American Girl, give us Dolls of Color for Girls of the Year.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Pajama Jammy Jams: Sleepover Set (Costco Holiday 2016 Exclusive)

Now with skinned polar bears and --oh hey someone's new.
Blog more than once a goddamn month, Neth, the people and my brains say. Say it to my Seasonal Affective Disorder and chronic depression Brain Weasels, I snap back, before sitting down and opening up le Blogger.

It's been a challenging month, especially on my birthday weekend. Dear Oya of the Winds, my birthday weekend. I had birthday plans. My age is a square now,1 and I was going to AG Seattle and enjoying dinner with two of my fellow AG collectors. And then the PNW Windstorm had the mall close hours early. I was able to duck up there just to get my birthday presents and then came home, cranky and the opposite of pleased with the events of the day. Still, better safe that crushed by a tree.2 I really should have listened to my Astrological Forecast for October, it said right there that the 14th (my father's birthday) and 15th (mine) would be challenging. Le cry, le sigh, le unhappy bi.

But I do have new stuff to review, and I was able to take pictures soon after getting my goodies. At the start of the month, the Bae and I went to Costco to stock up on apple juice and toilet paper, like yah do, and I came across AG Costco Holiday Goodies. Ever since I first moved up here and could get the old school story collections at Costco, I've been getting AG stuff from there, and once they started doing things like exclusive book bundles and pet sets, I've been rather on it. It's how I got my BeForever Addy book set, my Pomeranian before they came out widespread, and both Lea's and Grace's book sets with extra stuff.3 

This, however, is a major first: a Costco Exclusive outfit bundle. Leaks were seen before the Holiday Moddie release of a blue PJ top and shorts with blue slippers, but they didn't come with that. A few weeks later, out came the Costco Sleepover Set and that's where the aforementioned PJs were, along with a lot of accessories to make the pack worth the $39.99 it cost. Along with the blue pajamas and slippers, the set comes with a white fur pillow and sleeping bag, two drink glasses, a bowl of popcorn, a book and AG magazine, and a miniature version of Junior Apples to Apples. So basically it's a new outfit and sleeping bag with a tweaked version of the Sleepover Accessories from 2011.

All Boxed up.
The set comes in a box bundle, with all the bits visible and encased in various plastic. I did not keep the box. I have enough boxes around here without keeping AG boxes for no damn reason. How long will this be in Costco? I have no idea. Costco flips stock on the regular, and it'll probably cost more on eBay once it's not there anymore.

After I got it, I got out one of my gang members and got her all dressed up in it for both Wiki-shots and this review, as seen above. But Neth, that's not a new girl, that's just Addy without her earrings. Nope! First of all, Addy here can barely be talked into a yukata; she'd try to throttle me if I put her in something this modern. Secondly, Addy's earrings don't come out.

Jamiya "Miya/Mimi" Bissett, y'all.
So who is she? This is Jamiya Bissett, who goes by Miya (or sometimes Mimi). She's an #1--aka the doll that I tell everyone to get when they ask which doll to get and I honestly can't be assed to care. One of the first Moddies to come out in 1995--textured dark hair, darker brown eyes, no bangs, and dark skin--she was around until 2009, when she was retired. I found her for a good cost on eBay with some rough hair, and after some braid spray and scrub down, she is a cutie pie. Miya is from inner city Houston, hood as they come and don't give a fuck, speaks fluent AAVE, and likes her baby hair with baby hair and afros. Between her and Mellie, I have a mini-me.

And she's making her debut in pajamas. Cause that's how we roll.

Friday, September 30, 2016

Why I'm An Outsider: Part Eight: Summer Chaos in AG > 18 and Persona Non Grata, or How I Got Banned (Temporarily) From A Goddamn Community I Started

Felicity in a flower garden. I need all the floofy pictures for this one.
Good lord it's almost October. Where did my month go? Oh, right. Seasonal Affected Depression. Or something like that. Fall comes on and I get moody and sad like a punk. Pbbbth. Well, that should be the best time to pull this painful tooth of my time in the AG fandom in the late 2000s, right? Right.

I've been trying to do my posts in chronological order, which is why this one has been hard to get to. Which is probably why I've been putting it off forever, even though I wrote about it once before. But not in a huge public format like this. But I can't get to the garbage that happened to me on AGPT if I don't get through the garbage that happened to me by my then-best friend in the fandom. I honestly thought it had happened after my AGPT shit, but when I started to dig through the archeological mess that is my recordings, I found out that no, this happened first. Fun. Welp, can't have my arsenic til I have my strychnine.

So, the setup, for those new to the Outsider Series who will later go back and read the other seven posts.1 By summer 2007, there were two major American Girl groups to participate in, not including flittering  message boards which were the way tweens and teens begged for fandom attention before bokeh pictures with song lyrics on Instagram. The first major gathering of AG fans--called, appropriately enough, AG Fans MB--was slowly dying after restricting everyone from the group that didn't fit into their doorways, because you can't live when you close your communities to a small faction. But I was beyond them for the most part. I was part of two major AG fandom communities. AG Playthings was the big, open forum gathering, like the main hallways of a high school. AG >18, which had been started in summer 2006, was the back woods near the school where we smoked, drank, talked shit, and shipped queerly. They worked in balance with each other: AGPT was the public place found when searching for American Girl collectors,2 and AG >18 was sort of an open secret place where you could talk some shit and not get hit. I'd started it with my then best friend, PNG, whose name--online or otherwise--I don't use. AG > 18 was doing pretty good at that time. That April, we'd installed two new mods: Bean and Colette. This took the modship of AG >18 to a grand total of four, including me and PNG. We were a self-running community, so we didn't need huge amounts of moderating. At most we were just semi-public figures, who if some one needed some business taken care of beyond public work, we did it. But we were all friends of varying levels, and PNG was my closest friend. To the point she had my address and even my phone number. She complimented my sewing. She praised my Fel-Beth shipping--I was even writing fic.

So that's why it hurt like a motherfucker when, in the summer of 2007, she stabbed me in the motherfucking back.

Prologue: Not Such a Sweet Baby Face
Part One: Finding AG Fans, or How Periods are Bad For Children
Part Two: There's Fundies in My Fandom
Part Three: The Wicked Witch of Customizing and the Birth of AG > 18
Part Four: Halloween is for Jesus, or How Otters Offended a Nation
Part Five: The AG Fans Revamp: No Pagans Allowed 
Part Six: The Great Mass Banning of Aught-Six
Part Seven: The Rise of AG Playthings  

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Rambled Opinions and General Snarkiness: Sing a Song of Civil Rights: Meet Melody Ellison of the 1960s (PS: Some Other New Things)

Come See About Melody!

Logical Side: Neth, that can't be the opening to your blog post, you have to be articulate and poised and--

Me: *Shoves Logic Side into a wall and beelines for the front door of AG* you're not my momma you can't tell me what to do! I've been itching for since 2015 when AG made a one line Facebook post about a black historical for next year and then her books came out and I've been hyped since last December or longer so if I want the entire opening to be nothing but me screaming my head off like an idiot and singing every early Motown song that ever came out, then I can do that--

Logic Side: ...Neth, there's more that came out than Melody. Also you have to bitch about things for a short point.

Me: ...Damn you, logic side. *kicks dirt*

Well, you heard my Logic Side. As much as I'd like my entire opening to be me screaming so loud about DeeDee that they hear me in Hawaii before the cut, I gotta talk about stuff a little properly. So. On the 25th of August in the Year of our Documentation Twenty-Sixteen, the culmination of books and designs and items and Black history and work came together finally to manifest and release as the cutest American Girl historical released in the last four years,1 Melody "DeeDee" Ellison. Sorry Ellie, I love you so much--but you knew DeeDee was going to bump you when she got here and you understood that. We major? We major.

It's not like y'all didn't expect this of me, I've been hype for DeeDee ever since they showed her first book cover. I snapped up all her books as they came out, on February I declared my entire wallet dead in lieu of seeing her and Edith realized she was queer, and as soon as I could preorder her I did that without regrets.2 And on Friday the 26th, my close AG friend and I went to the store midday to go to Melody's Block Party so we could get tiny doll shirts, poke tiny doll things, talk shit about people there and back cause that's hella fun, actually run into people from IG out of nowhere who recognized us, and buy dolly stuffs as soon as possible. I might have had DeeDee in the gang since the 14th, but I still had to go squeal and dance over her stuff. Melody means a million things to me, as a child of black children who grew up in the 1960s, and who represents me and my history. When AG launched, the grandparents were of the World War II generation3 and about ten when there were victory gardens and rationing and Damn War. But those kids grew up, several had kids in the 60s, and that's the new throwback for grandparents.

Why didn't I write about things sooner, even though I was there Friday midday? Saturday I was exhausted--I'm an ambivert, so sometimes social interaction can be draining for people like me. So I slept until the evening and then pissed around on the internet, making sure all the articles were on the AG Wiki. On Sunday I went out on errands, and Monday I had to go to the dentist because gotta keep my teeth their prettiest. Once again, some of the new stuff wasn't there and others I missed in the walkthrough, because there were a lot of people there to see about DeeDee and her stuff. (The Lea section was being half abandoned. I may have had the schadenfreude.) So I'll have to use the Wiki images until I can go back and take shots, which might be in a few weeks into September. And I'm taking a break from redoing my braids to get my squeal out, because squeal! Not only was there stuff for DeeDee, but some bursts for other Historicals, the Moddie End of Year Release, and a bit of WellieWishers Stuff.

But with DeeDee already, there's a not at all small contingent of people who are out there that are already being racist shitwads. Y'all out there showing your pale chicken cutlet asses and it hasn't even been a month. Y'all think it's okay to take DeeDee's things for your white stank 60s girls from England, disregard her love of Motown4 and the rich sounds thereof to have her like only the boring ass Beatles because you're scared of the "race" music like it's the 1920s and the loud Jazz might give you accidental melanin and teach you to spice your food, talk shit about her hair being too rough because you fucking can't get over the idea of silky White Hair being better and you have European Dominance Poisoning and are going to try to straighten already straightened hair and end up with tangled rat nests that even braid spray can't save the soul of, and continue to barf all over Instagram and other locations that her clothes aren't part of Black History (Black folk didn't dress 100% like the whitebread faves) so you want to feel justified in slapping them on your stupid wonderbread brats and then try to come at me like I won't hex your dry overcooked chicken-with-cheese-as-seasoning ass.

I hope y'all get booty rash you can't scratch in public that runs all the way up to your shoulders, the elastic in your dolls breaks at the most inopportune time with restringing nowhere near convenient, your fave customs get unexpected ink stains on their face, you get a bad haircut you have to let grow out for six months, you realize your wallet isn't in your purse after you've already made a custom order at Starbucks that the barista didn't wanna make anyways, and a cat leaves dead things in your house you can't find and suck up with the vacuum attachments. Play me if you want. I'm Too Witches to be challenged.5 I will hurt all your little feelings and even some you didn't know you had til I hurt them.

Ahem. *brushes that dirt off her shoulders*

Also two bits of Historical news. First of all, Addy was out of her display box, cut down to almost nothing at the store and a lot of the stuff being online only. I suspect soon they will announce her retirement, which means I need to get one for my mom along with some of her stuff, and her new bed, for me. How do I feel about this? That Addy's had a good long run and that, while it's hella problematic to remove her and only leave one Black Historical again when there's so many white dolls in the historical line that are out and about oh my god Samantha go back in the damn vault already, she is the oldest one out other than Second Release Samantha so it is her turn to go into the Vault and take a break. (Also, maybe now people can stop bitch-barfing in badly written articles that the only black doll is a slave!!1!11!!)

Ah, yes, the Vault. Let's touch on that, because it's come out recently that there's three BeForever books due out in early 2017:  A Stand for Independence, Love and Loyalty, and Gunpowder and Tea Cakes. I don't know about y'all but that sounds like Revolutionary Revolutions to me. So is Felicity coming back out? This is a strong hint. They're at least rereleasing her stories, which means I have to buy yet another copy of them. What can I say, I'm a book crazy kid, and I like having AG books of all my faves. I already have four versions of Sam's books.

Me: *looks at Logic side* Have I said enough proper talk now? Are you pleased?

Logical Side: ...g'won. I can't stop you any longer.


Thursday, August 18, 2016

MCM: The Biggest AG Discount Sale That Happens Once a Year

AG Dolls at Rock Bottom prices!
S'up, y'all? I'm back home--have been for like two weeks--and have been watching the Olympics with rapt attention.1 At the same time, I've been prepping for AG's best upcoming release this year - One Melody Elizabeth Ellison, of Detroit, Michigan. Thanks to your generous donations and utter love, I'm ready to buy DeeDee's entire wardrobe!

But not DeeDee. Why not DeeDee?


Lemme rewind and catch y'all up. AG now has a rewards program - aptly named AG Rewards - and I signed up because hey, rewards for blowing cash on what I already blow all my little funds on, that sounds like a good thing. And, if you signed up before around the end of July or so, AG offered a preorder of DeeDee: Her, her dog Bo, her accessories, and her Floral Dress and hairset. Not much of a discount, but with free shipping and delivery on or before the 18th? I had to do it I had to. So that ate all my little gift cards that my Bae got for me for DeeDee purchases, which was what it was supposed to do anyways. I bought her the night I was back in Seattle and she shipped out on the 9th. And, after cussing out the post office for messing up the damn tracking, I got her Sunday! There's a whole photostory on my Instagram on her getting out and her and Edith already being crushy cute on each other - with a bonus "fucking hell can y'all not put her clothes on all your little white and light/Asian dolls the moment you got her I swear to fuck." She's the best. We are in love with DeeDee in the gang, Edith has her "Elizabeth," and hey mama welcome to the 60s! I'm still going to the launch party and taking lots of pictures with all my opinions on them. Also because I have to get all her clothes. Like all of them. All of them. I know there's stuff for others, thank you Pintrest leak, but August 26th - 28th is The Weekend of Melody and I will blog hella about her.

Speaking of weekends. Let's go back a month about.

So, if you've kept up with me on my social media some - that is, IG cause that's all my bitch ass does - you will know that last month, I went to Milwaukee to visit my mom and relatives. I was born in Milwaukee and a lot of my folk still live there, and my mom moved back both to help take care of family and to give my younger sister a stable place to deal with her life. This meant seeing my grandma, visiting my uncles (I only have two living uncles), lots of cousins...and being close enough to go to the Madison Children's Museum American Girl Sale. When I proposed the idea to my mom, she said sure - my mom enjoys new experiences, and she says that I'm probably her main child that takes her to new places she's never expected on the basis of "let's go to this!" So, after ordering tickets at the start of May and getting them, I headed out to Wisconsin, and my first weekend in town we loaded into the van and headed to MCM. This was my first time ever going to this, and I'd got pros and cons of the trip.

Before we talk about my experiences, though, let's go into the backdata on what MCM is and why it's a thing in the AG community. Under the cut for the history, useless pics, and some of what I got for me and the Mommish.

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Vacation Bits and Bobbles.

Meet Cinnamon Peschel, an American Girl!
Greetings from the Cheese State of Wisconsin! 

Ladies and gentlemen and both and neither and other, I have had what folk call "a busy vacation." I came out mid July to visit my mom and grandma in Milwaukee--the last time I was here, I was here for my father's funeral. I had planned some reviews, posts, and other talky bits on dolls but to be honest I've been enjoying myself with family and trips, so I haven't really had the hours I do at home to sit and blog. I had brought stuff out to take pictures and blog about, but yeah--so busy, between my mom's place and my grandma Goose and festivals and trips to Chicago, IL and Madison, WI. But I will get on that as soon as I'm home, likely. I have been busy as shit on AGC and my Instagram account. Great ways to check to make sure I'm still about.

Til then, have a gander at my newest gang member: I got my Cinnamon! Her full name is Cinnamon  "Cinna" Demaree Peschel, after a drama teacher I had in middle school I loved and a street name I adored in high school. She's from Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and she loves acting, music, and craftwork, including designing her own clothes, and if she had to pick an era to play around in it would be pretty much any and all of them! She's Black with some white and Native in her background, but most of it is black, and that's how she IDs.

So just a note to say I've got plans and haven't forgotten all you beautiful people. Some of the many talky topics after I'm back in the PNW that I'll do, not necessarily in this order:

* MCM: The Biggest AG Discount Sale That Happens Once a Year
* My First Trip to AG Chicago: The Flagship Mecca of AG Buying and the Truly Me Design Studio
* Girls of Many Lands: Isabel of 1592 Tudor England
* Dolling on a Budget: Collecting AG without EOYBA (yes I have been working on that post for a year, my bad)
* Reviews of several sets for my gang members, including both of Addy's School Sets and Nightgowns
* Rambled Opinions and General Snarkiness: Sing a Song of Civil Rights: Meet Melody Ellison of the 1960s
* #StopAGIGRacism: The Racism in AG Communities and The Reasons We (and You!) Should Fight Against It

And for all those that love my Outsider Series, the next part: "Summer Chaos in AG > 18, or How I got Banned from A Goddamn Community I Started."

As Kat Blaque says and I adore: Always remember and never forget that you are beautiful, and you are loved.


Monday, June 27, 2016

Rambled Opinions and General Snarkiness: Wishes and Wellies, DeeDee Books, and Mix and Match Moddie Musings

--help they're super cute i like them--
"Nethilia! Where have you been for a month, woman!" my blog readers go, hands on hips, staring at the post about Sam's birthday and wondering when I'd effing update because they need more regular snarkitude in their lives.

"See what had happened was," I start. See, what had happened was, indeed. In order: Went to work A-Kon, yo that was stressy. Got home, because the visit to my mom is changed with her not living in Texas anymore. Promptly got my ass handed to me by Con Slime, which completely fucked up my sleeping schedule. Like, completely. So for about two--two?--weeks, I literally was falling asleep in the middle of my days every day, and couldn't get anything done that wasn't laying in the bed or falling backwards in my chair and passing out asleep over and over out of nowhere.1 But it's fixed, I'm awake and bright eyed and bushy tailed, and there's really cool new things! Also old things I need to review or at least take pictures of so I can review them better. Let's get this show on the road.

June 23rd was when we'd all hope we'd have a lot more Melody in our lives. Well, we didn't. She's not out til late August, which will be post my Milwaukee trip. Boo. Silver lining, at least that means more saving up for her and some of her stuffs. But there still was a huge release. A really huge one.

Laddies and Gentlewim and others, AG has released an actual all-new line! Which hasn't been done since I started blogging, and really hasn't been done since I really started collecting now that I think about it.2 And damn it's a cute line. As I said before and will continue to say, full sized 18" dolls aren't always appropriate for small girls. Not only are the books advanced and now generally pictureless, the dolls can get super messed up by children too young to understand how they should take care of them. Even the clothes might be too big to dress like the doll. There was also a gap between the toddler and preschool focuses of Bitty Baby and Bitty Twins, and the eight and up of the main AGs. This gap had been attempted before by the Hopscotch Hill School, but this petered out and became no more. AG's new shot at aiming for the five and up crowd is five girls in delightful colorful wellies, ready for puddle time and good feels--the WellieWishers.3 And fuck me but they're cute. Super cute. "One came home with me without question" cute. No prizes to guess who it is, especially if you follow me on AGC or my Instagram. There's also some good moddie stuff that came out as well, shiny and new and actually useful.

...but I should address the twin elephants in the room. Or, more accurately, the twin elephants no longer in the room. A new line in meant a new line going out, much like Historical removal. And the line thrown out to let the Wellies in was the Bitty Twins. The twins--not much of a diff from the Bitty Babies, same loosey bodies and though more of a preschool feel, wasn't enough to keep them about. We sort of saw the writing on the wall with them not getting anything for a year. So they have been put out to pasture. Bye-bye, babies.4 Now when I complain about not paying attention to Bitty Shit, it's just Bitty Baby. Who got two things with this release but lol Bitty shit.

To the new stuff!

Friday, May 20, 2016

Book Blather Book Reviews: Happy Birthday Samantha!

Choo-choo, Sam, it's your muthafuckin' birthday.1
So there I was, with a large pile of fabric to put together into doll clothes for pattern testing and a small pile of Megabloks to assemble for a review here.2 And then I said to hell with that at present and decided that we're going to do another book review. Because it's Samantha's birthday in a week or so and thematically appropriate to discuss her birthday shenanigans. So let's do that, as I ignore morons that be stealing my dolly pictures and trying to pass Marisol, Otters, and Naomi off as their own. Seriously, if you're going to steal pictures--and you shouldn't you little shits, what the entire fuck are you--you should probably not steal a picture with one of my first customs. And with  Otters--pentacle prominent as hell--from around 2007 or so. and with my backdrop of my apartment I'm still in. I took that picture before I got married. Get the entire hell out, children, no one has time for your mouthy bullshit. Moving on.

After the launch of the First Three Girls in 1986, the second sets of things and books came out in 1987--around the spring, setting the odd ways of releasing for a while where only half a collection came out to start and the second half came post holiday. Because reasons. So in early 1987, out came Happy Birthday, Samantha! Complete with exclamation point. Are you excite? You'd better be, every birthday book until Kaya has an exclamation point. Pleasant Company (well, Ms. Rowland), having gotten rid of Susan Alder post book two for all that subversive class discussion and capitalism hate and only using Maxine Rose Schur for Samantha's Surprise, needed to get a new author to cover the last three books. So they pulled in Valerie Tripp, who had written the Molly books, and had her do the last three books.

Valerie Tripp is probably the author who has written the most books for American Girl in, like, ever.  She's going to come up over and over again on these book blathers, because she wrote a lot of the books. In fact, I'm not sure if she's written anything major other than AG books.3 Her AG series include all of the Central Series for Felicity, Josefina, Molly, Kit, Maryellen, and--as it's coming up now--the second end of Samantha. Plus all the Hopscotch Hill Books and the upcoming WellieWishers series. Her writing is hit and miss for me a lot--some of it tends to be very formulaic, which is likely due to AG requirements. And I've been known to harp on the way she writes for AG. She's not my fave of the AG authors by any means,4 but in ways she is a fairly decent author.  I'll be nice. First internal illustrations by Nancy Niles, second by Dan Andreasen. In the Beforever Volumes, this is Chapters 1-5. I will continue using the old numbering system until I get to Ellie's books, whereupon I will still break them up into "books."5

Just like Samantha Learns a Lesson, this is one of those books that gets overhyped when people don't actually go back and read the books and instead are going off Childhood AG Nostalgia. Into the book, and I shall pop the childhood bubble you've been carrying around for some time. Cause AG was never as radical as you want to think it was.  

Monday, May 2, 2016

Rambled Opinions and General Snarkiness: Late April Mini-Mod and TropiKenna Burst of Sunshine

Hanging out at the AG Store with my girl.
First of May, First of May! Outdoor humping starts today!1 Okay it's the Second. Look, it's close enough.

April I had ambition, man. And then my body said "fuck you in particular heaux" and my mind jumped in to join the beatdown. Chronic illness! It fucking blows. Also one of my damn favorite artists, Prince, died2 and Drama happened and the build up of things all coalesced into a storm that rained me out and I ran out of everything. To the point of tremors. It took me two days to restock the shelves with new Can. But I'm trying every day. I'm working on one major project for my Etsy which is actually fun to do, sorting out another to start later on, trying to clean more, and lining things up hopefully. Saving up for DeeDee is going successfully, I would like to take good pics of the MegaBloks sets I purchased and put them together nicely, and Lemonade is freshly squeezed and good. (And I don't mean the drink I mean the Beyoncé album.) Also my garden is growing well, I went to the Tulip Festival up north, and I'm working on a quilt. So y'know, the good and the bad.

Also New Gang Member Alert! Up there is Li-Yue "Lorelei" Soo. She sometimes goes by Lori, is Chinese-American, originally from California, and loves musicals, crafts, and the 1950s aesthetic so she and Ellie have become the closest of friends. Her idol is Phillipa Soo (no relation) who rocks the role of Eliza Schuyler in the Hamilton musical and she will soon be reviewing the outfit she's wearing, the Jumper and Boots Set, and displaying some awesomely designed outfits.

That being said, let's talk about new things; this Thursday was a small release for AG. No BeForever goodies, two Bitty Things, and mostly small others. Notably, there's nothing for the Bitty Twins for the fourth time. They haven't got anything at all since last June; that's almost a year without anything at all. I suspect--but don't hold me to it--that they are on their way out to make room for a new AG line named Wellie Wishers, a set of all vinyl dolls with wellies (rain boots) that are more of the 5-8 range that AG is sorely lacking in covering since the retirement of Hopscotch Hill. Will I bother to get one of the Twins? Likely nah. They're not my thing. The black Wellie Wisher, though, has a chance. Let's see the price point.

To the new things.

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Crafting Creatively: Things I've Made: Kit’s Lavender Scallop-Edged Dress

Everyone looks good in lavender. Everyone.
I like to sew. 

I get bored and sew things. I get angry and I sew things. I get excited and I sew things. I get depressed and I sew things to feel better. I get sleepy and I don't sew things because I would rather not sew through my fingers, but I dream about sewing things. It's a cool ass hobby that, when I'm done, has something to show for it. My mom started me sewing when I was four years old at the basics, I started putting together doll clothes when I was five or six with my own scrap bags and children's books on dolls, and I've never stopped. I would sew more outfits for myself but I have yet to obtain either a dressmakers double or the space to set one up. I plan to do some things like casual lounge pants--a t-shirt and lounge pants are my home uniform--but pretty historical simulated outfits are a lot more work. Also sewing for me takes like, five or six yards of fabric and laying things out and lots of lace and lining and invisible zippers and buttonholes and modifying nearly every single top or dress pattern to fit around my huge rack o' tatas1 and oh my gods. I'm going to need more space for that.

But doll clothes sewing? Super easy and satisfying for me. It takes a yard or two--and that's more because I overpurchase; if the pattern calls for 3/4 a yard I buy a yard and a quarter to give me space to layout. The trims are generally on the smaller side, and I need fewer of them. And rather than having to set in zippers or, Athene Save Me, make buttonholes, I can mostly get away with velcro and the occasional snaps. Plus, if I want to do a historical look, I have so many people to model my creations. I have stacks of doll clothes and doll craft books in my house (some of which are older than me in both the technical and actual sense) and a whole comic book storage box of just AG sized patterns alone--and that doesn't count the ones I've purchased digitally.

I've got a lot of AG patterns, is what I'm saying, and I like to and want use them. The most recent use has Kit in a new outfit that's very springtime.

Kit’s Lavender Scallop-Edged Dress

Kit is not a flouncy girl, but dresses were de rigueur in the 1930s. So it helps that this dress suits her tastes just right. The light lavender print is complimented by scalloped short sleeves which are mimicked at the overbodice and the plain white collar has double topstitching and a neat button flower accent. She also has a matching button-flower hairclip to pull her hair aside.

Double the dresses, double the fun!
Also, if you've seen this dress on one of Gwen's girls from A Peek Into the Pantry, that's not because she broke into my place and swiped my dress after I finished it. I made two and sent one to her. Just because I like to sew and I like to sew for others and send them gifts when they're my friends. =3

Under the cut for crafting deets.

Monday, March 28, 2016

Historical Clothes Reviews and Historical Accessory Reviews: Samantha's BeForever Meet Outfit and Accessories

Nellie: Pretty in all that pink.
I continue to gush and gush about how much I like the BeForever revamp, in great contrast to a great many older AG collectors who grew up with the original looks. There's some bits I don't care for--there's not much that has my undying love without at least one thing to complain about1--but overall, it's been a good thing. And when AG went for the relaunch, they relied on their regular fall back for all-new historical product launches and first tries. Yep, that's right. They reached back into the Historical Character vault, pulled Samantha out, shook her off and gave her an all new look. Same brown hair and brown eyes, but nothing from her prior collection came with her, not even her meet outfit and accessories.

And for that I'm glad. I never liked her original meet outfit or accessories. Oh, the underwear and black stockings had their usefulness, but the dress was mediocre at best and blech at worse and helped highlight the idea of turn-of-the-century sepianess and dull colors. And don't get me started on those pitiful ass plastic ugly shoes2 or the high neckline that had to cover up that poor ugly white body the first three started out with. It wasn't even shown in the illustrations until the 1998 redraw. Away with it. Now Samantha comes to you in a much more pink set: a pink lace and dotted swiss dress, bloomers, white tights, black Mary Janes, and a velvet ribbon on a ponytail holder that that I don't have. Cause while all the new BeForever outfits come separately for about $36, they don't come with any of the hair decs. Either buy a new doll, clip your own ribbons, or see if you can obtain replacements for the hair clips. The accessories also transmogrified: a headband, velvet purse, and "locket" necklace for the standard accessory cost of $24. This was sold out the day of the BeForever launch--and also, I was getting all the Addy I could get--but later trips to AG got me a set to put on gang members such as Marisol and Nellie. So far there's no reason to touch eBay to get a set--even when it's not sold separately anymore, there's always the possibility of stripping a Samantha to get the hook up, though of course that's the more expensive option. There's also a matching sundress and headband. If you're like Zagat Editor Molly Moker you can fit in the set. I am plush and fat and can't do that.

With Nellie around, she can help share the Edwardian reviews with Marisol. She does an excellent job.