Saturday, October 15, 2016

The New Curvy Resident (Musings of a Blogger)

Here is my warning, this post is a little long, but I had to do it.

When Mattel came out with the new Tall, Petite and Curvy dolls, I passed because I am officially addicted to articulation.  I didn't have to worry too much about Tall ladies because the Integrity ladies and gentlemen are tall.  For the petite ladies, I could have tried Liv Doll bodies if I really needed to have them.  But there was no curvy articulated option that I was aware of, so I would have to wait and hope.  But hoping didn't have to last too long.

Mattel introduced the Harlem Theatre doll, Madam Lavinia, who is an articulated curvy doll.  She is Black Label, which normally means I would place her in the display case.  But my display dolls are meant to hold their poses, my articulated dolls are meant for play.  How could I display a doll I could actually play with, re-dress and pose?  However, I do like how she came and was torn about displaying, so I may add her to my Christmas list just to get her to display.  That means I can change lip color and hair on the one that just arrived.

I am a member of the Barbie Fan Club, so the moment the third quarter coupon of $20 was available, I placed my order.  She arrived today and I wasted no time in de-boxing her or re-dressing her for that matter.  So here she is, our newest resident...

 Just the box.

 In her box - looking all regal and stuff.  

 See that look she gave me?  She was very clearly demanding to be set free, so I obeyed.  As soon as I got her out of the box, I started removing items, starting with the head scarf.  I like her hair, but I may try making some wigs for her to help her mix it up.  

I was not very happy as I took down her dress.  A few areas of her body had double sided tape to hold items in place.

 Here - ouch!! 

 The back of the legs.

The front of the legs. 

At first I was aggravated because I thought it was glue and I would have to use soapy water (Goo Gone would be my last resort), but it was pretty easy to peel off without an issue or leaving marks. 

Then it was re-dressing time.  Since she's the first of her kind in the house, I knew most of the clothes wouldn't fit, but I was hoping shoes would.  She doesn't have the smaller feet, however, I do have some shoe options.

The blue shoe is a shoe I had originally purchased for the Prettie Girls bodies.  I found them on that 'bay' site by searching for Monster High Shoes.  While these are an option, the shoes are longer than her foot.  I can get away with using them as long as the back of the shoes is closed (heel not visible), like the blue one.  However, no open back shoes or she'll look like she bought them two sizes too big.

The white shoe I purchased for the FR girls from The Vogue HK (have I ever mentioned I love everything they sell for the ladies and gentlemen?).  These shoes are the better option, so I may have to add several to my Christmas list this year.  I may as well.  For the best fit, I will need to use removable glue dots to hold the heel to the shoe.

Now on to the clothes.  I knew most 'Barbie' off the rack items wouldn't fit, so I opted to try mostly items I had made.  This is helpful as I can easily see how I can adjust the pattern I have to fit her.  Which is great because while I'm trying my hand at it, I'm still not that good at making my own patterns, I think I can adjust an existing pattern until I get the hang of making my own.  I enjoy the techniques April uses on her site - Fashion Doll Stylist.  Even if you don't intend to make your own clothes, you should still check out the items she makes for her dolls.  Awesome!

Anyway on to the fitting photos... 

This actually looks more form fitting on her than it ever has for the thinner girls.  However, this shirt pattern (which I use often), needs some adjusting to work.

The shirt is very stressed in the back, which means I have to widen the back and front bodice pieces a little.  I also think the skirt could use just a half inch more to easily slide past her hips.

Here is another pattern I used for an easy one piece dress, but I think instead of straps that tie, I could use a snap for the straps.  The pattern works pretty well as is.  Her hair is getting a little disheveled, we may need a little gel or something.

  Here is an A-line dress I made last year.  I don't think the pattern needs much adjusting either.

I'm sure we all recognize this shirt from Mattel, which is a little stressed.  I made the skirt and it's a good fit because the material is stretchy. 

Here is the same skirt I showed earlier with another shirt pattern I use pretty often.  It will need a little adjusting as well, but it's not bad.

Then I thought I'd show a little bit of her motion/ability to pose.

She can touch her hair, not her face.  Her right arm is as far as it can bend toward her in that direction.  She can be on her knees without having to spread her legs far apart.

 Her arms can go behind her back. 

Her left arm is a close as it can get to her while that far up and the right arm can get closer while it's further down toward her waist.

This photo is to show her posture when sitting.  Her legs are close together, which makes her lean back some.

 If she spreads her legs further, she can sit up straighter.

 Here is arm range.  Her right arm is as far down as it can go in this direction with the shoulder facing up and the other arm shows how close her arm can be while raised.

 With her shoulder turned to it's normal position, she can hold her arm pretty much straight at shoulder height.

I'm happy I invited her to live here.  I'm sure she'll enjoy a major role here with the other residents because she is so special.  For some reason, I'm excited about working on some clothes for her, mostly because I think it will challenge me to figure out more pattern making and adjusting.  

I hope there will be more like her, maybe even some in 'Made to Move' version.  I'd buy them.

May the joy of collecting dolls be with you! ~ Jaye


  1. WOW, I really like her. How much was she before the coupon? I like the face and body. Great review!

    1. Thank you, Ms. Leo. Her regular cost is $85 on the Barbie Collector site. I thought I'd be bothered by that raised eyebrow, but so far I actually see it as part of her. Maybe one day I'll lower it, but for now, it's not driving me crazy like I thought it would.

  2. First of all, Jaye, thank you for the shout out. I LOVE your new resident. I love the packaging and I love the doll's face and I love her proportions which seems different than the playline curvy Barbie. Her weight seems more "balanced" and more in line with the "average" woman. I agree with you about doing a few hairpieces to add to her versatility. It's always good to know about her shoe compatibility. Wouldn't it be nice if doll makers would make "shoe sizes?" That would make things simpler. I have all sorts of shoes too. When they are too big, I do as real life models do...I stuff the toes. Like that she should be able to wear sling backs as well. The problem for me is when the shoe is too small. Cannot wait to see what you make for her.

    1. You're welcome. I love your blog. She had better be different from the playline Barbie for as much as she costs. Shoe sizes would be great. I have all these plastic bags to mark and keep separate who can fit what. I forgot about stuffing the shoes. I'll have to do that. Thanks!

  3. Wow! I am so happy that you did this post. I was wondering what her hair looked like underneath. I will probably get one on down the line when they have some type of sale. Your fashions are very pretty! It i very inspiring to see that you have time to awesome dio's and sew.

    1. Let me tell you, I was nervous that she would be bald under there and would require an immediate rooting. Whew! I dodged that one.

      Thank you for complimenting my fashions and dios. I appreciate it.

  4. What an awesome and thorough review; I certainly did appreciate it. I so desperately want this lady but I have to wait for the pennies to get in a row. As soon as I'm able, I'm on it! Maybe by then ALL fashionistas will be articulated. I can hope. Blessings

    1. Thank you, Brenova. The first Harlem Theater doll is yet to go on sale. I've been watching. I doubt Mattel will ever articulate them all. It's still cheaper not to do so. But I'm very aggravated they articulated those two male cheer leaders, came out with new MTMs in female versions and have not added new articulated males since. While you can easily find the Caucasian cheerleader at a reasonable price, you cannot find the Black one. I just lucked up and snatched one a couple of weeks ago, but I was lucky and it was an accident.

  5. Very good review! I just got mine yesterday. I do like her very, very much! she is a bit curvier than the Fashionista Curvy girls, mainly in the bust area. I actually think she is proportioned much better!

    1. Thank you, Phyllis. Are you going to re-dress her or display her as is?

  6. Just stumbled across -- and LOVE -- your entertaining blog, Jaye. This is a great review. Kudos! I'm reasonably sure Ms. Thang can't cross her legs, but please confirm it for me. (Hoping for a miracle here. ;-) At some point, I want to add Madame to my "agency" so she can represent the large/in-charge brigade. :-p And now, off to read more of your wonderful entries. Thanks so much for sharing your doll enthusiasm! -- Wil P.

    1. Hi, Wil! Welcome and thank you for stopping by! Yes, you are correct. Unfortunately she cannot cross her legs. Maybe one day a new model will be able to do so.

      I hope you enjoy the rest of the posts you get a chance to read. Stop by any time.


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