Tag Archives: Cofelia

Meet Cofelia

Cofelia is officially finished! Cofelia, or Miss Foster, is from the Doctor Who episode Partners in Crime. She is the head of Adipose Industries and matron to the adorably pudgy adipose aliens (when she isn’t selling weight loss pills). I started working on this doll in September (don’t ask me where the time went) and finished her in December. I didn’t have the sense to take a before picture, so here is a picture from early on vs a picture today.

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I started with a 2006 Beach Glam Barbie that I had purchased at a thrift store for $1. She did require some cleaning, but after a quick bath she was as good as new. I chose her over other dolls for her nice hair and her similar look to Cofelia from the show. To transform her, I removed her earrings, bought her a pair of glasses, styled her hair, and created several pieces of clothing for her to wear.

Top

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Jacket

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Skirt

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Stockings

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Shoes

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Adipose 1

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Adipose 2

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Bring it all together and you get one fantastic matron.

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In addition to all of that, I made four practice garments to polish up my skills. I also found many dolls and crafting supplies while thrift shopping. I have no doubt that I will put them all to good use as I continue making dolls as part of my Barbie Who? project.

Cofelia has been a delight over the last few months. I have enjoyed learning to work with new materials to create clothes for her and other dolls. I have no doubt that these skills will mean good things for the future. Stay tuned to see just what is in store!

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Cofelia’s Hair

Hair. Everybody has hair to some extent. My husband has very short hair. My daughter still has peach fuzz. I have rather long locks that I maintain. I figured that styling the hair of a Barbie doll would be easy. Oh how naive I was….

Dexterity is not my strong suite at the moment, so I was not able to do a French twist like Cofelia wore in her episodes. Instead, I tried my best to mimic the most prominent aspects of her style that I could see. This is what I came up with.

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I kept her bangs loose and swept to the side while the rest if her hair is tied into a ponytail with a small band. As with the shoes, I decided to mix trueness to the show with functionality that a real matron would sport. I feel like this strikes a good balance of that while staying within my skills. I was not brave enough to cut her hair to create more bangs like Cofelia sports on Doctor Who. Even as a child, I never decided to play barber with my dolls, and I am not starting today.

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The adipose approve! They are jealous of her lovely locks. Hopefully they’ll won’t get too rambunctious; I would hate for them to ruin her hair.

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Cofelia’s Stockings

These stockings have been a headache, but I finally managed to finish them. Yay! I created them using this great tutorial by Adam’s Doll-Related Blog. His looked more polished, but mine will work for Cofelia’s look.

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The biggest difference between his stockings and the ones I made is that mine are open toed. Because it is quite different, I will post a few pictures of the process.

First I traced the leg, just as the tutorial said. Then I cleaned up the lines and drew a few guiding lines. I couldn’t draw a proper line from the toe to the thigh because Cofelia’s feet are too big. Instead, I drew a line from the ankle and worked with that line to create an open toed sticking. After playing around and creating a few lines for the shape of her leg, I inked the finished stocking pattern onto a fresh piece of paper.

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Next I prepped the cloth. I used an old pair of stockings. First I pressed the fabric and made sure to find an area without any flaws to attach the stabilizer. Then I attached the stabilizer. Much to my surprise, the stabilizing paper I used did not have to be ironed on. It is a peel and stick type, which was easy and convenient. That would also explain why it was ridiculously expensive. But I digress…

From there, I traced the pattern into the stabilizer. Pro tip: use a different color than the thread you are using to sew the item. I used a black pen and black thread, and it was hard to see. If I do another pattern, I will use ink that contrasts so that I don’t strain my eyes while sewing. Trust me, just don’t do it.

This next part is where I made another mistake on the first stocking. First, I forgot to attach the lace to the top before sewing the long side-seam to the stockings. I had to undo half an inch of tiny stitches so that I could go back and fix it. After fixing that, I cut and sewed the edge for the open toe with a blanket stitch and used a back stitch to sew the long seam. After that, I trimmed the fabric, ripped off the stabilizing paper, and turned it right side out.

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At this point, I tried putting it onto Cofelia’s leg. I then realized that the lace didn’t have as much stretch as the stocking fabric, so I had to rip it off and re-sew the top edge. From there, I was able to get the stocking on. With my newfound experience, I sewed a second stocking in half the time it took for the first one. The second one did have a slight problem with the stabilizer not wanting to release. There were several days between when I attached the stabilizer and when I ripped it off, and I believe this is to blame. The box says that the stabilizing paper releases best when it is attached to the fabric for an hour or less. Oops! Next time I will read closer before starting a project. Still, there weren’t any noticeable runs in the finished stockings, so I don’t need to make a third one.

I am so happy with how it looks! The shoes fit over the stockings, too. It is a big relief knowing I won’t have to make another pair. The only problem was that the open toe part was big enough to leave a gap of skin. I used a crochet hook to pull the stockings down and secure them to the shoes, eliminating this problem. It does slip at times, but for regular play it won’t matter. I did the easy fox just for pictures.

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The baby adipose are very happy with how their matron looks.

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They do still enjoy causing a bit of trouble, though.

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This leaves one final detail before Cofelia is finished: her hair. I am going to style her hair and take some finished photos! I am ecstatic; the end is so close I can taste it.

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Cofelia’s Second Adipose

I may be a bit crazy for doing this with all the Cofelia craziness, but I had to make a second Adipose. The first one needed a friend, and I needed something to crochet away the nervous energy caused by the shoe debacle. Out of that, I created this adorable little Adipose over the last few weeks.

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This one is slightly different than her older brother. She was crocheted with the same pattern and the same size 30 crochet the head, but she uses a size 12 (1.00 mm) crochet hook. This change makes her a bit smaller than the first Adipose, but only by a few millimeters. I also used a white felt backing when embroidering the face so that the threads on the inside wouldn’t bleed through. This gives a much cleaner look that I am very happy with.

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I decided to be a bit creative with her face. I saw a picture on Pinterest of an Adipose with anime-style rosy cheeks (the link was broken, so I don’t have a link to share). I decided to use those cheeks with a surprised expression on the face to differentiate her from her brother. This little Adipose is easily the more troublesome of the pair.

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On the stocking front, I have finished sewing one of them. Yay! I hope to make time to finish the second one in the next few days. I learned a lot while making the first stocking, so hopefully the second one will take less time to complete. I will update once I finish it.

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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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