Monday, August 25, 2014

Project Update: The Sew-Dolling/American Girl Hybrid

American Girl Josefina head on SewDolling's SewAble body
Back in April, when I reviewed SewDolling's Madison, I mentioned that while I loved many things about the doll, I wasn't a fan of the face.  At the time, I wasn't certain about whether is was the paint or the sculpt that bothered me, and mentioned the possibility of repainting her. 

Since then, I decided that it was actually the proportions of the face itself that weren't my style, and I decided to go the hybridization route and give her a new American Girl head. 

As a side note on hybridizing these two dolls, I've talked to a few people who have wanted to put one of the SewDolling legs on an AG body - unfortunately, I don't think that would work as easily as the head swap, due to the longer length of the SewDolling body's legs (in addition, while the basic construction is identical, the torso is shorter and the stance broader on the SewDolling body), so that would be a significantly larger challenge that this simple head swap.

The Josefina head
It's not difficult to find AG "head only" or TLC listings on ebay, so I knew I could find one fairly
easily, but my biggest dilemma was which head to choose - the SewDolling dolls are darker than AG's light skin, but lighter than medium skin, so there wasn't going to be a perfect match there.  Eventually I ended up choosing a Josefina head, primarily because it was the best priced non-classic mold I found (I have Samantha and didn't want a duplicate face shape). 

Once it arrived, the head actually turned out to be in better condition that the seller's description had suggested, so I was delighted to find out that the basic recovery work would be minimal.

Th Josefina head on arrival.
I cut the hair by about 33%.


Drying after a quick wash.
You might want to warn your friends and family before
setting this up - my husband shrieked when he saw this
in the bath without warning. ;)
The two heads together.  You can see the difference in facial proportions here.
Interestingly, because the vinyl SewDolling uses is harder than AG's, it reflects
more light, which makes the dolls look like a poorer colour match than
they do in real life.

The decapitation.
Aside from having a ziptie rather than a string, the method of attaching the head on
both types of doll is identical.
The AG head (left) has a longer neck and wider inner section than the
SewDolling (right) one, but the style is still the same.
This photo was taking with a flash, so the difference in light reflection
is even more obvious here.
New head/new body!

Dressed up and ready to go!
Amusingly, the reason it took me more than a month to share this project is because I'm still unsatisfied with her hairstyle.  But knowing me, that may take another year, so I decided it was time to stop procrastinating and  just put this up! 


  1. Love her! I think Josefina was a good choice for this project.

    1. Thanks! I'm still totally pleased with how this hybrid turned out! :)

  2. LOL at your husband shrieking at finding a severed head in the shower. Not a horror fan, eh?

    Cool modding!

    1. Thanks!

      And it's true, he always shrieks at the jump scenes in horror movies too. :)