Silla, the Industrial Revolution Child, is Available for Adoption

Silla's Sweet InnocenceSilla, an authentic Takara Blythe Lorshek Molseh doll that has been customized from head to toe, including all of her clothing and leather boots, has now been listed on Etsy for $600 USD. Layaway is available, meaning you can make affordable payments to purchase her.

It has been such a joy to create a doll based on the history of children. I hope you have enjoyed watching Silla come to life. πŸ™‚

Visit Silla’s album on Flickr to view additional photos.



Worse Than a Hard Knock Life

Silla and Maggioni Canning Company GirlsMany of us have probably seen the movie or stage musical “Annie” about an orphaned girl who is fortunate to be taken in by the wealthy Daddy Warbucks. Who can forget the drunken antics of Miss Hannigan played by the fantastic Carol Burnett? Although we might have laughed and sang along to the many enjoyable songs like “Tomorrow,” “You’re Never Fully Dressed Without a Smile,” and “It’s a Hard Knock Life,” the once Broadway show turned movie made light of a reality for many people who worked away their childhoods rather than played or went to school.

Wishing to Be Free as the WindThe origins of “Annie” came from the comic strip “Little Orphan Annie” drawn by Harold Gray who lived during the time when children worked in factories, on farms or at any job where they could be paid less than an adult. According to The Child Labor Project, “as industrialization moved workers from farms and home workshops into urban areas and factory work, children were often preferred, because factory owners viewed them as more manageable, cheaper, and less likely to strike.”Β  The Industrial Revolution in the United States began in the mid 1700s, and for more than 100 years, child labor wasn’t under any control to limit the ages of the workers, nor were there any considerations given to the hazardous conditions in which the children worked.

Silla Goes to WorkParents with too many mouths to feed were known to sell off a child or more to business owners who needed workers. Children who ran away from their jobs (or masters) were chained to posts so they could only go between their sleeping area and their work. Smaller children who could crawl under factory machinery to make repairs lost limbs, and worse, were decapitated by the machines. There were children working as coal miners, oyster shuckers, chimney sweeps, in glass factories, in textile mills and on farms – many of whom were exposed to toxins and poisons that brought their young lives to a painful end if the machinery didn’t kill them first.

Noted in The Child Labor Project, the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 finally set federal standards for child labor, but it didn’t end child labor in the United States until quite a number of years later. Although child labor is highly regulated and virtually shunned in the United States and other modern countries today, the horrific working conditions, punishments and devastation of youth still exists around the world.

Silla's Sweet InnocenceThis is why I created Silla, my Industrial Revolution Blythe doll. Because of the advent of the Industrial Revolution and its succession of reprehensible behavior and greed of the business owners, the unavoidable loss of employment for so many adults (the parents), and the necessity for generations of families to work in such ghastly conditions in order to survive over the course of more than 100Β  years, Silla is paying tribute to the children who worked and literally toiled away their youth.Β  She also pays tribute to those whose only escape from such a hellish life was death.




Reviewing the New Cool Cat Scalp

Cool Cat Scalp ReviewWhen I first saw the new Cool Cat scalp for Blythe dolls, I was interested because the little nubs along the edges had me curious. Would they help secure the scalp in a way that would make it align easier and virtually snap into place? So I bought one.

When the first scalp arrived, I was pleasantly surprised. The scalp seemed to fit perfectly onto the doll’s head, and inside there is an “F” for front and “B” for back. If you’re like me, you’ve probably messed one or two scalps up by putting the hair on backwards. My initial impression of the scalp was good, so I purchased two more.


Big mistake.

The scalp setting inside the dome is wider than the dome, which means you have to push the scalp into place before the glue sets.

The scalp setting inside the dome is wider than the dome, which means you have to push the scalp into place before the glue sets.

It seems the manufacturing process of these scalps is rather inconsistent, or maybe the two I just received are from a batch of seconds. Just placing the scalp on top of a doll’s head was indicative of a problem because the scalp was slightly wider than a FBL’s head. My first thought was to pop the scalp into the refrigerator for a little while (rubber contracts under cold temperatures and expands when heated). This did nothing, and in a way, I wasn’t surprised because the material used for these scalps feels nothing like the rubber of the original scalps sold by Cool Cat. These scalps feel like a mix of plastic and rubber.

I got out the second scalp to see what that one looked like, and that one appeared to be in worse condition. It was misshapen and had a dent in the side, although small,Β  it still bothered me.

Not only was the scalp misshapen, it has a weird dent in it.

Not only was the scalp misshapen, it has a weird dent in it.

When I finally tried securing a scalp to a doll’s head, I couldn’t even wrap rubber bands around the doll’s head. I had to use virtually every finger and thumb to hold every part of the scalp in place until the glue had secured itself enough for me to let go. The scalp wanted to move and pop back into its distorted shape, which was very frustrating.

The scalp doesn't rest flush against the dome, which means it won't rest against the face plate nicely.

The scalp doesn’t rest flush against the dome, which means it won’t rest against the face plate nicely.

In the end, it all worked out. Naturally, I couldn’t take pictures with my hands around her head holding the scalp while the glue was setting, but I’m sure I must have been quite a sight. It’s a good thing I don’t have arthritic hands.

I think I’ll be returning to the traditional rubber scalps. I really am not happy with the inconsistency of the manufacturing of these scalps, nor do I like the quality. I love Cool Cat and purchase from them often, and this is the first time I have to give them a thumbs down.Β  Oh, well. <SIGH>


Renny Blythe and Other News

It’s been some time since I’ve posted, mostly because it’s been rather hectic these past few weeks. Since then, Anika has been sold as well as Nelly. PUDDLE (Pullip and Dal Doll Lovers Event) is just around the corner, and I needed to complete a few things for that event. Over the past month, I created Renny Blythe and now have a new model named Sammy who replaced Nelly. Here are the details.


Renny FA 4Renny is a Simply Delight Blythe doll I purchased from the Junie Moon shop and customized from head to toe. She has been carved, and given a fresh new look and Pure Neemo small body so she can be posed. Her shabby chic outfit was created from a combination of vintage and new fabrics and laces, and I even created her boots to match her outfit. Renny is now listed on Etsy for $500 USD plus shipping.




Blue Raglan Dress 1Sammy was a Nicky Ladd doll I had purchased some time ago and had partially worked on to become Raggedy Ramona Rose. I had set her aside until just recently when someone asked about buying Nelly. When I agreed to let go of Nelly, I had to have another light-haired model, so I created Sammy. She is on a Pure Neemo flection body and has two sets of blue eyes and two sets of brown eyes. I think she turned out rather cute. πŸ™‚



Yeolume's OutfitMy favorite project for PUDDLE was the Yeolume dress and bow set, which turned into a lovely combination designed by MyuFish. The fabric used for the layers of ruffles and lace were special ordered after I used software to capture he actual colors MyuFish used in her design. I sent the colors off to Spoonflower to have the fabric printed so it would match perfectly, and this was the end result. Once the dress was sewn, I was on the hunt for the tiny gold rhinestones, which I glued on one at a time with toothpicks and tweezers. Lot’s of patience needed for that! πŸ™‚

The dress is now on a doll that has been customized by MyuFish, and the doll will either be raffled or included in a silent auction at the PUDDLE event in June. The person to win the doll will be very lucky!


Boot Making 9If you have been following my quick posts on Flickr, you have seen that I am making more and more shoes and boots to go with my dolls and outfits. Just yesterday I posted my work in process on a pair of shoes I was testing out. Although the pattern didn’t quite work right, I was able to share the way I create the uppers of the shoes so that others can take advantage of what I have learned from trial and error. I plan to add this information to my tutorials here on this blog. I will do that as soon as I can – life does get in the way on occasion!


MIO Doll Face and DressI did make an announcement on my Etsy shop that I will no longer stock Pullip and Dal/Byul clothing in my shop, but this does not mean I will no longer sew for them or you. It simply means you need to contact me for your requests.


Anika is Available for Adoption

Royal Highness AnikaIf you have been watching this blog, I had been working on a little Miss No Name for quite some time. Now she is complete, and now she is called Anika.Β  This little girl has a bit of an aristocratic attitude. She thinks she is royalty, but we’ll let you decide.

Annika's EyesAnika is a labor of love from head to toe. If you recall from recent posts, I was so determined to figure out how to make custom shoes that looked realistic. Anika’s boots are the results of that determination. I had ordered coordinating fabrics, which have given Anika her imperial, yet modern appearance when combined with the crocheted gold threads.

Anika is now available on Etsy, and she can be purchased using a layaway plan.


A Shoe Making Tutorial is Now Available!

Soles 30Well, almost!

I have created the hardest part of the tutorial, and it is now available on this blog. It seems many people have been as interested as I have been in finding the best way to create realistic looking soles for our doll shoes. If you have been following this blog as well as my other other posts on Facebook, Flickr, deviantArt and a few doll forums, you will know that it is something I finally figured out.

Well, now I am sharing!

Making Cookie Cutters for Shoe Soles

Making the Soles

There are plenty of patterns for the shoe and boot uppers all over the Internet, and I will be adding some of my own here eventually. In the meantime, for those of you who are ready to solder and work with copper, be my guest. I hope you will share your finished projects with me and others, as we would all LOVE to know how things worked out for you!


Making Your Own Shoes

KerriaRosette Made BootsIt took some determination…and yes, three whole days of trial and error, but I finally figured out how to make coordinating boots for an outfit I was working on for my custom Blythe doll. As many of you know, sometimes finding the perfect shoes can be frustrating. It seems to me, I keep seeing the same shoes over and over when I’m browsing around, and nothing seems to be just right.

Needless to say, I was able to figure out the uppers rather quickly. So, the uppers sat there haunting me for several days while I played with polymer clay. Fortunately, it was still rather cold outside, so keeping the oven on for days wasn’t a problem. πŸ™‚ I sculpted. I filed. I carved. Finally, I dug out some copper sheets and began creating cookie cutters. I grabbed the soldering iron (pronounced “sawdering”) and got to work and created two cookie cutters…one for the outer part of the sole and one for the inner part of the sole. I know – it sounds complicated, but I promise to show everyone how I did it in a future blog post as soon as I can. I have already begun making a list of all the things you will need to do this.

New BootsFor the record, I did NOT take apart any of the shoes or boots I already own. I did, however, study lots of shoes on the Internet to see how they were put together. I looked at how they were sewn, and I watched a few tutorials on making the lasts for American Girl dolls, which really didn’t help at all. Lasts, for those who are new to shoe making, are the slightly larger “feet” onto which the shoe or boot uppers are molded.

So, stay tuned. I will share what I was able to figure out as soon as I have the time to put together all the photos in the appropriate order. πŸ˜€


It’s Not Just About Blythes and Pullips

Moxie Girlz Uniform 1Every once in a while, I get a special request to sew something for a doll that is not a Blythe or a Groove brand Pullip or Dal. If you have been following this blog, you will notice that I have also sewn for the tiny Lati Dolls Yellow and White, Hujoo and large bust Obitsu dolls. Most recently, I was asked to sew for a Moxie Girlz doll, which is along the lines of the Bratz Dolls with removable feet, bendable legs and big hands. The big feet and hands, do make for a challenge, I must admit.

The request was for a school uniform, which included a white blouse, bow at the collar, a vest, pleated skirt and socks. Moxie Girlz Uniform 4I began with the blouse, primarily because I knew that the blouse pattern would give me a good start for the vest pattern. Rather than adding huge white buttons to the front of the blouse, I added tiny white glass beads to serve as buttons, which gave it a delicate appearance, which I think turned out nice. The bow was fixed to a clear rubber band, the kind used when braiding hair. That way, the bow can be slipped over the doll’s head and placed around the collar. If the owner doesn’t want the bow on the outfit, it can be removed.

Moxie Girlz Uniform 2The easiest piece to create was the pleated skirt, but the color that was requested was a bit difficult to find. I had ordered fabric only to discover the plaid was large and wouldn’t look right. So, I drove to my favorite second hand shop and found a 100% cotton men’s shirt with a tiny plaid that was navy on white. I put into into a turquoise dye bath, and the end result was perfect! The navy remained and the white turned to the color I was wanting all along.

Believe it or not, the socks were the most difficult part because of the doll’s massive feet when compared to her very thin legs. First off, the feet don’t bend at all. Additionally, the feet can pop off if you’re not careful when putting the socks on. It took a few tries to get the socks just right, but I think they look okay considering.

Moxie Girlz Uniform 5When this client requested this outfit, I had not anticipated my surgery until late March, so I was all ready to begin sewing. I was called by the surgeon’s office and told my surgery had been scheduled, which meant this client would have to wait. Because of the delay to this order. I sewed an additional pleated skirt as a thank you for waiting so long. πŸ™‚


My Speedy Recovery Means Back to Projects

Tiny DetailsMy surgery was Monday, February 24, and in spite of a small tear in my rotator cuff, I am on the mend and going to physical therapy twice a week. I am doing well and already back to sewing, which many of you probably already know if you have seen my posts on Flickr, Facebook and deviantArt. Of course, no one could ever say patience was one of my virtues!

I have been working on a custom Blythe doll, among other things, but this girl is one of my favorites to date. My inspiration for her came when I stumbled upon some fabric in the SydneyStyle shop on Etsy.Β  Kathy, who owns SydneyStyle is an absolute pleasure to work with as she was able to change some fabric colors for me to create some special coordinates for me.

TSydneyStyle Bannerhe patterns on the SydneyStyle fabrics are the perfect size for doll clothing, too. If you sew for your dolls or work with miniatures, you really should check out her shop as the fabrics are beautiful. If you can’t find what you are looking for, send her a note as she is willing to work with you to create whatever you need.

Skinny Scalp StoreAnother shop that aided in creating this unnamed girl was The Skinny Scalps Store owned by Christine. Don’t let the lack of inventory in her shop fool you. She is a very busy lady, but she is ready to help a customer at any given moment as she did with me. Go through her sold orders, and you will see some absolutely stunning Tibetan lambskin scalps made to perfectly fit a Blythe doll. Then send her a note to let her know what you are interested in.

What Can I SayThe best part: NO MORE RE-ROOTS! And that was what sold me! Although I love the re-rooted dolls, the process is very tedious, and to have someone do it for you is VERY expensive. A skinny scalp is less than $100 (unless you want something dyed in many colors).Β  You can get the scalp on a CoolCat rubber cap/scalp or one of the RBL rubber scalps that has the flanges for attachment to the plastic dome. Easy peasy! I bought two of them for less than it would have cost me to have one doll receive a re-root.

Overall, I give both SydneyStyle and The Skinny Scalps Store each thumbs up and the highest of recommendations! πŸ˜€


My Mad Dash Before I Have to Stop Sewing

Polo Body SuitTime is counting down until Monday, February 24, when I will be having surgery on my left shoulder. Naturally, this will require me to refrain from sewing for a while, which I am hoping will only be a couple of weeks. The surgeon says he will not know for sure about the length of my recovery time until after the surgery, so I will attempt to keep everyone posted when I can. You can follow me on Facebook while I am recovering as typing will be difficult.

Moxie Blouse and VestI have been busy fulfilling the last of a few commissions, including a polo style body suit for Blythe and a school uniform for a Moxie Girlz doll. This is the first Moxie Girlz outfit I have sewn, and I am surprised at the body similarities to Blythe dolls along the torso. Although the hips of the Moxie are a little wider, basic dresses with gathered skirts will probably fit just fine on the Moxie Girlz doll that have been sewn for Blythe. The only problem that might occur is with the Moxie Girlz doll’s hands, which are rather large. I would recommend buying sleeveless Blythe dresses for the Moxie so that there isn’t any worry about trying to get her hands through a sleeve.

In other news, Anya and Poppy are now awaiting their new home as they have been put on layaway. Angelina arrived at her new home in Mexico and is now happily promoting Bebe Babies and Friends.

Angelina and MaggieAnya's Eyes







Make It Own BoxI dyed a mohair wig for the Pullip Make It Own (MIO) doll for the PUDDLE 2014 event. I have not started her face-up yet, and I need to finish her outfit. I have had the Pullip face plate setting on my dining room table for the past few weeks. I look at it, and she “looks” at me…I just want her to be PERFECT!! πŸ™‚

Another PUDDLE project is an outfit for a rainbow Yeolume, but I will let TrueFan explain all that! Nothing as far as I am aware has been revealed on this project, and I don’t want to spoil anything. You can follow along with PUDDLE information on Facebook as well.

PUDDLE DesignIn my “spare time” I created a little design for PUDDLE, as part of the proceeds have been donated to animal rescue organizations in the past. I have not yet revealed what I am going to do with this design, but the end result will be part of my donation to this year’s PUDDLE event as well! So, stay tuned to see what is revealed! πŸ˜€

REMEMBER: You can follow me on Facebook while I am recovering!


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