Friday, May 27, 2011

New fineries available at CDS

It's that time again - time to bring ya'll up to date on what can be seen at CDS while sipping on your fine Mint Juleps on these lazy Summer afternoons in the South.   And if you don't happen to be in the South, just sit back and imagine you are.  After all, any doll play involves a little imagination - now doesn't it.

First in are some offerings from Lori Lyon's Madeleine Rose Couture, Main Street.  This pop print charmeuse of fuchsia, black and white with a bit of purple haze styled into a sexy halter jumpsuit is just what you need for the upcoming pool party. 

Coordinating bias cut skirt and black silk organza halter top complete a second look out of this beautiful fabric, and can be seen on her website.

While you're there you'll want to check out this beauty aptly titled Monarch.   Butterflies of multi colors flutter across this bias cut halter gown of shimmering chiffon. A high ruffled neck frames her face.  It is fully lined in white silk habotai with invisible zipper closure.

Gayle Chavez, Oohlalaz of Couture Court, has added an additional outfit from her movie costume presentation of Sucker Punch. 

Come sail away with me features light blue denim and orchid pink colors, and is perfect for the the vinyls and slim resin girls as well as Ellowyne. 

But you may want to leave her home when you view the movie, or risk a group of jealous fans!

One of our newest members, Deanna Torigian who is owner of Babette’s Doll Fashions on Couture Court, is busy working on a collection she is calling Summer Peach.

She plans on making dresses in this theme for several dolls, but an airy peach number is already available.

The dress is for the 18" Kitty Collier, and is made from Cotton Organdy. The bodice is double breasted, fully lined with two buttons, but it actually closes in front with silver snaps. Vintage lace adorns the bodice and skirt. Freshwater pearl earrings in peach are included - what fun!

The next stop was to visit Ina Murphey owner of La Petite Fashion Promenade on Couture Court.  I was really anxious because she recently told me this season for brides was officially on!  Ah, she definitely had a nice selection.  Two are featured, but you'll want to see them all!

First:  Trumpet silhouette gown is made of white high lustre satin. The Italian Alencon lace is hand beaded and embellished with Aurora Borealis sequins. The gown has a built-in crinoline to support and maintain the silhouette and is lined with white taffeta. It has a center back snap-fastener closure. A two tiered veil cascades from the headpiece of silk and satin ribbon flowers. It is designed to fit over most hair styles. The earrings are made of Swarovski AB crystals and seed beads. This ensemble includes gown, headpiece with veil, bouquet, necklace and earrings.

Next:  The satin in this elegant gown has two-way stretch and thus will fit most 16 inch fashion dolls. The Alencon lace is embellished with AB sequins and crystals and heavily beaded. Both gown and short sleeve shrug are fully lined with two way stretch lining. Gown has a built-in crinoline to support the silhouette of the gown. All of my wedding gown ensembles are one-of-a-kind original designs. The ensemble includes gown, shrug, headpiece with veil, and silk floral bouquet.

What eye candy – and I still had one more stop. I am trying to interview the shop owners as time allows. I did manage to get an interview from Lori Lyons on here, but now I need to get with it again. I figured I better touch base with Elisa Cetera next because I knew she and her family were usually busy in the summer. Elisa is the owner of Petra Elise Fashion Doll Couture on Main Street – read on for some insight on this very talented lady.

Blogmeister: Who are you? In other words - tell us a little bit about the real person behind your business name?

Elisa: Who am I? For the last 12 years, I have been a stay-at-home mom of three girls---Aislynn, now 14; Kaylie, now 12; and Sheridan, soon to be 9. I've spent a lot of my time volunteering at school, working as a co-leader for a girl scout troop, and sewing. Now that my girls are older, I'm not volunteering at school anymore – instead I have enrolled in classes for myself that should help me better develop my craft and how I present it through photography.  My husband Kenny is a singer/musician, and I also spend a lot of time helping him with his promotion activities and website. My daughter Kaylie has developed an interest in fashion dolls as well, and as time permits in her busy schedule, I am teaching her to sew. She attended IFDC with me last year, and it was really excited to share my passion for dolls with her.

 Blogmeister: How and when did you discover your love for creating fashion art in the doll world?

Elisa: I've always loved fashion dolls--I was the youngest, and only daughter in a family full of boys, so I spent hours, and hours playing with Barbie. I was inspired by a friend's work to try my hand at sewing in the 1/6 scale in the fall of 2008. My beloved kitty Oscar had just passed away at 18 1/2 years old, and I was looking for something to occupy my mind. I was warned that it was addictive---and it truly is!   I had some patterns that I had purchased years ago, thinking I would sew some outfits for my daughter's dolls (but they never really developed a passion for dolls of any kind---quite a shock to me, as I thought with 3 girls I'd have lots of dolls in my life!). I quickly started searching ebay and online for more patterns. I like complex and well designed fashions so the basic craft patterns one can get at the fabric store are not too appealing to me. Within a couple of months, I was selling my fashions on eBay, and participating on the doll boards. In early 2009 I created my website, and signed up for my first doll convention, the IFDC.

From Fantasy to Reality
 Blogmeister: Did you begin creating for yourself then transition to creating fashion art offered for sale?

Elisa: I started sewing in high school--a senior year home economics class. I took to it right away, and ended up making a very glamorous satin gown with a boned bustier and full under train of lace and tulle, which I wore to my senior prom, and was asked to model in a fashion show one of my classmates was having as part of a senior talent show. My sewing skills stalled a bit after that, although I continued to sew and did a lot of cross stitch and silk ribbon embroidery.

When my oldest daughter was born, I discovered heirloom sewing. Initially I learned thru reading books, but as my interest grew, I started taking classes. I became friends with the lady who owned the little fabric store I shopped at, and she suggested I attend one of her SAGA (Smocking Arts Guild of America) meetings. I had never smocked before, but I loved the dresses I saw at the meeting, so I joined the guild. At that point, I was also doing embroidery work for a Los Angeles wedding gown designer, L'ezu Atelier and had an online shop for bridal accessories that I made myself. I joined the artisan program offered by SAGA, and quickly spent most of my free time making little smocked baby and toddler dresses, as well has hand-embroidered day gowns and fancy Easter dresses, both for my own daughters, and commissions for other people.

We moved to a new community, and started attending the local fair in the summer. I decided to enter some of my work, and was thrilled when I won a ribbon for every piece. Almost every year after that I entered several pieces, winning numerous 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place ribbons. Eventually I won two Judges Choice ribbons, a Best of Division ribbon, and came in 3rd place in the Sweepstakes Award. My daughters have enjoyed extravagant Halloween costumes over the years, as I really enjoy the creative freedom costumes present. Now that my daughters are too old for smocked dresses, it is the perfect time to transition to fashion doll art.

Red Seduction
 Blogmeister: Was anything or anyone a significant influence on your work initially?

Elisa: Yes! I had become friends with Tula, of Tallulahbelle thru my fabric sales as I have sold silk fabric remnants and scraps on eBay for years. We started trading photos of our work--my heirloom children's outfits, and her fashion doll ensembles. I was truly amazed at the work she did. At first I thought, I could never do that!, but Tula encouraged me to give it a try and has been a true mentor to me both as a designer of doll fashion, and by welcoming me into the wonderful world of the doll collector. I have been truly blessed to have found such a wonderful friend, and inspiration!

Blogmeister: Today where do you find inspiration for your projects?

Elisa: I truly enjoy, and am inspired by the work of the amazing artists in the doll world: Tallulahbelle, Matisse, Lori Lyon, Made In Paris…to name just a few. I am encouraged by their work, and continue to strive to improve my own skills. I also spend a lot of time looking at websites featuring vintage fashions as I love the fit, and attention to detail. Many times it is the fabric itself that speaks to me--when I look at, or handle a piece of fabric, I can envision it in a fashion. Because I have so much fabric, I often will sketch out whatever idea has occurred to me for a particular piece, and then I store the drawing with the fabric until I am able to work on it.

Blogmeister: For people who would like to create their own fashion art, would you have any words of inspiration or advice?

Glam Girl
Elisa: Follow your heart and give it a try--if you have limited sewing skills, look into taking some sewing classes at your local community college. You should participate in some of the doll boards--there are many wonderful doll designers, both those that sell their work, and those that do it for fun, who will answer questions, and give you good tips to help improve your fashion art. Many people seem to think that sewing for dolls is much more difficult than sewing for people, but it really isn't. And dolls don't wiggle, or complain that something itches!

Blogmeister:  Lastly, what's up for you right now?

Elisa: I'll be attending the IFDC and Integrity conventions.  I'm also going to be offering an IFDC exclusive at my sales table, and an exclusive to my ftk list via my website newsletter in conjunction with the IFDC. I will also be offering this exclusive to the CDS ftk list. The idea for that is for people who can't attend IFDC to be able to enjoy something exclusive too--- so same pattern as IFDC exclusive, different version. I just got the yummy new silk brocades in for this --- two patterns in several colorways. One set will go to IFDC, one set for the ftk exclusive. I hope to be very busy when I get home from convention!!

Sounds like she will, doncha think?  And I know others are busy getting some wonderful new things for their shops ready  So be patient, and check back often - you won't know what we have new unless you stop in from time to time like I did. 

Happy Memorial Day to those who celebrate it, and God Bless Our Troops!  

Friday, May 6, 2011

Happy Mother's Day from Couture Doll Shops!

What's Cooking?, this lovely scenario presented by Tres Chic Boutique, to me, demonstrates what many remember as a stay at home Mom.

Most countries including the USA, Australia, Canada, and India celebrate Mother's Dy on the seind Sunday of May. Mother's Day is celebrated to honor all mothers and to express gratitude for the hardships some must bear to bring up a child.

A doll lover who appreciates his Mother is Angelic Dreamz' own George Gonzalez -- someone we are proud to call a member of CDS!  Love the doll in his likeness saluting his Mom!!!

No matter how you spend your day, we hope those celebrating their Moms as well as all the Mothers have a wonderful day!!

Here's a few items from CDS our Mothers thought were swell - you may want to check out what you like as well!

A stylish cotton sheath that comes with its own stylish silk chiffon scarf, and faux suede belt is available at  Petra Elise Fashion Doll Couture
on Main Street. 

Who wouldn't want diamonds, dahling - dollie diamonds that is - better known as fine Swarovski Austrian crystal rhinestones.

 Facets on Main Street has them sized to fit 16" fashion dolls like Tyler, Gene, or Alex, but can include an extension chain to fit larger dolls.

Of course Mom needs some where to relax......and to park the kids every once and awhile. What better place than a sofa off Main Street from JC's Dream Designs.

Chic Mommy wear is available on Couture Court, too, as evidenced in this ivory silk shantung & silk chiffon dress available from LaPetite Fashion Promenade.
Modeled by Robert Tonner's Antoinette basic 16" fashion doll, this dress will also fit Deva dolls, Madame Alexander's Alex and dolls with similar body type. And it is fully lined in similar silk fabric, featuring a center back zipper closure

Then at the end of the day, she could sew up a dress for one of her sweeties - or just settle down for a bit o' the bubbly.  Pattern from Designs by Jude and Bubbly from Olive's Martini Bar - both on Couture Court.

If she chooses the latter, you might also want something for Dad to wear while he helps her celebrate her special day.  Well, we can dream Dad looks like a beefcake - he did once - to Mom anyway!
Either way, we'll dress him in something comfy from Kolkman's Kreations on Designer Drive - ooh, something soft like this Jersey cream cotton knit in Midnight black is sure to please Mom as well as Dad. 

While on DD, let's check out their fashions.  Right away I'm sure Mom will find this cute fun, flirty number from Click Designs  by Kevin.  Done in a cottony/silk material and lined in dupioni, this outfit with its lovely hat would be perfect for a afternoon out with the ladies!  Remove the hat and you have something fun and flirty for date night, too!!

And shoes - did we say shoes?  While on DD we always have to check the place that only sells'em.  And, sure 'nuf, we found these Red Cotton Pumps with silver buckle trim made specifically for most of our 16" dolls at Shooz by Kaz.

Wow, what fun we've had touring and finding new things on CDS - but how time has flies!  So for now we'll have to bid you adieu - but we'll be back another time to do this again!!  In the meantime remember to be good to MOM!