl is take the picture of your doll with a white background, import them into your picture program, I use Adobe Photoshop Elements 7, then you can erase the background of your doll, and drag her into the picture you want to use and size it right there. It is not quite that easy, but with a little practice, you can get much better at it. Try it.
Dear UK Jane, Thank you for your nice comments. The fur is synthetic fur trim one buys here in the USA at the fabric store. I did trim it up a bit, as I wanted the shape of the fur to “fall down” or have a rounded look. You could probably make any of the faux furs available work for you.
Thanks again for your posts and comments. Michelle and I really appreciate the support and sharing. I’ll be answering as often as I can. Now it is time to get back to work. Have a great day! Kathi

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Chapter 13 - The Evening Wear

Emilie has a new ball gown for the events of the summer. The gown pictured is from a La Petite Modele fashion that Louise Hedrick adapted to fit the Ultimate Fashion Doll by Alice Leverett. ( I made this gown in a class at the UFDC headquarters in Kansas City. The articles are so sweet I wanted to include them in Emilie's story. Swiss cotton tulle, silk ribbon and pearls make this gown a confection. D├ęcolletage is low as were evening gowns of the mid to late 1860's. (There is a lilac cape to match not shown) Alice Leverett also created a wonderful accessory kit that I have not completed. (Who doesn’t have an unfinished project in the workroom? I know you do!) The kit includes the dance card (completely filled in with dances from a real antique dance card) a lace handkerchief, glove case, silk evening gloves, a keepsake box, silk evening slippers and a feather fan. (To purchase the pattern please contact Louise,

Saturday, October 10, 2009

The paper doll

The rules of the project allowed that we were able to make some minor changes to the paper doll itself. We could change arm position or make small adjustments but were to use this doll’s face in unchanged form. The only change I made to the doll was shorten her hair about 1/8” on both sides and I would like to have eliminated her undergarments as the bustier limits the neckline. I printed the figure on cardstock and painted her skin and features. The shoes, painted in flesh leaving the leaving the undergarments white.

The bridal garment is an advertisement for I. Magnin in the 1940’s. (I cannot remember the exact date.) I loved the picture. The foundation of card was covered with silk, and then chiffon, with some punched paper flowers filling out the stream of flowers across the bodice front. Small velvet flowers are her bouquet. The veil is a removable hat, like a tent card, with silk illusion streaming over her shoulders.

The high style 40’s gown with fur is a photograph from “Fashion Design in the Movies”. (I would love to give you all the specifics but my book is currently packed up, how frustrating.) I also used cardstock as the base for the gown construction. I chose a beautiful silk and metallic jacquard, but the layers needed enhancement. I tried a different technique by tracing all the layers onto the cardstock and cut them out. I covered each layer with fabric and glued it on the previous layer creating some dimension and shadowing for the folds of the skirt. The fur portions were set aside, and then covered with faux fur fabric and glued in place. I trimmed the fur sections to appear like the original gown.

The necklace is glued gems onto cardstock cut into the shape of the original necklace in the photograph. Place the necklace on the paper doll just like a 2 dimensional paper doll accessory. My model is ready for her fashion shoot.

She stands along side her Rolls and is ready for her picture.

Kathi R. Mendenhall, IGMA Artisan, La Petite Belle Patterns

Saturday, October 3, 2009

3-D Paper Doll

The box development
The paper doll project seen here is my production of what was an intriguing idea as a group project. Mixed media art has been one of my interests and though I have created some dimensional art in my watercolor classes, I had never tried this. The project gave me the incentive to try a “new to me” art. Being within my scope of interest and I took the challenge.

The appeal for me was to create fashion that was glamorous and feminine. I thought I would like to make a model on a fashion shoot where I could take great license with scenes and eras of style. The garden setting was timeless and I felt I could change eras, styles, and props on the model to go with any fashion. I searched the internet and found some interesting pictures that I borrowed for the project including this old garden gate in England. I have to tell you, most of the results are serendipitous as I did not have to manipulate the photographs much to get the look I was trying to achieve.
The participants in the project used the same box pattern and the same paper doll. I set to work on my idea by creating the box. After borrowing the pictures, sizing them correctly, I printed the pictures several times. The inside garden is made of three garden photographs cut apart and layered in a very traditional 3-D decoupage method. (I used scrapbook spacers instead of silicone for the dimension.) The gate took the most time, sizing it first, printing it, doing a little painting on it, and then cutting out the background. I think I spent a couple of days at this.
The brick wall was “created” in Microsoft® Publisher. I printed off the sidewalls and some gavel yard I found on the internet, too. I learned many new things while trying this challenge. While searching the internet I found a picture of an antique Roll Royce, it appeared perfect as a prop. This sets my mind to may new ideas or my model’s photo site.

Finally, I had to cover the box outside. The idea of a Vogue Magazine cover as it is a fashion shoot came to mind. I had seen a movie called “Cover Girl” and found the photo of it in a book. I told you, this was real serendipity. I got really luck on many occasions. In the same book, a movie fashion designer compendium was the two-page spread of the models that cover the outside. I added ribbon to tie it closed and the box project was complete.
This is quite an amateur project and I learned a lot. I would do quite a few different things should I try this again. Overall, it was a great exercise. I will present the doll and her clothes in the next installment.