Many years went by. As my daughter grew older, the American Girl catalogs began to arrive less and less frequently. Eventually, they stopped. (Yeah, that'll happen when you never buy anything.)
My children grew up. My husband died. I moved 60 miles east in order to help my elderly parents.
I'd completely fallen out of touch with the world of American Girl until 2012 when my granddaughters inherited some well-used AG dolls from a family friend. Their daddy hinted that these mostly naked dolls might appreciate some doll clothes if Grandma felt so inclined.
Which of course she did -- because 18 inch dolls, such as American Girl, are the perfect size to sew for. Their clothes are more interesting than a baby doll's. And they aren't impossibly tiny like Barbie's. And there are so many lovely patterns for them. Not only can you dress them in clothes from many different time periods, but you can make Star Trek uniforms, or Star Wars costumes, or Steam Punk outfits, or almost anything you can imagine.
Of course, since my granddaughters live so far away, I really needed a doll of my own to use as a dressmaker's dummy. Not an American Girl, of course! Even now, as a widow living alone and financially on my own, I couldn't justify buying myself such an expensive doll because I'm an adult, and wouldn't actually play with it. Would I?
So I bought Alejandra, an Our Generation doll from Target who is the same size as the American Girls. She had a cheerful, appealing face, the long dark braids I'd always wished for as a child, and she was Hispanic. (Something you never saw during my childhood.)
|KwikSew 2921: a classic dress.|
Soon "Allie" was helping me fit all kinds of outfits for her "cousins" in Ohio. And even for my niece's doll in California.
|I discover free patterns on the Internet!|
|Kwik Sew 2830: my favorite nightgown pattern.|
|Always wear nice underwear in case you get in an accident!|
And I do think that I've ended up playing with her and the other dolls that have found their way to my "Fortress of Dollitude." I not only sew for them, I also have fun making (or finding) tiny artifacts to complete their imaginary worlds. (I enjoy that more than just buying stuff.) And I mentally construct their backstories and current adventures. (Hint: Time traveling is involved.)