Monday, April 29, 2013

Vintage Clothing Spectacular!

Sorry for the delay! I have been busy but unfortunately not with Barbie things! I'm hoping I can get some time soon for playtime.

A few weeks ago my mother-in-law came over while I was in my "Barbie Room" (my office, really). She was admiring my doll shelf when she told me that she had a Barbie! I never knew!

She loves to sew and started at a very young age learning how to use a sewing machine. Her mother bought a doll (a large doll about 1 1/2 feet tall, I think her name was Betty) and she made an entire wardrobe by hand. We are talking no patterns, no measurements, fully by hand. If I tried that for Barbie she would look like Lucy Ricardo did when she tried to make her own dress in one episode.
Let me tell you this friends: The ONLY reason my mother-in-law bought a Barbie doll was so she could make clothes for her. Can you believe that? She purchased a doll so she could have a model for the clothes she made. What fun huh? I had so many purchased Barbie clothes I couldn't possibly play with them all. I never thought about making my own.

Naturally I was also interested in what type of doll she had. I identified her pretty bride as a classic #4 ponytail! She is beautiful isn't she?

Remember that this doll was never played with. She wanted her granddaughter to play with her and have fun with all the clothes she made. How sweet is that? This Barbie will get her wish of being played with! But imagine how much she is worth because her beautifully painted fingers and toes are in mint condition.

I also had a hard time imagining that this was not a purchased dress. She made this beautiful wedding gown for Barbie!

I forgot to ask her if she remembered the clothes this doll came with. I might do that next time I see her.

So, are you ready to see the other beautiful creations for this amazing doll? Here they are!

First, a mod print party dress. Would go great with my new mod furniture, no?

Oh my gosh, I fell in love with this dress when I saw it. The print of the fabric is actually a sheer overlay. Apparently this was the fabric of choice of my mother-in-law's bridesmaids dresses (which were handmade by her mother, naturally :) I even put it on a doll, fits like a glove! And so pretty on Barbie! (And I didn't get a photograph, drat!) You will encounter these little shorts through out the different dresses I show. They are actually little panties!

Now we have a pretty blue wrap-style Japanese print dress. (At least it makes me think of Japan when I see it).

Now we have this pretty blue hooded cape. You will notice a theme with the blue. My mother-in-law's favorite color.

I love this blue and lace satin nightgown and robe set. So elegant! It would also look fabulous in pink.

Next we have a few sundresses with pretty ribbon straps. First, a white with large floral print with red straps.

And a pink with burgundy vine pattern with pink straps.

Last, light blue with white polka dots with white straps.

This next ensemble is a mix and match sweatsuit outfit. A couple of print tank tops, jacket and matching sweatpants.

I love the Japanese style dress with the piping by the shoulder. I think this one would look particularly good on Barbie. Next to it we have a green spandex jog suit.

My mother-in-law is not too happy with these pieces. She tried her hand at knitting and realized she liked sewing much better. We have a couple of sweaters and a skirt. The loose yarn skirt is supposed to be a hula skirt. I never thought of yarn for that. Cute idea!

Another piece she wasn't too happy with. A fur coat. I like it!

The next two creations are long skirts with a blouse and matching vest. First, the blue print.

And now the red gingham print. Perfect for a picnic!

And finally, a Japanese kimono.

You might be wondering how I knew that this was supposed to be a kimono. If I asked 50 people what this piece of clothing was I bet they would all say bathrobe. The choice of fabric (fleece) is also a dead giveaway for robe.

How did I guess kimono? Because my mother-in-law still has the patterns and it says it's a kimono on the back.

The most exciting thing is that she is letting me take copies of these patterns! I looked and she has made most of these outfits. You can kind of see which ones are which. (Click on photo to enlarge.) The beautiful wedding dress is from the pattern pack in the middle. I cannot WAIT to try my hand at some of these!

She also had a couple of other dolls that she pulled out. She loves to coupon and get freebies so these were ones that she saved up points or box tops for. First, Kool-Aid Wacky Warehouse Barbie. Do you remember the Wacky Warehouse? It was a kids treasure trove with goodies you could send away for with Kool-Aid points. This doll is wearing another sweatsuit outfit that she made. Original outfit is underneath.

Another Wacky Warehouse Barbie. Still in the box! I love her overalls.

So pretty isn't she?

This one was still unopened but did not have friendly packaging so I could not photograph her. She is the Kraft Macaroni and Cheese Barbie. She did have another one that she opened but gave it to a friend.

Another thing that she had that would be very exciting in the eyes of collectors is she has the book that came with the doll.

Here I took a picture of two outfits that were in my mom's collection.

And lastly, some pictures of Ken outfits! I like Terry Togs. Goes perfect with Barbie's bathrobe kimono.

I will leave you with another picture of this beautiful vintage doll...with her original stand too!

So readers, have you made your own doll clothes? Any words of wisdom you can spare before I start my journey into the world of sewing machines?

Stay tuned for the "Year of Haute Couture" post in a couple of days!

 Until then!


Andrea said...

Your Mum in law did a teriffic job with those fabulous fashions. Her sewing model is absolutely to die for and her granddaughter will be one very, very lucky girl.

I do a little sewing for my dolls from time to time. Make sure you get fabric that is not too heavy and does not fray easily. Fraying fabric can drive you nuts sewing in this small size. One thing that I prefer when sewing for Barbie is to sew the skirts in couture stitches, so you don't have a visible seam on the outside. Most human clothing doesn't have visible skirt seams either.

Good luck with your sewing efforts.

Forestminuet said...

Well, she has a granddaughter who is 5 but she hasn't let her play with this doll yet. They have another little baby doll (about half the size of Barbie) and she has trouble dressing her. I don't think my niece has the patience to put on clothes because of the fingers getting stuck on the stitching. And besides, I don't think my MIL really wants to bother with Barbie because all my niece wants to do is dress the doll in her one pair of PJ's and put her to bed! We all know Barbie wants to wear the party dresses and go out and dance the night away ;) hehe

Thanks for the tips! When I made my dress for Hawaii, it frayed easily and it was a pain even to sew my size. I had to keep cutting the strings off of the rough edges. My parents just bought me a new sewing machine that makes invisible hems (couture stitches). I did that with my dress and I love it! I will definitely try this. I'm sure mine will not be as good as hers (especially the first time around) but it will come I'm sure!

Andrea Roberts said...

I might also try doing DIY retro dresses for my dolls. For sure they will also look fabulous on little girls.

Forestminuet said...

They sure would! I'm sure these would be so easy to make for a little girl. My mother in law just made a bathrobe for my niece. It's so super cute (and she would rather wear that than anything else!) It would be fun to have child/Barbie matching outfits.

Anonymous said...

Wow! Your Mother In Law is amazing - those outfits are beautiful.

I sew a little bit, but its just dabbbling, really, I'm not very good. I can't use a sewing machine so I sew everything by hand. I wish I could, and I would love to be better at sewing. Maybe one day.

Forestminuet said...

With practice you'll get better for sure! I'm not sure how Barbie clothes will go for me with a sewing machine. I hate sewing by hand so I'm bound to make mine work somehow!

Mel Frizell said...

I have the patterns, and once I reclaim my office from the recent doll infusions, I plant to get sewing.
I prefer the vintage dresses to the modern short ones.