Harumika Review – Hands on the with mini dress making kit
A craft that doesn’t take long to set up, or clear up, requires little support, is relaxing, and can be enjoyed by a child while I drink coffee and eat cake – oh yes, the Harumika ticks all those boxes.
What got tested: Harumika Fashion Designer Dress Form Set, RRP £18
By: Friend ‘H’, aged 7 1/2 years.
Why: Because Bandai sent it for review – all views remain my own.
What’s in the box:
- 2 dress-makers dummies
- Orange dress-making tool
- 4 squares of ribbon
- 2 pieces of narrow ribbon
- Belt buckle accessory
- 2 sheets of stickers
- Instruction sheet (which we ignored)
This is a glue-less, scissor-less, mess-free crafting kit.
Use the fabrics and wrap them in different ways to create tops, skirts and dresses.
How the test went:
I’ll post a Harumika video at the end of this so you can see how the kit works, but basicly you wrap the fabric around the dolls, then use a spatula-style tool to tuck the ends into a gap in the back of the doll.
H knew how to make a dress and secure it immediately, without looking at the instructions and having never played with a Harumika set before, so this toy is obviously very intuitive to use. She needed very little support to be able to enjoy crafting a range of dresses, trying different combinations of the fabrics, and wrapping them at different angles to create new styles.
There were two sheets of stickers included, to decorate the dummies and the outfits. The glittery stickers stuck on the fabric easily and stayed there. However, the ethnic stickers or chunky necklaces and flowers were really hard work. They didn’t want to stick to the fabric at all, and quickly peeled off the dummy. This was causing some frustration, so I broke the tension by raiding my ribbon box and swapping the stickers for a few scraps of ribbon to make new outfits from.
That little top-up for the kit happened after about 30 minutes of crafting, and then H played happily making new outfits for another 20 minutes.
- H found it much easier to make the dresses with the stands removed (that may be how you are meant to do it, and then push the stand onto the dummy afterwards).
- Make your own fashion show by photographing each outfit before you reuse the dummy.
Mustn’t grumble, well not too much…
- Be really careful when you remove the packaging. The squares of fabric are held in with the same plastic tags that hold labels onto clothes. If you pull them roughly they will damage the fabric. All 4 squares of fabric had little puncture holes in.
- There were only 4 pieces of fabric included. These must be so inexpensive that a few more scraps would make little difference to the cost of production, but would really add to the feeling of value for money.
Loved it because…
- It’s easy to do, so is very relaxing, but has grown-up styling to appeal to older girls so it doesn’t feel babyish.
- The stands have been well thought out. The body, stick and base can all be separated for storage to stop the think stick getting snapped.
- It really does help develop creative thinking. You start off wrapping round 2 pieces of fabric to create a bandeau top and skirt, then 30 minutes later, you’re creating a handkerchief skirt, off-the-shoulder top, or an asymmetrical dress.
- I love that this is about fashion and not beauty – joining colours, styles, patterns and accessories to look good, not using make up to change the way you look.
- It is so easy, and cheap to stretch the life of this toy. Never throw old clothes out again withut cutting a square of Harumika size fabric from it, and you will be able to constantly update the kit. Wide ribbon works perfectly with this set.
This explains how the range works.
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Cheers, ta, and thank you very muchly.