New Project :) Vintage Batgirl!

It’s finally time for Batgirl-Batman’s most helpful female companion!

The version I’m going to try and create is the wonderful looking character portrayed by Yvonne Craig in the mid 1960’s.

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I’ve been watching old Batman episodes on Youtube, getting a good grounding in what she’s wearing, and now everything in my head is punctuated by Biff, Blam and Pow in giant cartoony letters, lol!

Batgirl, as we all remember, wears an awesome royal purple sparkly stretch unitard with a purple cape lined in golden yellow, a purple hood with ears, darker purple partial facemask, purple gloves and purple kitten heeled boots. And of course her golden utility belt.

The first challenge was the fabric for the skin tight suit itself. Even choosing the right colour for it was something not to be taken lightly, because depending on what promo photo you were looking at, sometimes it looked positivelt blue and some times royal purple. After watching the episodes and looking through as many pics as I can find, I’m sold that it’s royal purple :)

The skintight suit needed to be made out of stretchy fabric and this proved difficult to find until I stumbled upon Funkifabrics. They’re fabrics are terrific quality and worth every penny (or pound, as they’re in the UK!) Even then though, it’s a leap of faith in terms of colour. You know, colours on your monitor may not be as they appear yada, yada….

Life’s risky, so you know, dive in. Take the risk, order the fabric, lol! Wait by the mailbox until it arrives…..

Then it arrives,

and,

it couldn’t be more perfect! This stuff is amazing!Happy joy dance ensues.

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Back to work now though. Focus, pay attention, me, not you!

The cape. Hmm, the cape. At first, I though, yes right, now as few seams as possible, do it circular.

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I’ll add weights to the hem points so that it drapes. The purple silk I’m using is happy to drape. Not so much the stretchy gold lame. Hmm. I know it needs weights! So I sew drapery weights very carefully on the inside of the cape. I turn it right side out. Looks a little like a squid, lol! Cute, sort of, but you know not a cape. So ok, now it needs lines of stitching between each batty panel. So I try that. It hangs like a fatigued squid now.

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So, no, go away and think some more.

Shelve the squid!

Rethink your earlier disdain for seams. Silk is (a least in this instance) thin and so, seams can be handled! Below, is a non-circular paneled version…

So I try again with panels, and I do it with lovely purple silk and the gold lame. And then I realize, the metallic gold lame is wrong. I mean, her cape is not metallic. Yes, it’s gold and it’s shiny like satin, but not metallic gold. It’s shiny like satin. So duh, how about some butter yellow golden satin then? Preferably silk.

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(The silk I used in the above example is gorgeous, and amazing, but it has an inherent stiffness and doesn’t, yes, you guessed it, drape!)

So off to the fabric store. They don’t of course have butter yellow golden silk. (I seem to have a little trouble finding exactly what I want. Maybe I’m just super picky…. yup, that’s probably it.) But, they do have dye! And I have lovely white silk satin at home. Who doesn’t, lol!

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So now silk is quietly turning a lovely yellow hue even as I write this. When it’s all dry I can continue on with the sewing :) In the above pic, the brightest yellow is the dyed silk, (still wet, it dries slightly lighter) the white piece is an example of how polyesther doesn’t take dye (at all) and the lovely but too stiff silk I already had :)

Until next time :)

Thanks for reading!

~awsumgal

 

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Posted in awsumgal outfit, doll, doll clothes, doll outfit, OOAK, OOAK Dawn and Pippa, replica, Uncategorized, vintage 2 Comments

Janet Jackson 06-07 Concert Clothes Done!

I’ve come to the end of this project. It took some time, but worth every moment spent I think, when I look at the outfit as a whole.

This outfit is going to someone with a gorgeous custom Janet doll to wear it. I sadly, don’t have a Janet but Basic Jon said she would step in as model :)

Here’s what I was emulating, one last time!

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Without further ado, here’s a look at the final….

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I was told that the collector for whom I’m working, has , what with one thing and another has been waiting some time for this outfit to be a reality. I was happy to tackle this project and I just hope that it was worth the wait!

I’ve got some new projects lined up already, so best get working! Thanks for reading :)

~awsumgal

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Posted in Antoinette, awsumgal outfit, doll, doll clothes, doll outfit, OOAK, replica, Tonner, Uncategorized 4 Comments

Janet Jackson Concert Clothes WIP 6

Today is Janet’s shirt and the finishing of her belt and boot covers, now that my zippers from Zipper That Doll have arrived (Thanks Leeann!)

Let’s start with her boot covers :) I’m using a faux suede for these. They are lace leaf/feather topped and the perfect lace was elusive to say the least! I checked all my favorite haunts, of course, to no avail. I spent hours online, searching. I started looking at international ebay and other shopping sites. Not everyone describes things in the same way, and sizing isn’t always available either! I knew something appropriate existed because I had a piece. I just didn’t think I had enough. I’d had this for years, I think it was something from my Mothers’ stash…. Clearly, I was going to have to make this piece work!

Ok, so here’s the bit….

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I’m going to have to cut it apart, of course, and sew it onto the lace piece. I added some silver thread and a few silver beads too.

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There! Ready for zippers :) Just a quick fit test first…

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I’ll put that aside for a second and move to the belt. This was a fun piece to recreate. Lots going on here. The basis is a cotton woven multi strand affair. I have treated the ends so that they will stay together and not fray and the rest of it will all be sewn. The discs have a baby soft suede backing so that I can circle them with silver beads. I found a nice irregular cube to go in between the two discs. A trio of pretty smaller silver round edged beads flank the discs.

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Just checking against the original…..

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Feather charms….

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And the other side of the belt…..

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More feather charms :)

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And three more for the middle and a fastener at the back and the belt is done – woot!

Janet’s shirt is next. I’ve chosen a tissue thin silk and cotton blend fabric for this. It’s hallmark is the really wide lace edged collar and lacy cuffs.  As I gathered images of this outfit I came to realize that Janet has at least two different versions of the shirt. Very similar, not exactly the same. Both feature the statement collar and lace edged cuffs, so mine will too :)

Below, I’m prepping the lace cuffs for the shirt. Prepped separately, it will be sewn to the shirt when finished.

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The shirt above needs an ironing to be sure, and it has no lace on the collar as yet, but it does what I want it to do! The real shirt has elastic along the lower edge, no doubt to guard against an unplanned wardrobe malfunction, so mine will too. I don’t want my shirt to ride up either!

Next time, this complicated outfit will be finished!

Thanks for joining me,

~awsumgal

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Posted in Antoinette, awsumgal outfit, doll clothes, doll outfit, Janet Jackson, OOAK, replica, Tonner, Uncategorized No Comments

Janet Jackson Concert Clothes WIP 5

Janet’s outfit is in full swing around here! We’re getting further into the fun stuff. Now that the vest is done and all beaded up, it’s time for the jacket. I sewed up a version of the jacket in a linen of a good colour, but I didn’t like it.

Not – at – all :(

The fit was off, for one thing, but that’s fine. Tweaking is par for the course. Of greater concern was the fact that I didn’t like the look of the linen. It was too idk, rustic? It has too much varigation in tone and altogether too much texture for me. Anyway, pfft! Outta here, lol!

So I swan-dived back into the sea of fabric that hides my studio on some days, to find something better. Find something I did too! A delightful crepe backed satin in champagne. Now I haven’t lost my mind or anything, I’m not using the shiny side, I’m using the back side. There is no reason not to use the backside of fabric. Sometimes that is the only way to get the exact look that you want!

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The outfit as a whole is taking shape now, finally.

Time for the jacket beading….

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Sleeves first :) and then on to the front….

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I realized that in order to dress the doll effectively and without putting too much lateral pressure on the delicate beads, I needed to add a cuff opening to the sleeves. There will be a lot of feathery lace on the shirt sleeves that will have to get in there too.

Speaking of feathers, I am using feather charms for Janet’s belt, but was finding it difficult to find ones small enough. I found some I thought would work well, and they would have, but then, I found some smaller ones, and now I’m even happier with them ;0

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You can see in the above pic that they are quite a bit smaller!

Here’s how the main elements of the belt will look…

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I have some off white cording that looks just like the real belt and a few other findings and so on, so I’ll be tackling the belt next I think. Just the belt, shirt, boot covers and necklace to do. Sounds like a lot, and I guess it is really, but I think it will go fairly quickly…. ONWARD!

I found a great trim for the really wide lacy shirt collar! There was a shop out in the country near the lake where we spent many a gorgeous summer weekend. This place was liquidating old sewing department store stock. Woolworth’s maybe? Probably from the seventies or some such. Something like that. They had hundreds of spools of various laces and trims, many of which aren’t manufactured any more. Much to the chagrin of my beloved companions, I would drag us all in there and peruse the bins of spools of trims. Heaven! I found many things there, lots of which I still have. The perfect solution for the collar was one of these vintage finds. I gave it a clean, thinking it was a little darker than I wanted. What a difference! I didn’t realize just how yellowed this vintage trim had become. (Now I’ll need to wash it all, lol!)

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This nice clean white trim is now worthy of Janets’ shirt :)

That’s where I’ll pick up next time. Thanks as always for visiting!

~awsumgal

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Janet Jackson Concert Clothes WIP 4

Well hi there!

This is WIP 4. If you’re still here, you’ve got sticktoitiveness :)

With the patterning done and refined with my muslins it was time to sew it up in the actual fabric. Let’s start with the pants….

I mentioned last time about the look of the dolls joints in stretchy fabric and how i didn’t like that so well. My commissioner wants as much flexibility and pose-ability as possible, so I came up with a win win :) I’ve done the pants in a knit with stretch, but I’ve self lined them to give them some heft and structure without any compromise to stretch and pose-ability! Woot! Of course this necessitated a pattern adjustment form woven to knit.

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They’re a little long, but they are as yet unhemmed…..

On to the vest :)

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Starting with darts of course, cause that’s what you do! I always press the darts for the cleanest look. The bottom leading to the point will be a more pleasant curve when lined…

Speaking of lining, it sure doesn’t look like much in mid turn, lol!

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I swear though, there is a vest in there somewhere :/

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Ah yes, there it is – and some pants too!

Time to give the vest all of it’s fun bits. Let’s start with the buttons. I’ve adapted fancy head pins for her buttons because they look the most like the full sized ones.

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Bam! There they are. (It’s always so much faster on the blog than it is for real. Like all those cooking shows where they put the raw roast in one oven and then pull out a fully cooked one out of another 10 seconds later :)

Buttons need, well you know, buttonholes :)

Here’s a look at that:

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Some overedge stitching and boom baby,

All buttoned up :)

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And now for the beads I spent so much time making. Side not, I haven’t stitched up the side seams of the vest yet because leaving these open allows me to start my threads from the inside. No tails hanging out all over the place! When the beads are all on and I’m finished fooling around in there, I’ll stitch up the side seams.

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These beads are finicky! They are too narrow holed for any beading needle that I own, or have ever seen! Of course, I made them, so I can’t complain too much. As a result, I need to thread my fine beading needle for the silver small seed beads and the stitching in the fabric and then unthread the needle and hand string one of the homemade beads and then thread the needle again and well you know, repeat. It’s a little time consuming I’ll admit, but it looks pretty good!

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Enough chit chat, back to the beady saltmines, there’s work to be done :)

Thanks for reading and enjoy your day!

~awsumgal

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Posted in Antoinette, awsumgal outfit, doll clothes, doll outfit, Janet Jackson, OOAK, replica, Tonner, Uncategorized No Comments