The Importance of MSC in Customizing A Blythe

I mentioned in an earlier post that I probably wouldn’t use the Mr.Super Clear Matte sealer again because of its extreme nastiness and health warnings.  Well, I’ve done an about face on that.  After I finished the original can that I had bought ( it was able to do 3 dolls) at a cost of about $20 if I remember – bought on eBay and took weeks to arrive, I decided to try a matte acrylic spray readily available at Joanne and/or other craft supply places in America .  I tried 3 different clear matte sealer sprays.  Not one of them came close to the look of Mr. Super Clear.  The picture above you can see the difference.  The face plate on the left is NOT MSC and has a wet shiny appearance which detracts greatly in photographing a Blythe. So I’m resolved to using  MSC. However,  I have now bought the more expensive $30 mask for spraying , which is only done outside in the open garage.

Blythe Adoption

Blythe adoption

My first customized Blythe to be adopted has found her new home!  Thankfully she was adopted by a dear friend of mine so visits can be arranged. It’s amazing how attached one can become after spending hours and days creating a Custom Blythe. Little SeaCillia looks like she’s up for the adventure doesn’t she?

I hand delivered her and we took her to a concert and to Galveston to mark the occasion.  (Picture above).Now it’s back  home to start work on my girl with little blond corkscrew curls.

Blythe Faces

I’ve been looking at a lot of faces. Blythe faces of course. Makeup, eyes, lips, chins, nose. There are so many different expressions I’m finding it very hard to decide what direction I want to do next. That is, what kind of expression or emotion do I want my next doll to portray?  Part of me is going- well, which one will sell the best? And another part is saying, I could never guess what someone else might want, so I should just choose what I really like and hope there is someone out there with the same tastes as me.  And then there’s the part of me that wants to keep every single doll, so I’m hoping no one else but me likes them.

Where do I look for Blythe faces?  Pinterest is a great one. And then Etsy also has many styles to spark the imagination as well.

In the sewing department, I finished two more dresses. Both are gathered ruffly items.

Still need to add some sparkly purlple trim to the lavender dress. The white/pink dress is already in my etsy shop in DeltaDawnBoutique

I’m mystified at the wide range in pricing for Blythe Doll clothes.  I saw many as low as $10 a dress, one even as low as $5 a dress, and then some as high as $175!?  Now I understand that  making a simple shift out of cotton isn’t going to take up  near the time or the expense of say a handmade dress out of silk- but $170 difference?  Then there were alot of dresses in  the $20 range and quite a few more than I expected to find in  the $35- $50 range.  I need to decide what is required to charge (and get) $50 for a dress or an outfit for Blythe. Here’s what I’ve noticed.

1-  I’ve seen “vintage” thrown around alot, as in ‘this dress has vintage lace or vintage silk’ on it.  – okay- shop D.I. for old wedding dresses?

2- Some of the very expensive ones actually do look like they took a lot of time and are almost a work of art because of the way the artist has pulled together, fabric, trims, lace and beads to create something kind to the eyes. – So, think less of making a half dozen of one dress or another, but just make one, one that is over the top special.

3. Part of selling dresses on etsy though  is making a name for oneself. Either by selling and getting good reviews or posting your creations in a public forum. like … Flickr?  Maybe I should check that out.

So, my  plan is to get busy and explore some elaborate designs that I would like to see done , and do them. Then, post them on public forums like flickr, or pinterest or facebook.

 

 

Eleven Blythes!?!

I’m not sure how it happened but all of a sudden I’m up to 11 Blythes! Only 2 have arrived but I have 9 more on order.  When they all arrive I will have:

Two Blythes  with pink hair, one long hair , and one short

Three Blythes with red hair, one short, one long hair with bangs and one with curly pigtail braids.

One Blythe with short curly blond hair.

Two Blythes with short, wavy, darkest purple hair.

One Blythe, a Brunette with short hair

And a golden hair Middie Blythe.

OH!, And one With Flaming Orangy Red haired Blythe with a tan.

I really must begin to customize at least one of them.  That’s why I orginally bought one, Right? To cusomize and then sell them?   I lay awake half the night wondering which one I could possibly bring myself to give up? And the rest of the night I wonder If I’m really going to be as good at this as I think I am.  After spending about $500 in dolls over the past month I better be. Wow- $500?! ?  Yep.  It’s  Time to Start customizing!

In the meantime, I’m still sewing. I listed the first six dresses in my etsy store DeltaDawnBoutique, today. I offered them at ridiculously  low, low,  looooow introductory prices, just because there is a lot of competition on etsy and if people don’t try the cookies they will never know how good they are- or  be able to write  a review of how very good they are.  And why??  So I can sell more cookies, of course.

 

 

 

Day One- Let’s Sew

I’ve had quite the education and then some in sewing for Blythe in the last day and a half.

Here’s what I learned so far.  – Actually, even before I begin, let me say this. Although it is true what you may have heard, Blythe does fit the old skipper patterns,   be advised that after making just 2 items, I began looking for other options. They fit but they were too primitive, not enough style.

You see,

1.- Not all patterns are equal.  You have to know what you want. If you want something simple and basic and not really much style- then those old Skipper patterns put out by the big pattern maker’s whose patterns you will find at all the fabric stores, will do just fine.  If you wanting something more detailed, with set in sleeves or cuffs,  and tucks, and collars and pizzazz, well…. Those patterns aren’t going to get you there.  And that is one reason most people are drawn to Blythe in the first place is because of  the fantasic wardrobe that she seems to crave. If that is what you want too, then I would suggest checking out the Dolly Dolly Japanese downloads.  These are my #1 favorite patterns that I’ve found so far.  I found them on etsy. They are called by a couple differnt names but if you search for Dolly dolly pattern books on etsy, they will come up. Each big book has several innovative fashions for blythe(as well as several other poplar dolls).  They run from about $3.80 to $6 for each book, or pdf file download which has quite a few patterns, with about 120 pages in each download. Although they are all in Japanese, they have pictured illustrations and arrows telling you the order of sewing, as well as the patterns which are very easy to print off. So, for a dress pattern, they will be a  picture of a dress and it will point to the lace attached to the ruffle at the bottom of the dress  and name it (1) indicating to sew that on first then point to the seam between the ruffle and the skirt of the dress and name it (2), indicating to do that next and so on.  You would simply have to “know” that before sewing on the ruffle you would need to ‘gather’ the edge of the ruffle. The items that I made so far turned out lovely and fit wonderfully.  You WOULD need some prior knowledge of sewing garments and know what a sleeve and a bodice looked like in a pattern and generally how they are put together to use these.   The seams in their patterns do NOT appear to be quite 1/4 inch, so if you are uncomfortable with that then  you will need to add a bit when copying them or cutting objects out. And most  of the time it does not appear that they line the garments, or enclose seams, or have facings, so if that is more your style, you will need to modify that as well.  But as far as variety of style and design- these patterns are WONDERFUL!  I love them.

2. I spent the entire day trying to recreate a peasant style, elastic neckline, puffed sleeve, and elastic empire wasted-dress from the 70’s era. Five tries. All with some little error, making them unusable. Very frustrating. I started with the basic pattern for the dress(not from the ebooks referred to above) ,  but one of the ‘major’ pattern makers. One of the biggest obsticals to my tries was the elastic. Cord Elastic  was not a good choice as far as making the gathers look nice and even and sewing in the cord at the ends was a nightmare as the cord elastic kept rolling. Several times it popped away from the sewing and then I was fishing for the elastic end in the seam and not being able to retrieve it.  So I tried thinnner round elastic. It broke.  I tried several strands of thinner elastic together. It still broke. The material I was using wouldn’t gather nicely around the neck and sleeves, it was too stiff.  I became impatient.  The minute this happens, my machine thread  always breaks. Every time. I finally discovered that the cord elastic just wasn’t working- so I went to the store and got the 1/8 size braided elastic. It worked like a charm.  Could have saved me at least some of the heart ache today if I’d have figured that out sooner.  That and a proper tool for pulling elastic through casings. (Mine was broke and kept snagging on the inside of the casing causing more impatience.)

So, the right pattern, the right materials, the right tools- all very important.

After 5 attemps and not one dress that fits the way I wanted it too, I put it on the back shelf and tried one of the cute patterns from the Dolly dolly pdf files. It was a baby doll top with  a bra style bodice and spagetti straps and bloomerish shorts. I made mine as pj’s although one’s choice of fabric and lace and whether or not one puts elastic in the hem of the shorts would change the look considerably.

Exhausted, but I learned alot today and had a great time doing it. But it’s already tomorrow(past midnight) and sleep I must.

 

Bliss-fully Waiting Still

This is Not a Blythe Doll.
This is a Blyss Doll.
We are not so patiently waiting on Blythe.

Two more days have passed by and still no Blythe.  When the shop said free shipping I didn’t realize that they were going to make the poor girls swim here!

 

IT ALL TAKES TIMES….

If I’m recording this journey  I guess that the first thing to note is: It takes time. I ordered all three of my dolls from Ali- Express, with estimated delivery times of 19 – 39 days.

IT TAKES MONEY…..

Ali-express was the least expensive option I could find. I am paying $50 a piece for two of the dolls,which includes shipping charges. And $35 for the last doll I ordered, which also includes shipping charges. These dolls are advertized as ‘nude’ dolls, Brand name ICY, which is a Blythe knockoff. From what I can gather on other, older, Blythe Blogs, there has been plenty of discussion among Blythe enthusiasts in years past about the copycat dolls.  For my money tho, it is a no-brainer. I’m buying this doll as a creative project.  The doll itself is a canvas. And a canvas/clone at $35 or $50 will suit me much better than one at $200-300 which is the going price on ebay for a geniune, in the box, Takara Brand Blythe doll.

Shopping – I looked at Amazon, Ebay, and Aliexpress.  They had similar prices, free shipping, and delivery time estimates.  I chose to shop through aliexpress because there were so many more choices and reviews than on the other two sites. The listings in Amazon often said “Be the first to review this”.  Uh-no.  That’s just not something I want to be the first in, especially when waiting a month to recieve the product.   The copy-cat ICY dolls are often pictured with clothes in their profile pictures,  but  the sellers clearly state that the dolls are sold nude.  One can also choose a  body type, either fully-jointed or only partially jointed, with fully-jointed being a few dollars extra. I opted for a fully-jointed body for all three dolls.  I didn’t notice until AFTER I ordered my first doll that there was also a ‘boy’ type jointed-body option(i.e. boobless), which is what  I accidently ordered. I’m supposing I’ll just make her a flat-chested teenage girl.  I also noted that most of the reviews stated that when they received their dolls they were pleasantly suprised to find ‘extra goodies’ with them, such as clothing, shoes, stands etc. Maybe this takes some of the pain out of the long wait.   I’m anxious to see what little extra goodies my dollies arrive with!

A bit more on shopping –Two  of the dolls I ordered are from Blythe Homes on Ali-express. This shop has good reviews with some of the reviewers even posting pictures, and the shop has a 99% positive feedback score. The last doll I bought comes from  Fairytale Town Store on Aliexpress.  Her mouth looks slightly different in her profile picture than the other two I ordered, and the shape of her eyes didn’t look exactly the same, along with her face appearing shinier.  But the shop has a 98.9% positive feedback, she had the short purple hair that I was looking for, along with happy customer reviewer and pics,  so I took the plunge and ordered her also.

So – here is what I am waiting for………

First doll, Short Brown Hair, flat chest- was ordered Feb 13- Today makes 23 days.

Second Doll, Floor Length Pink Hair- was ordered Mar 3- Today is only 5 days.

Third Doll, Short Purple Hair,  was only ordered on Mar 6 –  it’s only  been 2 day.

I know from reading the reviews that a month is the typical wait to for receiveing one’s order but that doesn’t stop me from hoping they will arrive sooner!!

While I wait-  In the meantime,  I’ve been experimenting with a mini Blythe-inspired polymer clay doll of my own.

I call her Blyss.  Aly Blyss.