I loved playing with Barbies as a child. I think I got my first one when I was around two years old--there are several old snapshots of me in family albums with me toddling around clutching a blond ponytailed Barbie in her black and white striped maillot. Yes, that iconic one. I had a lot of other dolls too, but Barbie and her friends were always my favorites. Like many sewists, Barbie was an early muse and a inspiration to start sewing. Chatty Cathy didn't have a chance even with the ability to speak.
In the early 2000s, my ASG chapter ran several fundraisers featuring the raffle of a doll with a complete wardrobe made by members. After some American Girl fundraisers, we decided to have one featuring the Gene doll in 2001. Gene is a collectible fashion doll whose narrative was that of a movie star of the 1940s and 1950s. As a result, lots of glamorous vintage-inspired gowns, ensembles, and costumes! Eventually, other dolls were added to the line before it was retired this year.
I remember making an outfit for our fundraiser on 9/11--making it helped me stay calm during that horrible day. It was based on this pattern:
I always had fond feelings towards Gene for so many reasons. She was pretty, detailed, a bit larger than Barbie, and what a backstory! Long story short, I've been wanting one for quite a while. I recently bid on a used Gene on eBay and brought her home. She came with the teal "Destiny" ensemble--the gown, earrings, gloves (which I can't get on her), stockings (!) and shoes.
I also bid on an outfit so I could see how the clothes were made--and face it, so I could play with her. I'm not one of those people who'll keep something unused in the box for collector value. No point in that.
This outfit is incomplete so I was able to pick it up for a semi-reasonable price. The ensemble is called "Gene's Day Off," or something like that. I guess even a movie star can't wear gowns all the time.
I realize this is totally frivolous and silly, but I have a long history with fashion dolls and their little wardrobes so they occupy a soft spot in my heart. I'm sure I'll have fun dressing and wardrobing Miss Gene. I have several patterns from back when we did the fundraiser so I'm ready to go.