Sunday, 24 August 2014

Madame Alexander's Alexandra Fairchild Ford

The family decided to take an outing to an antique mall about an hour away last weekend.  My DH was looking for railroad track, and I figured that I would be able to find something for my dolls.  So far this summer my sweetest find has been a Villeroy and Boch Urban Nature dip bowl, which is just about the right size to be a platter for any of my 1:6 scale group.  The store I got it from was going out of business and $5 wasn't a bad price to pay for a high end item.  It will go quite nicely with the miniature Le Creuset pieces I found many, many years ago, before I was completely doll obsessed.

But back to the antiques mall.  This place is enormous.  We separated, me keeping the youngest with me as they were happy to indulge me in my hunt for doll items.  I found a lot of things I wanted to bring home with me, but I ended up with just three:  a miniature brass candelabra (romantic dinners with the fancy serving ware), a 1:10 scale diecast tandem bicycle (scroll to the bottom of the page to see it) and this doll.

This is how she was sitting in the display case, behind a ton of Barbies and old GI Joe's (the 12 inch ones from the 1970's).  I could see that she was bigger than the other dolls, but I couldn't see any markings, let alone her face.  And as the cabinet was locked, I needed to find someone that could get her out for me....which I did after strolling along the rest of the aisle.

This is what I saw when the gentleman pulled her out (and from the look on his face, I think he was a little surprised):

I did not expect to find this doll at an antique mall.  Turning her over, I found the Madame Alexander mark, just as one of the brood (who were all with me at the time) asked, "What kind of doll is she Mommy?"

"She's a Madame Alexander Alex doll," I answered immediately, without hesitation.  I guess all that time studying doll magazines has paid off.  I noticed all of the points of articulation (marvelling at the toes), but figured that I wouldn't take her yet - I'd walk around and think about it a bit.

Well, long story short, she came home with us, and a quick search of the Internet told me that she was a Mod Alex.

But that's all.  I'm really disappointed that I can't find any information on her (like what is she made of, what kind of hair does she have, how many of her hair colour were made?).  I've even resorted to digging through my old Haute Doll issues, but details are basic at best.  I know that the Alex line has been discontinued, but from the lack of information out there, it's almost as if she didn't exist.

Anyway, needless to say, I'm thrilled to have a "collector" doll - I just don't have any clothing for her.  Along with the lack of information on this doll, patterns and ready made clothing don't seem to be forthcoming either.  I have been able to find some measurement comparison charts, and I see that Alex's measurements aren't really similar to some of the other dolls for whom items are more readily available (Ellowyne Wilde, Gene and Tyler Wentworth).  So, during my search this past week, I went to a local dollar store to see if I could find some doll related items I had read about recently, and found a 3-pack of children's socks.  I've made doll sweaters from socks, and there was a cute stripey pair that I though might make something for Alex to wear while I'm on this clothing quest.  The socks came home with me (along with some other doll stuff) and one of them became this:

Alex is standing unassisted, which apparently is a feature of this doll

A child's sock (and some ribbon) will make an outfit for a 16 inch doll - at least a temporary one.  Cool.  I know that one of the brood was impressed, but no-one has asked me to make one for their least, not yet.

This morning, I realized that I might just have some similarly sized dolls in my collection (and therefore perhaps something to borrow), so I brought them out and made introductions:

from L-R: Moxie Teenz Bijou, Disney Singing Aurora, Alex, Barbie as Genevieve, Moxie Teenz Melrose
Aurora is too big, but Barbie/Genevieve looks like she's similarly sized...

Okay, Alex is taller...
...and has a larger chest...
...and larger hands.
Hmmm.  I tried the dress anyway...

...and that's as far as Alex's hand will go into the sleeve.
But, the sleeves aren't fully attached, which will allow me to see if the dress will fit anyway...

Looks good from the front...
...but not so much from the back
It would appear that Alex is not impressed.
Not crazy about the pink and glitter?
And Melrose (or Bijou) are too small, but they do have similar articulation:

Moxie Teenz are not as busty

A sample of their similar posability.  Here is a better
view of Alex standing unassisted (Melrose is leaning
against the backdrop)

For the time being, Alex has her under garments/summer night wear to keep her decent, but I'll have to find or make something else to expand her wardrobe.  I do have some linen that would make a nice dress...

Bottom line is that I'm pleased to add Alex to my doll family.  And I can't wait to go back to that antiques mall!


I've been griping about how difficult it is to find patterns for Alex so that I can make some clothing that will fit her properly.  If I had taken the time to go through my old issues of Barbie Bazaar/Haute Doll/Doll Reader, I would have found this sooner:

In the November 2000 issue of Doll Reader, there was a contest to design an outfit for Alex.  Two outfits were to be chosen from the entries, with the possibility of them being produced by the Alexander company in the future.  The pattern above was provided as a starting point for those that wished to enter.  There was no specification to enlarge the pattern in the magazine, so if anyone wishes to print this, please note that the bottom of the sleeve pattern piece should measure 72mm across to be the correct size.  Now to the fabric stash....