styling Blythe: sunny yellow spring dress

Last weekend I made a little time for sewing a new dress for my Blythes. It was nice warm weather again for a few days and all the sunshine and melting snow had me really craving spring.

Ash, wearing a new sunny yellow AnneArchy dress and an old but loved Katie Cardigan

It’s a basic empire waist dress for Blythe (modified version of the Pucci Collective pattern that doesn’t seem to be available online anymore). I have a template for the bodice that I modified from the pattern years ago, and I pretty much always just freehand the skirt these days. I did make the bodice a bit shorter than usual when I put the dress together this time. I was going for a more exaggerated empire style and I think it worked well. For this dress I used some fabric from my yellow scraps pile (have I mentioned that I have a rainbow of scraps piles? I can’t bear to get rid of fabric unless the piece is so small that I can’t conceivably find a use for it, and since I do so much small-scale sewing, a piece has to be truly tiny to not have a potential use!), so the fullness of the skirt was mostly determined by the size of the fabric scrap I chose. I neglected to take a close-up of it, but you can kind of see that I used a decorative floral stitch in an off-white/tan thread at the hem. This is one of the standard fancy stitches my machine is programmed to do.

Ash, wearing a new sunny yellow AnneArchy dress and an old but loved Katie Cardigan

I also added a couple of scale off-white/tan buttons to the bodice. Totally decorative, not functional, but in this case that doesn’t bother me.

My original goal when I started to make this dress was also to spend a little time styling Ash.

Ash, wearing a new sunny yellow AnneArchy dress and an old but loved Katie Cardigan

I tried a few different things but ended up with my standard trusty pair of lace tights, a pair of grey suede(esque) boots, a Katie Cardigan (in Pennyroyal Aloft by Knit Picks), and of course the new yellow dress. The color of the cardi is a light, silvery purple, but I think that it goes quite well with the brownish-based off-white of the buttons and embroidery on the dress. It’s not a pairing I would have picked without looking, but after putting things next to each other, it worked! I really need to make myself some more of these cardigans. I love this pattern and I could use one in a variety of colors.

I’m pleased with this overall look. It’s sunny and springy in the yellow, but the cardi and boots show that it’s still solidly winter here, and we’re just trying to feel the coming season.

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pursuing Blythe

My Blythe collection is larger than I ever thought it would be: I have four Neos, one Middie, and one LPS Petite.

When I bought my first Blythe, Willow (a gently pre-owned Prima Dolly Ashlette), I thought for sure I’d stick with just one. Then an online friend was interested in selling her Mademoiselle Rosebud and gave me a more-than-fair friend price, so Dahlia came to my collection. Then I decided that a custom girl was something I wanted, so I acquired a bait girl (Adorable Aubrey), Ash, and bought her a reroot and face-up. Then a friend was selling her slight custom Rainy Day Parade Ellis, and I felt I could give her a good home. Along the way I also picked up Daisy, my LPS Petite, and when Middie Jackie Ramone was released, I pre-ordered Maude right away. Her style is just perfect for me and I couldn’t resist seeing how a Middie is compared to my Neos.

I still think that I have “enough” Blythes, but I do think that I’d like to add another Neo to my collection eventually. Especially if I continue to make a little side money selling Blythe patterns, it seems justifiable to spend some of that money on my collection. I love both Willow’s and Dahlia’s long hair, and Ash’s mohair reroot is still exactly what I had hoped for. And Ellis’s bob with bangs is as classy as ever, but I do think I’d like a Neo with a shorter hairstyle without bangs. I’ve been looking through my Blythe Collection Guide Book and perusing Blythes online to see which models might fit the bill.

So far, I’ve narrowed the list to the following possibilities:
– Cloud 9 Bowl
– Excellent Holly Wood
– French Trench
– Frosty Frock
– Holly Wood
– Nicky Lad
– Prima Dolly Saffy

Blythe folks, you’ll know by looking that these run the gamut from super-rare (and way out of the range of what I’d consider reasonable to pay) to pretty darn affordable and not hard to find.

First off, there’s Cloud 9 Bowl.
Cloud 9 Bowl

I love her brilliant red hair, and her stock is actually super cute. She’s also an SBL, my favorite mold.

Next, let’s look at Holly Wood and Excellent Holly Wood.
Holly Wood

There are several different releases of this doll, first as Holly Wood and then as Excellent Holly Wood. The first one was an early Takara release and was a limited edition, so there is just about zero chance I’d ever be willing to pay enough to get her. The later Excellent Holly Wood might be possible, though she’s also not very commonly found, so I doubt that it would happen. I do love her waves/curls, though!

French Trench is from 2004 and is another beloved SBL.
French Trench

She’s got cute stock as well, and the way her hair curls at the end is lovely! She reminds me a lot of Willow, though (similar hair color, same SBL mold), so she might be too similar to justify getting her.

Next up: Frosty Frock
Frosty Frock

Her curls are so cute! Her stock is just okay. I don’t have any light-haired Blythes, so it might be nice to have one.

Nicky Lad has great stock:
Nicky Lad

I also like that her story is that she marches to the beat of her own drummer. Her front-facing light blue chips are also such a great color!

Prima Dolly Saffy is similar in many ways to Frosty Frock, but her hair is not as platinum blonde.
Prima Dolly Saffy (PD2S)
There is also an Encore release of Saffy, so probably either of them would work for me, as they look very similar from the photos I’ve seen online.

ANYWAY, at this point I’m just trying to narrow it down a little and get a sense of how available these dolls are and how much they’re selling for these days. I’m not anywhere near ready to make a purchase, and it’s fun to have a thing to look at without any real intention of buying right now. Blythe folks: do you have any of these? Any commentary or suggestions will be most welcome!

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Little Red Riding Hood gone wild!

Okay, not really. More like gone AWESOME!

The most recent Blythe Swap theme was fairytales, and my partner and I both chose LRRH as our theme for our packages.

I created a dress, underskirt, cape, and basket LRRH outfit for Lauren. Here’s Ash modeling before I packed them up:

Blythe Swap: Fairytale (Little Red Riding Hood)

You can’t see it too well here, but the cape is lined with the same fabric that the dress is made from. I also used a fancy stitch on my sewing machine to do a leaf/vine embellishment on the cape.

I also made a mini-album, inspired by the awesome one Heather sent to me for the Vintage Valentine Swap!

Blythe Swap: Fairytale (Little Red Riding Hood)

This mini-album is about two inches square. I used a couple of stickers, but most of the things in here I cut out by hand. Which was a lot more tedious than I expected, but since I was only doing a few things it wasn’t that bad.

Blythe Swap: Fairytale (Little Red Riding Hood)

For the cover, I used a toilet paper roll! Gotta reuse things around the house when you can, right?

Blythe Swap: Fairytale (Little Red Riding Hood)

For the interior pages, I sewed them together at the spine. It’s really not difficult when you only have a few pages. I did two sheets of pages (so that’s four pages total) this time, since I wasn’t sure how much content I had to fill it up. Next time I do a mini-album, I’ll definitely add more pages, though, since I probably could have filled another few in this one.

Blythe Swap: Fairytale (Little Red Riding Hood)

Awhile back I purchased a big notebook of scrapbooking paper to use for whatever, and I was so pleased that, among the random options included there, I found perfect choices for this project.

Blythe Swap: Fairytale (Little Red Riding Hood)

I also used a scrap of old cloth book-binding tape that I had lying around (hoarding scraps from the library garbage bin isn’t so crazy after all, right?) to hold the book together.

Because I couldn’t resist making a few things that fit Lauren’s other likes for color and style, I also made her a couple of skirts.

Here’s the package contents I sent to Lauren:

Fairytale Blythe Swap Goodies From Anne!

And unwrapped:

Fairytale Blythe Swap Goodies from Anne!

And here’s her Enid playing LRRH:

What big eyes you have!

I’m so pleased with how this swap package came together!

And now on to the awesomeness that Lauren sent to me!

awesome Little Red Riding Hood goodies from Lauren

Wow! What a great lot of goodies! Peppermint Ghirardelli, English tea, an original piece of LRRH artwork, a capelet, puppets, and bucket, and a classic vintage edition of Grimm’s Fairy Tales!

awesome Little Red Riding Hood goodies from Lauren

Check out the LRRH illustration from inside:

awesome Little Red Riding Hood goodies from Lauren

I love it!

And here’s the capelet Lauren knit. I love that it can be worn with the arms through or underneath – so flexible!

awesome Little Red Riding Hood goodies from Lauren

And did you see those puppets?! I cannot overstate how much I adore them. They’re so cute, and so perfect!

awesome Little Red Riding Hood goodies from Lauren

I feel like I made out like a bandit on this swap! Thanks, Lauren!

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Ash

I added a new Blythe to my collection in the not too distant past, a custom girl I’ve christened Ash. She’s got a mohair reroot and I spent a little time this weekend giving her a hair treatment.

I started out by carefully combing out her hair with a wide tooth comb.

combed out and HUGE

Which of course made it HUGE. Buckwheat would be proud.

combed out and HUGE

Then I gently massaged conditioner into the hair, making sure to reach all the hair, even the stuff on the inside (surrounded by other hair).

sitting with conditioner

sitting with conditioner

Then I set the timer for 30 minutes and waited.

30 minutes for conditioning

The next step was to rinse very carefully. You don’t want to agitate mohair while it’s wet, so rinsing thick hair is a somewhat tedious process. You also want lukewarm water, neither hot nor cold. This took awhile.

careful rinsing

Then I hung her out to dry.

hung out to dry

And voila! Lovely curls!

Ash

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