The positive side to this is that the lack of blogging is due to lots of orders & my first really successful Christmas - yay!!
The colour couture dolls (aka Co'Co' dolls) were completely inspired by my eldest daughter. She loves to colour & being very girlie she enjoys playing with her dolls. I find dolls clothes everywhere because she loves to change their outfits & even attempts to squeeze them onto other toys such as her teddies; anything and everything will get dressed up somehow!
It was when she was bought a lovely paperdolls set that the main idea came to be. She spent ages colouring in the little outfits & was so happy with them. But then her stubbornness wouldn't allow me to help her & so at the cutting out part there were outfits ruined & lots of tears :( The outfits that did make it still ended up ruined because they were easily bent or were damaged by water & sticky little fingers etc. It was such a shame because the initial stages of her colouring were lovely to witness & the enthusiasm & eagerness to have a doll wear her outfits was something I shared with her.
All of these factors set my creative juices flowing & the colour couture dolls came to be.
In the end the dolls took a year to bring to the point of sale! I never imagined it could take so long. But every part of the dolls is unique & has undergone hundreds of hours of designing.
The dolls themselves are laser etched wood. Unlike their paper counterparts they are sturdier & made to last. They can be coloured in using coloured pencils, felt tip pens, gel pens, paints, even découpage! The outcomes are endless & the end result as unique as its owner!
Even the dresses took months to perfect. I firstly very much wanted this design shown above. When I managed to get the pattern to fit & work perfectly I was overjoyed! So imagine my dismay at a little focus group, watching the girls colouring them & struggling with the seams & tucks :( It had to be easier, it had to be very different to create a dress enjoyable to colour! So back to the drawing board for a new dress.
The dress now has no seams, it is one basic shape that lays flat & is so easy to colour. It fastens with the softest Velcro at the back & has pretty little satin ribbon ties at the shoulders. It's been one of those little accomplishments to me that means so much!! Each & every dress has been made by my own fair hands & comes beautifully finished - unlike some of the shocking dolls clothes we have seen!
So far there are three different #colourcouturedolls designs....
This is Lara, she was intended to be the shy one, the swan princess; but of course colour her in vibrant colours & watch her persona change!
This is Gracie, named after my eldest daughter & so she of course had to have flowers in her hair & be holding a bunny; as these are all my Gracie's favourites.
& last, but certainly not least because she has been the most popular by far is Jolie. Jolie is named after my youngest daughter & so she too, copying my littleone, had to have bunches of some sort & be carrying a teddy bear.
This year will see new colour-in print designs for the dresses, and if I can perfect the pattern even a reversible dress! Two prints in one, exciting!!
The range of coordinating colour-in jewellery will also increase & I am currently working on two special additions to the girls which I just cannot wait to reveal (fingers crossed it won't be a year this time til I get to do so ;) )
The dolls are available in my Etsy shop www.etsy.com/shop/Aboedesigns
They can be purchased on their own or in sets with the recommended pens.
For all lovers of paperdolls I really hope they offer a better alternative. Watching my daughter play with them & even use the dresses on her other dolls, I know they offer a better experience for little ones & I hope I get to make them, & more, for years to come!
I have had such lovely feedback from customers so far & lots of repeat custom - which is the biggest compliment ever! I hope the #colourcouturedolls can be bought to so many more homes & little ladies waiting to put their individual personality on a doll.