All Dolled Up

Part II of the twins' adventure; Missed Part I? Click 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 and to do that, I needed longer strands. 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 this 13-inch doll.

Filipiana dresses can be extremely elaborate. A lot of them are beaded too. I started a Pinterest board to help me with Filipiniana inspirations. Luckily, there are 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 settle on what looked to me like 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. And I was only adding very simple beads! Beading and embroidery must go up on my Learn More list.  

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 floor length and sewed the bottoms back. The rest, I kept with my stash of fabrics that I keep for future use. That was at a time when 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 was not happy with skirt version 1: 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 making an 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. 

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. I did the same with this fabric after I cut it to the size I needed and shape I wanted. This was to be her panuelo or the scarf that goes over her shoulders. As final touches, I gave her slip ons that matched her skirt and a pink rose on her hair, after styling it in a bun. 

The boy was easier. I gave him a shirt, pants and shoes. He is not as formal as the girl but I think it fits. 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 that I got from a craft store. I've learned a lot from this project so I'm definitely looking forward to my next.

More photos of the finished twins after the costumes were done.
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