Sunday, May 10, 2015

Lady I

I basically do custom dolls for two people; myself and my bestie. Now I've made three for her I believe but each one was based off of a already existing character. SO for the first time ever I'm making her a custom that she has created all on her own. Very exciting! And this is the start:
Meet one very beat up former Kaya we are going to call Lady I for now!

Traci is at least her third owner. Owner number two did quite a bit of cleaning and repair on this poor girl but they decided (very understandably) it was still too much work and so here we are!

First things first! Her wig is just shredded despite the good de-tangling it got before it came to my friend.
I was going to try and mess with it and see if I could salvage it for someone else, but it's probably just going into the trash. Which I feel really bad about because I know brushing it out was probably a massive pain. My Kaya had hair nearly that bad when I got her and it took me about two hours and a broken brush just to get it untangled.

But a shredded wig is the least of Lady I's problems! One of her eyes sticks:
This is a problem we're going to work on later. I'll explain why at the end!

She's also covered in marks, scratches, shiny spots and dirt. Her face got it pretty bad:

 But her arms got it too:
There are a few ink spots on her arms but mostly it's just scuffs and scrapes.

Her legs are probably worse than her arms:

 Maybe even worse than her face:
At least in number of marks!

Not even her feet escaped:
As bad as her arms and legs were she was still very tightly strung so that was a plus!

Until I got a look at her back:
Yeah, that was going to have to be washed.

Let's make a list because at this point even I'm a little overwhelmed by the number of issues!

Lady I needs:
  1. A New Wig
  2. Vinyl Washing
  3. Body Washing
  4.  Re-Stringing
  5. Scratch and Mark Removal
  6. Ink Spot Removal
  7. Something To Do With Her Eyes?
Oh boy! You know I love a challenge so, first thing first she got her wig removed:
And her newly bald head was covered with the traditional pink beanie of awesome.

Then I took her apart and threw her body in the washing machine! While it was getting clean I mixed up a baking soda paste and tackled her limbs and head:
Before and After Cleaning with Baking Soda
It's not the best picture since it was in my kitchen but you can see the difference a little baking soda makes! It gets rid of any oils and dirt. Plus the vinyl always feels really nice afterwards!

For her scratches and shiny spots I knew I was going to need to pull out some big guns. So I ordered mirco mesh. This is my first time using it and I had no idea what I would need so I ordered 4,000, 8,000, and 12,000 grit. I've used fine grit sandpaper before but nothing this fine! The 12,000 grit feels totally smooth to the touch. Pretty neat!

Now if I tried to show you the process of removing all these marks I think this post would be long even for me. And I know I'm long-winded! So I picked the two that I got the best starting pictures of. The first one was on her cheek:
You can see it pretty clearly here because I managed to catch it in the light. If you scroll back up to the third close up of her face you can actually see this scratch without light. It's under that one hair that's hovering above her cheek.

Here is the scratch after a little work:

 And finally:
whoops! little bit of wig there!
It's still slightly visible if you shine a light directly on it but it's nearly invisible otherwise!

Here is another nasty one on her leg:
 And here is the same spot cleaned up:
I actually ended up using some of my fine grit normal sandpaper on it first and then smoothed that out with the micro mesh. I started with the 4,000 and worked my way up. I'm honestly pretty pleased with the results. I wouldn't say that all of the scratches are gone but I would say that everything has been reduced by 90%. Give or take! She'll never look brand new again but she does look much, much better!

With her limbs cleaned up and her body dry it was time to restring her! Lady I isn't mine so you don't get to see the guts but you can see how clean her body got:
Much better! Honestly I hate re-stuffing the most but man washing a body in the washing machine works miracles sometimes. Worth it! Then it was time to put on her new wig!

And that is where we are going to end this project for now! In fact Lady I is in a box and will be on her way home Monday morning. But wait! We only got 1-5 done! What about 6 and 7? Well I decided that since I've had her for a while (I had to wait for tools!) and the ink spots are small we'll wait till she comes back to take care of that. And why is she coming back?! Why, for an eye swap of course!

Lady I is getting a brand new pair of eyes later this summer/maybe in the fall, but her person hasn't decided what she wants yet! For now she's heading home to rest and relax and enjoy her fab new hair. So we're leaving the sticky eye! But don't worry she still looks amazing:
You didn't think I would end this without giving you a little peek did you? Of course not ;)

I hope you enjoyed this project so far! It's a little different from what we normally do but I'm really excited that she's coming back for more work. Next time we're going to do our last special edition clothing review and then I have something fun and exciting to share! Till then!


  1. I can't wait to get her back! Thanks for the work!

    1. Any time! Sorry I didn't get her mailed this weekend but she should be home soon anyway!

  2. You worked magic as usual! Makes me want a custom!

    1. Thank you :) I think customs are even more addictive than regular dolls. Once you get one you come up with all sorts of ideas for more! You need one :D

  3. Wow! I'm really impressed at how you got rid of the scratches and how clean you got the body. Great job!

    1. Thank you! Things turned out way better than expected!