Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Dollybird Vol. 14 Review - Alice in Wonderland Special

I must admit that I was more than a little excited about this mook - I mean it's the Alice In Wonderland special, there were promises of Blythe patterns on the HLJ website, Poupee Mecanique contributed a pattern and it is meant to come with a mini Kumar (which is apparently the latest craze). So pushing aside my recent disappointment with Dolly Dolly 22, I emptied my Paypal account and settled in for the wait.

My first disappointment came before I even had it in my hot little hands - no mini Kumar for me :( I was prepared to live with that, mostly because I don't particularly like them all that much, and in any case, I was buying the book for the patterns.

Being a Japanese book, it is "back to front" to our western eyes, and naturally...in Japanese. Unlike the Recipe Coordinate mooks, which have the traceable patterns and directions in clearly defined sections for each doll, the pattern pieces are back to back on light paper and are all at the front of the book mixed in together and it's a little more time consuming to figure out what's what. Instructions for making the garments are found in the pages following the fashion shoot and although they are in Japanese, the diagrams are very good and any experienced seamstress should have no trouble following them. Particularly in the case of the single Blythe pattern as it is very basic.

Which leads my to my second and major disappointment - Blythe patterns themselves. Or should I say pattern. There is only one for Blythe. And it's very ordinary. One bloody buggery ordinary pattern. That's not Alice-like in the slightest. The fact that it is keeping company with dreamy, detailed and fabulous dresses for just about every other doll ever made adds insult to injury and made me feel a bit cheated to be honest. There are a lot of amazing patterns in here - Unoa dolls, Dolfie, Betsy McCall, Petite Blythe, Nikki Cat/Odecco (the smaller one of the 2) and Momoko all get a look in with several very very nice patterns, but just the one for Blythe. And a disappointingly ordinary one at that.

So in short, my opinion from a Blythe seamstress's perspective - don't bother if you are buying it for the patterns. Aside from that, there is eye-candy aplenty and lots of inspiration to be found within its pages.
This is a great mook to flick through and admire the pictures, but not one to add to your must purchase list if sewing for Blythe is your motive for buying. I particularly recommend it for owners of Unoa and Dolfie. The Poupee Mecanique patterns are truly amazing - if you have a Unoa this mook is an essential. There's also a very nice outfit for Petite Blythe, and while it's just the one pattern set, it's nice enough in my opinion to justify purchasing the mook. Same goes for owners of Betsy McCall - there's just one pattern but it's a good one.

Meanwhile, I think I will try tweaking the Momoko pattern to see if I can get it to fit Blythe - I have to justify this purchase somehow!!

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