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Middie Sewing Challenge: Update #1

Written on October 28, 2015 at 12:00 pm by Michelle
Filed under: Musings with tags: , , ,

It’s been a little while since I mentioned that I wanted to challenge myself to sew for my Middie dolls. I made the unfortunate challenge to myself that I would craft Kitty Brighton’s outfit by myself and that challenge didn’t go away when Lydia Melbourne joined the dolly family. I haven’t made a lot – unemployment and job searching takes a lot of time and effort, which really took away from my general crafting energy. However, I’ve found my crafting mojo and I put my sights on creating this for my dolls:

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It seemed simple enough and I could figure out the steps by looking at the diagrams. If you’re stuck on directions, one great thing about the Google Translate app is that you can take a photo and then select the text to have it translated. You do have to keep in mind that Google Translate will translate text very directly and literally, so the translation might not make complete sense. But if you just need a general hint or push in the right direction, it might work out for you! It works better on printed text than handwritten text in terms of recognizing words.

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Some things I noted – the body of the coat is a bit tight when Lydia is wearing a knit dress (it may be due to the thickness) and the sleeves are just a touch too long. The pattern gives fairly generous seam allowances and I did them a bit smaller than the pattern called for, and any little bit extra in length is obvious when it comes to tiny doll clothing. But still, it is fairly cute! I still need to add button holes and beads for buttons, but I’m really pleased with it!

I hand sewed this felt coat. From start to finish (start being tracing the pattern onto a separate piece of paper), it took approximately 2 episodes of Gilmore Girls (approximately 85 minutes). I’m definitely going to make the Blythe-sized version of this, I think it’d be cute as a winter ‘wool’ peacoat!

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The pattern book I’m using is often referred to, in English, as the Hand-Sewn Doll Coordinate Recipe. I used the Google Translate photo option and it translated the text as “Hand-Stitched”, which is fairly close to Hand-Sewn – you’ll get more search results with Hand-Sewn over Hand-Stitched if you want to get your hands on the same book! The Hand-Sewn DCR has seven basic patterns for each doll size (Middies are the 20cm size, Blythe wear the 22cm size): dress, top, pants/shorts, skirt, romper, coat, and cape. There are photograph tutorials on pattern usage, it’s quite handy and easy to understand with just the photographs. It is very beginner-friendly! There are also some accessories patterns like head kerchiefs, hats, eye masks, bags, and socks.

Lydia Melbourne’s wearing: knit dress (chelleshocks), coat (chelleshocks).

A Wardrobe for Kitty & Lydia: Progress Update #2

Written on May 15, 2015 at 12:00 pm by Michelle
Filed under: Article with tags: , , ,

Originally when I started the challenge of hand crafting a Middie-sized wardrobe, I only had one Middie – a stock Jackie Ramone by the name of Kitty Brighton. (For those curious, Kitty is for the Pride and Prejudice sister, Brighton for the town that I’ve never been to). And then a darling Yellow Marshmallow came into my life with a flair – she also came into my life naked – and I named her Lydia Melbourne (Lydia for yet another Bennet sister, and Melbourne for yet another place that I have never been to).

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But I have been making things lately! I recently made two cute little empire-waisted knit dresses (still a bit short, I really need to learn to carry a doll around to measure to make sure it isn’t too short before I finish it off!) and a knit top (that was meant to be a dress but was definitely too short!).

I’m still crafting away when I can. I’m thinking of making some little Middie-sized knitted rompers next, just in time for the summer weather. Hopefully the next time I will have many more new additions to share!

A Beginner’s Guide: Middie Blythe

Written on November 12, 2014 at 12:00 pm by Michelle
Filed under: Article with tags: ,

Middie, the middle sister in the Blythe family. Firmly stuck between the long-standing Neo-sized Blythe and the little Petite, what is there to say about Middie? For one thing, she is a significantly different size than both of her sisters, which demands an individualized wardrobe, and shoe collection (even though stock Takara Middie boots will fit both Neo and Middie just fine).

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Middie splashed out into the Blythe scene in 2010, with Macaron Q-Tea Party. I remember thinking that she didn’t look that different in sizing, at least until I saw a photo of a Middie next to a Blythe. And even then, she seemed a lot closer in size until I saw a Middie in person (finally!).

The sizing makes Middie tricky to dress because she is so much skinnier and shorter than Blythe is. Like the Neos, Middies have been faked on the online market, but she is still easy to find via legitimate doll-buying channels (such as Junie Moon and CC-Toys). When in doubt of the legitimacy of a doll online – always ask questions. I find that it’s easier to find truthful sellers in the collectors’ community than with eBay shops, but for the most part you can compare the photos of the dolls with official release promotional photos, especially if you are buying a stock Middie doll. If you’re buying a custom doll, be sure to ask questions if you want to know what the base doll was – the customizer should be able to tell you. Despite the fakes and the sizing issue, the nice thing about Middie is that she does fit Kelly shoes, and other similar-sized Barbie little sisters – the unfortunate thing is that once people in the Blythe community discovered this fact, the prices of Kelly shoes did raise on eBay. Click to read more of this entry.

A Wardrobe for Kitty Brighton: Progress Update #1

Written on October 17, 2014 at 1:00 pm by Michelle
Filed under: Article with tags: , , , ,

So this going to be an incredibly embarrassing post. You remember way back when I challenged myself to work on a wardrobe for my Middie Blythe doll, Kitty Brighton? (If you don’t, it was back in April…) Back then, this is all Brighton had for clothes (and shoes):

Jogging some memories now, I bet! I told myself that I would make her wardrobe by myself. So no buying things, except for shoes. And what have I managed to get done from April until now?

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Two nearly identical dresses. Both knitted.

I’m a bad dolly owner, poor thing should really go into Dolly Protective Services. Hopefully the next update will be better, and she’ll have more than dresses to wear. Or at least another dress to wear. I’m so bad at this! Hopefully the next update in a couple of months will be a lot more fruitful for her.

Why I Only Have One Middie

Written on September 3, 2014 at 12:00 pm by Michelle
Filed under: Musings with tags:

Sometimes I muse about getting another Middie Blythe. After all, if having one Middie is awesome, having two must be even more awesome, right? And then I think about it some more, and change my mind.

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There are stock Middies that I am interested in (a certain Marshmallow one comes to mind), but I haven’t pulled the figurative trigger on that yet because I’m just not a good Middie owner. Realistically, I am fully aware that Middies are just dolls. Dolls don’t have real feelings and don’t feel temperature by wearing a sweater in the summer and aren’t aware when I leave them in the same outfit for like half a year. I get that. But at the same time, having a doll that just hangs out that I don’t really play with makes me feel like I’m cluttering up my living space.

That and I really don’t have many clothes that are Middie-sized, so it does make me reluctant to continue to add to the Middie part of my doll collection because I just don’t have the clothes (or the shoes!) for them. Yes, I do have some Middie-sized shoes but I don’t have nearly as many as I do in Blythe-sized. And as much of an effort as I had put into amassing the Blythe collection, I don’t fancy doing the same for Middie when it comes to just… things. I think that’s one of the reasons why I decided to hand craft my Middie’s wardrobe – I want to be inspired and creative when it comes to Blythe (and the other sizes of dolls). This mindset didn’t last very long because I do go through periods where I just don’t do much with my dolls aside from picking out, redressing her, and taking her to a meet. And then she’ll stay in that outfit until the next time that she happens to attend a meet.

This is one of the reasons why I think photo challenges like 365 are great for people who want to become more creative and take more photos. But alas, that is just not in the cards for me at this time. And my only Middie girl will continue to be the only Middie for a while long… If only because I don’t need another reminder that I don’t make enough things for the dolls around here.

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