On dolls and scales and magazines….

One of the focuses of my business is dollhouse miniatures… to answer the questions on scale.

1″ or 1/12 scale is the most common with tons of Yahoogroups for it and other online forums including Small Stuff Digest which is where I got my start… large international list for nothing but miniatures (not just 1″ scale though)

1/2″ or 1/24 scale is smaller and has gained popularity in the last couple of years. The reason for this is the 1″ scale people are running out of space for minis! This is a niche market that has a growing base. I’m not saying 1″ scale is on it’s way out just that 1/2″ is growing in popularity due to the main body of crafters being retired or *my* elders (I’m not yet 40) and on space and money budgets that are shrinking.

1/4 scale is also popular but I’m not up on it much but I can say it is extremely tiny … if you’ve ever seen the original 80’s Poly Pockets those come close to the correct scale or a Z scale train is right. This is a dollhouse scale for inside a 1″ scale dollhouse!

On the larger end of the scale is 1/6 scale which is Barbie and the number of adult collectors wishing there were more things for her that weren’t Barbie Pink has a huge base.

Then there is the Tonner and larger 15-18″ fashion dolls that would dearly love more items including houses and such for their dolls.

As for places to learn about miniatures or dolls….. There are many doll magazines:

  • Doll Magazine
  • American Miniaturist
  • Doll Crafter
  • Miniature Collector
  • Dolls
  • Doll Costuming

and a whole host of other magazines that deal with various subjects within the doll or miniature world.

I’ve been into dolls since 1988 when my mom started her doll business. I have been seriously into collector dolls and miniatures for about the last 8 years.

I should also add in something about reborn dolls, re-painted dolls and art dolls… there are lots of those out there too.Those who redo, repaint or sculpt their own dolls that need and use props… you might just have a niche in one of these categories.

New Doll….

PatternsI am incredibly excited… for the first time in over a year I bought myself a new doll. Having a red headed Gene standing here in her undies staring at me is slowly motivating me to dig out my closets again and play with patterns & fabric and slowly start putting things back online. My Advanced Discourse class is inspiring me to write again and I am updating all my blogs and may even tackle updating some small portions of my website as time allows.

Hopefully soon… very soon I’ll have a new outfit to show off… if not for a doll then for myself as I am really itching to sew and craft once more.

Tips & Tricks

Hints Tips & Tricks

Cutting:

Cut out paper patterns with white space and use scotch tape to hold the pieces down. Then use a rotary cutter to cut each piece on the single layer of fabric. This requires a little more work for reversing pieces and cutting enough of each piece but the accuracy of the rotary cutter is worth it for the effects for sewing.

Marking:

Use a pin to mark dart tips & ends and then use a water, air or chalk marker to mark where the pins are so that if the pins fall out before you can match them you still have the markings.

Construction:

Baste darts or any seam where the fabric might slip with simple pinning. Basting saves needles and your machine along with producing better results with seams. It allows you to ‘see’ the design come together and try it up to the doll for fitting and any adjustments you deem necessary. If the fabric is very fragile basting instead of pinning will leave fewer pin marks, which on some fabrics can be hard to get out.

As I learn more I’ll post further ideas and suggestions for sewing. I am by no means a beginner but I’ve just never really thought about writing out all my ideas and things I’ve discovered over the years.

New Patterns and New Lessons

As I work here in my little studio I’ve discovered a few things…. testing in ‘real fabric’ vs muslin is an OK thing to do at least for larger dolls. My reasoning behind this is that if a pattern doesn’t turn out just right for say Kitty the same pattern with minor modifications manages nicely to fit a smaller doll like Brenda Starr. Besides that the ‘goofs’ are perfect to give to my daughter to play with as she doesn’t mind imperfections in my work that usually go with a first run through a pattern as I draft and redraft and sew and re-sew a project.

It’s funny I start with a design for one doll and eventually I have the same design or a variation of it for 2 or more others as well. I just love designing and sewing for my dolls.

New Years Goals… notice not resolutions?

I plan on updating and posting to this site far more often especially on days when things are going right… on days when things go wrong I’ll probably post that to my Lessons Learned in Business blog (removed). In fact I plan on having several blogs about projects, different dolls and things learned about them like Ken… I have an old Ken (duplicate of one I had as a child), a newer Ken (again a duplicate of the Ken I had as a teen) and then there’s the Jude Deveraux Ken I just recently bought…there’s a lot of differences in the bodies… wouldn’t think it since hey it’s Ken and he’s not the big seller Barbie is! But hey I’ve got to learn about dolls by playing… errr working with them if I’m going to draft and dress them.

Anyway, my current goals now are to teach the 101 Mini Drafting class in early January. Teach 102 after the move (from an apt to hopefully a house at the end of January) in late February. Then start development and testing of my 103, 104, and 105 classes for March, April & May thus giving me time to develop part if not all of the 200, 201 and 202 classes for summer. Now with my brother getting married in June, my sister Graduating High School in June and my parent’s 30th wedding anniversary also in June the likelihood of my actually teaching in June is next to nill at this point so I’m looking at having the 200 series start in July.

Also on the drafting table for me is the various patterns for my column in Dolls Magazine. The first one is out and was a Fantasy dress & cloak pattern in 1” scale. The next….well it has a theme of “romance” and I already mentioned one of the dolls I did a pattern for earlier so I won’t spoil the surprise yet. I have more patterns for a baby and another lady along with a child that I’ll be doing which will take me all the way to the summer issue. Therefore, it’s one of the more important things to get accomplished.

Just that short list is a lot to get done by June so as I finish I’ll update. Keep an eye out!