Sunday, January 24, 2016

Frosty Fair Isle Set

So I hope everyone is keeping warm like Saige!


Look how toasty she looks! Please check out the P.S. on this post to learn about my new picture taking methods!

I'm from the south, where even the hint of snow sends us into a panic. The city I live in might as well be shut down-and yes, I did participate in the mayhem. I went to the store to purchase the obligatory bread and milk as well as a flashlight in case the power went out, bottled water for me and the fur babies just in case, a huge bag of cat food (the apocalypse was surely coming, but my cats were gonna survive!), and Mountain Dew (which I am addicted to, there should be a Mountain Dew Anonymous).




My internet went down for three days and that was the worst-I realize that this is the epitome of a first world problem, but I guess I'm addicted to the internet as well.

So in honor of the hilarious way people have reacted to this, let's look at an appropriate doll outfit! This will be a new experience for me, because I have never reviewed a modern outfit on this blog. Saige is the only modern doll I own-she was a gift from my grandmother less than a year before her death.

This set was released in 2013 as part of the My American Girl line (now Truly Me). I thought it was still available but a quick search of the Truly Me outfits shows that it is not. It sold for $30. As soon as I saw it in stores, I had to have it for Saige. That is not my typical reaction to the modern outfits either so...yeah, this was cute.

It was supposed to be paired with the puffy jacket set which included the jacket and some fingerless gloves, which sold for $24. I didn't purchase that set, because at the time, I had never experienced cold to make me believe a puffy jacket and gloves were important items. I only started wearing gloves regularly when I moved away from Florida, and I still have not seen the need for a puffy jacket.

I want to have complete collections for the historical dolls (yes, I know that is not practical) but thankfully I feel no such compulsion with the modern dolls or sets. So I bought what I wanted and ignored the rest.

Anyways, here is the review!

Fair Isle Technique:

Oh did you think I'd skip the history because this is a modern review? Lolz.

This knitting style is named after the island called Fair Isle, which is part of the larger Shetland Islands. Fair Isle is to the north of Scotland. The style became popular when Edward VIII (the one who abdicated to wed the divorced Wallis Simpson and the one with Nazi sympathies)  wore a Fair Isle tank top as Prince of Wales in 1921. Ever since then, the fair isle sweater has become a staple in many people's wardrobes.

The island is very beautiful (based on all the pictures I saw) and I hope I can visit one day



The Fair Isle technique refers to a traditional knitting technique which involves only five or so colors and only uses two colors per row. I am not a crafter so that description doesn't mean much to me, but what I did take from it is this-this is a specific kind of craft, and not all colorful knits meet the standards. And they certainly aren't made by authentic Fair Isle knitters! As of 2011, only six women on the Fair Isle still made the traditional knit.

http://www.fairisle.org.uk/images/jumpers.jpg (taken from Wikipedia, but that's the original photo)



Despite that, Fair Isle is often used as a generic term for any knitting that uses alternative colors to make a pattern.


Here's one being sold by the Gap for $49.99. It's called the circular fair isle sweater in heather grey. The URL to find this is way too long so I am going to include it at the very, very bottom of this post. If you want a genuine fair isle sweater, I'm pretty sure they listed authentic sellers on the fairisle.org website that I listed in further reading.
Anyways, on to Saige!


Frosty Fair Isle Set:

Sweater:


So the main draw of the entire outfit is, IMO, the sweater.


The sweater is a light, icy blue with long sleeves and a close fit to the body. The sweater has a crew neckline.


Here is an image of the pattern used. Now I cannot count more than three colors-the light blue of the background, the medium blue, and the darker blue. It only uses two colors per row. As far as I can tell (and I am by no means an expert) it looks like a Fair Isle sweater. Of course, that does not mean that Mattel had authentic knitters create this sweater. But it looks real to me.


The sweater has a simpler pattern on the sleeve-just the background color and the lighter blue. The sleeves have no puff and instead fit snugly all the way from the shoulder to the wrist. You can see the brand label in the corner.


That simpler pattern continues on the hem of the sweater, which fits very snugly and nicely around her hips.


As you can see, the pattern continues along the back-I hate when the pattern ends, these clothes are too expensive for that nonsense. It velcros up the back like most American Girl outfits.

You obviously can't tell, but the fabric is very nice and soft. Make sure to store this carefully-the Velcro will certainly snag the fabric if you don't carefully close it up in storage.

I like this sweater and I would probably wear it myself. I would prefer it in a gray on me, but the light blue is also nice and looks very pretty on Saige. The fit is flattering and the pattern is nice. The sweater is basically the reason I bought the outfit.

Leggings:

Leggings are basically my favorite thing because they're so comfy and they are apparently fashionable. This set includes a pair of very basic knit gray leggings.


The front of the leggings.

They pull right on up, as leggings should. The leggings are fitted but not super tight. She has room to move around in them. As you can see, the leggings tuck into her boots.


The back of the leggings, with a giant American Girl label in purple to match her boots.

The fabric is sturdy and solid-some leggings are very flimsy and I just know that, despite their cheapness, they aren't a good buy because they'll have to be replaced. Or some leggings are see through in certain lights, which makes for some embarrassing situations. But not these. These are made out of decent fabric.

Not much to say about these-they're just basic leggings. I actually like how plain they are-the gray makes a nice neutral against the blue sweater and purple accessories. Also, the color makes these very versatile, which is how I like my pants. My tops add the flair; my bottoms are almost always denim, black, or gray. They're the canvas; the top and accessories are the paint. Or maybe I'm just boring.


Boots:


The pants tuck into a pair of lilac boots. These come up mid-calf and are fuzzy. They have dangling charms (don't know what else to call them) on the side.


This image is blurry but these are the charms. They have snow flakes on them.


Better picture of the charms but with no close up.


The bottoms have treads so she won't slide on the ice. A lot of doll shoes have smooth bottoms which I guess doesn't really matter, but in real life would result in a person falling on their face.

The boots are probably my least favorite part of the outfit. I don't like that fuzzy material in pretty much anything-it makes my skin crawl for some reason. Additionally, I feel like these are impractical snow wear. I realize that there are ways to waterproof boots, but these are the farthest from waterproof ever. Her feet will get soaked.

Still, they're pretty cute and I like the color.

Headband:


The final component is the lilac headband that matches the boots. It's cute and it does its job-it holds back Saige's hair.

Overall:

I love this outfit! The boots are not my favorite, but they're alright. The rest of the outfit is very nice. Currently, since I have no modern holiday wear, Saige wears this for Christmas. I don't think that is too far fetched either-I rarely see a modern child dressed up for Christmas day. I do have my eye on a few holiday outfits though so soon this will become her winter wear.

Anyway, I hope everyone enjoyed learning about the production and history of fair isle sweaters!

More Pictures!






Further Reading:

https://retrowithrosie.wordpress.com/2011/11/15/that-old-alpine-style/

http://www.fairisle.org.uk/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fair_Isle_(technique)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fair_Isle


P.S. Shout out to Neth from American Girl Outsider-you'll notice that some of my pictures on this post have an all cream background. That is because of the recent crafting post on her blog-I modified the idea using a bookshelf but the idea still originally came from her. Make sure to go check that out! I'm including a link both to that particular post and to the blog in general.

http://americangirloutsider.blogspot.com/2016/01/crafting-creatively-15-pvc-photo.html

http://americangirloutsider.blogspot.com/\


Fair Isle Sweater sold by the Gap:

http://www.gap.com/browse/product.do?pid=718311012&vid=1&locale=en_US&kwid=1&sem=false&sdkw=circular-fair-isle-sweater-P718311&sdReferer=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.google.com%2Furl%3Fsa%3Di%26rct%3Dj%26q%3D%26esrc%3Ds%26source%3Dimages%26cd%3D%26ved%3D0ahUKEwj1mMCsmr7KAhUI2SYKHXCfBPIQjB0IBg%26url%3Dhttp%253A%252F%252Fwww.gap.com%252Fproducts%252Fcircular-fair-isle-sweater-P718311.jsp%26bvm%3Dbv.112454388%2Cd.eWE%26psig%3DAFQjCNHsvdhc6ElQi-gXWYm0CBPCifEcTQ%26ust%3D1453579106360525

2 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. I'm not very familiar with 60s fashion to be honest, but I'm sure that'll change when Melody is released!

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