|A fancy striped dress was not one of the things released. It's one of the things I made.|
Depression: siddown bitch, be humble *kicks me in the solar plexus of my brain*
Me: yes brai--*does not finish sentence because she just puked, curls up, can't move*
And that's where I went for four months, because the brain weasels are shitgibbons and resolve to ruin my world like so many mansplainers going "well actually--" and the very existence of election manipulation because white people were primed to vote stupid or throw shit away because they fell for racist, self-centered bullshit.1
Have I done stuff since then? Well, yeah. I just haven't been blogging. Which I feel bad about. Let's start over again and don't hold my problems against me. As the song by Rag 'N Bone Man goes, "I'm only human, after all." It's okay to be a sad Neth.
What's happened in four months? Um, well, a quick gloss.
Gabbi's still hanging in there, even unto May, even if her bed is gone. Tenney-Sue still stinks. Logan is a No-gan. There was a short leak of the nu!Molly which was then instantly yanked down, but not so quick that I didn't put it on the Wiki. Luciana became part of my gang,2 known colloquially as Space Girl Lucci, and enjoys things such as knit sweaters, Houston Town Pride (mine moved, I know more about Houston than Virginia), and Sailor Moon. The end of January had a purple moon--when a blue moon gets eclipsed.
There's the books listed for the GotY for 2019. Toys R Us is shutting down--and it's not dying from WalMart or Amazon or millennials not having enough babies, but because people like Mitt Romney murdered it and are looting the corpse to fund the rich-poor divide.3 And it's ruining the world of toys--AG sales dropped badly last quarter, but I try not to freak out about AG dying. MCM is coming up this year but I have family stuff to attend to at that weekend so I shan't be going. HAMILTON.4
I continue to spin yarn. I actually used some and now I'm not scared to use my own yarn. I saw Black Panther, added to the destruction of Titanic in high rankings, and now Wakanda Forever. (Infinity War what now? Nah.) My local AG store no longer has a cafe, because the economy is crap and AG picked the Seattle and Scottsdale stores to get kicked from having a cafe. We had a successful Secret Snarker, but I didn't post about my outfit because of brain weasels so I'll get on that soon. I went to Emerald City Comic Con and I loved it and I want to get a full pass for next year, like three days if I can dig it. I now have four of the AG Craft sets from the 90s. Janelle Monae came out as queer and I am a Dirty Computer but I do not consent to be cleaned.5
And such and such.
Oh, and the part that's in this post: I released a pattern and there was a short AG release that consisted of a handful of Historical stuff and the Bitty stuff I tend to ignore. I did get to get pics in February. February. Ugh, my stupid brain. So this is a short post, since there's not much to yammer about. And at the end of this post, I'm going to be a little more proactive about my Etsy shop. If I can't pimp me, who can?
But on the real, I'm sorry that I made y'all worry about me. I try to let people know I'm alive--if struggling--on Instagram by posting fairly regularly. But these past four months, every time I went to go work on any blog post, my brain screamed "shut up, no one wants to read your garbage words about toys aimed at little girls,6 you're an adult, this is stupid, you're stupid, you care too hard, no one cares this hard when they're normal. You're weird and ugly and boring and garbage for being damn near forty and being so ass to the wall about girls' toys. You should be an adult and into things such as homeowner's fees, shot glasses, babies, long form stories about soup on recipe blogs, eating at Applebees and the stock market--you know, things that might matter to people. Or nothing, because caring about things isn't cool, South Park and Family Guy said it so it must be true." And as the span got longer since my last post, I kept feeling more and more like I should just like, give it up and pack it in and stick to silence because no one really cared.
But you know what? No. No, I can talk about what I want on this space of the internet I've chunked out for myself. And what I want to talk about in this chunk is American Girl Dolls and race and gender and sexuality and intersection as a person who lives the intersectional life by the nature of who I am--black, queer, female, and into dolls. At least one person cares, I know they do.
And if there are in fact people who don't like me doing this and wait for every post online I make to go spend their time reading all that I blog and 'gram and tweet, and hover around my e-presence in order to see me say something they think is dumb and run over to their own e-space to go "ah ha ha what a freak" and talk shit about me?
Okay. Fine. Let them. If these people really do enjoy spending their precious free time looking at me or anyone else doing shit openly and complaining that people are living, when they themselves could be using that time to do literally anything else in this span of life they have to themselves? I hope it's fulfilling to them. I'm too old for that shit. I been too old for that shit since the days of Cloak Girl and Barefoot Jimmy. Dolls and race and being queer and shipping characters and social justice are fulfilling to me, and I'm gonna do what I can to be a happy person.
Are you hate reading me? Did you stumble across my space, sneer, and decide this is fucking stupid? Okay. "Enjoy" this post and all the posts I've made and will make after it. You could spent that time watching Netflix, reading a book, editing TV Tropes, playing D&D, carving swords, spending time with people in your life that love you, or doing anything in the world to add to your skillset as a human, but instead you're spending it with me in my room in the internet for some reason I don't understand and frankly don't want to. You do you, boo-boo. It's your life to do with as you will. I'm going to keep blogging.
Are you reading me for joy? Did you stumble across my space, smile, and decide you want more? Are you one of the people who, for whatever reason, like and enjoy reading what I have to say or think or anything about dolls made for 8-12 year old girls? Do you understand that just because a toy is aimed at preteen girls, the company has been around thirty-plus years and like anything it has people who have grown up with them, found love or peace in them, and who have made bonds with others over doll collecting? Do you like seeing people find affection for things instead of only derision? Am I kinda cool? Did you miss me? Then hey. I'm back, and I'll do what I can to get back to the rhythm.
Go under the cut and read on.
|Bringing it back to the Revolution.|
But I've literally been sitting on Felicity's New Outfit since last summer, so bugger it. Consider it as part of today's post, since we got it on display at AG Seattle. All the girls of the Shame Cube--Addy, Sam, and Lissie--are now on displayish at AG Seattle, next to their books. Except Molly, because she's not back outside of her books yet. I got better pics at AG Chicago, so let's use those.
|Fancy Dress. Hats and Undies sold separate.|
But wait, people say: what about her shift? Just ass out to the sky? How is she supposed to keep her own doll sweat off her clothes? Hold up.
Felicity's Undergarments: Ah, there's the shift! Along with stays--that close to one side with velcro, the laces are for show--and a bum roll that's more accurate than the panniers she got stuck with before she was semi-archived. I have a crafted bum roll--two actually, since I have one for Elizabeth. I have her original stays that even if they lace like shoes they actually lace, and a lovely set of pink ones. I also have like, four shifts. Pass. I used the money to buy something for my little cousin.
Felicity's BeForever Accessories: Like usual, hat and jewelry sold separately--hold up, we get two hats! A lovely straw hat, her mob cap, new coral necklace, and a neat little fichu to tuck and cover her skin a little more. Thank you, AG. No purse, but I'm okay I have her old purse. I got this and now my Felicity is a classy princess.
And that's it for Felicity. I got two of the three things, brought them home from Milwaukee, and immediately spoiled my girl.
Birthdays in the 40s and Camping in the 50s, or Only Nanea and Maryellen Get Anything Outside of Books
Samantha who? She has gone to her shame cube. We've got two new darlings of AG right now and their names are Maryellen Larken and Nanea Mitchell.
|Ice Stand again!|
Nanea's 1940s Radio: Be quiet, Molly. Ellie took your skates and Nanea took your radio. And she improved it because now we can hook up our own music deals to the back and play what we want! Get the best of 1940s jams, put them on your favorite music device, and rock free! Or just play Spotify Premium. Either way, not for you Molly.
Nanea's Shave Ice Shop: Didn't I just spend the last several years trying to get my hands on a shaved ice stand? I did. It took a while until the fates aligned and gave me one. So Nanea, you're precious but gimme a break. I only need one. But it's so cute and it's historical and--argh damn it. Not now. Not when space modules.
|Hula Dogging and Birthday Stuff!|
Nanea's Birthday Accessories: Can't have a birthday without presents. Nanea gets a camera, a skirt for her hula doggers, a purse, and Nancy Drew--wait, didn't Molly have that too? Man, Molly doesn't get anything when she comes back but redone books, a beret, and an encounter with a dairy cow.8 For later.
Maryellen's Campfire Cooking Set: Does your dad think that food tastes better cooked outside over a grill, the only acceptable way for a manly man man to cook for his family? Is pepper a secret spice? Let him cook the eggs and burn the pancakes slightly over the fire pit, in the blue cookware he bought specifically for this trip. Then Mom can clean it up after he's done and wonder why her man thinks she enjoys doing the dishes with the added pleasure of mosquitoes and no plumbing. My weakness for dolly food continues unabated. Soon, tiny doll skillet. Soon.
Maryellen's Hiking Accessories: Do you need to go off in the woods exploring the campgrounds while your dad tries to convince your mom that six kids isn't really that many? Here, take the flashlight, map, brochure, and your little plaid bag and get to scampering kids, Daddy wants some of that sweet woods loving. I like this too, but I like the tiny doll skillet more.
Maryellen's Airstream Travel Trailer: Hey, remember that part of Ellie's stories where Dad showed up with a Airstream trailer out of nowhere and Mom, because of the gender repression of the 50s, had to mostly keep quiet about the money her husband frivolously spent on a trailer (without talking to her about it) when they have six kids? You can have half of it! This replaces the diner--goodbye diner--and costs $350 hot moneys, or 35 Hamiltons. The lights inside light. Other buttons make the soothing sounds of woods and repressing feminine rage to accommodate your man's flights of nature fancy because you have no job. There's like food and dishes and a tiny fridge and all that. And there's an ironing board!9 Women be ironing. It's intriguing, and I see why AG would sell it. But [movie voice]in a world with a Mars simulation pod[/movie voice].
And that's all the stuff that stuffs! Told you it was a tiny--
oh wait books
Speaking of the Books
|Books for the 40s. And the only ones I got pics of.|
For Molly, we've got her new BeForever books: A Winning Spirit or books 1-3; Stars, Stripes and Surprises or books 4-6; and Chances and Changes: My Journey with Molly or the one with the cow. I'll get a box set. I like my books.
And that's all the stuff. So now I get to babble about stuff I designed!
The 1952 Walk-Away Dress for 18" Dolls
So for the past while and some, I've been working--when I can--on an e-book about 1950s girls' fashion with full use patterns for AG. Well, all dolls, but AG was the base. I have all but one component done and plan to fix it soon as I have space and time to. Pants are hard, fam.
While in the middle of the work for it and cussing out the existence of tulle, I went to go look at 50s designs for a wrap up dress to put over Ellie's swim suit because she can't just be on the beach in her swimwear without a coverup to walk there and back. This is the 1950s, we have standards. In the process I found the most interesting dress: Butterick 6015. (The child version is Butterick 6204). The "Walkaway Dress" was designed with only three pattern pieces and no facings; the back wraps around to cover the front "apron". It was named the walkaway dress because the marketing was that if a seamstress started her dress in the morning, she could "walk away" in it by noon. Urban legend states the pattern was at one point so popular that production of patterns focused only on this dress being printed to catch up to the backlog.
That sounds like a thing to reproduce, I said.
The 1950s style wasn't the first ever wrap dress but simple pieced dresses with a few seams in this style to ease a seamstress into more complex patterns have been popular ever since. In fact, this particular dress has actually been released for Simplicity's "retro" collection as B4790. Vintage seamstresses webwide have said this dress is actually kind of strangely frumpy--it's really not made to fit most people if they have curves, it needs adjustment so that it does not close up funny, it looks shapeless over the torso, and it's possible that moving around in the thing without the proper unders might lead to the wearer having the wind flip up and show all your pantsu.
But AGs don't have those problems. And no one had AGed it properly. I jumped all over that, and it only took me a few hours to design. It took more than three pieces to fit a rigid AG body limb design and big head. To be precise, it takes four. But it's pretty much like the original. I vectored my pieces, redid the pattern with the vector patterns and took full color shots of every step, wrote up the steps, had it tested, cleaned up the file, pdf-ed it, and then released it to the interbutts last September. I hadn't outright blogged about it, but I am today. I should be proud of what I've done.
The 1952 "Walk-Away" Dress by Hodgery Podgery Designs--me--likely won’t take much longer than the original for a skilled seamstress, and a confident beginner can take their time and learn each step. This dress has the same wrap-around style, a squared neckline, gathered skirting, and cap-line sleeves. Altogether it only takes about a yard's worth of fabric regardless of the options and an extra 1/4 yard for an optional separate lining. If you're one of those people that loves to purchase remnants at Joann Fabrics and Crafts, you might be able to get the fabric super cheap.
For $7 (+ tax if you live in WA State), you get the full pattern and instructions as a downloadable .pdf that you can immediately open, print off, and start right away. All three views take the exact same pieces.
Ellie is showing off View A--all one fabric--in pink stripe that I got for the cover up in the first place to match the sandals from the swim set. I did damn good, even matching my stripes pretty close. And her whole ass petticoat worked under it too. Not that she would petticoat to the beach. Look, I was making sure it did. Accurate to the era, yo!
Miya is rocking View B--yellow front with daisy print contrast back It also shows the optional bias tape trim edging. A little bit retro, a little bit modern, and one of the styles suggested by the original.
And View C is the ever precious Cinnamon Peschel, in a more modern look with a floaty drape for the skirt and a solid "bodice." Because I had to make the bodices in separate pieces, this one's a look that the original never did. Same overall shape, but the fabrics let it feel a lot more modern and today.
If you want to review this for me, let me know! I'd really appreciate it. It's my first like, doll clothes pattern out there in the world. I've been sewing since I was four, but this is my first actual pattern.
This is my blog.
This is what I choose to do with the chunks of personal time I have on this space rock circling a star among several billion other people in this world, at the age of Damn Near 40.
What I do in this space is over-analyze doll shit, occasionally bare my soul including about the way the fandom did me wrong and hurt me, design doll clothes, try to do reviews, talk about race and gender and sexuality through the lens of dolls, make the occasional risque joke, decide that lesbians exist, and squeal about things that make me feel better about the time I have here. Sometimes I'll be passionate. Sometimes I'll be sad. Sometimes I'll be weird. But I'll be the strange weird kid that as a little kid sat alone in the bedroom, talking in different voices to my dolls while I made them clothes. The same person who used to ride on the gas tank of my dad's motorcycle around the edge of Lake Michigan and breath in the smell of his leather coats. The same woman who wears thigh high bi pride socks and takes pictures of her own feet on Instagram and has been pretty damn grateful to be married for nearly ten years.
I'm gonna keep doing what I like--including blogging over extensively about doll shit--as long as I can. Because it makes me happy when people read what I say and interact with me about my hobby. Because dolls are creative and cool and neat and no one's too old to have dolls until they're dead. Dolls are and should be for all races, ages, genders, and people.
And because that voice that says "people do like to hear from you about your personal passions, even if it's just expensive dolls" is nicer to listen to than the voice that says "you're a stupid girl who cares too hard about stuff and I want you to feel bad about it."
|I made three dresses. And you can make dresses too.|
We're all only here for a smattering of history's time, and we all want to leave a trace. This is one of mine. I want to be the kind of person that would make Bob Ross smile and Fred Rogers believe in the goodness of people.
So I will.
1 Don't you Russia--Cambridge Analytica--"but her e-mails"--"I wanted to vote my conscious"--Facebook at me for a hot second. As Propane Jane on Twitter--among many people--have pointed out? Every other fucking race in America, including 94% of black women, saw the same stupid shit that supposedly messed you us and yet they didn't vote stupid or stay home crying that both sides were equal because they don't act stupid. White racism backlash and personal "but I won't be affected" apathy for the most part put this shit in like it is. Fuck you. You ain't my friend.
2 I got a 20% off a purchase coupon in the mail right after that first post about Luciana. This was enough push to make me get her. In the fourish months she's been out I've gotten all her outfits. Yes, including the space suit. Shut up.
3 Bain Capital which was partially owned by Romney did a leveraged buyout that fucked Toys R Us over. That's why TRU is dead. It was murdered. Don't 'spute my words. We'd still maybe have it in the US if not for fucking money.
4 As in, I saw Hamilton. Live. With actors and people and everything. And my bestie--Boomdiada--came out for her birthday that weekend, and we hung out, and we were in the room where it happened. The Phillip Cast now has my heart, I love them all. OBC might have started it and I still love them but the Philip Cast were the ones that signed my poster. I can be poly for Hamilton.
5 Fair warning, the Emotion Picture (a delightful triple pun) is 48 minutes long. Pace yourself. Bring some fruit to the computer. Have a glass of your favorite drink. Enjoy it.
6 Never mind grown men crying about video games and Transformers and moe anime girls and what makes for real music. Girls feeling things about their personal childhood toys to any degree that doesn't please the manocentric maleocracy is dumb. [/sarcasm]
7 Someone said "omg Sailor Pineapple" regarding this outfit and I personally hope they never find the source of that humming in the background.
8 I have not read the Molly Journey Book, but I've read all the online only endings and one involves a cow. It makes sense in context. At least I hope it does.
9 There is no actual ironing board.