Tag Archives: Fashion dolls

CDS-The Other Red Carpet Challenge

You can read what the challenge is here

February 22, 2010 The Making of An OOAK Gown
Red Carpet again. Well I guess with the Oscars right around the corner it seems fitting. And Purple. Hmmmm. Guess I’ll have to pull out my purple stash that I don’t even know if I have. Purple is not a color I collect too often. But I do believe I have some; an orchid color silk velvet and vintage pale lavender beaded silk; a deep lavender silk charmeuse I could use with a black lace. I immediately think of Dior’s Spring 2010 RTW collection with the lingerie inspirations.

Dior Spring 2010 RTW

Dior Couture Fall 2009

February 23, 2009 On with the Design!
I start fitting a bodice to a Syb but there is Psyche (Numina Grey) looking at me-“When are you going to do my gown? You know the crossdye orange and ombre mesh?” Yes I know. I’m dying to use this fabric but it is not purple. But, the fabric shop did have it in a purple tone, didn’t they? If I remember correctly. I’m going to have to check that out.

February 24, 2010 Idea Changes
I ran down to the fabric shop after work today and picked up the purple ombre mesh. It has a lot more brown in it than I remembered but I still think it will be pretty. Now to find a coordinating fabric for the bodice.
While I was going through my fabric bolts I ended up finding (buried under some other taffetas) a bright purple crossdye that blends in great with the mesh. I forgot I had this one! Now I will be able to do sister gowns: one in purple and a similar style in the oranges.

Ombre mesh and silk taffeta

February 28, 2010 Fitting the Bodice

I started fitting a bodice to Psyche. For this I am going to use an existing corset pattern I drafted a few years ago on the Tyler bustform.
I sewed up the corset in muslin and tried it on Psyche. It’s a little big in the chest but the waist length is good. I’m going to pin in where it is big and mark it it on the muslin. I also want to change the front seamline a bit, so I am going to mark that as well.

Muslin toile on Psyche, adjustments marked.

Back view. You can see it's a little large


Now I am going to cut along my marks, and take apart the corset where there are seams along the marks as well as cut away the seam allowances.

When I cut a pattern, I always make a couple copies (I have a 4-in-1 copier at home, makes it very convenient for pattern making).
Placing the cut muslin pieces on top of their corresponding paper patterns, you’ll see where to draw new lines.

muslin pieces on top of their paper pieces


From here I true up the seams and and seam allowance. I’m also changing the bottom line from a V to a curved drop waist.

truing up with a french curve


seam allowance added and bottom adjusted


matching the seams and notching

March 2, 2010-Going Straight to the Fabric
From here I would usually make another toile to check fit on the revised pattern, but I have enough fabric to do another if it doesn’t work. Besides,(and I know this sounds a little conceited) but I am pretty confident in my pattern making skills that the fit will be pretty near perfect.
So here it goes…. I’m underlining the pieces in a stiff cotton underlining instead of the usual woven fusible I use.

underlining basted on the taffeta

Here the seams are stitched and pressed open; topstitching is going to be applied for decorative purposes and to hold the boning. I’m using a Sulky rayon embroidery thread and an edge stitch foot to get a precise top stitch. I set the needle position to 1/8″ away from the seam and the edge stitch foot fits neatly into the seam.

edge stitch foot and topstitching

corset with topstitching


See how great the topstitching is? From here, boning will be inserted after the bra cups are sewn in.

Bra sewn in-boning inserted and checking fit. I couldn’t be happier with how it’s turning out. Psyche is too- she can’t wait to strut her stuff on the runway.

checking the fit before lining is sewn in.

March 5, 2010-Starting the Skirt
Tonight I sewed in the lining. I’m dying to get the skirt started though. Drafting out a skirt on tissue, I’ll use this as a guide and stabilizer to sew the ruffles on.

corset almost finished- lining sewn in


tissue skirt pattern with guide lines drawn

I want this skirt to be flowing- not stiff so I found some mauve tulle that will work well for the underskirt the ruffles are sewn to. Plus I’ll be able to see the guide lines rather than having to draw them onto taffeta.

lines drawn for ruffles and tulle base pinned on top


First row of ruffles- I’m using a 5:1 ratio for the ruffles and am starting at the bottom. I managed to get two rows sewn on tonight.

first two rows of ruffles sewn onto tulle underskirt

March 7, 2010-Skirt is Finished
I finished sewing all the ruffles this weekend. Seven rows of tulle confection. I have already attached it to the corset and decided to have the corset lace up the back. It has turned out gorgeous and Psyche is thrilled. Now it’s onto the accessories.

ruffles getting sewn on- skirt is pinned to the corset at this time

March 11, 2010 Finished!
The accessories I decided to make were a silver faux leather clutch and matching crystal heeled sandals-in which shoe making needs to be a another tutorial. So here is the final gown-Passion. Psyche looks so great.
Close up of Passion
Full gown
Crystal heeled shoes

This will be on the CDS (Couture Doll Shop) blog fashion show and for sale on my website Madeleine Rose Couture

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A New Challenge

Now that the CDDC is over, things got a little back to normal. Just a little. I was busy designing and sewing 1920’s style dresses of my daughter’s elementary school play- the Velveteen Rabbit. They turned out cute- I had a lot of fun doing the research.

Aunt Rosemary's dress


My daughter did great in her part as head narrator, and no, she didn’t get to wear one of the dresses, but I had to make vests for her and her 2 co-narrators. (my daughter is the tallest one)

Narrators and Velveteen Rabbit


So now what? Well the CDDC creators have a project- the CDS- Couture Doll Shops- “Welcome to a new concept in couture doll merchandise and services. Couture Doll Shop features high fashion designers as well as other special doll services – all through individual merchants. Here you will find fabulous one of a kind outfits as well as many other items and services in this one convenient location.”

I will have a shop there with Madeleine Rose Couture. I have been busy revamping my website, adding Paypal buttons for shopping ease and streamlined the navigation. I love the new look and feel of it.

So CDS has proposed a challenge to the merchants;A Red Carpet challenge. It won’t be judged (darn! just kidding) but I love a good challenge. I can’t give all the details at the moment(like when all this will take place) but I can share the challenge at the moment. You will all just have to check back with me and the CDS blog to find out more.

The rules:

1. The Challenge
Besides Fashion Week, one of the most important fashion events is a Red Carpet event. Yes, no matter which award is being presented, all eyes are really on the fashions worn at these events! Now is your chance to have many eyes from the doll world on YOUR fashion!! Never underestimate the power of the internet, dahlings! Pull out your best silk, satin, or whatever you think “makes” it on the Red Carpet! You are going to be offering up a NEW item, and you are not going to have a long time to make this item. But you will have as much time as the CDDC designers had for those challenges; it can be done – so no excuses, my pretties!!

2. The Colors
The hot color we’ve seen on the Red Carpet this year, to date, has been purple. And purple is the MAIN theme color for this event. Now don’t go turning up your noses, divas, because there are lots of colors in the purple family – from burgundy to lavender – so there is bound to be one you can adapt to a vision I know is brewing in your delightful design mind! AND, to aid you while still enabling me to line up this collection by color, I’m also going to allow you the use of luscious creams and/or blacks to be used as an auxiliary color. Auxiliary means either/or cream or black; and that either color cannot overpower the base color! Any questions, please email me, because I do NOT want anyone disqualified. Remember, this is for fun and to help us open our shops with a bang!

3. Styling the outfit
ALSO, for this event your model will be untraditionally traditional. I already know each of you has an untraditional style, but I would like you to create the traditional long gown – your models are NOT going to a cocktail party. Let your presentation represent YOU……..but just in a loooooooooooooong version!

There is to be NO JUDGING of your outfit of any kind!! So no inside views, AND if you are an OOAK artist, you may present your item as such – non-removable fashion is the norm in the OOAK venue. If you just sell furniture, trot out a piece; and the same thing goes for shoes, wigs or jewelry. From toddler to high fashion and anything in between – every effort will be made to put YOU, our shop owner, in the spotlight on this particular runway!!

4. What You May Submit
Each of you will see your doll actually “come down the runway” thanks to the magic of our photography specialist; Larraine. She will truly work her magic to put these designs in just the right setting! That is why we have specific guidelines, and pictures that do not meet the criteria will be returned to you, and no one really wants that to happen – so please listen up!!!

Pose your doll or your item to sell it! Use props you feel appropriate ON the doll. I say ON because
props must be shown on the doll or item itself – it cannot be sitting off to the side for us to
properly spotlight it.

You must photograph your doll or item in front of a prop-less, plain (one neutral color)
background!

So am I up for it? You Bet!!

Stay tuned for more……..

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CDDC-Are you WoMEN MAD?

Well here we are at challenge seven, just this one and one more to go.

Challenge Seven: November 29, 2009

Due: December 12, 2009

Mad WoMEN – Our guest judge this week is the owner of the fabulous Dressmaker Details. This line is famous for it’s fantastic cocktail fashions with that 60’s flair. Your challenge this week will be to design the perfect cocktail fashion for your model, who by the way will be wearing your design as she guest stars in an episode of the wildly popular TV series Mad Men, entitled, The Cocktail Party.

Guest Judge: Steven Fraser

Another 60’s inspired challenge? Well at least I’m in the mode for it and I can be much more creative with this one. Cocktail huh? Looks like 60’s cocktail seems like alot of sheath dresses and bateau necklines. I’ve never seen Mad Men-I’ll put it in Netflix queue and check it out. At least I have some great props- including a cigarette and cocktails (if I can just find them! LOL).

November 30th-Research
I spent the morning going through vintage patterns, Mad Men images, L’Official mags from 1960 and some of my designer books. Getting a feel for 1960 cocktail dresses, dresses with coats or short jackets. Sheath style or semi full skirt, pretty simple in design. Lots of brocade, beaded bodices, and fur.

I think I need to figure out my model. Trapeze Sybarite-I used for the first challenge- has that 60’s look to her. Wouldn’t it be a hoot if I used an Fashion Royalty doll (12″) or Barbie? No one would expect that from me. Only thing is, I’m not inspired by them and my clientele is for the 16″ girls.

I’m also thinking of using Psyche (Grey) again. She kind of has a the 60’s inspired makeup but not as drastic as Trapeze. Besides she won it for me in challenge 2.

I have two designs drawn out, one with two neckline variations. I have to think of color- one of them I think would be superb in a kelly green silk taffeta. I’ll have to take pics and see how it photographs on Psyche.
The other is a deep red silk chiffon or grey silk chiffon with black velvet bands.

Two designs for Mad Men challenge

second sketch for challenge- neckline variation

I also took some pictures of Psyche in the color fabric I would like to use to see how she photographed in it. I really like the red but am leaning towards the design I would do in green.

Kelly green taffeta

deep red chiffon with taffeta under

I ordered some new wigs, two in shades of red, so they might look awesome on her in the green taffeta. It would be very Mad Men, kind of like Joan, but I need to make sure I keep it different as well. I don’t want to do a character on Mad Men, I need to create a new character that is guest starring.

December 9-Progress
I got my patterns drafted and now it was time to make the toiles. I’m not sure about this skirt style now that it is made up in muslin.

I’m thinking it might be a little ambitious and too busy for the sleek style that the Mad Men fashions show. If I take out some of the ruching- it may start to look like Joan’s green dress.

Joan's green dress

Maybe I shouldn’t even use green, but it just looks so great with the carrot red wig. I guess I could try grey, but I’m running out of time to be so indecisive.

December 10-Crunch Time
I researched some more and more and more. The images I could find and what I have watched off the show (mostly beginning of S1) the fashions are pretty simple. So I really need to stay simple to an extent to stay in the theme of the show. I don’t know how that will score in originality and creativity points though. I don’t know how one can do vintage design and still make it original.
I’m worried about being too simple but that’s what won me the Audrey challenge. I’m wondering if I should go with the red chiffon now-because it’s a little simple but yet has some difference. I should just whip it up and see.

December 11-Decisions, Decisions

I came up with another design. Took the ruching out of the skirt and placed it along the bodice. Started draping the fabric around the doll with to get an idea.
Draped fabric, red wig
I like this, slim cut with interest at the top.

December 12-A Very Bad Morning
Today was the morning of all mornings. Yesterday I got quite a bit done on my dress, since I finally figured out what I was doing. When I get up in the morning, I usually look at the work I did the night before because my sewing table is right outside my bedroom. Well, I took one look at my doll I was using,(she was lying on the table) and her wig was gone!! My little kitten(who is now 6mo old and getting into everything, as of this writing she has also lost one of my chipped off doll fingers I needed to glue back on) took it off her head. I’m pretty sure it was my kitten because I heard her messing around my sewing area early this morning after I kicked her out of my room.

Now I can’t find it and that was the wig that made my whole look. Hopefully my daughter will be able to find it-it’s her mission today.
Then to top it off, I spilled a little coffee on my dress that was lying on the table. Not my morning! I’m hoping it doesn’t stain, although silk taffeta-oohhh. So again I am going to be rushing last minute to get this done. I will be so glad when this contest is over. I had debated whether to compete or not, wondering if I would have the time.
I’m just hoping we find the wig and it’s not torn apart.

December 13-Finishing

I spent the day finishing up the dress and making the accessories. I went with some black Chinese dragon print brocade for mules and a clutch. I made some gloves with some of the individual fingers separated because I really hate those mitten style ones and Grey has such beautiful hands. But boy were those a b!@#*to make. And they are kind of bulky so I won’t use them too much.
Got my pictures taken and submitted with less than two hours to deadline.

December 14-Designs are Up
The designs are posted, and there are some really good ones in there. Emilia’s is very unique- funny I have that same brocade-I looked at it once for this challenge but really had wanted to do a bright color. #6 is really nice too and right on target with the early sixties vibe. Kathi’s is really nice and her construction is perfect. So this is going to be tough-I really don’t envy the judges.

December 15-A Little Problem
I received an email from Larraine today. It appears that I am in violation of one of the rules #2. Designers must submit original designs. Commercial or any other type of purchased patterns are not allowed. Anyone using patterns will be removed from that individual challenge; subsequent use of patterns will require elimination from the CDDC.
It is the original part that concerns her. Four of the designers had contacted her about my design being a direct copy of a dress from this site that was posted on the CDDC group.
Oh no, what am I to say- It does look like a copy and I didn’t even realize it. I had failed to differentiate what I had seen with the images I designed in my head. This is going to cost me this challenge probably. I should have recognized the resemblance, but with the pressure of the time and my brain being on design overload I failed to.
Maybe I can still defend myself.

December 17-Another New Design
I was so busy yesterday Christmas shopping with my husband, I didn’t have time to do anything about my design. For the moment Larraine and I agreed to keep the images on the site-I was hoping the judges would still score, but she told me a few of them felt uncomfortable scoring it. They were all very saddened by it but were equally impressed by the design. Even though I couldn’t work on anything yesterday it still tugged at the back of my mind. I was kind of sick to my stomach all day knowing that all this hard work is being thrown away. I was also thinking about what I might be able to do to save it still. I’ll change the design around some to make it no longer look like a copy but still keep the look I was going for. If I use the original dress and just change-using the original as inspiration maybe the judges might give me a chance.
The new dress:

New Challenge 7 design


I kept the pictures the same to keep the essence of my original submission. I even had a really cool story that went with my entry:
The Cocktail Party- It’s 1960 and famous french fashion designer, Chantal Delacroix, is launching her first perfume, Mysterieux, in the United States. She hires famed advertising agency, Sterling Cooper, to develop the advertising for it’s debut. In honor of her arrival in New York, Sterling Cooper is throwing a grand cocktail party.
Chantal arrives in a beautiful green silk taffeta, slim cut cocktail dress. The drape seems to roll up around the body and ends in a train effect in the back. It encases one shoulder leaving the other bare with but a single strap ending in a bow accenting the bodice. Fully lined in white silk taffeta. Her accessories are black Asian printed silk satin mules, with a matching clutch lined in the same green taffeta as her dress. She also arrives in black gloves that she removes shortly after arriving to the party. Chantal Delacroix is Numina Grey by Paul Pham.

Larraine agreed to discuss this with the judges so now I just wait.

December 18- The Final Decision
The judges need to stand by their decision-it needs to be disqualified other wise it will show special treatment. It is unfair to the other designers for a new submission because I had already seen the other designs by now. Not that it put any influence in my new design choice. I would not have let it- I stayed with my own aesthetic.
I understand and respect the judges decision. I figured it didn’t hurt to try. I’m hoping this doesn’t put me back too far. I know I have no chance of winning this competition now- which is too bad because I have worked really hard and really embraced this competition to my surprise. I know a lot of the designers probably even wondered why I entered.
I did it on a fluke, my family is always asking me why I don’t try out for Project Runway, so this was the thing that was similar but in my interest. I wasn’t sure what I was in for-it has proven stressful, fun and challenging. I have met some new friends in the doll world and I hope to keep in contact with them even when this is over. And hopefully Larraine will continue with another contest and maybe I’ll be a judge-that would be interesting too. Maybe she might consider that.
I did get scored on my design from two of the judges even though these score will not count. I finally got solid 5’s from Shane and I was very happy about that for some reason.
Here were my two scores:
Shane: Theme: 5, Originality: 5, Creativity: 5,
Construction: 5
A gorgeous fashion, meticulously constructed.

Steven Fraser:Theme: 5, Originality: 5, Creativity: 5
Construction: 5
Beautifully made, great attention to detail and scale, even the revised one was just as good, amazing talent under pressure.

Well, now I am in 8th place with a total score of 435. Even if these two scores could be added I would be in 5th place with 475, one under Kathi.
I’m sorry that this happened but you live and learn.
I’m still continuing since there is only one challenge left to go.

Cocktails Anyone?

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CDDC- Challenge #6- Inspired by Audrey

Challenge Six: November 15, 2009

Due: November 29, 2009

Inspired by Audrey – This week’s guest judge takes his inspirations for his incredible collections from many areas. This week you must take on a muse that has inspired Randall Craig himself. Your challenge this week is to create a design that is Inspired by Audrey(Hepburn). This should not be a remade or copied Audrey outfit, but something that you have designed that would suit Audrey’s style and be something Audrey would have loved to wear.

Guest Judge: Randall Craig


November 18th-Studying for the Challenge

I love Audrey Hepburn. When you think of her what comes to mind? Elegance, classicism, Breakfast at Tiffany’s, but most of all Style. Along with her good friend Hubert de Givenchy, the two of them created a look that has survived decades.

the famous Breakfast at Tiffany's gown

I went to the library yesterday and picked up some fashion books and one of Audrey’s personal life. I have been looking through them and think I have a concept of what to do. I also had looked at runway shows of recent- especially Chanel’s Spring 2009 Couture all white show.

Chanel Spring 2009 Couture

Chanel Spring 2009 Couture

Close up. Notice the funnel style neckline

And of course surfed the net for info on Audrey. She was classic in her dress- her style emanated from within her, but quality was of most important. So I must use good fabrics and clean lines and make sure it is immaculately well made. For this challenge I will go with my muse of Antoinette again. She is perfect for this challenge with her small bustline and slim figure. My Ellowyne, Madly Sadly Plaid might be good too because of her short pixie haircut, and she is small busted as well, but I think she might be too young, not sophisticated enough for my design. The model is everything.

November 21-Getting into Audrey Mode
I watched a couple of movies, How to Steal a Million,(which I had never seen before, quite enjoyable), Charade(always love Cary Grant), Funny Face (ah the clothes) and of course the all time favorite Breakfast at Tiffany’s. I watched that this morning. I think watching these just reinforces my decision. I’m going the sixties route-anything retro is always in style nowadays.
I made some sketches and narrowed it down to two. I decided to do a coat over a dress, one is a little more stylized than the other.
first sketch

first sketch for Audrey challenge

November 23-Making the Toiles
I made a muslin of the dress-didn’t like it at all- too dowdy. Even out of the fabric it is going to lack, and besides, I don’t think Audrey would do a V-neckline no matter how small it was.

first muslin toile-dowdy huh?

Back to the drawing board. I will go with one of my other sketches now.

Audrey Challenge sketch

Audrey Challenge sketch 2

One is more stylized, probably more in tune with today, the other I think is more Audrey’s style-especially more retro feeling. I’ll make up a toile of the dresses and take it from there. I went shopping yesterday and picked up a beautiful ivory stretch crepe, because the herringbone wool I picked up at Joann’s, as beautiful as it was, I think it will be too heavy for doll scale. That is always a challenge.

New toiles of the dresses:

peg skirt toile

This one I think ended up too pegged. I love the top, it fits well and I think it will work. The skirt is cute but just not for this challenge.

This one is perfect

I took out some of the gathers and widened the skirt a bit at the bottom. I think this is what I am looking for. Clean, simple, nice fit and add a black ribbon waistband with a bow-Voila!! (of course it will be made out of the real fabric.

November 29-Finishing Up
I spent all day finishing this challenge. I wish I had the time to finish earlier instead of rushing at the last minute. But I got it done. Sewed the jacket up in one day-it was a challenge to draft the pattern for it, raglan sleeves are not easy to do the proper way and in doll size.

sloper patterns for drafting

But I have to say, I think the whole look is classic & very Audrey. I don’t know what kind of points I’ll score since it isn’t very original just classic. It’s hard when we have these vintage challenges to do- everything seems like it has been done. We’ll just have to wait and see.
Inspired by Audrey challenge #6

November 30-Challenge Pics are Up
I had finished at the last minute again and therefore my pic is one of the last ones on the page. I really want to get this next challenge done early so my pics will end up one of the first on the page.

There are some really nice entries again. I think #2 is going to win. I’m not sure who did it, but I do know which one is Emilia’s and Louos’s(since he gave a hint on the board, I can tell his style).
Anyway, #2 is very cute and inventive. Mine is so simple and classic- but then that is how Audrey was- so maybe I’ll still get decent scores to keep me in place. At least my construction is perfect. Now it’s just waiting on the scores and onto the next challenge.

December 6-Challenge Scores are up!
On weekend mornings I have a routine- make my coffee, and read my emails. Boy was I surprised when I saw the email from Larraine stating that I won challenge #6. I won? Totally unexpected. I thought for sure #2, which ended up to be Dal’s was going to win for sure. I thought it was so cute, and the cape was beautiful! Kathi’s was really nice too and classic Audrey, and Emilia’s was so creative.
I am very happy I won, I put alot of effort into this challenge and it paid off. I am still second overall with only one point behind Emilia now.

Here’s what the judge’s had to say:

Shane:Theme: 5, Originality: 4.5, Creativity: 4,
Construction: 5
This fashion meets the theme 100%. I can absolutely picture Audrey in this. It’s beautifully done.

Diana and Janet: Theme: 5, Originality: 5,
Creativity: 5, Construction: 5

Diana:
So perfect. The monochromatic effect leads the eye to the lines of the garment. Great back yoke seam.

Janet:
It’s beautiful. I like the lines in the coat the unique raglan sleeve.

Judith: Theme: 5, Originality: 4.5, Creativity: 5
Construction: 5

Stunning tailored suit! A perfect solution to Audrey’s classic elegance. This design is timeless in its sophistication and perfectly contrived.

Randall Craig: Theme: 5, Originality: 5, Creativity: 5
Construction: 5

Absolutely dead-on and FABULOUS! It’s simple but not the least bit boring. The seam lines add the perfect amount of interest to a primarily off-white garment. The hints of black balance it out perfectly. The quality is stunning and professional. I can’t say enough … I love it!

Total points 78, first in challenge, second in overall competition.

I think Randall did a great job of judging and comments. A question was asked on the board(yahoo) about what to take on judges comments. As Dal said on the board, ‘Judging is subjective just as we are with fabric and design choices and even with the entries we like here in this challenge.’ And she is so right. I also think that it helps to know who your judge’s are-what their design aesthetic is, to determine what their taste is. But overall, I think you have to be true to yourself. And follow Tim Gunn when he says to the designers on PR, Edit!!

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CDDC Challenge 5-On the Red Carpet

Challenge Five: November 1, 2009

Due: November 15, 2009

On the Red CarpetThis week’s guest judge is known for his fabulous gowns. So it seems only fitting that this challenge be all about, On the Red Carpet. Design a fabulous gown for your fabulous model as she walks down the red carpet with the stars.

Guest Judge: Jim Faraone

November 2, 2009
I haven’t even finished challenge four yet and I’m starting to think about challenge 5. Ooh, red carpet. Gowns. My specialty!! I loooove gowns. The glamour, the couture, oh this is going to be fun. Now the question is- what kind of gown?

November 3-Choosing Fabric
I started doing some research on red carpet fashion, and I notice most of the actresses wore slimmer gowns instead of a ballgown. There were a few ballgowns like Dior and vintage Haute Couture designers but for the most part they were slimmer or flowy. Probably more practical. Can you imagine sitting for 3 hours in a huge skirt? Although I love doing ballgowns, I immediately think of this taupe/aqua shot silk taffeta and matching chiffon that I have been wanting to do a dress of. Someone mentioned in the boards about doing their dream gown.

Hmmm. That taupe lace I have that I have been keeping to make such a gown. I pulled it out, and guess what? It matches the taupe silk taffeta and chiffon. The chiffon appears a little more rust but because it is irridescent. It’s actually really beautiful, very different and an odd color. If I can make all of this work, I think it will be a gorgeous gown.

Challenge 5 fabric

Challenge 5 fabric choices

November 4- Choosing the Model

Which doll to use? Sybarites seem so runway and red carpet. I can pose them in such a stance to really show of a gown. And their figure! They really show off. Tonner is nice too. I think about my best girl, Margeaux. Gosh she photographs well, but I hold the fabric up to her and she just doesn’t look good in it. And there isn’t much Margeaux doesn’t look good in.
Margeaux in Asian Beauty
I think maybe Annalise. She can wear this color-she did a great job in the Christian LaCroix gown I did out of the same taffeta.
Annalise in Fleur de Lis
Wish I could use that gown for this challenge. I don’t have it anymore, but gosh did it turn out gorgeous. Now Bebe also modeled that gown and looks pretty good in the color.
Bebe in Fleur de Lis OOAK gown

We’ll draft the pattern for a Syb and it should fit a Tonner as well if I decide to use them. Antoinette might be good too, but I think I want someone a little more dramatic (and with a bustline).

November 6-Designing the Gown
I do more research of the runway and red carpet gowns. Since I decided to use the lace, I need to figure out how I want to use it. It’s actually a vest-a sample piece I bought from where I used to work. It’s paneled with the scallop so I am limited in what I can do with it. I originally was going to do a mermaid type skirt with the scallop on the bottom, so I think I will still go with that idea. I just need to figure out the bodice.

I started drafting out the pattern for the skirt- measuring each scallop and piecing it together so it looks right. A challenge since each panel is pretty much the same length and I want this skirt to train a little. I’m going to have to piece this together in the bodice or back and depending on the bodice I choose, I may have to have a longer bodice of the taffeta or chiffon. I know I want some kind of shirring of the fabric across the bodice, I did play with the idea of an all lace, one sleeved gown as well. I think it looks too common, I need to do something a little different.

Challenge5 skirt

Skirt so far

Challenge5 back panel

Back panel piece in

November 7- Changing my Mind
Such a busy day today. I’m up at 6:30 to get ready to get Maddie to her Campfire garage sale, then to Mizuno volleyball practice then to her parks and rec volleyball game. At least by 2pm we’ll be done.

I’m a thinker, visionary-I am always playing designs in my head, and can’t always get them on paper. So all this time while I am hauling her around I think of bodice designs. When I think of one- then I think of another. When we finally got home I sketched a bunch of different bodice options. Yes I think I know what I am going to do.
While we were at Mizuno I went into the CDDC website from my Blackberry just to see if maybe the scores were posted. Yes they were already up! I thought maybe it was still from last week when I saw Emilia had won again. Drats! Well congrats to her, but I missed it by 1 point!! Am I getting competitive or what? No, actually I am happy for her. I picked out her design and knew immediately I had tough competition. I had such difficulty with that challenge that it doesn’t surprise me. I am surprised the the judges got my design at all.
When I got home I looked over all the scores and judges comments. Then I start to think about what makes one better than another on the criteria of Originality and Creativity? I decide to write to Larraine and see if she can shed a little light on the difference for me. Maybe it can help me and the other designers understand what the judges are looking for.

November 9- Judge’s Criteria
Larraine wrote back to me and said that she would post on the board what she sent to the judges for their judging of Originality and Creativity. Boy was the board active today. Since I found out what the judge’s look for, I change my idea yet again. Red carpet is hard to do an original of because everything has pretty much been done. And when you think of red carpet you think best dressed not worst. I always think Oscars or Emmys, but I guess one could do short, a tuxedo, or something else as long as it’s glamorous? I’m still staying with long and elegant. That is my style and aesthetic. I need to stay true to myself. It’s the little things that will make it different (I hope).

I got the front panel onto the lace for the skirt. I’m happy that it is really blending together well and you really can’t tell it is pieced.

Challenge5 beginning

Close up of front panel pieced in

challenge5 sample

This could be the start of an interesting design?


Please ignore my messy work area. Creative process in the works.

Funny, how as you start to put something together, how other things develop. An all lace halter gown could be interesting. But I think I am still going to stay with what I have planned. I was going to do a one shoulder but after getting that judge’s criteria- I decided it’s too common. Now sleeves aren’t done very often. Everything red carpet is strapless, or like this year, a lot of one shoulder. Hmmmmm….sleeves…

Sleeve ideas

November 13-Finally Underway
The sleeves just weren’t turning out how I imagined. I didn’t go this back and forth on the last challenge. Never have I questioned myself so much on designing as I have while doing this competition. I can see what the contestants go through on Project Runway. When you are being judged on your designs, a whole lot of other elements start to play.

I did a shirred bodice first and wasn’t sure about it. Something just wasn’t right. I don’t know if it’s because I am seeing them all over the place-especially on Tonner dolls. And then I started having problems with the front panel I attached- the silver thread started coming loose and fraying from the lace. So I ended up changing the design again. I now have a taffeta corset underbodice in which I will applique the lace flowers onto and morph them into the lace skirt.

Design sketch

Corset in progress

I need to make this one work because I don’t have the time to change my mind again. I still need to work on the shoes and make a clutch since all the actresses pretty much carry one on the red carpet. I can’t worry anymore about whether I can win or not. I’m creating something beautiful and we’ll just have to take it from there.

November 14-Final Touches
Well, the corset bodice ended up ditched too. For two reasons. One is the chiffon(which is such a @!tch to work with) would not lay right on the hips. It wrinkled too much since it was cut on the bias. Second was the sleeves were too common. Saw them everywhere-on Tonner designs, on the runway, just not original enough. And after reading the criteria again for Originality and Creativity, I decided to do one of my other designs.

Final design decision

Now I am on the final touches. And this is what is so time consuming. I’m making flowers out of organza ribbon and some of the taffeta to sew here and there on the gown. I need to bead some sections- I’m not beading all of it- don’t have the time.

November 17-Pictures Sent In Just In Time
I got my pictures sent in just in time Sunday night. I spent most of the day finishing up- and not without effort. I woke up that morning with a terrible cold- my nose was running, sneezing-ugh I was miserable- and I had a work luncheon to go to. Needless to say I persevered and made it through the day, got my gown finished and sent in.

On the Red Carpet entry

The pictures are up of everyone’s designs. There is some competition again. There’s a red one that is really pretty. I think it is Louos’s. I can tell which one is Emilia’s and Kathi’s too. My husband says the only thing about mine is the color- maybe the red background I used wasn’t the best thing- white might have shown off the color better. It’s so much prettier in person. The color just didn’t photograph that well and I should have kept that in mind more when I started. I just so wanted to use this lace. Well I think I will photograph my fabric choices first form now on- and on different backgrounds to see which will photograph the best. I think that is important in this competition as well.

November 21-The Judge’s Scores
Louos’s won. I knew it would. It is a really pretty gown. Emilia beat me again-this time by.5 which now makes us 2 points apart. Here’s what the judges had to say:

Shane: Theme: 3, Originality: 4, Creativity: 5,
Construction: 5

This fashion has a tremendous amount of potential but it also has several issues that keep it from getting the top score in theme. I absolutely love the colors and the fabrics that you have chosen! The manipulation of the bodice fabric is gorgeous. As far as issues go, I don’t understand why you only chose to bead certain areas. I think this fashion calls for beading throughout the skirt or no beading at all. The floral and bow adornment at the bodice is distracting and only takes away from your beautiful workmanship on the bodice. Finally the sheer lining and lace just would not be acceptable on the red carpet unless your doll is purposefully looking to create a scandal.

Diana & Janet Theme: 5, Originality: 4,
Creativity: 4.5, Construction: 4.5

Diana:
The muted colors are highly effective and give an additional depth to the workmanship of the bodice.

Janet:
You took a simple design and did something interesting with it. Bravo!

Judith: Theme: 5, Originality: 4.5, Creativity: 5
Construction: 5

Gorgeous design in wonderful hues. A perfect cut and fit for this curvaceous model. Stunning cohesive overall vision. My only question would be, is the velvet bow a tad too big for the delicacy of the gown?

Jim Faraone: Theme: 5, Originality: 4, Creativity: 4
Construction: 4

Simple yet elegant

Total Score:71.5

As far as the judges comments, I can see now what they see. I wish I could have beaded the whole gown- it was my intention but time ran out, and I was so sick that day of the final to get pics in I just couldn’t get it all done. Looking in the pics I see about the bow. It’s funny how pictures will show things you don’t see in person. When looking at it in person, the bow doesn’t look too big. Or maybe I just like it larger. Who knows- it’s all personal taste.

This keeps me in second place overall so far. Well, there are still three more challenges left. I’ve learned alot so far, I guess if everything was always perfect, I wouldn’t be learning.

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CDDC-Challenge #4- On the Fashion Edge

Due: November 2, 2009

On the Fashion Edge – This week’s guest judge is an amazing doll artist. His OOAK creations are always on the cutting edge. This week you must create an avante guarde casual outfit(no you don’t have to use an Avant Guard doll) This
outfit must be edgy…think Alexander McQueen.

Guest Judge: Rob Thompson

Oct 22

It’s been four days since we received this challenge, and I am no closer to having an idea than I did the first day. I must be on fashion overload right now, because I just cannot get inspired here. I have looked at all of the edgier designers out there for the last four days. Think Alexander McQueen. OK. Love his stuff but I’ve been there. My whole Highland Punk collection was inspired by his Fall 2006 collection.
Highland Punk Collection by MRC

I’m having a really hard time here. I keep going to a red snakeskin I have and mixing it with the gold lace but then that is too much like my Asian Fusion collection that was featured in Hautedoll.
Red Snakeskin sample

Asian Fusion

Asian Fusion by MRC

I need one really good look and I am getting too many ideas, and having a hard time narrowing it down. Maybe I should just design a collection, and one look always stands out. There is one collection I have been dying to do for a while now and I might be able to incorporate an edgier look into it. I’ll have to delve a little more into that idea.

Oct 23

After doing more research and some sketching, I think I might have come up with something. I’m going with the snake. For some reason I just keep coming back to it, and it will look great on Mystique (Sybarite Swallow). She is such an obvious choice for this challenge because she is so runway-and strikingly beautiful with her smokey eyes.
But I am going to use it in a different way. I think I will still use a touch of the lace or free motion embroidered an applique. Actually the ideas are starting to evolve into a collection. The other collections I had planned, I think I will postpone. One I can do for early spring, the other that I mentioned yesterday I think I will do for winter.
I am starting to get some really good ideas, and today I found a really cool burn out velvet for a price I can’t even say because it was such a steal, that coordinates great with the snake for an OOAK gown. Now I have to get on the ball and sculpt some platforms to make a mold, since they take a while to make. Oh I hope this whole idea turns out.
Fabric selection

Oct 27

I think I have come up with a concept. The red snake fabric is really calling to me for this challenge, so I start to think about snake type words. If I am doing a whole collection now (as a side project) I need a name for the collection. A word comes to me
Basilisk
Yes, the giant serpent from Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

I start to do research on this word and learn about its mythological origins. From Encyclopedia Mythologica:
The mythical king of the serpents. The basilisk, or cockatrice, is a creature that is born from a spherical, yolkless egg, laid during the days of Sirius (the Dog Star) by a seven-year-old rooster and hatched by a toad.
The basilisk could have originated from the horned adder or hooded cobra from India. Pliny the Elder described it simply as a snake with a golden crown. By the Middle Ages, it had become a snake with the head of a bird, and sometimes with the head a human.
According to legend, there are two species of the creature. The first kind burns everything it approaches, and the second kind can kill every living thing with a mere glance.

Now I am thinking- the snakeskin for the jacket with a collar folding to represent the hooded cobra. The lace eyecap with feather headpieces resembles the head of the Basilisk. A sarong style skirt with a long flowing train to look like the snake’s body. I can picture it in my mind’s eye……
I just hope I can bring my vision to life.

Oct 28

I sewed for the best part of the evening and was able to get the base of the jacket finished. I need to do lining and figure out how I am going to do this collar to get the effect I want.
I made my mold for the platform boots I have planned and now it’s time to cast- let’s hope these turn out.

Oct 30

The last few days I have not had a chance to work on my garment except for casting several pairs of soles in an effort to get the heel right. The resin just wasn’t flowing in there correctly or my heel didn’t form right in the mold. They just are not working out. My fingers are raw from working with the resin and acetone and I can’t work with the stuff with the gloves I have on hand. O.k time to quit this I’m spending too much time on it and still have to finish my skirt and the rest of the accessories.

Nov 1

It’s due tomorrow. I have the jacket to finish, skirt to do, boots to make-oh am I going to get it done on time?

I work on it most of the day- figured out the collar and get the jacket finished. The lace for the cap I sew around her head and start spraying with fabric stiff(a little secret great for making hats). The boots- those are going to be a problem. What can I do for heels? I start to think about a mag layout I saw and how this model was standing on heelless boots. Those are the Nina Ricci boots I saw in my research of runway.
Baazar fashion spread

Nina Ricci boots

I’ll just chop off the heels and make them heelless. It’ll be like she’s ready to spring at her prey. OK that is decided.

Nov 2 Due date

Thank goodness we had an extra day for this challenge. I don’t think I would have made it otherwise. No one home to disturb me- I work quietly and make progress. The jacket is finished. I start on the boots and while each part dries I start the skirt. Figuring out that drape was a challenge because I had wanted it to do something else but was running out of time and it wouldn’t have worked out anyway. Overall- I made it on time with about an hour and a half to spare. I am happy with how my vision turned out I just hope the judges ‘get it’. This challenge proved very difficult for me as I am more classic in my aesthetic. I just hope I didn’t go too far out there.

Basilisk- Challenge #4 Avant Garde

Side view

Nov 7

I was so busy today- up and out at 7:30am for DD’s Campfire garage sale- then driving quickly up to volleyball clinic and back into town for a volleyball game at 1pm. Thank goodness for my Blackberry. I was able to log in to CDDC and saw that the scores were up. Did the judges get my design? There were so many great out there designs I thought it would be hard to judge. And Emilia’s- I could tell hers right away was very cool. She is pushing me in each challenge – but it is interesting to see our interests are similar. After reading her blog, her inspiration for the shoes were the same as mine. It’s hard to compete against someone on the same wavelength. But cheers to her for winning. I’m probably keeping her on her toes also since I am so close behind her. hehe

Well the judges had good comments and it would be interesting to find out how they determine each score-
Fashion like any art is a matter of taste-

Shane Theme: 4.5, Originality: 4, Creativity: 5, Construction: 5

Wow! This is a gorgeously made fantastic look! I love your molded gold headpiece!

Diana & JanetTheme: 4.5
Originality: 4.5, Creativity: 4.5, Construction: 4.5

Diana:
This really hits the mark! Brava! The headpiece/hat is drop-dead gorgeous and I love the boots.

Janet:

Exceptional! Truly avante-garde. Love the mix of fabric types and textures. Great fit on the jacket and the feather detail is a nice touch.

Judith:
Theme: 5,Originality: 4.5, Creativity: 5
Construction: 5

Love the idea and mythology behind this design. The textured snakeskin fabric is great, the colors are foreboding and the mask a stroke of genius. All makes for an elegant and sophisticated outfit. The shoes are nouvelle mode!

Rob Thompson: Theme: 5
Originality: 5, Creativity: 5, Construction: 5

I really like this fashion; it feels Avant Garde from the start. I like the fresh cut of the jacket and the cut and drape of the skirt works to carry your theme through. The shoes are fantastic, I adore them! The lace cap with in scale feathers is a great detail. Again, I am happy to see you not use a wig with this fashion. The necklace finishes the look with just the needed little extra touch. This fashion fits everything I think of when I think of Avant Garde, edgy, and fashion forward. You achieved perfection! Bravo! And I want those shoes, in several colors!

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CDDC Challenge #3-Embellishment

Oct 6th

Em-bel-lish: v. 1. To add beauty or ornamentation; decorate. 2. To heighten the interest of by adding details.

Here is our new challenge given Oct 4:
Embellished – Our guest judge this week is known for her fabulous embellishments. Use your creative skills to create an outfit that is the epitome of perfect embellishment.

Hmmm, I don’t really embellish my designs much-well at least not for the 16″ divas. Now my BJD’s I’ve been doing the silk ribbon embroidery and the 18th c gowns which in the 18th century embellishment was the thing.

My first thought of inspiration for this challenge was to check out my files and books on LaCroix. One of my favorite designers, his use of embellishment, fabric mixing and draping is unsurpassed. He, in my eyes, is a true genius in the fashion world.

Original inspiration design

Original inspiration design


00200m
Detail

Detail


My other thought is to also go through my historical books, especially ‘Historical Detail of the 17th and 18th Centuries’. Wow, the embroideries, trims and fabrics are amazing. Slowly, ideas start forming in my head, maybe mixing a little of my SRE with free motion machine embroidery appliques, 18th c fashion…… to the sketchbook!!!!
18c corset
18th c stomacher
Corset third quarter of 18th c
18thc gown


Oct 7th

Started gathering up fabrics today. I have some brocades, tapestry types and lace. Nothing is really coming together yet, not sure what I want to do the skirt in. So I decide to check out a couple fabric stores.
I only made it to one store and found a tan with light green, pink and light brown check heavy taffeta type fabric. I have some damask and other tapestry fabric that I think might blend with this. And my gold lace that I plan on doing applique with will look good too. Unless I decide to do the pink and gold lace I have. We’ll see after the base is done.

embroidered birds and butterflies maybe?

embroidered birds and butterflies maybe?


So I now have my preliminary fabrics, I start drafting a base pattern for my muse. For this challenge I decide to use Antoinette- I just got her after being preordered forever and soon discover her body is completely different than any of my other dolls. First step now is a basic sloper! I got that done tonight- so I think I will call it a night for now.


Oct 12 9am

I worked most of the weekend on the corset. The fit ended up a little smaller than anticipated but will still work I think. It depends on how much of a perfectionist I am going to be with this. I need to finish the bottom edge today and figure out how to put the sleeves in. Probably hand sewing which I hate to do. The silk ribbon embroidery though, turned out very nice. Overall I am liking the look so far. I wish I would have thought out the construction on this a little more, but when you do your own patterns it is always a trial and error. I just don’t have the time to spend on too much error. Like Tim Gunn says- “Make it work”!!!



Oct 12 6pm

The sleeves just aren’t working out. I didn’t think through construction and the armholes are too small to try to hand sew for it to even look presentable. I tried satin stitching around them-it is ok but not up to my standards. I’ll go forward with a mesh top underneath instead of just sleeves and work on the skirt. Hopefully I will have time to redo the corset. Maybe without straps this time.
first corset



Oct 14 9am

I managed to make a little top instead of sewing sleeves to the corset. It turned out very cute but something is still not right. I worked on the skirt most of yesterday and that isn’t turning out like I planned either. UGH!!! I hate when this happens but it can’t turn out perfect every time. I think the corset is throwing me off. Right now it looks too Ren Faire. I am going to work on a new one today and streamline it more. For one, make it strapless, and change the bottom of it. Maybe that will help. I should have just gone with a wedding dress- but I am sure someone is doing that. I mean, how perfect is a wedding gown for embellishment?



Oct 14 9:47pm

Worked on a new corset today. Got the whole thing done-SRE and beading. All I have to do tomorrow is the binding on the bottom.
I have also played around with skirt some more and now I think I will go short. It seems more playful especially for Antoinette. I kept looking at all my LaCroix files for skirts and I’m really liking his shorter fuller skirts. So I have a few ideas to play with. I also did a gold lace top- but I like the black with pink embroidery and to do black tights on her with the lighter muted pastel colors. I think it needs a sleep on it again. Ideas always come to me in the middle of the night. (Doesn’t provide very good sleep sometimes though.)

LoriLDetailExtra



Oct 18th 10:45 pm

Just sent my pics off. Whew! Again, sending them in at the last moment almost. Well, I ended up going short with the skirt and love the way the whole thing turned out. My daughter really likes it too-especially how I did her hair.
Hair styled
Hair back

I mean, I pretty much went all out on this-styled it to a T. Very LaCroix, I think. I spent all day making shoes- sculpted heels yesterday and made a mold. Casted two heels today and finished the black satin pumps because I pretty much have no shoes for Antoinette.
Shoes
She was pretty fun to design and sew for and very fun to photograph. I just wished she would stand a little better on her own. Now I am inspired to do some more things for her.
LoriLFront
LoriLExtra2
LoriLBack
LoriLExtra3

Now that this challenge is finished, I have the daughter’s Halloween costume to sew.
Wish me luck on the Challenge and the Halloween costume(on getting in finished in time!)




Oct 25 9am

The scores are in. I didn’t win or come in second. But I did come in third and am now in second place overall. Not bad. This next one is going to be tough- but the whole competition is pushing me to lengths I haven’t really gone before. I’m sure after this whole thing is finished I will have grown as a designer.
Well here is what the judges had to say:

Shane Theme: 4.5, Originality: 4.5, Creativity: 3, Construction: 5

I admit I struggled with this one a bit. I absolutely love the lines of the fashion and the embellishment is mostly fantastic. The ruching on the skirt and the delicate ribbon embroidery and beading on the corset send me. I think the embroidery on the blouse and the jeweled adornment on the corset go too far and become a distraction from an otherwise fantastic look. Finally I think I would like to see the corset and the skirt better tied to one another through a slightly higher level of matching or complimentary colors.

Diana & Janet: Theme: 4.5, Originality: 5, Creativity: 4, Construction: 4

Diana:

I was very taken with the overall effect of this outfit, and the imagination of bringing the pieces together. Great work on the corset.

Janet:

I think this is utterly beautiful, and I was enthralled in the detailing in the corset. My eye was slightly distracted by the uneven finish on the delicate neckline of the sheer top. A better finish here would have taken it over the top!

Judith: Theme: 5, Originality: 5, Creativity: 5, Construction: 5

Tremendous outfit, wonderful skirt. Something different with fabulous detail.
Lovely silhouette.

Magalie Dawson: Theme: 5, Originality: 4, Creativity: 4, Construction: 4

I must have spent the most time on this design trying to decide if the mismatch of the elements worked or not. At first look, I loved it, and after I thought that the plaid taffeta did not work. But finally I saw that the silk ribbons repeated the colors in the skirt, and the mesh top tied with the black tights. The embroidery work is exquisite. I love the asymmetrical look, just as if roses had bloomed there naturally. I would have liked the mesh top to be a little more finished, but I love it!

Total Score: 71.5

After reading the judges comments, I saw the finishing on the top in the pictures, but had submitted already before I noticed it. That is the problem with waiting till the last minute. I didn’t have the time and was too tired to really take in the details shown in pics. I also wondered if the judges would ‘get’ my design. Like I said before it was very LaCroix and not everyone gets Christian LaCroix with the mixing of patterns and stuff and his use of embellishments. Overall I was very happy with my design and I guess that is what counts.

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