Saturday, July 23, 2016

DC Super Hero Girls "Bumblebee" needs school clothes

Bumbleebee (a.k.a. Karen Beecher) is heading to the mall for back-to-school shopping.

I'm flying there because weekend bus service sucks.
Toy Box Philosopher's review of Bumblebee's colleague, Wonder Woman, inspired me to pull out the Bumblebee I bought at Target months ago, dig through my clothing stash, and see if there's anything a tall gal with broad shoulders can wear.

My own teen shopping experiences suggest this isn't going to end well, but maybe in the fashion doll world, clothing manufacturers are kinder.

Let's see what Bumblebee finds...

First stop is Forever 21, a.k.a. where the Monster High crowd shops.

Frankie: I... don't think we carry anything like your size.
Right next door is one of those athleisure stores with yoga pants and such. The Bratz Superheroez rely on it for workwear. But the fit in spandex is much better when a girl can remove her feet to get her leggings on.

Shira: You should probably mail-order your superhero wardrobe.
Stopping in at Caché was always a risk, but if there's anybody who understands being a scientist by day and a figure of mystery by night, it should be Midnight Magic Pippa. Her dress sort of fits Bumblebee if we don't get picky about "tight in the shoulders, loose in the bust."

Bumblebee: What occasions do you even wear this for?
Pippa: It's a long story.
Nicole's quince dress is worth considering for prom, though Bumblee will need some serious sticky tape to make the bodice work, and she'd rather get it in yellow.

Bumblebee: How do you not step on the swirly bits?
Nicole: Why do you think I switched to a nice normal sundress?
Checking out the Lovely Patsy rack was disappointing: that purple is one of Bumblebee's favorite colors, but the dress is meant for a woman who's more developed "around." (Bumblebee is dreading bra shopping. Bra-fit specialists can't grasp that she has a small band size but isn't flat-chested.)

I can't even...
A stop at Walmart to check out Sparkle Girlz attire yields an outfit more suitable for Wonder Woman. It's not an awful fit, though darn, that skirt is short.

Daisy: It's actually pretty close to being that short on me, too.
A less "mini" Sparkle Girlz sundress works pretty well if a gal moves carefully to avoid nip-slips.

I think we have a win! And it's under $3.
J.C. Penney looks promising but turns out frustrating. Barbie pants of unknown provenance are uncomfortably tight.

The length wouldn't be awful in a straighter leg,
but the inseam-to-waist rise... this is NOT how you size a tall.
Dollar-store jeans have the same fit problem, and a current Barbie top is hopeless: too small at the extremes and too big in the middle. Bumblebee is starting to feel insecure about the way her figure just doesn't conform to the Barbie ideal.

I can't buy a simple knit top. What is the deal here?
Heading into the dress section gets better fit, but the shape does nothing for Bumblebee: flat-chested and hips for days. Writing a firm letter to someone about unrealistic figure types is sounding good.

On top, I'm a kid playing dress-up in mom's clothes.
On the bottom, I'm matronly. This sucks.
Heading down the mall to H&M yields a Liv Barbie (corrected per Jewell's comment) romper that actually fits and doesn't look bad, if we're willing to start from the premise that rompers look okay in the first place. It's certainly cool enough for hot Phoenix summers.

Zora: That's... kind of hot.
Bumblebee also finds a possibly-Liv, possibly-something-unknown-from-the-1980s sweater that will be fantastic for late December. It's maybe a little short for a dress, but with leggings, it's her color, it fits, it has everything.

This is the best garment I will ever own,
and I can wear it only three weeks of the year.
Which I'm going to do, EVERY SINGLE DAY.
It looks like Bumblebee can wear some careful choices in Sparkle Girlz clothes, and sharing with Barbie depends on lucking into the exact right outfit. Bumblebee is asking herself whether, if she was able to sew her bee suit from scratch, knocking out a couple dresses could really be that hard.

Time for Cinnabon! And then maybe a trip to Joann for fabric.

21 comments:

  1. Great comparison. I have Bumble Be and Harley Quinn. Just bought some fabric to make a few things. They can wear some of my Pullip and J-Doll t-shirts, jackets and vests. Right now I'm obsessed with making school uniforms for my dolls.

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    1. Kudos on having the patience to make uniforms, which presumably have to be... uniform. I'm thinking about a fabric-store trip for bee-themed material. It must exist.

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  2. Those are some great clothes. I love the big sweater. Gryffindor colours!

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    1. Thanks! Bumblebee seriously intends to wear it every single cold day.

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  3. The rise in those "JC Penney" jeans are pretty close to the way a lot of teens wear their jeans these days. And rompers are right in style this summer. That sweater is cute for her. If she lived up here in NE Ohio, she'd probably get wear out of it from October through March. :)

    I like the way you created different clothing stores for Bumblebee, even if most of them didn't work out. :( I wonder if Ever After High clothes would suit her better. The EAH girls are a little hippier and have a bit more of a rear. Also, the new Made to Move Barbies seem to have a bigger waist than some of those Barbies from the 90s. Hopefully she will find some more choices for her wardrobe.

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    1. Thanks! Yeah, I tried to figure out which of assorted pinkish dresses in the MH/EAH bag were from my EAH Briar Rose, so I could try that, but since I got her at the swap mart where dolls are usually in the wrong clothes and so I didn't have her "theme" as a guide, I succumbed to bafflement.

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    2. I know you're all about thrift, but I remembered this morning that I've seen at least one sewing pattern for the Super Hero Girls dolls, and here it is. I haven't made anything with any of her patterns yet, although I have purchased a pattern from her that I'm dying to try.

      Briar's colors are bright pink and black. Some of her stuff has a thorn print.

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    3. Oh cool! There's something to try if I can't get my brain in gear, which is good to have!

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  4. This was great to see - thanks for doing this and sharing the results! :)

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    1. Thanks! Poor gal didn't have a good time at the mall, but she likes the romper and the summer dress.

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  5. This was so much fun. Thank you for taking us shopping with your dolls!!! Your doll's experience is very much like what happens to us humans when you don't quite fit into the regular size paradigm. If you don't want to or can't make clothes completely from scratch..here's an idea. Try to find some simple items (top, skirt, pants) that come close to the size needed by your doll. Put them on the doll and pin them to fit. If the skirt is too short, tape on a tiny piece of fabric so that it's the length you want. Remove the garment from the doll. Then carefully take the garment apart (leaving in the pins you put to fit the doll). Put tracing paper over each element and trace. Transfer to a cheap cotton. Sew this cotton "pattern" and try on the doll to check for fit. Make the alterations again. If something's too tight, slash it and tape in a piece of fabric. Pin together to check again the fit on your doll. What you are doing is creating your own patterns for your doll using an existing garment. Mix and match fabric for the final garment. Embellish the way you want. Hand sew or glue (using fabric glue). Close with Velcro and dolly's good to go! Most doll clothes are so simple and are made with only a couple elements. It really isn't that hard if you have the will. The more you make, the better and easier it gets!

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    1. Wonderful instructions! Thank you! This is a move beyond my eyeballing SG fashions for construction ideas.

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  6. I now see she's difficult to shop for, lol, but I really like this dolls muscular shape. I haven't noticed any in my stores, but I haven't been to Target or TRU in a long time so maybe they just aren't at my Walmarts.

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    1. I got her at Target, months ago, and haven't seen her at Walmart at all. I think I've been to TRU since she came out, and she wasn't there?

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    2. They have the Super Hero Girls at my WalMart, and also at my Target. And I feel myself being sucked in to buying at least one thanks to enabling!

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  7. Fun post! I've been admiring this gal for months. She's got so much personality. I was kind of hoping my daughter would use some of her birthday money to get one. The answer to her wardrobe conundrum seems clear to me...you're just gonna have to sew for her. That romper is actually from a Barbie fashion pack. It came with 3 outfits, 2 pairs of shoes, a purse, a necklace, and a coffee cup.

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    1. The post is fixed! I'm starting to wonder if anything I think is a Liv outfit ever was, but it's good other people have clear memories.

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  8. Bumblebee is adorable. I hope she can find some items she can wear well. She needs a seamstress who understands her fashion needs. I guess someone will have take a trip to Joann's as planned. :-)

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    1. Thanks! Yeah, this may also get me in gear for sewing for the Bratzillaz, as choosing their fabric from the stash hasn't moved me forward.

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  9. Back on March 2nd, the blog blackdollcollecting.blogspot.com reposted photos from an Instagram user named CJStarzForever that showed Bumblebee redressed. There were also some redressing tips for using stuff from other doll lines. Maybe this could help you.

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    1. Wow, I missed a lot by not reading much of doll-related anything in March! (It was peak time for other parts of my life.) His tip with the shoes is useful!

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