Monday, October 12, 2015

FO: Sailor Mercury & Sailor Mars

Naturally, if I've made a Sailor Moon, I've gotta make Mercury and Mars. The body construction on these two was not much different than Moon, although obviously I had to change to the flesh color on Mars' legs earlier. However, I think my gauge somehow became much tighter, or a missed a row somewhere, because Mercury turned out so tiny. Then I tried to overcompensate by making an Mars' head a row bigger. The result for either is not my favorite, to be perfectly honest.

The hair is also an area where I'm not 100% pleased with the results. The problem with both is that the characters' hair is loose and unadorned; it just hangs free, so unless I gave them hair as densely packed as real hair their wig cap would show — which is not a good look. 

For Sailor Mercury, I tried placing strands in a side part and then tucking them through the edges of the cap as it came down. However, that ended up looking like she had a braid around her head — which was not the look I was going for. What I ended up doing was tucking the hair under the edges of the cap so no crochet stitches would show, but also have no loose strands (except a couple of strategically placed hairs). The loose hair was tied slightly above the edges, hiding under the hair that covered the cap, and was let sit loose. The end result was much better. You can still tell that the hair is in two layers if you look closely, but the blue yarn is dark enough to hide it at a distance.

I also cut her bangs too short. If I ever make her again I'd keep them about this length.

Sailor Mars' hair was also a bit difficult for similar reasons, but because her hair is longer it was easier to leave it loose. I knew it wasn't going all to bunch up in the middle, like Mercury's hair was doing.

I sewed the wig cap much like Mercury's hair, to hide the crochet stitches.

For bangs, I added another layer around the front and pulled them through the edge and cut. Along of back of the bangs layer I added a row of loose hair, and then added another row underneath that for extra fullness. If that doesn't make sense it looks like this.

This results in hair that flows down the back nicely, but also preserves her side part.

Thursday, October 8, 2015

The Horror...

Friends, I'm here to tell you to remain strong when the worst happens.

*insert Wilhelm Scream here*

I'm very disorganized. Since I have a very large bed it tends to basically be my daytime table and I just leave things on it all the time. Unfortunately I am also on the bed most times and when I move around that absurdly large bed I walk on my knees. And sometimes my needles just can't take it.

Fortunately I had to make a KnitPicks order anyway, but what to do in the meantime? I was on such a roll with this shawl and it's a KAL — I don't want to lose my motivation between now and when my package gets here.

Using a pencil sharpener and some sandpaper I got this

It's not the easiest knitting I've ever done, I'll definitely switch out the tips when the new ones arrive, but this gets the job done in the meantime.

Monday, October 5, 2015

FO: Sailor Moon

In the name of the moon, I'll punish you!

Yay! So after making Sailor Venus, I was excited to try making Sailor Moon. It was around exam time so I didn't have a lot of time to devote to crocheting, but all I really wanted to make was the hair. So I made Princess Serenity instead. She turned out adorably, and rather quickly thanks to her almost plain white empire waist dress. I was also very happy with how easy her hair turned out to be!

Once I was out of school and had all the free time in the world, I got started on a proper Sailor Moon. The main difference in the uniforms of the main Senshi versus Sailor V is that the Senshi wear one piece leotards under their skirts while Sailor V has a two-piece with some midriff showing. This made V's outfit very easy with regards to color changing, I had to decide how to make the V-shaped dip at the stomach that appears in the main Senshi's uniform. Based on Becky's Basic Doll Pattern, all of the Senshi skirts go like this: 

On the last row of the torso and the center of where the doll faces front and on the front loops only: hdc, dc, tbl, dc, hdc. This will create a V-shape. Sew the legs, and use the back loops of the previous row where the stitches above are; that way they are on the outside. 
Row 1: Hold the doll upside down so the stitches face downward. Pick up 24th around the seam of the torso and the legs, and under the exposed V-shape. 
Row 2: *sc 5, 2sc in next st* all around. join
For the pleats of the skirt ch 5 or 6 (depending on gauge and how long the skirt should be) from the join in Row 2 and sc back to the same st, sl to the next st, turn and sc back to the bottom on back loops only. From the bottom, ch 1 and sc back to the top on back loops only. Repeat the back and forth all around. Sometimes, when making it back to Row 2 and if the skirt was getting too full, I would sl into the next stitch and slip again to the following before going back down.

Bun Head
The hair obviously gets the most comments when I show this doll off. Usage's buns are the most iconic Sailor Moon element of all the dolls. I'm glad to report that they were fairly easy to do.

First, I made a wig cap, which is the same as the first half of the head on the pattern, just before the decreases start. I tied some bits of hair at the front for the bangs and cut it. I think I cut the bangs too short, and that makes them the most difficult part of this hair. The buns are just two smaill and lightly-stuffed spheres that I sewed to the top of the head. the two pieces of loose hair that go under the buns are two pieces crocheted flat. Starting with a chain of about 40, turn and sc back two or three times Increases give the piece some curl so I added increases randomly throughout every row. To make the piece thicker on top I included a few hdc and dc stitches near the top. To make the tips of the hair thinner, I sl st through the final stitches.

The red accents on the buns (as well as the tiara jewel, crescent moons, and the brooch on the bow) were added with puffy paint at the end.

I'm very happy with how she turn out, even if I do keep going back and fixing little kinks as I've gotten better at making the team.