Archive | March 2016

Barbie Fashionistas Measurements

I was really excited when the new Barbie Fashionistas line was announced. I haven’t been very interested in Barbies for a long time (although I did buy a Made to Move doll for the articulation to re-body by Merida doll, and will probably get more in the future), and seeing the new variety made me want to start collecting the new dolls right away. I was especially excited that instead of one standard size, the new dolls come in four types: original, curvy, tall, and petite. (Note: post ahead contains doll nudity.)

Promo pic of the new dolls on a pamphley

Promo pic of the new dolls on a pamphlet

But I was also aware that with new body types, it’s no longer one size fits all for Barbie clothes anymore. Some outfits can be swapped between bodies but others can’t. There will be new clothes coming out for these dolls later this year, but for now, my dolls are stuck wearing the clothes they came in.

My four dolls: original, curvy, tall, petite

My four dolls: original, curvy, tall, petite

I did buy four dolls right away to compare them. Above you can see that I chose the Valentine’s Day doll for the original size, and three Fashionistas: a blue-haired curvy girl, a brown-haired tall girl, and a dark curly-haired petite girl. Most of these outfits are pretty cute and they came with matching accessories. For more information and pictures about the individual dolls, you can see my review post on Sailor Ariel’s Dolls.

The four body types without clothes

The four body types without clothes

Without their clothes, the differences between these types are more apparent. Each one has a unique shape and set of measurements. At first glance, you can tell that tight-fitting clothes for original Barbie would probably work on petite with a little room to spare (although pants legs would be too long), but they wouldn’t fit over the larger frames for the curvy and tall sizes. I measured each of these bodies to come up with a more precise comparison, and here are my results.

Fashionista measurement chart

Fashionista measurement chart

Each doll is a different height and width in various places. I tried my best to be accurate to the nearest quarter of an inch. More specifically, here is what I measured:

  • the doll’s height from top of the head to toes
  • the width around the shoulders
  • width around the chest
  • width around the waist
  • width around the widest point of the hips
  • the rise (from base of the torso to the top of the hips as marked by the molded underwear)
  • length of the torso
  • length of the legs from hip to toe
  • inseam (inside of leg down to the ankle
  • width of thighs around the widest point
  • length of arms from shoulder to finger tips
  • length of arms from shoulder to wrist (for a long sleeve)
  • width of bicep (widest point at top of the arm)

The results are interesting to compare. I’d also like to note that I took one more measurement. My husband asked if all of them had the same size head, and the answer is yes, with one notable exception. All of the dolls’ heads are 1.5″ tall, but when I measured the circumference around the crown, the curvy doll’s head is a little bigger. Most are 4″ around but curvy is 4.5″. This doesn’t look like a noticeable difference when holding the doll, but it might affect hat brims or similar items.

Using these measurements, I am now developing basic patterns that can be adapted to each of the four sizes. In my experience, some basic patterns like simple dresses can be easily adjusted on the fly to be a little larger or smaller, but more close-fitting clothes take more work. To start with I will be doing the basic t-shirt and jeans to get the hang of the adjustments I need. Look for this new pattern coming soon. For now, here’s a preview of the first outfit (on the original size Barbie):

Original Barbie in t-shirt and jeans

Original Barbie in t-shirt and jeans

I hope these measurements help other pattern developers adjust for the new sizes, too!

Introducing the 2016 Spring Collection for Princess Disneybound

I’m very excited to announce that I’m now releasing the 2016 Spring Collection for Princess Disneybound! (For 11.5″ fashion dolls.) Disneybound is the popular trend of dressing in the style of a Disney character with a modern twist. I love creating Disneybound outfits for myself, and I wanted to extend the fun to the dolls in my family’s collection. It wouldn’t be a full collection if there wasn’t a new outfit for every princess, so I spent two months carefully designing and crafting thirteen separate outfits. Here they are at last!

A note: each of these outfits is one of a kind, handmade by me. They’re available for sale on my new Etsy shop, but once they’re sold, they’re gone forever. So grab them now while you can. Shall we view them in chronological movie order?

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Snow White

Inspired by her colorful princess dress, Snow White’s spring ensemble is a yellow skirt and red sleeveless top with a blue crochet sweater in case the forest is cool in the shade. Her mouse ears feature red apples and a red bow to match. Complete the look with two bonuses: a yellow purse and a pair of red shoes.

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Cinderella (played by Barbie)

Inspired by her work rags, Cinderella’s spring ensemble is a light blue t-shirt with a brown vest and brown shorts. A brown twill shoulder bag can hold a glass slipper or a mouse friend. Her mouse ears feature glass slippers and a blue bow to match. Complete the look with a bonus pair of blue shoes.

Aurora

Aurora

Inspired by her pink ballgown, Aurora’s spring ensemble is a pink princess seam satin dress with a pink cardigan if the weather is still a little chilly. Her white mouse ears feature spinning wheel designs and a pink bow to match. Complete the look with two bonuses: a pink purse and a pair of pink shoes.

Ariel

Ariel

Inspired by her mermaid tail and seashell top, Ariel’s spring ensemble is a pair of green jeans and a purple tank top. Her black mouse ears feature her purple clam shells and matching bow. A pink crochet bag is perfect for carrying any thingamabobs she finds on her adventure. Complete the look with a bonus pair of purple shoes.

Belle

Belle

Inspired by her town dress, Belle’s spring ensemble is a blue sundress with thin white cardigan to protect her from any cool breezes. Her white mouse ears feature red roses and a blue bow to match. A brown messenger bag is the perfect size to carry all of her books. Complete the look with a bonus pair of blue shoes.

Jasmine

Jasmine

Inspired by her turquoise harem outfit, Jasmine’s spring ensemble is a blue batik printed wrap dress with a blue ribbon tie. The fabric is repeated as the lining inside her messenger bag. Her mouse ears feature genie lamps and a teal bow to match. Complete the look with a bonus pair of blue shoes.

Pocahontas

Pocahontas

Inspired by her brown deerskin dress, Pocahontas’s spring ensemble is a brown acorn and leaf printed dress with princess seams for a cute fitted look. Her mouse ears feature colorful leaves and a teal bow to match. Complete the look with two bonuses: a yellow purse and a pair of orange shoes.

Mulan

Mulan

Inspired by her green and blue outfit from the end of the movie, Mulan’s spring ensemble is a blue t-shirt dress with a red ribbon belt and a thin green jacket for cool spring evenings. Her mouse ears feature the white flower symbol from her comb and a red bow to match. Complete the look with two bonuses: a green purse and a pair of red shoes.

Tiana

Tiana

Inspired by her yellow waitress dress, Tiana’s spring ensemble is a yellow floral print strapless dress. Her mouse ears feature a water lily design and a green bow to match. Complete the look with two bonuses: a white purse and a pair of white shoes.

Rapunzel

Rapunzel

Inspired by her purple dress, Rapunzel’s spring ensemble is a white t-shirt with an iron-on design of Pascal, her chameleon friend. She wears it over a purple and white printed skirt. A brown messenger bag could hold a tiara or a hairbrush for all of that hair. Her mouse ears feature her sun “corona” design and a purple bow to match. Complete the look with a pair of purple shoes.

Merida

Merida

Inspired by her teal dress and cloak, Merida’s spring ensemble is a teal t-shirt and black pants. The gray crochet sweater has bear ears on the hood and tiny buttons to keep it closed when Scotland is cold and damp. Her mouse ears feature bow and arrow designs and a teal ribbon bow to match. Complete the look with a bonus pair of black shoes.

Anna

Anna

Inspired by her snow gear outfit, Anna’s spring ensemble is a black sleeveless top and blue pencil skirt with a pink and purple cardigan to keep off the evening chill. Her black mouse ears feature a Scandinavian flower design and a pink bow to match. Complete the look with two bonuses: a pink purse and a pair of pink shoes.

Elsa

Elsa

Inspired by her snow queen dress, Elsa’s spring ensemble is a blue strapless sheath dress and a sparkly silver and white lace cardigan. Her mouse ears feature blue snowflakes and a blue bow to match. Complete the look with two bonuses: a blue purse and a pair of blue shoes.

That’s all of the outfits for today! Which one is your favorite?

Ears in Progress

I’ve been working hard on a new project and I wanted to show you some of the progress pictures. Are you ready for a peek behind the scenes to see how I make things?

I’m making doll-sized mouse ears! I love wearing my ears whenever I go to Disney (and sometimes on other occasions, too). I looked for ears that my dolls could wear, but I couldn’t find any. It seems that Mattel has made a few Disney Parks themed Barbies in the past which come with ear hats, but these are hard to find now, and I was worried that they would fit my Disney Store princess dolls because they have bigger heads than traditional Barbies. So I set out to make my own.

The base ears were modeled on the computer and 3d printed out of plastic. My husband and I went through several attempts before we got these right. We finally made decent ears in two sizes:

Sizes for 12" dolls

Sizes for 12″ dolls

The narrower size fits Barbie and other Mattel dolls, including the older princesses. The larger size on the right fits DS princesses with wider heads like the Frozen dolls and Merida.

They look really cute on the dolls. We made them in black and white for two different styles:

A few of my dolls modeling the ears

A few of my dolls modeling the ears

But I didn’t want to stop there. Half of the fun of the ears is all the different ways you can customize them!

The next step was experimenting with bows. I already had a number of colors of ribbon in two different widths. I sat down with the hot glue gun to see what I could do. My daughter actually has a lot more experience with making bows, so she helped me develop the right technique to make tiny bows look perfect.

Here are the ears with their bows on:

Ears with bows

Ears with bows

For the final touch, I created symbols for each of the princesses, printed them out, and glued them on. With a coat of clear nail polish to seal the edges, the ears were ready and looking beautiful!

Princess ear designs

Princess ear designs

Finally, I dressed up the princesses in all of the new outfits that I’ve been working on, and it was time for a photo shoot! The ears look wonderful modeled on the dolls. I’m so happy with how they turned out, and I’m lucky that I had so much help from my family to get them just right.

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These were so much fun, I can’t wait to make more! Which character would you like to see me make ears for next? I could make a set for princes (although I don’t have all of the prince dolls), or maybe villains, or even Star Wars! Write a comment with your ideas and help me choose.

My Favorite Disneybound Outfits

I love to dress up and Disneybound is one of my favorite styles. Although it’s a lot of fun to cosplay, most full costumes aren’t very comfortable for wearing a long time, it takes a lot of effort to get all of the little details right, and they’re often expensive. Not to mention that costumes aren’t very practical to wear many places! (Even though I’m not shy and I’ve gone in full cosplay to some unusual places.) But Disneybound, also called casual cosplay or closet cosplay, is a fun compromise to dress in the style of a character, and it’s much easier because you can often use clothes you already have. I especially love to Disneybound when I’m at the Disney parks (where adults can’t wear costumes) or on a Disney vacation.

But first, I thought I would mention where I get some of my inspiration from. The Disneybound tumblr, run by Leslie Kay, is hands down the best resource for outfit inspiration. She also helps run a Facebook group which is full of great advice and helpful people. You can also find a lot of other people doing Disneybound with the hashtag #disneybound on social media sites like Instagram. Looking at other great Disneybound outfits always gives me new ideas.

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One of my first and most repeated Disneybounds is this outfit inspired by Ariel’s “Kiss the Girl”/boat ride dress. It’s just a few simple pieces (a white t-shirt, black tank top, and a blue skirt) but they create a look that’s very recognizeable. The accessories (Sebastian or Flounder stuffie, dinglehopper necklace, and blue hairbow) are optional. This is also one of my favorite outfits that Ariel wears, so it’s really fun to re-create.

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Another Ariel-inspired outfit that’s easy to do is a purple shirt with green jeans or shorts. It’s a little more subtle. When I used to wear glasses, this sometimes turned into a “Hipster Ariel” outfit. It doesn’t really need accessories but I sometimes add whatever Ariel or ocean themed jewelry I have lying around.

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Green/turquoise and purple are two things I have a lot of in my wardrobe, so Ariel Disneybounds are easy. This is a different outfit with a blue-green dress and a purple wrap. The colors didn’t come out very well in this picture.

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My pirate Ariel costume is a little between a true cosplay and a Disneybound. It’s not one of Ariel’s outfits, instead it takes her green and purple colors, and adds a pirate twist. It’s always fun when people realize the full concept of the outfit. I also just really like dressing up as a pirate.

Can you tell Ariel is my favorite princess to dress as? That’s also why I dyed my hair red! But let’s move on to something different.

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Dark purple and black (plus a seashell necklace) make a subtle nod to Ursula. It was Villains’ night, so I dressed as Ariel’s nemesis.

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Also for Villains’ day, I dressed up with a nod to Captain Hook. The little hook pin helped tie this outfit together, but I think it was too small for many people to notice it. Sometimes it happens that only I know I’m in Disneybound, and no one recognizes the character, but it’s still fun.

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On a different day, I dressed as Mr. Smee–and then I got my picture taken with Captain Hook and Mr. Smee! Smee recognized my outfit right away and got really excited. He grabbed me and mimed stealing me away from the captain! Disneybound outfits can lead to a lot of great reactions from face characters and Disney cast members. This one got me a lot of compliments.

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Just one more picture, this time with my other favorite princess, Anna. Her snow gear outfit is almost exactly the same as Ariel’s boat ride dress. I just switched the white shirt for light blue, braided my hair, and added a purple sweatshirt. I actually had this sweatshirt for years. When Frozen came out and I saw Anna’s outfit, my family said, “Hey, she dresses like you!” So this moment was inevitable.

I hope you liked seeing some of my Disneybound outfits. Have you ever dressed up as a character before? Which character’s style is your favorite? I love to see other people’s outfits, too, so if you have any pictures, please share them!