Oct 192012
 
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Zodiac Sign: Capricorn

Birthstone:Turquoise

Hair:Straight Black

Eyes color: Brown

Hometown:Springfield

Favorite color: The rainbow

Pets:Brown and white horse named Polly

Family:No siblings, but she has a lot of cousins that come every week to visit.

Best Day: When her father offered her Polly. He gave her some lessons to ride the horse and now they ride together all the time. She loves spending time with her father.

She likes: Playing with her cousins, taking care of Polly, making jewelry with colorful pearls and beads, & brushing and braiding her long black hair.

Pet Peeves: When people leave their garbage in the forest, & the noise of the thunder.

Dream:Working in the National park to protect the forests and save the animals.

Best Friends: Amanda, Madison, Lindsey, Gina, Stacy

Favorite Outfits:

Hanging Out: Fringed top and skirt, moccasins and headband

 
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Like Gina, Niya was discontinued a few years back. I was really disappointed because to me she was such a fun character. Her hair is different from the current Maria’s because Niya’s is rooted in a permanent part from the front all the way to the back, which leaves big bald spots that have to be covered up when styling her hair. The easiest way I found to cover the bald spots is to style her hair in 2 braids or 2 pigtail. Because of this Niya’s hair is less versatile than Maria’s hair. One thing I always did like about Niya is that she had no bangs. I don’t wear bangs myself and never have. I like that Niya didn’t have bangs and I like that Maria doesn’t either.

Even though Niya has been discontinued you can still buy her at Sunshine Crafts. They have a small supply left and they are on sale for under $20, which is a super bagain. They also have Gina and all the other Springfield girls too.

If you don’t have access to a Niya doll then Maria (Sofia) makes a great alternative. Her hair is easily braided and she can be a Native American doll in a heartbeat. Because of her hair and coloring she can stand in for a lot of different nationalities including Native American, Latino, Indian (from India), Middle Eastern, Egyptian, Bi-Racial or Multi-Ethnic, African American, and some Asian nationalities. I miss Niya, but feel that Maria is a good replacement for her, and because of the difference in the rooting of her hair, it’s my opinion that Maria is perhaps more flexible and has more play value. Niya was a lovely doll though and I’m glad I was able to make her part of my collection.

Oct 122012
 
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Abby used to be named Amanda. Before that, when Springfield Dolls were kits to be stuffed and sewn together, she was named Sarah. She’s always had blond hair and blue eyes, although it was curly for a little while, when she was in kit form. Amanda’s profile is very sweet. I love that she has two cats and hopes to be a veterinarian when she grows up. I also find it amusing that she wishes her hair was curly, the way it used to be, back when she was Sarah.  Compare this profile with Abby’s Current Profile. There are  still a few similarities, for one, her favorite color is still blue!

Zodiac Sign: Aries

Birthstone:Diamond
Hair: Straight Blonde (she wishes it was curly!)
Eyes color: Blue

Hometown: Springfield
Favorite color:Blue
Pets: 2 cats named Tabby and Magic
Family:Younger brother that she loves to play games with after school.
Best Day: When her Mom organized her surprise birthday party. All her friends came and got to spend the night! They had pizza, and played games all night!
Favorite Activities:Going shopping with her Mom, watching cartoons, playing with her cats, going to her tennis class with her friend Gina, & going Ice skating with all her best friends.
Pet Peeves:When her bedroom is messy and getting in trouble.
Her dream: To be a veterinarian and save all the animals living in Springfield.
Best Friends: Madison, Lindsey, Gina, Stacy, Niya
Favorite Outfits:
Dressing Up: White dress with flower in her hair, white teardrop shoes.
Hanging Out: Denim jacket, heart top, skirt and tennis shoes.

Oct 052012
 
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Gina has been discontinued but is still one of my favorite dolls.
Don’t you love that groovy belt!

If you’ve seen the Springfield Collection Doll named Maria (or Sofia), then you’ve seen the doll that Gina turned into. Actually, when Gina was first introduced her hair was styled just like Maria’s is styled now. She had no bangs, and her body had stuffed upper-arms and upper-legs. She was from the 2nd Generation of Springfield Collection dolls, the ones that were pre-stuffed, but still had the old-style bodies. Only the lower arms and lower legs were plastic, the rest of their bodies were stuffed. When the 3rd Generation of Springfield Dolls was introduced Gina got bangs as well as full plastic arms and legs. This is the classic Gina, the Gina who’s my favorite. Although Gina has been discontinued, if you want a Gina of your very own Sunshine Crafts still has a few in stock.

To me Gina is the closest that Springfield has ever come to an Asian doll. My BFF in real life is filipino and I am routinely frustrated that Springfield doesn’t offer a doll who looks like her. Lots of parents at my church have adopted baby girls from China. Right now they are buying Madame Alexander dolls from Walmart, which are least expensive Asian dolls currently available. One day I hope that Gina will be made again, with light skin and her silky black hair with bangs, so that all of the beautiful Asian girls who long for a Springfield Collection Doll who looks like them, will finally have one of their own. I don’t know if Springfield has much of an overseas market, but if they do, there must be a huge demand for a light skinned Gina. Also, I admit, that I want a Gina doll who looks like my BFF, who is named Rina (note the similarity–Gina & Rina). Then I can do Maggie & Rina doll fashion shows, and maybe add a Maria (or Julie) doll too, and do Maggie & Rina & Sharry doll fashion shows. Now wouldn’t that be something?

While I go on dreaming, I’ll share Gina’s lost profile for the rest of you.

Gina

Zodiac Sign: Libra
Birthstone: Sapphire
Hair: Straight Black
Eyes color: Brown
Hometown: Springfield
Favorite color: Pink
Family: Older brother and Younger sister.
Pets: 2 parrots named Papaya & Mango.
Best Day: When she got her two parrots.
Favorite Activities: Dancing hip hop, playing tennis, watching movies with her little sister Kelly, preparing Sunday breakfast with her Mom, training her parrots Papaya and Mango to say “hello”, “love you”, “gimme a kiss”, and “pretty bird”.
Pet Peeves: Having her hair in a ponytail, and losing a tennis match against Amanda (but it’s ok because they are best friends).
Her Dream: Being a professional hip hop dancer!
Best Friends: Stacy, Amanda, Niya, Madison, Lindsey
Favorite Outfits:
      Dressing Up: Mini denim skirt with heart top.
      Hanging Out: Denim Jeans with, tee and brown Mary Jane shoes.
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Compare this profile with Maria’s current profile. I couldn’t find any similarities. Could you?

Oct 012012
 
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Two piece Tankini and Lacy Camisole with matching Undies

Tankini or Underwear, this easy pattern will make both. Like most dolly mommies I hate having naked dolly bodies everywhere I look. Now they can all be modestly covered while they await their fashions.

When I designed this pattern I had a few special requirements. First it had to be made from woven fabric, not knit fabric. I’m not especially handy at sewing knit fabrics and I wanted a pattern I could make time and time again, to me that meant it had to be made from simple woven fabric. Next it had to be easy for girls to put on and take off of the dolls all by themselves. Some underwear is fiddly for young girls to put on their dolls by themselves. I wanted this pattern to make child-friendly underwear because mastering the skill of dressing and undressing a doll is good for a child’s self-esteem and also good for a busy mom’s harried schedule. Thirdly, I wanted as few number of seams as possible, to make the sewing quick and beginner-friendly. Finally, the underwear had to be modest, but attractive and look like something that girls wear themselves. It took a bit of work, but I was pleased with my results.

The pattern I came up with fits Springfield Collection dolls perfectly. If you’re dressing an American Girl doll you may need to adapt the pattern slightly for their larger waists. The underwear only has two side seams. The leg openings can be finished with a narrow hem or the raw edges can be zig-zagged and then covered with lace or rick-rack. The elasticized wasitband can be finished with a simple casing or the elastic can be stretched and sewn into place. I tried my hand at illustrating the steps of applying the elastic and y’all will have to tell me what you think of it. Do the illustrations make it easier to understand the 2 techniques or harder?

The camisole is one I designed years ago for smaller dolls and have sized it up and down many times for different types of dolls. This is the first time I’ve made it for 18-inch dolls and I was very pleased with the results. The camisole uses short lengths of lace or rick-rack for the shoulder straps. The top and bottom edges are zig-zagged and then covered with pretty trim. It closes in the back with Velcro or snaps.

After making the pattern a couple of times I realized that in different fabric it would make a great swimsuit, so I gave it and try and the results were excellent! Just a change in fabric and trim makes the underwear into Beach Wear!

Free Underwear & Tankini Swimsuit Pattern

PDF file
Closeup of Undies
Front of undies
Back of undies
 
Front of swimsuit bottom in underwear fabric and in swimsuit fabric.
The swimsuit pattern also makes good underwear, and the elastic might
be easier for beginners. The legs can be decorated or simply hemmed.
Back of plain underwear and swimsuit bottom

For fabrics, I found that lightweight cotton worked best for the underwear. I used bleached muslin and a thin floral print on white background. They both turned out nice. For the Tankini I used a slightly thicker fabric. The pink one pictured was made from a quilting-weight fat-quarter. The pattern used less than half a fat-quarter, so you could get at least 2 sets of underwear or two Tankinis from one fat-quarter. I think a gingham swimsuit with white rick-rack would be very cute and it would have a retro 1950’s feel to it. Out of all the underwear I made, I admit that I liked the simple white ones the best. You could get really fancy with the undies and camisole if you wanted too, making them into something with more of a lingerie feel. In this case I would use white satin with white lace. Or even lightweight pink satin or cotton with white lace would be cute and stylish while being kid-friendly.

As always, if you make this pattern for your own dolls please share your results in the comment section. If you have photos you’d like to share, let me know and I’ll help you include them if I can.

 

Official set supervisor, Mr. Poe.
Sep 282012
 
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Stacy was from the early 2000’s

You may know her as Olivia, but before that she was Stacy, and before that she was Katie. Back in the early 2000’s, way before the Springfield Style Club, the dolls each had a profile available on the Springfield Dolls website. I remember the first time I found the profiles, I wondered if anyone else was going ga-ga for them the way I was. I felt like I had discovered the wheel and wanted to share it with everyone I knew. Now Springfield Collection fans have an abundance of fun things to do online at the SF website and Style Club. Back then however, just reading about a favorite doll and seeing pictures of her in SF fashions was a real treat.

For nostalgic purposes, I plan to share all the girls’ old profiles over the next few weeks. The first is . . .

Stacy

Zodiac Sign: Leo

Birthstone:Ruby
Hair:Red
Eyes color: Green
Hometown:Springfield
Favorite color: Pink
Family:Older sister that left for College.
Pets:2 stray dogs that her father found named Ruby and Bandit.
Best Day: When the team won the football championship, the whole cheerleading team and football team organized a party. Stacy got to dance with Scott!
Favorite Activities: Being a cheerleader at school for the football and basketball teams. Watching television on the weekend. Visiting her sister in Chicago at college because they always do fun stuff together like going to the amusement park!
Pet Peeves: Eating Lima beans, and being alone in the dark.
Dream:Going to college like her big sister.
Best Friends: Amanda, Madison, Niya, Lindsey, Gina
Favorite Outfits:
     Sporty:her new blue cheerleader outfit
     Hanging Out: Green Herringbone, brown corduroys, brown Mary Jane and purple sunglasses

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Compare this old profile with Olivia’s current profile. You might be surprised to see a few similarities.

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