Miss Piggy

I grew up with the Muppet show on TV, and Miss Piggy was and still is a favourite character of mine. I have been looking for a Miss Piggy doll for years but so far there was none that really was what I wanted…  and a lot of the Piggys out there are really bad likenesses.

My first Piggy was the vinyl figure from Bully that I had as a child. No idea where that ended up. At some point, I made a Piggy figure of my own from felt. She´s still at my parents´, next time I go there I´ll take a picture.

Then I found the Dakin Piggy from the 1980s at a garage sale a few years ago, and while the vinyl head is a decent likeness, she has a stuffed fabric body that I am aching to throw out as soon as I find a decent poseable body to replace it, and stringy, greasy hair. She does look a lot like the Fisher Price Piggys from the 1980s, which also have the vinyl head and fabric body, but she has a sewn-on pantsuit. If not for the Dakin tag, I would have guessed she was a Fisher Price one.

I really like the look of the Brass Key Piggy. She is 10″, and porcelain, and she can actually borrow some Barbie pieces. Which is just as well, since the Blythe gang stole her dress. There was also a 16″ porcelain Piggy from Brass Key.

I just recently won a nude 16″  Tonner Miss Piggy and she is just adorable! A good likeness, sturdy vinyl and while I would have liked her to have elbow and knee joints, at least her wigs can be exchanged so she can have many different looks.

Unfortunately, Tonner´s outfits for her are too expensive for my budget, and she has quite unique measurements so it´s not easy to dress this girl. At least, she doesn´t have as much of an  hourglass body shape as most other fashion dolls, she can borrow pieces from adult and child dolls alike, provided Piggy likes the style.

I am sharing my finds here, since I guess I´m not the only one facing that situation…

Shoes

Miss Piggy has large feet. She can just about share Cissy shoes – the vintage-style sandals with a solid sole and stretch ribbons work, but shoes with less leeway, that enclose Cissy´s foot tighter, very likely won´t. She can also share some of those trainers that you can get as keyrings (they also work well for Tonner´s men, MSDs and even some SDs).

Pants

Piggy´s waist and hip size is close to that of a Super Dollfie. Of course, her legs are a lot shorter, but she can borrow some shorts and skirts and can definitely shop in their lingerie department.

Tops

Piggy can borrow some SD-sized tops, although her arms are much shorter.

Patterns – tried and tested

I have enlarged Jo Barkley´s pattern from the Yahoo AnnEstelle group for a simple dress for Tonner´s 10″ Ann E. to 165% to make a 1950s-style day dress for Piggy. This works well, although the original pattern neckline ends up very close around the neck, so I modified it a little. The cut of the bodice would also make for a neat 1920s silhouette if combined with a straight shirt, not a wide one. I will have to try that soon.

Measurements

Chest: 22cm/8.7″

Waist 18.5cm/7.3″

Hips 23.5cm/9.3″

shoulder to wrist 11cm/4.3″

waist to ankle 18.5cm/7.3″

Sharing Guesstimate

Jugding from measurement comparison tables, Piggy might be able to share some pieces made for 20″ Miss Revlon (Miss R´s hips are smaller!), and 20″ Cissy (Cissy´s chest, waist and hips are smaller, so pieces that are too tightly fitted won´t work. Also, her arms and legs are longer), 18″ Sweet Sue and Crissy (their waist and hips are slightly smaller, so  pieces that are too tightly fitted won´t work. Also, her arms and legs are longer), 18″ Magic Attic and other slim vinyl child dolls (they are a bit wider in the chest, waist and hip area, but can be made to work; legs and arms are longer). Piggy´s measurements are also very close to those for 16″ Saucy Walker and Terri Lee, so their pieces ought to fit quite decently.

Here´s some of my calculations how pattern pieces can be enlarged or reduced to work for Piggy:

14″ Toni (chest: 125%, waist 110%, hips 120%, arms 110%, legs 100%).

14″ Betsy McCall (chest, hips 130%, waist 125%, arm and leg length remain the same.)

21″ Cissy (chest 105%, waist 120%, hips 110%, arms, legs 70%)

10″ Ann Estelle (chest, leg length 165%, hips 150%, waist 135%)

16″ Saucy (chest 95%, waist 75%, hips 95%, arms 88%, legs 90%)

22″ American Models (=Tyler Wentworth patterns enlarged to 138%) won´t work, the body shape is too different.

By the way, Ty´s Beanie Baby “Rascal” makes a perfect Foo-Foo.

Unfortunately, the dog came with a non-removeable big blue button on its butt, which has some connection to some online game crap I couldn´t care less about. At first I was dismayed, but then I figured out a way to remove that button after all without damaging the dog. I pried the blades of my scissors under the button “head” to cut off the stem. What remains is a small hole in the fur fabric, approx. 7mm (1/4″) in diameter, which is closed up  by the button stem. I just pulled up a bit of the fabric around it and secured it with a few stitches to cover the hole. It turned out to be easy, but really, Ty: I should not have had to do it.

Pics coming up when I´ve got time to take some.

In the meantime, here´s Piggy with Foo-Foo. And lots of Superman.

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Custom Esme

This is a former Cover Girl Esme (2000) that I bought nude to customize. By the time I had painstakingly rerooted her, Tonner had issued a factory Esme with a similar hair tone and even hairstyle (so I could have saved myself all that work… grrr.) On the other hand, all that work I put into her made her special to me, and while she´s far from perfect, she still makes me proud.

I made her sheath from a Gene pattern in Dolls In Print magazine. The magazine was, sadly, short-lived but it contained one of my all-time favourite patterns.

And here´s Tonner´s Sumptuous Esme (2004). Not identical, but similar enough that I wouldn´t have re-rooted mine if Sumptous had been available when I started.

Kozy knit

Sunset Grille Alex in a sweater that I knit from a pattern in Faszination Fashion Doll.

Here´s Allie (Capital Investment Tyler, 2002) in the same sweater. The pants were also from a pattern in Faszination Fashion Doll.

A Cheongsam for Jade

The doll in pink is May Wong (Cheongsam Jade Lee from 2004) in her original outfit. The girl in blue is Simone (Lunch at Two Alex), with her hair restyled and a slight enhancement. I made the blue cheongsam from a dress in Faszination Fashion Doll, a German fashion doll fanzine.

Here´s Mod Jadde Lee (2004) modeling the same cheongsam. With her bangs removed, she looks so much like the girls in antique Asian art!

Trousseau for Cherry Blossom Jade

Way back in 2002, I participated in a swap on one of the doll boards. My swap partner was just waiting for her first 16″ doll – Cherry Blossom Jade (later spelt with double d) from Madame Alexander´s Alex line – to be relased and I designed the things I made for her with this doll and her colouring in mind, trying to compile a small but versatile basic trousseau. I didn´t have a Jade myself to model the outfits before I sent them off so my Alex girls had to help out. I´m sorry about the quality of the pictures but these are actually the only ones I have of these outfits. I rediscovered them a while ago in a folder.

A picture I grabbed from the internet to show you which girl these outfits were made for:

Lunch at Two Alex wears a velvet cheongsam with a white cherry blossom pattern made from a Simplicity Gene pattern. Lunch was one of the first Alex dolls from the 2000 collection. In keeping with the Chinese theme, I made a takeaway lunch box with noodles and chopsticks.

Vivien (Milano Alex from 2001) is the model for a grey sweater and red silk pencil skirt made from Tonner´s Tyler Wentworth fall pattern (I think). I repainted Vivien´s eyebrows to match her hair color somewhat later on. It irritates me when the brows are so much lighter.

Vivien dresses up by swapping the sweater for a corset (also from Tyler´s pattern) and accessorizes with a matching handbag.

For a hot summer day, Vivien dons a mod graphic print sheath. I forget which pattern I used.

Finally, Sunset Grille Alex, also from 2001, shows a simple but elegant nightgown (made from an enlarged Barbie pattern in Barbie Bazaar) that can also double as an evening gown if you want it to.

Flashback:

Dolls This Week– January 5, 2000

NEWS

NEW 16″ MADAME ALEXANDER FASHION DOLL
Madame Alexander is getting ready to unveil a new, 16″ fashion doll at toy fair in February!  The company has been running a mysterious ad with the new doll in silhouette in several of the current doll magazines.  The doll will have separate outfits available and will be along the lines of Gene, Sommers and Field, and Tyler Wentworth. (About.com)

Madame Alexander is one of the oldest and most prestigious doll companies in the US. Founded by Madame Alexander (d´oh!), they have been producing collectible and play dolls since 1923, including Cissy, the first fashion doll that had a “teen” body rather than a little girl´s. Following the success of Mel Odom´s Gene doll, the first modern 16″ fashion doll marketed to adult collectors, and the successful introduction of Robert Tonner´s Tyler Wentworth doll, MADC introduced Alexandra (sometimes misspelled Alexander) Fairchild Ford in 2000. While Gene Marshall is a movie star in the heyday of Hollywood and Tyler is a contemporary fashion designer, Alex is the editor of ELAN fashion magazine and her world was built up around this.

AA Paris Williams, the entertainment editor, was added in 2001. Chinese Jade Lee was introduced in 2002 as an award-winning architect initially hired by Alex to redecorate her office and New York flat and later given a column in ELAN. “Discussing the marriage of “Form and Function”, Jade’s “On Image” column explains her approach to both fashion and architecture as being informed by cultural influences and creative vision, and describes a few examples of recent outfits that illustrate her philosophy.” (MADC press release). Latina Sofia Cruz joined the crew in 2004 as the editor of the Spanish edition of ELAN. French-educated “ELAN´s It Girl” Suzette Morgan followed in 2005, as the author of a regular feature on lifestyle and domestic subjects.

Alex´aunt Amanda Fairchild was also introduced to the line in 2004 which permitted MADC to include fashions from different decades in the line.  “Always the epitome of glamour and beauty; from her heyday in the late 50’s and 60’s right through a new century, Amanda Fairchild, was raised in the languid gentility of New Orleans. From her, Alex received an overview of fashion history and an eye for clothes that few young women are fortunate to have. To this day, Alex credits this informal training as the source of her success as an editor. And it is certainly why she has hired her Aunt Amanda as an adjunct editor of Élan, and why Amanda is featured on a regular basis in the magazine. With her panache and flair for fashion over five decades, Amanda Fairchild has become a legend in the fashion world and something as a Grand Dame in the best of the couture houses.”  Finally, Sienna Evans joined in 2006 as the new beauty editor.

Fun facts:

  • Fairchild was also the surname of Barbie´s mod cousin Francie, who was issued between 1966 and 1976. As Francie simply vanished from Barbie´s world without an explanation, perhaps Alex Fairchild Ford is, in fact, Francie´s secret lovechild?
  • The AA man in Tonner´s Tyler line, Russell, also goes by the surname Williams. Cpuld he be Paris Williams´ brother, cousin, husband (oh noes! Poor Esme!)…?
  • Besides MADC´s Jade Lee, there is also an Asian character named Jade in the Bratz line, and one in Integrity´s play line. Tonner introduced Suzette Dubois into Tyler´s world in 2004. Why can´t companies be a bit more original?
  • Alex and friends have also cameo´d as other characters. In MADCs Hollywood line, Alex played Audrey Hepburn in Funny Face and as Sabrina and Holly Golightly; Sienna played Leslie Caron as Gigi, Grace Kelly, and Reese Witherspoon as Elle Woods; Amanda played Ingrid Bergman as Ilsa Lund and Marilyn Monroe as Lorelei Lee. The Desperate Housewives dolls also featured the Alex line sculpts, among them a blonde Jade. The scupts were also used for the History of Fashion line.

Vintage Beach Babe

It´s been ages since my last post… so much for “a doll A DAY”. Anyway, here´s Deanna as a vintage beach babe. (I need to find her a better name… Deanna reminds me too much of Cylon #3).

deanna_beach03

I made her swimsuit from Affordable Designs “Return to Atlantic City” pattern.

deeanna_beach05

deeanna_beach06jpg

deeanna_beach02

Ice Fairy

Ice Fairy

Ice Fairy

Since yesterday´s post was quite long, only one picture today. This is an Obitsu doll wearing the Chinese outfit from the “Travel the World with Barbie” series (around 2000). The Japanese company Obitsu offers a wide selection of highly poseable 9″ – 12″ sized bodies and matching heads that you can buy either bald and blank or rooted and painted in order to create exactly the doll you have in mind.

This particular one has a factory face and hairstyle, both of which I like very much. Since the combination suggested a water or ice fairy to me, I picked a clear body (that you can´t see in the picture).

More Asha-faced prettiness

Cali Girl Christie

Cali Girl Christie

Following on from yesterday´s post about the Asha sculpt, here are a few more Asha-faced beauties. This is Cali Girl – or California Girl, since I tend to misread “Cali” as “Call” – Christie, from the second wave with the larger heads, 2004. I love her wild curly hair!

AA Barbie

AA Barbie

AA Ballet Star Barbie, 2001.

Mermaid Fantasy Christie

Mermaid Fantasy Christie

Magical Mermaid Christie from the Fairytopia line, 2003, body-switched.  

Generation Girl Nichelle

Generation Girl Nichelle

Generation Girl Dance Party Nichelle, 1999.

Christie

Christie

Palm Beach Christie, 1999. I gave her a short haircut. This line of basic dolls had printed-on bikinis, which were not everyone´s cup of tea, but very beautiful faces.

More Model Muses

Daria Celebutante

Daria Celebutante

Following up from yesterday´s post, this is one of the first “Model of the Moment” trio: Daria “Celebutante”. Any resemblance to a certain spoilt young hotel heiress named after a city is purely accidental… 🙂 This is the only Daria in this skin tone, as the second one, “Shopping Queen”, had a light tan.

Another view

Another view

While I´m no fan of said heiress, I really like this doll. The combination of her updo, dark eye make-up and light lips reminds me of 1960s fashion. I actually got two of her, one to keep as is (her hair, at least) and one on which I took the hair down and body-swapped her to a poseable Volks body. This girl is a lot of fun to play with!

Model of the Moment Rose

Model of the Moment Rose

This is the lucky recipient of the Model Muse donor body: Kate Winslet as Rose DeWitt Bukater (from the movie “Titanic”), made by Galoob in 1998. These dolls have become quite hard to find now. Galoob initially announced three dolls in different costumes from the movie, but only this one – wearing the black and red “Jump” dress – was actually produced.

Girls in the Garden

I took a few snaps in the garden this afternoon.

Marilyn enjoying the flowers
Marilyn enjoying the flowers

I found this Spotlight Splendor Marilyn Monroe doll by DSI in 1996 in Bristol at an overstock store. She´s one of six different dressed dolls issued in 1993 in a LE  of 50 000 each. One thing I don´t like about celebrity dolls or action figures is that they often look like caricatures – while they resemble the person, they neither capture their charm nor are they pretty to look at as such. This Marilyn has a bit of a caricature look, too, but it´s just about tolerable and I like her a lot better with her new body. Her original body had a bit of a short neck, so I didn´t mind too much when I took her out the other day and found that her neck joint had become brittle with age. The body from an abused flea-market Sugarplum Princess Barbie doll (2001) was a nice match. I really like how poseable she is now.

Who wears it better?

Who wears it better?

Who wears it better? This is vintage bubblecut Barbie out for a stroll in the same generic dress Marilyn is wearing above. She is the oldest Barbie I´ve got, having been issued in 1962 or 1963. Girl´s looking great for her age!

The lovely Miss Denton

The lovely Miss Denton

Tonner´s Deanna Denton joins us, wearing the CED  “Provence” dress. Deanna Denton is one of Tonner´s most recent creations, having been introduced in the 2008 fall collection. She is supposed to be a wealthy heiress in the 1950s, but my Plum Royale (LE 250, got her nude on ebay) with her curvaceous figure and raven hair reminds me more of Bettie Page and Dita von Teese.
Close up - just because she´s beautiful

Close up - just because she´s beautiful

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