Was there ever a time when we all roamed free? That’s not a theoretical question, like “If a tree falls in a forest,” etc. I mean, the self-isolation seems to be entering Year 10 rather than just hitting the one-month mark. One way to deal with the shuttering of businesses and outside entertainment facilities is to seek out movies one might have missed. With so many streaming services available, Western films and miniseries are easy to catch. Cowboys (and cowgirls) are the all-powerful symbol of rugged American individuality. Pat Moulton recognizes this, and her 2020 line of BJDs is a testament to Tombstone, Texas, and tumbling tumbleweeds.
Moulton, a Western artist (born in California and residing in Nevada), has had a field-day creating this lineup of capable and take-charge dolls. These are cowgirls who can take a bull by the horns and look svelte and stylish while doing so.
They remind me of the comely desperados who rode and lassoed their way through 1994’s “Bad Girls” movie. Likewise, 2006’s “Bandidas” offered two women from opposite sides of the track who bonded together as outlaws, but for a good cause, of course. Both of these films offer female renegades. The themes are feminist, and the stars are toting guns, but have big golden hearts!
Pat Moulton reckoned she’d wrangle up a group of cowgirls when she learned of the United Federation of Doll Clubs’ Dallas-bound convention. “I will be hosting an event and will be in the sales room, too. So when thinking about dolls to take with me to the UFDC convention, a new design came to me. I thought, ‘Why not cowgirls?’ Plus, I realized what fun that would be, and Texas is certainly the right place to have them!” she explained.
After 40 years in the doll business, Moulton has pretty much made everything: babies, fairy-tale heroines, folkloric characters, and steampunk adventurers. Despite her rich legacy of innovations, she’d never tackled a posse of pretty cowgirls. It would be a first for her, and she wasn’t discouraged. In fact, she took the reins and galloped away with the challenge.
“I am really into my cowgirls because not only do I get to make the dolls, but I get to design and make the clothing. I’ve had to learn to make cowboy boots and chaps. It has been a delight to come up with each outfit,” she observed. “It’s all in the details—the fabric in the correct print size, the color and texture of the leather for chaps and boots. It hasn’t been the easiest, but it has definitely pushed my creativity.”
The ever-resourceful artist moseyed over to YouTube to score some pointers on how to make the necessary clothing and accessories. “I hadn’t made boots, jeans, or chaps, but I knew, ‘What is a cowgirl without them?’ The doll would not be a cowgirl if she lacked those things. I found a man online who showed how to make real cowboy boots. I just adjusted that down to doll size,” Moulton detailed.
Regarding the belts and the chaps, Moulton had an easier task. “It wasn’t that hard to make the belt, and the chaps were fun to create. I looked at pictures and I could figure it out on my own. I made my own patterns, and it turned out well.”
Magazines and Pinterest boards have provided inspiration in the past, and different images always visit Moulton’s continually active mind. Her thoughts are never locked down, and her imagination is always open for business.
Living through this coronavirus shutdown, and recommendations to shelter in place, Moulton still wanted to feel useful and productive. She has turned to her stockpile of fabric for the public good. “I am making masks for the hospitals for a few days now. It has been fun using many printed fabrics I have here at the house,” Pat Moulton shared. “I am volunteering to make them. At least it is something that I can do that will help.”
Pat Moulton is definitely a modern-day cowgirl with a selfless disposition, a “can do” spirit, and a clear-eyed focus on the future. She’s a “pardner” we’d all like to ride with. Happy Trails!