Wednesday, May 31, 2017

The Importance of Language

I love sewing doll clothes. They come together so quickly, and there is such a thrill to see an idea in your head become reality.

I have multiple favorite pattern designers who design beautiful doll clothes.

Unfortunately, sometimes there are doll clothes patterns that are problematic and I have to call them out.

You can read my protests against racist doll clothes here and here and here.

I have a different protest this time.

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

AG Trading Cards: Meet Addy

On this trading card, the illustration shows Addy reaches for her mother in panic as Momma struggles in the water of the river.

The back of the card says:

Sam had taught Addy how to swim, but Momma could not swim at all. To escape to freedom, Momma and Addy had to cross a wide, rushing river.
They were trying to get to

1. The safe house that belonged to Miss Caroline

2. The Confederate campfires

3. Atlanta

Answer: 1

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Nanea, Kanani and the Hula

I know that everyone is excited about Nanea! I am too! But when we make clothes for Nanea or envision the collection we want to create for her, we need to treat her culture with respect.

Nanea is Hawaiian, and most people associate that with hula.

The article "The Dancing Hawaiian Girl, at Your Service" by Lisa Wade gives a very good look at the history of hula.

Hula was originally a religious dance, and it was performed mostly by men. It was a form of story telling.

Hula was transformed and women became the primary dancers when tourism to Hawaii became more widespread. The women were objectified and exotified. Hula was usurped by the tourist trade and became a commodity.

You can read more about it in the article "The Evolution of Hula" by Sarah Neal.

Because of the religious origins of hula, you should be very careful and respectful in creating hula-type outfits. Treat the culture with respect and do your homework.

Molly McIntire didn't realize it, and I didn't realize it as a child, but she was disrespectful in dressing up as a hula girl for Halloween.

I do not feel that the Forever 18 Inches Aloha Hula Accessory Pattern does a good job at treating the hula with respect or portraying it in an accurate manner.

The pattern description suggests, "Make an item each night while viewing your favorite chick flick!"
 This does not offer any respect at all for Hawaiian culture. It makes me feel icky.

I am myself not an expert in hula or what hula dancers wear. I just believe in respecting cultures and not stealing their clothing or other cultural components because it is fun.

I feel that better options are the Eden Ava Hawaiian Pa'u Hula Outfit or the Eden Ava Hawaiian Muu Muu Dress. I trust this pattern designer to do her research before designing clothes.

One good resource for researching hula is the Hula Preservation Society. Another is the Hula Dance Headquarters

Also, something that not everyone may be aware of is that not all hula is Hawaiian. Tahiti also has traditions of hula.

Here are some phrases that can help you search for images of more authentic Polynesian clothing for Hawaii, Tahiti, and Aotearoa. 

Maori – “Kapa Haka”
Tahitian – “Tahiti Fete”, “Ori Tahiti”
Hula – “Merrie Monarch”, “Liliuokalani keiki”

Lolatai at American Girl Collectors shared the following thoughts:

"There is a middle group between serious hula and performances for tourists. Whole classes of local school kids will perform a short hula during local holidays that warrant school/community gatherings (think May Day), and the parents just run out to the local hula supply store to grab some costumes and lei in bulk. Of course, many kids just dance in regular clothing, but that’s often an issue of money. Where mainland children may sing a song at school performances, perhaps with hand movements, etc., local kids in Hawaii will do some version of hula – ranging from the very basics to rather serious where the kids have to audition or be advanced dancers in order to perform. As I am typing, I am also thinking perhaps this is one of those things that’s okay when locals do it, but comes across as insensitive when others do the same thing? What do you think?"

I think that she may be correct in saying this.

Please treat hula with the respect it deserves!

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Addy's Wardrobe: Addy's Flower Picking Outfit

Doesn't Addy look lovely in this dress?

I really love this dress. It uses simple fabric, but the elaborate pattern makes it into a standout.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

AG Trading Cards: Meet Kirsten

This is a very sad picture of Kirsten peeking in at her sick friend Marta on the front of a trading card.

The back of the card says:

During the riverboat journey on the Mississippi River, Marta became seriously ill. Kirsten went to see her in the ship's sick bay, or hospital.

Marta had:

1. cholera

2. measles

3. polio

Answer: 1

I think it is particularly poignant that Marta got sick and died after reaching the United States.
So meany people died on the way across the ocean, but danger did not cease after the ocean crossing.

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Meet Astrid!

So, I got Astrid at the MCM sale last year, and haven't officially introduced her yet! 

I don't bond with dolls well if I add too many to my collection at a time, and I wanted to figure out her back story.

I felt so bad that she hadn't been on the blog yet, though.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Saige's Day in the Sun

I continue to love Saige's tunic outfit. It looks great on a number of dolls, but Saige gets to wear it sometimes too. I am a sucker for real embroidery on doll clothes.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

AG Trading Cards: Meet Samantha

I love this picture of Nellie looking so sweetly at the doll Lydia! What a cute trading card.

The back of the card says:

Samantha let her friend Nellie play with her new doll, Lydia. Nellie's family was very poor, and she had never had a doll of her own.

Grandmary had bought Lydia for Samantha at Schofield's Toy Store. The doll cost as much as Nellie would earn after working at the Ryland's for six weeks. How much did the doll cost?

1. $2.50

2. $6.00

3. $10.00

Answer: 2

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

AG Trading Cards: Meet Felicity

This picture is a very dramatic one of Ben confronting Felicity in the barn. Felicity looks so scared!

The back of the card says:

Felicity took Ben's best Sunday breeches from the mending pile so that she could wear them when she sneaked off to visit Penny.

On Sunday, Mrs. Merriman asked Ben where his breeches were. She wanted to mend the so Ben wouldn't go to church looking like a _______.

To finish the sentence, change each letter to the one that comes before it in the alphabet:


Answer: ruffian (a tough or rowdy fellow)

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Betsy and Her Toys

As promised, here are some more pictures of Betsy McCall. Here she is posing with some toys that are just her size.

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

AG Trading Cards: Meet Addy

This illustration of Addy and her mother saying good-bye to their family is heart breaking.

The back of the card reads:

Addy and Momma said a sad good-bye to Esther, Auntie Lola and Uncle Solomon before they slipped away into the night. Uncle Solomon gave the some final advice.

Which of these did he not say?

1. "Go as fast as you can at night."

2. "Hide during the day."

3. "Try to make friends with the Confederate soldiers."

4. "Every time you see water, go through it."

Answer: 3

More Doll Pictures

 Here are a few more doll pictures.  I am trying to post for Doll of Color Month most days, if not all days. I rarely have Internet access t...