Hands up, who had one of the first Barbie dolls in 1959/60?
They were all the rage and for $4 your mom could give you the opportunity to see the future of fashion and celebrity status. Never before did we have high fashion dolls with a chic wardrobe!
Last weekend, I finally made a dent in the cardboard moving boxes in the garage. Some of them had been packed over 20 years ago when I went to live in England to marry Mr Mole. So deep inside one box jammed with old photos and old costume jewelry from the 80’s I found an old plastic bread wrapper filled with my first Barbie clothes.
My mother did not buy me the real Mattel doll, she opted for a fake one that did not have movable hip joints so my doll could not sit down. Also my doll came in a cheap box and when we tried to remove her from the box we realized that her ponytail was stuck with a huge wad of industrial glue. The only way to release her was to cut off her entire pony tail and leave her with just fuzz. So there I was holding a non-bendable doll with a hair-do looking like a dandelion top…great. I have asked some of my sewing sisters if they knew of these cheap Barbie clones and some have said they had them but were too embarrassed to play with their friends who had the real deal.
Even buying nice clothes for her could not raise her profile, she was a little freak with fuzzy hair and had to stand up all day. But there was one bright spot…my grandmother knew how to knit and taught me to knit simple stitches and when my mother shipped me off every summer to stay with her up North, my grandma taught me to make my own Barbie clothes by knitting and sewing using a child’s Singer sewing machine that made only a loose chain stitch. Here is what I found in the box:
Then this got me to thinking…where did the pattern go for the clothes? Can you still find them and wouldn’t it be nice to have a copy to put with this collection for future generations? And look what I found on Ebay…
There is the 3/4 length rust coat with brown ruffled trim and the ivory turtleneck sweater. I have not been able to track down the striped parka or cardigan pattern but I have asked the Ebay seller to check for me.
Meanwhile in the sewing room, it is full speed ahead, 7 gowns have arrived that need extensive alterations. Already there has been a scalloped lace hem on a adult pageant dress that was shortened, a bridal gown with the same labor intensive hem and an early prom gown that will be shown next time covered in roses.
An unusual short wedding dress came in this week and I have to show you what brides think is OK.
Because she got a “good deal” she figured a seamstress could make it fit…sure…taking 4 inches out of the back zipper is a piece of cake and adding 1.5 hours of labor just adds to the “bargain” price doesn’t it? At least it will be plenty tight when it is finished just like the brides like it…breathing is optional.
Wishing you a great week of planning the next season’s sewing and minimal altering to get that perfect fit…fingers crossed! Thank you for stopping by to walk down memory lane with me!