Sunday, 10 April 2011

New Hair!

Hujoo Berry has a new Hair-do! 
I've done a little bit of work on her right-hand gauntlet, but I haven't quite finalised that yet... so for now I've been working on a new wig. I'd been looking into getting some natural fibres such as Mohair in a lovely auburn colour to give her a more vintage, romantic look. Inspired by BJD Magazine's super tutorial about how to make a no-sew wig with wig cap*, I realised it didn't have to be as difficult and time-consuming as I had initially thought!

*All available at BJD Magazine:

So, I needed to get hold of some soft wool fibres, and lots of them, since Hujoo Berry has such a big head! I had initially planned to use Mohair and to buy this from ebay, but by chance I was chatting to my mum about it and she mentioned she could acquire some Alpaca wool for me to try. There is a local Alpaca farm near her home in East Sussex who she sources wool from to make environmentally friendly and hypo-allergenic cushions from - she sells these at

So she brought me over some Alpaca wool for me to test, courtesy of the adorable Alpacas who live happily at Spring Farm in Fletching East Sussex
I've found it to be lovely and soft and the colour was exactly what I had been looking for, which was lucky! They do also come in a variety of other lovely colours:
So I set about following the BJD magazine tutorial instructions, as well as Ryo Yoshida's superb doll making guide book, which I ordered from Hobby Link Japan* recently (who by the way turned out to be a great place to shop - great comms, accept Paypal, customs fees included in the price, and Fedex service available. To my surprise my book arrived in just 1 week! Cost about £30 in total)   *
I started making the wig cap, having covered her face in cling film and and glueing the fabric sections as in the tutorial. (I didn't take any pictures because it's all really clearly explained on the BJD Magazine site.)

What I did slightly differently though was to prepare sections of hair in advance:

I know, it looks really weird! But it was quite practical, because I just squirted my PVA glue into the middle and then with  a brush glued each section to the plate, so that I could peel it off easily later. I made two of these hairy frisbee plates, but later made another one adding smaller sections of hair as well. I needed these at the front of the wig cap to neatly frame her face.

I left the glued hair sections to dry over night. In the morning I peeled them off the plate and trimmed the edges with scissors.

I then started glueing the sections onto the wig cap:

(This just shows the wig cap on a wig stand, just it was nice and clear for the photo. I did the glueing while she was wearing it, her head still wrapped in cling film.)

This really didn't take very long at all, only a few hours. And the Alpaca wool has worked really well!

And the result is gorgeous!!

Wild and tousled!

The wool has such a thick, soft texture and gentle colour gradation!
Neat bun

Close up of face. The wig has come out really well and fits nicely

Next up: I've been playing around with making a swivel-down eyepiece made from a brass fixing from an old chest of drawers... It'll all make sense soon enough!!

Sunday, 3 April 2011

Hujoo Berry gets Waisted!

Arr-harr-harr me hearties! Finally things are looking Steampunk Ahoy! With this cute little waistcoat the outfit is really starting to take shape, for what Steampunk inspired item would be worth it's mettle (or should that be metal?) without some good old Brass and Leather!

I managed to source some 3mm brass eyelets on the web at a site called Grin and Craft it ( and this seems to be the smallest size you can get. I didn't bother getting a hole punching tool as I heard this wouldn't go through leather, so instead I just cut the holes very carefully with small and very sharp embroidery scissors.

The waistcoat is a halter-neck type to get around the fact of Hujoo Berry's big head. She can't help it, apparently, it's down to a big brain... [or maybe she's just being big headed ;-) ]

I also made this gauntlet type thing for her arm to see what it would look like and it's come out quite well. The eyelets are laced with a thin ribbon at the moment, I had initially planned for leather cord, but this I think is better.

Here she is confidently striking a pose:
Aw, isn't she gorgeous?

Next up: Well, I really like the lace-up gauntlet so on the other arm she's going to get one on her upper and lower arm, with additional brassy embellishment and even some clock parts and cogs I bought from a really great little ebay shop, that sells them in job lots.


Saturday, 2 April 2011

Get Shirty!

Well it was high time that Hujoo Berry stopped feeling so chilly and exposed on top so she was going to need a nice frilly little chemise.

I started with this lovely oatmeal colour fabric to this pattern. But in actual fact I started a new cut with just the neckline altered, because with the square cutout there just wasn't enough fabric to do the sleeves properly, so I made them slightly broader with a scooped neckline. But I forgot to take a photo of that one... oops!

So this piccie just shows the shirt fabric pinned around her body. Although she's small she is quite shapely, with quite a slim back, so I had to compensate to make the front panel larger than the back.
And here she is, with side seams and darts at the front as well as 2 in the small of her back.
The next bit was to give it a bit of character with some frilly trims:

Although these were quite fiddly to sew on they were definitely worth it to give it a girly feel, as well as the Victoriana touch. The fastening however had to be Velcro as I couln't source buttons anywhere that were tiny enough. The Velcro I used was actually from an old Barbie Fashionista Doll, because these, as well as other modern dolls have a really fine Velcro, where the hook-ey strip is actually transparent and the loop-ey strip is like a soft fabric. I have a suspicion that the toy companies have these specially made for their clothes, because I can't find any info about it anywhere. But maybe it's so specialised it's not even called Velcro, who knows....

But in any case! With 'magic Velcro' in place here's the finished shirt, front and back, with wide sleeves as per Victorian fashion (just without the frills... for now!) :

Next up: I've been looking forward to this one, to finally give it all a Steampunky punch..... a leather waistcoat with brass eyelets !!