raccoons_rags: (crochet)
2013-03-10 12:12 am

A new harbour

The good ship Raccoon has moved from Dreamwidth to Blogspot - May God bless all who sail in us...

New blog here:

And here is my Flickr, which has managed to remain consistent thus far...



raccoons_rags: (got soul)
2012-11-29 01:11 am

Long sleeved tee

I made the first teeshirt/sweater for Caleb.  It looks okay on him, but is very tight at the underarms.  I need to make the armholes bigger, and widen the sleeves a the tops.    the sleeves are also looser than I wanted going down the arm to the wrists, so I’ll need to alter it a fair bit.

Bad photos, but the light is poor and my hands are a bit shaky.   I'll amend the pattern and have another go.  Manana.
raccoons_rags: (got soul)
2012-11-26 01:23 am

Working on it...

So after some serious attention paid to Hunoi, I'm finally in love with him.  I sueded him with hot glue so his joints pose a bit better, he's still tricksy to stand up in bare feet, but he stands perfectly in his boots.  I put his original eyes back in, and I noticed they're a bit crappy and not quite identical, so that might explain why I can't get his eyes to stop looking squiffy.   I'll try some others in a bit.

I bought some Gracefaeire patterns to try and make him some pants.  But the patterns I bought were not quite in his size, and rather than adapt someone else's work, I went back to my own work, and adapted a pair of jeans I fully designed and made for my JID Xander.  It didn't take much tweaking and the first pair were fine, but I wanted them skinnier, so this pair is my second attempt, I'm pretty happy with them, and can't get them any skinnier without using stretch denim, otherwise they won't go over his feet.

They are just very basic denim pants at the mo.  But I shall jeans-ify them now I have a good basic pattern.  I quite like the idea of making denim cargo pants, but those little pockets are so darn fiddly.  We'll see what mood I'm in next time I sew.

Front - I like them tucked in his Docs:

Back - nice shape over his butt:

In fact his tush looks dead cute in these:

He can even sit down in them:

Aaaaand it was at this point I got sidetracked by taking loads of more intimate shots of my boy.

Er, yah.  I think it's safe to say I'm now smitten.


raccoons_rags: (got soul)
2012-11-21 09:51 pm

New dolls

I'm not posting this box opening on DOA, because to be really honest? I felt a little disappointed in my two new Soul Doll Soulkids who arrived today.  That notwithstanding I took some shots for posterity.

Obligatory box shot:

The inner packaging is rather sumptuous.  Souldoll include a random wig per doll, and because mine were delayed, I got two free pairs of eyes.  Katie will get those because she is my favourite and is spoiled.

Here's Hunoi (I will be calling him Caleb)   I have three reasons for being disappointed.  One, the sandy brown skintone is much paler than I was expecting.  I imagine it's similar to the Peach gold that Iplehouse produce, I was hoping it would be closer to their Special Real Skin, or even Luts Real Skin Brown, buuut it's pale.  I'm SO glad I didn't order the normal skintone.  that would have been even paler.

Two,The NL body is a bit disappointing. It's not actually that poseable.  Not in a standing position anyway. The legs are strung in an odd way that gives them little directional movement.  I can get my Luts KDF into some great poses, but not these guys. In fact it's hard to get them to stand up at all without shoes.  they are very wobbly and fall over far too easily.   The hands and feet have limited movement too. 

Three, the eyes don't seem to fit very snugly against the open part of the eye.  not as well as my IH dolls or my Luts girl.

Overall, the dolls are leggy, willowy and beautiful, but it feels like Soul Doll have sacrificed functionality for that beauty.

Here's Hunoi:

I wasn't do keen on the default eyes so I changed them to golden hazel ones.  The wig he came with is lovely, but not what I had in mind, so I stole the one that Rachel was wearing and put it on him.  I love the colour on him, and the eyes.

Not to be outdone, Rachel claimed his wig, and it does look great on her - in fact there's not a single wig I've put on her that doesn't suit her,  I SWEAR, this girl could put a tea-cosy on her head and she'd look awesome.

Next, Arina.   (I think I'll call her Leah)   Same problems witht he posing and the standing.  Also, I'm not sure about the sculpt in real life. I hope it grows on me.  I keep looking at the Arina pictures on the Soul doll website, and the face-up just does NOT look like the one I've been given.  The lipstick is a cheap nasty red and I don't like the red blush either.  The eyes look too small because they haven't been shaded as nicely as the doll images on the site.  I would save and get her a beret face-up, but to be honest, I don't want to spend tons of money on a doll I might still not like. *Le sigh*

Otherwise, I'll be way too tempted to just put Caleb's/Hunoi's head on her body....

Here she is bald. Her eyes are squiffy and I need to adjust them or change them, but I'll do that tomorrow once I've tried bonding with her a bit.  I like the shot here with Caleb in the background.  They're both going to be brother and sister, they just wouldn’t fit in as relatives of my other dolliehs:

And I dressed her in an outfit I made specially for her.  I liked the white outfits the original limited pair were sold in, so I might just make them a load of white clothes.   I want angel wings for Caleb too.

I'm not so keen on this wig. It's one of the random ones Souldoll sent with the doll, and frankly it's a bit tatty.  I’ll have to overhaul it. 

I'm going to try hard to bond with these dolls, but I won't be buying any more from Soul Doll.   I'm going to indulge my love of KDF's and get Katie some little friends.  

raccoons_rags: (Default)
2012-11-19 07:11 pm

Mad about the girl

I love Kid Delfs. I just love 'em.   Don't get me wrong, I love my Iplehouse dolls too, but three's something about Katie that I just adore.  she's fun to pose, fun to sew for and I haven't put a wig on her yet that doesn't look good.

Heh. That might be because I'm picky about wigs, but I just can't get enough of my KDF.  I want more.  I want Lemon and Darae, and maybe even a boy, like Bory or Yuz. 


I'm also far more excited than a 47 year old woman should be because my new soulkids (Hunoi and Arina) have cleared UK customs.  Yay.  I hope I like them as much.    I wish Iplehouse dolls had slimmer bodies too, I'd buy a ton of them.   As it is I'm still tempted by the newish JID  Kassia, complete with small bust and freckles. 

Here's my lil' poser Katie in a dress I've yet to finish.  It's in vintage broderie anglaise lawn - and it's for my Arina when she arrives, if it fits her.  Katie and me both kinda hope it doesn't.   I'll be making gloves and stocking to go with it but the fabric is still in the post.  I have nothing to sew atm and I'm bored so I reeled off a lot of shots for something to do.

I've also been spending far too much money on new wigs and shoes for my dolls lately, I'm supposed to be saving for a minifee and can't decide which sculpt to get, Mirwen or Shushu.  Mirwen is so beautiful but her eyebrows bug me and I won't get a feceup done by anybody who isn't UK based or Ill get scalped for customs charges.  Shushu has a more interesting and still lovely face, but I’m not so keen on the default facup for her either.

Oh well.  I'll make up my mind once I've saved the pennies and now I've babbled, so here's Katie: (More of her on my Flickr)

I don'[t have any good props or nice backdrops for photos, so I tend to just try to take nice clear shots of my dolliehs looking like dolliehs, ie gracing my desk or perched on my teeny sewing machine.

Photobucket is shite now they've changed it.  It takes several clicks to get the damn photo link.



raccoons_rags: (Default)
2012-11-11 01:03 am

'Nother shabby frock.

Haven't been too well, so not much to say for myself really.  so here's a couple of pictures of my latest completed MSD outfit, modelled as always by the delectable Katie.   The fabric is my own design from Spoonflower, and was developed from a scan of a collage I did on canvas.

And a close up of the stripey stockings.  These are long, they go all the way up the legs.  Tights proved problematic because different dolls have different leg lengths and bum sizes, so one size wouldn't fit all if I made tights and I want these outfits to fit as many different dolls as poss.


raccoons_rags: (Rachel)
2012-11-02 10:11 pm

Family portraits

I hardly ever have all my dolls dressed up in decent stuff at once, so I took the opportunity to photograph the Sudbrook sibs.  Well, that's the name of the village I live in, and I lack imagination to come up with a decent surname for them.  I'm certainly not using mine.

From left to right
Xander (JID Ryan)
Katie (KDF Apple)
Rachel (JID Tania)
Maisie (BID Serca)
(and Humbug the panda)

I'm still waiting for my two Soulkids to arrive. Sigh. I might have to ask Soul Doll what's going on.


raccoons_rags: (Default)
2012-11-01 09:32 pm

'Nother frock.

I have some more Spoonflower fabric to use up on slim MSD's  so here's Katie modelling my handwriting collage fabric.  It's my own writing with an art pen and flower stencils that I cut myself and scanned into my computer, then I made Gimp brushes out of them.  I really like this, I might reduce the scale a bit next time though.

Also - a simple project like making stockings and long gloves might seem simple. But I had to make three pairs of gloves and FOUR pairs of stocking before I got the pattern right.  Le sigh.   But the end result is nice.

KDF hands are rather big, so the gloves have to be made a bit loose just to get them over the fingers.  I'll try these on my JID's too. One pattern that fits all is always a good thing.

I finished up with a white lawn petticoat.  the waist is waiting fro some trim, as is the precious dress I made.  I had to order some ribbon so when that gets here I can put my new dolly ensemble on Etsy :)


raccoons_rags: (Katie)
2012-10-26 06:38 pm

Neglect. Eeep. Have some Katie.

I have SO been neglecting my bod lately.  I've been posting most of my pictures to my Flickr but I shouldn't let this slide too much.

Any old how,  I've been pretty unwell lately but have been doing a bit of sewing.  I had an Etsy sale go bad on me recently and it feels like it's sucked all the fun out of selling my outfits.  So I'll make some for my own poor naked dollies and if they turn out beautifully and I fel like it, I'll list them for sale.

I made this dress for my newest dollieh, a Luts KDF (Apple sculpt) who I've named Katie.  It's entirely my own pattern, one which I made for my Ellowyne dolls.  Ell stuff seems to fit KDF perfectly. I'm so pleased I don't have to redraft a load of patterns.  I adore Katie, and now I want a bunch of KDF's.  Her wig is new too, so soft and lovely.

The fabric is a cotton voile from Spoonflower.  The print is my own design, and I'm happy with how it looks. Nice and ethnic, I love the skirt on this and would actually wear it myself if I had a Raccoon-sized one.

And this is an Ell factory top, along with a denim bakerboy hat I designed and made - also for Ell. 

Some flared jeans I designed and made for Ell look great on Katie as well:

I have three more fat quarters of my own special prints from spoonflower, I think Katie might end up getting all of them as dresses.

raccoons_rags: (Maisie)
2012-09-11 11:53 pm

BID dresses

I've been on a roll with these little dresses.  compared with the Ell and JID corset sets I've been making, they feel like fun projects to do, and it takes less time.  I love these, and am hoping to make 6 all together.

Working on the underskirt for the aqua set.  I'm using the sewing machine for the straight side seams of skirts, and sometimes the hem, but all the other sewing I've been doing by hand.  I feel that it gives me lots more control, because my mini machine speed isn't variable, so I can't go slowly.

Three little dresses on my dollieh shelves :D  All with properly lined bodices. The aqua one is waiting for the trim I ordered, but the cream/floral one and the lilac one are finished.  I'm pleased with the puff sleeves on the lilac one.  Lordy but are those sleeves a lot of work to gather up and set in. 

The next three will be in sky blue blue, rich red,  and pink.  Some will have bloomers instead of underskirts, because I <3 bloomers.


raccoons_rags: (Maisie)
2012-09-07 09:48 pm

Maisies finished dress.

I love this.  I've bought some fabrics and might try to make a series of them.  I want to make hats, bloomers, and try out puff sleeves too.

Here she is in the finished dress with its underskirt.  This turned out better than I'd ever expected!  Her eyes are a beautiful blue, they almost look lilac, and go so nicely with the bow.

And one in front of the sewing machine, because it matches.

This is why I have to make purple stuff.  Everything else will clash with my sewing machine. 

I'm still wondering if I should spend a pile of money on a really good computerised machine.  I've never been able to own anything but the basic models before, but now it's within my grasp if I save hard.

I'm using this little mini machine a lot more, but it's very limited, and doesn't even have a light.


raccoons_rags: (Maisie)
2012-09-06 10:21 pm

Inspired by the sunshine.

Started off an outfit for my BID, Maisie. A simple fitted bodice dress with a separate underskirt.   It is actually finished, but I'm so tired now, my hands are shaking too much to take a decent shot.

So here's a teaser.  As you can see, I haven't strayed too far away from purples yet.

Poplin is tough to sew by hand,  I managed to get the needle jammed into my finger. Not the sharp end, the eye end.   OW.   That was horrible.  But at least I'm using the sewing machine a bit more now. 

....And a thimble.


raccoons_rags: (sultry Ell)
2012-09-06 10:12 pm

Cover-girl style photoshoot.

A friend on Flickr asked to see a picture of this outfit without the dolly's head cropped off.  So I tried the kind of shots one might see on a magazine cover or something of that ilk.

Hence the spammage.  Sorry, f-list.....


raccoons_rags: (Rachel)
2012-09-03 06:53 pm

JID corset outfit finished.

Ack. Apologies for the blurry pictures, but my hands have been really shaky lately.

Corset, romantic skirt and armlets.   I'm so happy with this first outfit of it's kind, that I'll leave it without any décor. (Unless of course I change my mind, fickle, fickle me)

The skirt fabric is designed by  the lovely art_is_us [http://www.flickr.com/photos/mrsmac]  whose fabrics are addictive.

I'm using my sewing machine a bit more, but it doesn't seem to get the outfits made any faster!  Maybe the armlets went a bit quicker, but I still have to gather by hand, sew the corset entirely by hand, and add the details manually too.

The wig is an Ellowyne Wilde one.  It looks like it fits, but it's really too tight, it's even too tight for Ell, annoyingly.  Although I do like Rachel in long red hair more than I thought I would.

I bought this fabric from the lovely art_is_us over at Spoonflower.

You can see her flickr here: [http://www.flickr.com/photos/mrsmac]

It's the cotton voile and is lovely to work with.  Nice and easy to crinkle up, so it falls in soft folds around the doll's legs.

I love it.  Yum.

It looks like Photobucket is down,  so I’ve had to embed the media from my flickr.


raccoons_rags: (Default)
2012-09-01 09:03 pm

And another corset.

This one is for my large-busted JID girl, Rachel.   It was a bit more tricksy to get the initial pattern pieces on this doll, and there are nine panels, instead of the seven panels in the previous Ellowyne Wilde corset.

The first draft was a complete write-off. And very frustrating. I was so bitter and twisted about it in the end that I didn't even bother with  pictures, I re-drew where the seams should go, and chopped it up to make more pattern pieces.

The second looked much better, and if we don't make mistakes in the first attempt, we don't learn how to get the second attempt right.

I felt smug:

Then for the "proper"  corset, I hand sewed all the panels, and the lining panels, topstitched by hand, and instead of boning (which I don't have) I used fine cotton cords to stiffen the garment a little.  It's a miracle the topstitching is so neat, my hands have been very wobbly lately.

I was almost squirming with delight when I tried the finished item on the doll!  :D

I love these seam lines:

The skirt is made in a lovely fabric by the very talented art_is_us on Spoonflower.  I need to style it a bit, maybe add decor, then I'll show pictures.  I'm also going to make armlets for Rachel too. Just like the Ell ones, hopefully.


raccoons_rags: (Rachel)
2012-09-01 08:54 pm

I've been slack.

Due to the pressure of the Atos medical assessment, I've been a tad poorly and neglectful of my blog, but it went as okay as I'd dared hope, so the worst is over.  Unless I get put back in the WRA group. ARGH.Then I'll have a fight on my hands.... but enough of that.  Doll stuff.  Much more therapeutic.

I've recently had my first fat quarter bundle from Sponflower, and I'm delighted. This will make four lovely dresses for whatever lucky dolly I'm in the mood to sew for.  I'm hoping my Luts Kid Delf Apple will arrive soon, it's been almost seven weeks. She's going to get spoiled rotten.

This fabric is available HERE.  (Shameless sales pitch)

The four-quarter yard of voile:

Pixel by Pixel:

Forest Floor:

Collage Ditzy:

Paisley Script:

I clearly have lots of sewing to do.


raccoons_rags: (sultry Ell)
2012-08-24 08:19 pm

Ell Outfit: Hand Dyed Heaven.

Just some shots of a recently completed Ellowyne outfit.  The corset is in marble-dyed fabric, and the skirt in a bleached-out fabric - all done by myself.  It's soft and pretty in sorbet colours, and I also made the little flower trims.  I do love this corset pattern, it was so worth all the effort of designing my own pattern.

I'm loving the gathered frayed strip of fabric around the base of the corset.  It's a bit awkward to sew neatly, but it looks great.   I've allso developed the new way of buttoning up the armlets, with a crocheted strip of buttonholes, rather than sewing each buttonhole individually.  It's not only a little quicker, but looks pretty and adds a bit more interest.  The armlets are also hand-embroidered with feather stitch in my own hand-dyed variegated floss.

The back:  Five snaps covered over with hotfix nailheads in a brushed metal finish.  I did attempt an experimental closure on the back, similar to that on the armlets, but wasn't happy and had to unpick the whole thing TWICE, before resorting to my tried and tested snaps.   I can do the eyelets like most people who make corsets seem to do, but for ease of dressing and undressing the doll, you can't beat snaps, and I think the nailheads look really nice.

The skirt has a shaped, dropped waistband.

And hand-crocheted flowers in a commercially dyed variegated yarn - which just happens to fit the colour scheme perfectly.  I also have tried to keep this outfit "shabby" with the frayed trim on the corset, and the strands of thread hanging from each flower.  Most of my sewing is very pristine and neatly hemmed. I'm really enjoying fraying things and deliberately making them look a little weathered.

All done :)   Another one ready to list on Etsy when I can face the potential trip to the Post office.


raccoons_rags: (Non-doll related)
2012-08-24 08:12 pm


Well, I've had a dreadful week, where I had to leave the house 3 times, which for an anxiety ridden agoraphobic is exhausting.  Then today (Friday) I had my medical assessment for my benefits.  I was terrified and so ill with all the worry and waiting for this to come that I literally fell apart.  So one of my housemates, who's also my official carere had to speak up for me and help me out.

Thankfully, the Atos Doctor was incredibly courteous and considerate.  I've heard nightmare stories about these doctors from the DWP, but this one not only listened, but was actually able to offer help and advice.  So now the week is over, I can collapsible into a heap and go wibble for a few days.

Honestly, I got so stressed I'm now physically ill. I'll probably sleep for a week.

But on a nicer note, I looked at an old journal entry showing pictures of my little cosy room, in which I sleep and sew, and decided that I may tidy up a bit and take another set of photos.  Just for posterity.

I've sewed too, but I'll post those pics in another entry.


raccoons_rags: (machine sewing)
2012-08-12 05:09 pm

I has a brave.

FINALLY I've used my sewing machine.   Long story, but basically I'm terrified of them, and opt for hand sewing due to greater control and in some cases better quality.

But for this latest skirt, I used the machine for the long straight side seams, and for the top stitching around the lower edge of the top tiers, and for the hems.  The gathered parts and the waistband I did by hand, because hand gathering is more easy to control.

I've been looking at better machines with things like gathering feet, and 7-piece feed dogs.  I've found a computerised machine I like with a few extra stitches and lots of things I've always wanted in a sewing machine.  But to justify spending £300+ I decided I really needed to get to grips with my mini, which is brand new.

I quite enjoyed it, but it would be nice to have variable speed, adjustable stitch width and the greater control that the 7=-piece dogs would giv me.

Also, the skirt turned out great in the non-crinkled fabric!  So yay.  I had a good day today for the first time in a week.


raccoons_rags: (sultry Ell)
2012-08-12 12:20 pm

Romantic purple outfit - completed.

I'm kind of trying to build up several doll outfits over the next few months, with vague notions of selling them for the Christmas season.  But I might just list them before then, it depends on how I'm feeling because trips to the Post Office are REALLY stressful for an agoraphobic!   I'm loathe to mention the C word in August - but I actually saw a Christmas TV ad last week! Holy cow, can't we just sit and enjoy the Olympics without that kind of input?

But I digress.  Here's the finished purple outfit.  I'm delighted with the way I managed to shape the skirt, it looks fab in crinkle fabric, and I'm going to try one is soft un-crinkled cotton lawn next.  Just to see if it looks right.  

With this one, I'm very happy with my new method of making buttonhole loops for the armlets.  It saves my poor fingers and looks lovely, but it's a trade secret! 

Due to my lack of funds, 'm trying to find creative ways to trim things, so for this I crocheted little flowers and sewed beads into the centres.

For fastenings, I've started to finish  my sewn-in snaps with nailheads, just to hide the stitches and give it a more polished finish. these are silvertone satin finish, and I love them.

I put a wig on my poor little scalped Ell (Although I'm fond of her with her stubble, it looks kinda punk) so she looks pretty in the new frock.

And here's the overall look:

Lastly,  detail of the armlet fastenings. I do love detached sleeves with an outfit, it gives scope for more than one look.

I'm starting another one now, and I'm trying to use my sewing machine for the first time.  the fabric takes so long to cut and edge with fray check, that it's a scary prospect!