Saturday, February 9, 2013

Making Barbie Doll Clothes

I never gave much thought to Barbie doll clothes until my daughter started showing an interest in Barbie. Then I got real interested, real quick because I found Barbie's sense of fashion inappropriate for my little girl. I wanted her to play with a doll whose clothes looked great, but also reflected modesty and self respect. It was then that I knew I was going to have to learn to make my daughter's Barbie doll clothes.
Shortly after that revelation, the nice folks at Workman Publishing asked me if I'd like to review a book they thought would be a good fit for my blog. I happily agreed and soon received my copy of The Fashion Designer's Handbook & Fashion Kit!
This kit is geared toward young designers (but would be fun for anyone), it includes 33 projects, and just about everything you'll need to make them -  including an adorable little dress form. 

I chose three projects to work on: 
The E-Z T-Shirt
The Cozy Lounge Pants
The Backpack

I will feature the Cozy Lounge Pants for the step by step tutorial, but you'll get to see pictures of all three completed. I loved making these projects, and highly recommend this book for anyone interested in making their own Barbie doll clothes. It was fun and fairly easy to follow. If you had no sewing experience you might need someone to bounce a few questions off of, but for the most part, the instructions are pretty clear. There are some no-sew projects, but none of the projects require a sewing machine (though you could pump these doll clothes out like a factory if you did use a sewing machine). The kit includes some fabric, but you can recycle fabrics from old clothing, or head to a fabric store and pick out your own.

So here we go, you'll need:
  • Pattern from book
  • 2 six inch by 8 inch pieces of flannel, cotton, T-shirt, sweatshirt or velour fabric
  • Scissors
  • Ruler
  • Needle, and pins
  • Thread
  • Fifteen inch piece of string or 1/8 ribbon for drawstring.

First I traced the pattern onto paper, then cut it out.

*Right side of fabric is the pretty side of fabric that will show when your project is completed. The wrong side of fabric is the unfinished side that will not show when your project is completed.*
Next I folded (and pressed) the fabric, right sides together and pinned the pattern to the fabric along the fold.

I carefully cut around the pattern, removed the pins and then repeated the process so I would have two identical pieces - one for each leg. Then I unfolded the fabric.

With right sides of the fabric together, I placed the two pieces one on top of the other.

Then I pinned the front and back crotch seams just like they were marked on the pattern.

*All hand stitching for this project is done using a straight stitch.*
Next I began sewing from the front crotch toward the waist leaving a 1/8 inch seam allowance on the edge. I sewed within a 1/4 inch of the top of the front waist, leaving room for the drawstring opening. I'll finish the whole drawstring thing at the end. And no giggling at my hand stitching - it may not be pretty, but it works : )

Keeping the right sides of the fabric still together, I re-positioned the pants so the crotch seams are right on top of each other. They look like pants now! Then I pinned the raw edges of each pant leg together.

Still using a 1/8 inch seam allowance, I started sewing from the bottom inside of one pant leg up and around the crotch and down the other pant leg. Sort of like an upside down "U."

Drawstring time. At the waist, I made the drawstring casing by folding down the top edge of the waist about 1/2 inch toward the wrong side of the fabric. I folded it down over the piece of drawstring, then I pinned it in place.

Then I sewed along the raw edge of the casing without sewing the drawstring itself! 

At last it was time to turn the pants right side out and try them on our doll! Very exciting. My daughter couldn't wait to dress her Barbie doll in the new clothes Mommy made for her. We even put them on Ken just for fun : )

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There are about 196 countries in the world, and my goal is to take the whole world on a creative journey one project at a time. So I want to offer many thanks to all my readers in 82 different countries so far... 

The United States, Israel, Canada, Germany, Australia, the United Kingdom, Russia, France, Malaysia, Italy, the Bahamas, the Philippines, Sweden, Egypt, Columbia, the Netherlands, Spain, the Sudan, Turkey, Mexico, Moldova, Denmark, China, Vietnam, Singapore, Thailand, the Czech Republic, the Ukraine, South Africa, India, Taiwan, Panama, Serbia, Latvia, Argentina, United Arab Emirates, Bosnia and Herzegovina, 
New Zealand, Japan, Bangladesh, Brazil, Switzerland, Bulgaria, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, Chile, 
Romania, Hungary, Portugal, Indonesia, Guernsey, South Korea, Pakistan, Greece, 
Hong Kong, Poland, Slovenia, Lithuania, Ireland, Belgium, Venezuela, Sri Lanka, Macedonia, 
Trinidad & Tobago, Peru, Ghana, Estonia, Dominica, Nepal, Norway, Slovakia, Croatia, Algeria, 
Finland, Mongolia, Myanmar [Burma], Lesotho, Qatar, Armenia, El Salvador, 
Mauritius, Georgia, and Azerbaijan!

Many Blessings,
Jana : )