Our Generation, a great alternative

In case you haven’t already discovered it, Our Generation is an 18 inch doll line made for and sold by Target.  The line is made by Battat toys, and they offer a lot of fun, inexpensive accessories for play with 18 inch dolls.  I first discovered them about 10 years ago while checking out the toy section in Target.

First things first-the price.  Most of their stuff is much cheaper than American Girl, particularly their little accessory pieces like food, dishes, toiletries, etc.  The playsets are highly detailed with lots of cute little pieces, lots of bang for the buck.  I don’t think there is anything in their line that is over $75, many of their smaller sets are $20 or less.  The larger items tend to be pricier but still significantly less expensive than similar items from AG.

Quality is good on everything I’ve purchased.  There is a nice variety of stuff offered too ranging from clothing and shoes, vehicles, furniture, even little appliances like washers and dryers and of course dolls.  My main complaint is finding certain sets.  Using the Target website is frustrating at best when it comes to locating a particular set.  They may show it on the website and tell you it is available at a particular store–don’t believe it!  I’ve even complained to Target about this to no avail.  Best thing I can recommend is just go with an open mind and hope that you find something you like or want.

I’ve only bought one clothing set from them, but it fit very well.  As I mentioned before, it’s hit and miss in finding stuff and I’ve yet to run across any of the clothing sets I’ve wanted, even though they show them on the website.  ARGH!   My favorite thing is their accessory play sets-I purchased a slumber party set that included a MP3 player type thing, complete with earbuds that actually plug in to the little “player”.  The food sets are very cute with lots of neat little pieces that are very detailed.  I was checking out the Target website this weekend and it looks as though they are getting ready to come out with some new stuff really soon, there are a couple of sets I wouldn’t mind picking up.  At $17 a set they are very affordable, the perfect thing for a young girl to use birthday money for 🙂  I just hope I can find the ones I’m looking for!  Once in a while they run a sale too.

This weekend my husband needed to go see a client and I went along for the ride since I knew there was a Target nearby.  They didn’t have a lot in the little stuff but lots of big stuff.  The kitchen set is one of the cutest things I’ve ever seen as is the little bicycle.  One of these days that little bike may just have to come home with me.  I passed on that to get this though, I had seen this set a few months ago and didn’t get it because I wanted another set instead and haven’t had any luck finding it since, so I was happy to see it:

OG 2

I see a spa day for my dolls in the not to distant future!

One of the new things they are coming out with is Our Generation Retro, sets made with a vintage feel to them. They had a few of them at this particular Target, but not very many, I think this line has just recently been introduced. It looks like there are two different types of sets you can purchase, one that is a complete outfit with clothing, shoes and accessories, or just an accessory set. I decided to get just an accessory set, I thought these would be cute to have to go along with some of my handmade clothing:
OG 1
This set is called “Doo Wop Duo”. They had another set I debated on that included a dress and shoes that was reminiscent of Audrey Hepburn. Maybe another time.

Do you have any recent or old Our Generation sets?  If so, which ones do you have and which are your favorites?  The horse I purchased at a thrift store not too long ago is part of this line, I haven’t had time to clean and restore it, but I did comb out the hair on the mane and tail and it was super easy, seemed to be very well made.  Even new, the horses run only $35, much less expensive than the AG ones.  Don’t get me wrong, I don’t have anything against AG, but I think their prices aren’t all that reasonable and know a lot of families who couldn’t afford it.  Our Generation is a nice alternative for someone wanting to save money and/or get some different stuff.

Doll Sized finds for Mid-August!

Up until yesterday I didn’t have much to show you guys as far as doll sized finds.  That all changed in a hurry!  I decided to make a spur of the moment trip to Pittsburgh to my favorite thrift store, Red White & Blue.  If you live in the Pittsburgh area, there are two of them, my favorite is the one on the North Side, Ohio River Boulevard.  I have found some awesome stuff at that store and yesterday was no different.  I didn’t buy a ton, but I still think I did well.

My first find is something I found last week.  I went to one of my favorite stores, Gabriel Brothers.  I hadn’t been there since June because we’d had so much going on and the closest one is about 25 minutes away. Gabriel’s is a closeout type store, along the lines of TJMaxx.  I went there to see if I could find any onesies to refashion and also to get my husband some work socks.  I only found one onesie with potential (what was up with that?!), I haven’t done anything with it yet because it’s different and I haven’t decided exactly what I want to do with it.  I did find my husband some socks.  I was standing in the check out lane when something caught my eye…what the…hmmmmmm………..

I found these little “soda cans”, they have candy in them that fizzes when you eat it!  They are the perfect size for AG dolls and the candy isn’t bad either!

AG Finds 1 AG Finds 2

Aren’t they cute?  I got six of them for 99 cents, not bad.  I love that the little tab stays attached, you can leave it up like you would on a real can.  The flavors are lemon lime (think Sprite) grape, orange and cola.  I’ve only opened the lemon lime and the grape, definitely like the grape the best so far.  Here’s Kit drinking some soda:

AG Finds 3
You can see in this photo just how perfect they are! Uh Kit, my husband is going to want his recliner back, so don’t get too comfortable!

Yesterday I was debating on what to do and all of a sudden I decided to make a Red White and Blue run.  You never know what you are going to find at a thrift store so you have to go with an open mind, especially when looking for doll stuff.  I was good, I didn’t buy ANY clothing for me, I need nothing.  I did find some newborn sized onesies to turn in to doll t-shirts-yay!  One of the nice things about buying them in a thrift store isn’t just that they are cheap (95 cents each) but you can also get a better variety of colors.

AG Finds 6
They are already in the washing machine as I type, I know what I’ll be doing this afternoon 😉 I also found these adorable little newborn hats, brand new with the tag still on them for $1.95. I thought they were adorable and they will go perfectly with the little fleece vests I’m planning on making.
AG Finds 5
The funniest part of buying these baby clothes was when I got to the checkout, the cashier says to me “these look more like doll clothes than baby clothes!” I told her that was EXACTLY what they were going to be turned in to.

And now for the big find…drumroll please…A HORSE!!! Yes, I found a Battat/Our Generation horse, complete with bridle and saddle for…are you sitting down…$4.95! I couldn’t pass it up for that price. I’ve been thinking that I would like a horse for my dolls, but I just couldn’t bring myself to pay the price they wanted, the cheapest ones I’ve found are $35. I figured if I could find one that was at a yard sale or a situation like this I would do much better. I certainly didn’t expect to find one this cheap.

AG Finds 8
“I’m so glad to have a new home!”

It’s actually in pretty good shape, the mane and tail are really good, not a big frizzy mess. The biggest problem are some marks that I think are what they call “melt marks”, they are caused by an interaction between the plastic of the horse and the rubber/plastic composite of the saddle and bridle. I haven’t tried anything to remove it just yet, but I’ve been doing some research on ways to handle it. If worst comes to worst, I will just sand the horse down and repaint it, I’m not totally thrilled with it’s color anyhow, I would rather it be a true Palomino color.
AG Finds 9

AG Finds 10
It also looks like someone did do some painting on the nose, doesn’t it?

AG Finds 11
In this photo you can see where some of the color came off on the saddle straps, ugh. I don’t know that I will use this saddle again once I do repaint it, I have some ideas on making my own if I can find the right materials. If nothing else this one will at least give me a good pattern so I get the size right. I definitely want to make a different bridle too, I don’t like the one included at all.

On my way home I decided to stop at the Goodwill in Cranberry. I don’t know what it is about our area Goodwill stores, but they have very little as far as toys. Not sure if maybe they donate them to a Toys For Tots like program or what, but I haven’t had much luck in finding anything toy related at any of their stores in our area. I did find this item that is actually a Bath and Body Works container, it is small, it must have held a couple of small travel sized bottles. It was only $1.99 and I thought it would be cute for doll stuff too, they can use it to store magazines, or better yet, horse supplies!
AG Finds 7
Last but not least, this find isn’t doll related, but I thought I would share it with you anyhow-a Department 56 building for $3.99, wow!
AG Finds 4
I looked it up this morning and it is a discontinued building, but sold for about $60 originally, I think I did great and it will look perfect with the rest of them that I have for my Christmas display.

Did you find anything good this week?

Making American Girl Clothing From Onesies

Not too long ago I saw a post on a blog with an AG doll wearing a dress that was actually a baby dress.  They noted that it was a size 0-3mos.  It didn’t really process till about a week later when I wanted to make some pajamas for dolls.  I made a bunch of bottoms out of material I had around, but I wasn’t sure how I wanted to proceed with the tops.  Then for some reason I thought of Onesies, and just how easy it would be to alter them in to t-shirts and nightshirts.  Stop and think about how the top of the shirt is finished on the most recent My American Girl doll outfit–see the similarity??  I ran to TJMaxx to see what they had and I found a package of 5 in the 0-3months size for $9.99.  I actually could have spent less, but the package I found on clearance were all just plain white and these were so darned cute.  I got them home and tried one on Rebecca:

Onesie 1 Onesie 2

You can see that they were a bit big, but not horrible, just a few minor alterations and we should be good.  First I had to decide if I wanted them to be t-shirts or nightshirts and cut them off to the appropriate length, being sure to leave enough extra to hem them.  Then I sewed a seam starting on the inside of the sleeve and all the way down the side of the shirt:

Onesie 3

At this point I turned the shirt right side out again and tried it on the doll to make sure I had taken a big enough seam to make it fit better.  I had, so then I turned the shirt inside out and added a zig zag stitch beside my straight stitch to reinforce the seams, then trimmed away the excess to get a nice fit:

Onesie 4Add a hem and we’re good to go!  Here are a few of the finished products:

Onesie 5 Onesie 6 Onesie 7

I think they turned out really cute and a darned site cheaper than anything I could buy already made!  I made all of the bottoms from a Simplicity pattern, you can make one pair from a fat quarter, they really don’t use very much fabric.

A few days ago I was in TJMaxx looking for something else when I decided to look in the infants department again to see if they had anything else cute I could use.  I came across a three pack of Onesies for $5.99 in a Newborn size.  They were quite a bit thinner cut than the 0-3 months, so I decided to take a chance on them and brought them home.  When I put the first one on Kit, I was so excited:

Onesie 8
Look at how well it fits! All these ones were going to need was cutting off and hemmed, easy peasy 🙂
Onesie 9
I loved the prints on these two, especially the one with the ballet shoes on it.
Onesie 10

Onesie 11

Onesie 12
Kit and Rebecca look ready to go outside and play in these last days of summer vacation!  I love the bow on the one Rebecca is wearing.

Last but not least, another nightshirt:
Onesie 13

I have purchased another one that is a different style, I haven’t decided exactly what I’m going to do with it, but I will be sure to share it when I do. Interestingly enough it is also a Newborn size, but more on the size of the first batch I bought, so there is some size inconsistency. I will also have to check out a local infants/childrens consignment shop near here and see if there is anything inexpensive that would work, not sure with Onesies because people tend to wear these on kids a long time. If you decide to give this a try, be sure to share! One of the nice thing about using Onesies is they are designed to be easy to get on and off a baby so they are also easy to get on and off the dolls, great when making doll clothes for younger kids to play with.