Sunday, March 18, 2018

My First American Girl......

For many years I've wanted to see an American Girl doll in real life.  But I never had....until now that is!

I've never liked dolls with a fabric torso and I dislike it when the cloth shows at the neckline in certain outfits, but I really like the Josefina face sculpt and their little legs, which I think are very cute.  I've looked at photos on Flickr, Pinterest and Ebay, sorely tempted but always put off at the thought of that fabric body.  Finally though I decided to give it a go and look for one to adopt.  I didn't want to spend too much money in case I didn't like her, so I decided to look again on Ebay and see what was on offer.

After a lot of research, I decided to bid on a secondhand Josefina being sold by someone in the UK.  I was fortunate enough to win the auction for a reasonable price and the doll arrived last Monday.  She appears to have been made by the Pleasant Company, probably before the company became a subsidiary of Mattel in, I believe, the year 1998.  I forgot to take a photo of the company name on the back of her neck, but will do that if it makes her easier to identify, because I'd love to narrow down when she may have been made.

Immediately on arrival,  I noticed that she was smaller than I expected....I'd sort of imagined these dolls as 'bigger' although I knew they were 18 inches tall!   I realised too how these dolls would be popular with young children as Josefina has a very squishy torso, I should imagine she'd be great to cuddle with.

So Josefina arrived.......


 she had a cute face with some surface dirt and a few scuffs......



And some white marks behind her pierced ears......


And a bit of glue residue in her hair......


And she had the most awful wig!  It felt really crunchy and dry, so that had to come off.



I removed it with great difficulty, it was glued on very securely and took a lot of tugging and a bit of swearing :) before finally I got it off her head!   You can see the surface dirt and scuffs better in the photos below, as well as the residue left behind by the wig.....


She has a very cute semi profile though......


Below, you can see what looks like additional glue has been applied to her head, just in one place, which makes me think a repair to her wig has been done at some point in the past.....


I love her profile and the colour of her vinyl.....


Here she is after a good scrub with washing up liquid.....you can see that I didn't have any luck removing the wig residue, it's stuck on very firmly! 


Despite the wash, obviously the scuffs remain.....


She has these sparse looking eyebrows drawn with individual hairs......


I haven't photographed her body but it does have a couple of clothing dye stains on the fabric, these were disclosed by the seller though, so no surprises there, and they'll be covered by her clothing anyway.

Once I'd put her head back on again (not too difficult as she has a string that tightens the cloth torso around the base of her neck) I looked in my wig stash for a suitable wig in her size.  Unfortunately, despite my massive amount of wigs, I really only had this one that fit her properly......



And I don't think it suits her at all!!!  So after washing and conditioning her original wig, I replaced that on her head but with the parting off to one side.  I then trimmed the horrible dry ends and put it into two bunches......




And dressed her in a dress I made from an American Girl pattern....I don't think it's her 'style', I'd prefer her to wear something more modern, but it fits....and looks OK for now, until I can make her something more suitable...... 





And finally we have a bit of sunshine!


Conclusion:  Well it's still early days, but so far I do quite like her.  I especially like her face and legs, which have always appealed to me from photos of American Girl dolls, plus I have a new appreciation of her little teeth and her profile.  I still don't like the fabric torso as I feel it's very limiting, but if I can always use patterns that have a reasonably high neckline, like the dress above, then that would be just fine.  I don't like this wig on her but having searched on Ebay, most of the wigs I've seen are very 'full' with too much hair, I'm sure that's NOT the look I'm after, so I will keep looking.

I'm glad I've not spent a fortune on buying my first American Girl, but admit that I'm still tempted to buy a new one at some point!  (Honestly, there's really no hope for me, is there!!!!)

Before I sign off, I'd just like to say a big thank you to Farrah Lily of Cozy Comforts and Dolls, for all her help in my quest to find an American Girl doll to bring home! 

Thank you for visiting, I hope you all have a great week ahead!

Big hugs Sharon xx







18 comments:

  1. Josefina is wonderful and you have worked wonders with her already. Her original wig now in bunches is adorable and it is amazing that it is the same wig she came with! Her floral dress is lovely and she will have it for special occasions. I am used to seeing her in peasant type outfits and it will be nice to see her in your more modern creations. Well done Sharon! ๐Ÿ˜Š xxx

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    1. Thank you very much Ginger, I'm glad you think so. I just now need to make some time to sew something for her or she'll be like my other dolls and end up in this dress for the next year or so....I'm such a terrible dolly mum, aren't I!!!
      xxx

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  2. She looks like a different girl now S! Well done you have worked wonders with her!

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    1. Thanks Ronny. Still not sure these dolls are for me, but I guess I had to buy her just to find out :)
      xxx

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  3. Hi Sharon,
    AG's have never been a favourite with me either (and for the same reason as you) but this little gal does have a pretty face. You've done a lovely job so far, but I have a feeling that somewhere down the track you will probably give her a face a proper going over (especially those brows) to give her a more childlike look.

    I am including a link to a great post that might help you with the poofy wig problem, and hopefully you will find just the right wig to suit her personality.
    http://theresincafe.proboards.com/thread/35568/tips-thinning-modifying-wigs-intensive

    Big hugs,
    X

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    1. Thanks Sandi. Yes, that body still bothers me, I cannot stand looking at it when bits of it are exposed from beneath the clothing...but I had to see for myself I guess! I do like her face, so I will work with her but not sure I will get another.
      Thanks so much for the link, that is really really useful...if not for her then for other dolls because you know how much I love to cut hair. I wonder if this lady is a human hairdresser too, she seems to know so much. I wondered why my own hairdresser was doing that twist and cut thingy, now I know!!
      xxx

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  4. Guessing that there mustn't be that many makes of dolls still out there that you haven't had living with you at some point!
    Always love what you do to them on their arrival to make them yours!

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    1. Hahaha, Kendal, I guess not! No, actually there are loads of dolls that I've never seen in real life, and lots that I'd never want to to be honest! LOL but this one has been niggling away at me for ages, so now my curiosity has been sated.
      Thanks for commenting :)
      xxx

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  5. I'm no expert on AG dolls, but I believe that the Pleasant Company imprint would have been replaced by the Mattel one as soon as they changed over. If she's Pleasant Co.,which I would think she is because of the crispy hair,(I've had several Pleasant Co. dolls pass through my hands, and most or all of them have had that crispy hair.), then she will say it on the back of her head, and on her body tag.

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    1. Yes I think this one is before Mattel took over, because of the name on the back of her neck and the size of the writing. I had a read up on their history when I was deciding which doll to go for, and found it all really interesting.
      This girl does have a tag coming out of her cloth body but it's only small and it's white and blank. I have no idea if it was once printed and the print has worn off or perhaps the body was washed in the past....but there is nothing to be read on it :(
      I never realised that the Pleasant Company ones often came with crispy hair! I suspect I'll keep on the search for a new wig for her!
      xxx

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  6. You worked a miracle on her wig! It suits her much better than the shorter one. I also like her outfit.
    I'm not certain if I like the AG dolls, but then, I have never seen one in real life. They are ridiculously expensive in Germany, if you can find them at all.

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    1. Thank you Ursula. I was quite fortunate in getting this one cheap, because like Germany, they are very expensive here too....which is why I think I won't get another one after all!
      xxx

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  7. I once bought Josefina , I think she's one of the nicer faced AG dolls, I only had her a short while as I didn't really do anything with her, so she was soon on her way. lol
    I like the fabric you made her dress from, very pretty. I'm sure you'll have fun making things for her, you did a good job saving her original wig too!
    I look forward to seeing if you buy a new one :) xx

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    1. I agree that Josefina is one of the nicer faces, I just cannot get completely past that body though! I will see how I get on once I have time to make her something more modern to wear, I have a ton of patterns that I've never used, so I really should give them a go!!!
      xxx

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  8. Josefina looks cute and you did a great work with her wig! I probably had given up. :D Her outfit is filled with summer and sunshine, I like it a lot!
    But I agree with you - the neckline and the fabric showing when the American Girls have certain outfits bothers me too. I just wish that they could do something about that. But it is otherwise a lovely doll and perfect with the soft torso for hugs!
    Congrats on getting your first AG doll!
    Hugs! <3

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    1. Thank you Niina, I'm still not happy with the revamped wig though. I will keep thinking about what to do, and whether I will replace it with a new wig after all.
      xxx

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  9. Congratulations with Josefina and welcome to AG world :) You know yours Josefina is adorable!

    I had the same thoughts about AG bodies few years ago. I liked outfits that hide their bodies. AG dolls in swimsuits looked really strange for me. But now I'm very comfortable with their bodies ;) And I still adore with their smiles, legs, especially knees. Hope you will like them too from heads to tip toes :)

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    1. Thank you Ariadne. I hope to do more with Josefina once I get time! She deserves a chance anyway.
      Yes, the knees!! I'm glad I'm not the only one who thinks they're sooo cute!
      xxx

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