One of my Daily Deals purchases from American Girl was Samantha's frilly frock. I've read several well-written, thorough reviews of this outfit, so I won't do a lengthy review, but I wanted to show how it looks on my different dolls.
I don't have Samantha, so Saige got to be my AG model. The dress fits really nicely, but I don't like the way the wide neckline looks on this body style. I also don't think it is appropriate to the era, as all Samantha's former outfits seemed to have a higher neck. the boots fit well but were difficult to get on.
I love how the bow looks with her curly hair. Saige had slightly loose limbs, so I was happy that the tights and boots actually help her stand up better.
Dana, my Journey Girls doll, rocks a more modern look with Addy's snood worn like a beret. I think this would style would look really good on the new GOTY, Grace. The vinyl breastplate looks a little better, but the dress is too wide for her narrow shoulders and a little baggy at the waist. The boots were also loose, but the tights improve the fit and look.
This dress does not look at all Edwardian to me, but it does have a vintage feel. With a quick wig change and the snood worn in the classic style, I think Dana has a bit of a 40's or 50's vibe.
I think the Madame Alexander body style works best with this outfit because of the vinyl breastplate and fuller waist. I used the wig with bangs and let the curls hang loose below the snood.
So, who do YOU think wore it best?
I have been hearing about the new doll line Espari for while now, so I just had to go to Barnes and Noble and check them out. These dolls and clothing seem to be made by the same company that produces the Journey Girl line for Toys R Us. I picked up the Pretty Plaid reversible fashion pack, and I really love it. The set is available from Barnes and Noble stores or online, and it retails for $19.99. It includes a black beret, denim jacket, reversible dress (red on one side and plaid on the other), black belt with bow, black boots, black flats, white ankle socks, a white slip, and a faux pearl bracelet.
Halloween is just around the corner, so I want to squeeze in some last minute Dolloween ideas for you. One of the easiest ways to create a quick costume (for dolls or people) is to put together an easy cape. Let's face it, we've been tying towels and blankets around our necks for ages. Here are some quick, easy (no sew!), and inexpensive cape ideas for your dollies:
The purple leotard and white leggings are from Walmart. The pink boots are from K-Mart and the white boots are from Springfield. The black super-hero outfit is made from a sock and a dollar-store tutu skirt. The gold headband is a piece of sequin elastic.
Today is American Girl Emily Bennett's birthday. I always loved Emily because she has such a cute meet dress, and she looks quite a bit like my own daughter. Alas, I couldn't afford to purchase her before she retired, and I haven't really found a comparable doll I can use as a stand-in. I did, however, find an old Battat doll at the thrift store ($6) who looks quite a bit like Molly. Her hair is a little more reddish and she has brown eyes instead of gray, but the bangs look similar, and I think my mock Molly looks pretty close once she has the braids and glasses. What do you think? Since the weather has been so cold here lately, I dressed her in this DIY ice skating outfit I put together.
Leotard, Leggings, and Skates: My Life As ice skating set (on clearance for $5 after the Winter Olympics) from Walmart
Coat: Springfield Collection. I folded the bottom of the long coat under to make it look shorter so her cute skirt would show, and I added some decorative snowflake brads for buttons.
Muff: Home-made with a piece of white fleece.
Glasses: Hand-made by me with wire I had on hand.
Her hair was pretty messy, but actually in pretty good condition. I tamed it with a little bit of water and fabric softener, brushed it with a wire brush, and flattened the bangs with a hat before braiding it into that classic Molly style. Now our "fake" Molly is ready for some real fun!
Look what I got for $3.80!
I haven't been to a Kohl's store for a while, but when I stopped in today I was delighted to find some great clearance bargains, including this Dollie and Me dance set. It was 90% off the regular price of $38, which ended up being just under $4! I bought two of them, so I was able to clothe both my daughters and their dolls all in matching outfits for under 10 bucks. These seem to be a pretty nice quality, but the fit of the leotard is a little off. The neckline was way too big for my youngest daughter, so she probably won't be wearing that part for a while, but she loves the tutu skirt. The color and sparkle make it great for dress-up play or an easy costume. This would make a great fairy skirt, and I was thinking I could add some snowflakes to make an Elsa ice queen tutu.
Here is the doll dress on Saige. It's all one piece with a leotard and attached tutu skirt. I like the overall fit on an AG doll, and it should easily fit other brands. It's too short for a dress, but it makes a nice dance outfit, especially with some tights or leggings.
I bought these two sets plus a pair of shorts and a skirt, all for under 14! My receipt said I saved $111!! Overall, I think it was a very good value. Kohl's also has some cute girl and doll pajama sets on sale right now for around $13. The regular prices for the Dollie and Me line are too high in my opinion, and I have found that the quality is not as high as other brands of matching sets I've purchased. If you can find them on clearance or on sale through Zulily, though, I think it's worth it. Definitely not bad for under $5! You couldn't even buy the doll outfit for that, even with a coupon! The change of season is a great time to hunt for clearance bargains. If you find some good ones, be sure to let me know.
A recent perusal of the Pottery Barn Kids website led to the exciting discovery that a Gotz boy doll is once again available at Pottery Barn. The Gotz 18 inch dolls have been available for several years, along with mini dolls more recently. There are about four main dolls with different hair, eye, and skin colors, and special edition dolls have also been offered. There used to be a boy doll (named Henry) pictured on the website, but he has not been available for sale for quite some time. I keep hoping PBK would bring back their boy doll, and they finally did!
The new doll is named Parker, and he seems quite similar to Henry, but his eyes look darker. I really loved Henry's outfit, as it looks exactly like my son's school uniform, and I love the red shoes. The new (sportier) outfit also looks cute, but I wish there were more pictures or a more detailed description on the website. I can't tell what his shirt looks like under the letter-man jacket, but it looks like it has a collar, so it may be a white button-up shirt. If so, that would add some nice versatility to his outfit. The shoe color is also not clear, but I think they are a more muted color than the cute red ones. I like his hat, but it totally obscures his hair so you can't see the style. Maybe I will have to try to find one of these little guys in my local Pottery Barn store so I can check him out more.
Since the company created a completely new character rather than just bringing back Henry, I would like to have seen a little more diversity. The eyes are slightly different, but the complexion and hair look nearly identical. I would like to see a different skin tone or hair color/texture, or at least some freckles or glasses. Currently, there is quite a variety of girl 18 inch dolls available from Pottery Barn, so it's disappointing to see the lack of creativity with the boy doll. Overall, though, he is very cute and seems to be good quality, so I'm just glad to see a boy doll offering again from a major retailer. Parker is currently available for $99, but I am hoping to see some sales closer to Christmas.
There are also several other 18 inch Gotz dolls available, and as they bring in new characters, a few of the older versions are on sale. I saw some cute outfits too, including a cat costume and a birthday outfit. The regular mini dolls are not currently available, but they do have a princess, prince, and royal guard mini doll, selling for $24 each. You can also buy a royal carriage and horse to go with the set, and there is a full-sized princess doll and carriage as well.
I'm trying to limit my doll spending right now, but I couldn't resist checking out my favorite thrift store, Saver's. Here are some of the doll finds that caught my eye.
This Victorian beauty was selling for $10, which is worth it just for the dress and stand. It has a porcelain face and limbs and soft body. She looks about the same size as American Girl, and I think her clothing would fit an AG doll quite well. Her beautiful crepe dress is easily removable with a Velcro closure in back. It is adorned with layers of ruffles and lace, with silk flowers and a beautiful cameo brooch for a finishing touch. She even has a fancy little purse.
These beautiful 20" boys from the Cathay Collection captured my heart right away. They have hard vinyl arms and feet, soft bodies, and wigged hair. They have a toddler-style body with curved legs and feet, so they can't stand. They are similar to Bitty Twins but slightly bigger, and they seem to be able to fit into regular infant clothing. I really had to fight myself to keep from buying that little blond. Doesn't his face just seem to say, "Please take me home"?
This little lady is so cute with her copper curls and cute bare feet, but I was actually most interested in her swing. I think it would work great for the American Girl mini dolls. She is tied to the swing, but she isn't glued down, so she wouldn't be too hard to remove. I also love the look of the flowery vines adorning the edges.
I also found several American Girl books in very nice condition. There was the first book for Julie, Kit (not pictured because my daughter was holding it) and Lanie, and an entire set of Julie's 6 books. They were only 99 cents each, and I had a 20% off coupon from donating, so I ended up getting 7 books for about 5 dollars. My youngest daughter loves Kit, so I got her meet book, and I couldn't resist getting Julie's books since it was such a great deal for a complete set. I did leave Lanie for the next little girl, though. This was my only actual purchase.
I'm so glad I have this site to share all my great finds without having to actually buy everything. Hope you enjoyed seeing them. Happy thrifting!
Here is my completed bedroom for my boy doll, Emmett. The back-drop is just a
presentation board from the dollar store. I covered it with wood-grain contact paper
and decorative tape for a border. Let's take a look at some of the finishing touches.
This trinket shelf is my favorite part of the room. I used the box from a wooden magnet
toy and affixed it to the wall with sturdy tape. It is strong enough to hold, but it can still be
removed to change the look. The decorations include sports erasers, a Lego mini-fig,
three ninja nesting dolls, a small car, some kind of springy bird toy (not sure where that
came from), and a small transformer.
I love doll pieces that are functional as well as decorative, so I wanted to make a dresser that can really be used for storage (but without the hassle of real drawers that pull out). This dresser has a flip-top that opens to store items inside the box. I also found a great tutorial from My Froggy Stuff for making a dresser with a hole in the back to stash stuff inside. I made the drawers look more 3-D by wrapping pieces of cardboard in contact paper rather than using flat scrapbook paper.
* For an easier variation (which I discovered after completing mine, of course) is to cover both ends of the box and glue the top down all the way, Then just cut a small hole in the back to access the inside of the box for storage.
Doll beds can be so expensive, but with a little imagination, you can easily find things around the house to make your own. This wooden frame was used to hold glass canisters in my kitchen. It even has a built-in headboard and foot-board. For the mattress, I used a foam knee board for gardening (from the dollar store). Then I wrapped it in fabric and placed it on top of the frame. I folded a small flannel receiving blanket in half for the top. For the pillow, I used a cloth bag and a mini pillow from a doll pet set. I just put the pillow into the bag and then folded the end of the bag back into itself until it made a nice rectangle.