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Another AG Mini..

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Portrait of AG Mini doll Julie

Yes, yes, I know, another one of these delightful little dolls added to my collection. They’re just the perfect wee treat after a long week so I ordered Julie from amazon and she’s been watching over me from my bedside table since.

Full review of the boxing, book etc of these dolls is to be found in the original post about American Girl mini dolls, with Marie Grace and photos of her friend Cecily are in this post.

So, Julie.

Julie is a 20th century doll, she hails from the 1970s and is dressed appropriately for 1974, in a crinkle-gauze peasant blouse over a multicolored turtleneck, worn over “groovy” two tone bell bottem jeans with a braided belt, and platform sandals. Yes, the AG site says “groovy”, though I was never a fan of bell bottoms then and now, but she does look pretty cool. Her hair is gorgeously shiny, long flowing blonde hair with a long braid. As with the other dolls in the series she’s a perfect mini replica of her larger counterpart.

AG mini Julie posing

Her story sets her in 1970s San Francisco, and must have proved a good source of inspiration because as well as the mini story book that accompanies all mini AG dolls, the company has a series of six books featuring Julie and her friend Ivy. Its a bit disturbing to think of a doll from the 1970s as “historical” (I was born in 1972) but great to see how varied the American Girl range can be, and I’m very pleased with my mini version.

Helene rather likes her also:

Helene with AG Mini Julie

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AG Minis – More-ish

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I defnitely have the soul of a collector, or maybe I’m just a sucker for a small but perfectly-formed object, but having reviewed the rather lovely American Girl mini doll Marie-Grace last month I was tempted by another in the range (having an Amazon voucher was an extra spur…).

Portrait of AG mini Cecile

This is Cecile, who is actually Marie-Grace’s friend in the AG books as they meet and become friends in 1850s New Orleans. As with her friend, Cecile’s outfit is historically correct, consisting of a teal satin dress with puffed sleeves, black velveteen accents, and rosette adornments (per the AG website), along with the same white cotton pantaloons and white stockings. She has black boots with gold button detail. Her dark skin and brown eyes are complemented by long black ringlets held back by ribbons.

AG mini Cecile posing

For a full overview of the other details (box, book, body etc) see the detailed review of Marie-Grace.

Both dolls are so beautifilly designed and concieved, even at this small size, that they both make me smile. Ariane nabbed Marie-Grace as her plaything, but so far I’ve managed to keep Cecile all to myself! I love the shade and style of her dress, need to find the full-size dress for my large dolls to wear, methinks.

At the current price point (around £14 on Amazon) the AG minis are a nice treat without breaking the bank and I already have my eyes on some of the others in the range. For now, Marie-Grace and Cecile complement each other well and are pretty little morsels to brighten the place. And like the best things in life (chocolate, shiny things etc) they are most definitely more-ish.

AG mini Cecile in b&w

Sew a Chair! Or shoes, or a dress..

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I like to think I have several talents, but will freely admit that sewing isn’t one of them. So its not surprising that I’m late to come across the many doll outfit patterns available for those with decent skills in that respect – a recent post by my friend Rick about a pair of dungarees he crafted for his Kidz n Cats doll Jason (aka Alister) got me thinking, and then some random googling today revealed that not only are there patterns to knit, sew and crochet clothes but you can make shoes. And chairs.

Yes, I said “chairs”.

Doll Tag Square Chair pattern

Proof, if you needed it: a chair pattern. Which looks rather nifty, actually.

This and other designs are available via Pixie Faire which hosts a whole range of creative craftable patterns from various designers, including Liberty Jane and Melodie Valerie Couture (the latter sell custom dresses via their Etsy shop). There are clothes sized for American Girl, as one might expect, but also A Girl for All Time, Karito Kids, even BFC Ink dolls.

You can search by designer or doll brand or just browse the categories – I have to say the Melodie Valerie offerings make me wish I had confidence with a sewing machine. Er, and a sewing machine, come to think.

MMelody Valerie dress patterns

Patterns are downloadable .pdf files, and clearly state the requirements for making them (fabric, fastenings etc) on the individual item page, as well as an indication of skill level. The site also has free sewing tips and some tutorial videos giving you step-by-step guides to some of the simpler styles. The prices range from $3.99 to $8.99 depending on the designer and the pattern but there are some free patterns availble to download also. There’s other furniture to make, also designs for bags, plenty to keep a crafty person occupied for a long time.

And they have patterns for shoes, did I mention the shoes? Boots, as well..

Miche Designs boot pattern

What doll wouldn’t be proud to own such a pair of boots? Given skills with sewing, foam cutting and hot glue guns it seems anything is possible. Even if you’ve limited craft/sewing skills like myself, the Pixie Faire site is well worth a visit to admire the designs and plenty of pretty doll pictures.

A Doll for a Doll – AG Mini Marie-Grace

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Portrait of Marie-Grace

Following on from the sneak peek previously, introducing American Girl mini doll, Marie-Grace! A doll-sized doll for dolls to play with (or real folks to collect), the frst AG mini dolls appeared in the US in 1995. At just 6″ tall they are pint-sized versions of their larger AG counterparts, and have the same outfits, faces, hair etc, except in miniature. Each doll also comes with a mini version of the “meet” book that the full-sized AG dolls have.

I’m not sure how long these mini dolls have been available in the UK, given the fact that the full-sized American Girl dolls were rare as hens teeth until recently, but I spotted the minis on other doll blogs and then found several of the current range being sold at Amazon UK, and couldn’t resist.

Like their big sisters, each doll comes in a standard cardboard box, with information about the specific doll on the reverse (on a separate piece of printed paper which is tucked in securely), and you can see the doll’s face through the wee window at the top:

Mini Marie-Grace Blurb

Mini Marie-Grace boxed

Mini Marie-Grace Revealed

Marie-Grace is very nicely made, with jointed vinyl arms and legs on a cloth body, and a vinyl head which rotates at the neck. Given the size of the doll, the level of detail is rather less than the larger counterpart, and her eyes are painted but the quality is nonetheless high. She is very poseable, and the cloth body is firm enough that she will sit up straight. I especially love the hair on this doll, which is silky and fine, and consists of long dark blonde hair pulled back into two plaits on the crown of her head, held with pink ribbons, and the sweetest little curls on either side of her face.

Mini Marie-Grace in b&w

Her outfit mimics the larger doll, consisting of a long pink dress in a plaid fabric with puff sleeves and bodice detail, white and black leather-look boots and even white cotton drawers/bloomers (the AG site describes them as pantalettes..). The dress is fastened with velcro, as are the boots, and the underwear is elasticated. She also wears long socks under the boots. The outfit is modelled on women’s fashion from the Victorian era – Marie-Grace is one of the AG historical dolls and her story describes her life in New Orleans in 1853, so presumably this was standard attire for young ladies in that time and place. Unlike the large dolls, there are no outfits to buy seperately for the AG minis, though of course clothes can be shared between dolls if you own more than one, and I believe some Etsy sellers and the like have outfits available, though I’ve not explored this.

Mini Marie-Grace Posing

The mini-book that comes with the mini-doll is an exact copy of the hardback that accompanies the larger doll. It’s also hardback, with a bright paper dustjacket and the full story inside. Its just about readable if you peer closely, perhaps easier for a child to read more comfortably, but I was charmed by this doll-sized tome:

Mini Marie-Grace's "meet" book

Inside mini Marie-Grace's "meet" book

I titled this post “a doll for a doll” and Marie-Grace truly is that. The American Girl dolls are designed very  much with the idea that they will be a small companion for children and can wear the same outfits, and I’m sure mini Marie-Grace looks perfect with big Marie-Grace. For me, though, Ariane seemed the ideal choice to play with the doll, given the similarity in hair colour and style, and I love the fact the book is just the right size for an 18″ tall doll to hold, and “read” aloud:

Ariana & Marie-Grace Reading

I must say the two dolls together is one of the cutest things I’ve seen in a long time, and I’m really impressed with the whole AG mini concept and execution, I think I’ll be tempted to add one or two of the other dolls to my collection at some point, though close viewing of online images suggests not all the dolls work quite as well at this small size, but then again I don’t find many of the American Girl dolls attractive, compared to my existing dolls, which could be a factor. Mini Marie-Grace is small and perfectly-formed however and keeping me, and the dolls, very happy indeed.

Ariane & Marie-Grace