Take pictures of your surroundings to use as “material” for your doll’s clothes — in this case, old stereo speakers for the skirt, and a photo of a sunset for the blouse. (Emily Shahan/GeekWire)

It might be a “kid’s app” but it’s entertained the hell out of me for the past couple weeks. It’s “Toca Tailor Fairy Tales” by Toca Boca. This app is the free version of a $2.99 app called Toca Tailor, and it’s essentially digital paper dolls. I’m a huge fan of this kind of thing, I love dressing up my Xbox LIVE avatar and customizing game characters, but Toca Tailor goes beyond playing dress-up.

Cute mushroom hat and awesome crystal shirt!!! After outfitting your virtual dolls, you can use your camera to overlay them onto the real world and take a picture.

The design is the first thing this app has going for it. The “dolls” and clothes are super cute (I really love the little mushroom hat) and there’s a playfulness that runs through the whole app. I have it on my iPad and it looks and sounds magical. I also love how the clothes are gender neutral (unlike some dress up games, I’m looking at you, Xbox LIVE), because boys can wear skirts too! The second best thing about Fairy Tales is the flawless UI. There’s no delay, drags or snags and it’s incredibly intuitive.

The absolute best thing about this app and what makes it the App of the Week, is its ability to interact with your photos. This happens in two ways:

  • First, you can create clothing for your doll using ANY photo you have saved on your device OR you can take a photo in real time and use it as the fabric for the clothing. You can make your cat’s fur into a sweater – the creative possibilities are really endless.
  • Then, once you’ve created your doll, you can take a photo of the doll in whatever real-world setting you want! Press a button and the doll become superimposed on your device’s camera, making for fun interaction with kids (or adults).

Toca Boca may have had kids in mind when they created Toca Tailor, but they must have known artists and designers of all ages would fall in love with it, too.

It’s a free app for iPhone and iPad.

Listen to the segment via this MP3 file or the audio player above.

(Editor’s Note: Here are more of Emily’s creations; Click any image for gallery.)

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  • daphne

    This app and those photos are just about the most adorable thing I’ve ever seen! This is the first time seeing that there is a paper doll app out there, defiantly going to check this out, great article. Thanks Emily!

  • http://elizabethsheryl.blogspot.com/ Elizabeth Bartlett

    I love this, and I think being able to interject the creation on existing pictures is a great idea.

  • http://www.facebook.com/zoe.coopermeyer Zoe Cooper-Meyer

    I liked Toca Bocas work very much. I went ahead and searched for similar apps on tailoring, fashion and crafts for kids. I found an app called Fashion House: Catwalk Designer by Lala and Boom. This app has a real education value as well as the fun play side. I can play and learn with my little girl how one can make costumes and dresses etc.. This app is really good, highly recommend it. itunnes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/fashion-house-catwalk-designer/id586935423?mt=8

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