DONE! But only just begun

I did it. I dove in and did it. It was hard. It was easy. I learned lots but I have lots more  to learn.

I followed the free tutorials on blytheverafter.com and then I consulted some youtube vidoes when the instructions on blytheverafter.com  didn’t seem quite enough.  I began writing down the steps in simplified form as I did them, so that I  would have a path to follow back home again.

  1. remove the 3 screws from back of head and and place in a container and label-(important- especially if you are prone to losing things easily)
  2. remove plastic pull from string and place with the screws
  3. place doll on her side on a padded surface(folded bath towel works nicely), and with palm of hand (yours, not hers) apply pressure to side of her head at about the temple.  Head should pop open at least at the jaw line.
  4. At this point either the back plate falls off easily or you will need to have an object inserted into the crack in between the front face plate  and back of head plate and ‘help it’ to seperate.  Mine fell apart easily. Yea!
  5. BEFORE pulling back plate off, reach in with jewelry pliers or a crochet hook and remove the tiny spring thats wrapped around the bar in the center of the rectangular slot in the back of the head.
  6. Once the back plate is off, ONLY LOOSEN the screw inside the head that holds the face plate to top of the skull.  Once you are able to pull the scalp off,( and put in a safe place with the screws that you removed), then tighten the head plate screw back up a notch and leave it attached to the face place.  ( It’s just easier, one less thing to loose.)
  7. Put the doll body with the scalp and screws for safe keeping.
  8. Remove  the screw that holds the little plastic t-bar against the eye- mechanism and put them both with the other screws.

It was here that I got way too involved in the learning process to record any more.

I had to separate the eye-eylid unit mechanism.  I used a blow drier as recommended to warm up the plastic and help it to bend and not break as I applied some pressure to the side of the head to pull it out and then the blow dryer trick to heat up then   separate the eyes from the eyelids.

My best suggestion:  WATCH SOME VIDEOS ABOUT THOSE TWO ITEMS ABOVE! It will give you confidence and help to avoid breaking  your dollies poor head.

Once the doll was apart. I put the “Don’t lose these” parts in a box and away on a shelf.

And I spent the next 4 hours, sanding and carving. I sanded the backplace, the eyelids and the front plate, just as the video described. It would definitly not take me this long in the future.  Most of that time was spent repeating the same process over and over. Sand, carve, sand, carve, sand, carve.

When I first began carving the lips, I was tired, and I lost my focus just a little.  I didn’t put a piece of painters tape right down the center of her face to help me keep her mouth straight.  And I didn’t mark out with a pencil the bacis shape of the mouth I was trying to accomplish.  About an hour into the carving I could see that the bottom lip was somewhat askew.  Not good.  I got up and walked away for a while.

Yep, just got up and walked away.  When I was sure I understood what I’d done and exactly what action I needed to take.  That is, what need to be carved where in order to set things straight again. I sat down and began to carve again.

So I carved, straightened out the lip alignment- sanded.  It seemed I sanded my definition of the lips away…. I carved more definition. I sanded. Again, poof, the definition seemed to disappear.  I went back and watched a few more videos on youtube on carving.  Went back one more time and carved again and this time I didn’t sand as vigorously.

I got a little nervous there at the end because I’d read of others first attempts and how they carved so much that they carved right through the face and then had a hole in their dolls face.  Ruined!

Following all the steps, I started a make up job.  Here I definitely could use some practice. You would think any women 50+ years would know how to apply makeup but…. My little Moonshine has a lot of makeup on her face.  A lot of pink and marroon and burgandy.   It  is a warm and cheery glow- just like her name- Moonshine. There’s more- I painted a pair of eye chips- real ones.  I loved them , they are green and gold.  Then I added paint to her original chips( someone else suggested this, its not my idea).  And it really didn’t change them much.  It made them a bit darker. Then I pulled out her eyelashes and put her back together, which went just like clockwork.  Easy-peasy.

No Sooner did I give Moonshine a new face, but I let her pose for New dresses for my etsy shop DeltaDawnBoutique@esty.com.

2nd Customization coming soon and I vow to take more step by step pictures next time!

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.

 

 

 

WELCOME SEACILLIA

More SEWING! I really am going to get around to Customizing my little Blythes, but with SeaCillia, (thats pronounced Sea-cillia), just arriving yesterday and in need of a rest after her long ordeal, (40 days from order to delivery!), to say nothing about needing some clothes. We’ve made about 15 dresses so far. Anyway, we sewed AND I also watched tutorial slides from http://www.blytheverafter.com. and downloaded thier instrutions.

****Evidently Blytheverafter.com is the go to site for learning how to customize your first doll. They are meticulous in the directions, which are free at the site. That, along with watching youtube videos is helping to prepare me, hopefully, to make a success of my very first doll.

I have to admit I was feeling a little overwhelmed today after watching the videos. So many ways I could screw up, and so little time. But, after feeling like – What the heck was I thinking!! for a while, I finally calmed down and decided that the only way to eat an elephant is one bite at a time. So, I’m going to let what I watched sink in a little bit and come Monday, I will approach the project, one baby step at a time.

I WILL
… open up the doll without breaking it,
Take out the eye mechanism, and not lose the screws
Sand her face AND
Carve her face AND
Sand her face AND
Sand her face some more.
I WILL, Apply Mr. Super Clean Matte spray WHEN ( AND ONLY WHEN)
THE SANDING IS PERFECT.
I WILL paint her face, in layers,
with coats of Mr. Super Clean Matte spray in between layers.
all while using caution and a mask and gloves to protect myself from cancer causing fumes and plastic.
and
I WILL accomplish it.
I can do this.

And If you really want to- so can you.

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.

 

LOVE AT FIRST BLYTHE!

  • Oh, MY! I’m hooked.  I’ve been waiting now since  February 13th(the date I ordered the first doll).  And today is March 20th. Funny thing though, the one that arrived is the one I ordered on March 2nd. = So She only took 18 days from order to arrival. The first one I ordered still has not arrived although it’s tracking says that it is now in the country. And to add to the mystery.  They were both ordered from Blythe Homes on Aliexpress, and both the same price of $50.

So here she is, in all her Moonlit Glory- she came with a name tag that says Moonlight. But I keep calling her Moonshine instead. I’m afraid she’s stuck with Moonshine. I’m really hard to train.

I chose some fabrics to make her dresses. For now she’s in a house frock, and looking as if she’s feeling all shy and out of place, though I’m trying to make her as comfortable as I can.

I’m wondering if she’s heard that she came to this country not only for adoption but also for an operation, i.e. that I was planning on changing her smile? And  I wonder if she  also knows that she looks so great just the way she is that it’s going to be way beyond hard to even think of changing her. Maybe when the next girl arrives I’ll feel differently.  Wow! Who knew?  I certainly never thought that I could like a doll this much. Is this what crazy feels like?

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.