The Story Behind My Mini Josefina Collection
I wanted to share my love of reading and the American Girls Collection with a young friend whom I wanted to encourage with her reading efforts. I have been collecting American Girls since I was 12 years old, after being introduced to the catalog by a friend, and saving my allowance and money from relatives for months to buy Molly. American Girl is partially responsible for the love I developed for historical fiction and reading. However, I felt it was inappropriate to buy a friend a doll that is nearly $100. For her birthday, I decided to do something extra special. I got her a miniature Josefina ($20 through americangirlstore.com) and made a miniature collection for her. While making the collection, I simply made two of everything so I would automatically have a collection, as well. (In 2008 I discarded of the collection, but know the site is enjoyed by others looking for ideas for the mini dolls, so it will stay online.)
But why Josefina? Josefina has a very easy-to-make collection. Unlike many of the other American Girls, her accessories would have been home-made (from clay, for example). Aside from which, most of Josefina's shirts in her collection look similar. For those like me who want an easy craft, skirts are very easy to sew . . . much easier than tops. You can make many skirts very easily, and you won't even notice she's always wearing the same shirt. :) (Though, if you get ambitious (or are adept at sewing), the shirt is also removable -- so you can make more of them as well.)
I had such a wonderful time with this activity that I thought it would be nice to post online how you, too, can make a miniature collection. I do not offer patterns or step-by-step instructions here. I did everything without patterns, and I do not want to inhibit your personal creativity.
My main tip is to read and browse Josefina's books (or the books of whatever character you want to make a mini collection for) and the American Girl catalog -- find out what would have been used back then, and go from there. Since the catalogs now contain less and less of Josefina's collection, it is an even better idea to browse the American Girl online store to see what her full collection contains. You will be amazed at how much you can make for the miniature doll that is very close to the large doll's accessories. I was thrilled when I took material to be cut at the fabric store and the woman behind the counter knew I was making clothes for Josefina!
On this site you will find illustrations and comments about the accessories that I have made for Josefina. I hope that these pages might give you some ideas on how to make accessories for your own mini doll. Or, if you do not own a mini doll yet, that the ideas on these pages will encourage you to get one and create a collection.
Remember to ask an adult for help with using an oven, if you are a child who wants to do the clay crafts; and help with the sewing machine if you choose to sew. If you are an adult, fetch a child to participate with you -- part of the fun is searching for things in stores to help you add to your collection. :) Pass along your love of reading and the American Girls -- it's a great gift!
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