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Alex (Kids n Cats) in a Suit

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A few people, including someone named Mouse, have showed interest in the Design a Friend morning suit I posted about a few months ago, wanting to know if it would fit a Kidz n Cats doll. So I had fun playing dress-up and the answer is, yes, it certainly does. I got the camera out to show just how well!

Alex posing in the suit

The trousers are the perfect length, the waist is correct and allows for the shirt tails to be tucked in without bunching, and as you can see the long tailed morning coat also fits nicely, all in all a very good look for Alex. I think the suit actually fits this doll much better.

The shoes fit, though they are a little loose and would probable work better with some socks underneath – they’re secure enough and he stands in them which is the main thing however.

Alex in the suit, rear view

The coat is perfectly fitted and the length is about right even though Alex has shorter legs then the Design a Friend dolls, or my Gotz Harry Potter doll that originally modelled the outfit.

Its quite a posh suit for a little boy though, and I think I prefer the outfit without the coat, now Alex is a pageboy at the wedding rather than the groom, and doesn’t he look darling?

Alex in the suit without the coat

As I said in the original post, this is an excellent outfit, well designed and constructed with good quality fabrics, one of the best outfits from the Design a Friend range, and ideal for Kidz n Cats to wear. Alex is feeling very handsome indeed and looking round for the bridesmaid now..

Portrait of Alex in a suit

Lydia, Your Georgian Girl from A Girl for All Time

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Lyda, Your Georgian Girl

Great news, there’s another family member due to join the historical dolls from A Girl for All Time. Following on from the success of Mathilda (Tudor), Amelia (Victorian) and Clementine (1940s), Lydia’s look, outfit and story are clever time capsules of history for young girls to learn and play along with.

According to the press release:

Lydia, Your Georgian Girl, wears a gorgeous yellow dress in the robe a l’angaise style, popular of that era. Her life is turned upside down in an accompanying book telling the story of how she must leave England and her beloved home, seat of the Marchmont family for over 200 years, to start a new life with her family in the American colonies. Additional historically-inspired costumes are now also available for Lydia, including a stunning blue party dress and meticulously detailed riding outfit.

The new doll will join her sisters later this year.

Find out more about the A Girl for All Time range (with historical outfits, novels and accessories) at the website.

Makie Me an Ari

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Ari - my makie design

Ari? Who is Ari? She’s my soon-to-be new doll custom made by the wonderful folks at Makie.me, the unique 3d doll printing company I reported on last year. I was very tempted at the time to design a doll but the software on the website didn’t work too well on my aging computer, plus I was a little hesitant because at the time they sent the dolls out with no face-ups. A face-up is the paintjob you do on dolls to personalise them, and the Makie dolls were being shipped with no colouring at all, so the lips and brows were the same colour as the base plastic, a little too plain for my tastes.

Fast forward to, well, now and whilst browsing the site I discovered the company now do a very light face-up on all the dolls. If you’re the creative type you can wash that off and apply your own, of course, or even ask for your doll to come plain-faced.

So I had great fun the other night making the perfect wee doll face, getting her ears right, picking eye colour and wig and then went away to think about it for a bit. On my return to the site where I’d saved my creation I still loved her so clicked the “make real” button! I’ll now be avidly checking the order status page for updates, though it’ll be 2 weeks most likely before she arrives.

Ari design face cluse-up

As well as the dolls, Makie.me also sells outfits, shoes, accessories and because of the modular nature of the doll, wigs, and even different feet, as well as hands in various poses. I picked out a few things, more about those when Ari finally arrives. Each doll costs £69 which includes the outfit you pick from a limited choice, though not, I think, any shoes shown, and I think shipping to the UK is included. She apparently can wear Barbie clothes which is handy.

So excited, I finally get a Makie, whee!

Fancy making your own doll, or just having fun with the virtual doll maker? Head to Makie.me

Bonnie & Pearl Dolls

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Bonnie & Pearl Redhead

Its always great to see a new doll brand and especially when its one from the UK. This little lovely is one of the many gorgeous offerings from a Welsh doll company, Bonnie & Pearl. Since launching their pop-up shop in Cardiff and now with their move to London, as well as their online shop, this is a brand that’s going far.

Founders Nicola and Lisa named their venture after their own childhood “best friends” – their dolls, Pearl and Bonnie, who kept them company through thick and thin. Now,

We make dolls that evoke the feelings we had as children, the excitement and joy that comes from opening the box for the first time and knowing you’ve found more than a toy, you’ve found a friend.

There are seven dolls in the Bonnie & Pearl range with a variety of skin and hair colours, all with sweet little faces and sleep eyes. One of my favourites is this darker skinned doll, not sure if I like her or the redhead best!

Bonnie & Pearl ethnic doll

Each doll is 19″ tall with soft vinyl head and limbs and a soft middle, much like the Karito Kids dolls. They are jointed at the shoulders and hips with a tilting head, and the hair is a high quality acrylic wig.

Bonnie & Pearl doll, undressed

As well as the meet outfit and accessories, each doll comes with a cardboard bed to sleep in, plus a comfy pillow, perfect for the perfect night’s snooze.

Bonnie & Pearl box bed

I’m impressed with the design of these dolls and also the range of clothing available, such as this cute school uniform

Bonnie & Pearl doll in a school uniform

I think my favourite is the walking outfit:

Bonnie & Pearl Walking Outfit

The outfits should fit 18″ dolls such as Gotz and American Girl, with the usual caveat on different body styles between dolls – I suspect they will be a little too generous for Kidz n Cats dolls.

Overall these are lovely creations by people who clearly care about their dolls and their customers – if you’re local to Cardiff, Bonnie & Pearl run a regular “dolly hair salon”, plus their website features recipes and fun doll-related craft projects to try.

You can see the full range of dolls and outfits at the Bonnie & Pearl site, they are also available via Petalina and mydollboutique.

Paola Reina Fashion

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I’m piggybacking somewhat on a post by Maxine over at her blog for My Doll Best Friend, because she showcased some of the many gorgeous outfits made by Spanish doll company Paola Reina for the Soy Tu range of dolls, which fit other 18″ standing dolls perfectly. And I couldn’t resist at least one outfit..

Maru in a Paola Reina dress

Here’s Maru modelling the Paola Reina “lilac floral dress set” which consists of a lovely cotton dress in shades of lilac and pink, with lilac cap sleeves, a lilac ribbon trim at the hemline, and a crossover bodice detail. Tied at the waist with organza ribbon which is gathered into a rosette at the front, its worn over lilac leggings and comes with a matching hair band that ties with more lilac ribbon.

As you can see it fits very nicely and is such a great choice for the hot summer weather, lilac is one of my favourite colours for dolls clothes and it makes a change from the usual range of pink you usually see.

I’m pleased with the quality of the outfit, each piece is cut out and stitched well and the fabric is good quality. The fit on Maru is excellent, I’m sure the dress will look equally great on Katy and the others also!

I will definitely be getting more clothes from this range.

My Doll Best Friend has the lilac outfit featured, along with other Paola Reina clothing and the Soy Tu dolls range along with other sized dolls and suitable clothing for same.

Design a Friend Morning Suit

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Its wedding bells all over for the Chad Valley Design a Friend dolls, with a bridal dress, morning suit, bridesmaid dress and even a bridesmaid version of the little sister doll available. And I couldn’t resist such a smart suit for my boy dolls.

Harry in a suit

And here’s Harry looking very smart indeed!

The suit comprises dark grey long tailed jacket with a high collar, matching trousers and a one piece white shirt with attached pale grey waistcoast (vest for the US folk) along with a satin tie in a bright pink shade to match the wedding theme (the bridesmaid dresses are in pink and the bridal gown has pink accents).

Harry in his suit, back detail

Back detail of the jacket, which is very elegant.

Harry's suit - waistcoat detail

The waistcoat fastens with velcro, which is handy for getting access to the shirt front and collar to tie the tie and line it up neatly. The trousers fasten with velcro at the fly and lie nicely flat against the body.

Harry's suit - the shoes

To complete the look, a pair of black shiny lace up shoes is also supplied.

Harry's suit with little sister bridesmaid doll

And here’s Harry posing with the little sister bridesmaid doll (reviewed here) to show the full effect of the wedding party play options.

I’m impressed with the design and quality of this outfit, the fabric is heavy duty cotton with a nice sheen to it, the styling is excellent and fits nicely, although its a little loose on Harry (the Design a Friend Josh doll is rather more muscled). The shoes are also well-made and the overall effect is pretty darn elegant. Boy doll outfits are always harder to come by and this is great value too (there’s a suit available in the Carpatina range for more than twice the price, which also only really fits the slim Carpatina bodies). Well done Chad Valley and Argos!

Beth – Design a Friend My Little Sister Bridesmaid

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Portrait of Beth

Meet Beth, one of a new range of smaller dolls joiuing the Chad Valley Design a Friend series exclusive to Argos (joining Lindy reviewed here and Josh the boyfriend doll I wrote about in this post).

The Little Sister dolls are 14″ (36cm) tall and like the 18″ girl dolls have a soft body with vinyl arms and legs jointed at shoulder and hips, plus a turning vinyl head with plastic eyes and rooted hair.

Design a Friend little sister doll box

A lovely purple stripey box rather smaller than the standard doll boxes, which contains..

Design a Friend Little sister doll box 2

Tissue paper and underneath..

Design a Friend Little Sister doll box 3

One little sister doll! The box is made of sturdy cardboard, and also if you look at the photo has a handy shelf at the top which holds the second outfit that comes with this doll (more on that later).

Little Sister doll posing

And here she is revealed, all ready for the wedding.Her dress features a pink satin sleeveless bodice with a pink sash and flower detail to the waist, which leads to a white satin skirt with netting over, dotted with matching pink buterflies. Her shoes are white sandals with pink detailing. Its quite an elegant dress for a young girl, and there is a matching bridesmead dress in the same shades available for the larger dolls in the range also.

Beth has brown eyes and long straight brown hair which brushes easily and holds styles well.

Little Sister doll - hair detail

Her second outfit is a pink and white striped onesie, which is very cute, although not too well designed as the cuffs are too narrow for her hands, requiring some snipping of the stitching to actually get the clothing on the doll, not a good design detail at all.

Little Sister Sleepsuit

So how does Beth fit in size wise with other dolls? Well, she is certainly in good proportion to the standard Design a Friend dolls – here she is with Lindy, you can see the family resemblance in terms of basic face mould and eyes:

Design a Friend Little Sister with Design a Friend Lindy

She makes a good little sister for Kidz n Cats dolls also, here’s Beth with Alex:

Design a Friend Little Sister with Alex

And here’s the whole family, girlfriend, boyfriend and little sister:

Design a Friend Family

As mentioned before, this version of the Little Sister doll is ready for the wedding party, with a wedding dress and morning suit for the large dolls available along with a bridesmaid dress. You can read my review of said morning suit here.

I’m quite pleased with Beth, her dress is very pretty and I like the hair, and she’s made to the same standards as the larger dolls though perhaps looks a little cheaper and more plasticky, she’s also priced the same which I think is a mistake. Other than the extra outfit supplied, there are no clothes available for this size of doll from Chad Valley: luckily a couple of Ebay doll outfit makers have come up trumps with suitable clothing to fit such a small doll, I imagine shoes will be an issue however.

As a collector she’s a sweet little addition but not really destined to be a favourite. For a child however I think it expands the play possibilities nicely to have a sibling doll, so I hope Argos will keep this size of doll in the range and produce new versions and outfits in the future.