ricks of the
I am, actually, in the process of getting really enthused with the Tips and
Tricks here - but it's SLOW going!
So far I"ve managed:
Basic Hair Tips and Tricks
Random Sewing Tips
How to make a Mermaid Tail
How to make those water color wings!'
How to create Vampire Fangs
Tooling Leather in Doll Scale
Make a Woods Fae Start to Finish
For the 'basics' and with permission, I'm using Angelica, based on
Ragnarok Valkyrie Series
for this page.
I always draw out (VERY roughly) what I want the costume to look like.
Sometimes the construction, materials, or flashes of inspiration alter the
final look - but I want a hard copy of what I'm doing so I don't lose my focus
in the middle.
For Angelica, because the author of the book wanted to make sure I had the
right idea, I did a more finished computer "painting".
Most patterns I hand draft (like this one) - For some costumes I'll use a
bocide or skirt from a printed pattern, but it's almost always necessary to
adjust the fit anyway! I cut the pattern from an old pillow case and always
baste the finished pattern together to make sure it will fit properly and lay
right before I cut out the material I plan to use. Keep in mind that all
barbies are not created equal. The jointed dolls have smaller chests - and the
"belly button" dolls have both smaller chests, bigger hips and slightly longer
arms than the "twist and turn" dolls. Don't believe what they say - Jakks
Pacific dolls will *NOT* fit in Barbie patterns! LOL - they have MUCH longer
arms, thicker legs, smaller chests and some serious rear ends going on! LOL
Material is always fun - I've always loved the way the different blends FEEL.
For barbie, of course, you want "soft" fabrics. - anything stiff won't work, no
matter how "thin" it is. For Angelica I used the thinnest lambskin available,
Even so - it took a hand ground needle and pliers to get through it!
I use a jewelers dremel with a diamond head bit to remove the face paint.
(Any dremel at all will work nicely though!) This also allows me to modify the
contours of barbie's face. ie. make her eyes a bit bigger, or deeper - change
the smile - get rid of some of those "cheeks" etc. Once her face is as I want
it I go over it using 600 grit sandpaper and move up through 1500 grit - which
leaves a lovely finish for paint. You can use a non-acetone paint remover if
you like (sometimes I do) avoid those brands with "lanolin" or "fragrance" and
remember to rinse the face with a baking soda and water solution when you're
through! I *REALLY* can't recommend acetone, although a lot of people use it
- a cute trick that also makes an excellent reason..... if you should ever need
a shrunken barbie head? - soak a head overnight in acetone and it will shrink
about three sizes as it dries! If you need it smaller, just soak it some more.
Another modeling "aid" I use is Golden brand Gel Molding Paste - it fills in
those smiles, or if you're doing a sculpture with the hair, it fills in the
"hair" holes. It dries hard and fairly flexible and sands to a perfect finish.
Normally this is the stage where I mold the limbs: 15 seconds in boiling water,
mold to the shape you want and "set" with cold water.
The jointed dolls have limbs made from "hard" plastic though - so molding
wasn't an option.
Curl or straighten the hair: make sure ALL the tangles are out (childrens
detangler is wonderful!) comb in some hair gel and using perm papers roll it on
perm rods, pipe cleaners, spriral wraps - or brush it straight. Submerge for
10 seconds in near boiling water NO longer or it will frizz, "set" with cold
water, and allow 24hrs or so to dry. (to straighten the hair, place the doll
in the sink and pour the water over her head).
However, Angelica's hair required a dye job to get those lateral white stripes.
I used heavily watered acrylic paint and a VERY small paint brush, barbie's
synthetic hair has some serious capilary action.
Now for the fun part! I like artist acrylics (those in the tubes, Liquitex
brand by preference) and gel mediums - I like Golden brand. Every ooak
designer has her own preferences - I've been working with paints since I was in
high school - so I use what I'm used to - some people find the thin "craft"
paints are easier to work with. I have three paint brushes I like to use - all
of them #10's. For sealers I like Winson and Newton - they have the only true
"Matt" finish I've ever run across.
The Blades or......
Hubby's Work! LOL
All of his doll blades are measured and designed to precisely fit the doll to
historically accurate proportions
Draw out the measured blade on the steel and roughly shape it with a die
grinder and belt sander. Then you put them on the belt sander again for the
bevels and edges, and if you happen to be good at it - you get.......
Your pardon but I'm going to skip the details - ie. boots, headpiece, scabbards
etc. I got "moving" and forgot to take pics!
The Final Doll
If you're glad to finally find doll tutorials, and you'd like to help out with server expenses and/or new supplies for me to experiment with, a small
is always a wonderful way to say thank you!
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Yes, it's now a Google group - due to the great screw up of 2010 if you DID belong to the original Yahoo group, you were deleted (by Yahoo, not me) without notice, Google may not be as 'click and point' user friendly, but at least they won't delete the group arbitrarily?
Alternatively, just drop me a line!