Little Redhead in the Snow

Some of my friends have said to me that they are already looking forward to spring. But not me! Especially not now that we have finally been blessed with some snow ^^

As I mentioned in my previous post, it was already over a year ago that I prepared this winter outfit for little Merida. Unfortunately, last winter I stayed home for a whole month with pharyngitis and I missed all the nice snow that there was to be enjoyed that year. I’m happy to say that this winter I’ve stayed pretty healthy and I was ready to jump into action the moment it was white outside πŸ™‚

The outfit was loosely inspired by Nordic winter clothes (I know this doesn’t really fit Merida’s origins as shown in the film, but she rocks it anyway)

  • I made the boots according to the awesome free pattern from https://iivenihmetykset.blogspot.com/2012/11/uggit-nelli-tahkapaalle.html (many thanks to the author for publishing it!), except I sewed the pieces in such a way that the seam allowance faces outwards. I think it makes them even more Ugg-like.
  • The ‘sweater’ is more of a sweater vest, and it was made from a sock. A sloppy, trial-and-error sewing job.
  • I actually knitted the scarf, that’s all I can do in the knitting department πŸ™‚
  • I made the earmuffs similar to how MyFroggyStuff made hers, except I didn’t use pom poms. I used a circle of fluffy fabric and gathered it around the edges.

The rest of the clothes was recused from previous projects.

I was quite lucky to find the little sled in a home decor section. It is perhaps slightly on the small side, but not by much. Luckily, decorative sleds in different sizes seems to be popular these days. The furry seat was already there. I only added the rope to pull the sled.

This is my first post about an Animators’ doll in quite a long time. These dolls were the reason I decided to take up doll collecting again in adulthood, but at a certain moment did not inspire me the way they used to. Sometimes I’ve felt bad about it but, in the end, dolls supposed to be fun, you can’t force yourself to enjoy something. I believe you just have to let the excitement return to you naturally when it wants to.

…and sure enough, I had a blast with Merida that day πŸ™‚

After that, there was coffee with cinnamon, and then another walk in the snow! (this time with a human companion)

I’m happy to say that my winter adventures may not be over yet, as I’m going skiing in a couple of days. Naturally, a doll will be coming along and I’ll be sure to share the photos πŸ™‚

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Snow in the city

I am afraid I am about to post about Snow White again…

Snow White in the snow

We don’t get much snow in my city, so every such occasion is celebrated. I did not have a lot of time that particular snowy day, but luckily the outfit was ready in advance, so I just slipped the doll in my bag and took a few photos on the way to a meeting. I had about 15 minutes altogether.

I was already aware at this point that Snow White has been getting all the attention lately, but the red cape suits her so well, I could not bear to go with any other character πŸ™‚

There isn’t much to say beyond that, really, just a few photos to share. I did not use any particular pattern for the cape and beret, I just improvised. I suppose they could be used to make a pattern retrospectively, but I’ve never made one before.

 

Clearly, I’m still enjoying my MtM Snow White, but I’m now hoping to include some other dolls in the winter fun – time and weather permitting. I still have an Animator’s doll ready with a winter set of clothes and props since over a year ago, waiting for the right moment. Hopefully this year we make it πŸ˜‰

In the fields with little Rapunzel

It is a little early for photos in fields of crops – everything is green rather than golden. Nonetheless, I couldn’t pass up the photo opportunity when it came up. Recently I had an unexpected visit in my hometown. The suburbs there look like proper countryside.

It was already evening when I set off for the walk too, so I only caught the last sunset-tinted rays of light.

The results were a little different than what I had in mind, and seeing the photos on a bigger screen for the first time I thought I’d scrap them and wait for another opportunity – but I couldn’t really give them up. In the end, I have decided to enjoy them for what they are, and save any reservation for the betterment of the future ‘photo walks’ πŸ™‚

This spontaneous session was only possible because of the little white tunic that I had ready in advance – I made it last year and forgot about. When I heard I had to go, all I had to do was slip the doll and her accessories in my luggage. Nobody on the train knew my secret πŸ˜‰

It was sewn according to the free pattern from Mekkotehdas . There are no instructions, but sewing it like a dress with a lined bodice works just fine (where you start with two layers for the bodice, facing good side to good side, and flip it inside out after sewing the sides. I only add a single seam allowance around each piece).Β  For a personal touch, I added the tiny buttons and gathered the sleeve ever so slightly.

Taking doll photos in your hometown is even scarier – I was seriously worried of running into someone I know πŸ˜€ Of course, there is no shame in collecting dolls, but… I need a little more time to gather my courage.

I once read that you should be careful to avoid flyaway hair when photographing dolls. I dutifully packed a doll-sized hairbrush (now that would be a perfect sight… and adult sitting in a country road brushing a dolly), but I just let them be. Since it’s Rapunzel, her flyways are magical.

This last photo will be different. I took it back at home, and let me be honest, the colours where crazy from overexposure and I couldn’t fix it. As a last ditch effort, I salvaged it by making it sepia tone. Now it reminds me of my mother’s childhood photos – she too was a little blond girl in a white dress in them. A happy accident πŸ™‚ Don’t tell anyone, though – the official story will be that it was the plan all along πŸ˜‰

Vintage sepia Rapunzel s

That’s all from Rapunzel – for now.

The summer is here, and I still don’t have holiday plans. Aside from choosing a destination, I still have to decide which doll to take along. I would like to take an Animators’ doll, but they take so much space in luggage. It will probably be one of the Ever After High girls. Maybe Holly or Cerise. Whoever it ends up being, I’ll be sure to share the results πŸ™‚

Pastel Easter

Last year, when Easter was just around the corner, I was looking at various Easter themed dolls and their reviews – just for fun, no dolls were purchased in the process. I noticed that a lot of them were dressed in pastel colours, and I wondered – is this a thing? Around these parts, there is no such thing as a preferred set of colours for an Easter ensemble. Now I know, yes, apparently it’s a thing! And I even decided to make my own pastel Easter dress for a doll πŸ™‚

This dress was made according to the Mimi dress pattern by Dolly Delicacies (still not a payed advertisement :)). I went with a 1/2 sleeve length, because I think it looks elegant, plus, it can be somewhat chilly in early spring πŸ™‚

As for the fabric, I sacrificed my own light cotton top. Don’t worry too much about it, it didn’t suit me so well, and it had just the right springlike colours.

I’ll admit to one problem right away – the colours are perhaps perfect for the occasion, but in retrospect, I am not sure they go so well Rapunzel’s complexion. Her face looks somewhat garish.

You know how certain colours don’t suit certain people? I find that it is even more true for dolls. At face value their ‘complexions’ resemble natural ones, but if you look closely – or even worse, tale a photo – some odd undertones emerge. At least this is my experience. I have been learning the hard way not to assume a fabric will go well with a doll. It’s best to put it next to her face and stare long and hard until you’re sure the tones aren’t clashing. Needless to say, I did not do it this time πŸ™‚

On the bright side, I found chocolate eggs in exactly the size and colours I wanted πŸ™‚

This year, I tried to learn from my last year’s experience: since I have found that greenery is not yet particularly lush and appealing this time of the year, I thought I’d try indoors. I am not sure which solution was better in the end, as I am not in love with the more artificial feel that the backdrop (posterboard) creates. Should I mention that they only had a limited range of colours available too?

Overall, I landed this surprisingly challenging project in an acceptable place, but I am not entirely satisfied. Maybe next year? They pass so quickly I am not even too disheartened about having to wait for another chance (I’m definitely done for this year πŸ˜‰ )

Anyhow, Happy Easter to you doll lovers and all passing by πŸ™‚

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 πŸ™‚

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 timeΒ  πŸ™‚

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 πŸ™‚ 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 πŸ™‚

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.

A Red Berry in the Snow

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sometimes I think it’s a little silly how often I mention the weather and the seasons in my posts, given that it’s a “doll blog”. But how could I not mention that we’ve had our first snow this winter? πŸ™‚ Outdoor doll photography has proven to be very closely tied to the weather conditions, and finally, weather has deliveredΒ  πŸ™‚

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The snow only lasted three days, so, knowing the forecast, I prepared ahead by sewing a winter coat. I had initially planned to use the one from the last year, but it seemed too big! I did make it extra wide to fit a fluffy sweater underneath…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For the new one, I used the pattern which originally came from ninnuskadesign.blogspot.fi. Unfortunately, the blog appears to have been closed. However, if you google ‘ninnuska’ and ‘animators’ you’ll still be able to find the pattern floating around the web. The one which says ‘takki’ is the coat/jacket in question. ‘Huppa’ means ‘hood’, and ‘hiha’ is the sleeve. The pattern does not have a seam allowance included.

You’ll find two versions of the sleeve – I used the straight one.

I also made the coat a little bit longer – perhaps about 1cm longer.

I found the hood to be a little tight – maybe that’s just me, but I feel like it wouldn’t hurt to add at least 0,5cm more space around the outline (and then the seam allowance on top of it).

Even though I decided to make slight adjustment, I think this is a great pattern, and I will likely come back to it in the future.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The outfit kind of makes the doll look like the Little Red Riding Hood, but that wasn’t intentional. Red is just such a cute colour for a little girl’s coat – even if she’s made out of plastic. It makes her look like red berries in the snow.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I found the gloves in a dollar store (Sort of. I don’t pay in dollars. I mean a cheap-Chinese-import-shop). They were keychains, but they fit surprisingly well. It’s definitely a good idea to check such places for doll accessory miracles.

 

I had already taken winter photos with Belle last year, so I was hoping to take along Rapunzel this time. Unfortunately, I found that the red really clashed with her complexion. I actually encounter this problem a lot with my Animators’ dolls. It’s best to check the fabric ahead against the doll’s skin vinyl.

I hope I will have another opportunity to put Rapunzel in the snow. Although… taking photos at their eye level means getting down on your knees, or lower, in the cold, cold snow and I’ve developed a very slight distaste for thatΒ  πŸ˜‰

If I do get out again, I sure will keep you postedΒ  πŸ™‚

Great news! Animators’ Belle back in blue!

Collectors of Disney Animators’ dolls, rejoice! If you never managed to get the original, blue-dress release of Belle, now is your chance:

https://www.disneystore.com/dolls-toys-disney-animators-collection-belle-doll-16/mp/1421613/1000259/

If you’re notΒ  familiar with the story, Belle was first released in her adorable blue peasant dress, but the following two versions sold over a few years were dressed in yellow dresses loosely inspired by her ballgown. While I’m sure the yellow dresses have their fans, it was the original that stole my heart, and apparently those of many other DAC fans. To the best of my knowledge, Bluebelle, as I like to call her, was one of the priciest Animators’ dolls on the aftermarket, second only to version 0 Rapunzel with tinsel hair.

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The first, 2011 release of Disney Animators’ Collection Belle – this particular one from the UK Disney Store.

Judging by the promo photo and the customers’ comments, it appears to be nearly identical to the first wave doll – I have noticed that the new one does not have the lace trim on her socks, but that’s all the differences that I have spotted.

The Disney Store seems to normally make each wave of a doll discernibly different than the previous ones, so this comes to me as a surprise. I can only guess that this is to celebrate the upcoming release of the new Beauty and the Beast film.

So, if you’ve always dreamed of your own (reasonably priced) Belle as seen wandering through her little town full of little people, now is your chanceΒ  πŸ™‚