Summer Hiatus

Summer is here, and since the beginning of June we are going to devote all of our spare time to our favourite sport: sunbathing at the beach!
Summertime is not a great season for sewing and until the end of september I'm going to post only once or twice a month.
In the meantime I'm going to recharge the batteries,  and work out some crafting problems before starting to work around the persian room (I have not abandoned the project!)
I checked the "editorial line 2015":  I've  been   able, almost,  to keep the pace I wanted and I played a lot with my dolls. I fear some of the projects won't be feasible in the near future but I'm sure I'm going to come up with some new ideas. I always have a lot of ideas a so little time to realize them.

In particular I haven't been able to keep my promise about the Thin Man themed posts, in fact I sew only one Myrna Loy outfit for Ofelia, and I have to prepare TONS of these!

Furthermore I have (again!) space problems. I have to find a way to put the hearth room on permanent display,  find a place for the persian room, find an arrangement for the kitchen and last but not least a place for the new vespa sidecar pictured below!

To do so I fear I'll have to reorganize my study (wich is filled with memorabilia from my travels, tons of books, records and dvds!) but  I want to do so with the minum amount of effort. This is going to be  a  real challenge! Or the display rooms will remain all packed up as they are......

Yes ,  I'm in a lazy mood. But it's summertime, you know.

In these next few months I'm going to introduce you to the new girls (and a boy) I recently added to my crew, and an Etro inspired girl's collection I've been preparing during may.

New girls and boys preview:


Hopefully, within September, IT will also release (and deliver!) these two beauties:

Released last week!

Now you can see I really need some rest, and my finances need a lot of rest too!!!


Tartan Craze a Hommes Collection

I've been talking about this project for a while, and now, finally, I'm ready to present you the complete Tartan Craze collection!

Let's go with 20th Century Fox's  fanfare!!!!

I had to stop at some point as I still have several more ideas, but now with springtime finally coming by I have to move on to something else!
First of all let me show you some of the sources of inspiration for this collection:
Ragandbones, Moschino, AuJourLeJour and Valentino's collection from 2013! (I haven't been able to identify the fourth picture, any ideas?)

The thing that impressed me most while preparing the collection is the versatility of the tartan fabric for hommes fashions, from ultra casual, sport and formal, tartan adds a great accent to every style!
What is missing from this collection are formal suits, but as I'm planning a collection  of formal outfits I will sew at least a couple of them (with a  complete tutorial) next fall.

Having trumpeted this collection so much I also took some time to put together some decent pictures, here are the boys on the catwalk (Note: Nicola is wearing in fact a Prince of Whales , but in scale looked more like tartan):

Enrico, Taddeo, Sebastiano

Armando, Bartolomeo, Giacomo
Carlo, Nicola, Goffredo

Ever since I sew the first suit in this collection I envisioned a "Highlands lookbook" for the guys. Scotland is one of the (several) places I haven't visited yet, and Sasha's pictures are on film, so I had to draw upon stock pictures from the internet as backdrops. I believe these are the perfect setting for the collection!

Highlands Lookbook

Lords of the manor, our Supermodels:
Sebastiano (Valentino) Carlo (AuJourLeJour)
The most elegant dudes of the house in casual outfits
Taddeo (Original Billa) Armando (Unknown)
The trendies ones
Bartolomeo (Moschno) Enrico (RagAndBones)
Classic Brit Giacomo - Goffredo can't resist wearing a tie, even in the middle of nothing
Giacomo - Goffredo (Original Billa)
Sunset on the manor, a pensive Nicola ponders about his upcoming visit to Dublin and the girls he shall meet there
Nicola (Original Billa)
I look forward to hear which is your favourite style and picture!
Kisses Billa


Hommes fashion tutorial: trousers

Sebastiano is going to be this month's star. So he's  helping me modeling the trousers for this tutorial. These are part of the Tartan craze collection.

Let's strart with what we need for the trousers:
Fabric, pins, needle, tone sur tone thread and snap fasteners.
First I'm going to show you the pictures of the slopers I've made, along with a meter.

These measurements fit FR Homme dolls.
When I started sewing garment for guys, the first question was: how to draw a pattern for trousers? Here's the answer:

And here's the pattern adapted to a doll's needs, of course one front and one rear for each leg!

Then hem the whole thing, fold the pocket and cut a piece of fabric for the inside pocket:

Here you can see the pocket attached to the front of the leg. Then we put the front and rear together, I usually draw the desired sewing line with chalk

of course we try it on Sebastiano to check the fitting.

Now we can take the measurement for the bottom hem of the trousers, we fold it and sew

And here comes the thing that drew me crazy until I found this tutorial: how the heck do you sew the two legs together?!?!!?
1) turn one of the legs outside out

2) insert the turned leg inside the other

3) fix the crotch with needles and draw the sewing line with chalk

4) These trousers will open on the back, so sew the whole lenght of the front and halfway in the back:

5) Let's turn the whole thing outside out and "et voità":

a perfect fit

But of course, we're not finished yet, we have to add the waistband. Let's take the right measurement on the fitted trousers

Fold and hem on the sides (inside out)

Turn outside out and hem the bottom

Sew the waistband to the trousers

of course we have to sew a snap-fastener on the waistband

Now our trousers are complete!

Sebastiano is ready for a walk in the highlands

Kisses Billa


Travelling Dolly 10: Odette in Oman part 3

For the third and last part of Odette's adventures in Oman I remembered a promise I made about the quality of the pictures. For as interesting travel pictures might be, I believe they can also be really boring. So, before starting posing Odette and Carlo I made a full immersion in Avedon's fashion pictures.
This is what I came out with. I think the whole thing  looks a lot better!

In this last istalment Odette and Carlo are going to show you the diffrent environments and landscapes of Oman. Let's talk about diversity: here you can find the emptiest desert, the lushest wadis  and amazingly vibrant beaches!!!

Odette is modeling a comfortable jumpsuit (you can find the jumpsuit tutorial at April's here). At first I was planning to follow a Michael Kors's model, then something went terribly wrong with the collar. So I changed a bit the overall line and now it is an original Billa's, I'll try again the Michael Kors's with another kind of fabric. Odette will need some new urban safari outfits pretty soon!
Carlo is cozy in his bermuda shorts and a IT T-shirt.

Wahiba Sands
the Wahiba Sands are in the south-eastern part of Oman, they are the gate to the "empty quarter" the most desolate desert of the arabic peninsula. They are named after the Bedu tribe that still inhabits them, with their herds of camels.

In the natural light the sands are pink, so this is the third coloured desert visited by Odette, after the white and black desert of Egypt. Too bad that the camera renders an orange nuance!

You can tell you're in the desert when you find a road sign like this!

The 1000 Nights Camp is great place to stay: Odette and Carlo slept in a real beduin style tent with attached brick toilet and shower: one can have a hot shower under the open sky!

Whadi Bani Khalidsands
This is one huge Wadi! A Wadi is a Oasis around a river, this one is spectatular, actually there is a trek that leads from the Wadi to Muscat. People comes here during the festivities to have  picnics, while tourists prefer to take a plunge in the fresh waters.

Bibi Mariam's Tomb is the only standing  remnant of the ancient city of Qalhat. In fact the origins of this structure are obscure, as it stands alone among the dilapidated ruins of the rest of the city. It looks like there are some archeological dig in the area, but we couldn't spot any activity going on. Anyway is a great place to see!

Wadi Tiwi is a fascinating Tiwi, is a very long valley, punctuated with water polls, vegetable gardens and small villages.

A first sighting of the ocean from Wadi Shab, I can't resist these mushroom shaped rocks, have to photograph them anywhere I see one!

Odette and Carlo didn't have the chance to take a swim in the ocean, but just look at this beach! This beautiful spot is located halfway on the coastal road between Sur and Muscat.

Bimma Sinkhole is an incredible place. A local legend says it was formed by a meteor, but in fact this sinkhole occurred naturally by limestone erosion and collapse of the rocks.

They are back from Oman now, and Odette is posing with a chosen selection of souvenirs: a coffee pot, a clay turtle, a box carved in camel bone and and the thing for which Oman has been famous for ages: incense!  It smells wonderfully!

Next time Odette and Carlo will take us to Mexico!
Previous instalment: Odette in Oman part 2 - fortresses and doors

See you soon