I was slightly unhappy with Rachel's stringing, so I've already tightened the tension in her legs. However, her arms didn't seem to hold well at the shoulder joints, and her head tended to flop around more then it should. At first I thought it would be a case of more tightening, but on inspection the strings are already fairly tight.
So sueding it was then.
I've already sueded Xander's neck, shoulders and mobility joints. I used a proprietary self-adhesive moleskin, but I don't like it. It's too soft and smooth. I want more friction, but still with softness and padding. I wasn't sure what to use, but I have bags of soft kid leather, so I tested each side of some of this against the resin to see which sides slid better, and which sort of gripped better. The actual suede side seemed best for holding, so I took poor Rachel apart, once more, and sueded inside her neck, shoulders, and torso joints.
I used Aleene's tacky glue, which is recommended for BJD eyelashes because it won't react with the resin, and is easy to peel away at whatever point in the future one wishes to peel it away.
Pics of the work in progress:
Preparation and choosing the leather. I picked the thinnest, softest bits I could find, also in a fairly neutral colour. Be organised, and work slowly:
It's best to cut the suede to shape and hold it against where it's going to go before adding glue.
Also, use some fine tweezers to put the glued pieces of suede where you want them, pat them down firmly with your fingertips.
With white glue like Aleene's, it's easy to remove the suede it it's wrong, wipe the resin, re-glue the suede and have another go.
Be patient! I left mine for two or three hours before re-assembling Rachel.
They say you shouldn't have to take the doll apart to suede the joints, which is true for the self-adhesive stuff I used on Xander; but with using glue, I had to take Rachel apart because with my first attempt, the strings and the joints were mangling the bits of suede with the wet glue on them before they could dry.
The nice thing about this glue is that it dries nice and fast. I left her in bits while I played on the computer and started some more sewing; and when I put her back together, it had all been well worth the effort. I had been worried that the leather was thicker then the moleskin, but it was all okay, and the joints look neat. She doesn't slide and flop around like before. The sueded joints are nice and firm, especially the head/neck, which has been giving me the most frustration.
I'm going to do the same with Xander, which is way more scary, because he's strung differently and it looks daunting to take him apart, but once all the faff and fuss is over, both dolls will be lots more fun to pose. Maisie will be left alone, because she seems perfectly strung, and is so small she doesn't carry the weight of the two larger dolls... Although I might suede her head/neck joint.
My only concern after that, is that Rachel's right foot keeps slipping out of place, it's frustrating when trying to stand her up. I've noticed the moulding on the right lower ankle part has less of a lip on it, so it isn't keeping the foot in place so well. It could mean getting out the Dremel.... not that I have one. Figure of speech. But I may have to file it gently to enhance the lip.