So, let's talk about those mermaid dolls.
They aren't really mermaids, as you found out at the end of our Quest post - they're regular maiden dolls
and trapped in stasis by magic and crepe paper
in an underwater lake.
And our party guests undertook to free them, restore them to consciousness with pixie dust
and return them to their original leggy maidenness.
Time for some backstory now. I didn't originally design this doll for the Fairytale party. Some version of her has been in my mind for a long, long time. Like several years long. Initially she was a round-headed baby doll. Then, as the kids grew out of their baby doll phase, she became other things - some with round heads and some flat. This summer, she manifested as a fairy-mermaid-princess who has a regular-person alter ego - exactly the sort of pretend play scenarios that my girls now favor. I experimented with various aspects of her, both to attain Ultimate Cuteness and to distill the construction process to its absolute simplest form. She started out like this,
her first draft was this (I am not crazy about her lips),
Emily, who was privy to all my demented doll experiments, loved their fantasy potential and thought that we should give them away as party favors (easy for her to say). Fairies and mermaids, she claimed she saw in their future, along with a whole host of other ideas. I always listen to my kids when it comes to what works for playing with toys - they are the ones with the hours of experience under their belts, after all.
So the little maiden doll evolved further - from felt hair to yarn hair, which Emily said was more mermaidlike because it could move underwater, not that we verified that scientifically,
in different colors, just like human people (alas - we could not find this nice fabric in other skin tones also),
and a removable tail and bra (read more about my kids' Mermaid Outfit Rules in this post)
And because they couldn't possibly have tails 24/7 - apparently, the really fun mermaids are the morphing species (see same linked post for my kids' Mermaid Behavior Rules) - they needed regular dresses. Although my children's definition of regular is the same as Disney's definition of what a fairygodmother would send you off in to a ball.
Again, times twelve.
And that was how we prepped for the party.
Now you know the story.
The girls really loved these dolls - they'd come down to the sewing room each day to check on my progress and to offer impassioned suggestions for dress colors (rainbow won) and hairstyles.
But, if you remember, I told you that this doll had been living in my subconscious long before there were any parties, and that I was in the midst of fleshing her out when the Fairytale party came along. So it only made sense to continue my experiments on her and create an entire doll subculture.
I'll leave you with that one photo and revisit them again a few posts later when I can do them justice. You'll have to be patient. Some part of it will be a tutorial and some a pattern you can buy to make gifts for the holidays. Various aspects of it are already in the testing lab with Grandma G, my fabulous pattern tester.
In the meantime, I want to finish the Fairytale Party posts - there are only a couple more left, and then the story will be complete.
And the Halloween costumes, of course. And Wool Skirts.