Saturday, January 14, 2017

DIY Barbie, Ken, Kelly/Chelsea Clothes

Baby it's Cold Outside!

We live in snowy, freezing Chicagoland. I know Barbie, Ken and the sisters must all live in California because most of the factory made clothing is made from very little material-it must be HOT wherever they come from.

So short of paying huge vintage prices for the few pieces of winter wear available on the internet---Mattel issues winter clothing---seldom if at all, I decided to make some winter clothes to fill in the doll wardrobes for the reality play the Grand likes to play.

I learned how to sew in the 1950s making clothes for my Barbie 11 1/2", Ginny 8" and Sweet Sue 18"
dolls. So, now that I'm retired I thought I would give it a try.

The Grand announced not too long ago, when we were attempting to dress the dolls for going outside in Fall, that these three----couldn't leave the dollhouse because they had no panties. So first on the list was some underwear for those naked girls.

TIP: I use beading elastic cord for small elastic for the panties and bra top. It comes in lots of colors and widths and can be bought cheaply in the craft departments or Dollar Stores.

TIP: The flourescent elastic came from a multipack of hair accessories from the Dollar Store. Fancy elastics are expensive when you can find them in a fabric store.

Today's sewing patterns are very expensive. I had started with the middle one-McCalls 6258 which is still available, that has workout clothes and the requisite ballgown---we all go to balls, everyday-right?

I looked online for underwear patterns and finally bought a CD with multiple 1950-70's vintage patterns that had been re-printed on the CD. Scaled to size---vintage Barbie patterns fit the vintage dolls, the newer dolls have slight changes which are easy enough to adapt to. I paid under $14.00 for over 25 patterns for Barbie, Ken, Kelly and accessories.

Sources for CD and PDF download vintage patterns can be found in many shops on ETSY.

Upside, many of the 50's-70's fashions have a bit more coverage than today's basic Barbie wardrobe. Eyeball the McCalls 2580 pattern above and the bikini, View H---which I used for undies and the top. Far more coverage than todays's Barbie clothes which is perfect for a 4 year old. Last Easter I made nightgowns from the nightgown pattern...very simple and easily adjusted with today's fabrics and colors such as the leopard print I used on the green nightie.
Skipper/Kelly  is a 9" little sister of Barbie. She has very few clothes available anywhere. Digging in my remnants, I found some very fine pinwale corduroy in cranberry which goes so well with pink. I made a felt circle skirt---easy-peasy--this could be done by hand as only one seam and sewing the waistband on and a bit of velcro.
Here is McCalls 7761 Vintage pattern--one of the 4 Kelly/Skipper patterns I got in my CD selection. I completely lined the coat, and made a loop and button closure. 

TIP: Kelly's clothes should all be made with an open back with velcro---her arms are very rigid. 

TIP: Velcro---use the smaller weight you can find---trim the hard plastic edges off the velcro hook and eye sides. cut the 3/4" wide velcro in half --it will be more flexible and soft to work with. 
Kelly's tee-shirt is made from fine interlock knit used for sleepwear, white tee-shirt and panties are trimmed with lace. 

Jeans are made with stretch denim (softer than regular denim) from a remnant from other projects. The purses are made from felt, these can be hand or machine sewn. Great project for little fingers too.
Also made a pair of cranberry slacks which goes with the other pieces.

Add caption

Vintage purse from vintage McCalls 6901

This Kelly doll is quite cute and she is a few years old, and bought at a thrift store. Her hair is crazy and we keep it in a rubber band. 

Now big Sis wants to play in the snow too. She also need a few coats.
The vintage pattern on the right is Butterick 3317

Butterick 3317 which has ski wear and car coats for Barbie and Ken. 

This is the car coat pattern which is a little longer with a hood. The snazzy metallic suede was 12.99 a yard, bought on a sale for 6.50 a yard, and I bought 1/4 yard = 9" by 60", I think it came to like $1.80. It is self lined with a tricot finish and doesn't unravel, ideal for doll clothes.
 I'm going to try pants and skirt, maybe a nice shell top also. 
I have some fur jackets cut out that aren't completed yet.

Cranberry car coat with hood, comes from the current McCall's 6258
The Siberian fur vest---is really adapted from the short hoodie McCall 6258 and completely lined with a pink silky polyester. No closures are needed, the fabric is stiff enough to stay on Barbie and looks great over her faux turtleneck top, thin interlock knit, which is velcro-ed up the back. 

TIP: Vintage Barbie patterns have deep darts, for the larger bust-almost 1" difference from today's Barbie,  simply make the darts less and adjust the length of the piece to match back pieces. You may have to take the back in a bit to get a snug fit. I make most the Barbie clothes looser and useable for all and less frustrating for the Grand.

This is a late 1990's an articulated Barbie---and this is just her style. She has the larger waist and smaller bust, but thin legs of the original. Today's Barbie is not quite as curvaceous and has a more athletic build.
Pretty cool, wouldn't you say?

Cost on this was a fur piece from a craft store for 1.99 or 1.84 not sure. Lining I already have. And there is enough to make hats, and a vest for Kelly yet.

I bought a unused cotton knit ski hat at a thrift store for 50 cents on sale.
Tips working with thick knits---overcast all the edges to stabilize the fabric. (Lots of work). This knit has all the threads looped across the back---which gets tangled in the dolls' fingers. Next time I may line something like this, or choose a knit without threads loose on the backside
TIP: Always make Ken's clothes with velcro completely down the back---He is so rigid, short of ripping his head and arms off for dressing, he is well...wooden. I have been looking for a 'cheap' articulated Ken---but so far no luck under OODLES of dollars.

Because the Ken patterns are far and few between, I searched the internet for free doll patterns for Ken. This original design which is what I adapted for the sweaters came from
She makes lots of unusual patterns for all types of doll's and they are free and easy to download. I adapted a similar pattern for Barbie
I skipped the collar on this sweater for Ken, because 
I forgot to allow extra overlap for the back for velcro. I threaded beading elastic through the knit at the neck.

Barbie got the collar, but I had to add beading elastic, to tighten it up. The loose weave stretched under the pressure of the sewing machine foot. Barbie got a hat out of the smudge that was left over. Two sweaters and a hat for 50 cents and some thread and elastic.

So now our dolls' can go play in the snow---or at least pretend to. We try to play reality based activities. Dress up parties are birthday parties, not Balls or Formals. And the Kens rarely get dressed up---lol, much like real life. (Although he does have tuxedos and several jackets).

Ken needed something that wasn't a suit coat or trench coat---he's an athletic guy---with more muscles than the original Ken. So you need to watch your measurements on vintage patterns. Upside, vintage patterns are cut baggy compared to today's standards.
The striped sleeve sweatshirt and hoodie were made from an old hoodie, I had basically wrecked with paint and house stain. I used snaps for the closures. Barbie size zippers are available, but are over two dollars each for 3" and a jacket zipper is over $5.00.

 I used a bit of elastic in the bottom and sleeves.
The fabric has been washed so many times-most of the fleece is gone on the inside, making this pretty good weight for the dolls.

This is my stash of Barbie Dolls patterns and projects. I keep them in document sleeves with the picture on the from. Cutout patterns and fabric are in sleeves with directions and all the small pieces. 
Most all pattern pieces have the maker/number on them---or I put them on. 
This bit of organization is very helpful. 

I can't recommend enough investing in pdf vintage patterns usually for under $3.00 
each or a CD with many patterns on it. 
 I have purchased regular tissue vintage patterns and most have had many pieces missing. 
This has been a very thrifty project, and now that I'm organized, it will be easier to make more clothes for the whole crowd of Barbies, Kens, and Kelly we have living here and at the Grands.

Now, I think our dolls need to have a snowball fight...what? no mittens yet?

Thanks always for visiting. 
I will try and respond to every comment and answer every question.

All the opinions and photographs in this blog are my own or sourced.  I have not been paid or reimbursed in anyway for my opinions or posts. Please do not use photos without linking back to this blog without my permission. Thank you for your cooperation, Sandi Magle

I will be sharing at these fine Parties!


Thursday, January 12, 2017

OLD NEW GREEN REDO Projects for 2017

----Or what I didn't get done in 2016, LOL.

I hate to say goals---because seriously---I've gotten a little old for goals. Waking up is a goal, but finishing anything else is simply a project completed, or not.

While everyone else in blog-land organized, purged, and set goals, we were simply recovering from our 2016 house remodel. I still spend huge amounts of time, trying to locate things that were moved umpteen times during 2016. Purges were made, and new organization set in place, and daily we still tweak each room. Hubby spent about four days rearranging his bedroom last week and at least a week clearing out the office in the basement.

Have you ever spent oodles of time looking for something that you actually donated or given away? Chortle!

Seriously---while the NEW Farmhouse kitchen organization is wonderful, but last week I spent at least an hour looking for my vacuum sealer. We finally realized it never made it back into the kitchen and is somewhere packed?  What really scares me, is what might be with it in a bin, that I haven't even missed.

So a list of Projects/Goals for early 2017. Not very pretty, but definitely necessary.

1) Find the vacuum sealer (and whatever else is in the missing bin.)

2) DIY REDO-Paint the bathroom cabinetry in our teeny master bath blue, NEW hardware, and paint the room trim a nice glistening white. (This was on my list for last year.) Also reorganize and refresh.


3) Paint this OLD vintage 1940's sewing table, and find a larger top, REDO (preferably a wood or metal tray).

I'm seriously contemplating decoupaging to REDO
 the inside and reutilizing the sewing tray and spool hooks.

4) Paint and put up the OLD organ top shelf in the bedroom and finally dress the walls. (This should clear 2 underbed drawers of stashed REDO items.

Some of the vintage finds in my two drawers which are full.

This print was a gift, and one of the inspirations for the color on the walls of the bedroom.
5) New or Old vintage purchase: Find a rug for the bedroom @ 3'x5' that is non-slip and not too ugly. I have been looking, difficult at my price point and color combo.

6) NO BEFORE PICTURE of Craft/Clay room REDO- roughly 700 sq.ft. === because I don't want the Fire Marshall here writing me a ticket. I will take pictures when it is 'safe', LOL.

This will be a monumental task, as there is so much stuff in there. Curate, organize, purge, donate, or sell.  (This should be number one on the list, but I don't have the energy to make it number one right now.

   Planned physical changes needed for the craft room and storage space.
     a) Remove wall between the two rooms and make wall storage on West end. Plan is to have '
         24 feet of wall storage behind curtains or doors. I'm thinking canvas tarps on wire?
 This is key and involves ripping out old clay shop fixtures, sink and cabinets.
     b) Lay NEW plastic/wood covered tile for a floor base in that room to prepare for vinyl flooring.
     c) Reinstall all the old kitchen cabinetry and storage units into the room. (Eventually paint them)
     d) Redo the lighting and electrical. No more dangling cords from the ceiling please.
     e) Hubby wants to REDO water runs to master bath above with larger pipe and to the exterior faucet and lay a plan for NEW additional bath/shower in the basement to be added later. Upside, there can be a sink in the craft room...YAY!
7) Add at least 100 vintage or craft stash items to my Etsy shop by March 15.

8) For Fun: REDO the Victorian Barbie Mansion for Gramma's Room. Yes, this one is for me, but for the Grand to play with when she is here.

Plans are to REDO a new second floor to the Victorian Barbie House. Add a new floor to the kitchen and the living room extension. Make a NEW double bunk bed and linens. Think of this house as a hotel, with 5 Barbies, 2 Kellys and 3 Kens.
Lower the table for better play access. The extra bedroom, itself needs to be reconfigured so we can have Grand sleepovers. Right now, we can't pull out the trundle bed.
 This will also involve some major purging and reorganization in that room.
Hope you will join me in one of these projects, grins! 

Thanks always for visiting. 
I will try and respond to every comment and answer every question.

All the opinions and photographs in this blog are my own, I have not been paid or reimbursed in anyway for my opinions or posts. Please do not use photos without linking back to this blog without my permission. Thank you for your cooperation, Sandi Magle

I will be sharing at these fine Parties!


Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Vintage on my Bedroom Desk

Our Christmas is put away, almost. 
I have to confess, I'm always behind, putting it up-taking it down. 
I already miss the twinkle lights.

Speaking of light---here in Chicagoland we have screaming sunshine or depressing dark gray days. 
Either light creates issues with the camera. After I pulled my battery twinkles off my ivy topiary--which has really filled out from when I did the DIY post in 2015
I played with redressing the desk in the bedroom.

I started with a cloth over the dark wood top, underlined with blue vinyl since I have the topiary here now. The tablecloth is vintage Quaker lace, which has mellowed to a nice pale ecru or warm white. 
It very thick small tablecloth was my grandmother's circa the 1930's. 

" In 1889, the three sons of a successful English carpet weaver named John Bromley started a textile business called Bromley manufacturing. The three brothers imported lace looms from Nottingham, England to pursue their vision of producing machine made lace textiles. In 1894, the company was renamed Lehigh Manufacturing, after the street name in Philadelphia where the factory was located. A second factory was opened, a short time later, just a little further up the same street. In 1911, the business was renamed Quaker Lace Company." 
Source For more Quaker Lace info check this site out.

My oversize turtle dove (we have three pair at our feeders) 
was packed away with the Christmas lights.

I have no idea how many pieces of lace I have---quite a bit, and that's on the docket for 2017, to organize and cull all my collections from my stashes.
 This sweet runner became a pot cover--or corset for the holidays.

I  ran some gold ribbon through the edges and 'dressed' the pot. 
Since I am using items with gold/brass accents I left the 'corset' on for January.
I think this is better than an ugly old gray pot.

I did the photos in two shoots, one with too much sun, and one with not enough.
My sweet bust, found her way to the center of the table.
 I realize in this pic, how much she looks like Princess Di with her down cast eyes. 
My mom's art nouveau cast iron mirror I use for displaying jewelry for my shop. 
Here it displays a vintage 12k gold chain I found at a show in a $3.00 bin. 

I perched some kid gloves with fabulous stitching on the mirror, 
but then it hides the maid on the base.

The dresser set is my main focal point, and was my mother's. A gift from my father in 1939. He complained that he unloaded two train cars of cabbages before school to earn the money to buy it. 
The were high school sweethearts, and my mom treasured this, even when it was no longer in style.

Mom must have thought about Dad every night for the 5 years he was in the service during WWII. Back in those days you brushed your hair one-hundred strokes a night while worrying about his safety.

The tray/mirror is beginning to do that vintage crackle craze thing---I just love the blue and the little handprinted roses on the enamel. A string that held the tag for Christmas, is still attached, the tag has simply shattered. I tossed some vintage pearls and earrings on the tray, 
and the gloves moved here also.

The pearls were on the mirror for a day or so, before. The cut glass jar with the brass top was my 
mom's. I'm not sure if it is a family piece or something she collected. 

I vaguely remember this having a bit of silver on it at one time, but now it is beautiful burnished brass with wonderful Victorian cherubs and flourishes in the raised relief.

The glass is thick, smooth cut and pressed with a great leaf pattern. I just love the feel of old glass.
I'm sure this piece is from the 1880-90s.

This little strange piece, is three mismatches, an Avon plastic soap dish, a milk glass dish with brass feet, and a pressed glass dome, none of which belong together. 
I picked this up at a thrift store, just because it was funky.
 I placed some pearl earrings and a beautiful shell inside.

I have a Japan Moriage shaker or I use them for stick pins, when I have them out.
To be honest, I have no idea where they are. And I do have a bunch.

As dusk falls, I turn on the lamp--and it casts a new light on everything.
My mom's lamp is ceramic with crazing from the late 1960-early 70's. I've never seen another like it, 
I'm glad it finally found a place in our home. 
The desk is still a work in progress, and will shift and change much like our Chicago weather.

Thanks always for visiting. 
I will try and respond to every comment and answer every question.

All the opinions and photographs in this blog are my own, I have not been paid or reimbursed in anyway for my opinions or posts. Please do not use photos without linking back to this blog without my permission. Thank you for your cooperation, Sandi Magle

I will be sharing at these fine Parties!