Before I start, let me apologize most profusely for my lengthy silence. My shoulder thing has been (mostly) healed for some time now, but it’s proving strangely hard for me to get back into blogging. (The heat giving me no patience with taking photos or desire to have my laptop in my lap don’t help, naturally, but I don’t think that’s all it is.) I won’t promise that I’m going to spontaneously turn that around and become active again, but I am going to try not to be quite so inactive, which will hopefully work its way back into regular activity.
All right, so that over with, let me finally get to the actual post.
Back in February, when I introduced you to my Velvet, I mentioned that I wanted to get her a hand-made new dress to apologize for sending her off to stay at my workplace so soon after her first arrival in my home. Only since then I’ve entered into a feud with Etsy, and couldn’t order her clothes there. (It’s stupid: I just used the “contact us” link to complain about how they redesigned the Favorites menu to make it about a thousand times more inconvenient…only then the “contact us” link was so frustrating that when I was finally allowed to write out my complaint, I basically said “I won’t be shopping on Etsy ever again until you make the Favorites page useful again!” Only if they had any intention of returning to being user-friendly, they wouldn’t have gone user-aggressive in the first place, so now I can’t shop on Etsy. At least, not for a good year or two; I don’t want to look weak-willed.) The reason she needed a new dress, of course, is because her original dress looks like this:
Sure, it’s a cute dress, but that stain on the skirt is hideous. But without Etsy as a place to find a replacement (and without any ability to sew (or time to learn)) I had to find another source. I ended up checking Ruby Lane, even though I knew there was the chance of having to overpay for tagged Ideal clothes.
But I got way lucky. One of the sellers on Ruby Lane, Rewinding the Past, had a real stash of clothes that were both vintage and homemade. The seller’s description states that they were “made for a home run business in the 1970s that never took off.” Given the size, they were almost certainly intended for Crissy and/or Velvet dolls at the time, so they have that period vibe I wanted, without it being faked decades later like the modern clothes I’d be able to buy on Etsy. (Which is not to knock the sellers on Etsy, mind you. It’s just cool to get vintage consumer-made clothes.) As of this writing, btw, the seller still had several more packs of assorted clothes from that stash.
Anyway, because there were lots of outfits to choose from, I had to go through a long process of trying on each outfit not only on Velvet, but also on Angel and Crissy. Oh, yes, but I haven’t even shown you my Crissy at all! This is her:
And yes, that’s the outfit she was wearing when I got her, but no, there’s no way it’s original or even period: it fastens with velcro. It’s a nice dress, though, very fancy and well made, but not very ’70s. Uh, unless you mean 1870s. (Though on Crissy it’s not very 1870s either, on account of being so short.) Before I get into the fashion show of the three of them modeling all those outfits, let me talk about Crissy and Velvet a bit more.
So, Velvet was officially supposed to be Crissy’s younger cousin. (Not sure why cousin instead of sister, but…) The Caucasian version of Velvet had pale blonde hair, and was quite generic. I’ve heard reports that Velvet’s eyes are purple, and Crissy’s…actually, I haven’t seen anyone try to identify her eye color. Box art seems to show brown. Anyway, both of my dolls have jet black eyes:
I’m not sure if their eyes originally had pupils of some other color and they’ve aged to black, or what. It’s slightly eerie if you look too closely, though, so let’s move on.
As I’m sure you’re aware, Ideal’s Crissy doll family is a line of hair-growing dolls. Until I took these photos, though, I had never actually tested their hair-growing mechanism…
These are the before shots. You turn the knob on their backs to wind the hair into the head, and then press the button on their tummies to release the catch, and pull the hair back out again. They both worked perfectly. 🙂
That being said, I’m afraid to try Crissy’s again. Something started rattling around inside her during the process of all those clothing changes, and I think something may have fallen out. *shudder* I’ll not be rewinding any of that pretty hair back inside her, lest it might not want to come back out again!
Other general comments about these dolls: as you can see, they have minimal articulation, and (as you probably can’t see) they have the kind of hip joints that mean if you make them sit down they go all splay-legged, which I do not personally find attractive in a doll. (They also take up much more room that way anyway, so it’s perhaps just as well.) Their entire bodies are hollow, and the plastic making up their limbs feels pretty thin, enough that I worry I might crush them if I handle them too hard. (I know I’m not actually strong enough to do that, but the feeling of their hollowness is quite overpowering.)
Oh, and before Velvet came home from the museum, I mistook her size radically, and thought maybe she could share clothes with the Hearts for Hearts Girls, and as I test I picked up Rahel when I found that Target had put the line on clearance.
That’s a terrible photograph. She’s much prettier than that in person.
There, that one’s better. 🙂 However…
…there was a slight miscalculation of scale. 😛 No way, no how was Velvet gonna fit into those clothes! But then I found the ones on Ruby Lane, so it all worked out. 😉 BTW, when I posted about Velvet before, I commented on how nice her hands are (and how Ideal dolls often have nice hands) but in looking at her side-by-side with Rahel here, I finally figured out what I like so much about Ideal doll hands: the fingers are spread apart and slightly posed, unlike many modern dolls, whose fingers are pressed together to make the manufacturing process simpler/cheaper/whatever-their-reason-is. There are modern dolls that do have separated fingers (Monster High leaps to mind, even though it’s pretty much dead now), but they’re much less common.
Okay, so now we can get to the fashion show! I didn’t try any dresses or skirts on Angel, though, because I had always wanted her to be wearing pants. (Even if my initial outfit for her didn’t have them.)
Oh, no, wait, first there’s the old outfit I’d gotten for Angel that didn’t fit! Here’s Crissy modeling it:
I really love the outfit (and that hat!) but the shirt made me very worried about staining. It’s lined with white on the inside, so I wasn’t worried about her torso, but I felt like it was going to stain her arms where they were touching it on the outside, you know? I could have her wear it as a vest over a thin white blouse, though. (The pants didn’t fit either of the other girls, so I don’t have any photos of them wearing this outfit.)
Anyway, until I got the Ruby Lane clothes, I had Crissy wearing this:
Kind of surprising that she can wear Velvet’s dress as a shirt, isn’t it? For all their height difference, their torso sizes aren’t much different.
Anyway, now we can get on with the fashion show. Starting first with the dress Crissy came with…
And now the outfit Angel’s been wearing all this time…
Wow, the different lighting really changes the color of the cloth, doesn’t it? The photo of Angel was taken at work, in more diffused lighting, some of which was natural, and the other two were taken in my bedroom, in 100% artificial lighting. (I just don’t have a good place for natural light photography right now…) I’m not sure what happened to her bracelet between then and now, though. 😦
Velvet didn’t try on this jumper because it patently didn’t fit. I mean, it doesn’t really fit Angel, either, but it’s not quite as bad on her compared to Velvet.
I probably should have done a group shot of the three of them at the start of this to show the size difference between Angel and the other two…only just thought of that…
For the “leftover hippie” part of the 1970s. You know, the part that led Mattel to make these guys:
(I’m amazed I found an excuse for that…)
I’m not sure if I’m supposed to be thinking Bruce Lee here, or Star Trek…which is kind of an odd statement, now that I look at it…
The odd thing with this one is that this blue leafy outfit was one of the ones I was most looking forward to from the seller’s photos, and it’s probably the one I’m least happy with on my dolls. (Or the yellow one might be…)
…nope, got nothing to say here.
This outfit may be the unexpected winner of the bunch. ;P
This one was sent along as a bonus. I’m not really a fan of the skirt, but I love the blouse! 😀
So, as you can see, Velvet was the clear winner of the fashion show: she even made the granny dress look good! 😉 For the moment, they’re wearing these outfits:
In Crissy and Velvet’s case, this was literally because those were the last outfits I’d tried on them, and I didn’t feel much like changing their clothes again. 😛
I’m thinking of changing them to these, though:
Obviously, Crissy is banned from wearing darker outfits (like anything red) because I don’t want her getting stained. I don’t think the darker colors of plastic are as likely to take a stain. Though maybe I’m wrong about that? (Does anyone know?)
Hmm, when I got to this point the other day and left it here, I’m positive I had something else I wanted to say on the end and that’s why I stopped instead of posting it, but now I don’t remember what it was. 😦