Monthly Archives: March 2015

Giant Bag of Clothes, Part 2

Today, we have another entry from the giant bag of clothes. I have been working on the second pair of pants, but my kiddo unraveled most of my progress beyond repair yesterday. This has set me back considerably, as you can imagine. It has also made me reconsider where I place my work, but that is a topic for another day. Instead of keeping the blog quiet, I took some pictures to share from this awesome find while I continue working on the pants.

For the uninitiated, I bought a large gallon sized bag of Barbie clothes at a local thrift shop for $5.00. The bag contains over 20 outfits and many additional accessories. I’ve been having fun dressing them up and taking pictures. Here is the second of three posted about it – I have a few more outfits that I will feature in a third post at some unknown point in the future. Without further adieu, here we go!


I love the top of this outfit, even though I am not a big fan of miniskirts. Maybe I am just jealous that the doll can pull them off better than I ever could! It is a really cute piece and I like how it has a cute lace belt sewn onto it. The shoes are also from the bag – they’re a pair of pink slip-ons that perfectly match the shirt. This doll is modern Barbie doll with knee and elbow articulation. I am not sure exactly which doll she is from; I have such a hard time recognizing dolls past the 90’s. Still, a nice doll and a fun outfit.


Sparkles! Who doesn’t like a little bit of bling? This outfit is a lot of fun, and it compliments this doll’s hair beautifully. It does have a little rip in the front and some pieces are fraying away, so I will need to do a bit of sewing to fix it. The doll is a modern doll, and once again I am not sure exactly sure about her ID and history.


This is another favorite of mine. The swimsuit is actually stretchy and made of spandex like a real swim suit. I thought it would be fitting to dress Barbie #7382 in this swimsuit. It may not be a blue two-piece like the outfit she originally came with, but it is closer to it than the dress I had her in before. I am in the middle of restoring her at the moment, so you can see that her hair is no longer sporting the braid and she has gotten a bath. I think she looks much better now that the layer of grime has been cleaned up – there is a big difference in the face. One interesting thing about restoring this doll is that the permanent marker used to write a price on her foot came right off. The dye from the marker didn’t sink into her plastic body like it does on the vinyl used on modern dolls. Yay! That brightened my day. I may do a blog post later about her restoration, and I have a few idea of how I can turn her into a character for the blog. Alas! That is a topic for another day. For now, this doll is ready for a sunny day at the beach.


This is one of the first dresses I saw when I opened the bag. It reminds me of the outfit that Dorothy wore in the Wizard of Oz, although I couldn’t find a similar sized doll that wore this outfit. I decided to have the High School Musical Gabriella doll wear the outfit because she reminds me of Dorothy more than any of the other dolls. The outfit is a little large on her, but it isn’t big enough that it falls off. The outfit itself has some loose seams, so I will need to mend it before I let my daughter play with it. She is wearing the second headscarf that came with this bag of clothes. I thought it matched nicely with the overall outfit, so I went for it. The shoes also come from the bag of clothes, and I chose them because they are blue. I know they don’t quite match the dress, and that bothers me now in this picture than it did when I was dressing the doll up. Oh well!


This outfit is shiny and reminds me of what ice-skaters wear on the ice. It is very theatrical, so of course the Disney Rapunzel had to strike a pose in it. I am not sure if it is from a Barbie set, but I am very happy it was in the bag. The purple tulle really compliments the hot pin dress, and the sparkly bodice is lovely. I couldn’t find a pair of shoes that fit this doll without falling off. This Rapunzel doll is a bit smaller than a regular Barbie, so the dress is a bit large on her. The doll herself has a white stripe in her hair. I did some research, and this means that she is the Enchanted Hair Rapunzel. The stripe in her hair turns purple when exposed to UV light rays (in her original set, there was a wand that you can use to do the transformation). I left the doll next to the window for 10 minutes and her stripe gained a faint purple hue. What a surprise! I had no idea she did this when I bought her, and I feel it matches the spirit and colors of this outfit.


This dress is the main reason why I purchased this bag of clothes. You could clearly see the top of this dress from the outside of the bag, and I wanted something for one of my Rapunzel dolls to wear. My regular Disney Rapunzel doll wears it very well! The dress is from the Barbie as Rapunzel set. Not the collectors set, just the regular set that they sold en mass at retailers. The dress is quite lovely. I need to steam it to get some wrinkles out, but otherwise it is in immaculate condition. It also comes with a cape, which you can kinda see behind her. She is also wearing a pair of pink shoes from the bag, but you can’t see it because it is a full-length skirt.


The last doll for today! This is a generic doll in a fun purple outfit. It reminds me of what the tennis team would wear to their matches in high school – our school color was purple. I also chose a jacket from the bag that matches the purple and yellow colors in the outfit well. It was hard to get the jacket on the doll because her arms are less bendable than regular Barbie dolls, but that isn’t uncommon for random generic dolls. She is made of a harder plastic that has less give than the vinyl used for modern Barbie dolls. She is wearing a pair of green shoes from the bag.

That is it for now. At the moment, I am restarting the second pair of Ood pants. I am also doing some styling on the two Ood dolls. Realistically, I will probably make a post about cleaning them and doing their hair before I post the entry for the finished pants and the pattern for them. I am very busy as we gear up for Easter (lots of commissions and family gatherings between now and then). That being said, I will carve out as much time for Barbie Who? as I reasonably can. Hopefully I will have something to show for my work by early next week. Until then, I hope you all have a fantastic day.

Leave a comment

Filed under Barbie Who?

Giant Bag of Clothes, Part 1

I am so excited! I have this awesome new find to show you all. I was at the thrift store on base yesterday. We were doing our normal shopping, and in the consignment area I saw a gallon sized bag of Barbie clothes. At first I wasn’t sure if it was worth the price, $5.00, but then I realized that some thrift stores charge $1.00 per outfit and this bag clearly has more than five outfits. I ended up buying it because the Rapunzel dress was calling to me, and I am incredibly happy that I splurged. This bag has so much cool stuff inside of it that I can’t believe I ever hesitated to buy it.


I was so excited to open the bag when I got home that I didn’t take a picture of it until after I had cut the top off. Oops! I haphazardly put the stuff back inside of the bag and took a picture for posterity, as you can see above. After that, I started sorting through everything in the bag. I was not disappointed by the contents. It contains 23 outfits, a few miscellaneous pieces of clothing, 20 pairs of shoes, 9 brushes, 2 handbags, 5 hats, 5 Barbie hangers, 1 mirror, and 1 pair of purple glasses. This bag of clothes was able to single-handedly solve the problem of naked dolls without me having to make them all myself. Well worth five bucks!

The one bummer is something that happened to the purple glasses. They were bent, and I broke them when I tried to bend them back into place. It was my mistake; I should have warmed them up before I tried to mess with them. I may try to glue them back together, but that is a topic for another time. For now, I will go ahead and show you the most complete outfits. There were a few miscellaneous single pieces of clothing that I didn’t picture (a few pairs of shorts and a broken halter top, to be exact), and they may show up randomly another time. This is the vast majority of the contents of the bag. Because it takes time for me to upload and write about the pictures, I am breaking this up into two or three blog posts. I will work on them and get them published as quickly as possible.


First up is an awesome cape! I love the color of it. The deep red is stunning and matches the Merida doll perfectly. It can even tame her hair. I don’t know what doll the cape is from. It doesn’t have any tags or marks, and I don’t recognize it from anywhere. It reminds me of something worn in The Lord of the Rings, but I wasn’t able to find anything online with the same color (their capes were all green). Even if it is unidentifiable, I think it is a lovely piece and I am very happy to have it as part of the collection.

A giant thank-you to Audrey B. for telling me that this cape comes from the Star Wars Episode 1 Hidden Majesty Queen Amidala doll. You can see a picture of it here!


This is a generic doll in an oversized sleeping shirt. For this outfit, the accessories make it awesome. She has a towel on her head (held on by a clear band) and a blow dryer in her hand. She also has a pair of cute white flats on. I’m not sure if I love the oversized pajamas, but everything else about this is a lot of fun. It certainly makes this less-than-stellar doll look as good as the real Barbies. My favorite piece from this outfit is the towel. I wan’t able to find out what doll(s) the outfit and accessories are from.


This outfit is amazing! It is a paisley halter top bikini with a pair of red sandals. Splash n’ Color Kira pulls it off better than any other doll I own. I tried to find out what set this bikini came with, but that turned into a wild goose chase. I found a picture of a fashionista doll wearing the same top and a Ken doll wearing a pair of trunks in the same pattern, but I could not find out what this outfit was called or what doll it came with. Oh well; you win some and you lose some.


This outfit is adorable, and it matches the doll fairly well! When I first picked her up, I thought she was a Taylor Swift doll. Once I researched her, I realized it was actually a Hannah Montana doll. I would like to think it is because the bodies for Jaaks dolls are similar, but in reality it is probably just because I need to listen to more contemporary music. But enough about the doll, we are here for the clothes. None of these pieces for this outfit had a Barbie tag, and none of them came from a set I am familiar with. Either way, I think this is an adorable outfit that is well made. The jeans have really grown on me; I may need to bleach and sew some tassels onto a pair of my jeans to match it.


Here is Belle in a pink dress! This dress is adorable, but the clear straps on it are broken. I am not sure if I can fix it… I know that I may be able to sew it back on, but I have had terrible luck sewing these plastic bands back onto clothing. I haven’t decided exactly what I want to do. It doesn’t stay up very well without the straps, so I do need to figure something out. I may end up adding a piece of lace or ribbon to the top in order to make the dress stay up properly.


I LOVE this outfit. This outfit is the hidden gem that I found in the bottom of the bag. It is bright, beautiful colors that fits perfectly on the Fashionistas Nikki doll. I also found this awesome handbag for her to wear with it. It matches the outfit perfectly and the entire outfit has a fun attitude. I gave her a pair of tall boots and now we are ready to go out on the town!


Just for fun, I had to dress up the Flower Power Teresa doll I used for Peri in something fun. It is a lovely and light yellow outfit. I think it is missing an under-skirt or bikini bottom because of how transparent the lace skirt is. I really like the hat. It needs to be ironed for it to fit really well, but it is adorable. I also like the cute yellow heels I found; they match the top perfectly. This is a fun spring outfit; I may use it for Easter this year.


This is a Disney Aurora doll in a short dress. I was surprised by how well the dress fits; the fabric is stretchy and doesn’t fall down like some of the other dresses. It is a great piece that could work well with any number of dolls. This picture also shows one of the two head scarves that came in the bag. They have the Barbie tag in a really awkward place, but otherwise they are lovely scarves.

That is it for today! I had a lot of fun dressing up the dolls and being able to share them with everybody. The revised pattern for Ood trousers is taking longer than expected. I also have a few Easter commissions that have taken center stage this week, so it is hard to find time to work on them. I will do my best to carve out an hour or two each day to get the pants knocked out and the next Whovian update taken care of. Until then, have a fantastic day!


Filed under Barbie Who?, Shopping

Ood Pants, Take 2

I just finished a knit pair of trousers for one of the Ood dolls to wear. I am tickled pink with how they turned out. Unlike the first pair, they can make it over the shapely hips of the Barbie doll I am transforming into an Ood. They have just enough stretch to get on her, but they’re tight enough that they don’t slide down. They’re exactly what I want for the Ood look.


I created this with 2.00 mm knitting needles and black size 10 crochet thread. It took about 12 hours to make this, spread out over several weeks. I created the pattern for this myself because the patterns I found online had a tapered legs and I wanted a straight leg for this pair of pants. I also wanted to experiment with the top of the pants, and I am ecstatic with the finished look.

Like any other item I’ve made, it wasn’t always smooth sailing as I created it. Throughout my time knitting this, my cat was being extra cuddly. I had to use a sticky lint roller to de-fluff the pants and the ball (spool? roll? skein?) of thread. I also had to pick out random hairs that had worked their way into stitches with tweezers. It was nice that the cat took a big interest in the project, but it was also frustrating that it added a few extra steps to the process. Also, on no fewer than three separate occasions, I left my work on the couch and my daughter found it. She what any enterprising toddler would do: she started playing with the needles. Luckily she didn’t care much for the thread or the piece itself; she was only interested in the bright red needles. It was cute to see her with them, and at one point it didn’t register to me that she had taken the piece I was creating off of the needle. Luckily she didn’t unravel more than a few stitches each time she did this. I have a hard time getting mad at her for doing that type of thing for a number of reasons, the primary of which is that I am making the clothes for her to enjoy. At this point, playing with the needles gives her more joy than dressing a doll, so I feel obligated to let her have some fun.

Another ‘mistake’ I made was to test out a pair of my bamboo knitting needles on one of the legs. I thought that 2.00 mm needles would be the same regardless of what they are made of. Once again,I was wrong. I knit the first dozen rows of the second leg with carbonated single point knitting needles. The needles had a good feel to them and I enjoyed knitting with them. However, I realized that the bamboo needles work the stitches looser than the aluminum needles I had used for the first leg, so it was noticeably wider than the other leg. I didn’t want to unravel all of my work, so I switched back to the aluminum needles and continued creating the pants. You can’t tell that one leg is wider than the other unless you press them flat; it isn’t very noticeable when the doll is wearing it. Can you see the difference?


I am not posting the pattern for these knit pants today. I want to make a few alterations before I consider the pattern publishable. Luckily, the changes are fairly minor, so it was easy to write them out (they have to do with sizing and length). I want to make the second pair with the final corrections before I post the pattern just to make sure the changes knit up properly. I do plan on using this pair of pants for one of the finished Ood, so at least you won’t see the blog held up for a week while I make a third pair of pants. I am going to finish the final pair of pants before I move on to another aspect of this doll. There are a variety of things I still need to create for these Ood, and I am trying to tackle them one item at a time.

I haven’t decided wether I want to work on the second Ood mask or the first Ood jacket after I finish the pants. I am fairly certain that I want to cut the hair of both dolls before I start on the Ood mask, and that will be an experience in itself. We shall see what comes next…. Until then, I hope you all have a fantastic day!


Filed under Barbie Who?

Shopping Away from Home

I am very happy to be back home. Things are starting to get back to normal, and I have made more time for crafting now that I have caught up on travel laundry. Since I don’t have anything substantial to show for the last few days (the cat literally walked off with the pants I am trying to knit), I am going to talk about some cool things I bought while traveling.

One fun activity we did while away was visit a flea market. It was an interesting experience! I have been to rummage sales before, but this flea market was like nothing I have experienced before. It was a metal building with long, winding halls. Each and every wall was filled with booths and vendors. They sold beautiful clothes, scarves, fabric, toys, and food. One stall even had air plants! They’re succulent plants that don’t require dirt to thrive – you just need to mist them. It was really cool to see such a variety of random items under one roof. I wish I had my camera; they had some knock-off dolls that were positively hilarious and would have been worthy of their own blog post. Oh well, c’est la vie.

I made a few purchases at the flea market. One vendor had many boxes of seemingly random wares in her stall. She was a nice Asian lady and played with the baby as I paid her – she even gave her a little drum toy. Next to a box of bras, he had a variety of crochet and knitting supplies, including some really nice looking bamboo needles. She had regular bamboo needles and carbonized bamboo needles available for sale. I decided to purchase two sets of carbonized bamboo needles. The first set is a standard set of single pointed needles.


These needles are so cool! There are 18 pairs of them, ranging from 2.00 mm to 10.00 mm. The size is pressed into every pair of them, so they are easy to identify. I’m optimistic that these markings will last better than my previous set of bamboo needles.  They cost $10.00, which is a fantastic deal for so many needles. The second set of needles I purchased was a set of double pointed (DPN) carbonized bamboo needles. They look just as great as the single pointed needles.


This is a group of 15 sizes of DPNs. Each size includes 5 individual DPNs – this is awesome! Half the needles at the hobby shot only include 4 individual DPNs, but some projects just need that fifth needle. It cost $10.00 for the lot. They, too, have their size printed onto them, but I don’t expect those markings to last as long as the other needles because they are in an area that will see more wear. These needles range in size from 2.00 mm to 10.00 mm. I absolutely love them! I don’t know if I will use them much for the blog because the smaller sizes are so dainty (my big hands would probably snap them), but I am sure they will come in handy for the hat commissions I receive. I am tickled pink to have them. The two sets of needles are a perfect for my needs.

At another stall, I met an lovely woman who had a complete set of boxed Disney dolls. They ranged in price from $20.00 to $40.00, so it was out of my price range. Still, it was very impressive because she had princesses, princes, and villains. I didn’t even know they made a Barbie sized Ursula doll, and there she was! It was such a cool thing to see. It also makes me wish that the non-princess Disney dolls were more popular. I see princess dolls fairly regularly (I even have a few), but the only Disney prince I have ever seen was that broken Aladdin doll. It would be nice to see Prince Phillip or Kristoff in stores. Now that I think about it, I don’t even think they have the Prince dolls at most retail stores. I remember seeing Prince Eric at Toys-R-Us when I was doing Christmas shopping, but I can’t think of any other time I’ve seen a prince from the other movies. I’m sure it is all due to popularity, but I can dream.

Among the most interesting vendors at the market had a variety of baskets, tins, and jars in their stall. It was so interesting to see the variety of items this man had collected. He also wove baskets, and his work was beautiful. I would have bought one if I thought it would survive the trip home. Many of his tins had foreign writing on them, and there was a wide variety of shapes and styles. One of his tins caught my eye. It was long and originally held spaghetti; it was the perfect height to store my newly purchased knitting needles. I had to buy it, if for no other reason than to ensure my new needles would have an extra layer of protection on the trip home. I am happy to say that it worked! My needles arrived home intact. It is also a perfect fit for all my miscellaneous needles in the house. It was $2.00 well spent.


The final stall of note is where I purchased one final item. It was run by a husband and wife, and they were delightful. The two of them mostly sold clothes, but they also had some jewelry, scarves, and a set of circular knitting needles. I absolutely had to indulge and buy them because they came in tiny sizes that my local hobby shop doesn’t carry. I also liked how they each had a darning needle included with them. You can never have too many finishing needles.


These are a set of small metal circular knitting needles. I haggled the price for them from $20.00 down to $15.00, which is completely reasonable for a set of 13 needles. The needles are metal and have a plastic coated coiled steel cable between them. They are a bit stiff, but they feel sturdier than previous circular needles I have owned. Also, the joins between the needles and cable is very smooth and doesn’t feel loose at all. In addition to the circulars knitting needles and darning needle, they come with a weird little plastic sizing thing. I believe the numbers on it show UK sizes. After taking this picture, I wrote the millimeter conversion on the packaging in marker to help myself keep it all straight. Their sizes include 1.00 mm to 5.00 mm, and five sizes are 2.00 mm or below. This will allow me to venture into more micro-knitting. I have seen some amazing work by other knitters using tiny needles and size 30 crochet thread, and I will now be able to try it for myself. I bought these needles specifically for the blog. You will see items produced from them in the coming weeks because I am so excited to break them in.

I hope you enjoyed this little venture to the flea market. I totally splurged, but given the circumstances it was well earned. I plan to put all of the needles to good use, wether it is for the blog or my commissions. The three new sets of needles make up for all the needles I lost the last time we moved, and they cost a fraction of what I paid. Overall, I am very pleased with these needles and the other things we purchased at the market.

I am currently working on a pair of pants for the Ood outfit. It is slow going because my daughter keeps getting her hands on my work and unraveling it. So frustrating, but my own fault for not securing it better at night. I hope to have something to show by this weekend, and I am crossing my fingers that it will turn out better than the last pair. My only fear is that they’ll be short for the Barbie doll, but I won’t know for sure until I sew them up. I look forward to sharing the results with you.


Filed under Barbie Who?, Shopping

Prototype Ood Mask

I’m back! Yay! Due to family circumstances, I was away from my home the last two weeks. That also meant I was away from my crafting supplies and the computer I use to create posts. So sorry that this suddenly popped up, but I’m sure everybody can understand that sometimes real life has to come before blogging. The good news is that I have an Ood mask to show you!


This is a prototype Ood mask. It isn’t the final product, but rather one that I used to make a pattern and try out a few techniques. I used a hank of size 5 mercerized crochet cotton in the color ecru for the body of the mask. I bought it at a thrift store a few months ago – it was half off, so I got 2 hanks for $0.75. The brand is Lily Mills Company and it looks fairly old. I have never dealt with a hank of yarn before. After examining it and realizing that it needed some attention before I could use it, I started balling the yarn. It was hard at times (and tiring), but balling it up went very smoothly until the end. The last 3 yards were tangled into a big knot that took about an hour of my time and effort to fix. I felt very accomplished when I had the entire thing balled up.

Once I had my tools ready, I was able to dive into the pattern. This Ood mask is inspired by a Ravelry pattern for an Ood Ski Mask by Lilana Wofsey Dohnert. The pattern on Ravelry is lovely, so I started by using the exact pattern with crochet thread and a smaller crochet needle. Much to my dismay, my first attempt at making the actual mask was tough. The dimensions didn’t scale down by just using smaller thread and a smaller hook. It turned out far too big and too short to fit well on the doll’s head. In addition, crochet thread has much less stretch than regular yarn, which caused it to be impossible to fit over her head. Once I realized this (after a few hours of work), I unraveled my work and started making my own pattern.

Making my own pattern always has challenges because I am a bit of a perfectionist. I made the initial circle on top of the head too big with my first try (60 stitches), so I ended up unraveling three rows to where it was only 54 stitches around. I then worked that for 12 rows before I decided that was still too big. I think that, in my mind, there needed to be a lot of extra room for her hair, but it was just too much space. I unraveled all of those rows and reduced it down to 42 stitches. This made a mask that was snug but not confining, so I began to crochet to the length I wanted.

My next problem was when I realized that I needed to get the finished mask over her giant doll-head without damaging my work or the doll. I decided that the easiest way to do this was to add a slit in the back, so I unraveled at least a dozen rows and added a slit with lacing holes. In the end, this will act like a Lucha Libre mask – it will cover the face and lace up tightly in the back. I still think I should have made that part longer (I have added that modification to the pattern and the second one should resolve this problem). After much frustration, I worked it long enough to cover her neck and cast off. I then added the ridge that goes around the mouth and the ears. The body of this first mask took about 26 hours of crocheting, unraveling, and modifying before it came close to what I wanted. When I make a second one to test out my modifications, I know it won’t take nearly as long.


Once I finished the body of the mask, I had to embroider the eyes. My first attempt at this was a fail. They were uneven in every way, so I pulled those stitches out and did it again. The second attempt was better, but one eye was taller than the other. I went in and added more stitches to it, and I came up with the final eyes. They are more fleshed out and look nicer than before. They are exactly the eyes I was hoping for. It is a bit hard to see in these pictures, but I hope that you can see the difference between the two attempts at eyes. Once they were sewn on, I washed the mask with a mild dish soap and let it dry overnight.

The final step was to create the tentacles. It was a giant pain! It is frustrating to work into chains with a tiny crochet hook and thread. Added to this, I wasn’t able to use the same tentacle technique as the inspiration pattern. Their tentacles looked too tightly curled, and it didn’t translate well to the smaller thread. I wound up experimenting with my own tentacles, and after many tries I found a technique that I was happy with.


As you can see, this prototype is missing the white translator orb. I want this Ood to have a translation orb because it has white eyes (when I test out the pattern, I plan on make the mask have red eyes and a hindbrain). Anyways, when fist trying to create said orb, I had a mommy brain moment. I originally picked out some white thread, but it was size 30. It was the only skein of white yarn that I could find, so I figured that I would just make due with it. After struggling with the tiny thread for several minutes, I put it down and decided that using such small thread wasn’t worth the effort (it was hard to work with and was going to take a substantial amount of time to finish such a small item). Then I realized that I had another skein of white thread that I had used it to make the two Adipose. I have no idea where the yarn went, so for now the translation orb is on hold (pun intended).

Since I am making this pattern myself, I am going to make a second Ood to wear the second mask. Once I finish the second mask, I will publish the finished pattern on the blog. I don’t want to post it now because I will probably make a few more changes as I crochet the second mask. I want to give you the best pattern I can come up with so that other Whovians can create this for their dolls.

That is it! I am currently working on some Ood pants now that I am home. I am a bit out of practice, but I hope to get back up to par quickly. Once I finish the pants, I will work on the second  mask and the shirt that the Ood will wear. I am very happy to be back home and able to blog again. In addition to that, I will do a blog post or two with some cool crafting items I obtained while I was away. It should be fun! I look forward to the journey ahead.


Filed under Barbie Who?