costuming, craft, sewing, tutorial, Uncategorized

Stuffed Animal Renewal.

I didn’t just have conjunctivitis, I also had a sinus infection. It took me DOWN.

Also, it’s made a lot of detail work I could be doing impossible. When I tilt my head down to focus on what my hands are doing I feel all the weight of the crap in my sinuses and it hurts.

I haven’t had much energy while getting well but I’m NOT GOOD at not doing anything, or doing next to nothing. I get a little stir-crazy.  I’ve spent a lot of time in bed so I’ve mustered the ability to do laundry, make my bedroom feel clean..and renew an old stuffed animal.

I’ve written about my history with Ralph here before. Because I’d found him left behind at a campsite, I’ve never known him in pristine condition….but I figured he could look better.


I decided first to restuff him. I opened him up at side seams, removed the existing filler, stuffed him with polyester filling, and restitched him. His body was filled with foam chunks, I’m glad I did this before those started to chemically break down into dust. His limbs were filled with cotton-like batting. The final photo is after this process. Ralph is sitting a little prouder.

Then a made a paste of baking soda, dawn dish washing soap, and a little water. I took a toothbrush and started scrubbing his fur.


Then, when I’d scrubbed as much as I could like that I took a spray bottle of vinegar, spritzed him bit by bit and removed the fizzing/past residue with a clean towel.


To get rid of the rest of the moister/oil/grime I put him in a plastic bag, poured about a cup of baking soda in, and shook until he had a nice crust.


I let him air dry a few hours.

Then came the dusty task of rubbing/cracking him down with towels first and toothbrushes second to get all that baking soda out. I suggest doing that over a bathtub because there will be baking soda everywhere.

Along with the toothbrush I used a pet brush to make the fur fluffier again.


No, I don’t have a pet with fur who needs this. It’s for doll wigs/ stuffed animals/and re-rooting with yarn.

Fluffier Ralph! He still has a bit of baking soda to work out of his fur here.


I also used some high-grit sanding paper (1000/6000/8000/10,000) to buff some deep scratches out of his eyes.

And, in my final act, I’m stitching new fabric on top of his old ear-lining… because that fabric is sad.

I have one more ear to go but Ralph is already looking much better.


New Year, New Ear, New Me!

Doll, pullip, tutorial

Replacing broken knee joint


While cleaning up my craft room (as part of a Mom/Craftmas is coming I’m also tackling “to do” unfinished work.

This might be my inability to avoid distraction or it might legit be reducing my clutter/ getting things prepared so that craft work can begin whenever I’m ready.

Dal surgery:

A baggie Dal I picked up recently experienced a broken knee joint when I tried to put her in her bunny outfit.

The knee joint broke off inside the thigh….wedging itself there and in the shin.

Upon further inspection i realized that this rescue Dal has forearms and shins a pinker color than her body…so she’s not new to surgery.

I had an extra knee joint from rebodying the footless Monomono/Bedhead Dal, but first I needed to remove the joint.

I took my dremel tool and carefully drilled a hole into the broken off joint. Then I screwed a smallish screw partway into that hole. I used my leather man tool to then pull the screw and joint out.

I repeated the action to the other half of the broken joint.

Then I used my extra joint to thread everything back into place.

Surgery finished, broken parts disposed of, doll ready for future modifications!

craft, monster high, tutorial

Starfire 1.0 Finished

Because I had left over air-dry polymer resin clay I decided to make Starfire her own Silky.

To color the clear/white clay I had I added a little acrylic to a blob of clay and rolled/kneaded it until the pigment was evenly distributed.

And I set to work rolling, pinching, and sculpting.

The Silkie I’m showing you I originally considered a failure, because it kept falling forward onto its face. Then I decided to use a toothpick to make a simple hole in it so a wooden rod could be attached to it later.

After a few days of air drying I primed it with Mr. Superclear and powdered it with chalk pastel pigment to make it less glossy. After fixing it once more with Superclear I painted it with acrylic paints.

The Silkie!

Then I set about making a base for Starfire and Silkie.

I found a star-shaped wooden dish for 150¥. I turned it upside down and drilled a hole into it and inserted a wooden dowel into the hole.

I then used purple wire from the 100¥ shop to make little….body prongs. Not perfect but ok for my first try.

I then drilled a tiny hole and inserted Silkie’s toothpick base…and painted everything with the purple paint I’d used for Starfire’s boots.

And my first Starfire was finished.

The second, 17” Starfire will get the second Silkie.

craft, Disney, Doll, pullip, tutorial, Uncategorized

Sadness stands

My Sadness has tiny little feet. She falls over easily.


100¥ shop time!

I bought cork coasters, a set of adhesive felt squares and (not shown) a wooden dowel.


I then glued two coasters together and drilled a hole slightly narrower than the wooden dowel. You could easily cut a hole with an X-acto razor. The reason I made it slightly narrower is that cork compresses and crumbles a little bit.

Then, after cutting the dowel, I glued it firmly into the hole.

A few layers of acrylic paint later, I tested it and then adhered a felt bottom to it.


The pole slides up under her sweater, giving her a tripod of stability.


Her toes are up in this picture but that’s easily adjusted.

I could have added a strap under her sweater to more firmly tether her to the base but I haven’t needed it. There was a small earthquake this morning and she was fine.


Concerned, but stable.

I’ve also realized that her shoulder are too sloped to give her a tote bag but I will eventually turn her “Long Term Memory Retrieval” book into something more existentialist and display it on her stand.

I did the same thing with three cork coasters AND a wooden 100¥ coaster. Of course with wood you need to drill a hole the same diameter as your dowel.


I painted the wooden stand and drilled a hole into the dowel. This allowed me to make a “belly chain” for my bellydancer. The scale of the chain is a little thick but it’s what I had on-hand. It has a necklace closure so I can open the chain as needed.

The cork coaster got a ribbon and snap tether…and some dodgy 100¥ ribbon for decoration.



Not bad, three stands for about 400-500¥ total…with leftovers for more.

craft, Disney, Mary Frances sewing, sewing, tutorial, Uncategorized

Obi Sash Tutorial.

Now we’re going to make an obi sash for the yukata.


  •  22cm x 12cm fabric for bow
  •  3cm x 6cm fabric for bow center
  • 32cm x 15cm fabric for body.
  • Fuseable batting 28cm x 5.5cm.


Obi Body

  • With a 2cm margin on the sides and a 4.5cm margin from the top and bottom, fuse batting to the inside of the sash.
  • Press one wide edge in 1cm.
  • Fold unpressed wide edge over batting.
  • Fold pressed wide edge over batting.
  • Whip stitch these folds together so there are no stitches showing on the other side.
  • At each end of the sash fold over the edge one cm
  • press
  • fold again
  • machine or handstitch in place.

Obi Bow

  • Fold longer bow fabric length wise, right sides of the fabric together, and stitch the leght 1cm from the edge.
  • Press seam open.
  • turn fabric right side out and press.


  • Fold the edges of the bow so they overlap slightly at the back.
  • Baste stitch them together.
  • Using strong thread, stitch the bow so the center draws together (not shown) into a bow-shape.
  • Take the smallest piece of fabric you have left, fold the edges back and use to secure the center of the bow (also…not shown. sorry)


Hand stitch bow to the obi.


  • Try the obi on and mark the overlap. I marked with pins and then used chalk.
  • At this point sew on the fasteners of your choice.

I did my first two obi with velcro/magic tape closures and this one with hooks and eyes.

I don’t like velcro much but figured it’s a solid choice for kids with still-wobbly hand-eye co-ordination. For very young kids I’d use velcro AND whip stitch the obi to the yukata so it acts as a complete garment (with no risk of loosing the sash) . If I do that I’d use a thread color I can somewhat see from the inside of the garment so the parent could always make it two garments later and have mix+matching choices yukata/obi choices.

As a bonus here are the other obi I made with commentary.

This was my first. I added the second layer of fabric  for decorative purposes after it was completed…which is why it’s a little wobbly. I could remove the bow, straighten the extra layer of fabric, and re-stitch the bow on… it but it doesn’t bother me that much when it’s on.

On the second I added stitched pleates before the fusable batting. It also has two small darts because the wider obi (6cm) wouldn’t lay flat on Snow’s tummy without them.

Huzzah! This completes my need to make a doll kimono after making the Mary Frances “Kimono” robe.

I’m not saying there won’t be other detours but it’s back to Mary Frances and the Thimble People after this.

craft, Disney, Doll, Mary Frances sewing, sewing, tutorial

Doll Kimono: take two!

Ok, here’s my second take on making the yukata/kimono. First version is here.

I smoothed out the curve on the first pattern I made. I also made the area where the front joins the back (a the shoulders) a little smaller by shaving .5cm off it.

I should have added a centimeter to the bottom of the back pattern (*making it 28 cm tall not 27cm) .  I also used a slightly different sleeve (bottom of the two) because I already had cut those sleeves and didn’t have more fabric.

one back, two front, two sleeve cut on a fold.


I sewed the front pieces to the back where the shoulders meet. I think I used a 1cm seam allowance.


Cut a little bit of the fabric away for the neck hole. After this photo I serged those edges.


I opened the pattern and joined the sleeves to the body.


I serged the sides and the opening.


Then I folded it, right sides of the fabric together, and stitched the seam from the armpit to the hem.


See what I mean about needing the back to be 1cm longer?


Blue is where I hand stitched to make sure the stitching on the side meets the sleeve stitch.

img_2103Starting the sleeve stitch first by hand. I’ve basted a fold where the wrist goes through.

img_2106Then I machine stitched along the edge from where my thumb to where my finger is.

I used a zig-zag stitch afterwards to finish the edges inside the sleeve. I forgot to take a picture of this step.


Turning everything right-side out. I’ll hand stitch the sleeve opening where the hand emerge later.


Front. I’ve hemmed the opening.

img_2113.jpgNeck sash; 5cm by 36.


Pressing the edges of the neck scarf inwards.


Matching up the midpoint of the neck scarf with the middle of the neck.


Pinning the neck scarf to the opening before stitching in place.

img_2123I had a train ride ahead of me so I hand stitched the neck sash to the body of the kimono.


I folded the neck sash in and stitched it into place.


I whip stitched the sleeve holes I’d previously basted. Then I removed the basting stitch.

I hemmed the whole thing. Pressed it. The usual.


It feels a little I should have added 2cm to the length of the back and 1cm to the front panels.

There you go. Take two.

Next up: Making the obi sash(es)

craft, Disney, Doll, Mary Frances sewing, sewing, tutorial

A very very loose play by play: Kimono

I hesitate to call this a tutorial because I’m still figuring out ways to make this. This is a a loose guide as to what I’m doing at best.

Disclaimer: I just realized that in most of the yellow yukata pictures in here I have the right side folded over the left. I should have taken the pictures with the left side folded over the right…right over left is only ok if you’re being buried. This will be rectified in the obi pictures.

After making the Mary Frances Kimono/Robe I set out to make a kimono/yukata for my doll. I actually have three in progress, each one trying a different attack. The one I’ll be showing is the third.

An actual kimono is very rectangular.  It’s literally ALL rectangles. The back is one rectangle, The front is the same rectangle slashed in half with an additional piece on each side.


This is part of the first in progress.


With a kimono/yukata you get wrapped tightly in undergarments until you’re cylinder-shaped. You can’t change a doll’s shape.  Disney Animator’s Dolls have round tummies and narrower shoulders. I merged the front pieces into two simple shapes (to eliminate that extra seam) and made them slightly narrower at the top.

The yukata I’ll show from now on is a mayb_ gift. My friend, Realafterglow, is in the country. She’s giving a relative (a niece I think) the Tiana doll. I decided to make a yukata in a yellow Japanese fabric similar to Tiana’s cooking dress color and I’ve found a darker frog-print fabric for an Obi belt. If Real Afterglow thinks her niece would enjoy it. It’s hers.

This is the rough pattern I made:



On the back I serged up the long sides. On the front I serged all the way up the sleeve sides and then up until the neck angle on the sides that fold over.

These kinds of directions are why I’m calling this a loose play-by-play.


I joined the front pieces to the back.


I cut a 1cm snip at each side of the neck along the seam. The neck hole shaping is the thing that is most vexxing.


Putting wrong sides of the fabric together I measured a 7cm sleeve hole, stitched from the sleevehole to the hem. Then I pressed the seam open

I then folded the  front panel inwards and stitched it.


I cut a neck sash 6cm by 36 cm. This was an good width when I worked with thicker fabric and had a slightly larger neck-hole….and too wide with thinner fabric.  I’d change to 5 by 36cm for thinner fabrics.

I folded the neck sash length-ways and pressed it. Then I folded all the edges inside 1cm and pressed again. It’s like making a piece of bias tape but it’s not cut on the bias. If you do want to cut on the bias you can and it will make things easier.

I marked the 18cm in (half way) and pinned the sash to the back of the neck hole (right sides together) I stitched the neck sash to the body starting from the center of the neck-hole each time.


Really hard to make out, I know.

Then I folded the neck sash over and whip-stitched it to the inside of the body.

I tried it on Snow.

Yup, the 6cm width is just slightly too tall for her neck. Because the fabric is thin it buckled and looked wrong. Instead of seam ripping and making it smaller I decided to fold over the collar and whip stitch it, making a double-collar look.

I made a sleeve pattern.

It does occur to me now that I could have attached the sleeves to the body at an earlier point and that might be easier. Too late.


Now to attach the sleeves.

I set the sleeves in. Sorry for not taking pictures of that…I may make a revised tutorial at some point. I also stitched the serged edge to the inside of the sleeve near the doll hand so her fingers wouldn’t forever be catching on the edge when the garment is put on.


Last, here she is with her hemmed and stitched kimono. At her feet is the fabric I’ll use for the obi/sash tomorrow.

Left goes over right.