Tag Archives: Fashion dolls

Lacroix Inspired…

I love mixing prints. Either in one item or in a collection. And one of my favorite designers is a master at it. Christian Lacroix mixes the unexpected, adds the details of lace, crystals, beads, extravagance galore and creates the most beautiful pieces imaginable. Granted, his designing isn’t to everyone’s taste, but I think it is so romantic and beautiful. I’m saddened that he no longer has his couture house. His designs are always a source of inspiration for me.

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So I’m trying to use up some of my fabric stash and decided to finally do something with a collection of prints I picked up a while ago. I always had the intention of mixing these together as a little collection, but never knew what to do or how. Sometimes its best to put it away for a while and then when one pulls it out again new inspiration pops up.

Coordinating prints

Coordinating prints

The first idea that comes to mind is Lacroix! Lets do something with inspiration from some of his older collections.

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So I came up with a couple gowns with embellishments inspired by Lacroix.

Applique for gown

Applique for gown

My Lacroix inpired gowns… now available in the Madeleine Rose Couture Boutique

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Filed under Boutique, Designs, doll photography, Fashion dolls

Summer Blues…

Ok, it’s been a while, I know.  And so much has gone on I don’t even know where to begin, but I’ll start posting little things from the last several months going forward.

Meanwhile, I’ll start at the present.

Summer! Ah, who doesn’t love it, with it’s sunshine and blue skies, sandy beaches, and cool ocean breezes.  While I guess not everyone has this climate, but living in Southern California, I’m very lucky I do.  And that is one thing that inspired this mini collection.  On one of my last shopping trips to Mood, I purchased this beautiful shades of blue designer silk chiffon.

fabrics from mood

shades of blue designer silk on far left

I also ended up having in my large fabric stock some other blues that happened to blend in rather nicely.

Summer Blues fabric selection

Shades of blue-from top- light grey silk chiffon, textured blue chiffon, designer print silk chiffon and metallic blue knit.

I wanted to do easy summer dresses, the kind you would just slip on for summer with silver statement jewelry.

The mini collection of Summer Blues-four short dresses, three long gowns and a skirt with bodysuit ensemble.  Available now at the Madeleine Rose Couture boutique

Here are a few of the looks:

Short silk print dress

Knit Tank Gown

Summer Blues print gown

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Tribe…

Got a chance to use one of the fabrics I purchased from Mood.  The tribal influenced graphic print silk chiffon.  This fabric is sooo gorgeous, I had a hard time trying to decide what exactly to do with it.  A simple drape neck silhouette won so the print could shine.  The necklace is by Leigh in ME (Asher of New England) and is the Chanel J’Adore inspired necklace.  So beautiful- he does amazing work on these miniature masterpieces. My beautiful Damia (Numina Ajuma by Paul Pham) is modeling.

Tribe LE 2 by MRC

This was made for the Couture Doll Shops yearly special Dolls Fashion Night Out, something I participate in every year.  you can read about it on their blog

http://couturedollshop.blogspot.com/

Until next time….

 

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Flamme Framboise….

It’s been a while since I’ve designed anything for a Sybarite. So when I picked up this fabric, Gothica decided no one else but her would have something out of it. And why not? It  suits her coloring perfectly.flamme framboise closeflamme framboise 3

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Candy Crushing…….

I know, I know.  I said at the year end post I was going to be more consistent in writing, but here it is the middle of the year already and have I written?  No.  For that I apologize.  Life seems to get in the way.  Anyway I haven’t really made too much lately to be able to write about.  I did do a fun little gown at the first of the year- Glitter Disc:

Glitter Disc 2modeling is my new Ajuma by Paul Pham.  She is fabulous- I have to design more for her but she is a challenge to photograph.

I also had been working with Angelic Dreamz on some stuff.  I designed the gown for the special intro Gene luncheon held at the IDEX show.  As well as the little suit for the BJD mixer AD sponsored.

Gene IDEX

Photo by George G

Now that summer is here I am hoping to get a little more finished.  I cleaned up my sewing area, and while doing it gave away four small boxes of fabric.  I still have one box left if anyone is interested- just pay shipping of flat rate $12.95.

I found this fabric while I was cleaning up and finally decided to do something with it instead of giving it away.  I reminded me of Skittles, so I aptly named it Candy Pop.  I also used Skittles on the ground around it 🙂

Candy Pop

Candy Pop

I love the way it turned out.  The fit is amazing, although it will only fit small busted Numina dolls.

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Steampunk Couture

Back in July we were given another and one of the last challenges on Couture Doll Shops.  This one was on the current Steampunk craze.  NOw I love Steampunk, and there are so many different genres of it, I had to decide which way to go.  First thoughts would have been using one of my larger BJD’s to model, but I had just got my new OOAK Numina from Paul Pham and really wanted to use her.

Victorian and historical clothing are one of my favorites to design- funny how I never really paid attention to it when I was younger and going to fashion schools. One always appreciates the past as they get older.  I think I am also much more into fashion in a different way than I was back then too.  I can see the influences past and historical fashion has on current designers- although some of the greats (John Galliano, Christian LaCroix, McQueen) are not showing designs at the moment, two being out of work and the last having passed away.

Anyway, I wanted to Victorian influences as the base of my design.  Stay with the true Steampunk origins.  Lots of research of Steampunk went into finding out what Steampunk really was- so many blogs and websites.  It really is quite interesting.

I decided on a a corset, jacket and short skirt with a bustled back.  I didn’t take too many pics while making it but did take some- so here’s how it went.

Making the Corset

Trying to do something a little different than just a corset so I decided to quilt the fabric like I have in some previous designs:

I used my basic corset pattern drafted a while ago but had to fit it to the Numina body.  Muslin sample:

From the fabric stash (since I am trying to use up the fabric I have on hand) here are the fabric choices for a old Victorian feel

Ivor silk brocade, tan and ivory herringbone twill with just a touch of rose stripe, and a rust colored crossdye silk taffeta.

Quilted taffeta for the corset

First I quilted the taffeta then cut out my adjusted pattern pieces diagonally on the fabric.

Because the quilted taffeta has a stabilizer for the quilting I did not need to interface the body but did interface the lining.

Corset taking shape

corset lining in ivory brocade

Finishing the corset up, the top and bottom are banded with bias cut strips and hand sewn on the back.  Antique brass eyelets for lacing are added and the corset it done!  Now onto the skirt.  My time is starting to run out………

Finished corset with banded edges

Corset back with eyelets and lacing

Assembling the Skirt

The skirt I made out of the ivory brocade, a basic mini skirt, and added a drape like the Victorian fashions, in the taffeta.    The train I drafted by hand,  cut it out in muslin to make sure I had the right shape and sewed it up in the taffeta with the brocade lining it.  This I hand sewed on to the back of the skirt.

Skirt with drape

Train ready to be hand sewn onto skirt

The last part was the bustle and this was a little tricky to figure out.  I din’t want something super large and wanted something light enough that could also be removes.  I also wanted to use lace.  The brocade was just too heavy to do a full bustle out of.   Again I drafted a shape out of paper to test it, cut it out of a nylon tulle and sewed layers of pregathered lace onto it.  Finding the right lace at the right width was a challenge,  I liked how it turned out though

the top was banded, then attached using snaps

From here my time was really short and I made the jacket without pictures.  It was lined in the ivory brocade.

A top hat was also made and I’ll add a tutorial for that later.

Love how the photo shoot turned out.

Steampunk Couture

Steampunk Couture can be viewed and purchased at Madeleine Rose Couture

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Filed under Boutique, CDS, doll photography, Fashion dolls, sewing, tutorials

Doll Photography-What Works for Me-part 1

Taking pictures of our dolls has become a favorite past time of many collectors. I am constantly seeing beautiful photographs on the doll boards, Flickr, Picturetrail, personal blogs and of course the doll magazines-Hautedoll and FDQ. There are a few collectors that stand out; the hauntingly beautiful images Michelle Blankenship(Visibly-Vintage) creates with Superdoll’s Sybarites (I think she should create a calendar or coffee table book of her pictures), Alex Forbes(Alex’s Attic) with many different fashion dolls, Paul Pham(Dollcis)-the creator of the Numina dolls, Grey and Asher, to name a few.

Photo by Michelle Blankenship


Couture Salon photo by Michelle Blankenship


Numina Asher

Numina Asher photo by Paul Pham


Numina Grey

Numina Grey photo by Alex Forbes

As an artist, I am always trying to perfect my photos to these artists level, and to showcase my designs in the best possible light(pun intended), as well as be creative in the process.

So here is a little tutorial of what works for me so far in taking pictures. I am no expert, and am always trying new things. Perhaps you can pick up a few tips that will work for you too.

Gathering Up Your Equipment
Camera-Well of course having a good camera and lens can make a huge difference in the clarity of your pictures-but if you don’t have access to one, there are some point and shoot that I have seen take great pics.
Tripod-A good sturdy tripod is a must to prevent camera shake. I use mine all the time.

SLIK Tripod 400D

Backdrop-There are several different ways of doing a backdrop. Some prefer light tents

Light tent from B & H Photo


I have one, but don’t use it too often. What I use is a large foam core board I scored to make a three fold. So those foam core presentation boards work well to drape fabric over for your backdrop. You want to make sure it is tall enough though to end at least 8-12″ above your subject. Use fabric that is not shiny(unless you are going for that look in your picture)and will absorb light to create a softer background. I find using satin reflects the light and creates a distraction from your subject. A velvet type fabric will absorb the light and create a softer background.
Lighting-Probably the most important part of photography is getting the right light. Lighting creates the mood for the picture, whether you want a crystal clear bright picture or something a little more artistic.
I am constantly trying to find the right lighting. I mostly use a 500 watt tungsten light with dome that has different diffusers on it to create different moods. A good at home set up could be the metal clamp on lights you can purchase inexpensively at a home improvement store.

Dome lights and back drop


On the above setup- you want to have your lights set a little more in front to light your subject properly. I don’t have anything to attach mine to but wanted to give you the idea.
Make sure you use a true white light-your basic soft white lights you use at home will create a yellow cast to your pictures. Two of those clamp on lights should do the trick- one on either side aimed at your subject. Ott lights are another option that work well for a true light.
Know Your Camera-Read the manual!!! You need to know the settings on your camera and what they do to take great pictures. Of course we can all just use the auto setting-but then the flash may pop up and wash out the pic-no, the best photographers rarely use the flash on the camera. If anything, they will use a speed light or external flash. I like to use the settings for the light I am using and no flash.

I am finding a P(program AE) or AV(Aperture priority AE ) setting is good to start with. The three things you may want to know about on your camera is aperture(F-stop, how open the lens is to let light in)ISO(What ISO denotes is how sensitive the image sensor is to the amount of light present) and shutter speed(the amount of time the shutter is open). Another is your white balance(whether you’ll get the right color or a (yellow or blue) color cast). You can always correct WB in a photo editing program. Finding the right settings for your light source and what you want is a lot of trial and error I find as well. Especially if you are just beginning. Like I said, I am no expert- just passing along the info I’ve discovered so far that works for me.

So gather up your equipment-get to know your camera- and come back for part 2!

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Filed under art, doll photography, Fashion dolls, tutorials