We have two winners in the heart contest, and some machine embroidery designs for you to download! If you get started now, your dolls can have a new shirt before Valentine’s day!
Who’s the bendiest of them all? Surprise – it’s Barbie!
Around Christmas I was in Toys R Us and an overwhelmed grandma asked me if I knew anything about dolls. Um…yeah, a bit :) I tried pointing her to the fabulous Journey Girls, but her GD apparently was into Barbie, which I’m not. I strolled down the Barbie aisle with her though and found a new one called “Made to Move”. The price was right (about $15) and I bought one for research purposes, thinking there was no way it was as good as Obitsu.
I finally got around to doing a pose comparison this week, and I was shocked! When compared to my bendiest dolls in that size range, Barbie is able to do more realistic yoga poses:
L-R – Ruby Red Senson, J-doll, Azone picconeemo, Momoko, obitsu 23cm with little Pullip head, MTM Barbie
Can sit in an actual lotus position
And can bend her knees nicely to sit in the Japanese pose called seiza
Yes, the Obitsu can do pretty much all these things too, but her body is floppy and arms are too short to do realistic arm-over-the-head poses. There are a few more pix here if you’re interested.
So, when I was asking for suggestions about April and which OG outfits you liked, Brandy asked for this as a Valentine’s dress:
I decided April and her mom and their friends have a Valentine’s tea and dress up for it. More to come about it in her journal, but for now, here’s the
I’m digitizing results of the Valentine heart contest from last week and basing the winner on which design looks best when embroidered. It’s taking a while so I will post the winner next week.
The computer-generated images were fine, but please be aware that if you scanned your drawing as grayscale (L) instead of black and white, it shows up like the pic on the right when I convert it to B&W and it can’t be used.
Also, if you did scan as B&W but drew with pencil, sometimes it got grainy when it scanned and can’t be used without a ton of editing or re-drawing.
If you’d like to re-scan and re-send your drawings in the next day or two, you can. Thanks to everyone who entered!
You may have noticed that the OG boxes all have decorative hearts on them, and their logo is also a heart. They also have a wall of hearts on their website where you can design one and post it. I was doodling ideas for a heart motif to put on a t-shirt for April and had a fun idea…maybe YOU would like to design a heart?
Enter the Valentine heart contest by submitting your original heart artwork by Feb 1. and you could win a doll T-shirt with your artwork embroidered on it! Winner will be chosen by me and get an 18” doll t-shirt with their design machine embroidered on the front. The winning design will also be shared here as a machine embroidery file for everyone to use.
I had planned to post Aprils’s journal once a month, but thought the first installment might help you learn more about her and enjoy the series more. You’ll meet her new friend Julika (who was Santa’s gift to me)
And April’s own “new” doll, Sienna (who I bought a long time ago and was never able to work into a blog post)
(note: this is a dropbox link, and will work now but may change when I update her journal)
If it looks grainy, click the “open” button and scroll to “open in adobe reader”
The cardigan to go with last week’s blouse is also ready:
And if you’re a Star Wars fan, you might appreciate this:
Cassie resized and adapted some of the Little Darling in Japan patterns as Star Wars cosplay outfits to fit AGs and has generously shared them on her blog here
If you can’t find this outfit to buy:
You could start making it instead! This week, we have the first installment of it:
It was supposed to be the whole outfit with pix of my April in it, but unfortunately I got sick and then busy with the return to work, so let’s hope I finish it all next weekend!
I incorporated some of your suggestions to develop a personality for April and am pretty excited at all the fun things that may be in store! In brief, she lives on a ranch in Colorado, raises fiber goats and does some associated fiber crafts with their fleece, like knitting. She might have a garden when the time comes and wants to grow up to be an archaeologist. Also by request, she’ll have her own (mini) OG and will occasionally post things she sews for it.
I’m trying to have her “write” a journal fairly regularly and planning to take her various places a normal kid might go, so maybe not Brazil or Paris…more like a museum or park in Colorado, and then take pix of her there and let her write about it. It will probably appear at the end of each month.
REMINDER: You can get one or both Chatty Cathy patterns from my etsy store FREE until Jan 1st – Post a picture of something you’ve made during this Chatty Cathy series (for your CC or any other doll they’d fit) here and send me a link (jenniebagrowski at gmail dot com). For each thing that you’ve made you can request either “Nursery School” OR “Sunday Visit”. If you want both patterns, you’ll need to post 2 things you made during this series. If you just post on flickr, I don’t have your email, so make sure to send me a link and tell me which pattern you want!
I’m going to guess you’ve either gotten the new AG catalog or seen the leaks online by now.
The AG GOTY dolls’ back stories lately are so realistic and relatable to regular kids’ lives, right? I mean, when MY grandparents’ bakery in France was struggling, MY family dropped everything, hopped on a plane and helped save it, just like Grace! And then this year is even MORE relatable, because, you know, lots of kids get to abandon their lives here in the US and go live in Brazil, and all of Brazil is just rainforest, fruit stands and treehouses…right? ;)
So I happened down the Our Generation aisle at Target and check out my find:
No, not Saila, the science set. Pretty awesome, huh? For around $6 you get the safety glasses, flask, test tubes and microscope. It gets better…there’s an actual light and a lens you can focus on the microscope!! No slides, but those are easily made from scraps of clear plastic. As I was taking apart the packaging to toss in the recycling, something caught my eye…http://www.ogdolls.com/free-the-children
This was so reminiscent of my dearly departed H4H and Karito dolls I actually went back to Target and really LOOKED at the dolls themselves. I always pass them up as generic “imitation” dolls, and in all the stores I’ve visited, their ethnic diversity has, until recently, been sadly lacking. The April doll caught my eye, primarily because of her beautiful green eyes that are similar to mine. Most doll manufacturers do a grassy green color that is blatantly unrealistic, and that’s sometimes the case with red hair too. AND April came with glasses…just like me, poor thing. She lacks freckles but I’m thinking some time in the high altitude sun should cure that :)
So, even though I was super excited about the release of AG Lea, who disappointingly just looks like Rebecca with longer hair, and Melody, who Amazon led us to believe was also getting released Jan 1, I bought April instead, and she’s going to be the WrenFeathers GOTY for 2016. Why an OG? AG is just getting shameless with their price increases and big-ticket items and I don’t always see quality to match those prices. I love my AGs, I love going to the AG store, but it seems the “store experience” has become a thing and they’re skimping on quality while you help pay their rent in the most expensive shopping districts in that area. In contrast, probably everyone has a Target within a reasonable driving distance and goes there anyway to get other things and the doll aisle is just a bonus. Based on the devastation of the OG aisle at my local Target right before Christmas (hubby commented it looked as though it had been looted), OG dolls are hugely popular with kids. They’re affordable, supposedly responsibly manufactured, and giving back some of their profits to help kids in developing countries. Plus, this doll is more relatable to real people than one that’s jetting off to live in Brazil and needs you to buy her a $400 tree house to live in and a $150 fruit stand to run.
The “GOTY” plan is that every month there will be a free pattern or craft for her, sort of like a year-long series and I will try to make an effort to relate those to her hobbies, interests, etc. (Don’t worry, I’ll still do other dolls too!) As I examined the OG offerings, they’ve really stepped up their game in terms of creating trendy, cute things. Unfortunately, it’s rather hit-or-miss as to whether you can actually find what you want for sale at your local store and when you order online, apparently they don’t really have what you ordered. I found Zuri, who has a beautiful new face mold, on the Target website and ordered her just before Christmas, thinking she and April could be friends. A few days before she was scheduled to arrive, I got an email saying my order was canceled without any explanation why. I was pretty sad, and am hoping the birthday fairy might come through and you’ll see her here soon…
So, you might not be able to get the OG outfits you want, and since they’re trying to mass-produce them for a reasonable price, the quality might not be the same as what an experienced seamstress could do at home for her own dolls, and for those reasons I might do versions of some of their outfits in this series too. Look for the first installment next week!
Here are a few of my favorites:
Do you have a favorite OG outfit you can’t find and want to make? Suggestions for April’s “back story” (hobbies, interests, etc.)? Post a comment below!
Happy New Year!
I bet some of you want the CC series to just keep going, but there’s lots of fun modern stuff on the way for those that didn’t! :) I actually did a few more things for Cathy, namely her “Nursery School” and “Sunday Visit” dresses.
These patterns won’t appear on the blog, but here are two ways to get them:
2. Get them FREE until Jan 1st – Post a picture of something you’ve made during this Chatty Cathy series (for your CC or any other doll they’d fit) here and send me a link (jenniebagrowski at gmail dot com). For each thing that you’ve made you can request either “Nursery School” OR “Sunday Visit”. If you want both patterns, you’ll need to post 2 things you made during this series.
This week’s free pattern is based on a paper doll, but the pattern was so similar to a vintage commercial pattern, I just used it instead, omitting the tucks down the front. Neckline of blouse and jumper are faced with bias. You might want to make the hem deeper for AGs to get the same look.
Download it here
Is this OK? Read on…
Does scanning parts of an old pattern and uploading them violate copyright law? Well, when I looked into it, I think it’s OK in this situation. First off, it’s possible they may be in the public domain, since the back of the envelope says it was copyrighted in 1963 (and thus expired 28 years later unless renewed) but there is no copyright info listed on the pattern pieces themselves. Second, if they were renewed for the additional 47 years permitted, they’d expire again in 2030, but section 108 of US copyright law says during the last 20 years of any term of copyright protection of a published work libraries and archives free to the public…“may—for purposes of preservation, scholarship, or research—reproduce, distribute, display, or perform in facsimile or digital form a copy or phonorecord of the work or portions of the work… ”
So, as a website which has a rather large archive of my own doll patterns, I’m uploading these pieces for you here free for the purpose of preserving them, since the paper is aging rapidly. You can download them for purposes of research/scholarship, (i.e. learning to sew a historical garment) but despite what some ebay sellers would have you believe, it’s probably not legal for you to reproduce this pattern and sell since the law also states “the reproduction or distribution” must be “made without any purpose of direct or indirect commercial advantage”.