Tag Archives: DIY

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 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 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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Filed under Barbie Who?, Patterns

Cofelia’s Skirt

I am making solid progress with Cofelia’s outfit. I have run into trouble with the jacket, though, so I wanted to do something easier to raise my spirit as I continue on. I looked through some patterns and decided that the skirt would be the perfect project. I was right! Even with black yarn, it was relatively quick and was much easier on my eyes than the attempted jacket had been.

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I used this pattern by Crochet for Barbie for the skirt, only with a few adaptations. For the first change, I axed the pinstripes. This was rather easy; I just omitted the rows with the contrast color. I’m doing the skirt entirely in black, so they weren’t needed. The second adaptation was omitting the ruffle. I finished the bottom with two rows of single crochets instead. Third, I finished it with a clasp instead of a snap. I did this more out of thriftiness than anything; I have more clasps than snaps, and I want to save the snaps for the shirt and jacket. Luckily I had some cool old clasps that I bought at a thrift store. They are charming, and there is a good chance they are older than me. These clasps are pretty much everything I love about thrift stores.

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I chose that pattern over others I found because it had a bit of texture to it. I could have done a boring skirt, but I wanted something a bit more exciting. This had just the level of exciting without deviating too far from the aesthetic seen on Doctor Who. It also worked faster than a plain skirt made up of only single crochets, so it worked out well all around.

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The first piece is complete! Next I shall work on a shirt to match it. From there, I want to crochet a jacket and create some glasses for her. The shoes have been ordered from eBay, and I expect them to arrive any day now. Beyond that, I am contemplating creating a pair of stockings for her. I found an interesting pattern for them on Pinterest, but I’m not sure if my sewing skills are up to the task. Time will tell, and I will keep you updated as I continue. Happy Wednesday everyone!

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