Natalie has gotten very into American Girl over the past year. We pick up the books second hand whenever we see them and she delves into the pictures and time periods of each character, even if the stories are just ever-so-slightly above her reading level for right now. I know the quality of actual American Girl dolls is superior to all the others, but we were not willing to shell out the $120 for one. A friend tipped me off about Tuesday Morning having some of the Target brand 18" dolls before Christmas and so I went and snapped up the brown haired, blue eyed doll for Natalie's birthday.
Seriously, she could not love this doll more. She dresses her according to whatever we are doing and carries her everywhere. She's named her Victoria. I am absolutely thrilled that she is so in love, because all my sewing time in February was devoted to sewing up several outfits. I had a blast making them and she had a blast styling Victoria for her photo shoots yesterday :)
That's all ... for now. I plan on making an Easter dress to match Natalie's very soon! Also before Christmas, I came across an 18" doll at Savers. She has blue eyes and blond hair and is the Toys R' Us brand, Journey Girlz. She didn't have clothes and her hair isn't perfect, but for $2.99, I bought her to save for Layla. Natalie and I are going to fix her up for Layla for Easter. I read some great tips online about doll hair maintenance and I'm going to make her a couple outfits. She'll look like new when we're done! Natalie's excited to be a part of the surprise and that they will both have dolls to play with together :)
I'd like to share, too, if you're waffling about which doll brand to go with--the main difference in quality between American Girl dolls and the other less expensive brands, is the hair. American Girls have wigs, while the others have plugs. BUT, when I read and researched that you can buy the nicer quality doll wigs online for as little as $10 (just google it, there are lots of places) and replace the hair pretty easily, that sealed the deal for me going with the cheaper doll.