March, 2012

Alexander McQueen’s Oyster Gown for Pippa ~ Finished!

Well after almost a month of work (I think!) this labour intensive gown is finally finished :o)

Without further ado, here are the final photos of this Alexander McQueen homage gown….

The girls fought over this one, but Marie won the right to model Oyster. Many vied, one was chosen, lol!

And just because I can’t seem to stop, here’s one more….

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Alexander McQueen’s Oyster Gown for Pippa WIP 5

Well, the bodice that I was working on in my last post continued to get all the attention in the last few days!

Well there it is, no straps, no skirt, no fasteners, and no bust! But the seaming has been completed and the edges are finished. That’s something at least :o)


More seaming and the cups are in now, and hey! It’s found it’s other half, the skirt!

It’s an exciting reunion, lol! Now to make it permanent :o)

Here a wider view :o)

Then I set about doing all the rest of the finishing. The fasteners, the thread loops, and adding the straps.

The last thing this homage needs is a bit of artful draping floaty unfinished tendrils. A fairly substantial treatment n the right shoulder and then just a few strands on the left. This gown, and the rest of his Spring 2003 Ready to Wear collection were inspired by shipwrecks , all pirates and drowning ladies, and this gown was shown on video screens during the runway show underwater all floaty and ethereal. It’s one of my favourite pieces by McQueen (though I have several and want to miniaturize more of them) and was really a challenge and a joy to attempt to reproduce.

Well it’s finished now. I feel comfortably weary and deeply satisfied with the result. I only hope my commissioner feels the same :o)

Please see my next post for the final photos of the finished Oyster gown.

Thanks for coming along with me on this project :o)


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Alexander McQueen’s Oyster Gown for Pippa WIP 4

A WIP is a ‘work in progress’ as I’m sure you already know and though this project is still in wip stage it is coming together and is, in fact, almost finished! ๐Ÿ˜ฎ

The bodice has been a tricksy one! I have been working on it exclusively. The loosely knit cotton fabric I chose (which I thought would be perfect) had to be dyed to properly match the skirt. It took a couple of tries to get the colour right. First try was too light, second too dark. The third one looked great colour wise.

Yeah, sure, looks great now, but wait until I attempt the ‘seaming’!

Someone’s waiting impatiently, lol! But wait! One more shot before the seams….

I then tried every possible thing I could think of to sew in or attach the bodice seam lines. I tried weaving some stranded cotton through the base fabric but it wasn’t straight enough ๐Ÿ™ Then I tried sewing a strand to the back of the base fabric creating a bump in the front. But, it didn’t look like a seamline. It frankly just looked messy and with the number of seam lines I was trying to emplo, it wasn’t going to work. Then I tried sewing the stranded cotton to the top of the base fabric, carefully looping over the strand and securing it. Nope, again it looked wavy and bumpy and not at all the look I was going for. In a last ditch attempt, I tried gluing the stranded cotton to the base fabric.

So here comes the glue…..

I thought it looked ok here. So I continued….

At this point I knew I wasn’t going to like it and the drawing board was looking more and more enticing, lol!

Those of you who know me know that I don’t like relying on glue. (I also don’t like doll fashions that are permanently sewn onto a doll and that you can’t take off, but that’s another story altogether :o) I feel that no matter how good the glue is, it will likely fail at some point in the future. (Thread might rot out in the future too I suppose, but anyway….) and glue can discolour over time. So in short I try to stay away from glue unless there is no other way, and I am really picky about the glues I use when I must use them. In this instance I couldn’t bring myself to rely on glue for the whole look of the bodice so even though it looked the best out of everything I had tried, I had to kibosh it and start again!

I HAD to start the bodice again. I mean you don’t want to come this far with a project and then ‘settle’ and of course failure is not an option! So I removed the bodice. I also removed about four of the upper skirt chiffon strips and reattached them and more. The skirt top wasn’t as nice at the back as it deserved to be. Now it is much better and just awaits it’s bodice.

The new bodice is chiffon. After careful consideration and various techniques attempted, this bodice has it’s seam lines carefully placed and sewn by hand. It’s funny, I has initially rejected chiffon (even though that’s what the real Oyster bodice is) because it has no stretch andร‚ย  felt I was going to have trouble making it fit as closely to the doll as it needed to look right. In a larger version of this those lines would actually be separate pieces of fabric seamed together. That can’t be done here. Too much seam allowance on the backside. And unfinished chiffon edges, um, no…

The centre ‘dart’ line was done by machine, to keep things dead straight in the middle. It is the only one done by machine.


In the end all of this hand sewing of really what amounts to darts, has allowed it to fit really well and I wish I had tried this about four days ago, lol!

Don’t be alarmed by the thread hanging off. I will trim them close after the knots get a little, dare I say it, glue, lol! It’s only to keep the knots from unravelling ๐Ÿ˜ฎ

So here’s where I’m at. ‘Just’ the vertical hip lines and a couple on each side of the back. Oh and of course the top each finishing, the attaching to the skirt, the fasteners, the straps and then the extra gorgeous draped bits of unfinished fabric over one shoulder and across the front to the hip….. and then it will be finished ๐Ÿ˜ฎ Sounds like quite a bit when I list it all out like that! I’d best get to it then, lol!

Thanks as always for reading and have a wonderful day!




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Monster High C. A. Cupid Daughter of Eros Doll on eBay

Hey there dolly folk!

I have listed a HTF Monster High Cupid doll on eBay. Here’s her pic and a link to the auction.

(She’s here all week, lol!)

Isn’t she a cutie? Click HERE to go to her auction.

Thanks for reading! Don’t forget to check out my current project ~ Alexander McQueen’s Oyster dress sized all the way down for six inch vintage Pippa dolls right here on the blog ๐Ÿ˜ฎ

Have a great day!


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Alexander McQueen’s Oyster Gown for Pippa WIP 3

Boy this is fun :o) I’ve been sewing endless strips of chiffon to the skirt base. I tested on swimsuit mesh and then moved on to the mesh.

As I went along though, the skirt seemed too perfect and too straight, hmmm…..

So I tried adding a little gather here and there to give the skirt the flow it has in real life. The real one has so much skirt and drape that it hangs so randomly and gracefully and I want to try and capture some of that in mine. The small version just by virtue all the stitching and fabric hangs more stiffly by nature even though I’m using mesh and thin chiffon! Here I’ve added a few pin gathers to see what it looks like….

The gathers help quite a bit. Yay! It’ll look fab. The more I look at this, the more I like it! The only problem is, I wish I’d added some gathers and puckers earlier on, lower down on the skirt. Taking this all out is not really an option. It would take forever and the chiffon wouldn’t stand up to the removal….. so ……. I need to start again from scratch!

Third time lucky, right? In truth luck was not involved, just perseverance and endless sewing on of chiffon strips, lol!

All righty then, here’s a whole bunch of strips for the third skirt :o) So many strips, so little time, haha! Pippa’s getting bored, lol!

Ok, I’ve sewn on about half of the strips.

Here you can see all three skirts and the third one, the one on the doll, already holds more interest even though it’s only halfway done :o)

Cool! The strips are all on :o) The skirt only goes to her hips, it’s not falling off or anything, it’s supposed to be that way!

I love the way it hangs! Oooweee! I like it!

The bodice is semi sheer, probably chiffon in the real thing. Chiffon won’t work in the small version because the seaming in the bodice is precise and complicated and because it’s semi sheer any seam allowance would show through on the front ruining any effect of the complicated seaming lines. So, I’ll have to go at it another way!

No worries, I’ve got a couple of ideas up my sleeve on how best to get the right look :o) I’m going to go and try them out!

Wish me luck, lol! Thanks for reading and have a great weekend!





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