Posts tagged ‘doll dress’

October 12, 2012

Saving up and sewing.

As I mentioned in my last post, I’ve made some travel plans. I really want to take my kids on a big trip when they are a bit older and so now comes the dull part – saving up. I’m awful at saving up, but I’m determined to try my best. I don’t want to miss the chance to visit the places on my long-held wish list and share an exciting adventure with my family, purely because I’ve spent all my money on magazines and takeaways. I have also asked a Twitter friend to act as my spending police, and she’s being rather vigilant, which is a good thing…

Of course, there lots of other grown-up and serious things that I spend money on too, but (apart from trying to get better deals on things) they are non-negotiable so I’m going to focus my efforts on the areas I can change.  Which is primarily food and entertainment. Food I’m going to tackle in another post. Today I’m going to tell you about my new plan. Which is to go back to attempting to learn crafts in order to enjoy my new Blythe hobby without it bankrupting me. Blythe is one of the most expensive hobbies I’ve stumbled into. And I talk as someone whose long term hobby is horses, for heaven’s sake. The point to the exercise is that it’s likely to take me four years or so to afford the trip I have in mind. That’s a long time to save. So, I’m hoping to still do the things I love, but in a more economical way!

Anyway, I’ve mentioned in the past that I feel as though I will never, ever learn to knit and I’ve shared my attempt at crochet with you. But I do feel reasonably confident that I might be able to sew. I had a lesson in machine sewing at the start of the year with the supremely talented Abi Manifold and I’ve been promised the loan of a couple of sewing machines so that’s all lovely (and free!) but the first step is to learn how to use a pattern to create something.

There are lots of free patterns for doll clothes online so I’ve printed one off and I’m using a bag of things I bought in a fit of enthusiasm a while ago to try and hand-sew a simple dress. In a week. Which to those of you who know what you’re doing must be laughable. But to me, is about as easy as performing surgery. You will notice from the photograph that I also have glue, but I’ll try my very best not to use this!

This time next week, I will either share a blog post with you in which I share my success or my failure. Fingers crossed…

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September 14, 2012

Blythe

So, I promised you a post about something other than gardening. This is very different. In fact, I’ve been deliberating about whether to write about it at all, because it feels a bit confessional. Deep breath. Here goes…

The other day, something happened by accident. I bought a doll. For myself.

It started when I was on Ebay looking for a toy ‘Mack’ truck from the Disney film ‘Cars’, which is somewhat elusive as its not available in shops now.  I’ve been battling with folk up and down the country bidding for one on Ebay. Thankfully, finally, I managed to acquire one. It was totally worth it to see the look on my little boy’s face. He’d been asking for one for a very long time! Anyway, while I was pootling around Ebay (in the toy section, obviously) I came across this doll. Now, I’ve loved Blythe dolls for ages – ever since I saw an article about them and realised that the dolls illustrating the article were wearing Dolce and Gabbana, Gucci and Vivienne Westwood. Westwood, for heaven’s sake…

But then, as usual, things and life took over and although I had a passing love for the dolls, I did nothing about it. Until a few weeks ago. Have you ever been on the internet and found yourself overtaken by events and somehow shopping for stuff you never intended to buy? Usually for me, it’s holidays. I get carried away booking holidays online and shrug my shoulders when I think about how on earth I might pay for them. It’s always worked out, more or less.

This time, I ended up buying a doll. Usually, the dolls are imported from Asia, in particular Japan, where the Junie Moon store lives. This doll was a mere hop over the Pennines. And she was customised. And that was it. I loved her straight away and, armed with money from my savings account ( so, please, don’t let the boiler blow up any time soon), I bought her.

The reaction is interesting. Half of the people I know, including my daughter, love her. The other half, including my husband, are less enamoured. She freaks them out. Its the eyes. My husband is convinced she’s going to kill him in his sleep, which obviously amuses me no end. I’m just waiting for the opportunity to somehow move her across the room in the night and then wake him up by clutching him, asking ‘Did you see that? She moved…’

What I’ve realised since immersing myself in the world of Blythe is that the dolls are merely a conduit to many other things. People customise them, make clothes, take photos. There are so many Flickr accounts for Blythe, they’re probably half the content! She’s the ideal model, given that she’s super photogenic and doesn’t pull faces, unlike my kids.

You may think I’m too old to play with dolls. Perhaps I am. I’m also too old to be bullied or ashamed for it too though. Play, in all forms, isn’t just for kids. From computer games to model railways, football to dance, many of us have hobbies that are ‘play’, and why shouldn’t we? How many of you have wrestled the Lego from your kids, going ‘ no, no, you’re doing it wrong, let’s do it like this‘? Most of us would admit, that to a greater or lesser degree, that we feel as though we’re faking this whole ‘adulthood’ thing anyway, so I say, lets all just admit it, and play a bit more.

My post the other day contained three things. A gas bill. A letter from the dentist. And a tiny,beautiful hand-sewn dress, bought from Etsy and sent all the way from Australia. I don’t care how old you are, post from abroad is exciting. In a world where we’re constantly bombarded with images of horrible happenings we can do nothing about, where we’re told there are no jobs, everything is doom and gloom and there is seemingly no light at the end of the tunnel, a little escapism in the form of play is exactly what is needed.

Play: not just for kids…