Category Archives: Clothing & Accessories

Linda Gavin BJD Clearview Dollhouse

Linda Gavin: BJD Interior Designer (Part 2)

In the second installment of our interview Linda talks about furniture, accessories for your BJD dollhouse, and shares some photo tips with us.

BJDmagazine: Your doll house has beautiful furniture. What are your favorite sources of miniature furniture?

Linda: I love the custom-made pieces the most because I love the originals. I love the REAC series of designer furniture too. The Eames Elephant is on my wish list. I bough one for my son in 1:1, and I hope to make a miniature version of his room one day.

Linda Gavin BJD Dollhouse

BJDmagazine: You chose wonderful accessories for your BJDs to “play” with. What are your favorite sources?

Linda: Cellphone charms and keychain charms are my favorites! I find them on eBay and various online stores, but also in normal stores near where I live. I get a lot of gifts from friends and they find stuff everywhere too. You can just not get enough of miniature toys :)

Linda Gavin BJD Dollhouse

BJDmagazine: What are your sources for wallpaper and rugs? Can you give us advice with regards to pattern choices?

Linda: eBay and The Doll House Emporium. You can find exciting stuff in the train hobby shops too. Especially if you’re making a garden.

BJDmagazine: What are your inspirations for your dollhouses? Do you have favorite dollhouse creators?

Linda: Annina Diston is my hero. Look at her work, it’s so realistic! I love it. Helle Gavin makes room boxes and can change interiors in the blink of an eye. She has thousands of miniature items, and updates her flickr stream on a weekly basis. I love seeing what her toys are up to. My main inspiration comes from the world of interior design and photography.

Linda Gavin BJD Clearview Dollhouse

BJDmagazine: What advice would you give our readers for taking great photographs of their BJDs in their miniature world?

Linda: The lighting and lens are the key to taking great photographs. Play with the light. Use real light, desk lamps, candles. Use a tripod so you can take crisp photos with long exposure time in the evening. It’s really nice to take small houses outside, to the forest, beach, or to a creepy alley. Let your imagination run wild. You can create very interesting photographs if you change the environment. And while you’re at it, why not make a little stop motion film?

Linda Gavin Victorian BJD Dollhouse

BJDmagazine: If you were to give advice to a first time dollhouse builder, what would it be?

Linda:  Take your time finding and buying accessories for your  house or you will run out of space very quickly and wish you had bought a bigger house. Enjoy the process of finishing your first miniature home since this is the most exciting part of the hobby. Read reviews keep track of the market value.

Linda Gavin Clearview BJD Dollhouse

BJDmagazine: Is it more fun to have a dollhouse for your BJDs? Why?

Linda: Everyone needs a home :) It’s a good place to store your dolls and miniatures, and to take photos. The dollhouses makes great backgrounds for toy photography. I’m very amused by the dolls in the house. It wouldn’t be the same without them.

Linda Gavin BJD Dollhouse

(All images are the property of Linda Gavin.)

You can find Linda Gavin on: 


Her Photo Blog:

Her Toy Blog:

Her Website:

Please help us by linking, tweeting, and sharing this article with your friends.



Linda Gavin: BJD Interior Designer (Part 1)

Linda Gavin is known in the BJD world for her wonderful dollhouse interiors. In the first installment of our interview with her, Linda talks about her dollhouses, and gives us simple advice on how to create our own, while delighting us with her wonderful photographs.

BJDmagazine: Have you always had dollhouses? When did you start making your own?

Linda: I had a Lundby house as a kid, but I think my mother sold it at the flee market.

Victorian BJD Dollhouse by Linda Gavin

BJDmagazine: What made you decide to create a dollhouse for your BJDs? What size BJD did you create your dollhouse for? What scale is your house in?

Linda: I decided to buy my first house when FairyLand announced their new series of PukiPukis that fits in a 1:12 scaled world. I’m interested in interior design and in creating worlds and homes for toys.  So, in 2007, I started creating more realistic surroundings for my toys.

Victorian BJD Dollhouse by Linda Gavin

BJDmagazine: Can you tell us more about scale and what it really means?

Linda: 1:1 is the size of the real world and 1:12 is a 12th of it. For example, if a ceiling is 12 feet high in real life, then in a 1:12 scale dollhouse the ceiling is 1 foot high.

Victorian BJD Cafe by Linda Gavin

BJDmagazine: What was the first dollhouse you created for them? Why did you first chose that style?

Linda: I chose to buy a Victorian dollhouse because I didn’t know that there were modern houses out there. It was only 70€, came with windows, and was easy to assemble. So it was a good house to start with.

Victorian BJD Dollhouse by Linda Gavin

BJDmagazine: What attracted you to the Clearview House and the Pod M112?

Linda: I’m attracted to minimalism and contemporary design. I loved the Clearview house because of the open spaces.

M112 BJD Pod by Linda Gavin

BJDmagazine: Did you plan a lot before starting the decoration of the houses? Can you describe the process for us?

Linda: It’s just like planning to move in to a new house. I get a lot of inspiration fromFlickr and interior design magazines like Elle and Dwell. I purchase items from eBay, and custom order design pieces from miniature artists. I also print lamp shades, wallpapers, and artwork for framing.

M112 BJD Pod by Linda Gavin

BJDmagazine: How long does it take to complete a dollhouse?

Linda: It can take anywhere from a few hours to years. I will never finish my Clearview house.

BJDmagazine: What are the most important points to keep in mind when designing a dollhouse?

Linda: If you’re a newbie, buy a house that is easy to assemble and doesn’t take up more space than you can spare. If you fall in love with this hobby, you might want to buy more houses, so it’s good if you can stack them, or hang them on the wall. It can be very expensive to buy a house and all the furniture, so it’s good to make a plan before you start buying,  because you might not be able to buy everything at once. Do you want electricity in your house or will you go for LED? Do you want a 1:12 scaled house or do you want to get a playscale (Barbie-sized) house for your taller BJDs? Dollhouses are often fragile, and the longer they’re traveling, the bigger the risk that it’s broken when it arrives. Paris’ Pods are very sturdy though. They would survive a planecrash.

There’s another alternative to dollhouses. You don’t need a house that looks like one from the outside, but something that looks like a house from the inside. You can build your own room boxes from things you find at IKEA, such as IKEA cube shelving. A box room will look nice if you buy some windows, wallpaper, and flooring. Even pictures of windows can look great.

M112 BJD Pod by Linda Gavin

(All images are the property of Linda Gavin.)

Join us Thursday, 9 am (Boston time), for the second part of our interview with Linda!

You can find Linda Gavin on: 


Her Photo Blog:

Her Toy Blog:

Her Website:

Please help us by linking, tweeting, and sharing this article with your friends.



Tireless Artist OOAK Ribbon-Jointed Doll Mary of Scots

The Inspirational Dolls and BJDs of Tireless Artist (Part 2)

In the second installment of our interview with Tireless Artist, Dorote discusses costumes, wigs, the BJDs and dolls she’s dreaming of, and her collaboration with Lidia Snul.

BJDmagazine: What materials do you use to paint your dolls, and why?

Dorote: I used to paint dolls with oil paints, but now I paint my dolls with acrylic paints most of the time.  In the case of Dirvolira, I used pencil and pastel. After painting my dolls, I always seal them with acrylic varnish to protect against aging.

Tireless Artist OOAK BJD Dirvolira

BJDmagazine: Why do you chose to create characters with such long thin limbs?

Dorote: I am fragile on the outside and strong on the  inside – like my characters. These proportions help me to convey that feeling.

BJDmagazine: Tell us about your doll’s wigs. How do you create them? How much work is involved in making one?

Dorote: Wigs are an important part of the costume in my dolls. I like them unrealistically high and with lots of curls. They all are made from natural wool or mohair, since no artificial fiber can give such quality. As with everything else about my dolls – wigs take much time and work to create. The process of wig making is long and needs lots of attention. To describe it briefly – I make a base of the shape I want, then I create curls and sew them to the base. After the wig is sewn, I glue it to the doll’s head and decorate it with beads and other items. For the final step – I make additional curls and glue them on. Usually I need around 20 hours for one wig.

Right now I have an idea for making a BJD with a fancy wig that is not permanently glued to her head.

Tireless Artist OOAK Ribbon-Jointed Doll Eve

BJDmagazine: You say “a doll is done when it doesn’t need my work anymore and lives on its own.” Can you elaborate?

Dorote: There always comes a moment when I look at a doll and I know that she’s got everything she needs – all the beads are added, all the curls nicely shaped, all the details of the outfit are sewn, each ribbon is beautifully tied, and my signature is in its place. That is the moment when I do not see anything that could be added to the doll. It means she is finished. I never come back to finished dolls and never remake them because I work on them as long as it takes for them to be perfect. When I am satisfied with the doll, she starts living on her own. At that moment she is ready to show herself to the world and leave my house for the new owner’s home.

Tireless Artist OOAK Ribbon-Jointed Doll Mary of Scots

BJDmagazine: Can you describe your work process for us. What part does drawing and planning play in it?

Dorote: It all starts in my head. The idea appears and I carry it there for a while. Sometimes, it is not strong enough and I let it go away. Other times, it develops into a pretty realistic character, which I sketch.

I prefer to take my time sketching and planning all the details so I know for sure how and what I should do after I start making the doll.

It certainly saves me a lot of time. It is faster and more convenient to design the doll in my head and on paper, than to design it while sculpting the doll or working on a costume. First I draw what the doll is going to look like, then I plan the technical part of making her. Sometimes I do information research for characters such as historical figures or animals.

After I know how I want the doll to turn out and how to make it – I start sculpting. It takes many hours before I am completely satisfied with the sculpting. I keep cutting, sanding, and sculpting until the moment when I see it and I think “yes, this is it!”

I then start painting to give the doll more life and character. Painting a doll is like painting a 3D picture – you need the skill of a portrait painter. It is not just about giving some color to that face, but also about making shadows deeper and lights brighter, giving it a mood, putting some thought into these eyes…

After the painting, I start working on a wig and a costume, which takes hours and hours of sewing and embroidering and beading. Lots and lots of attention and patience are taken until I can finally celebrate the birth of another unique creature.

Tireless Artist OOAK Ribbon-Jointed Doll Heartbeat

BJDmagazine: Your dolls are all mythical or historical women. Why? Do you have any plans to create a male doll?

Dorote: I guess they all are women because somehow I reflect myself in my dolls. However, yes, I was thinking about creating  a human-like male doll. The only males I’ve created so far are a fox called Dream Seller, and a rabbit/brownie called The Professor :) ).

BJDmagazine: You only create OOAK dolls. Why do you make the choice not to reproduce?

Dorote: It is all because there are too many character waiting desperately to be created in my head :)

…reproducing… well maybe someday far in the future…

I just enjoy creating unique dolls so much. I like that they are all different from each other.

If I ever use molds – it will be for a very limited edition.

BJDmagazine: What do you find is the most rewarding moment in the creative process?

Dorote: I can’t point to just one moment… The whole process is rewarding. Being able to do what I love to do is rewarding. Getting feedback from my wonderful audience is rewarding.

Tireless Artist OOAK Ribbon-JOinted Doll Eve

BJDmagazine: What do you find is the most challenging moment in the creative process?

Dorote: To find the beads of exact shape and size right when I need them. :) … Just joking. But yes, sometimes I know what I want and I know how it must look, and then I spend hours walking from store to store looking for that exact detail.

BJDmagazine: You say you are happy and sad when a doll is finished. Can you tell us more about that? What is your relationship to your dolls?

Dorote: The whole creation process gives me a lot of joy and pleasure. I am always full of excitement and curiosity about how the doll will turn out. I see her getting more and more alive in my hands – that feeling is incredible. So yes, it is a bit sad when all this process is finished.

But then I just sit and look at my doll, and I feeling all the energy I put into her coming back to me, and I feel happy.

BJDmagazine: This year, you are stating a collaborative project with Lidia Snul of Bjtales. Can you talk about the project?

Dorote: I have admired Lidia’s dolls for some time and was always wondering how they would look dressed up in fancy hand made costumes. One day Lidia wrote me how she likes the costuming of my dolls, and so I offered to make a collaborative project, just to see how my costume would look on her doll. It appeared that she had exactly the same idea and was about to propose that to me.

We have been thinking about a character and came up with a pirate girl. She has a sad story which we will tell soon. Meanwhile, Lidia is casting her and I am planning the costume.

BJDmagazine: Is there anything else you would like to share with us?

Dorote: Nothing comes to my mind at the moment – I have to admit, this was the longest and most detailed interview I have ever given. Thank you very much for your questions!

And a  big thank you to all of you who have spent their time reading this till the end!

Tireless Artist OOAK Ribbon-Jointed Doll Joan Angel

You can find Tireless Artist on: 


Her Blog:

Her Etsy Shop:

Please help us by linking, tweeting, and sharing this article with your friends.

Tireless Artist OOAK BJD Dirvolira

The Inspirational Dolls and BJDs of Tireless Artist (Part 1)

In the first installment of our interview with Dorote Zaukaite, also known as Tireless Artist, Dorote introduces us to the world of her unique dolls, from BJDs to ribbon jointed dolls, and dazzles us with her incredible  costumes and wigs.

BJDmagazine: Did you get training as an artist, or are you self-taught?

Dorote: Yes, I’ve got training. I studied in an art college. We had sculpting and painting and drawing and anatomy lessons. I must admit, sculpting and anatomy were my least favorite subjects… How could I know that one day they would become the most useful ones? :)

Tireless Artist OOAK BJD Dirvolira

BJDmagazine: What are your inspirations for your dolls?

Dorote: I get inspired by lots and lots of things. It can be a beautiful misty morning, or some person, or phrase, or feeling or anything else. I love the Gothic and Baroque eras for their costumes; I love the Renaissance just because it was the renaissance. I am interested in history. Dolls are my way of communicating with the world. Sometimes I want to tell a fairy tale and I make some anthropomorphic creature, at other times I want to talk about the roots of humanity so I create an African doll. It is great when people look at my work and see what I am telling them, and it is also fine if they just see a beautiful doll. I am happy as long as my art brings positive emotions.

BJDmagazine: How has your work as a doll-maker evolved over time?

Dorote: My journey as a professional doll artist started when I saw a photo of an Asian BJD for the first time. I was amazed by the way the doll was posing, and by the sadness in her eyes. So I started “digging” for more information and I discovered the magic world of hand made dolls. I just fell in love with the idea of a doll as an art object.

So yes, my first doll was a BJD. However, my head was exploding with ideas and different characters and making BJDs was a really slow process, so I started trying other doll making techniques. This was the reason why many of my early dolls were static. I was experimenting with costuming and searching for my style. I was playing with human body proportions which brought me to that non human thin and tall shape which my dolls have now. Not so long ago, I got inspired by a primitive way of jointing dolls using string, and raised the technique to a new level by making Ribbon Jointed Dolls which do not look primitive at all. At this point, I already know what I want from the aesthetics of my dolls and I see clearly which direction they will evolve; and – most important – I am ready to come back to BJD making.

Tireless Artist OOAK String Jointed Zuri

BJDmagazine: Tell us more about your BJD, Dirvolira. What is your inspiration for her?

Dorote: Dirvolira is an ancient Lithuanian goddness of fields and households. We have very little information about our ancient gods, as Christianity erased them from people’s memory. I wanted to bring her back to life – a fragile forgotten goddess from a deep past.

BJDmagazine: What made you chose this type of articulation. Why are her wrists not ball-jointed?

Dorote: As I’ve mentioned earlier – I felt that I am finally ready to come back to BJDs. This character just had to be BJD, as no other construction could have given her the flexibility I wanted. I just had this image in my mind of a tiny fragile creature rolled into a ball.  About the wrists – it is a playful detail which makes her different from a traditional BJD. (I have to admit I love breaking traditions) The pictures do not show that, but when you handle her, her hands tremble. It is a result of their construction – and works perfectly with the image I wanted to create.

BJDmagazine: What material did you chose to create her with? Why? What role does texture play in Dirvolira’s character?

Dorote: I have sculpted Dirvolira from Plastiform. It is strong and perfect for a doll constructed that way.

I’ve preserved the beautiful texture of the modeling clay, and even have left some micro scratches on purpose to give her an antique look. I have also used pencil and pastels instead of acrylics or other paints just to give her that roughness which makes her unique.

I like antique things and I like natural materials – you can see that in my dolls as I always do my best to keep that spirit.

Tireless Artist OOAK BJD Dirvolira

BJDmagazine: Dirvolira’s body is adorned with tattoos. Can you tell us more about the meaning of tattoos in your work?

Dorote: Dirvolira is a goddess of fields so I have used plant motifs as tattoos to emphasize her connection with nature.

I love when hand-made dolls are decorated with ornaments. That is what makes them special and unique. When I see a nude doll – it looks like a toy, but when I am looking at a doll that is decorated with drawings or paintings – I see a work of art.

BJDmagazine: How do you chose the materials for the costumes? Does each element have a symbolic value?

Dorote: I look at a doll as at a complete work of art. All her details must flow one into another. There must be harmony between the doll and her costume – colors, ornaments, texture – it is a whole. The color of Dirvolira’s hair echoes the pencil drawings on her body. Her natural silk skirt looks like a mist floating above the fields and her flax corset reminds us that flax was the main fiber used in clothing by ancient Lithuanians. So in the end the doll has something from fantasy and something from history.

Tireless Artist Cleo OOAK Doll The Stray Cat

BJDmagazine: Why do you chose to paint the eyes of your dolls, rather than use glass eyes?

Dorote: It is all about the style of doll I create. Sometimes I make glasslike eyes myself so they fit the character, at other times I paint them as that fits the style of a doll better. My latest dolls are more and more stylized and glass eyes would just look strange and unnatural.

BJDmagazine: Your costumes are incredibly detailed. What is their role in the creation of your characters? Can you elaborate?

Dorote: Yes. I pay a lot of attention to costuming. It is the costume that creates a character. There is so much room for imagination in costume creating. I always say that a doll without a costume is just a half piece (unless she is tattooed of course).

I like when the dolls are nice to touch and I am thinking of that while choosing fabrics. However, they are art pieces first of all, so they must be eye-catching. All the detail I add to their costumes makes them special. They attract your attention and you never get bored looking at them. I also believe, that while holding my doll in your hands you can feel the whole love and energy I have put into her.

Costuming my dolls takes as long  or even longer than sculpting. High quality fabrics are sewn and embroidered by hand. I use lots of beads, which all are attached with thread. Sometimes I dye fabrics to get the exact color I need for the character. A real work of art must have lots of hand work and it must be resistant to aging as much as possible. That is why I choose sewing instead of using glue everywhere where it is possible even when it takes more time.

Tireless Artist OOAK Ribbon Jointed Anne Bolleyn

Join us Thursday, 9 a.m. (Boston time) for the second installment of this wonderful interview with Tireless Artist.

You can find Tireless Artist on: 


Her Blog:

Her Etsy Shop:

Please help us by linking, tweeting, and sharing this article with your friends.


PlanetDoll Mini Riz BJD

Where to Start with BJDs? by Lea Mars (Part 2)

So, you’ve decided which BJD mold you want. A ‘mold‘ is the model of the doll. When you order your doll, you’ll probably get the option to choose the resin color, and whether you want the doll with face-up or not.  Some dolls come in only one resin color, but often companies give you different options. The most common colors are white, natural and tan. That being said, not all white, natural or tan resins have the exact same tone. They vary by company. For example my PlanetDoll Mini Riz is a white resin doll, and she is almost as white as paper. Yet, my eLuts Soony has a yellowish glow, even though she is also a white resin doll. Keep this in mind when you buy your doll. Again, look at pictures taken by owners. They usually give a more realistic view of the skin tone of your doll.

PlanetDoll Mini Riz BJD

As I said earlier, you can purchase your doll with or without face-up. A face-up is the ‘make-up’ a doll has on his/her face. When you order your doll with face-up, the doll company will do the face-up. This is often referred to as a standard face-up. Sometimes, the company will give you some say in what you want for a face-up, but you can’t get very specific. If you really want a specific face-up for your BJD, you can commission an artist. There are many face-up artists in the BJD world. Take a look at the interview with Sweetly Twisted or Viridian House. Of course you can also try to do it yourself.

PlanetDoll Mini Riz BJD

The basic things you will need for a face-up are a sealer like Mr. Super Clear, paints, chalk pastels and paint brushes. There are many tutorials and do’s and don’ts available. Do a lot of research before doing anything on your doll. Not all types of paint can be applied on a doll and not all paint removers are good for your doll! If you have a tanned doll you should be extra careful. Take a look at Den of Angels Painting, Customizing and Esthetics forum. Their Customizing Thread Index is a wonderful resource. Doing face-ups yourself is an amazing talent and if you get good at it you can even sell your services!

PlanetDoll Mini Riz BJD

Unless you ordered a limited edition doll, your doll will probably come nude. Some companies include eyes or a wig, but if they didn’t, you need to order them with your doll. Also, with wigs and eyes… you have unlimited choices! There are synthetic wigs, and natural fibers wigs, short and long haired wigs. Eyes range from nice, affordable acrylic eyes to glass eyes, to gorgeous urethane eyes. When there are hundreds companies that sell BJDs, there are even more companies that sell eyes and/or wigs. So look around, browse, explore. Maybe you have a certain look in mind for your doll? Search online shops, and if the shops don’t have that perfect wig you are looking for, you can also commission a wig from a wig artist like MyukiDollfie! I know… too many choices! Wigs and eyes come in different sizes. Each doll requires the correct size. The size information for your doll can be found on the company website and once again on Den of Angels.

Text: (c) 2011, Lea Mars



Lily Rose Savannah

The Romance of Lily Rose, BJD Fashion Designer (Part 2)

In the second part of our interview with Suzanne Wood-Thomas, Lily Rose, we discuss her favorite colors, why she creates OOAK BJD costumes, and her romantic bohemian spirit.

BJDmagazine: What are your favorite colors?

Suzanne: Undoubtedly my favorite color in the universe is pink. I’ve loved the color pink since I was a child. As far back as I can remember, pink made me feel so many wonderful feelings from comfort, happiness, elation and romance…. It is simply to me the most divine color in the world, from the palest shade of cherub pink, to the sweet and gentle shades of nature’s roses, to the most electric and shocking hot pinks. Recently, I was feeling overwhelmed with work and life in general, and I needed to feel a sense of happiness. I decided to make something that would make me feel happy whenever I looked at it. So I am crocheting an electric hot pink afghan/blanket for my bed. It brings me joy just working on it!

I also love antique colors; they have a story to tell. I love antique white or cream over white, because to me they have a sense of movement and feeling – aged as though lives have passed through them. I love dusty lavender and muted shades of moss green, and rich dark plums. Dark plums remind me of my grandparent’s home. A bedroom I stayed in as a child was wallpapered in a beautiful dark plum with huge antique white lilies. I always felt like a princess when I spent the night and slept in the magical room with the beautiful wallpaper. It comforted me and made me feel the love of my grandparents. I think there are reasons why we are drawn to one color or a number of colors as opposed to others – they hold a special place in our subconscious or deep within our heart that generates warm and beautiful memories and gives us a sense of calm.

Lily Rose Savannah

BJDmagazine: Do you sew unique costumes, or do you make limited editions? Please elaborate.

Suzanne: My costumes are strictly OOAK. I may make a number of silk velvet bloomers or jackets with my outfits, and although they may share the same color of silk velvet, the trims will always be different. I am also a knitter and crocheter, learning much from my mother as well as my grandmothers. I actually started out crocheting hats and knitting sweaters for ball-jointed dolls. My true longing was to design clothing, and although I could use the drape method for designing, I wanted to learn how to design as a professional. I like to alter patterns and embellishments for different styles. I get bored too easily and I like OOAK items, thinking I am special being the only one in the world with that particular item. I think it is a delightful way to design.

BJDmagazine: How would you describe your style?

Suzanne: I’m definitely a hopeless romantic, and believe in love-at-first sight. I would call my style romantic bohemian. I stray from it occasionally, but truly love the romantic or poetic style with a touch of gypsy thrown in at times.

Lily Rose Design

BJDmagazine: What attracts you to Dollstown sculpts?

Suzanne: It may have something to do with the fact that the first BJD I truly fell in love with was Dollstown’s Elysia sculpt. I feel that their sculpts are so lifelike. To me, it is asas if they can breathe, talk, and have feelings. They are almost as alive as much as a doll can be – at least in one’s own mind. There are many beautiful and amazing sculpts, and I own a couple from a few other companies, but Dollstown dolls truly speak to me and are timeless.

BJDmagazine: Who is Lily Rose? Is she your namesake?

Suzanne: Lily Rose is a name that appeared in my mind that I thought was beautiful and sounded like an old romantic name with soul. I named my first BJD, my Dollstown Elysia, “Lily Rose”. It seemed only natural to use the name Lily Rose for my design business. I am a huge fan of Johnny Depp and at the time I chose the name I didn’t know his daughter’s name was Lily Rose. A few people have thought it was the reason for having chosen the name, but my reason for choosing it was simply that I loved the name.


BJDmagazine: When you sew a garment, do you have a specific plan, and then choose the fabrics, or do you let the fabrics guide you? Can you elaborate? Do you use patterns?

Suzanne: I usually have a grand vision in my head and can’t wait to start pulling fabrics to create the design. I have an unbelievable number of fabrics and embellishments, although I never seem to have enough! I often stray quite far from my original vision. One of my favorite parts of designing for me is the initial flurry of thoughts and choosing scrumptuous fabrics and trims to make it come together. Sometimes a certain “to-die-for” piece of fabric calls to me, and I design an outfit around that fabric. I love gorgeous fabrics, trims and beading, and at times the embellishments cause me to stray from my original design. I never complete a design unless I love it and it feels right to me. I’ve used published patterns a few times after tweaking them, but soon found that it is not as creative or as much of a challenge, and I love a challenge. In the future it will strictly be my own designs and patterns I create. Although I don’t have any professional training in fashion design, I purchased a few books that have become my bibles. One in particular taught me the principles of patternmaking, which was just as difficult as I had envisioned it! I also have what I refer to as my bible of couture sewing techniques. I really enjoy sewing and embellishing garments by hand. I use the sewing machine when I can, but a lot of my work, and especially working with silk velvet, really calls for hand sewing. It is time-consuming, but have found that I love sewing by hand. It makes me feel connected to a past when a lot of work was done strictly by hand.


BJDmagazine: Where do you sell your outfits?

Suzanne: I sell my designs on a few of the doll boards, The Zone and Bitten. I also do it by word-of-mouth. I have just opened an Etsy shop called “Vintage Lily Rose” to sell my designs and heads with faceups.

BJDmagazine: What are your plans for this new year?

Suzanne: I plan on following my passion by devoting more time to creating new designs and expanding my horizons, perhaps doing more faceups, and offering my designs for sale at “Vintage Lily Rose”.


You can find Suzanne on:



Please help us by linking, tweeting, and sharing this article with your friends.

The Romance of Lily Rose, BJD Fashion Designer (Part 1)

In the first installment of this interview, fashion designer Suzanne Wood-Thomas, Lily Rose, tells us about her marvelous creations for BJDs, her passion for vintage textiles, and her French inspirations.

BJDmagazine: When did you first discover BJDs? Which doll did you first fall in love with? What attracted you to BJDs?

Suzanne: I first discovered and fell in love with Asian ball-jointed dolls when I opened the August 2007 issue of Haute Doll magazine. There, starring back at me, was an article on Val Zeitler and her Asian ball-jointed dolls! It was funny because, first off, I felt a connection to Val as though I knew her from perhaps another lifetime, but that is another story in itself! There was a picture of Val holding a Dollstown Elysia doll she owned and I was entranced. They were the most amazing dolls with such intense character. At that moment, I knew that somehow I would own a doll like one of Val’s. It took me months to save enough money to buy one. I contacted Val via e-mail inquiring whether she could do a faceup on my doll, and lucky me, she agreed to it. I was in seventh heaven! I’m afraid I drove the poor woman nuts, but she created my lovely Lily Rose, and I’ve been a fool for BJDs ever since! I couldn’t see enough pictures or read enough about them. What was and is so intriguing about them is the fact that people can have the same sculpt and yet their dolls can look so completely different using wigs, eyes, styles of clothing and faceups. I love how many owners actually give their dolls personalities and create stories of the lives their BJDs live. It is all so wonderful!


BJDmagazine: Have you always designed clothing? Did you design for people?

Suzanne: I sewed some clothing for myself when I was growing up, but the garments never quite met my expectations, as my access to fabrics at that time was very limited. I remember going to a fabric store that sold mostly upholstery fabric, and I bought a really wild satin and metallic brocade fabric to make a pair of hip-hugger bell bottoms. I loved the fabric. It was really too heavy for pants, but I made them anyway and wore and loved them! I’ve always loved embellishing clothing. My favorite design is a pair of elaborately embroidered jeans I made in high school. I made a huge design of swirling paisleys using embroidery floss with a mirror image going up either side of my leg. They were fashion forward at the time, and the small upstate New York town I grew up in wasn’t really ready for them, but I didn’t care. My sister Trisha and I were devout Beatles fans and followed the “London fashion beat” religiously and were always trying to dress and style our hair in that fashion. Little did I know that my love for fashion would turn into designing clothing for ball-jointed dolls! I always design clothing that I would love to wear myself.


BJDmagazine: Your costumes have a Marie-Antoinette/French Bohemian feel to them. What are your costume inspirations?

Suzanne: My inspirations come from so many places and go back I think to my love of Janis Joplin, Stevie Nicks and my muse of today, Robin Brown of Magnolia Pearl. The first time I saw her work, I fell totally in love with her style and felt deep inside that she encompasses what I’m about. She loves silk velvets, antique fabrics and laces, and expressing her feminine and quirky side. She’s not afraid to be herself and isn’t that what we all struggle to be at some point in our life?

My paternal grandmother was also a seamstress and grew up in Paris, France as did my father. Shortly before my father passed away he told me my grandmother had a fashion house in Paris with her husband for a while before their marriage ended. It is sad that I never knew that when she was alive, as I would have loved to have talked with her about it – to share my love of fashion with her. Maybe it is in my blood, my love of fashion and for sumptuous fabrics and embellishments.


BJDmagazine: What are your favorite materials? Why? Do you use antique fabrics in your designs? Why?

Suzanne: I’m a fool for luxurious fabrics and how they look and especially how they feel. I’ve always loved the feel of silk and the unmistakable sheen it has. My favorite fabric in the world is a high-quality silk velvet. It has such an incredible feel and drape to it. If I were rich, I would have sheets made out of it and would cover my furniture in it. I feel pampered and loved just touching it. I try to surround myself with it as much I can. I recently made a silk velvet skirt for a vintage kidney-shaped vanity table my sister and I shared as children growing up. It is in a beautiful old-world shade of antique cherry pink. I have it in my studio as my sewing table with my sewing machine and antique vanity lamps on it. It has a mirror top which beautifully reflects light and makes me feel special whenever I’m sitting at it.

I’m also a great lover of antique and vintage laces and beaded fabrics. When I first started designing, I had a number of antique pieces of handmade tatted and crocheted laces that my maternal grandmother and aunt made. I wanted to use them rather than leaving them in a cherished box or drawer only to be seen on rare occasions. They were beautiful pieces of art and needed to be used and appreciated. It makes me happy to touch and work with pieces my grandmother or aunt made many years ago, or that were lovingly made by someone I never knew who spent many hours creating such a beautiful works of art. It was hard selling the first outfit I made using those pieces, but I knew my grandmother would be proud and happy it was being used as she was a milliner and a seamstress herself. I have one of my maternal grandmother’s outfits she wore as a young girl on a dress form in my studio that I couldn’t bear to see tucked away in a drawer. Perhaps she is encouraging me from above to be more creative and appreciate things from the past. It is an inspiration to me. I have an old sepia-toned photograph of my grandmother in my studio of her with other young women wearing their beautiful long dresses who formed a club called “The Ha Ha Club”. I don’t know if they discussed sewing, men, or who knows what, but my mom and uncle told me they would laugh a lot and thus the name. For a number of years after my dad passed away my mom and I would get together every Wednesday evening for dinner and laughs – our own version of The Ha Ha Club.

I have been collecting antique and vintage pieces of lace for years, some going back to when I was a teenager. I am always scouting for the perfect piece of lace or fabric. I never tire of looking at and feeling old textiles. And there is always the thrill of the hunt which is wonderful! I can’t look at anything now without thinking of what I could turn it into or create from it!

Lily Rose PEARL 222

Join us Thursday at 9 a.m. (Boston time) for the second part of our interview with Lily Rose!

You can find Suzanne on:



Please help us by linking, tweeting, and sharing this article with your friends.
MiyukiDollfie BJD Wig-Maker

Interview with MiyukiDollfie, BJD Wig-Maker (Part 2)

In the second part of our interview with MiyukiDollfie (Veronica Degli Esposti), Veronica tells us everything there is to know about fur wigs – how to style them, how to care for them, and how to chose the best style for your BJD.

BJDmagazine: What is a fur wig?

Veronica: Fur is synthetic. If you turn it upside down you can see a fabric backing. This is why I make a tiny hem when I sew, to be sure the stitches don’t come undone.

BJDmagazine: How do you style a fur wig?

Veronica: Using only my fingers and curling every lock of hair, I put them into shape where needed. I also use a little water to create a gelled look. Otherwise, I use particular scissors to give the wigs new styles similar to the ones that we often see in magazines.

MiyukiDollfie BJD Wig-Maker

BJDmagazine: What is the best way to style a fur wig?

Veronica: There isn’t a right way or a wrong way. All you need is a little imagination and lots of patience to arrange the locks just as you want them. :-)

BJDmagazine: How do you care for a fur wig?

Veronica: Washing a fur wig is really easy because it’s a synthetic fiber and does not require any special care. Just use warm water, natural soap, and then air dry it!

MiyukiDollfie BJD Wig-Maker

BJDmagazine: Any recommendations on how to choose the wig that best flatters the face of the doll?

Veronica: Choosing the perfect wig for your own doll isn’t easy. It is important to try lots of colors and styles. Don’t get stuck on just one look. Styling a wig isn’t easy either. You can give it extra style by adding hair pins, ribbons, accessories, braids, or simply by curling the locks of hair. For me, the most important thing is to choose a wig that matches the outfit, the faceup, and the eye color of my doll. A nicely styled wig that matches the outfit adds a good twist to the faceup, even one that doesn’t look so good! The most important thing  is that your doll has to be loved by you first! :-)

MiyukiDollfie BJD Wig-Maker

BJDmagazine: You love the long lush wig style. Why do you like it so much?

Veronica: Because I love long and curly hair, especially on girls. On Lati Yellows and other similar dolls they look really cute and fresh, even if you make pony tails or braids. Maybe it’s odd, but when I create a wig, I think about children playing in open air, and how they arrange their hair while playing. Curls everywhere, uncombed, with tons of hair pins, and lots of colored clips…. When I look at my dolls, I see a part of me, my brother, my cousins, when we were young, and this inspires me to create hair cuts or hairstyles.

MiyukiDollfie BJD Wig-Maker

BJDmagazine: How often do you take commissions?

Veronica: Lately, I have not been accepting lots of commissions because real life and work take so much of my time. Plus, I have some wrist problems that don’t allow me to sew as quickly as before. I try not to take more than a couple of commissions per month.

BJDmagazine: Anything else you would like us to ask?

Veronica: Honestly, I don’t know what to say, except to thank you for giving me the opportunity to share my experience as a wig-maker with so many people. :-)

MiyukiDollfie BJD Wig-Maker

You can find MiyukiDollfie on:

Her Blog:


Please help us by linking, tweeting, and sharing this article with your friends.
MiyukiDollfie BJD Wig-Maker

Intervista: MiyukiDollfie (Parte 2)

Oggi, Veronica (MiyukiDollfie) ci racconta tutto di parrucche in fur per BJDs.

BJDmagazine: Cos’è realmente una parrucca in fur?

Veronica: Il fur è un materiale sintetico ed è frutto di un filato. Infatti, se lo si rovescia la parte dietro ha una trama. E’ per questo motivo  che quando lo taglio cerco sempre di fare un piccolo orlo al fine di evitare che possa scucirsi e lasciare andare i punti.

BJDmagazine: Come fai a dare uno stile ad una parrucca in fur?

Veronica: Utilizzando solo le dita e arrotolando le ciocchette su se stesse nella punta e poi sistemandole nella posizione voluta. All’occorrenza uso anche un pò d’acqua per creare un look stile gel. Oppure sfilo le ciocche con delle forbici apposite al fine di dare alla parrucca nuovi stili anche simili ai tagli dei capelli che spesso vediamo nelle riviste.

MiyukiDollfie BJD Wig-Maker

BJDmagazine: Qual è il miglior modo per dare uno stile ad una parrucca in fur?

Veronica: Non c’è un modo migliore o uno peggiore. Basta solo un pò di fantasia e tanta pazienza cercando di sistemare le ciocche come vorremmo. :-)

BJDmagazine: Come ti prendi cura di una wig in fur?

Veronica: Lavare una wig in fur è semplicissimo perchè essendo un tessuto sintetico non ha bisogno di cure particolari. Quindi acqua tiepida, sapone neutro e poi la lascio ad asciugare all’aria.

MiyukiDollfie BJD Wig-Maker

BJDmagazine: Qualche raccomandazione ai nostri lettori su come dare uno stile alla parrucca perchè sua perfetta indossata dalla bambola?

Veronica: Scegliere la parrucca perfetta per la propria bambola non è facile. Provare tanti modelli e colori e non fossilizzarsi su uno stile è importante, ma anche saper sviluppare una parrucca al meglio non è da meno. Aggiungere mollettine, fiocchi e accessori, fare treccie, ma anche semplicemente arrotolare delle ciocche possono dare stile alla vostra parrucca. Ma soprattutto per me è importante pensare alla parrucca coordinandola al vestito, make-up e colore degli occhi della mia bambola. Una bella parrucca acconciata simpaticamente e abbinata bene al vestito valorizza anche il make-up più semplice e solo all’apparenza meno bello. Perchè l’importante è che la bambola piaccia per prima cosa a noi!

MiyukiDollfie BJD Wig-Maker

BJDmagazine: Tu ami le parrucche lunghe e folte. Perchè ti piacciono così tanto?

Veronica: Perchè adoro i capelli lunghi e ricci specialmente sulle bambine. Sulle lati yellow e co. danno infatti un’aria sbarazzina e simpatica specie se raccolti in treccine e codini. E poi può sembrare una cosa strana, ma quando creo le parrucche per le mie piccine penso sempre ai bambini che giocano all’aria aperta e a come si sistemano i capelli giocando. Boccoli ovunque, sempre spettinati e con tanti fermagli colorati. Perchè nelle mie bambole ci vedo molto di me, mio fratello e delle mie cugine quando eravamo bambini e questo mi ispira anche nella creazione dei tagli o delle acconciature.

MiyukiDollfie BJD Wig-Maker

BJDmagazine: Sappiamo che prendi commissioni. Quanto spesso le accetti?

Veronica: Ultimamente non accetto molte commissioni perchè la vita reale e il lavoro mi assorbono moltissimo e a questo va aggiunto che recentemente ho avuto dei problemi ad un polso che non mi permetteno di essere veloce come prima nel cucire. Cerco quindi di non prendere più di un paio di commissioni al mese.

BJDmagazine: Nient’altro che vorresti dirci?

Veronica: Onestamente non so che dire se non ringraziarvi per avermi dato la possibilità di condividere con tante persone la mia esperienza di WigMaker. :-)

MiyukiDollfie BJD Wig-Maker

È possibile trovare MiyukiDollfie:

Sul suo blog:

Su Flickr:

Please help us by linking, tweeting, and sharing this article with your friends.
MiyukiDollfie BJD Wigs

Intervista: MiyukiDollfie (Parte 1) (Italian Version)

MiyukiDollfie (Veronica Degli Esposti) ci racconta come è arrivata a fare parrucche per BJDs. Veronica ci dà consigli per la fabbricazione di parrucche.

BJDmagazine: Tu hai una vasta collezione di BJDs. Come hai iniziato questo hobby?

Veronica: Si è vero e a volte mi rendo conto di aver perso anche un pò il conto ^^”, perchè soprattutto le taglie come Lati yellow e co sono le mie preferite e non smetterei mai di comperarne. Le trovo molto simpatiche, e mi permettono di andare a ruota libera con la fantasia e l’abbinamento di vestiti e parrucche.
In verità, la mia collezione è iniziata in maniera un pò strana quasi 5 anni fa e non proprio dalle tanto amate taglie piccole… che, anzi,  all’inizio ho allegramente snobbato. Ho sempre collezionato bambole, in prevalenza Barbie, ma erano 2-3 anni che non avevo più stimoli e non ne comperavo. Poi un giorno mia cognata Daniela (aka Fairy_Dany) è arrivata a casa mia tutta contenta parlandomi di questa bellissima bambola che aveva comperato su ebay. Era un Hound, un bellissimo e alto ragazzo di 70 cm e che dire… è stato amore a prima vista! Così mi sono messa a ricerca della mia prima BJD. All’epoca la scelta è stata semplice perchè non c’erano tutte le case che ci sono oggi: le maggiori erano Luts, Volks, DoD, Lati e poche altre. Così un giorno ho incontrato la Luts Delf Miyu e da allora non ci siamo più lasciate.

MiyukiDollfie BJD Wigs

BJDmagazine: Quando hai iniziato a fare parrucche e perchè?

Veronica: Ho iniziato a fare parrucche quasi subito dopo l’acquisto della mia prima MSD nonchè 3 BJDs. Fondamentalmente perchè Tsubasa la mia Lati Blue Shaina stava malissimo con tutte le parrucche che comperavo e spesso era perchè o troppo grandi o troppo strette per la sua testa. Così un giorno mi è capitato di provarle una parrucca SD in fur e vedendo che le stava bene ho iniziato a cercare del materiale per farne una nella sua taglia. E’ stato per puro caso che ho scoperto l’esistenza di un materiale chiamato mohair. E visto che il mohair le donava così tanto nelle foto che le facevo sono iniziate ad arrivare anche le prime commissioni.
Ma all’inizio creare patterns dal nulla e sapendo cucire poco o niente non è stato facile. In questo mi è stato di grande aiuto il pensare a mia nonna che era un persona veramente in gamba e creativa. Secondo lei tutti sono capaci di creare qualcosa dal nulla basta tanto impegno e un tocco di fantasia. E di queste parola le sono tutt’ora grata perchè se sono riuscita a creare qualcosa dal nulla lo devo anche a lei e alle cose che mi ha insegnato a fare quando ero bambina, tra cui usare anche la macchina da cucire. :-) Un grazie particolare va anche al mio ragazzo che mi ha aiutato a sviluppare la prima idea di patterns per teste SD. Infatti, ad oggi adotto 3 tipologie di patterns diversi a seconda delle taglie. :-)

MiyukiDollfie BJD Wigs

BJDmagazine: Spesso dici che fare parrucche è un hobby divertente. Perchè ami così tanto farle?

Veronica: Perchè fondamentalmente stimola la mia creatività. Quando sono stanca e stressata dalla vita di tutti i giorni non sai quanto mi ripaga e mi rende felice creare qualcosa che sia tutto mio e frutto della mia immaginazione. Se poi le parrucche sono da creare su idee originali dei mie compratori e amici è ancora più divertente. Spesso alcune mie amiche mi fanno un piccolo disegno di ciò che vogliono e creare e dare vita a quel pezzetto di carta è bellissimo. Se poi il lavoro dopo tanta fatica è apprezzato non solo da chi me l’ha commissionato è ancora più appagante perchè vuol dire che sono riuscita a creare qualcosa che prima non c’era.

BJDmagazine: Quale tipo di materiali usi per realizzare le tue wigs?

Veronica: Fondamentalmente mohair e fur, anche se ho provato a realizzare parrucche in lana e ultimamente sto lavorando a una parrucca in fur con extension in lana cotta per dare l’idea di dreadlocks.

MiyukiDollfie BJD Wigs

BJDmagazine: Qual è la differenza tra una parrucca in mohair, da una in fur?

Veronica: La differenza sostanziale è la fibra. Il mohair è una fibra naturale molto morbida molto simile al capello umano, si può lisciare o lasciare ondulata e ha sempre un aspetto molto naturale. Il fur invece è una fibra sintetica e quindi al tatto è meno morbida è l’aspetto è più sintetico e lucido. Personalmente mi piacciono entrambi i materiali perchè sulle BJDs maschio il fur ha un effetto molto più maschile e ordinato del mohair.

MiyukiDollfie BJD Wigs

BJDmagazine:  Tingi le parrucche da sola? Se si, usi tinte naturali o tinte chimiche?

Veronica: Si, ultimamente ho iniziato a tingere il mohair da sola e le uniche tinte che funzionano sono quelle chimiche. Questo perchè il pelo del mohair contiene lanolina che essendo una specie di olio impedisce alle tinte naturali di aderire completamente e di ottenere un colore uniforme. Tingere è molto divertente perchè mi permette di ottenere colori e mix che prima non riuscivo ad ottenere, ma è anche molto lungo e faticoso perchè bisogna stare molto attenti a non rovinare la pelle del mohair. Infatti se si sbaglia la tintura, la pelle si può stringere, diventare molto spessa oppure per contro può sfaldarsi e rompersi mentre viene cucita.

MiyukiDollfie BJD Wigs

BJDmagazine: Che cos’è realmente una parrucca in mohair? Dove ti procuri il mohair?

Veronica: Il mohair è un materiale naturale che deriva dal vello delle pecore tibetane. E’ composto da una pelle di solito più o meno spessa e da un pelo che è attaccato naturalmente e non cucito. Inizialmente comperavo il mohair all’estero perchè costava un pò meno, ma con le nuove regolamentazioni sull’importazione delle pellicce preferisco reperirlo in italia in negozi specializzati.

BJDmagazine: Quali sono i colori naturali in cui è possibile trovare il mohair? Il mohair è sempre riccio o è possibile trovare delle varianti? Le varianti sono nella lunghezza delle fibre?

Veronica: Fondamentalmente si può trovare in colori come bianco avorio (di solito il bianco brillante non è naturale, ma frutto di una sbiancatura del mohair avorio), nero, alcuni toni di biondo e castani. Solitamente il mohair è riccio, ma può presentare parti più lisce o ondulate solo alle estremità. Si possono trovare anche mohair di varia lunghezza della fibra che di solito va dai 5 ai 10-15 cm di lunghezza o di con differenti tipi di pelle, infatti, alcune volte lo skin può essere molto grosso e non adatto ad essere cucito. La fibra invece è quasi sempre molto sottile, ma estremamente resistente. Va inoltre detto che non tutte le pezze di mohair sono adatte a creare parrucche perchè possono avere sulla pelle cicatrici, cuciture o parti con lunghezze delle fibre irregolari (da lunga a molto corta) e in questo caso la pezza può essere utilizzata più che altro per reroot.

MiyukiDollfie BJD Wigs

BJDmagazine: Come fai a dare uno stile ad una parrucca in mohair? Come fai a dare un taglio di capelli a una parrucca in mohair?

Veronica: A dire il vero di questo devo ringraziare le mie parrucchiere che mi hanno insegnato a tagliare i capelli delle mie parrucche seguendo piccoli trucchetti che loro utilizzano nel quotidiano. Mentre per acconciarle di solito uso o un pò d’acqua o se devo ravvivare i capelli per dare un bel mosso, uso un pò di gel a base d’acqua. La cosa più difficile è lisciare il mohair perchè le fibre tendono sempre al mosso e anche utilizzando una spazzola e il phon l’operazione richiede almeno 30-40 minuti, lisciando ciocca per ciocca.

BJDmagazine: Come ti prendi cura di una wig in mohair?

Veronica: Le parrucche di mohair possono essere lavate con un pò di shampoo o di sapone neutro sotto acqua tiepida. L’importante è non bagnare lo skin che potrebbe tendere a restringersi. Nel caso si bagnasse l’importante è non farlo asciugare a contatto con una fonte d’aria calda, ma bensì all’aria e usando tanti fazzolettini a creare una palla della dimensione della testa della dolls da infilare dentro alla parrucca. Questo impedirà alla pelle di restringersi e nel contempo servirà ad assorbire naturalmente l’umidità dalla pelle.

MiyukiDollfie BJD Wigs

La seconda parte dell’intervista con MiyukiDollfie:  Sabato 15 gennaio (alle 8 del mattino, ora di Boston)

È possibile trovare MiyukiDollfie:

Sul suo blog:

Su Flickr:

Please help us by linking, tweeting, and sharing this article with your friends.