Dolly Got Back: Making Pants for Lammily

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One of the wonderful things about the Lammily doll is that she has realistic proportions. As a result, Lammily actually has a booty. This is both a blessing and a curse. Trying to form pants to fit a larger derriere is hard enough with people –The Struggle is Real -but trying to form pants to Lammily’s rear is downright frustrating. Unlike a fleshy behind, her hard plastic butt has no give – no muffin tops for this girlie. Even the shorts she came with can’t handle the pressure when she sits.
Seriously, they look so nice until she sits.

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So, trying to figure out the right way to make this doll a pair of jeans that will look just as good when she’s sitting as when she’s standing has been a daunting task with multiple fails.

The first thing I did was to try to draft a pattern the way The Fashion Doll Stylist demonstrated with her dolls.  This was the pattern I derived from that exercise:  I suppose they could work with some adjustments. I’m sure I’ll use this pattern for dress pants.

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I tried just playing around with trying to form the jeans to her seated. This mostly resulted in ridiculous sketches and a lot of chopped up fabric as I tried to figure out what I was even trying to do.

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I then decided to try to approach her jeans just the way I would pants for a person with more seat cushion. I turned to various sewing books on my shelf that weren’t much help. Then I found this tutorial – Full Butt Alteration for Jeans. So, I set to work again.

Now, if you follow the A’Cloth the World Facebook page or are a member of my more recent pet project, the group Handmade Lammily Fashions (also on Facebook), then you’ve already seen some of these photos and have read a bunch of my real-time frustrations.

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I don’t even want to think about how many hours I put into this, but I managed to make a pair of jeans that look like they’re comfortable and manage to work both standing and sitting. Of course, they’re baggy. This is, of course, what I was going for. However, I cannot currently imagine how skinny jeans might be constructed for her. I don’t think I’m committed enough to buy a pair of Apple Bottoms just to deconstruct them to see how they’re made. I’ve received plenty of compliments on these pants, but, I’m not entirely happy with them. I’m sure they could greatly be improved upon – I’m just too worn out to try right now. Until I *do* tweak them just right, I’m not putting them up on Etsy – although the girl power hoodie is up for sale. But, I did share the pattern over on the Handmade Lammily Fashions group page in case anyone wants to try making them.

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In Love with Lammily

Lammily the day she came home.

Lammily the day she came home.

This is a post I really should have written before now. I’m sure by now most of you have heard of the new Lammily doll – she’s made with proportions that are equivalent to that of the average 19 year old female in the United States – average here is defined by the stats obtained through the Center for Disease Control (CDC). But, this post is not to educate you about Lammily’s story – if you’d like to learn more about that I will direct you to these others articles and postings:

Back in March, when Lammily was being crowd-funded, I ordered 2 of these dolls. My primary thought was to get one for Ava-face Baby-head for when she gets older (she’s nearly 1 year now) and to keep the other for myself in the box (just in case these dolls gets super popular).

My little baby cousin, Ava-face Baby-head.

My little baby cousin, Ava-face Baby-head.

However, as time went by, I could feel myself becoming more and more anxious for Lammily to arrive. When she finally did arrive, I was so excited that I could not resist taking her out and playing with her. And so it has been, for roughly a month since I took her out of her box, that I have found myself spending hours putting her into poses to take her picture to share online and, what I really enjoy – making clothes for her.

See, because Lammily has proportions that are so novel to fashion dolls, she currently has no other options for clothing beyond what she was dressed in. I don’t know why I’ve gotten so enthused over a doll or making clothes for her – perhaps she’s brought out my inner child – but I am. But, I know, that for months I haven’t been making anything. I haven’t felt anything worthwhile, creatively. Even the mess I was working the last time I posted (which was months ago, as seems to have become the norm), never really became anything. I tore up some pictures and I ironed them to some fabric and then it all just sat in a pile on the floor in my craft room for months before I eventually picked it up and moved it. But this doll, I don’t know, I’m actually making stuff and having something to show for my work when I’m done. So, at least for now this is has become a thing.

If you’re on Facebook and are so inclined, I’ve created a Facebook group called Handmade Lammily Fashions that you might be interested in joining. I figure it can be a place where we can show off all the neat stuff we make for this doll and share patterns and tips (which, I will likely post here as well).

Lammily taking a tour of my workplace:

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Some of the shirts I’ve made for Lammily so far:

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I Am Creating…. Something

Has it been forever again? I believe it has! When last we met, I was in the middle of packing. I have since moved, finished unpacking, and have started to settle into my new home. And hey, check it out, I have actual sewing/crafting space again!

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I can make a giant mess in the throws of creativity and come back to it as it was and not have to spend an hour just trying to figure out what I was in the middle of doing! 😀 It’s wonderful!And check out the storage space!

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And now that I am settled in, I am reminded that there is a Hatch 2015 deadline coming up.. soon. So, I am creating.. something. I don’t really know what yet. This is one art baby that I won’t know what it is destined to be until it decides to show me. So far, I’m working with last year’s wall-calendar, double-sided fusible web, and an old lace curtain I picked up a few years back.

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Free to a Good Home!

So, I’m moving again in about a month. I’m steadily working on getting all of my stuff packed up. I’ve been sorting through all of my yarn, fabric, and general arty and crafty stuff. Some of it I am keeping, some of it I will be donating to local second hand stores, like The I.D.E.A. Store.

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So, quick and dirty — How many of you remember The Rag Rug? I spent over a year on it, I blogged about it: Here, Here, and Here. I only managed to get several months of use out of it before I moved into this place (where I have no room for it) and, now, the apartment I am going to be moving into is carpeted and I won’t need it there. I spent a long time and a lot of effort on this rug and I don’t want to just get rid of it, BUT, I don’t really need it. And I’m a big enough pack rat as it is. Therefore, if there is anyone out there interested in having this rug, you’re welcome to it for whatever the cost is of getting it to you. If you’re local, it’s free. If you’re halfway around the world, it’s going to cost you some money as the rug is pretty hefty. It measures 3 feet x 7 feet 3 inches.

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If you’re interested, email me at foxchic85@yahoo.com with “Rug” as a header. First come, first serve.

—————– UPDATE——————

The rug has found itself a new home. Thank you to everyone that expressed interest.

 

Goals, Guilt, and Gerald McRaney

Ok, this post really doesn’t have much of anything to do with Gerald McRaney. I just wanted a 3rd “G” item to make the title sound more important or soothing or something. One of those straggling bits of information from college that lodged itself in my brain – For some reason we just like things more when they’re grouped into 3s. I may also have been watching a lot of Major Dad on Hulu lately – but that’s a tangent for another day.

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As you can see, I haven’t posted in forever. Again. I could go on an tell you how sorry I am and write paragraphs talking about how I’m going to do better and that this is a problem I’m going to overcome. I could also tell you how busy I’ve been or give you some other excuse as to why I haven’t written in awhile. But, I don’t want to do that, you don’t want to read that, and I think, by now, we’ve both pretty much just accepted that this is who I am. So let’s move on, shall we?

It’s finally beautiful outside. It’s finally bike riding weather. I’ve been doing less driving and more pedaling. Because it’s nice. And I want to not spend money on gas. While I was out in the sunshine this afternoon, my mind wandered off. I thought about stuff I’d like to someday trick out my bike with….

1) Turn Signals and Brake Lights

I hate doing hand signals. Also, I just think this would be pretty neat and work better when it’s dark – I often get off work after dark. I managed to find a couple of options for this. Instructables has a pretty neat DIY tutorial. Alternatively, DesignBloom has an LED turn signal jacket. How awesome is that?

2) A Pull-Behind Carrier

More and more of my friends and family members are popping out babies. My boyfriend has nephews, I recently welcomed a new cousin, and I know others who are trying to make genetic copies of themselves. Perhaps it wouldn’t be a bad idea to have a carrier to take mini-people out on joyrides to bask in the wonders of nature. They also make cargo carriers for hauling non-persons. You can find them online and buy one, or, this guy built his own.

3) A New Paint Job

Eventually, I will sand down the frame and repaint it. I can make it my own moving work of art. I’ve even considered using plastic string to crochet a decorative frame cover.

4) A Grocery Basket

Because I can’t fit everything in my backpack. Also, I just think they look pretty cool.

5) An iPod Mount

It’d be nice to be able to listen to some music while I ride down the road, you know?

Ok. That’s it. I just thought I would share some of my thoughts. And now, I’m going to go be productive and stuff.

 

Awake Late at Night

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This is going to be one of those streams of consciousness styled posts I occasionally like to write. I took a nap earlier this afternoon, do not have to go in to work until the middle of tomorrow afternoon, and so, I am wide awake and my mind is bouncing around. Honestly, you’ll likely not be reading this until sometime after I’ve left for work tomorrow, but, just for fun and pointing out real-time, it is now 11:33pm CST on a Sunday evening as I begin to write this. (in the same vein, real-time distractions will be inserted, italicized, in parentheses)

Tonight, I just realized, was the premiere of the new Cosmos with Neil DeGrasse Tyson. I’ve not watched it yet. But, I’m actually running a Symphony of Science playlist on Youtube as I write this. (jump to facebook, to get into a discussion with a friend about Carl Sagan) I’ll have to watch that tomorrow. Perhaps I can introduce the kids that I work with to the awesomeness that is the universe and curiosity and the badass-ness of DeGrasse Tyson. Or they may just think it’s lame. Which is *usually* what I am met with – a general disinterest for pondering the bigger picture or the vastness of the universe or the meaning of life. Once in awhile though, I am pleasantly surprised.  This reminds me… some time back I came across this quilt that a woman had created to teach kids about the solar system. (another facebook break)

Speaking of work, I brought in my sewing machine this morning. One of the teens staying in the shelter wanted to learn different ways to refashion some of her jeans into shorts. We worked together to make 2 pair of shorts, a pair of cut-offs and a hemmed pair, and I had her get familiar with the machine with some scrap denim. I pointed out the importance of a stay stitch with cut-offs and how to get the denim to fray quicker. I’d like to work more with these kids on some of the basics of sewing, even just basic repair work. And I wonder if it would be worthwhile to try to set up some kind of community sewing studio.. because not everyone has the funds or space for a machine… and perhaps free classes on how to sew, repair, and design your own clothes. I would like to see sewing become something of a norm again – it would help to combat throw-away fashions if people could simply repair/ refashion their clothes. Perhaps, with an emphasis on re-used fabric, it might combat the sheer tons of textile waste we create Every. Single. Day.  Also, I love outlets to build community and be creative. Of course, maybe I’m a bit daydreamy to think that kids and teens would be interested in such a thing. How do we make sewing “cool”?  If you have never commented on these blogs before, I encourage you to comment on this topic… thoughts, ideas, anecdotes, discussions…

(break to take a shower and put on jammies. 2 thoughts whilst I was in the shower: 1) I want to do up a cosmos themed dress.. embroider the universe, a la Ms. Frizzle 2) I’m totally dressing in Sagan-style next Carl Sagan Day – Nov. 9th) … screw it, I kind of want to do that this week. Flashback to Emulation. It’s also just occurred to me that I never expanded into all the realms of emulation that I wanted to do – Halloween, LARPing, CosPlay, etc. I need to revisit this.

I mean to mention a couple of other things that are important. 1) Hatch. I did it last year (see here), I’m actually in it again this year. I’m horrible at self-promotion. I should have been talking about this weeks ago. The opening reception, the trashion show (yes they had a trashion show this year), and the gallery talk have already come and gone. My lack of posting about it is probably due to a combination of 1) being too lazy to buy new batteries for my camera 2) the artwork I had accepted for the exhibit is a piece I’ve already written about in length here and 3) I’m just lazy in general. HOWEVER, this coming Saturday, March 15th, 2014, is the Art Fair for Hatch. I originally intended to go to this. However, The Culture Monk is going to be in Chicago that morning in his series of coffee houses. I’d really rather go to that. Because I’d kind of like to meet this guy in person, link a face and a voice and an experience to the blocks of text I read regularly. Sadly I cannot be in 2 places at once. But I promise to be in at least one of those places Saturday. (youtube and facebook distraction) (time check – 12:54am. Going back into text to insert links) (links inserted, tags entered, end time 1:28am)

Update, 11:11 am: Just finished watching the new Cosmos on Hulu. I teared up. I literally teared up. DeGrasse Tyson’s remembrance of Sagan at the end touched me.

Off the Beaten Path

I wrote the following on January 12th. That was almost a month ago. Any guesses as to why I never bothered to publish it? I was on a guest computer and was unable to find a good pic to throw up in the heading. Yeah, that’s it. And now, I’m sitting here debating with myself whether I want to delete it, or try to edit it because it’s a month old and no entirely up to date. I’m not going to do that. I do that too frequently as it is. My dashboard has a cache of half-worked blogs that I never finished and now feel too lost in time to bother completing. That ends. So, here is what I intended to publish almost a month ago, still lacking a photo:

Today, I was going through my reader, reading some of the newer entries of other blogs that I love but don’t always have the time to dedicate to reading – because I am working, or spending time with friends and family, or creating things, or watching Hindi films (which is usually a 3 hour commitment where I actually have to pay attention to the screen so I don’t miss subtitles and get lost. No knitting or embroidering during a Hindi film. All the more reason I should probably buckle down a really learn the language beyond the handful of words and phrases I know.).

One of the posts I was reading was this post from my internet acquaintance, Arlee. If you’re a artsy person, or if you’ve been around an artsy person, or have noticed the chaos in some of the photos in my own posts, you know that clutter tends to be an inherent, and arguably essential, part of the process. Since I left my one bedroom apartment and moved into a house with 2 roommates, I haven’t had the kind of carte blanche to just wreak havoc in my endeavors (which my be part of why there seem to be fewer such endeavors, or at least not so many hardcore artistic adventures), because I need to be respectful of shared spaces. I’m also too broke to afford awesome studio space anywhere. Fortunately, my roommates are pretty laid back and awesome nerdy types that spend most of their free waking hours holed up in their bedrooms on their laptops (Nerdy types are just, in general, awesome people. Of course, I’m rather biased.), so I am usually able to get away with dominating the big table for 2-3 days before I actually need to clear it off (to make room for gaming).

Another bit of excitement I have is learning that The Culture Monk is going on an epic Drinking in the Culture Tour (he’s referring to copious amounts of coffee, not booze – why is it that “drinking”, unless you specify a beverage, always seems to refer to alcohol?).

And then lots and lots of random travel blogs from people that have either more determination or less emotional ties to family than I do. (Wander Onwards and Halph– which is done by my friend, Jesse – are a couple of these) I would love to be able to travel the world, to live abroad for awhile. But there are so many things I would miss out on if I left.. I am sure that somewhere there is a universe in which I am living in India or wandering aimlessly around the world.

But, for now, I think I am going to find some manner of crochet pattern on Ravelry for a lemur or meercat or something to make for this new baby in my family that was just born yesterday.