Kagura’s Patchwork Skirt

Figures have been getting a lot of blog attention lately, but the same cannot be said for dolls. This is not because my darlings have been neglected(never!), but because I’ve been hard at work polishing my sewing skills to build up lovely wardrobes! I picked up sewing as a pastime in order to not have to spend money clothing my dolls with Azone’s often shockingly expensive pieces. But the few adventures I’ve already had have really taught me to appreciate the skill and quality of official Pureneemo clothing. Not only does the clothing fit well, it suits the dolls perfectly and is available in a variety of fashions. The quality and diversity of official clothing presents a dilemma to anyone wishing to sew for their own dolls, and that is making homemade clothing without having it look homemade. I hope to improve my skills to the point that my Pureneemos(and eventually Dollfie Dream) are able to have beautiful clothing that might as well be official!

But more importantly, looking at Azone clothing inspired me to venture out of my comfort zone and learn new methods by playing with different patterns. This lead to my finally pulling out the Barbie patterns I bought some time ago. The pack contains patterns for fairly basic things like halter tops and skirts along with more complicated projects like a hooded jacket and peasant dress. Unlike the kimonos I had been sewing before, making these things introduced me to gathering(which I already don’t like on such a small scale), elastic, and the fitting required to make something designed for slim and curvy Barbie fit the chunky flat body of a Pureneemo.

After sewing the basic skirt provided in the pattern, I was reminded of a photo that I saw on Flickr of a Pureneemo wearing a patchwork skirt. This particular photographer not only has very well dressed dolls, but always has the cutest sets and props for which I love looking at her pictures!

Inspired by the skirt, I decided to try making one myself. Because the pattern I have requires side seams, I ended up doing my first attempt at draping.

k outfit
Here’s my result!
When you compare to the original photo, I wasn’t entirely successful since the skirt is not as billowy as I’d like. The difference in texture also removes some of the quaint charm.
But I’d be lying if I said I am not satisfied. First, it looks like a skirt which is a good start, and second I think that the colors work well enough to make it a fun piece for Kagura.

k outfit 2
I also made a halter top which was part of the pattern pack. It’s made from an old handkerchief giving it an off white rather than pure color, and I like having something neutral since it looks good with just about everything!

k outfit 3
A closer look at the skirt.
I used the red fabric as a base for the rest of the skirt. The red fabric was originally chosen as kimono fabric for Tamaki, but I love all of the other splashes of color present, and seeing that I have a yard(AKA infinity in Pureneemo sewing) of this stuff, I imagine it will be popping up in a lot of other outfits.

With her new outfit on, Kagura received a twofold photo shoot. First came the outdoor part.
k 1
It is definitely getting colder outside, and although I do not like the winter that is to come, it is nice to be free from excruciating humidity. It also smells good outside this time of year.

k 2
These photos were taken near sunset. I really like how the light shines through the fuzzy plants since it makes for an interesting background. The glow it produces makes me think of Clannad Afterstory which is one of the few holders of the “Managed to genuinely make me cry” award.

k 3
Kagura’s hat also looks nice when the sun hits it.

k 4
I’m proud of her for standing for so long.

k 5
I braided her hair for this shoot. Kagura’s hair can be quite a pain due to its length.

For the next part of the shoot, I headed inside. After the unexpected success with Snow Miku and Black Rock Shooter 2032, I’ve become more open to constructing simple sets and playing with diffusing light through opaque paper. This time I tried building a room with one window.
k 7
The window works just as I’d liked, but because it’s the only place light shines through, I did have trouble keeping the rest of the room bright since it is facing away from sunlight. Next time, I’ll try using a flash or lamp to illuminate the window and sunlight for the rest of the room.

k 8
I’d like to add some white(maybe sheer?) curtains to mitigate the pattern of the wallpaper. My intention with this room was to have it look bright and airy.

k 9
Although I finally have a good handle on figure photography ideas, doll pictures always leave me stumped. I’m not sure what to have the dolls do other than sit.
For those of you who photograph dolls, what gives you ideas for pictures?

k 10
A shot from behind.
Manage your storage space better, Kagura! There’s stuff everywhere!

august nights
And in case anyone missed Tamaki, here’s a picture of the two of them. I call it “August Nights” since it was taken in August…at night.
It’s also become apparent that I’m in the midst of an obsession with backlighting. And using the same accessories repeatedly. Someone needs to pay the hobby store a visit!

That’s all for this time! I hope to have my next post be a review for casual Kyoko!

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13 thoughts on “Kagura’s Patchwork Skirt

  1. Pingback: Big Batch of Doll Clothing! | Never Outgrew Toys

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  3. Your sewing is definitely improving, very lovely!
    I typically get inspiration for doll photos by walking in my garden and seeing which leaves are a proper size for them. Like with the last photo I took, I simply put my doll on the inside of an artichoke plant(http://www.flickr.com/photos/shinkususeisekipullipawesomeness/9706772242/) and I’m really happy with how it came out. You can also put your dolls in the trees, put them in the bushes so it looks like a forest, or really, anything you can think of involving plants. Really, other than that just take photos of them doing all sorts of things a normal or not-so-normal person would do, and you get a good picture if you have lots of props and the proper setting.

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  4. Pingback: Achievement Unlocked Moments & Dolls | ahnpan || figure photography

  5. Oooh, I think you’re so right, the color combos on your skirt are absolutely great!
    (and I guessed that your inspiration was Vivian before I even clicked the link… damn that woman and her AWESOME collection of doll clothes and props, LOL! I spend hours ogling her images T_T)

    I absolutely applaud your efforts at Neemo sized clothing. It’s something I haven’t tried yet… I’m afraid. I’m delving into DD clothing… but with the high quality of Azone’s Neemo clothes, I hit the barrier of “I’ll never come close to that” and give up before I even try. It’s kind of pathetic on my part -_-

    I have to admit though, looking at Vivian’s images makes me really wan to try making my own stuff too, though. Gah!

    Also, I have to admit I went “EEEE!” with joy at seeing the props I sent along being used! (haha, I always worry that I am going to send folks something and they’ll be like, “er… what’s this crud?”) Your quick room setups look great! Also… do you have foam core? You might be able to get away with not setting up another light by just setting up a piece of foam core (white) opposite the light source, then it will bounce the light back on the other side of her face 🙂

    I hear ya on her hair too… I immediately put my girl’s up into a pony tail… I just couldn’t take it, it was messy all the time!!!

    I love seeing posts about yoru Neemos 🙂

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    • Her prop collection is crazy awesome O_O’ It really shows that collecting lots of cute fun props is worth the effort!

      It took me a long time to venture into anything challenging with Pureneemo clothes. For so long, I only made the same thing over and over. It’s rewarding once you get going though! And I still haven’t tried making shoes or even socks XD.
      As much as I like sewing for my tiny girls, a main objective is to refine my sewing so that I can make DD clothes. I want to do that SO BAD.

      Ahaha Your props were more useful than I imagined! Having worked with figmas for so long, I realized with horror that almost everything I already have is way to small for dolls. They look like giants with figma teacups, so it’s great to have something more their size!
      Hm I hadn’t though of that. I don’t have foam core, but a reflector might work just as well. I’ll give it a shot next time I use the set!

      Does your girl have any “bald spots” from having her hair in one style for a long time? Kagura wore a headband for a while and got a spot, then the same thing started to happen from braids! 0_0′ It’s not a big problem, just…unfortunate.

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  6. The room looks great! I love that window, I can’t seem to make one even if my life depended on it :)) Always ends up crooked.

    The skirt and halter top looks good too, the color suits her perfectly, especially with her hat on. She looks really good with a braid. ❤

    Makes me so excited for my neemo. haha!

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  7. Wow! Great job! I can’t sew anything smaller than a plush for the life of me ^^; the photos look amazing! The lighting is really nice!! I never watched Clannad Afterstory…maybe I should

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    • And I wish I could sew a plush! Haha
      Thank you ^^ I love the lighting that time of day. Too bad it goes away so fast.

      I’m not one to cry during anime, Clannad and Clannad Afterstory really did it for me. I can’t say the story was exceptionally sad, but I connected with it just enough for it to make me cry.

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