I've always loved dolls. When I was little my dolls were my best friends...I told them all my worries, knowing my secrets were safe with them :) They helped me through some tough times back then! I have lovely memories of my Mum sewing little outfits for my dolls, when she had the time. With six children to look after, that wasn't often, which makes it even more special in my memory.
Lucky for me, my daughter was also a lover of all things dolly. I bought her a baby doll, Sally Ann, when she turned four and proceeded to sew & knit all sorts of outfits for her to play with. She still has Sally Ann to this day and her daughters now play with her....some of the outfits survived and are still being used!! Eventually she progressed to the obligatory Barbie doll, although I cheated at the time and bought a Skipper, who was MUCH nicer than Barbie in my opinion. Dear daughter did wise up on that and I had to relent and get the dratted Barbie in the end. I made these dolls a complete wardrobe also....and yes, we still have quite a few of the Barbie clothes....still being played with!!
So....my adventure with dolls continues. My daughter's girls have inherited our "dolly" genes and love their dolls. They have their baby dolls and assorted Barbies but I thought it was time for them to have a proper "girl" doll each....they are turning 9 & 8 this year.
I searched everywhere for good quality girl dolls....frustrating exercise as there aren't many to be had in Australia! I liked the Gotz dolls but they weren't really what I was looking for. They have a cloth body from the neck down. I wanted a doll that was mostly vinyl. Eventually my research led me to find the Australian Girl Dolls at Missy Jo Dolls. I was so happy to find an Australian company, catering specifically to our Australian culture. The dolls even have a space between their toes, so they can wear thongs...flip-flops for my US friends :) How cool is that!
These dolls are everything I wanted and more. The quality is excellent, they have been so well thought out & designed and I love the story behind how they were created. If you'd like to read Helen & Roy's story, you can do so HERE. I have no doubt that these dolls will stand the test of time and be passed down to my granddaughters' daughters, if they have any.
I ordered Emily for my blonde granddaughter and Jasmine for my brown-haired granddaughter. Then I had to order Matilda for me....to use as a mannequin/model for the clothes I'm making (my story and I'm sticking to it lol) I'm a bit partial to redheads, being one myself, and Matilda's wild, red hair won me over immediately! The only problem with this idea is that her wild hair is a bit of a pest when trying to fit clothes that close at the back!
Anyhow, that's how the name Just JEMs was born.....Jasmine, Emily, Matilda (thanks to my clever friend, Helen, for coming up with the name)
I've started this blog to document my latest doll journey and I thought the girls would like to see their dolls become "famous" :) The Aus Girl is a slightly different size to your average 18" doll...for a start, she's a little taller, and longer in the limbs...so I've had to start from scratch with clothing patterns or alter some of the available ones. I've found lots of free patterns for sewing, knitting and crochet so I will list what I can on the sidebar.
I hope you enjoy following along with my Australian Girl journey....and that it inspires the little girl in you to revisit her dolly childhood, like mine is :) My hubby tells me I'm having another childhood.....he suggested I wasn't going to give the girls the dolls but keep them for myself LOL Hmmmmmmm tempting thought :)