|Addy's Cape Island Dress. On the only one who should wear it.|
You think I'm kidding.
Aduke "Addy" FirstArrival Walker means the world to me. She heads the AGGiB around here, she is my love, and no one challenges my girl. Because of this, I admit that she's more than a little spoiled. Okay, she's max spoiled. I'll bend over backwards to get things for her collection, including the harder to find bits, and if the price isn't too high I'll pay it. Thus I have, systematically, gotten almost everything for her. Yes, I have paid a bit over face for some of the sets, but I'd rather pay that kind of price for her things than anyone else's. And I will get twitchy bitchy about her clothes being on anyone but her. Here she only shares a few things with Sarah, and even so that's just til I can get Sarah's collection more off the ground.
One of the things I'll admit I paid over face for is the Cape Island Dress.The Cape Island Dress is one of what is classified as the Short Story Outfits. Back story: AG released sets of short stories in the magazines for years3 and later released them as small individual books. Addy--along with Samantha, Molly, Josefina, and Kirsten--got five stories. Felicity initially only got four cause she got kicked to retired for a while, Kaya got just one, and Kit got two. (The stories were also rereleased in total collections, and the short three got a full set of five stories in the collections.) The 1999 stories and the 2003 stories each got an outfit with their stories except for Kaya, and Addy's 2003 set was the Cape Island Dress to go with Addy's Summer Place, the story that shows Addy that even po' ass white folk thought they were better than any black person by virtue of not being black. The dress came with a hair ribbon, and while it was normally shown with Addy's Work Shoes, my house has eaten them. The dress was retired in 2005, which gave it a very short run. I tried to make a version of my own but it didn't come out nearly as pretty as the real one, I'm not even going to lie.
The original cost was $26 dollars. I paid $90 in a big ass private purchase last year that also got me the sweet potato pudding set, gardening set, school supplies, and church fair fun set (only missing slide whistle). Yeah. Addy's spoiled rotten as dirt. On eBay it goes for--when it shows up--anywhere for 60 to 100 bucks. At least she won't outgrow it.
|The dress, in all its glory.|
Stupid people will claim that the wide neckline means the dress was intended for a boy. These people have no fucking idea what they are talking about. Wide necklines were for anyone wearing a dress in a hot ass place that could get away with it.
|All gathered up.|
|The best damn trim on a dress. Ever.|
|Hem's Deep. (I think that's a LotR pun.)|
|Back of the dress.|
The dress is an A+. About the only thing I could bitch about is that the trim doesn't go around the back of the skirt.
|Big ass bows in the back of your head.|
|And the other ribbon.|
The ribbon gets an A. It doesn't match, but it doesn't have to.
In the short story book, Addy is of course wearing the dress on the cover. No hair bow as Addy had her hair curled for the first time on paper rollers.5 This image is inside, and also graces the cover of the second Addy's Story Collection.
Addy's Cape Island Dress is one of just a few AG sets that actually has a real life historical version--I can only think of one other (and I own it too). The actual dress, seen here6 as part of the Wisconsin Historical Society Children's Clothing Collection, was manufactured in 1865 and worn by an actual girl back then, made of pastel orange wool and trimmed all around with black trim. The authentic dress has gathered bodice front and back and the looped trim around the back of the skirt as well, and closed with a button at the neck and two at the waist.
So yeah, that whole "this is a boy's dress" thing that went around the AG community for some time is a bunch of bull shit. Boys wore dresses, but the size of this dress is such that it's long past the age where a boy would have been breeched in the mid 1800s.
ETA, 4/18/2016: Research shows that this is possibly a smaller toddler dress, as the original wearer was born in 1864 and the dress was made in 1865. Still, the description on the article is as follows: "Worn by Anny Lyall (b.c. 1864), donor Minnie (Lyall) White's younger sister, in Xenia, Ohio. Anny and Minnie were the daughters of James and Alice Lyall[.]" So this dress has been traced back to being worn by a girl. Girls wore boatnecked dresses frequently.
Overall Feel: This dress is just lovely in its simplicity. It's got fancy trims, but only in one black corded style, which leaves it uncluttered--not something that can be said of several Historical AG outfits. The ribbon compliments without matching exactly, a trend in a lot of Addy's clothing.
Cost Value: The original cost was sensible. The price I paid was a lot more than standard. If you don't love it and want to put it on Addy--yes, Addy, not for any other flitty non Addy dolls, especially some blond girl--don't pay the cost for it, cause it doesn't often go for less than what I paid. I did pay more than I'd have liked and would have felt wonderful paying $60--which is still higher than original. But I didn't want to miss a chance to get it complete, and so I took the hit.
Authenticity: Didn't I just link to and show the fact that this is based on a real dress? Like in a museum in a collection worn by someone real dress. Damn straight it's authentic. And it's for a girl.
Appropriateness to Character: It's Addy's. It's tied to her short story. It's only Addy's. No one else gets it, no one else should get it or wear it and you will make her look her best. Don't put it on anyone else in my line of site or make her look left behind or I will give you such an evil look of evil and cursing that will cause you to step on the corners of sharp Legos when you least expect it. I'm not even sorry, I have a lot of Addy feels and you can't fuck with me when it comes to them and I get so fucking pissed seeing anyone but her in her clothes in a way I normally don't for almost any other AG.7
Final Grade: A+. Like I could ever give it less.
1 There is this one person who, during my time on AG Playthings, claimed she knew more about Addy than me. That woman is an idiot. She can't even do Addy's hair without fucking it up. And bitch you know who you are.
2 Baw, slavery is scary and the part where Addy ate worms made my daughter upset. Think of how terrifying it was for the people who were slaves and had that happen to them.
3 Which you see in my Magazine Monthlies.
5 I can get the same look on Addy likely with sponge rollers.
6 Should the link redirect back to the main site, you want to go to The Children's Clothing Collection, then look under 1860s Girls.
7 Other AG Historicals I flip my shit about seeing their clothes on someone else: Kaya, Josefina, occasionally Cécile. Note a pattern. Come at me.