White Cake Dress with Pink Ombre Rosettes for Broken Age

A very light ivory ballgown with an almost exaggeratedly large, floor length skirt. It is off the shoulder, with a line of pink rosettes across the top. The bodice is fitted and decorated with a pattern of white lines and dots arranged into a sunburst shape, with a polka dot and grid pattern covering the background. Both patterns are shaded to look as if they're white frosting on a white cake. The waist is V-shaped and is edged with a line of small silver balls. The overskirt is open at the front, showing a large part of the underskirt. The top half of the underskirt has a pattern of delicate white scrolls and the words "Treat Yourself!" written in loopy cursive in pink frosting. The bottom half consists of three large rows of rosettes, designed to look like they were made out of icing. The top rosette row is very pale pink, the second is a shade darker and the third is even more darker, creating an ombre effect. The overskirt is edged with lines of small silver balls and is decorated with sunburst-shaped patterns of lines and dots going up the front sides and a polka dot and grid pattern covering the background.This ballgown was inspired by a recently released adventure game, Broken Age. Vella, our heroine and one of the two protagonists, is a young woman who lives in a town of bakers that is terrorized by a horrendous monster called Mog Chothra every 14 years. In a scene that you’ll always remember whenever you see a cake made to look like the skirt of a Barbie doll or a princess, our heroine, along with four other young women of the village, is offered to the monster as a human sacrifice at an event called the “Maidens Feast.” They are all embedded in gigantic cakes that look like skirts, which are gorgeously decorated with all the skill the villagers have and inscribed with tempting slogans like “Delish,” “Hot Stuff” and “Up For Grabs!” Each of the young women is hoping to protect her village and bring honor to her family by being selected (that is, eaten) by Mog Chothra… except for Vella. But how do you escape a floating monster the size of a mansion when you’re stuck in a cake, ready to be served up?

Broken Age is a point-and-click adventure game, notable for being one of the first Kickstarter successes. To put it simply, adventure games are rather out of fashion, but two years ago Tim Schafer, known for other classics like Grim Fandango, said to the Internet “We’ll make a new game if you give us money” and people got out their wallets, leading to this game’s release. In games like these, you solve puzzles by exploring, talking to people, finding objects and using them in the right place. Some were notorious for being unforgiving (looking at you, King’s Quest series), and some had goofy, implausible puzzles (like one where you had to disguise yourself by making a mustache from cat hair and syrup), but Broken Age is nicely designed: you can never get in a situation that you can’t get out of, and the puzzles are entertaining but not exasperating. The art is lovely, with a style that looks almost as if it was all painted, and the settings are all detailed and fun to explore. Vella is also a fun, capable heroine, who rejects her world’s passive acceptance of Mog Chothra and breaks free of the cake skirt to find a different way to protect her village. The other half of the game explores the story of a young man named Shay, whose world couldn’t be any more different from Vella’s…

Right now, only the first half of the game is out, with the second half to come later this year. I think it’s well worth the price, and if you check it out, please let me know what you think of it!

It looks our our Oscar night winner is Lupita Nyong’o’s blue Prada gown! I don’t know when I will have that up – I will try for before the end of the month, but it might be later. Also, a 1910s outfit will be our contest prize; it beat out a pirate outfit and an evening gown with over half the vote. I will do some research and some sketches, so come back next Friday for a contest and a Japanese fairytale! Until then, you can follow me on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest for site updates, sneak previews and ridiculous amounts of fashion plates. If you enjoy my work, I’d also appreciate your support through Patreon.

Ivory Lace Dress

A sleeveless ivory dress with a lace peplum and a ruffle around the knees. It's covered in ivory lace with a butterfly pattern.Click for larger version (PNG); click for PDF version. Click here for the list of dolls.

Note to self: don’t leave planning until 8:30 PM. To try to ease the pain of using this dress once more, I shortened the skirt a bit. I wanted to try making it look like white lace over an ivory background, and I don’t think I quite succeeded, but I’m glad I had a chance to practice. It’s new territory for me, after all.

1910 Pink Evening Gown with Black Lace and Cream Sash and Gloves based on The Intrusion of Jimmy by P.G. Wodehouse

Click for larger version (PNG); click for PDF version. Click here for the list of dolls.

I just finished listening to The Intrusion of Jimmy by P.G. Wodehouse. I’ve mentioned it before on this blog, but I love listening to Wodehouse, because his stories are light and simple enough that I can miss parts if I get distracted by housework or chatter, but engaging enough that they keep my mind from dwelling on the dullness of dishwashing. Anyways, I’m always up for a story where boy meets girl, everything that can possibly cause boy maximum humiliation and trouble happens, but all comes right in the end.

The thing I liked best about this book was Jimmy’s character, because although a lot of Wodehouse’s heroes are rather more like Jimmy’s friend, Lord Dreever – the kind of laid-back fellow who pre-empts criticism by describing himself as “a bit of an ass” – Jimmy himself was curious, capable and generous. Now, the first two of those are rare enough, but he also seemed to have a darker side than any of the other Wodehouse heroes I can recall. At the beginning of the book, Jimmy makes a bet that he can break into someone’s house, and later that night a burglar happens to break into his own apartment; Jimmy disarms him, convinces him that he’s an infamous European jewel thief and gets the man to take him along on a burglary, all without turning a hair. It’s not like he views it as a lark; rather, he takes the whole thing quite seriously, breaking into someone else’s house almost as much out of curiosity as he did from the desire to win the bet. I guess his background as a reporter made his ability to keep so calm plausible, but still, that’s all pretty cold-blooded. Things like that made me feel that, as much as I liked him for his curiosity and wit, there was something about him that wasn’t quite right, and even though he never expressed the desire to steal so much as a rhinestone brooch, there was something about him that gave me the feeling that he very well could go in for a life of crime if it was interesting enough. It turns out that in the original story that the book was based on, Jimmy really had been a jewel thief! I somehow feel like he makes more sense to me now, although I can’t really hold his past incarnation against him.

Jimmy falls for a lovely girl named Molly, and taking the standard meet-cute love-at-first-sight Wodehouse pattern to new heights, he doesn’t ever actually talk to her during this process, but just admires her over the course of a five-day trans-Atlantic trip. I always figure that the Wodehouse heroines have the most marvelous, flattering, feminine clothes possibly available to humans, because eligible young men are always falling instantly in love with them, so it’s a disappointment for me that Wodehouse seldom describes dresses in detail. The book is from 1910, so here we have a 1910-style gown, with black lace over a pink dress. I do like the dresses I’ve seen from this year – the shape seems like a nice balance between the Edwardian shape and the straight-up-and-down lines that are coming.

By the way, I’ve never thought to look up what P.G. stood for; it turns out to be “Pelham Grenville.” Might have to swipe that one for our firstborn.

Prismacolors used: Kelp Green, Pale Sage, White, French Grey 10%, 20%, 50%, 70%, Light Umber, Dark Umber, Tuscan Red, Black, Cream, Pink Rose, Clay Rose

Colored Ruffle Gown in Ivory and Gold

Click for larger version (PNG); click for PDF version. Click here for the list of dolls.

Dani won my last contest, and she said, “Could you maybe do the ruffly dress from the 15th of May in some gold/creamy tones? Since it’s just turned into winter down here in NZ, I miss the warm tones of autumn :P”

I should have held off and not done two yellow dresses in a row, but oh well, it’s cute so I imagine you all can cope. Hope you like it, Dani! I wasn’t too sure about the black and white version, but I think the color really perks it up a little.

I find the poll results pretty curious. To those of you who voted “sometimes,” what precisely does that mean to you? A couple times a month? A couple times a week? If I make a dress I particularly like, or one that’s hard to visualize off the doll? If I make a really boring outfit that needs something else to make it interesting? Since I don’t have any sort of online dress-up option yet, I like having it on the doll, but I can see the logic in the arguments against it, too. I’m open to being swayed, here.