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Friday, March 15, 2013

Casual Fridays: Beth Cady, A Historical American Girl

Beth Cady: An American Girl!
Another Friday, another Casual Friday. So as not to swamp the blog, I'm aiming for every other Friday or so being my Casuals. This Friday, we're going to meet a girl I consider as much a part of my Historical gang as any of the others.

Meet Beth Cady: An American Girl.

Beth Cady's full name is Elizabeth Cady--or, when she grew up and got married and became all historical, Elizabeth Cady Stanton. Yes, the feminist. But I don't call her that because she's "13" around here. (By the full name. She's still very much a feminist, because woo feminism.) She was made as a limited edition collectable by Götz1 for the state of New York in 2000, and only 5000 were made. She was gifted to me by an ex-friend (long ugly story; I don't talk about it), and I've had her since August 2006. She was the fifth member of the AGGiB2, and goes by Beth Cady both to separate her from Felicity's Elizabeth and because Beth Cady is a damn adorable name.

More details about her below the cut.

Beth Cady and the Infamous Red Dress.
The outfit that Beth Cady was released in was a infamous style of dress that she specifically said she hated--she and all her sisters were dressed in the same style of clothing growing up, red dresses with dark aprons and high collars (as mentioned in Eighty Years and More, her autobiography: )
I still have a perfect vision of myself and sisters, as we stood up in the classes, with our toes at the cracks in the floor, all dressed alike in bright red flannel, black alpaca aprons, and, around the neck, a starched ruffle that, through a lack of skill on the part of either the laundress or the nurse who sewed them in, proved a constant source of discomfort to us....But we were sternly rebuked for complaining, and if we ventured to introduce our little fingers between the delicate skin and the irritating linen, our hands were slapped and the ruffle readjusted a degree closer. Our Sunday dresses were relieved with a black sprig and white aprons. We had red cloaks, red hoods, red mittens, and red stockings. For one's self to be all in red six months of the year was bad enough, but to have this costume multiplied by three was indeed monotonous. I had such an aversion to that color that I used to rebel regularly at the beginning of each season when new dresses were purchased, until we finally passed into an exquisite shade of blue. No words could do justice to my dislike of those red dresses. 
So naturally, they released her in it as a meet outfit. Well close--muted red cotton like cloth, and a grey apron. Beth actually kind of likes it, but I don't put her in it often. The apron actually has thin cord ribbon that can tie in the front or back, but I almost always tie it in the back. You can see one sleeve is faded; that's how I got her, since she was secondhand. Her face was modeled on--if I recall correctly--Elizabeth Cady Stanton's daughter since there were no photographs of her as a child. Cameras not being a thing in the 1820s and all.

Also, since I got her second hand, her bang curls had fallen badly. Thus, I at some point just banded them to the side. Before they had been pinned up into her hair, because they were always in her face and I could not get them to work back to curls again. Ah well. I think she looks a little more dignified this way.

She's Official!

The side of her dress has a tag that notes that Götz made her and she was an official NY State collectable. It's on the outside seam, so no tucking or hiding away. I actually don't mind the tags. 

Hair Bow. Of a sorts.

She also had a hair bow. I am pretty shit at tying this one up, no lies. I also ended up taking down her top ponyknot, because it was messy, and rebrushing it. It originally came sewn down. Mint is for people who don't like their dolls looking their best >.>

Shoes, socks, and a peep at the drawers.
She's wearing gold buckled shoes and thick red socks that, to be honest, only go with this dress.
The shoes, however, go with everything I've ever made or got for Beth.

Dress Alone.
Here you can see the dress alone; it has a high white collar, white cuffs, and an empire style waist. Take that into account, my peeps. The dress isn't so much red as it is a muted shade; again, that might be from sun fading. Her hair bow is also faded some.

Drawers Shot: It's like a panty shot but historical or something.
 She has long drawers with eyelet lace at the end. When I got her the elastic had stretched out. It got so bad they wouldn't stay up, so I had to repair them eventually by sewing in new elastic. I am the Doll Whisperer.

Snaps in the back. Also some neck string action.
The dress closes with three snaps in the back; the apron closes with just the one. You can also see that she has neck cords, like AG dolls do. However, I broke one restringing her when her legs gave out. Since she's not an AG girl, she can't go to AG for any repairs, so I taught myself how to restring to get her fixed.

And now, the one and only shot of Beth Cady naked.
Being made by the same company that initially made AG dolls, she actually has the same kind of body structure. This means she can wear AG clothes and have them fit damn well. I'm not going over the details of her body structure cause that's what the AG Wiki article is for. Just know she nearly matches. She doesn't have the AG teeth-showing smile and her nose is shaped different. But her eyes open and close the same way, she's got neck strings, and if you end up having to restring her or something she's got the same structure internally.

Signed but not sealed. She was delivered though.
She's got a signature on her middle that says which of the 5000 she is--#2309. Which I honestly don't give two fucks about, but there you go. Why she says 2001 I don't know or care.

Well, that's enough on her body structure and meet outfit. Let's get to how she fits in the gang.

Dresses and pinafores for the Federal time.
Before Caroline Abbot was released, there was no time coverage of the early 19th century. And guess when Beth Cady's time was? Okay, she was more mid 1820s. But Josefina covers that. Not that Josefina had arrived to be part of my gang yet. Anyways, since I like Federal styles3 the two of us mutually decided that Beth Cady was going to rock the Federal style of clothes  Plus, Romantic clothing styles suck, with the giant stiff skirts and the sleeves looking like a pork chop. So I made her Federal styled high-waisted dresses and she wore them, and she looked cute. She's actually got a semi-decent wardrobe around here, though I owe her more outfits. This is one set I made, a green spring dress and a white pinafore to match.

Dress uncovered. I love making doll dresses because they go so smooth.
The dress is light green and in a nice print. More details about this set can come in a Crafting Creatively post. She's got about six or so sets I've made for her, some which were made twice for a craft swap or the like. I had to draft all the patterns myself but then again I'm awesome like that so nyah.

Beth Cady, on her way to steal your man clothes.
Then, when Caroline came out we decided--even though Caroline's time is three years before Beth Cady was even born in 1915--that we were swiping the girl's clothes anyways. So we did. This is the only set I have; the Travel outfit, along with the matching hat and spencer coat. If I can get my hands on Caroline's Meet outfit without having to buy Caroline herself,  I'm going to get on top of that, as well as her new work dress. It's a fashion style early, but sometimes I just don't care. And Beth Cady doesn't either.

Looking good.
I have to admit, she looks really good in the stuff she wears. See what I mean about her fitting into AG clothes? They're not even tight or uncomfortable on her. A perfect fit. So she can fit really perfect into an AG gang or gaggle and add some variety to the group.

Looking to add her to a gang? She can't be bought in stores anymore--natch--but you can find her on eBay Orphanarium, as she'll pop up here and there for about $75 or so. A quick skim shows she's almost always  with her full outfit. Her curls may have fallen when you get her but that's not so bad. I'm really pleased to have her as a member of my gang--not just because she's like an AG, but because she is a pin-her-down-to-history American Girl.


1 Götz, by the way were the first designers of AG dolls.
2 American Girl Gang in Bothell. It's what I call my group.
3 Federal in the US. Regency in the UK. Empire in France. Basically the high waists and the flowy skirts from about the 1800s-1820s.

1 comment:

  1. Just wanted to point out that Caroline's travel outfit would work for the 1820's. Actually it's better suited for the 1820's anyways so Beth or a girl her age in that time period could totally rock an outfit like that.

    She's beautiful!


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