Tuesday, 2 July 2013

Miniature Lingerie Shop: "Knicker-Knocker Glory"

Little Threads has been a bit quiet lately...real life has been getting in the way and miniature life has been on the back-burner. However, I've had a rather productive couple of weeks and - wait for it - I have actually Finished Some Projects!! Or one, anyway....

Looking back through previous posts, I was struck by the number of references to things I had started but not yet finished; things that I Meant To Do One Day but hadn't yet got around to. I resolved that something had to be done about this, otherwise the road to Hell would remain paved only with intentions.

Some time ago now my long-suffering other half bought me a shop box for my birthday (I'm not telling you which one). The shop was painted black and gold and it screamed out to be turned into a Lingerie Shop. I'm not talking M&S utility knickers and bras here; but rather tasteless combos suitable for those "romantic" occasions that affect us all from time to time. Or, maybe not. Anyway, with the interior of the shop painted red and the floor tiled with homemade black PVC (what else?!) tiles, I set to work to fill it with peep-hole push-ups and tiny tangos.

The first thing I needed was some willing participants. Busts (pardon the pun) were obtained from the United States via eBay. Bosoms, I found, were much cheaper over there. However, my busts fell foul of the import rules of Revenue & Customs and I found myself at the local Delivery Office arguing the toss with Damon, my friendly postman. The long and short of it was that he wouldn't release my bosoms until I paid the going rate. And the going rate was anything but cheap at the price. I shall buy local bosoms next time.

The next task was to dress the busts. For this I needed lace. My local haberdasher sells lace off-cuts for mere pennies, so I spent a happy half hour rummaging for suitably nasty nylon in the most garish colours I could find. The trim needed a bit of "give" in it so that it would accommodate the contours of my mannequins.

Then, armed with tacky glue and small sharp scissors, I set to work. It took an age but was lots of fun. I'd like to say that the lingerie sets were based on my own collection...but most are in fact are based on a particular ex-work colleague who had a penchant for animal print and neon colours and had apparently been born free of any qualms about dressing suitably for the office.

Next, I needed some further accessories to fill the shop. I came across a bag of plastic Sindy shoes at the local carboot sale for 10p. Some of them, even if not completely true to scale, could, with a little paint, be turned into quite acceptable stilletoes. Two pairs of them are shown below before the addition of trimmings. Most of the shoes were vibrant colours already, but for those that weren't, I painted them with ordinary acrylic paints. This works just fine if the shoes are simply to be placed into a display - the painted finish won't stand much handling, however, before it flakes off. Perhaps adding a little PVA glue to the paint would make the finish more durable but I didn't try this myself. I did experiment with enamel paints so as to get a glossy finish, but it didn't work at all and took ages to dry. The acrylics, on the other hand, dried within minutes.

Of course, every shop needs a keeper. The lady in my shop was sitting provocatively on the edge of a shelf in The Miniature Scene of York wearing no knickers...as soon as I saw her I knew she was just perfect for my shop. She was (I think) a bargain at just £25. I don't know who made her but the shop stocks lots of unusual sculpted dolls by the same artist and would, I'm sure, be able to help with any queries.

The furniture was just cheap whitewood pieces painted in black acrylic and highlighted with painted gold accents. The display cabinet has its back wall papered in black and white patterned paper to add interest. I added some legs to the centre display unit using some old spindles, cut down as appropriate. The small display plinths are rectangular MDF quoin stones left over from my dollshouse and mounted on off-cuts of wood.

 I used a selection of beads to make the perfume/massage oil bottles in the display cabinet. I buy the Panduro catalogue from WH Smith every autumn and cut out any tiny pictures or patterns that would be useful for the projects I have in mind; this way I can get multiple identical labels for things like perfume bottles or tins of paint etc.

The wall-mounted displays on the back wall were purchased from York Dollshouse Fair; I think they came from Katty Korner. I made the one displaying the green basque myself using an old plastic picture frame painted gold. The basques themselves (and the hanging red & black negligee) came from Jan's Miniatures.

So there it is, finished at last. Now for the rest of the Unfinished Projects...

Bye for now
Kathryn x

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