Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Honest Editorial: What is Trends to Sew about? What is this blog about? Why are we here? What is the meaning of life...

So I've been called out that I am not comparing apples to apples.

I am not comparing a youthful shirt of a child to a youthful shirt of a child.

See the last Trends to Sew post:

And after getting called out, 
I felt like my goals for this blog have been misunderstood.

I usually don't respond to comments when they call me out.

But being misunderstood is annoying.

Hopefully without sounding like a whiny poophead, 
I would like to explain why I do what I do.

Which kinda seems silly.

But I felt like I needed to restate what my Trends to Sew are about.

And really, what this blog is about.

First off, this is an opinion blog.

I say my opinions here, and those of Maple.

And you can comment your own.

It's meant to be open and free-flowing.

Good opinions of things. And bad opinions of things.
And 'eh' opinions.
And 'meh' opinions.
And 'OMG' opinions.

They're all welcome.

Overall the blog is about owning your dolls, 
your collection, your playthings -- whatever they are to you -- 
and doing whatever you want with them.

You want youthful, colorful clothing?

Buy from AG.

You want other options?

Teenage clothing?
Goth clothing?
Really detailed historical wear?

You are probably going to have to look outside of American Girl.

What's wrong with wanting something that AG ain't selling?

This is something us collectors have lived with for 30 years.

Some years have been more bountiful from 
AG for styles I like to buy, others have been a bust.

That is the nature of being a fan of a company's product line.

The Trends to Sew posts are meant to present 
alternatives to those of you who sew and sell, or just sew.

If you want that bright shirt, buy it.

It's there for you to buy.

If you don't, but you still want clothing for your new Lea doll -- 
well, look elsewhere. Shop on Etsy. Or sew it yourself.

But what if you aren't sure what to sew?

That's where my suggestions come into play.

I look at what's trendy, happening in the tween and teenage realm.

I shop for you on Forever21's site, Hollister, Urban Outfitters, etc. -- 
and I look for doll clothing I would love to own.

The truth is, that even if Lea is 9 or 10 -- my Lea will not be 9 or 10.

I want her to be the doll I want her to be.

I want her to be older.

I want her to dress older.

And why not?

Why can't I dress my dolls the way I want to dress my dolls?

I asked on Instagram -- are your dolls the 9 or 10 they are designed to be?

And I got all sorts of answers back.

Some said yes, they stay 9 or 10.

Some say they started at 5 yrs old and grew up with them -- so as a child turns 13 her dolls will age with her. Which I think is really something.

Some say their dolls are 12 and 13.

Some say they have teen dolls -- 15, 16, etc.

And if you go on Instagram and look at #agig

...you'll see dolls dressed as all ages and in all kinds of different fashions. 

Which is awesome - and kinda the point of it all.

I never tell people not to buy from AG.

I never say -- "Hey that shirt is ugly, don't buy it. 
If you buy it you are encouraging them to create ugly stuff."


If you want that shirt. Buy it.

Buy 10.

Roll around gleefully in a huge pile of those shirts.

What I am saying is - I don't like it - and I want my Lea to wear something else.

And here are some of the shirts I'd love to have for my Lea:

So I hope I don't sound too whiny.

I just wanted people to know that yes - people have dolls that are teenage dolls.

And yes - sometimes people want to dress their dolls 
in different clothing than AG sells.

So I throw out other options in Trends to Sew.

Maybe older options.

Maybe too old for your taste.

But maybe awesome for someone else.

I am trying to be inclusive, while also staying true to my own opinions.

But I will try thinking more about what a ten year old would wear, 
if that's what you guys want to see.


And I think this rather random discussion 
gets down to a recurring issue in the AG fan community.

In the end, the main goal of this blog 
is that I am not necessarily just talking to the 10 yr olds and their family members.

I am not just talking to American Girl's demographic.

I am talking to everybody that owns AG dolls.

Not just the kids, the tweens.

Not just the ten yr olds.

I am talking to everybody.

Young. Old. In the middle.
White. Black. Yellow. Tan. Brown. Blue. Purple.
Women. Men. Girls. Boys.
Genderfluid or trans, or whatever you want to label yourself.

So what if you are 12 or 16 or 25 or 35 or 60 or 90 or however old you are -- 
You can own American Girl dolls -- 
You can collect them -- 
You can buy clothing for them or even sew it yourself.

And you can stand out in a field and take pictures of them at dawn 
because that's when the light is the best and 
you can't do it in the evening because you have to be at work.


You can use these dolls to feed your creative soul.


You can own these dolls even if you "grew up."

Even if you are supposed to be a teenager doing teenage things.

Even if you are supposed to be an "adult."

You can own them.

And you can do whatever you want with them.

Because they are yours.

Look around your house right now.

How many things do you own that 
you can pick them up, smile joyfully, and say happily..."this is mine."


So how about you guys?

Are your dolls all 9 or 10?

Are they older?

Do they only wear AG clothing?

Do they wear a whole mixture of brands with Etsy handmade items thrown in?

What's your dolls' fashion styles?

Let us know in the comments below!!!


Thank you for visiting us today!!!


maddie said...

*gestures wildly at post* THIS.


i've been called out too many times to count on not so much the way i dress my dolls, but for my style of photography (that i ultimately decided to move to a separate blog due to the fact that i was losing close to three followers a day because of my photography posts), so i can relate. i personally haven't purchased any ag brand clothing, aside from two myag outfits that came with a doll from jill's steals and deals, in over a year and a half now because like you and many other people in the ag fandom, i do not personally like a lot of the clothing that american girl releases and i have turned to creating my own pieces that i feel my dolls would wear if they were actual humans.

my dolls don't really have an age—i would say that they grew up with me, but i never imagined them any younger than twelve even at age seven when i received my first one. either way, i love them all more than a lot of things in my life and sharing them with others that have common interests is something i hope to do for a long while. :}

(sorry for clogging up your comment section, aha)

maddie || dollsonmymind

Carol said...

Honestly -- my dolls wear what I want them to wear. I don't usually buy from AG because I tend to follow the historical themes. I really, really like fluffy, historical doll clothes like you find on bleuette. I loves the gaudy pleats, ribbons, hats, feathers, lace, silk, velvet --- I haven't done it in AG size yet -- but I am planning on it!! We are all different!!

dannyscotland said...

Awesome post. I totally agree with you. Life is too short to worry about what cranky people think, or to miss out on something you enjoy because someone else said you have to do it 'this' way. I have three AG dolls I rescued from a thrift store for--no joke--$5.00 each. They wear Etsy clothes because they didn't come with much in the way of clothing. I never gave much thought to their ages, honestly. I also have Hearts for Hearts and Disney Animator dolls, mostly secondhand purchases, and they wear Etsy clothes. I have Ever After High dolls and they mostly wear their own stuff. Oh, and my Barbie dolls have all turned into characters from "Once Upon a Time" so they wear stuff I've made myself or bought online. I just have fun, and when my daughters, who aren't as into dolls as I am, do play with theirs, they just dress them however they want. Enjoy your dolls. Don't let those 'call out' folks bug you. :-)

Line said...

My dolls are ageless but certainly older than 9 or 10 especially when 18 inches or a bit more.
They are happy to wear whatever I fancy for them and honestly I don't care for those who don't like it: it's none of my business.
I love reading different opinions even if they are not mine: that's the salt of life. have a good day;

Karen said...

My dolls (all 11 of them which I have acquired as an over 50 adult woman) are used as models for my sewing business. They wear anything and everything, and likewise, that is what I sew. There are no rules, no age limits, no style preferences. Doll play is creative, imaginative and best of all, limitless. I have certain styles I like better than others (coincidentally, they run along the same lines as yours so I am a huge fan of your blog and the snarkiness/sarcasm/honesty it contains) but I am open to making whatever someone wants in whatever color, genre, etc. that makes them happy. Keep up the good work!

J said...

THIS. This is the beat thing I've seen all day. Granted, it's only 7 am, but it will probably be the best thing I see all day. Personally, my dolls have grown up with me- when I was in second grade, so were Julianna (#13) and Samantha. When I was in fifth grade, they were that age too. Now that I'm in 8th grade, whoop-de-do guess what age they are? I do have a lot of AG clothing, but I'm trying to branch out and get more stuff from Etsy (and learn to sew!) because honestly, right now, most of my dolls aren't dressing like 14-year-old girls. Some AG clothes aren't even what I see 9 or 10-year-old girls wearing, and that stuff isn't even historical.
tl;dr, I actually love your Trends to Sew posts because I always look at them and think "YES. That is what I'm looking for in doll clothes. Not this neon barf dress Lea comes with."

Anonymous said...

I love your examples. I have dolls of various ages from those that are verging on becoming teens to those who are just 7 years old. So I can enjoy a wide spectrum of styles.

That Aztec shirt of Lea's just doesn't look good. It would have looked worlds better if it had simply been all yellow gold instead of adding that pink fade in there. Yes, some like it the way AG did it and enough people at AG must have liked it or thought it would sell better, but my opinion is that it's ugly as is. I also think brown shorts or other earthy color would have been better than suddenly taking these warm wardrobe tones into a cool blue.

jSarie said...

Personally, I always see dolls as existing outside of time and age, but I know just as many people (adults, teenagers, target-aged kids, kids under 8) who see their dolls as younger or older than AG intended.

Regardless of that, I actually think a of of AG's modern clothes tend to look more like young children's RL outfits more than they do like actual 9-12 year old's clothes. If my 11-year-old niece and her friends are anything to go by, their outfits look more like those "adult" examples than they do like the pastel AG version. Although I'm sure there are regional variations on that kind of trend.

Robin M said...

I'm a regular reader but a rare commenter, but I just have to applaud this post. Your explanation of what your blog posts seek to do is exactly why I like your blog so much: because I collect in a way that's very much like the way you collect. I'm an adult, not a kid, and my dolls are t(w)eenagers -- that is, between 12 and 16 years old. I want them to look trendy, not childish, and AG's offerings in the last four years or so have been, wow, incredibly disappointing to me. That's not to say they're not fab offerings for a kid (or adult) whose dolls are kids; I'm sure they are. But their clothes are way too childish and garishly-colored for my tastes. I particularly love it when you take AG clothes and revise their colors into something darker, more muted, or just generally more appropriate for an older girl. I love seeing the "what to sew" posts with images of what's currently being offered by trendy stores that target teens, because I don't shop at those stores myself (I have no kids), so your blog is really my go-to place to find those trends. Basically what I'm saying is, I'm pretty sure I'm gettin' what you're you're layin' down, and I appreciate your blog posts. Thanks!

(Blogger at audraselements.blogspot.com, which is currently woefully neglected)

Anonymous said...

My dolls changes their ages.
A lot.
I look back on what I loved to dress my dolls in when I was 7 and I think " what on earth was I thinking" but if i was my seven year old self and saw what I dress my dolls in now I would have the same reaction.
It is all based on your perspective.
My dolls still don't have an age.
But I like what I dress them in.

Doris Barnes said...

For me, you are doing great. I am a 76 year old with about 40 of these dolls. I love every one of them. They don't have a particular age - they are what I want them to be. I make their clothing since the AG clothes are too expensive for me to purchase and my things are much prettier. Keep on posting as you are.

Melody Silverleaf said...

Hi! I hope I'm not lumped in with the cranky crew. I really enjoy your blog and the reviews and suggestions. Also love this post.

Age is an interesting thing when it comes to the dolls. they are supposed to be 9. So if I added age normally, Melody would be 24. If her age matched her years with me...she will be 15 this coming Christmas. Her sisters would be 7 and 3. I like to think of the entire crew as 7th, 8th, and 9th graders.

My mom thinks I may have collected too many clothes for the dolls, and I am starting to agree (storage space, you know); however, I like the variety to mix and match cute and trendy and unique. When I started my collection AG outfits were in earthy, neutral, and primary colors. They were sized for layering, and came complete with foundation garments, solid shoes, and a hanger. Over the years I've noticed the changes. I still get AG outfits when they bowl me over, but thanks to your blog and others like Alex, Audra, Clarisse, Maddie, etc. I view them with a different vision. I also search for items to supplement and compliment the pieces.

oh, I've gotten long winded again. Sorry. The main point is keep up the good work! I love your blog. We don't always agree, but that's okay. :)

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