The most frustrating American Girl item I’ve ever bought!

Not too long ago I shared that I’d picked up Lea’s accessories at Kohl’s.  In case you don’t remember, this is what it includes:


I was really on the fence about this set. The items are cute, but I thought it was kind of pricey for what you actually got. But I really wanted that headband for Lea. So I decided to spring for it.

When I showed it earlier, one of the comments was that it was difficult to get on. I have some of the other ones, so I didn’t think it would be any worse than that. HAH! I tugged, I pulled, I did everything I could think of short of a hand stand. By the time it was over with, my hands hurt and it still wasn’t on. I was stunned because I’d never had issues with the other ones. I needed to think about it.

Then it hit me! In case you don’t already know this, the Josefina face mold is larger than the others. A lot of people have complained about the fact that most of the glasses American Girl has made for their dolls do not fit the Josefina mold very well, if at all. I decided to try my theory by putting this headband on a doll with the original classic face mold. I grabbed Zara and bam! It went on just like the others I had did. Theory proven.

Had I not already removed everything from the original packaging, I would have been tempted to return the whole darned thing. But I had another problem too. All the pulling and stretching I did while trying to put it on her caused some of the stitches to pop. (Apologies for the really bad photo!)

Then I got a great idea. I cut the so called stretchy section in half!

I then cut a piece of elastic about 1 1/2 inch long and sewed it to the fabric on both ends. It looked like this when it was finished. I used red thread so that if I needed to take it out, I would be able to see it easily.
headband-3  headband-4

And then the moment of truth!


Perfect fit!  I’m so glad I decided to give this a try, it solved the issue and made it super easy to get the headband on, even easier than the others I already have.  I do think this was a not-so-good oversight on the part of American Girl when making this item, but at least I was able to solve it easily.  I just wanted to be sure to share it too in case you have ones that are too tight, it’s an easy fix that works very well!

16 thoughts on “The most frustrating American Girl item I’ve ever bought!

  1. That’s genius! I won’t do it to mine since mine is stretched out enough that it’s not that hard to get it over Lea’s head anymore, especially when her hair is already in a ponytail. It didn’t even dawn on me that the Josey face molds are bigger, but I just realized when I put it on Kanani’s head it was easier. Huh. I guess AG either doesn’t know that, or they don’t care and make the headbands too tight for the Josey molds anyway.

  2. I had the same problem w/ the headband that comes w/ Julie purple holiday dress. I was afraid I was gonna pull Sunny’s wig off! Thankfully I have another headband almost the same color I got w/ an OG set.

    • So it sounds like they have a standard measurement, but made no adjustments for Josefina molds, ugh! Next time you have something coming this way, send it along and I’ll fix it if you want.

  3. Great idea! My mom has Lea and this set and we have a terrible time with the headband. I will have to see if she would like to do this.

    • Does make you wonder, doesn’t it? Also makes me think that research and development is getting paid for not doing their jobs!

  4. I had to laugh when I saw the post title and corresponding photo. I knew exactly where the frustration happened. I completely admit the first time I put the headband on it was challenging. It had to be done in just such a way that was different from any of the other headbands…and most definitely not for small children to attempt. But it went on and stayed on for quite some time. The second time I put it on was a bit better, but still snug.

    I agree that there is a set size; however, as we’ve seen with some outfits over the years, the set pattern is not being produced consistently. Hence Jackylina and I didn’t have as many problems and the back part stretched on it’s own. So a combination of RandD, plus quality control not being on top of their game.

    • Yes, and we know that quality control anymore isn’t what it used to be! Even stretched, it still wasn’t enough to get it over without a lot of a struggle, and definitely no way for someone in the target age group to do it.

  5. Melody’s meet headband is the same way! There is simply not enough give in the elastic, and it takes a lot of tugging to get it over Melody’s bangs and on her head.

    I’ve heard Lea’s Celebration dress headband is similar, but it was okay going on a classic mold doll. I haven’t tried it on someone else yet.

    • I had absolutely no trouble with the Celebration dress one, it went on super easy. But I wonder if perhaps again, lack of quality control is the culprit? I sure hope someone from AG sees this comment section!

  6. I’m glad you were able to fix it! Sheesh! We never purchased this set. Instead we found a braided hairband at the dollar store, and cut it down to size to fit Lea. I had no idea that the Josefina face mold is different than the other dolls! That’s so strange! You are definitely right about quality control. If AG wants to compete at the prices that they set then they have to at least pay attention to the details. The rest of this set is super cute though! That little sea turtle book is adorable!

    ginnie /

    • I’ve looked at the dollar store headbands a couple of times myself. Now that I’ve really looked at the construction on this, I may have to pick some up! And yes, they need to concentrate more on staying competitive with the details.

  7. Genius! I may try this on all the braided hairbands. They look so nice on the dolls, but my kids can’t put them on themselves.

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