Maud Humphrey

Maud Humphrey

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

McCall's 7268 Tent Pattern and New Natterer Dolls Join the Doll Family!

The young ladies in my sewing class expressed an interest a while back in sewing this pattern:
I am pleased to say that I finally got around to making it!  And just in time, too, since I will be teaching my students to make this in a just a few days.
Here is my version (which I think is much cuter than McCall's version!):
It has a zippered front opening, real screen on the windows, and rolled up window shades.
Detail on the upper front.
Door flaps opened and pulled back
McCall's did a good job with all of the cute details on this pattern.  However, I chose to omit the almost 6 yards of bias binding which they used for accent...I didn't feel like it was necessary.
Back of tent with screening in upper window.
Side view
Felicity is interested in this new contraption.  She wonders how it will work for her...
Hmmm...not bad.  There's even room for a friend!
Felicity says this would be more comfortable if I would have made her the matching sleeping bag shown on the pattern envelope!
Of course, I almost NEVER make a pattern exactly like are the changes I made:  First, and already mentioned, I omitted the decorative bias binding.  I also chose to construct the windows differently, sandwiching the screen in between the main fabric and lining, instead of just sewing it to inside of the tent.  To do this, I folded in 1/4" seam allowance along all edges on the windows of both the main fabric and the contrast lining...I carefully placed the screen in between the two layers and then edge-stitched around the window opening, catching all the layers.  I also had to cut my main tent piece pattern as two pieces which I then added 1/4" seam allowance to on one edge before sewing back together.  The original pattern piece has you placing it on the fold and cutting it out as one piece.  However, since my fabric is directional, and I didn't want my deer heads upside down on one side of the tent, I remedied this by cutting two pieces.  I omitted the dowels in the bottom of the window shades...this was unintentional...I simply forgot to add them until I was all finished!  But the shades don't really need them, so all's good.
And are just a few pictures to show the newest members to have joined our doll family today:
Petitcollin dolls sculpted by Sylvia Natterer, one of my favorite doll artists!
13 1/2" tall.  Isn't she precious with her fuzzy pink coat?  I have wanted this doll for SO long.  But she has been on back order for a long time, so I had to be patient and wait.  When she finally came back into stock at , I snatched her up right away. 
13 1/2" tall.  Doesn't she have the most beautiful coloring?
Mona also comes with her own, little doll, made like the original Petitcollin celluloid dolls of long ago.
11" tall.  While the other two dolls have vinyl bodies, this little sweetie has a cloth body with vinyl limbs.  She makes the perfect little sister.  Her hair is quite wild, though!  You can't see much of it in this photo since I have it tucked into her hood, but trust me...there's a lot of it and definitely needs some styling.
I REALLY love all of the Natterer Petitcollin dolls.  I already have my eye on a this cute, little fellow:
13 1/2" Antonin
And this lovely lady:
19" Melanie
Oh, so many dolls, and so little money!
I will be back soon with a post that goes more into detail on these lovely Petitcollin dolls.  They just arrived today, and I was too excited not to share them with you!

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

New Dolls: My Life As...Asian Ballerina and Tonner Little MissMatched!

One of the things I love most about shopping at thrift stores is never knowing what you're going to find.   There's such an air of expectancy when you walk through the doors, and I almost always hold my breath as I round the corner to the toy aisle.  Many days there's disappointment, but sometimes you find something that's really wonderful, or at least intriguing.  Today I stumbled across this trio, stuffed together in a clear plastic bag at Goodwill.  And because their sticker had the half-price color of the week, I got them all together for only $3.50.
Do you recognize them?  No?  Well, don't feel bad, because neither did I.  In fact, I saw this bag of dolls two weeks ago and passed them by, because I didn't want to pay $6.99 for dolls of unknown origin.
But when I saw them again today, I decided to take a closer look.  I noticed that they each had "2014 Tonner Doll LLC" imprinted on their back waist.  This piqued my interest, since while I am familiar with the Tonner Doll company, I didn't know that they had made a line of play dolls like this.  And being that they were half price, I decided to take a chance and bring them home.
They stand just a little over 15" tall and have 10 points of articulation.  They have nice quality, rooted hair and darling expressions.  After some research, I found out that Tonner Dolls partnered with the Little MissMatched Company, which creates colorful, quirky clothing for little girls.  These dolls were sold at Toys R Us, FAO Schwartz, and the Tonner website, for somewhere around $30-40.  There were four in the series...I am missing the dark-skinned one. 
Here is a stock photo of the four.  They didn't have names, other than "Uptown Girl", "Artsy Girl", "Rock 'n' Roll Girl", and "Sporty Girl".
As far as I can tell, the redhead is "Uptown Girl", the brunette is "Rock 'n' Roll Girl", and the blonde is "Sporty Girl".  The blonde has some black staining around her upper and lower arms which I will try to remove.  The other two are clean.  Their hair is nice quality, and the shoes are adorable!  They kind of remind me of the short-lived "Hopscotch Hill" dolls put out by American Girl many years ago.  While I think they are very cute, I will most likely be putting them up on Ebay soon to find a new home.  I just can't keep every doll that comes home with me!
This next doll is not from the thrift fact, I even paid FULL PRICE for her (gasp!).  She is, in fact, a doll which I thought I'd never buy...a "My Life As" doll from Walmart.  Now don't get me wrong...I don't have anything against Walmart dolls!  In fact, I think many of these dolls are very pretty.  It's just that I have SO MANY 18" dolls already, I really haven't wanted to add to the hoard collection.  But then I saw this ballerina doll a couple of weeks ago online (I love ballet!) and the Asian face sculpt (I have a weakness for ethnic dolls, especially Asians), and that was it.  I decided I needed to have one!  However, none of my local Walmarts carried her! And you couldn't order her online, either.  When I called Walmart, they told me she was currently unavailable.  So I figured that was that, and went on my merry, albeit slightly disappointed, way.
But lo and behold, what did I spot on the top shelf in the doll aisle at my local Walmart last night, while just making a quick run to pick up a hair brush for my daughter?  This!
I may have let out a little scream in excitement--I can't remember.  There she was, alongside the other two ballerinas in the collection, a Caucasian and an African American version.  Of course, I grabbed the Asian one as fast as I could.  I was so surprised to see them all up on the shelf...they must have just been put out since I hadn't seen them last week when I was there.
I'm not sure her features are as "Asian" as I would have liked, but she's pretty, all the same.
Back of the box which shows the three ballerinas near the top, along with a ballet studio available as a separate purchase.  Our Walmart had this studio!  What a neat accessory for any little girl who loves to play pretend with her dolls.  Unfortunately for me, space is at a premium, so this stayed behind.
Some of the new dolls, pictured along the bottom of the box.
She was not hard to remove from her box--just had to snip a few rubber bands and ties.  However, what the heck is the plastic stuff SEWN into her hair?!?  I know why they did it--to keep her hair in place in the box.  But boy, what a pain in the neck to try and remove it!  There was no way to rip it off without damaging the hair, so I finally grabbed my trusty seam ripper and removed it that way.  Seriously, Walmart.  Please stop with sewing things into the doll's hair!  It's annoying!
After removing those annoying plastic strips (there were two of them), I gently combed out her hair and it fell into soft waves.  Very pretty.
Speaking of combs, I recently picked up this wire doll brush at Target for $5.  I highly recommend getting one.  It has a wooden handle and is just the right size for a child to hold, although it felt very nice in my hand as well.
And for $5, I thought it was a pretty good deal.
Now, back to "Anna", which is what I have decided to name this beauty:
I can't decide if she has a completely different face mold from the other My Life As dolls, or if it just looks that way because of the painting at the outside corners of her eyes.
I love her outfit.  So classic and pretty.  Exactly what I picture when somebody says "ballet outfit".  And it doesn't hurt that it's pink--my favorite color!
Cute leg warmers and ballet slippers
The rosette trim at the waistline is a nice touch.
I was a little worried that these new dolls would have an all-vinyl body, like the boy dolls in this line do, but I'm happy to report that their torsos are still cloth.  Something about a cloth torso just makes them feel more quality and cuddly to me.
One last picture.  I really do like this doll--a lot.  And for $27 and some odd change, I am pleasantly surprised with the quality.  Now that American Girl dolls cost $115 for a basic doll (and $200 for one you design yourself!), I think Walmart dolls are a good alternative for families who can't afford that higher price tag, or who don't want to start out with such an expensive doll for a child who might not take good care of it.  I do think that AG dolls are wonderful, but are they $115 wonderful?  I suppose each one will have to answer that question for themselves.  In the meanwhile, I am glad to have this new, serene face looking back at me from my doll room!