Tuesday, 25 April 2017

Dolly Mixture

Barbie has been around nearly 60 years. This leggy, busty blonde has inhabited the bedrooms of many children in that time. I never had one, but both my two acquired them. I am not sure how, as I was never able to reconcile her with my feminist feelings! But she remains popular, and my holiday relaxation craft this week has been producing clothes for another young friend, to dress her Barbie, and indulge in make-believe.

A couple of skirts, a dress,  two tops and some briefs. They all fasten at the back with narrow strips of Velcro.  
I had to buy the doll for 99p in  CS in Wymondham - originally I printed a free pattern from the Internet, cut out the red skirt, and thought "This looks way too small" 
It seemed sense to have a doll to use for fitting. I was able to modify the red skirt, but it is a little short. 
Barbie clothes are much more fiddly than the American Girl doll ones I've been making recently, but at least they only use tiny scraps of fabric. I found a diagram comparing Barbie's shape to the average American girl. 
Yep, totally unrealistic! 
Last year Mattel revealed their top secret Project Dawn, which introduced the new shape Barbies, in the hope of boosting their flagging sales. 

I am not sure how the petite, plump, dark-skinned etc Barbies have sold in the shops. American Girl Dolls, Elsa Dolls, and Bratz and others are selling very well. However, my young friend has some of the 'regular' shaped ones, so I'm confident she will enjoy these little extras for their wardrobe.
Did you have a Barbie, a Sindy or a Tressy? 
and did you [or your Mum or Gran] sew clothes for them?


  1. I still have my Barbie and Skipper from childhood and a Tressy and Sindy that are like my childhood dolls that went missing on one of our moves. My mum sewed for them and I still sew for them as well as a wide range of other dolls. I went through a period of sewing 50s style clothing for my Tressy doll.

    I do wonder if we make too much of the shape of Barbie - does it really affect children's views? Do we get too hung up on this 'stereotyping' I wonder? I don't think any of my friends really thought about her shape, she was just a doll we enjoyed playing with.

  2. Ahh, Tressy - her hair 'grew' with the help of a special key. I wasn't really that into dolls, but all my friends had a 'girl' doll. I was always irritated by the way her feet were permanently pointed!

    My mum made a beautiful knitted skirt with a matching cap I remember, and I tried sewing some clothes myself. Maybe your young friend would like to learn to sew?

  3. My daughter had Sindy, and I did spend many hours inventing clothes for her.

  4. Lovely clothes ! I'm sure that your little friend will be delighted !My sister and I had a Sindy each and the best Christmas present ever was when my Gran knitted a wardrobe of clothes for each of them !

  5. I had a Tressy and a Skipper. My aunt did piece work for a dolls' clothes manufacturer (not sure which one) and so always had odd bits to make clothes for my dolls, much like you do for your little friends. She only had sons, so I didn't have any competition!

  6. I had a Tressy, my mum and I both made clothes for her.

  7. My aunt and grandmother kept my Barbies beautifully dressed. They were both professional seamstresses and made Barbie clothes from the scraps. It must have been fun for them to make the clothes because I had a ridiculous amount of them. I also had a Tressie.

  8. My sister and I shared 3 Barbies, 1 Sindy and we inherited my Stepmum's Tammy to play with. Tammy had loads of clothes knitted by her Mum so we liked those and one birthday, she made me 5tube shaped dresses for them. I played with them at my Dad's house only but till I was at least 13!

  9. Thanks for all your comments. Serenata, your doll blog is great and I much prefer Sasha to Sindy! Lovely to read all the anecdotes about dressing the dolls from so many people. Kezzie, I had forgotten Tammy. I am afraid that Ed Miliband reminds me of Barbie's Ken.

  10. I was a Sindy girl, and often disgusted my brother by pairing her up with his Action Man. She had a four roomed cardboard house, which I loved, and which my cousin once drew over. I think it's one of two times when i saw my mother angry. Oh, how I wish my boys could say the same!


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