Week 31 Creative Challenge : Vintage Barbie Dolls Get Dressed

Hello! Before I go any further, I want to dedicate this post to a very kind friend I met online, who generously sent me the male doll (Allan, Ken’s best friend, made in 1960) and the small doll (Skipper, Barbie’s little sister, made in 1963), plus all the clothes in this post, except for the white cardigan and white shoes. She also gave me a whole bunch of other Barbie clothes and accessories, too. I am moved by, and very much appreciate, this kind gift. Thank you, again, “you know who you are”. Some people are just so nice and make this world a better place!

The larger female (Francie, Barbie and Skipper’s teenage cousin, made in 1965) was also a treasured gift, given to me by an old friend a long time ago. Previously shown in this post.

What a joy it is to have this great collection of vintage “first edition” Barbie dolls. (By the way, did you know that old Barbie’s have the year they were made stamped on their backsides? I didn’t until I was getting these guys dressed.)

It was so much fun going through all the clothes my friend included in the package. While there were some contemporary pieces, many items appear to be from the 60s, including all the cotton garments in this post. These are all handmade and seem to have been created by the same person, based on the way they were made, the fabrics and supplies used — including the most adorable tiny rick rack trim — and the level of corrosion on the old snaps.

As my friend suspected would happen, I was particularly taken with the red and white gingham dress. My Francie doll was manufactured to be slightly smaller than the regular Barbie, and she has a smaller chest, so the dress is a bit loose on her, but it’s still so cute.

I designed and made the crocheted cardigan last week, for my Creative Challenge , especially to go with this dress. The little button is a vintage one — it was all alone, hanging on a loose thread, on one of the other shirts, so there was only one of them. (A funny side-story about that button — it was very warm in the room when I was finishing the sweater. I had it in my lap and had lined the button up where it was going to go. In the middle of threading the needle, the heat overtook me and I leaned over and switched on the fan on the table beside me. When I looked back down at the sweater, you guessed it, the button was gone. I thought that maybe the fan had blown it away. I ended up looking all over for it, moving furniture and even getting a flashlight out to look under the sofa. I was ready to give up when I heard the tell-tale tinkle of something small hitting the floor. That tiny button had been stuck to my arm! I couldn’t believe I found it.)

I also spent some creative time refreshing the clothes, including re-stitching seams, reattaching snaps, hiding hanging threads, and ironing. There is still much to do on the rest of the pile of clothes, but these three outfits are ready for their debut! Not shown are Skipper’s little bloomers, trimmed in lace, but modesty keeps me from showing those off (plus the fact that I didn’t get a photo of them).

I still have this display of strawberry things up in our kitchen, so I added Francie because red and white gingham go so well with that motif!

Thank you for reading and wishing you a good week. xo loulou