Monday, February 9, 2015

Featured Etsy Shop: MHD Designs & Giveaway!

- This giveaway has ended. Winner announced here. -

Welcome to our second Etsy feature with the well known Magalie Dawson, creator of MHD Designs. She has graciously provided a free pattern download for one lucky reader as the giveaway to celebrate this post.

The interview is presented first with the giveaway is at the end of the post.

MHD = Magalie Houle Dawson

~Interview with Magalie Dawson of MHD Designs~
Cecile: Bonjour mes amies! Today we are introducing you to a very talented designer who creates museum quality outfits for many types of dolls, including American Girl, that are très exquis, very exquisite!
Sam: She has been sewing since she was a child and not only creates beautiful outfits for dolls but Big People as well, such as ballet dancers!
Cecile: Oui Samantha, and we must not forget, her design entry for an international competition was even selected to represent Canada on a Fashion Runway in Paris! C’est très excitant! J’amie Paris!
Lilly: Her one of a kind outfits are incredibly embellished and detailed, and are loved by all who see these pieces of fashion art. She has even created patterns from some of her designs to inspire other seamstresses to create for their dolls.
Sam: Presenting the incredibly skilled and talented designer, Ms. Magalie Dawson from MHD Designs!

Cecile: Merci, Ms. Dawson, for joining us today and answering some questions for us! We know you are very busy with a new project so I will try not to take up too much time. My first question is, why did you decide to design for American Girl dolls?
MHD: When I founded MHD Designs in 1999, the AG dolls were not as much an adult collector doll yet, and I was not offering any patterns for them at the time.  When I started offering patterns in 2006, many collectors started asking for patterns for the AG line to sew for their daughter's dolls. That’s when I fell in love with them! If they existed in my childhood, I would have been in heaven to own one (or two, or three)!  They are the perfect little models, and have a huge audience.  


Lilly: That’s right! Ms. Dawson, you not only design for American Girl, but you also design for other doll lines like Little Darling, Ellowyne, Kaye Wiggs, Dollfie, MyTwinn and more. With all the different dolls in such a variety of sizes you design for, what are some adjustments you have to keep in mind between the different dolls? For example, do certain styles or designs look less flattering on certain dolls?
MHD: When I start a new project I try to consider the age group the doll is, and also her construction. Many designs for a fashion doll such as Ellowyne would not work for a little girl type of doll.  But I think that most of the time, any designs can be made to work for any types of models, as long as the end result is pleasing to the eyes.

Sam: How excellent! That means we have just as many options as other dolls to model your lovely ensembles. Do you have a favorite time period or style to design and make outfits for Ms. Dawson?
MHD: I love all time periods!  But I am attracted to design ensembles with lots of embellishments, ruffles, embroideries and volume, and usually include this for any time periods I work on.


Cecile: C’est vrai, Ms. Dawson’s outfits are un fameux, famous, for the level of detailed embellishments, embroidery detail, ruffles, and other decorations. It is what makes her outfits stand out and so unique! Now I know you sell your one of a kind outfits through eBay but in addition to that, you also have patterns you designed which you sell through many venues, including Etsy. What is different from creating an outfit and making a pattern?
MHD: This is a very good question!  When I design a new pattern, I make a "pattern proof" of the ensemble to use for the cover page of the pattern, then usually sell it on eBay.  I have to be very careful of the choice of fabric and trims I use for this, as the fabrics needs to be easy to find for the seamstress to use for the pattern.  At the same time, I try to use fabrics that are discontinued but of a type that is easy to find.  I do not encourage the seamstress to find the exact same fabrics and trims because it would not be fair for the collector who purchase the pattern proof ensemble.  When I design a one of a kind ensemble, I use hard to find fabrics and trims, and intricate sewing techniques.  A Pattern proof can take three to four days to finish, but a one of a kind ensemble sometimes take up to a month of work.

Lilly: That’s incredible! One month? And I thought a two day project was long. While working on such long projects, do you ever get a creative block? If so, how do you overcome it?
MHD: It is rare that this happens, I always have two or three projects going on my table.  But when my work table is cleared of all projects, and I do not know exactly what I want to do next, I can always work on resizing an existing pattern for another size doll.


Sam: It sounds as if you keep yourself pretty occupied with your projects, but with so many ideas and projects on your table, can you tell us what your favorite and least favorite part of what you do is?
MHD: I love pretty much all parts of the work I do!  I suppose that the part I dislike the most is not having enough time to do all of what I would like to accomplish!  I do this for a living, and have family obligations at the same time.  So it is always a struggle to finish projects in time.

Cecile: Nous étions si excites, we were so excited Ms. Dawson, to see that you reopened your Etsy shop recently, and offer your AG patterns there, as well as patterns for Little Darlings and Ellowyne dolls. We are all very curious to know what plans do you have for your shop in the near future?
MHD: Many plans!  I would love to offer some fabric and trim "kits" to use for the patterns, and also offer "ready to wear" separates and ensembles for the AG dolls.  I am hoping to have a Spring collection ready to offer by the beginning of April (if time allows...).

Look at the rich colors and details on these two pelisses from "Rosings Park" and "Pemberly".

Lilly: That sounds like a fantastic idea! I know we at L&L are really looking forward to seeing your Spring collection, as well as the ready to wear separates.
Sam: Yes, and the ready make fabric and trim kits are a wonderful idea, especially for those who have some difficulty with picking and matching fabrics and trims, or have trouble finding high quality fabrics. 
Lilly: You’re talking about our Person aren’t you Sam?
Cecile: Mais oui bien sûr! Of course! We are coming to the end of our interview Ms. Dawson. I believe that is our last questions. Is
Lilly: Wait Cecile, Lissie told us not to for the 1 word bonus.
Sam: Oh you are right Sawako Lilly! She will never forgive us if we forget.
Lilly: Ms. Dawson, the 1 word bonus is beef or bananas?
MHD: Beef!

Cecile: Now before we close, is there any advice you would like to share with the readers? 
MHD: Never be afraid to try a pattern!  Sometimes they look more complicated than they really are.  And I am always happy to help!


Sam: She really is! Ms. Dawson is excellent about offering advice and assistance if you have any questions while using one of her patterns. They may look intimidating but each pattern comes with very detailed, color photo instructions to walk you through.
Lilly: Thank you so much for coming to spend some time with us today and answering our questions! We enjoyed speaking with you and learning more about MHD Designs as well as upcoming plans for your Etsy store. For our readers who want to learn even more about Ms. Dawson, you can click here to visit her website where she has answers to a few more questions under the patterns link. You can also admire the gallery of her past creations as well! If you want still more of MHD Designs, you can follow her at the links below:


Cecile: Merci beaucoup Ms. Dawson! Now that you have seen her beautiful outfits, perhaps you would like to try to create one yourself from one of her patterns? We will now go to Lydia Charlotte, Marie-Grace, and our fearless Lissie for details about our giveaway!


~Giveaway~

Lissie: Come on you guys, look sharp! It’s our turn at last!
Lydia: Why are you helping with the giveaway Lissie? I thought you preferred to do interviews?
Lissie: Cause to live is to give! Now what are we giving away? Fire? Excitement? Unlimited chocolate?
MG: Even better! Ms. Dawson has generously agreed to give one lucky winner their favorite MHD Designs pattern from her Etsy shop.

Some examples of the beautiful patterns in her store for you to pick from.

Lissie: Their favorite pattern? But how will she know which is their favorite? Is she a mind reader???
MG: Non Lissie! Ms. Dawson is un genie, a genius, but not a psychic.
Lydia: We are asking everyone who wants to enter to visit her Etsy store and comment with their favorite pattern and why. Then one person will randomly be selected and they will receive the pattern they put down as their favorite.

The patterns are all so creative and detailed with clear color photos of instructions to help you create your own version of these extraordinary outfits.

Lissie: Well bladderdash, that sounds perfectly organized. Where’s the chaos?
MG: Ce n’est pas le chaos. It will not be chaos Lissie, it will be safe and fun, with no purchase necessary.
Lissie: Hmmm… I don’t really associate those two words.
Lydia: The winner will get their favorite pattern emailed to them and it is open to everyone over the age of 13. If you are under 13, please ask your parents or guardians to enter for you.
Lissie: But we’re not even 13! Or are we?
Lydia: The catalog said we were timeless Lissie. Please don’t forget to put your name with your comment! If you do not have a Google+ account, you can select the “Name/URL” option which will let you put in your name.
Lissie: Bony chance everyone!
MG: Lissie, are you trying to say bonne chance, good luck?
Lissie: … Sure… that’s exactly what I was saying…

The giveaway will run from Feb. 9 - Feb. 19 (midnight Central USA time).

To enter:
Visit MHD Designs' Etsy Store by clicking here. Share with us your favorite pattern in her shop and why. (theme, design, style, time period, etc.)

For bonus entries:
Favorite MHD Designs' Etsy store. (include username in comment for verification)
"Like" MHD Designs on Facebook (click here to go to the page) (include username in comment for verification)
"Like" Lissie & Lilly on Facebook (click here to go to the page) (include username in comment for verification)
Follow/Google+ this blog. (If you are already a follower/google+, just comment with your account. ^_^)
Share about this giveaway on social media (Facebook, Your Blog, Instagram, Tumblr, Twitter, Google+, Pintrest, other forums, etc.) - Be sure to include the link(s) to your post(s) in your comment so we can verify where you shared. 
*max 9 additional entries*

The winners will be announced in 2 weeks on Friday, February 20th on this post, so check back then! ^_^

68 comments:

  1. My favorite from her shop right now is Simplicite because it is more springlike and I am looking forward to spring. I have two of her patterns already and just need to find the right fabric and start sewing.

    Ally from AGFMB

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    1. It is starting to feel like spring here as well! Thank you for sharing your favorite Ally. I am confirming I have your entry down.

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  2. Thank you so much for the interview! My favorite MHD AG pattern (of the ones I do not yet have) is the 1812 Pelisse. Partly because I have always loved the word "pelisse"; it reminds me of Jane Austen. I love the long and short variations. Mostly though, I covet the bonnet! It is absolutely gorgeous.

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    1. I didn't realize the Regency era coats were called Pelisse until I saw her use the term. :) Thank you for commenting! I am confirming I have your entry down.

      Delete
  3. I don't sew but I think her dresses are drop dead gorgeous. My favorite pattern in her store is Netherfield because I like Regency patterns and the train at the end of the dress is a nice touch.

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    1. It's never to late to learn to sew! And Magalie's directions have received great praise from those who own them. :) Thank you for entering, I am confirming I have your entry down!

      Delete
  4. I love Jane Austin novels so I love the Netherfield pattern. I have looked for Regency dress patterns for AG dolls but never see any (until now)

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    1. I'm also a Jane Austen fan. :) Several of her designs look like an Austin lover's dream. ^_^ Thank you for commenting, I am confirming I have your entry down.

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  5. My favorite is Son Bonnet because I think it would be perfect for Cécile, and AG never gave her a coat! (I'm sure even NOLA can get cold at night in the winter, haha!) I also liked your FB page and hers as kitandkat, and her etsy shop as kitandkat. My twitter post is here: https://twitter.com/kitkatrock/status/564858240954277888 My tumblr post is here: http://kitkatrock.tumblr.com/post/110556559203/lissie-lilly-featured-etsy-shop-mhd-designs And my FB post is here: http://www.facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=1005679166127727&id=118879581474361

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    1. Thank you so much for liking and sharing! I am confirming I have your entries down! ^_^ (Son Bonnet is much nicer than the coat AG give our NOLA girls. :D)

      Delete
    2. Haha, well, I forgot about the pastel monstrosity - but this one IS so much better!

      Delete
  6. I love Magalie's work! Each outfit is a masterpiece, a work of art...

    It's hard to choose just one pattern that I like, and I'm not sure wich my favorite is... 1812 Pelisse, I think! (But Son Bonnet and Mon bon manteau have also always been at the top of my list!)

    I liked Magalie's page on Facebook.
    I liked your page on Facebook.
    I favorited Magalie's Etsy Store (Sophie Trahan).
    Your blog is already in my Google + (I commented!).
    I also shared your post on my Pinterest (https://www.pinterest.com/pin/370561875565450151/).

    Thank you!

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    1. I will be sure to pass on your lovely comments to Magalie, Sophie! Thank you for liking and sharing this post! I am confirming I have your entries down. ^_^

      Delete
  7. So difficult to choose because they are all so beautiful but since we are choosing just one, I chose "Petite Chinoise" Oriental Fashion Pattern for American Girl Dolls because I am creating a wardrobe for a 1920s doll and since Asian influence in fashion was popular during that era, I would love to make my AG doll some lounge wear from this pattern. <--one very long and probably not grammatically correct sentence :)
    Also:
    Added Magalie's Etsy Store to my favorites: https://www.etsy.com/people/artistcharyll/favorites?ref=hdr

    And pinned “Petite Chinoise” to my board: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/348677196126207710/

    Once again, great questions in the interview!

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    1. Thank you for commenting and sharing your thoughts! I am confirming I have your entries down. :)

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  8. My favorite is the 1812 Pelisse" because I love the Regency period.

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    1. Thank for sharing your favorite. ^_^ I am confirming I have your entry down.

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  9. Hello,

    My favorite MHD pattern of all time is Regency Inspired Pelisse, Spencer with Peplum, and Bonnet. This pattern takes my breath away. If I sewed this in pink, I could easily stop sewing for the rest of my life and keep my doll in just this outfit. So beautiful.

    My favorite Etsy pattern by MHD is
    "Netherfield" Regency Dress. It's so frilly and feminine.

    I favorited MHD Designs - Fashion Sculpture for Dolls on etsy, and liked MHD on Facebook. as well as Lissie & Lilly on Facebook.

    Sincerely,

    Ariel

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    1. Thank you for sharing your favorite! If you win we definitely want to see photos of this in pink! ^_^ I am confirming I have your entries down.

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  10. My favorite is the 1812 Pelisse. Going to Now to like MHD and Lissie and Lilly on Facebook. Loved the interview.

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    1. Thank you for sharing and liking! I am confirming I have your entries down.

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  11. This was a great interview! My pick is Netherfield because I think the detailing looks amazing though difficult. Thanks!

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    1. With Magalie's patterns, you can dress it up or keep it as simple as you wish. :) Thank you for commenting, I am confirming I have your entry down.

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  12. Another wonderful feature. Will you be doing this weekly or monthly? I pick the Robe de Fete pattern:

    https://www.etsy.com/listing/200802339/pdf-download-mhd-designs-robe-de-fete?ref=shop_home_active_14

    The layers of lace with the contrasting straight panel in the center front are very attractive.

    By. Grandma Sue

    ReplyDelete
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    1. I will try to feature a new Etsy seller every other week. :) Thank you for sharing your favorite! I am confirming I have your entry down.

      Delete
  13. I picked Apres-Midi because it is such a unique look. I don't think I've ever seen a design quite like that before, but it's perfect for Civil War era fashion.

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    1. Thank you for sharing your favorite! :) I am confirming I have your entry down.

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  14. Hard to decide but I'm going with Netherfield because this would be a pattern for an outfit from Pride & Prejudice, lol! Thanks!

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    1. Hahaha! Austen fans unite! Thank you for commenting. :) I am confirming I have your entry down.

      Delete
  15. 1812 Pelisse is my favorite because it has such a clean cut look to it, and I like that you can make it longer or shorter.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Thank you for sharing your favorite! I am confirming I have your entry down.

      Delete
  16. Bonnet De Soleil reminds me of Little House on the Prairie and my Kirsten would look fantastic in this design. Thank you for offering the giveaway.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Thank you for sharing your favorite! :) I am confirming I have your entry down.

      Delete
  17. I like Netherfield because the details are amazing. It looks intimidating but I am eager to give it a try if I win. Thank you!

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    1. Although the design can be embellished very elaborately, the basic shape of the dress is very doable and Magalie provides such wonderful directions. :) Thank you for commenting! I am confirming I have your entry down.

      Delete
  18. Another awesome interview and giveaway! Magalie Dawson's work is incredible. Does she only sell on ebay? For my favorite pattern, I'm going with Netherfield: https://www.etsy.com/listing/200732757/pdf-download-mhd-designs-netherfield?ref=shop_home_active_17
    I think the silhouette of it is really great and can be adapted to many different looks. I'm already a follower on google+ and facebook.

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    1. Lol still can't figure out the name thing. This is Grace Nguyen again.

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    2. Hi Grace! Thank you for sharing your favorite! I am confirming I have your entry down. For the name, you can select the "Name/URL" option in order to put down your name. :)

      Delete
  19. I picked the Frous Frous sundress and coat pattern because I think the design is very cute and great for any modern doll.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Thank you for sharing your favorite! I am confirming I have your entry down.

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  20. I really was struck by the Netherfield pattern. I have been looking at getting a Regency era pattern and this one is simply lovely.

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    1. I favorited her shop on Etsy under 'walshap'

      Thanks for the wonderful showcase of her work and for the contest!

      Delete
    2. Thank you for favoriting and sharing your thoughts! :) I am confirming I have your entries down.

      Delete
  21. I love the illustrations accompanying each pattern. Did she draw them herself? After looking at all the patterns in her shop, I'm going to go with Netherfield as my favorite. It's a very delicate, feminine Regency design and very flattering on AG scale dolls.

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    1. Yes! Magalie draws all the illustrations herself. ^_^ They're gorgeous! Thank you for sharing your favorite. I am confirming I have your entry down!

      Delete
  22. I'm having a hard time making a decision, between the 1812 Pelisse and Netherfield. I love the dreamy quality of both patterns and their range of versatility but in the end, if I win I would like to try my hand at the Netherfield pattern.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Thank you for sharing your favorite! :) I am confirming I have your entry down.

      Delete
  23. I've a few MHD designs, but pretty much love them all! Hard to choose, but Netherfield is really totally lovely!! Am loving period designs.

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    1. Thank you for sharing your thoughts! What name would you like me to put your entry down under? :)

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  24. What beautiful creations! I think my favorite is Netherfield as well because I love Regency era designs. Thank you.

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    1. Thank you for sharing your favorite! I am confirming I have your entry down. :)

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  25. I love the 1850Ks Dessous! As a history buff, vintage fashion buff and reenactor I feel no historical outfit is not complete without undergarments!

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    1. Thank you for sharing your thoughts! What name would you like me to put your entry down under? :)

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    2. Mary Beth Sills please :-)

      Delete
    3. Thank you! I'm confirming I have your entry down. ^_^

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  26. not sure if my comment went through so I'll retype - I like the "1812 Pelisse" best of the currently available patterns in her store, but if I could choose any it would be a 17th century pattern for a robe polonaise or a robe anglaise since 17th century is my favourite.
    I liked both the facebook pages from Angel Whelan account, favrited the etsy store from angel Whelan and also Rose Whelan (my daughter's store) and added to the google+. Lovely giveaway!

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    1. Thank you for resubmitting your comment Kathy! I'm sorry you were having trouble getting it through. ^_^ I am confirming I have your entries down.

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  27. The Netherfield is stunning! I love to sew. I have only done simple dresses so far. These are inspirational!

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    1. Thank you for sharing your favorite! I am confirming I have your entry down. :)

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  28. "Frous Frous" Sundress and Coat Fashion Pattern is my favourite pattern of hers. I like the relative simplicity of the outfit, and find the coat quite unique.

    I've liked both your and her Facebook pages - my username is Firinel Turner.
    I've 'favourited' her on etsy - my username there is 'myriadcolours'.
    And I've followed this blog via Google+ -- I think I'm signed in using that account, it'll show up as 'Aurora', because of the doll blog I use to have, but it's connected to my gmail, so... *shrug* let me know if there's a problem/question with that.

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    1. Everything is fine, thank you for sharing your favorite and liking/following! ^_^ I am confirming I have your entries down.

      Delete
  29. Netherfield is my favorite pattern in her shop, though I think all of them are beautiful. The detailing looks difficult but it creates a beautiful effect.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Thank you for sharing your favorite! Although the detailing may look difficult and intimidating initially, the basic structure of the dress is very do-able and Magalie's patterns have detailed instructions accompanied by photos. ^_^ I am confirming I have your entry down.

      Delete
  30. We think the Frous Frous pattern looks wonderful because it is a style that would flatter any doll. Rory is already asking grandma to make one for her so I'm keeping my fingers crossed.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Thank you (both) for sharing your favorite! ^_^ I am confirming I have your entry down.

      Delete
  31. OMG her dresses are so beautiful!!! Has she ever considered gothlic lolita outfits? They require a crazy amount of detailing just like her doll clothes. My favorite is actually 1850 Dessous since you don't really see a lot of doll underclothing, and even less historically accurate underclothing that's so detailed like that.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. As far as I know, Magalie's designs span a variety of time periods and style, though I don't think she has created a gothic lolita outfit specifically. ^_^ Thank you for sharing your favorite. I am confirming I have your entry down.

      Delete

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