Friday, July 20, 2012

put on the brakes, Pippi!

After doing some research (thank you, Holly), I've decided not to finish the Pippi pattern for the shop. Bummer. Sorry for the build then the fizzle! I had assumed (wrongly it turns out) that the story/character of Pippi Longstocking had entered the public domain since it was published in 1945, almost seventy years ago!

Interestingly enough, if my internet research is to be relied upon, the story was in the public domain, but via the Uruguay Round Agreements Act of 1996 it has been taken out of the public domain and its copyright and trademark extended for who knows how long. I'm still not sure exactly how all that legally applies to the persona/likeness of Pippi as it relates to a doll pattern, but I am sure that I don't want to proceed if I can't feel confident about it. If you are curious and have some time you can read more about it here, here, here and here.

I might repurpose some of the doll design and possibly the little monkey into another pattern. I was thinking it might be cute to have two best friend dolls, one who is messy and tomboyish and one who is neat and girly-fied. That sounds fun! I'll get it sorted out.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

hello, Mr. Nilsson

"Where have you put your jacket and hat?"

Still prototyping like crazy over here*. Not sure about separate jacket and pants for Nilsson. Maybe I'll try integrated.

There seems to be some debate about the color of Ms. Longstocking's clothes. I'm feeling loyal to the blue homemade dress with red patches that is in the book I have, but a reader tells me a yellow homemade dress and blue spotted underpants was in her beloved childhood Pippi book. Not to mention the movie version of Pippi that has an entirely different green/orange look which many love.

Good thing is, you can make her dress and stockings whatever color or print you like. That's the lovely, lovely thing about DIY.

*Due to trademark concerns, this will not be available as a pattern. See this post for the details!

Monday, July 16, 2012

waiting for Mr. Nilsson

Two Pippi prototypes, impatiently waiting for a loyal monkey friend. You can tell I'm having fun with crazy braid placement. The pattern* will allow you to attach the braids after the rest of the doll is completed, so you can experiment with the look you want. The braids don't have any wiring, they just stick out on their own from sheer mischievousness.

*Due to trademark concerns, this will not be available as a pattern. See this post for the details!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

big eyes, little eyes

The size of the safety eyes you use for your TravelWees can give a different look to the face. Flotsam on the left has 6 mm eyes, and Daisy on the right has 4 mm eyes. Smaller eyes work better if the synthetic fur is more wispy. They might get lost in really thick fur.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

how to: French knots

I thought I'd publish this quick basic tutorial for French knots. I use them a lot for tiny eyes, noses, flowers, polka dots, etc... so they appear often in my patterns. This is how Larissa Holland does it. You may have a different way? But I find this is a foolproof method for consistent, good-looking, nicely round French knots. 

You'll find a version of this tutorial in the Resource section of my patterns. Keep in mind I was photographing this myself, so I couldn't have my hand on the needle and the camera button at the same time. I drew in a quick stand-in for my fingers up there.

Some ways you can vary the knot:
  • You can make your knot look larger or smaller depending on how many strands of floss you use.
  • You can also make the knot look long instead of round by wrapping the floss around the needle more than two times. 
  • Use lots and lots of knots to completely fill an area with an interesting nobbly texture.
  • There's also a variation of the French knot called 'colonial knot', which usually ends up looking a bit larger and rounder than the French version with the same number of strands. You can see it here. I prefer the French knot just because I'm used to it, it's quicker, and it gives great results.
Once you get the trick of doing them, you'll realize French knots are not scary at all and maybe even a little fun! They are certainly a great way to add charming texture and details to your embroidery.