Thursday, October 10, 2019

Platinum Kate

When I'm putting together a group of dolls, there's always this complicated matchmaking game that occurs with wigs, eyes, outfits, and face molds.  If a certain pair of eyes or a certain wig doesn't work the way I think it will, I often have to scramble around and change everything to find a new cohesive vision.

Unfortunately, the spring fairy is having a hard time finding the perfect wig.  She's already rejected two really nice wigs (one didn't match her dress and the other didn't work with her eyes) and now I'm waiting for the third wig to arrive from Korea.  It should be here tomorrow, so until then I just have to cross my fingers and hope that the third time will be a charm!

In the meantime, I'll share two of the Grab Bag Girl dolls that I'm selling, each of them modeling an outfit from Julie Kelly's Fairy Tale Blessings Etsy shop.  The first doll is a Kate from 2002:

My Twinn Kate from 2002.
Kate has a pinkish-pale complexion and her original light blue eyes.

This doll is not so much a Grab Bag Girl as a doll that I've had on my shelf for a while.  I thought I'd keep her around forever (I love the Kate face mold), but I'm always changing my mind about the specific dolls I want to keep.  Since I've limited myself to a pretty small number of keepers, there's always some turnover.

I bought this Kate back in the Toy Box Philosopher days and did her makeover about a year ago.  I snapped a few pictures of her when she first arrived:

She was really dirty and scuffed, but I fell in love with her pale complexion and platinum blonde hair. And that face--ooh I love that face!

I didn't take any pictures as I worked on her original makeover because I never intended to post anything on a blog about her.

I tried really hard to salvage her adorable wig, but there were too many flyaways and frizzies at the top (even after boiling) so I eventually caved and bought her a new wig.  The new wig is not as cute as the original, that's for sure, but at least it's the same platinum blonde color.  The new wig is also super thick and heavy--so heavy, in fact, that it can make poor Katie topple over backwards if she isn't balanced just right!

I did some other work on Kate, too, but my makeovers were more light-handed back then.  I deep-cleaned her body, painted some new eyebrows, and tried to conceal some of the scuffs in her lip paint.

Here's how her face looked when I got her off the shelf a week ago:

I decided to tweak a few little things before selling her.

For example, I didn't do a very good job with the lip paint (this is also a good angle to see the scratch on her nose):

So, I stripped off all the lip paint:

I sprayed some Mr. Super Clear sealant on her lips:

Once the sealant is dry, it's impossible to tell that it's there:

But it allows for a nice, smooth paint application:

That's better.
When I sewed Kate up the first time, I did my standard ugly stitching (using white thread):

So I cut those stitches and tried again with my newly-learned ladder stitch:

But I was unhappy with that effort, so I tried one more time:

Anyway, the stitching still isn't great, but Kate is far from perfect in many ways.  

First of all, I'm sure you've already noticed that she has a lot of snags and pulls in the fabric of her body.  This makes me happy in a funny way, though, because it means that she was dressed and undressed a lot at some point...which means she was loved.

Also, she has a variety of small stains on her belly and arms:

And some darkening in the fabric just above her knees:

Again, she was fully disassembled and all of her body parts were washed, but these are the marks that did not come out.

Here's her 2002 tag:

The wig is really nice overall, but it does have a little defect on the back of the hairline: 

And it's also placed just a tad higher than the old glue line, so there's some yellow glue visible if you look really closely:

I wasn't as careful with my makeovers then as I am now.

As much as I've enjoyed having Kate sit on my shelf for the past year, I was never able to find exactly the right outfit for her.  There's something about her mix of skin tone and hair color that make her difficult to dress.  I had her posed in a black velvet My Twinn dress for a while, and it made her hair look great, but I always felt like black velvet was too grim for such a happy little girl.

But then, when I saw this fun, swirly, sequined outfit on Julie's site, I immediately thought of Kate!  It's like it was made for her:

The outfit consists of a knit camisole and matching leggings...

...topped with a tulle tunic that's decorated with ribbon flowers and iridescent sequins:

Here's a close-up look at the pattern:

And there's a sweet matching pink headband, too!

Here's a closer look at the headband:

The tunic closes in the back with a single plastic snap:

The outfit is so creative and so fun to look at!  I've never seen anything quite like it.  It feels fragile to me, though, with all of that tulle, so I dress Kate very carefully.

Incidentally, the wide neckline of the tunic exposes some of Katie's snags...

And some small glue spots (from my less-than-careful efforts):

I find these things pretty easy to look past, but I wanted to point them out.

I did my best to capture how Kate sparkles in this lovely outfit!

Kate came with only very faint remnants of her original eyebrows.  I did my best to erase those (they were very low on her forehead) but they're still visible if you look really closely just below the new eyebrows:

I think I have to zoom in even more for you to see:

There are really faint white lines just below the eyebrows I painted.  Like a shadow.

Here's the other side of her face:

The white sandals don't match the outfit perfectly (something sparkly would have been better!) but they were left over from my summer collection, so I figured I'd throw them in:

The wig, on the other hand, is truly perfect for this outfit.  I bought it from a wig vendor who is effectively no longer selling wigs, so I'm sad that I can't get any more like it.

Kate seems like she's dressed for a party, so I had to give her a cupcake for one picture!

Here are a few pictures without the headband, so you can see how thick and versatile the wig is:

Some of my photos make Kate's hair look more yellow than it is in real life.  This last picture probably shows her coloring the best:

Kate is a cute girl with her fair share of imperfections.  However, I think her peaches-and-cream complexion and luxurious platinum wig pair really beautifully with Julie's delightful outfit!

Here's a list of the modifications that have been made to Kate:
-her body was disassembled and deep-cleaned
-all of her vinyl was washed
-her old wig was replaced with a custom platinum wig that is very thick and heavy
-she was given new eyebrows and new lip paint
-she has new blonde eyelashes
-her eyes are original
-she's modeling a beautiful outfit from Fairy Tale Blessings that includes leggings, camisole, tunic, headband, and sandals.

Kate has multiple flaws.  Here's a summary of the most notable ones:
-stains, some glue residue, and lots of snags on the fabric body
-scuffs, shiny spots, and small marks on the vinyl, including a scratch on her nose
-the old (very faint) eyebrows are slightly visible below the new brows
-there's a line of old glue that is visible from some angles at the front of the wig

I was torn between starting Katie's makeover from scratch or selling her as she is.  Because she has her lovely original eyes and a beautiful, hard-to-find custom wig, I figured I'd put her up for sale at cost and hope that her sweet smile and joyous outfit will brighten somebody's day.

Kate has sold.  Thank you very much!


  1. Kate é maravilhosa! Não me admiro por você relutar tanto em vendê-la.

  2. Kate is lovely! Her hair is absolutely gorgeous. You definitely picked the perfect outfit for her. I also can't wait to see your next fairy :)

  3. Awww, I'm in love with her outfit! It's so unique and sweet, and it does look perfect on her!