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Saturday, June 24, 2017

Dolly Dress Discussion: Etsy finds for Monster High

It's been a busy, crazy week at that library.  Coworker B has been gone all week on a well-deserved vacation, and Coworker A and I have been hopping.  I've dealt with a persnickety fax machine, multiple large families with piles of books, several broods of unruly children, and the irate mother of one of the aforementioned broods.  God forbid that I ever tell her hyperactive little spawn to stop yelling!  Other than that it's been reasonably organized, but I still am ecstatic that it's time for the weekend.

What better way to unwind than with a post about doll clothes?  If it's one thing I've learned from being an adult doll collector, it's the importance of clothes.  Some dolls are easy to dress and some are not, so if one is going to be a serious collector one should find multiple sources of clothing for any dolls with unusual bodies.  There's absolutely no guarantee that the holding company will create a large wardrobe for their products, and if the doll in question has a very specialized body shape clothes can be a problem.  So it is for Monster High dolls.  Mattel did create a wide wardrobe for these dolls originally, but clothes for the freaky-fabulous crew appear to be...well, NOT a priority for Mattel.  Luckily, Monster High's popularity has meant an explosion of handmade items on Etsy, and that's what I've got for y'all today.  Our models are 13 Wishes Lagoona Blue, and the mummy and gorgon girls from a Create-a-Monster pack.  We'll call them "Wadjet" and "Kali" so they won't have to go by silly names like "mummy."  I think Kali is feeling less than fierce today, LOL!
Lagoona is wearing pieces from two different shops.  Her yellow dress came from a shop called Dollheimr.  Dollheimr offers things for Pullips and ball-jointed dolls in addition to Monster High threads, but for now all I've got from there is this dress.
The dress is made out of thick, mustard-gold fabric that has a little bit of stretch.  The neckline is fairly low cut, but not low enough that it shows off Lagoona's charms.  It fits nicely under her cute little turtle necklace.
The sleeves are three-quarter length and catch on Lagoona's arm fins.  Good thing her arms can detach!
Truth be told, I actually like these sleeves bunched up like that, because people wear sleeves like that quite often.  My sister did when she was in high school, and it looked darn good!

The skirt is quite short, falling to upper hip length on Lagoona.
Monster High dolls are not known for their uber-conservative fashions, but I've noticed that they do try to keep things fairly classy while still being fashionable.  Still, my opinions on such a short skirt are not the same as they once were; owning multiple Bratz dolls has softened my opinion towards shorter skirts.  At least the skirt is hemmed!
The hems are done in brown thread and are a little choppy in places, nothing serious for a handmade item.  They hold the dress together and being dark, they also make a nice contrast to the bright yellow fabric.  The sleeves are even hemmed, which can't have been easy to do on such a small sleeve.
On the chest are these two cute...things, I'll call them.  I have no idea what they are, though they look like a cross between a jellyfish and a ghost.  One's yellow with a top hat and shades, and the other is blue with pink spectacles.
The dress closes in back with two black snaps.
I can see no loose threads or foibles in stitching, which is impressive for a handmade dress this small.  Sewing for dolls as skinny as Monster High is bound to be tricky, and doing it well is even more dodgy.  This is a simple but well-executed dress, one that I'm pleased to have for Lagoona.

Before moving on I want to talk briefly about color.  Monster High dolls come in just about every color imaginable, so some colors look better on certain dolls.  Dollheimr modeled this yellow dress on Jane Boolittle, who is purple, and the yellow looked striking on her.  In addition to purple, dolls of gray, green, blue, white, silver, and brown can wear this without many problems.  Catty Noir and Wynona Spyder (both black) would look good too, though they might look a little like bumblebees.  I'd stay away from pink and orange because they look too garish with this dress, and yellow and gold are too monochromatic.

Lagoona's leggings, Wadjet's dress and skirt, and Kali's bodysuit came in a set from a second shop called HauntCoutureAtelier.  This shop specializes in Monster High and other small fashion dolls, and it offers little dresses like the one Wadjet is wearing, but in a wide array of colors and themes.  Also available are five-piece sets in various colors like silver or gold or blue, and since green is my favorite color I chose that set.  The blue set is very nice too though, in a lovely metallic royal blue fabric.  With prices being what they are one can afford to go a little nuts at this shop, but I promised Mama I wouldn't buy any more crap this month so I'm just going to show off what I've got.  Since Lagoona is already partially disrobed let's take a look at those leggings.
Originally these leggings just lay in the bottom of my MH box, but it eventually occurred to me that they would look great with Lagoona's new dress and render the short skirt nonproblematic.  If you grew up in Malden, Missouri like I did then you'll know that green and yellow make a fabulous combo.  The leggings are made of a tough, semi-stretchy material that feels and looks like pleather...but isn't.
They're simple little leggings; since the fabric is stretchy there wasn't a lot of need for shaping.  The waistband is hemmed partially...
...but the cuffs of the legs are not.
I figure that this was to keep the cuffs stretchable, but it presents a bit of a quandary since this material CAN ravel.  I doubt it will if I treat it gently, but it can get scruffy-looking.  I'm also concerned about the longevity of the green finish on the fabric; this kind of fabric is bad about showing wear after it's been around awhile.  I try my best to touch it as little as possible, and I try not to strain it either.  The fabric isn't stretchy enough to fit around Lagoona's leg fins, nor is it roomy enough to slide up over Lagoona's knees like the sleeves of her dress do, so I have to detach the leg fins and put them away for safekeeping.  I'd once thought that it was dumb to make those fins detachable, but now I realize that Mattel was using their heads there.

That takes care of Lagoona, so now I turn to Wadjet.  She wears two pieces of the green set, a minidress and a skirt.
The minidress is made of green pleather like Lagoona's leggings are, and it is about the same length as Lagoona's dress.
None of these pleather items have any sort of fastener, by the way.  Their own stretch keeps them in place.  All this dress has are seams running up the sides...
...and a gather in the bodice to create a bust area.
The hemline is again only partially stitched.
Wadjet's skirt looks elaborate, but it's not really.
The waistband is made of some sort of stiff, glittery material...
...and the skirt itself is made out of two layers of sparkly tulle.
The back closes with a silver snap.
Finally, Kali.  Kali is wearing a...bodysuit?  Pantsuit?  Either way, it covers her from collarbone to ankle.
It's made of the same fabric as Lagoona's leggings and Wadjet's minidress, the same emerald green stretch pleather that clings to every curve.  Like the minidress, the bodysuit is gathered at the breast to make a sweetheart neckline of sorts.
The bodice is hemmed, but once again, the leg cuffs are not.
If you look close, you can see Kali's scales poking through.  I think that's neat, as it gives the material a reptilian look and fits Kali's gorgon persona.

I do have one minor complaint about this bodysuit...well okay, two.  The first one is fixable:  I think it needs a belt or something like that to break up the monotony.  I'll have to dig around in my doll stuff and see what I can find, something brown or gold or lighter green, maybe.  The second gripe is not as easily fixed; the top likes to slip off of Kali's bust, leaving her...exposed, shall we say.
That's happened to Wadjet a couple of times too, in fact.  That's just one of those things that can happen with strapless bodices, whether one is human or doll!

Overall this is a nice set of clothing, but I do recommend some care when handling this pleather-like material.  If rubbed or touched or manipulated too much it might fade, scratch, or tear.  I also recommend patience when dressing the dolls; the fabric stretches a decent amount, but it's still sewn tightly enough to make it tricky to maneuver over a doll's feet and hips.  And lastly, there's those cuffs.  Treat those with respect, and maybe with some Fabri-Tac or something to keep them from fraying.  Otherwise these colored sets are great!  If you get more than one set it's even possible to mix and match!  If HauntCoutureAtelier has caught your eye, I can pass on yet another piece of positivity.  If there's something at that store and you really like it, but it suddenly sells out, don't panic.  The shop apparently believes in making duplicates of sets and outfits; indeed, my green set is...oh, I think it sold out three times and came back up for sale again before I finally bought one, and there's another green set available for sale now.


  1. One of my friends has managed several libraries over the years. She has lots of interesting tales to tell. People used to have sex in the bathroom of one of the libraries she worked at. Apparently people OD at the one she is at now.

    Now that my daughter's graduation party is over, I need to force myself to sew more EAH doll clothes, and maybe even sell some!

    1. Oh Lordy, sex in the bathrooms??? LOL, that's the last thing I need! I've already got little hoodlums that like to sling paper towels everywhere and pics on the floor! I've stopped trying to understand people; I stopped when I found that someone in the men's room was using a toilet brush holder as his own private urinal. I almost puked when I saw that.

  2. Great post about doll clothes! I've only bought a few extra outfits for my dolls so far as I still seem to be obsessed with collecting dolls themselves. I have bought a few pieces from HauntCoutureAtelier and I really love them. I'll have to check out the other shops. I love to support people on Etsy! I think the green outfit on the purple ghoul looks really cute! :)

    1. Etsy has great people and great stuff, most def. I spoke to one lady today who sent me some ball-jointed doll jewelry; among the items she sent were two bracelets, and one of them had broken already. It was a fixable problem but I warned her anyway about the elastic she was using, and she was so sweet about it! She could've been a complete biatch, but she was unbelievably nice.

      It's good to know that you had a good experience from HauntCoutureAtelier. That stuff is deceptively simple, but it sure looks good on our old dollies!