Monday, December 5, 2011

Two New Costumes for the Holidays

Want to find that special gift for your American Girl Doll for the Holidays?   Here are two special creations from CSBSEWS that might be exactly what you are looking for.   Visit CSBSEWS on Etsy for more pictures and information.

Mardi Gras Masquerade Ball Gown & Mask

Many historians believe that the first American Mardi Gras took place on March 3, 1699, when the French explorers Iberville and Bienville landed in what is now Louisiana just south of the holiday's future epicenter, New Orleans. They held a small celebration and dubbed the spot Point du Mardi Gras.  On Mardi Gras in 1827, a group of students donned colorful costumes and danced through the streets of New Orleans, emulating the revelry they'd observed while visiting Paris. Ten years later, the first recorded New Orleans Mardi Gras parade took place, a tradition that continues to this day.  Your doll can participate in the festivities and masquerade balls dressed in the official Mardi Gras colors of purple, gold and green.  A perfect gift for the new girls from Louisiana, Maria-Grace and Cecile.

Magic Fairies - Chrissie the Wish Fairy

This is the second Rainbow Fairy costume designed by CSBSEWS.   Just in time for the Holidays! Dress your doll as the Magic Fairy Chrissie - the Wish Fairy. Each year Chrissie the Wish Fairy hides her magical objects in the human world - objects that make sure every one's Christmas wishes come true.
Hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving, and are looking forward to a happy holiday season!!


Sunday, December 4, 2011

Steampunk - Part 2

My first Steampunk outfit was a success and I had many requests to do another one.   So I created a new and different Steampunk ensemble for American Girl.   This will be my last Steampunk outfit for a long time, as most of you know, I like to create new and different designs each time I sew for American Girl.

You can get more information on this item at CSBSEWS Doll Clothes.  (This item has been sold).

Follow CSBSEWS on FACEBOOK to get immediate notification when a new Steampunk ensemble is available for your doll.
Thanks for looking, Carolyn.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Steampunk - Fashion by CSBSEWS for American Girl Dolls

I am fascinated by all things Steampunk.   So of course I had to design and create a special ensemble for American Girl.

For those of you who may not be familiar with Steampunk, Steampunk is a sub-genre of science fiction, fantasy, alternate history, and speculative fiction. Steampunk involves a setting where steam power is still widely used—usually Victorian era Britain—that incorporates elements of either science fiction or fantasy. Works of steampunk often feature anachronistic technology or futuristic innovations as Victorians may have envisioned them, based on a Victorian perspective on fashion, culture, architectural style, art, etc. This technology may include such fictional machines as those found in the works of H. G. Wells and Jules Verne, or more recently Philip Pullman and China Mieville. There is much more about the genisus and philosophy of the Steampunk movement at Wikipedia.

One of the most noticeable aspects of steampunk technology is its sheer improbability. Strange devices abound, and often they don't have any immediately discernible purpose. In a world like Second Life, it's easy to assume that whatever it is is only there to look cool. However, in a well-crafted novel or movie, one has to assume a background to such objects, assume that they do something and that someone knows what that is, that someone in fact designed this improbable conglomeration of steel and brass and steam. In Girl Genius, a steampunk webcomic, the heroine at one point builds a device composed of "the fencing clank, part of the wrecked flying machine, bits of the furnace and the mechanical orchestra, [another character's] good lathe, and a pneumatic nutcracker" - in her sleep. The fact that one has to take that sort of thing seriously is part of what makes steampunk seem so outrageous sometimes. 

H. G. Wells would be proud—steampunk fashion has emerged from relative obscurity.   By remixing styles from the Victorian era, classic Goth, gypsy, and industrial fetish, steampunk fashion creates a unique and beautifully disturbing look.   (Thanks to Steampunk Fashion Resources and More and The Steampunk Workshop for an in depth discovery of Steampunk Fashion.  Visit their sites to learn more.).
I searched the web for inspiration for my creation and below are some of the outfits that contributed to my design:

 My Steampunk Ensemble for American Girl Dolls.  

The design elements of this look that I believe reflect the Steampunk style are the clockfaces, the chain, the high boots, the hat and the overall Victorian feel of the dress.   

I throughly enjoyed this project and am very proud of the final result.   If you want to see more, there are more pictures at my store, CSBSEWS Doll Clothes. (Update:  This item is sold)


Monday, November 7, 2011

Fall/Winter Collection from CSBSEWS

A picture tour of new items from CSBSEWS Doll Clothes from the fall and winter collection.   There is more information and photos at CSBSEWS doll clothes.    There is something in this collection for every doll on your list.   (And more to come, stay tuned)
Antebellum Dress, Undergarments and Boots
Kirstens Autumn Ensemble
Nutcracker Ballet for American Girl Dolls
Taffeta and Velvet for the Holidays
Felicity's Holiday Gown, Cap and Slippers
Brocade Gown for Maria-Grace or Cecile
Holiday Party Dress
Holiday Dress, Apron and Shoes for American Girl Dolls

Thanks for visiting, Carolyn

Saturday, August 6, 2011

American Girl Josefina & Celebrating Dia De Los Muertos (Day of the Dead) Festivals - (Part 2)

In September of 2010 I published my first blog about Dia De Los Muertos - it began

Día de los Muertos is a holiday celebrated in Mexico and by Mexican Americans living in the United States and Canada. As a New Mexican girl growing up in 1824, Josefina would honor her mother's memory by celebrating El Día de los Muertos.  Due to occurring shortly after Halloween, the Day of the Dead is sometimes thought to be a similar holiday, although the two actually have little in common. The Day of the Dead is a time of celebration, where partying is common.  (For more information see my blog posted dated September 7, 2010).

This year I wanted to share more information about this holiday by listing a few of the festivals that occur every year in the United States.   There are major festivals in Houston, Arizona (including Phoenix) and Los Angeles.   I hope that after you read about these festivals you will explore Day of the Dead celebrations near your home.

 LA Day of the Dead:  The 12th annual “Dia de Los Muertos“ will be held at Hollywood Forever, Los Angeles's oldest memorial park, on October 22, 2011, from 12pm-12am. Come join us this year as we welcome, honor and celebrate the memories of the beloved souls. Rejoice and observe the mystical beauty and wonder of this ancient spiritual celebration. Partake of various sacred ceremonial tributes and memorable altar creations on the grounds of the historic Hollywood Forever cemetery.

Phoenix Area  Many Valley cities host Day of the Dead celebrations each year on the first two days of November. People will sometimes don wooden skull masks and dance to honor deceased loved ones. The wooden skulls, or calacas, are also placed on altars. A relative or a friend often eats sugar skulls, bearing the name of the dead person on the forehead.

More Arizona Events -  Celebrations are held each year in Mesa, Chandler, Guadalupe and at Arizona State University. Although the ritual has since been merged with Catholic theology, it still maintains the basic principles of the Aztec ritual, such as the use of skulls.

Houston Festivals - Celebrate the lives of the loved ones you've lost on Day of the Dead at these Houston area locations, 

Museum of The Americas - Weatherford, Texas - Exhibits and a historical perspective on this Celebration.

Of course our American Girl Doll Josefina with again join the celebration this year.   She has a new costume for the festival.  

American Girl Josefina celebrates Dia de los Muertos
Visit CSBSEWS Doll Clothes for more pictures and information about Josefina's costume.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Candy Corn Witch for American Girl Dolls

The candy corn witch has become a popular halloween costume for girls and teens. There are many variations of this costume for sale on line and in costume stores. This costume combines two popular halloween traditions, Candy Corn and Witches.

Candy corn is a confrection  popular primarily around Halloween Candy corn was created in the 1880s by George Renninger of the Wunderlee Candy Company; the three colors of the candy mimic the appearance of kernels of corn. Each piece is approximately 3 times the size of a whole kernel from a ripe or dried ear. Candy corn pieces are traditionally cast in three colors: a broad yellow end, a tapered orange center, and a pointed white tip.

Witches ran the gamut from evil (Wicked Witch of The West, Hansel and Gretal, Hamlet ) to good and kind (Nanny McPhee, Greta the Good Witch, even Cinderalla's Fairy Godmother).   And every Halloween you will have many different witches visit your house on Halloween (maybe to get Candy Corn).

I have created a OOAK Candy Corn Witch Costume for your American Girl Doll.   It is complete, with costume, hat, tights and boots.   If you want to know more about this costume,  CSBSEWS American GIrl Doll Clothes for additional information and pictures.   Combine these favorites for your Halloween Celebration this year!!
Candy Corn Witch for American Girl Dolls

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Vampires - and a Costume for American Girl Dolls

TV Shows about vampires have never been more popular than they are now.  Is it possible that Sesame Street’s debonair Count von Count may have predisposed the current generation of TV watchers to regard most vampires as gorgeous rather than grotesque?   There are vampire "vamps" in True Blood, The Vampire Diaries and Twilight.  

My first memories of female vampire characters for TV were those that hosted late night TV shows.  The first was a late night TV horror shows hosted by Vampira.  Vampira started the trend of macabre movie hosts, at once sexy and ghoulish.    Over time Vampira became quite a cult figure.  
Vampira was followed by Elvira, Mistress of the Dark.   Some thought that Elvira was just a rip-off of Vampira, but actually Cassandra Peterson created an entirely new character.   Elvira hosted TV horror movies with a touch of horror and a big helping of sex appeal.  

And finally who can forget Morticia Addams, a vampire appearing in the TV Show the Addams Family.   She definately had her own look and style.  I don't know if she was the very first Vampire in a prime time TV show, but she is the one I remember.

So even before today's "lovely" vampires came on the scene, there were voluptuous, attractive vampires.  When it came time to decide on this season's vampire costume, I chose to design a one-of-a-kind, original, queenly costume, instead of the other thing .... you know, blood, etc.   Vampires may be vampires, but in my mind the girls also have a sense of style.   (and yes, homage to Vampira in the naming of this costume).

(This OOAK item has SOLD.)

Well the sun is setting so I must be going.   But you can visit me anytime at CSBSEWS Doll Clothes.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Magic Fairy Costume for American Girl Dolls

I love to create fairy costumes for Halloween for American Girl Dolls.Fairies are so magical, and girls have always loved them, from Tinkerbell on. Every year I offer at least one fairy costume. But they have always been generic costumes.  

 (The fairies have evolved over the years)





This year I discovered Rainbow Brights' Magic Fairy Book Series These are wonderful stories for girls who love Fairies and because there are many different fairy series, there is a series for every girl.  All the series follows the lives of Kirsty Tate and Rachel Walker and their magical adventures with their fairy friends
Rainbow Magic is a children's fiction publisher best known for the children's books. A publishing phenomenon, “Rainbow Magic” has sold 20+ million copies in 31 languages worldwide, including over 6 million books in print in the U.S. The series of books are highly collectible and regularly featured in children’s bestseller lists.  =
Morgan the midnight fairy is from the Twilight Fairies.  "Meet Ava, Lexi, Zara, Morgan, Yasmin, Maisie and Sabrina. Rachel and Kirsty can't wait for their week at Camp Stargaze! They'll get to roast marshmallows, tell spooky stories, and sleep in cool cabins. But when the Night Fairies' magic goes missing, Rachel and Kirsty have another activity to add to their list --- helping their fairy friends!"

Morgan's Magic Fairy Book

What a wonderful costume for American Girl Dolls.   And a great way to for you or your child to discover the Magic Fairy Series.

This costumes has SOLD, but soon there will be many more at CSBSEWS Doll Clothes.

Morgan the Midnight Fairy from The Magic Fairy Series for American Girl Dolls

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Western Wear for American Girl Dolls

Every season I like to create an outfit with a western theme.  This year, I thought alot about Temple Grandin while I was designing this outfit (although I don't think Temple would wear a skirt). If you don't know Temple, let me take this opportunity to recommend the HBO movie (available in stores) TEMPLE GRANDIN. For those who may not be familiar with Temple Grandin, she is an autistic woman who has become one of the top scientists in the humane livestock handling industry, Temple is accurately and wonderfully played by Claire Danes in the movie.. I don't personally know Temple, but her story is an inspiration to me.
Temple Grandin
For the outfit, I found a wonderful faux leather fabric with a western flower pattern usually seen on hand tooled western items.   And I was also able to get a wonderful western straw hat that really fits American Girl, and looks great on her.  The hat did come with a pink "suede" hat band/tie.   I replaced that with real leather.  It was a challenge to find a bead that would accomodate the leather straps..but obviously I finally did.

Cowgirl Outfit from CSBSEWS
I had a lot of fun embellishing the skirt and vest.   In addition to the suede trim, I added star conchos strung with real leather strips.  I lined the vest and jacket in black satin.  This is the first western shirt I have offered that has real western cuffs with brown pearl button snap closures to match the snaps down the front.   The shirt also has maroon piping at the yokes and cuffs.  The boots are soft leather with an embroidered design and they have a zipper on the side, making it easy to put the boots on or take them off.

If you want more information about this outfit, or to see additional pictures, visit CSBSEWS American Girl Doll Clothes  (This item has SOLD).

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Beautiful Historical Gown for American Girl Dolls

The latest from CSBSEWS is a wonderful period gown.   The period is the late Victorian era.   Skirts are more flat in the front and hooped petticoats are disappearing.   This is a transition period to the more "wearer" friendly clothes of the Regency and Edwardian Eras.    

This is an interpretation of a Victorian Day Dress or Walking Dress.   Ladies wore these dresses on important social calls or a visit to a fine retail establishment followed by lunch at an exclusive tearoom.   Hats were required, of course, but the large feathered early Victorian styles are slowly being replaced by smaller hats, or as some call them today - "facinators".   Button boots were the footwear of choice when ladies would be out of the house in the daytime.

This is a piece for the serious American Girl Doll Collector, and, while it could be worn by any of the American Girl Dolls, I believe it is best suited to Samantha, Nellie, or perhaps Rebecca.   For additional information and more pictures visit CSBSEWS American Girl Doll Clothes.

Soon the first Halloween costumes will be available at CSBSEWS.   Stay tuned.


Sunday, June 5, 2011

Recap of Spring/Summer and a Fall Preview from CSBSEWS

The spring and summer line is complete now and I wanted to highlight items still available for the season at CSBSEWS American Girl Doll Clothes
Now is the time I designing and sewing for fall and Halloween.  I love creating the Halloween costumes, and they are always a big hit.   This year I will definitely have another unique witch (a perennial favorite), a new gypsy costume, a truly wonderful cowgirl ensemble, a surprise from the '50's and more surprises from the movies.   This year I will also have historical Halloween costumes for the dolls.

I will also be creating complete new ensembles for the historical dolls.   In September, two new doll books -- Meet Cecile and Meet Marie-Grace -- about New Orleans in the 1850's.   It will be joy to design for these girls!!

Items Available from the 2011
Spring/Summer Line:
For American Girl Molly:
Molly's Swing Dress with Shoes and Socks.  I love this look back at the late 40's
An authentic 1940's style sundress for Molly.  This was designed based on a Butterick sewing pattern from that era.   Reminiscent of the famous Joan Crawford style.
For American Girl Kit:

Springtime for Kit, complete with shoes.   The dress has embroidered ladybugs and butterflys.  This is a signature look from CSBSEWS.

A 1930's style cutwork lace dress for Kit, with shoes and sock.   This ensemble reflects the transition in fashion from the 20's to the 30's.

A wonderful, authentically styled box-pleated dress for Kit with shoes and socks.   This dress has the added bonus of being in summer's favorite colors of red, white and blue.

Spring and Summer for
the Modern American Girl Doll
All these fun summer outfits include shoes..

And for the 4th of July Celebration of America, a complete costume for American Girl!!

New shoes are coming to CSBSEWS - here is a preview.
(These items and more should be available by June 10th).

Enjoy your summer!!  Hope you  have time to read a really great book!! - Carolyn