A few weeks ago on Valentines Day, I woke up and opened the Instagram app on my phone (a bad habit I have–it’s a bit of an addiction, but we won’t get into that now). I blinked several times and actually shook myself a bit, sure what I wasn’t seeing was correct. My feed was flooded with pictures of a beautiful new doll, with a new facemold, that was so stunningly beautiful I thought I might cry. I began shrieking with delight (my husband came running in concern) when I realized that American Girl had released photos of Nanea Mitchell, the Hawaiian girl from the 1940s, set to release this August. When I heard rumors of her last year, I was beyond excited. I have a huge soft spot for my existing 40s girls, so she would be more than welcome in my collection.
I’ve always enjoyed learning about World War II, and Pearl Harbor in particular, and I would say my connection with it deepened this past December. My sixth grade band played a beautiful piece for our concert in December, commissioned especially for the 75th anniversary of the Pearl Harbor attack this year. It is called “The Tears of Arizona” by Brian Balmages, and is an outstandingly beautiful and powerful piece. Not many serious or important pieces that get big commissions by well-known composers are often for sixth grade band, but this one was, which made it all the more special. Seeing my students connect with this piece of music, hearing them ask questions about it, seeing the looks on their faces as I showed them pictures of the USS Arizona then and now, was absolutely incredible. I could keep going on about this (and probably will when I have Nanea in my hands and and posting all about her) but today I’ve got other exciting things to share.
The agony of having to wait until August for Nanea is pretty terrible, but I’ve decided to occupy myself by starting to sew for her, so she will have a wardrobe waiting when she comes home. I started with this tropical print romper, which seemed perfect for her time period and location (Linda consented to be my model):
Also, in a flurry of 40s excitement, I made this lacy party dress, which might be good for Nanea (not sure yet, though, I need to know more about her personality), but certainly is nice for Molly, Emily, Linda, or Susan (or even Maryellen).
Here’s the best part! I made two of each of these outfits–one for me, and one for my Etsy shop! I’ve been going back and forth about opening an Etsy shop for a while now. I keep coming up with excuses not to do it, the biggest of which were: I don’t have time and I’m not good enough. I’ve decided to be brave and just go for it. I’m not a professional seamstress, and my work isn’t perfect. I do try really hard though to make everything neat and tidy and with the best possibly quality. I won’t be listing dozens of items at a time. My strategy is going to be to make two at a time of everything I make. That way I still get the enjoyment of sewing for myself and without too much extra work, can add something to my Etsy shop.
You will also find some other items in my Etsy shop if you care to take a look. My grandpa, who you might remember is the creator of my childhood doll furniture, has found a renewed passion for designing and building doll furniture, specifically beds. He and I have decided to go into business: he makes the beds, I make the bedding.
My Etsy shop is called DollsandSmiles and can be found at this link:
Feel free to check it out! I will definitely plan to add more items as I made them. Are you excited for Nanea? Are you going to get her? I can’t wait!