Wednesday, May 26, 2010

To the Seashore

To the Seashore

In developing summer wear for the Girls, I have been on a delightful excursion to Swimsuit seasons of long ago. While ladies of yesteryear did not have to worry about pesky cellulite, they were probably all-too conscious of their “bathing costumes” while wearing them. Made of heavy flannel and later wool through the 1920’s, it is unlikely they were very comfortable –particularly when wet. As these garments were not made for swimming, lounging in the sand or wading at the shoreline whilst holding on to safety ropes was the extent of the activity.
Going to the Seaside first became a popular destination in the 1800’s. The railroads made travel possible for many families. At first, women wore walking dresses to take in the air while protecting their modesty and complexions, while keeping a doting watch as their loved ones cavorted. These outfits were almost indistinguishable from regular attire. Men and boys had much more freedom, as well as young girls to some extent.

By the latter 1860’s’s, bathing dresses began to appear. Full, shorter dresses worn with ankle-length bloomers and bonnets. As fashions grew less restrictive at the start of the 20th century, the bloomers soared to about knee-high, but still assured skin was covered with dark stockings.

By the 1910’s, sleeves were short and the bathing skirt was optional, but lingered for at least another 20 years. The 1920’s ushered in one-piece form-fitting suits, and women were at last able to enjoy unrestricted movement in the water. It was around this same time period that sunbathing, allowing the skin to tan first became fashionable.

Of course, decorum had to be maintained, and as in this 1934 photo, ladies might be subject to officials measuring for the required length above the knee –not a bad job for many a fellow. Hems no higher than 6" above the knee, or risk indecent exposure & fines.

Still, the beach is the beach! After all, this was the age of the corset, which hung on until the Flappers said, "no more". What might look restrictive to us, probably felt quite carefree.  I didn’t see any frowns in my photographic research.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Hearts & Flowers

Tis the Season for Love...

Signs of  "I <3 (Insert Object of Love)" are everywhere. Sometimes it might start to seem a little commercial or overdone -and it probably is :)... but the message of Valentine's Day stays with us & inspires us. What is in our collective hearts is Family, Friends, Children, Romance, & showing others we care.
So in the grand tradition of V Day, here are some treats to enjoy & they don't even have any calories!

History Channel's All about Valentine's Day

Godiva Truffles -Must be experienced to believe!

Doll Diaries -Valentine Fun -Cute stuff for Girls & Dolls :)

This is my new 3-pc set. It has a Candy Heart Graffiti skirt w/ cute messages. The blouse has a sweetheart neckline & leggings have a cute exposed elastic waist w/ picot trim. They double as PJs in a pinch!  Available on Etsy (see link above) The Embellished Jeans above are for Julie. Way groovy, man :)  Peace. Love. Available on eBay...

Friday, January 8, 2010

Those Pretty, New, & Empty Calendars

When we start the New Year & get out those spanking new calendars, it's a wonderful feeling of beginning fresh. Where will the year lead? What will I be doing in July? Hopefully on vacation, right?

Speaking of those, it would be great to design an AG calendar, wouldn't it? A collaborative affair -There are so many amazing scenes I see posted in various spots of intricate dioramas & whimsical scenic shots). I would totally be on board w/ creating a layout (I dabble in Photoshop & do Photography on the side)

Getting back to my lost thread, this is a natural time for reflection. In that vein I have decided to add a couple of sketches from my Design Planner that I am working on for upcoming projects. I often begin a new project by picking up a pencil, and seeing where it leads me.

While on subject of my planner, I can't resist adding a sketch I made of Molly for a sweet project for NEXT year's Holiday Season. It's something I penciled in for that looming -and as yet blank- July page. If I begin then, there's no way I'll run out of time :) I had conceived it too late in the season to accomplish it for '09... but that's part of the fun of having a whole new year to play around with!

Currently I am at work on Valentine outfits mainly, which will segue into pretty Spring florals & pastels. My favorite upcoming design is the Monet dress. More on that later!

I do like to throw in something totally against the grain from time to time, and have decided to step into the present day. I am excited to also introduce some new Modern designs. That is the great thing about American Girl Dolls: They are there smiling, ready to go whereever you lead, and wherever the year takes you...

One last note, or maybe two:
The Doll Wardrobe is having an amazing Giveaway! 2 Precious Lanie dolls. Here's the link:

Speaking of Lanie, (and who isn't?) she was a surprise, but a sweet one. Being green, Nature-loving, & outdoorsy she's a girl after my own heart. And what will this new Year bring from AG? We'll be finding out together :)