Monthly Archives: November 2014

Cofelia’s Sensible Shoes

These shoes have been a gigantic headache for me. As I’ve said in previous posts, I bought a bunch of shoes off of eBay to use for this project, but I didn’t realize that my Beach Glam Barbie had big, flat feet that were never meant to wear shoes. I had several options to resolve the shoe problem:

1. Choose a different doll
2. Buy custom shoes
3. Barbie head transplant
4. Ken shoes
5. Make custom shoes

I wound up choosing the fifth option and created a pair of ballet flats for Cofelia to wear. They had their challenges, but they look fantastic!

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I found this awesome free pattern by dezalyx on Pinterest. The pattern is simple, but the small size does pose a challenge. It hurt my eyes and wrists to make them with black yarn, so I only made one per night. I made one pair exactly like the pattern states, but it was too small for Cofelia’s feet. I lengthened the pattern a bit, but it was still too narrow. I made it a final time with a few extra half-double crochets and double crochet stitches in the foot of the shoe, and it worked! I finally have a pair of shoes that fit Cofelia! It felt great to finally solve the problem.

To lengthen and widen the shoes, I had to mod the first foundation row the most. Here is a rundown of what I did; I made several changes and it would be confusing to present it any other way.

Round 1: ch 9
2 sc in 2nd ch from hook (this is the heel)
1 sc in next 2 chains
hdc in next 3 chains
DC in next chain
for toe end, 7 dc in last chain on this side, working your way to the back side of the chains
on opposite side of the chain, DC in next chain
hdc in next 3 chains
sc in next 2 chains
2 sc in last chain on this end
join with sl st in first sc, turn (23 sts)

For row two, I did sc all the way around as the pattern states, except mine totaled 23 stitches. I then added two single crochets to each side of the pattern (sc 7 instead of sc 5 on each side of the shoe for rows 3-5). At any given point, my modification has four more stitches than the original pattern. This makes more sense when you are crocheting the shoe, but feel free to comment if what I’m saying sounds like crazy talk. One warning I will give is that this pattern was very hard on my wrists. The small size is mainly to blame for this. I could only make a single shoe at any one sitting. They only took five minutes to crochet, plus a few more to work in the ends. Overall, it is a great pattern.

That’s how I did it! I am very happy with the shoes I created. They may not be true to the Cofelia that appeared on Doctor Who, I am willing to make that concession. She had black shoes that fit her feet, and that is more important than making a precise replica of the heels she wore on TV. Besides, flats are much more sensible for a cosmic nanny.

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I am still going strong on the stockings! I hope to have them finished soon. I am still stitching them, but I am nearing the point where I rip off the stabilizer and put them on the doll. Exciting stuff!

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Different Doll Options

Since the shoe problem was identified, I’ve been trying to look at my different options for resolving it. Buying a pair of shoes isn’t a feasible option because they don’t make proper heels for feet in that shape unless I get an expensive custom pair. I have found a few patterns for crochet shoes on Pinterest, but they have technical problems I am working through. Most of them go up the leg into a boot style and are designed for a different shaped foot than my doll has. I have made a pair of flats that are cute, but they’re too small for Cofelia’s massive feet. I am trying to mod them, but simply lengthening them isn’t enough because of how wide the feet are. While I am going to keep working on shoes, I also wanted to see what other doll options I have. While I am quite attached to the Beach Glam Barbie for this role, I would be doing a disservice to myself if I didn’t explore every option.

Choosing a doll is done through the process of elimination. There are many different things that disqualify a doll. Hair color was the initial litmus test. I am looking for a doll with pale blonde hair. That narrowed down the number of dolls by about two thirds. From the remaining dolls, I eliminated any dolls that did not have a body that could wear the outfit I have created. This removed some ballerina dolls and a princess doll who had an adjustable skirt attached to her torso. I also eliminated a couple of Rapunzel dolls because their hair was waaaaaay too long. I eliminated several other dolls because their hair had bangs that wouldn’t work for how I want to do Cofelia’s hair. From there, I eliminated dolls who had feet that wouldn’t fit into the shoes. This narrowed it down to three dolls to challenge the one I originally envisioned as Cofelia.

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The first doll is the Beach Glam Barbie I chose weeks ago. The second doll is a Jakks doll of Taylor Swift. The third doll is a generic doll stamped with the Chic logo. The third doll is another Barbie doll that I haven’t identified (yet).

I didn’t like the hair color of the unidentified Barbie doll, so she was eliminated. The shoes had a tendency to unexpectedly pop off of the stiff feet of the Chic doll when I moved her, so she was booted. That narrowed it down to my current Barbie doll and the Taylor Swift doll.

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Given my options, I think I will stick with the Glam Beach Barbie doll and find new shoes. The clothes don’t quite fit the Taylor Swift doll (smaller waist – I would have to make a new skirt for her), and her face doesn’t quite match what I have in mind for Cofelia. Taswegian1957 suggested a head transplant as an option, but I don’t think I am willing I risk breaking the the Glam Beach doll to do one. Maybe that will be an option one day, but I’m not there just yet.

I may try to MacGyver some shoes into existence…. I found several promising shoe patterns, even if none are perfect. I found a crochet pattern for flats that use size 10 thread, and they are cute. They’re the pair I talked about above; I made a pair from the pattern, but it was too small and narrow for Cofelia’s feet. I will start by further modding the current pattern before these more sensible shoes come together.

I am also working on her stockings, and it is the opposite of easy. Even with stabilizing paper, it is tough to stitch the fabric. My sewing machine has eaten my first two attempts, so I am going to try hand stitching. I have some recent experience sewing buttons and stitching felt, so I am optimistic about how it will work out. My biggest concern is finding a proper thimble to use while doing it.

Hopefully I will have an update within the next few days. The holiday later this week will monopolize my time for a few days, but I am optimistic that I will post again by the weekend.

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Identifying the Doll

I finally know exactly what type of Barbie Cofelia is! It took a lot of effort, but I finally found a picture of a doll with the same hair, eyes, and earrings as Cofelia on Flickr. She is a Beach Glam Barbie! Specifically, she came from a set that included a Beach Cruiser and Summer doll that came out in 2006. That is why her earrings are blue hearts instead of pink hoops (as well as a change in makeup color). It is always so exciting to identify a doll! This feel especially good because I have spent so much time fawning over her for this project. A big thank you to Taswegian1957 for pointing me in the right direction. You rock!

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Also, I found something cool while researching this doll; I read a fun blog post by Humor Columnist about a grandma with the same problem of a flat footed doll who’s shoes don’t fit. Her struggle makes me feel a lot better about how I didn’t notice the size of her foot at first. She solved the problem by buying Ken shoes for the doll to wear. That idea had never even crossed my mind! It is great to have another option. I know it would end up being a pair of sneakers or similar, but they may look better than the shoes I’m trying to make. We shall see! It is nice to know there are other options out there.

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Shoe Troubles

A few weeks back, I purchased some Barbie shoes as a finishing detail for the dolls I’m doing for Barbie Who? They came in a variety of colors and styles to match whatever look I’m going for.

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I went ahead and picked out all of the black shoes to help me decide which one to use for Cofelia’s outfit. Four pairs of heels were black, and two matched the closed-toe style seen in the episode. The two that went up the ankles were immediately eliminated, leaving me with a pair of dainty pumps and a pair of sling-backs.

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I decided the pumps would best for the aesthetic I’m going for. I picked them up and tried to put them on the Cofelia doll. Then the problem became apparent. The shoes do not fit onto the doll I planned on using for Cofelia.

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The doll has flat feet with painted nails. I think they look very pretty, but they don’t fit into the curvature of the shoe. They’re also much too big. None of the black heels will fit her, and that is a pretty big problem. This puts me in an awful situation. I either have to buy a pair of shoes that will fit, make a pair of shoes for her to wear, or find a new doll that can fit into the shoes. This will be difficult no matter which way I go…. I’m going to look at my options and continue forward.

My next goal is to make the stockings. I just purchased the stabilizing paper needed for it, and I have a pair of stockings I’m willing to sacrifice. Hopefully they won’t be problematic….

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Cofelia’s Glasses

Exciting news! Then glasses arrived today despite the snowy weather. They were a bit pricy ($2 after shipping), but I think they were worth it. They really give her the look of Cofelia from the show.

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They are a bit finicky to work with, but I know they will fit better after I style her hair. I am pleased with the shape and how they aren’t too bulky. It was hard to find a pair of black times glasses for Barbie that weren’t sunglasses. I am fortunate to have found a reasonably priced one. Some vintage Barbie glasses were going for upwards of $10 each after shipping. It really puts it into perspective how hard-core some collectors are about these dolls.

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They’re so cute that even the Adipose had to try them on. I think it makes him look more intellectual, don’t you?

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Cofelia’s Adipose

I finished an Adipose! For anyone not so well-versed in Doctor Who, an adipose is an adorable little squishy alien that caused trouble for the tenth Doctor. I am very pleased with how this little guy turned out!

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To make this adorable plush, I used a pattern created by …by Midnight. You can see her blogpost about it right here. I did change up the arms and legs, though. I didn’t want to make the fingers or toes in such tiny thread, so I just ad-libbed them.

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My biggest concern when starting this pattern was scale. I wasn’t entirely sure how well it would transfer to a different weighted yarn and a smaller crochet hook. I was also concerned about how large it would be compared to the doll herself. I decided to use size 30 crochet thread and a size 9 (1.40 mm) crochet hook to make this doll and hoped for the best. The thread came from a thrift store and was in its original unopened packaging (this is the only reason why I know what size thread it is). The thread worked well with the tiny hook and created an adorable little plush. To stuff the body and limbs, I used some fiber fill that I purchased on clearance. It was difficult to fill the tiny arms, but I managed to work it out after a slight struggle.

Beyond the Adipose, I also removed the earrings from the Barbie doll I’m using for Cofelia. They are big and are a distraction, so I have no regrets about taking them out. I think she looks considerably better this way.

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Up next, I am going to focus on little details for this doll. I have determined that making glasses isn’t feasible to do, so I am going to order some off of eBay last week. I also found a pattern for doll stockings I would like to attempt. This is a sewing pattern, so I will have a good excuse to clean the dust off of my neglected sewing machine. I will also clean up and style the doll’s hair to match Cofelia from the show. We are getting very close to finishing this doll. I really look forward to sharing the results!

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Unique New Dolls

Where to begin? Well, I have reached a point where my husband is commenting on the number of dolls I have found at thrift stores. Because of this, I’ve made a new rule that I will only buy a new doll if she is somehow unique from the regular blonde-hair, blue eyes, fair completion Barbie we see all the time. Uniqueness can come from a unique age, too, in addition to head, hair color, or ethnicity. With that in mind, I found a few cool new dolls while out shopping with the family.

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These two dolls are unique because they are Disney dolls. The one on the left is a Mulan doll and the one on the right is an Ariel doll. The Ariel doll has a color-changing fin. I noticed this because it kept changing from purple to blue as my child held it. Her hair also changes color; I find both to be delightful. While I probably won’t be able to use this Ariel for Barbie Who (unless Moffat gives us something strange and delightful with Capaldi), I’m sure I can find a place for Mulan within the project.

I also found a Barbie doll that truly puzzled me. When I first picked her up, I didn’t think it was a Mattel doll. It did have the proper stamps, so I bought it as a curiosity. After some research, I learned she has an everflex body and can be posed in all sorts of crazy positions without breaking or becoming permanently bent. When I showed my husband, he said it reminded him of a Stretch Armstrong doll. It did for me, too, but without the goo inside.

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According to what I’ve read, this was a cheerleader doll released in the early 2000’s. This type of body is covered in a rubbery skin-like substance called everflex. In other dolls, this was only used over the waist to allow it to turn in unique ways, but in this doll it is all over her body. Her body is considered the Dance n’ Flex body because it is fully covered in the stuff. Given the strange thinness of her arms and how disproportional she looks in real life, I can see why they didn’t make more dolls like her.

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Other variants of Barbie cheerleader dolls have full articulation, sometimes including the wrist, to allow for more realistic poses than bending this doll’s arms can allow. This doll is a good example.

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She has really cool articulation at the waist, elbow, and knees. This allows me to pose her. While I’m still not sure what version of Barbie the doll is (2010 fashionista is my best guess), the dress she is wearing is from the Glam Bike set. I also believe the shoes another doll is wearing comes from that set. It’s so much fun to learn these things!

Next up, I have two dolls who charmed me with their brunette hair. I found the doll on the left at the same store as the two Disney girls above. The one on the right I found at a different store downtown.

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These two brunettes have a few cool things about them. The one on the right isn’t a full 11-1/2″ doll. She is shorter, which leads me to believe she is either a Skipper or Courtney doll (or one of their pals). It is so cool to finally add a teen doll to my collection! I hope I can find various other ages as I continue searching for dolls.

The doll to the left is full sized and is awesome! After researching her, I found out from The Barbie Blog that she is Splash n’ Color Kira. After reading that entry, I was pleased to see that someone else found her second-hand and managed to find out who she truly was. Like the one posted by The Barbie Blog, mine has different earrings (the same as the ones her doll has and the one on this page has, actually). I couldn’t resist doing the water test and being delighted when her hair turned pink and white with warm water. She is such a fun and unique find!

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Last but not least, I have a Jakks doll. I bought her because she has a different face than the regular doll molds, and I appreciate diversity.

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I researched her, and to my surprise this is a 2002 Hannah Montana doll. In a totally CrAzY moment, I saw that the blog My Barbie Blog had a post about a Hannah Montana she found at a garage sale right after her post about the Kira doll. It had the exact same face as the doll I found, although she doesn’t sing. This leads me to believe she is a different doll set that uses the same molds, but at least I know who she is! She has the same body as the Taylor Swift Jakks doll I found ages ago. I like their arms; they’re more posable than many of the other dolls.

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I am still having a crazy moment thinking about what the chances are that The Barbie Blog would have two consecutive blog posts about two dolls I was trying to ID. I’m guessing it is very slim and I should have bought a lottery ticket today instead of going thrift shopping. Oh well!

That is all I have for this update! I just wanted to share the cool new dolls that I have found and some information about them. Hopefully I can continue finding unique dolls and perhaps even identifying them like I have these gems. On the Cofelia front, I am almost done with her adipose! I finished the body, one arm, and one leg. I just need to make the other limbs and see them into the body. It should be finished very soon.

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