Part II of the twins' adventure - my new dolls project (I started talking about them here). This time they get paint, hair and clothes. I've already painted the face and spent hours putting on hair. Unfortunately, I forgot that I wanted the girl's hair in a bun so I used short strands of hair on her, which I later found was too short for a clean, sophisticated bun. Oh well. Both of their hairs were going wild after it was glued on, hubby kept saying they looked like witches (not helped by having my creepy Halloween bottles waiting to be painted in the background).
After the hair was done, I started with the girl's clothes first. I imagined it would take more time and I was right. It took a lot of tinkering and experimenting. I found a lovely gray cloth for the skirt. The design was small so it looked just right for a 13-inch doll.
|Excited to get my hair!|
|Hmm... I look adorable bald!|
|Rock and roll!|
Filipiana dresses can be really elaborate. A lot of them are beaded too. I started a Pinterest board to help me with Filipiana inspirations (click here to view my board). Luckily, there is a lot of photo references out there, both from modern and old sources. I love the beauty of traditional Filipino clothes. I had to make do with similar materials though since I have no access or budget for real materials like pina (pineapple) cloth or other elaborately embroidered materials.
I've collected some beads over the years, most from the Philippines and this was the perfect time to use them. I've never really beaded anything before and I only sew out of need. Luckily, sewing is pretty much like riding a bike, once I pedaled off, I found my running, back and blanket stitches coming back to me. The beading though was totally different -- it was hard and tedious. That's why I ended up with two different designs for the front and back of the skirt. If anybody asks, that's intentional.
|Experimenting with beads|
|Skirt first version|
I found the top easy enough to make. Her white top is made from Ikea curtain scraps. Back in Dubai, the curtains I bought was too long so I cut it to size and sewed the bottoms back. The rest, I kept with my stash of fabrics that I keep for any future use. That was at a time that I did not have an inkling I will have an interest in doll making at all. Pays to be a pack rat sometimes.
The skirt was patterned after the first easy long skirt pattern I found online. It had a short trail at the back. I snapped this picture above and was simply not happy with it. The waist was too low and the whole thing just didn't seem right. I left it for a day or two and then while reading a cosplayer's blog post about her Elsa costume, I realized I had to put another color in that skirt and it needs to have a flare! I searched for a material that will kind of match the gray cloth and found this two-toned pink striped fabric so I started cutting the original skirt to insert the pink in. Adding those pink strips, made it balloon more, which I thought suited the Filipiana look I was aiming for.
|Front of the skirt|
|Back of the skirt|
I also found a lacy sort of fabric with tiny embroideries in pink! I remember when I was kid, they would spray water with starch in it before ironing shirts to make it nice and crisp. So I did the same with this fabric after I cut it to the size and shape I wanted. This was to be her panuelo or the scarf that goes over her shoulders. As final touches, I gave her slippers that matches her skirt and a pink rose on her hair.
|A rose on her hair|
|Traditional ones are embroidered I think. I made hers simpler.|
|I think I need a fan or an umbrella|
|I love her dainty panuelo!|
The boy was easier. I gave him a shirt, pants and shoes. He is not as formal as the girl but this is the best I can do for now. His shirt is made from one of my Dad's old shirts, so even though his clothes were easier to make, his costume is definitely extra special. His final touch is a straw hat. I've learned a lot from this project so I'm definitely looking forward to my next.
|All dressed up|
|Check out my haircut|