Sorah’s Seahorse Dress

People are always posting pictures of such cute dresses with some quirky, adorable fabric, so I’ve been on the hunt. JoAnn’s has not impressed me with the quirk, so I’m going to need to trawl etsy and Spoonflower but this no-spending period of sewing through my stash means it’ll be a while.

BUT I did manage to find this cute seahorse print in fat quarters, and decided to try my hand at making something in the hopes it wouldn’t look too babyish. I debated the pattern for a while, needing something feminine but not toddler. Forever 18 Inches’ Geometry Class Jumper called to me and did not disappoint!

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I didn’t zoom too close in on the details, but the dress has a fully lined bodice, top-stitching along the skirt side and back seams, a wavy stitch along the enclosed hem, hot pink buttons, and blue snap closes in the back. Might as well get practice writing a description, since I actually made two of these! Once has found its way to the “someday etsy shop” stash, which has grown faster than I expected.

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I had expected to use this fabric for Kanani, but she wasn’t very interested in the pastels, and Sorah very much was. I think it’s perfect on her, and even matches her hearing aids! At least for now, they’re pink. I’m thinking I might make them lavender…

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Bea’s Walk

I’m trying to get better about taking the dolls out. I’ll be honest, part of it is because I have so many and I get anxious about playing favorites or leaving someone out. How do you choose who to take? What if I take Tinuviel and then get there and wish I’d brought Kaya instead? This fear actually dates all the way back to when I was a little girl and I had a giant poster board with a list of all my dolls and stuffed animals so with basically a hand-drawn spreadsheet so I could track who got to go on playdates or sleep with me. I was like 5. And I’m not saying I have a chart now that tracks how many times dolls feature in an Instagram photo or on the blog but yes, I absolutely do.

Lots of people, city living, and a shy doll photographer mean I don’t really have great opportunities around home to photograph. I’m hoping soon to start driving out to parks further from home and taking girls along, now that the weather is nicer. But last night the hot day (93 in May is pretty crazy for Boston) had cooled off a bit so I took my son for a walk before bedtime and tossed Bea into the bottom of the stroller, just in case.

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Sunscreen all over my lens… sigh. 

Well, the good news is, I did get brave enough to step off the bike path we were walking on and take a few photos. The bad news is that I was so terrified of my son getting hit by a biker or attracting attention, that I didn’t really check the photos, and they didn’t turn out great. But baby steps!

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We swung by a playground, and actually had more fun there. My son saw a babydoll stroller and immediately went for it, so I thought why not, and popped Bea into it. Let’s just say it was the ride of her life! I hadn’t realized my son would be so into pushing things around –first the stroller and then a little lawn mower. We may get a baby stroller for home so he can push dollies around on our walk because it’ll probably keep him from suddenly running off and also because it’s ADORABLE.

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Of course my son is in garbage clothes because I didn’t plan on photographing him so I just threw him in the first thing I grabbed. Usually I dress him up so cute but this evening that all went to Bea! He’s still pretty stinking cute though. 🙂IMG_1650

Also worth calling out that Bea’s ADORABLE romber was made by MySewYouCreations on etsy –she also made the gingham dress Maryellen wore in her birthday photos. I cannot rave enough about this shop and will definitely be buying so much more in future. High quality, adorable clothing, super reasonable prices. This is the kind of store I want to have someday!

 

Parisa’s Bird Dress

There was a sneak-peek of this dress in a previous post, but I’ll give it it’s own post anyway, especially since it was a first-time pattern for me. I’d seen Melody Valerie Couture’s New Girl pattern a long time ago but not really had any clear vision for what I’d do with it. Suddenly, something about this bird fabric called to me for that pattern, so I decided to give it a try.

To be perfectly honest, I think Melody Valerie Couture patterns give you an awesome result, but they seem to me geared towards people making professional doll clothes to sell. Things feel to me like they’re done the complicated, longer with. I followed the instructions on this one but in future when I use the pattern, there are a bunch of shortcuts I’ll take if it’s just for my own use.

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For instance, there is so much hand-sewing on this. Probably more hand-sewing than just about anything besides a new Medieval gown for Evelyn I still need to photograph. The hem and arm binding are both handsewn, plus the bodice lining, plus the buttons. I don’t mind hand-sewing, per se, but I am SO SLOW at it compared to my zippy machine.

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I also decided not to turn the arm-binding under because I like the contrast. I seem to do this to a lot of my short-sleeved shirts.

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I like the dress a lot and will definitely use the pattern again. I’m a little bummed that if her hair is covering that bird on the bodice, the birds look a little too sparse. Since it was a fat quarter of fabric, I didn’t have much choice in how I cut the pieces out. But it’s not too bad.

Now the real question: will I ever dress Parisa in something other than blue??

Happy Birthday, Kit!

Oh Kit, cutest of the cute, Happy birthday!

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My mom and I have been trying to figure out definitively when I got my Kit. We’re pretty sure I got her for Christmas in 2003 (when I was 15), although my mom thinks she had only been out about a year, which would have put it at Christmas 2001 (when I was 13). I know I’ve seen a picture of that Christmas morning with her somewhere at my moms house, but I’ll have to dig next time I’m home, and that would confirm.

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Here are some more clues: I have film photos I took of her with my other dolls. I got my first digital camera for Christmas when I was 15, but I have no digital pictures of dolls. So probably that makes it more likely it was 2001.

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I can still name everyone in this photo except that fairy doll to the left! And Sam, that outfit is scandalous!

And that would actually make sense too because I learned about this tagging inside the shoulder that the earliest Kit dolls had. Mine has one of those tags that reveals she was made August 2000. That would have been a long time for a doll to see unpurchased! So maybe we can safely say I was 13 when I got Kit, and she was my last doll for about 12 years. Yes, looking now at the picture I have of Kit from way back when, this does not look like the work of a 15 year old (to be fair, I was babysitting a young cousin this day, but Kit’s outfit looks like the work of a young me.)

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I know exactly what drew me to Kit. Her hair cut was adorable, she was the same era as my Grandma, but better than all of those, she was a writer! A journalist! A tomboy! Kit’s character is great in the books. She manages to endure some pretty rough things as a kid in a pretty realistically upset but adaptable way. She gets into shenanigans (uh, let’s not forget she spent a night in JAIL) but never really veers into selfish or bratty territory. She means well and is sorry when she goofs. She certainly pushes against what I’d allow a kid of mine to do… definitely not letting her run off to any camps unsupervised…

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Kit’s collection is massive and to be honest, I’m not crazy about a lot of her newer stuff. Lots of pastels and pink when Kit was very much not a fan of pink. Not to mention that But she’s got some of the cutest furniture and accessories, and some of her outfits are adorable! The tanking quality of AG isn’t her fault, of course.

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I’m sorry that Kit caught me on the way into my doll dryspell but it does mean she managed to stay in perfect condition except for some loose limbs I had to tighten. Those blond eyebrows get lost in photos so someday I may darken them. But she’s got her rosy blush and everything. I know little girls may not always be a fan of her short hair but it’s so cute and stylish and unique among the dolls. To this day, I still love her and am not surprised I chose Kit as my third doll.

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Happy birthday, Kit! Thanks for being a writing buddy for many years now.

Belated Mother’s Day

I was way too busy sewing and spending time with my family (and being sick, lame!) on Mother’s Day to blog about it, but we did a doll thing! I had an interest in going and seeing Z and her new things in person, so off we went for a late lunch in the cafe and a stroll around the store.

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Oh, and also I wanted to get Sorah’s hearing aids! It’s been a long time since I’ve gotten to take a doll to the store, since usually I’m chasing after my toddler, but this time that was my husband’s job! So Sorah went with, and Melody came along to keep Sorah company for the scary procedure. Melody seems like the kind of girl who’d be a good friend during a scary time.

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The cafe was lovely. We got the salmon and wound up not liking it, and their espresso machine was broken so no fancy coffee drinks, but it’s hard not to have fun when you make your husband sit at a table with dolls. He’d never eaten at the cafe before and was amused by the whole thing. He chose Sorah to sit next to him and made sure to fill her little cup up with sugar. Just what a little girl needs.

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We shopped around a bit (I grabbed the new Julie outfit for Ivy or a modern girl, a pair of cateye sunglasses that I’m not happy with because the lenses are YELLOW, and the vest from the Mix-n-match set), then it was time. Sorah went off into the back and returned to us a few minutes later with her shiny new hearing aids!

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Afterwards Melody and Sorah grabbed a burger and shake in the Seaside Diner before we headed home. At first Sorah was a little frazzled from the procedure, but the car ride home in the rain soothed her. 🙂

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I love the hearings aids EXCEPT for one thing that’s driving me nuts. The woman pierced them a little too far below the earlobe, so either the earpiece can go in her ear OR the white wire can wrap around her ear, but not both. It’s kind of driving me nuts. The only way the hearing aid fits right is if you pierce it more behind the ear rather than below. I’m debating whether I try to get it replaced or not…

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Besides that though, it’s so fun! We’re going to repaint the hearing aids eventually though I’m not sure what color yet. Maybe purple like mine?

Final Doll Group Photos

I don’t mean final ever but good god I am not doing this again until I have a house with a doll room and can make some proper risers and set up my lighting kit and do the whole thing in stages. Also because, to be honest, looking at my collection as a whole makes me both happy and guilty. I have SO MANY dolls, and it feels selfish when we’re saving for a house and have a kid and all that. Doll collecting is such a luxury and I’m grateful for the time and money I’ve been able to put into mine. I try not to let myself feel too guilty.

Ok, more than guilty, I feel tired and lazy. Taking aaaall the dolls out of the dollhouse and getting them aaaaall set up at varying heights and checking aaaaall their hair and skirts and then making sure they’re aaaaaall facing the camera and then putting them aaaaaaall away… it takes forever!  have so little time for this.

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So anyway, here they are:

IMG_1478Now, I know what you’re thinking. This is the most POORLY laid out photo of a doll collection that has ever existed. They are at all sorts of different, weird heights. The photo can’t be cropped so you can see my kid’s toys and dog toys to the side. There’s a shadow cast by me and a shadow cast by the window shade so the girls in the back are 7 miles away and blocked out by the light?

You know what? Too bad. 🙂 This is all I had time for and I’m not redoing it. Do you know what a time-consuming thing it was to even construct this awful photo? My photo teachers from college are turning over in their beds (not their graves! I’m not that old!)

So I was unhappy with the photo but not about to set them all up again to redo it. Instead, I decided a more manageable way to photograph my collection for now was in clusters. Ok, also I’m just a big nerd and I like categorizing things a LOT and I’ve made enough lists just writing out my dolls’ names in the past few weeks to look crazy, so this was an excuse to do something dorky.

Now, don’t be prepared to be amazed just because I decided to do smaller group photos. These photos are still TERRIBLE. But you try photographing a collection of like 34 dolls with a toddler who’s cutting his molars. It is not easy!

First, the fantasy girls: Kestrel, Evelyn, Delaney, Tinuviel, and Eirlys.

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Then the 18th century girls: Kaya, Felicity, Vivienne, and Rosie.IMG_1480

Now the photos get even worse than standing on a blue towel. The 19th century girls: Josefina, Jemima, Caroline, Kirsten, Addy, and Gracie. (First, did you know I was almost named Jemima? I’m disappointed. It’s cute. Second of all: YES, I am trying YET ANOTHER doll for former-Ellen-then-Deirdre-now-Grace.)IMG_1505

What’s that? You miss shadowy pictures? Ok here you go! 20th century girls: Samantha, Nellie, Rebecca, Odette, Kit (whose eyebrows get totally lost), Bea, Emily, Molly (who needs her bangs cut), Maryellen, Nina, Meldy, and Ivy (who refuses to look at the camera). Also my dog Watson’s face because he refused to move away.IMG_1527

And finally, the modern girls. I don’t think i was even trying at this point. It looks like someone sneaking a cell phone picture on a closed movie set. Uh well. Here’s ???, Parisa, Margo, Flora, Leyla, Lenore, Sorah, and Kanani. Top left girl needs a name. Kanani has dark hair since this picture was taken mere days ago. And Margo and Flora have both been contemplating some time travel lately, so we’ll see what happens with them. IMG_1531

Ok, whew. We can all agree those are terrible pictures but there’s the fam and let’s not do this ever again*.

*Ever being until we get our house like I’m dreaming of and I have a dedicated doll room because I’m an overgrown child who refuses to buy a house that doesn’t have enough space for a dedicated doll room. 

Mystery Girl’s Blue Roses Dress

I was hoping to have this girl named before I posted more pictures of her but hey, what can you do? She’s being stubborn. It’ll come to me eventually. Anyway, in the meantime, I’ve been working through more fabric! For this fabric, I knew I wanted a sundress but was otherwise undecided. So I fell back onto one of my favorite patterns, 18 Inches Cat’s Meow Romper & Dress.

What can I say? It’s the quickest, easier thing to make. So that I don’t wind up with 20 of the same dress, I’m starting to experiment a little with each one. This time, I cut out the ruffles, and I actually made two different accessory options. In the pictures, mystery girl is wearing the lime green polka dot belt. I also made her a small bowl of the same material which she can use on a headband or pin to the waistband or neckline. Of course I didn’t photograph that and don’t have an opportunity to at the moment, but I’m sure it’ll crop up in other photos eventually.

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And of course her hair is covering the bow. This is what happens when you can hear the baby waking up while you’re taking photos!