Monster High “Dance Class” Howleen

I have recently admitted to liking a few of the Monster High dolls, and among them – the “Dance Class” Howleen. I don’t know why, myself not being particularly ‘edgy’, occasionally find myself attracted to ‘edgy’ dolls. To me, Howleen is a fantastic blend of both edgy and cute  🙂

The “Dance Class” line debuted in 2012. While I have noticed that it is still sometimes possible to find them “New In Box” for a fairly decent price, I was perfectly happy to purchase this particular one used, and not only unboxed – one that had actually actually played with. But apart from slightly loose wrist joints, she is in a pretty great condition! She also came with every one of her original accessories and even some extras! I think this is evidence of great parenting in that household  😉

Howleen is portrayed as a younger girl (warewolf). This is reflected in her style and her build. She is slightly shorter and more slender in the chest area than her older friends from the Monster High line.

This line starred different monsters as enthusiasts of different kind of music, with Howleen as a Hip Hop fan. I can’t tell if her outfit is typical of a Hip Hop performer, but it certainly looks comfy for practice. The leggings and the leotard are, unfortunately, one piece. The whole outfit seems to be themed around sweet, bright colours and paw prints. The aforementioned ‘edginess’ comes from the inclusion of safety pins in the design and her big boom box shaped bag. Personally, I find safety pins to be more reminiscent of Heavy Metal, but they look fine on her.

The shoes look fairly simple, but are unique in that they are among rather few pairs of sporty shoes in the realm of Monster High – it seems that fancy & smart ones dominate. Howleen theoretically has smaller feet than the young adult dolls, but normal shoes fit her so-so and look passable.

My favourite part about the doll – the one thing that immediately caught my attention – is her pink puffy pigtails:

I don’t know why. I am no longer trying to understand, I have just let it be. This hairdo makes me happy  🙂 I also like the very pink lips. I don’t know if it’s the conditioning by Barbie products in childhood, but sometimes this weird affinity for pink still surfaces.

I like Howleen as she is, overall – and I guess that includes the ears and he fangs. I have, nonetheless, thought that perhaps I would like her even more as a normal girl. The fangs could easily be painted over, and I found a very good tutorial on removing the wolf ears. And then I realised that if I cut off her wolf ears, she won’t have ears at all! I am not confident in my ability to sculpt tiny human ears, so she’s staying in wolf form for the foreseeable future.

The fact that Howleen is a (younger) teen has opened some new photo opportunities. She is the first doll who seems at home in the teen room in my IKEA Spexa paper dollhouse.

I thought she should have a little bit of mess in there, like a real teen  🙂 500 imaginary points if you can identify the trousers on the couch  🙂 They used to belong to a doll from my childhood whom I liked a lot (especially before my hamster ripped out some of her hair. true story)

Howleen entered my collection bringing in many goodies – from personal charm to numerous doll accessories, but there is even more – the day I went to the other side of the city to pick her up from her previous owners, I ran into an old friend and we were able to get in touch again  🙂 Certainly a doll with good looks and a good story  🙂

A dress fit for a… toddler

Recently I had developed a desire to make a truly ‘princessy’ dress for Rapunzel. In fact, I am surprised that so many months have passed without me being drawn to such an idea.

I had the motivation to sew, a design ready in my mind, and all I needed was the right fabric – a nice, pastel-coloured satin. Unfortunately, I simply could not find the right one. In the meantime, I ran into this most adorable pink corduroy, and its colour matched Rapunzel’s lips just right, too! So, I adjusted my ideas accordingly. Now I was making a cute toddler dress.

If you’re making a toddler dress for an Animators’ doll, you can’t go wrong with the Mekkotehdas free pattern. I have previously made jokes about me using two patterns over and over, so perhaps it’s time to be serious about why it’s so:

  • Animators’ dolls have quite big bellies. No other cut works as well on them as empire line. I find myself coming back to it continually.
  • The above pattern, and the other one I use, from Dolly Delicacies, are very versatile. Make the waist lower or high, the skirt longer or shorter, add the collar or skip it, alter the sleeves, add embellishments… and you have enough variants for a lifetime
  • For the most part, patterns aren’t free. I try to make the best of the ones I have. I am very pleased with them, too.

With this out of the way, maybe I can stop being apologetic about reusing the patterns 🙂

In this case, I originally wanted to make the sleeves long to make the dress appropriate for the cold, winter months, but it was starting to look like pajamas. Luckily, the approaching disaster was spotted and averted in time  🙂

The white sleeve underneath is a doll top that I found in a shop – I thought I was very lucky to find something that fit my dolls like that. As a rule, you craft it, or do without. Unfortunately, it’s a small, local doll line, so I am afraid I cannot make a useful recommendation here.

The mouse plushie has a story, sort of. It was a gift for my husband (back then my boyfriend), possibly for valentines day, quite a few years ago. Maybe 7 or 8. I don’t know why a guy would need a mouse plushie, but he was kind enough to never complain 🙂 I thought the mousie would make a good friend for Rapunzel (in the doll world, the colour scheme decides…).

I’ll be honest about one problem I have encountered with these photos. I am not too too sure that the colour balance is the absolute best, but it’s the best I could arrive at. I’ve been having that problem since I was forced to switch cameras a few months ago. Or maybe it’s just me. The longer you stare at these things, the more problems you start to notice. Maybe my wall is the wrong colour, too…

I had sewn these doll tights about a year ago, and the wear is starting to show. Personally, I think it’s adorable 🙂

It will soon have been a year since I first got Rapunzel, and I think she deserves more creative attention than she has gotten. There have been a few attempts, but in the end I scrapped the photos because I wasn’t pleased with them. I still have the clothes I made for these photos, so I can always try again. Bottom line, I hope we will be seeing more of her.