Tag Archives: Barbie

Stuff We Found in the Garage

I will start off by addressing the elephant in the room. Yesterday, I was making notes about this post on my phone. I’m not sure how, but the post published when I saved it in the mobile app. This also happened as I was making notes for a second post (one about the sewn Ood jacket – more on that at the end), but for some reason did not affect the other two posts I was editing that morning. As soon as I realized the error, I pulled them back to drafts. Now that this one is fully written, it is being posted for real! Sorry for any confusion that this has caused. I don’t usually have this problem when I am using the mobile editor, and hopefully it won’t happen again. Now that we have that out of the way, here is the finished blog post!

~~~~~~~~~~~~

In another installment of the series lovingly called ‘stuff we found at Grandma’s house’, we have stuff that turned up in the garage. These dolls were found in a box hidden in the garage. They came from a box of random generic toys mainly left over from when I was a kid that my mom had assembled for when children were visiting their house. While she does remember why she put all of these toys together, she has no idea how they got in the garage. My dad doesn’t seem to recall, either. This is a true mystery for the ages, but one that I am decidedly happy about.

IMG_9897

I acquired these three dolls at various times of my childhood. The Scotty doll is undoubtedly the oldest. I think we got it in the mid 90’s because he was my favorite character on Star Trek. My mom bought a complete set for herself, and she surprised me with the Chekov doll from the set as a surprise because I could never remember his name. I would ask her ‘Which one has the nuclear wessels’ every time we watched Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home (as my favorite Trek movie, we watched it frequently). Later that year, for my birthday, my mom gifted me Scotty because he was my favorite character from Star Trek. I think that Chekov may be in the storage unit with other boxed dolls because I don’t remember taking him out of the box and playing with him as a child, but Scotty got a lot of play throughout the years.

IMG_9895

I had a surprisingly hard time identifying this doll. Since Star Trek has such rabid fans, I thought it would be easy to find information about this guy. I found a few blogs about Trek toys, but none of them seemed to have entries for this series of dolls. Luckily, I did find a listing for it on Amazon that identifies it as a 9″ action figure wearing clothes from the Star Trek pilot episode. I wasn’t able to find a production year, but if memory serves it was the mid 1990’s.

Scotty is in great shape! His clothes are completely intact and he even has his tricorder His body doesn’t have any problems; his articulated body moves like it should and the paint on is face is in great shape. In addition to Scotty being in great shape for his age, I also found a Klingon Bird of Prey in the box with him. At the bottom of the box, I also found other small doll-sized accessories.

IMG_9896

I know that it is hard to see scale with this picture, but I believe all of these were accessories for much smaller action figures. I believe the insignia is the stand for a Captain Picard figuring, and the tricorders, computer, and phaser are all accessories that go with him, too. I wasn’t able to find the smaller doll, but I am going to hang onto these. The car is the perfect proportion for a Kelly/Shelly doll to play with, so if I ever make a child from Doctor Who, this may be repurposed to be their toy. It never hurts to hold onto things that are the proper scale, after all.

Next up is a doll that holds a special place in my heart. He is my G.I. Joe doll. Not a Ken, not an off-brand dollar store military guy doll. He is a real G.I. Joe from the early to mid 2000’s.

IMG_9893

I tried my best to identify this guy. I know he is an authentic Joe, but all of my searches brought up vintage dolls. From what I remember, he came with archery accessories, but I could only find his helmet and armor at the time I took this picture (his dog tags are floating around somewhere, and I suspect the toddler has something to do with their disappearance). Anyways, I received this handsome guy from my mom and/or sister for my birthday when I was in high school. He was meant to be a gag gift, but I adored him. I remember that I used him for various presentations and speeches, and he may have spent a several month stint in my locker. He was quite the popular guy during homeroom.

Finally, we have this handsome fellow. While I don’t remember exactly when I received him, I do remember that he came from the local dollar store. If memory serves, he dated many of my dolls growing up.

IMG_9894

This guy came out long before the U.S. Navy came out with their blueberry uniform, but I like to think that whomever designed those uniforms played with this doll as a child. My weird speculation aside, my mom bought this guy for me as another gag gift. I always thought he looked like Tuvok from Star Trek Voyager. I believe I got him before the regular Joe, and he is the most worn of the three dolls. His knee pops out of the joint and a seam for his lower calf is coming apart, but it is looks to be something easily fixed with a bit of epoxy glue. My nephews enjoyed playing with him and a few other dollar store dolls like him, and all of them were broken. I have no idea why my mom threw away the other damaged dolls but kept him, but I am not complaining.

As you can see in the first picture, there is quite the height difference between the three dolls. Scotty is 9″ tall, Joe is 12″ tall, and Tuvok is around 13.5″ tall. I find it funny, and I blame microgravity for Scotty being so much smaller than the military guys. In addition to height differences, each of them has different articulation. Scotty has the least articulation of the three; he only has movement in his elbow, shoulders, and knees. Joe has articulation in his elbow, shoulder, knee, and hands. His index finger moves separately from his thumb and the other three fingers, which made it easier for him to hold his bow and arrows. He does not have a kung-fu grip like his more vintage peers. Tuvok has very nice articulation in his arms. He is articulated at the shoulder, elbow, and wrist. Also, there is a spot between the shoulder and elbow that twists around, so you can more easily position his arms and hands to hold things. He also has knee articulation that I will have to fix at some point in the future.

There you have it! Three cool guy dolls that have been added to the collection. I am open to using them for the blog, but they don’t remind me of any Doctor Who characters. I may have to grab some popcorn and watch classic Who until I find some inspiration. I am currently crocheting some stuff for Halloween, so I will try to indulge that whim as I continue that work. If they strike you as any specific character, please comment. I think that I am biased because I played with them as a child, so it isn’t as easy for me to see them in the Whoniverse. I would love to hear your ideas!

Beyond that, I’ll wrap this post up by circling back to the first paragraph. I am currently working on 4 posts for the blog. Two are for the Ood gloves, another is for a sewn Ood jacket I just finished up, and the last is the final installment for this series of stuff we found at grandma’s house. I also have a few other things in my mind that I haven’t put on paper yet, such as another post or two about the Ood mask and an eventual pattern for it. Hopefully I can get posts out in a timely manner, but between the toddler, foster kitten, and Halloween I am stretched thin. Lucky for me, foster kitten is able to go a longer between feedings (4 hours at night), so I am getting more sleep. More sleep means that I feel sharp enough to write, which means I can get these pictured, written, and published. Thank you for your patience and I hope you have a fantastic day.

Advertisements

5 Comments

Filed under Barbie Who?

Blog Anniversary Presents

Wow! I want to thank everybody who commented on the blog’s anniversary post. Your kind words warmed my heart; you are why I adore being part of a blogging community. I didn’t expect anything more than your comments for the blog’s anniversary. It was a pleasant surprise when I received gifts from two awesome people to mark the occasion. I didn’t ask for it, I didn’t expect it, and I feel positively spoiled by their generosity.

The day of my blog’s anniversary, my husband surprised me with this gift. He claims that it was no small feat keeping it hidden from me over the past few weeks. I have been working towards getting the last boxes of random brick-a-brack unpacked, and he claims to have moved it several times because of my productivity. Honestly, I don’t know how I could have missed this; it is huge.

IMG_0397

This is a Barbie Bed & Bath Fold Out Doll House from 1998. It includes a bathroom and a bedroom area. It is missing the bow on the outside, but the inside is fairly complete. The canopy over the bed is missing, but there are different variations of this toy that never had a canopy. In any case, you can see pictures of a more complete model here. It certainly is a charming, even if it has some discoloring from sun damage. Thank you, my dearest, for such a thoughtful gift.

IMG_0398

The house itself opens up a whole new world of possibilities for the blog. I can repaint this and make it into any number of backdrops! It could be the Tardis. It could be any number of houses featured in the show. It could be a palace or alien world. The possibilities are endless! I am going to re-watch some Doctor Who episodes with Ood in them to see if any rooms are worth recreating with this house. If nothing strikes my fancy, I will keep it in mind for future projects.

Next, I will share with you a gift from my friend Gwen. I have to start by saying nothing is more fun that getting a package in the mail that you weren’t expecting. The box arrived a few days after the blog anniversary post. The pictures aren’t the greatest because I was having lighting trouble, and I hope you can forgive me.

IMG_0349

I won’t lie. I have seen this guy on shelves at various stores and I have been tempted to buy them every single time. So, so tempted…. Why? Because he looks like that one character. You know the one, I think his name was Ricky. Despite the resemblance, I never could bring myself to buy one because my budget has been too tight to splurge on a new doll. It appears that I am not the only person who saw the resemblance. Gwen included a note with this doll saying, ‘He reminded me of the plastic guy from the first episode.’ Deliciously fitting for a Ken doll.

The doll itself is called Water Play Steven or Barbie Beach Steven and he is a 2015 release. Wow! He is so modern for my collection; it’s hard to believe. I know he will need a facial repaint to truly capture the essence of Mickey Smith, so he isn’t on the short list for upcoming projects. I have a back log of projects I want to do before I dive into repainting. Still, I am glad to have this doll as part of the collection. It makes me smile to think of my plastic Mickey hanging out with the dolls. It is a delightful reminder of the season that pulled me back into Doctor Who after so many years.

IMG_0348

Who doesn’t love a good Disney prince? Well, at least when their heads are firmly on their shoulders (I’m not bitter). This is Eugene Fitzherbert from the Disney Rapunzel movie. I liked him in the movie because he is clearly more flawed than the average prince, and who doesn’t love his name? I’ve been a sucker for Genes ever since I watched Star Trek as a child. I’m getting off track! More commonly known as Flynn Rider, this doll has a nice head sculpt that captures his character. There was sticky note on him saying ‘Lose the goatee and he will look like Jack!’ I can certainly see the smoldering resemblance between the two. I think that this doll is destined to become Captain Jack Harkness, in all his glory.

The doll is a Mattel 2014 Flynn Rider doll. While I couldn’t find a review or similar for the doll itself, this post by Never Grow Up compares him to a Disney store Flynn Rider doll. I am a little bit scared because a blurb under one of the pictures says that his pants won’t come off. I…. I feel like this is the exact opposite of the Jack we all know and love. Will it be a disqualifier? Maybe. I will have to unbox him and examine him to know for sure.

IMG_0350

Now, the astute reader may wonder why I haven’t unboxed these two dolls. The answer is simple: my toddler loves unboxing. I am going to save the unboxing for a snowy (do we even get snow down here?) or rainy day when we can’t go outside, so right now they are hanging out in the front closet. I am sure they’ll strike a pose with the Ood ladies once they are free of their plastic prisons.

Speaking of Ood, I have been working on the Ood mask pattern. Something just came over me yesterday and I started making notes for version 2 of the mask. If I am lucky, I will only need two versions. I won’t know for sure if version 2 of the mask will be the final version until I crochet it and see how it fits on the dolls. My wrist is doing well enough that I tried knitting with my brace off yesterday. Yay for progress! I finished one of the gloves for the first Ood doll. With some luck, I can get the other one done and posted next week.

Also… The new sewing machine foot arrived! I chose a clear version of a 1/4″ piecing foot, and it is fantastic. I have been playing around with it by piecing together scraps of fabric; it is much easier to use than the larger 1/2″ foot. I love having a 1/4″ guide as I’m working. I plan on starting on the jacket and other aspects of the second Ood later this week! I have the fabric cut, so I just need to sit down to get the sewing done. Then comes pictures and writing and everything else…. Well, the life of a blogger is never easy. Now you know some of the cool things I have queued up for the coming weeks.

Once again, I want to say thank you for everybody who wished me a happy blog anniversary. I appreciate your kind words and the motivation you give me when I read them. Ya’ll rock! Thank you for reading and I hope you have a fantastic week.

4 Comments

Filed under Barbie Who?

Ood Shoes

Time flies when you’re having fun. It’s been a busy week. A friend of mine gardens, and we have been busy harvesting, prepping, and canning various fruits and veggies. It is exhausting work, and I am glad it only happens once per year. Even with all of that going on, I have been making time in the evenings to crochet. My wrist had a hard time with these, but I managed to get them done by doing a row or two each night. Take a peek!

IMG_9959

To create these, I used a pattern by the same people who made the pattern I used for Cofelia’s flats. This pattern is for Barbie Basic Socks and it was created by dezalyx.  Since this doll has normal feet, I didn’t have to make any major adjustments. The only change I made was in the length – their full pattern creates a knee-length sock while I stopped at more of a boot length. I considered staying true to the full original pattern, but I just didn’t see an Ood as being the type to have boots that ride that high.

IMG_9960

I think that this height is more appropriate for the overall Ood style. It also compliments the length of her pants. I went until approximately row 16 in the pattern. I didn’t do a very good job of writing down notes while making them, but I did count 16 rows on one of the shoes. If you make this pattern, make sure to put the shoe on the doll every 3-4 rows. Their legs increase in diameter surprisingly fast, and on the first sock I had to unravel a few rows and add an increase because it didn’t fit.

IMG_9961

I am excited for how well this outfit is coming together! She is really starting to look like an Ood. My next project will be her gloves. Because of my wrist problems, I expect it to take a while before I finish them. Please be patient! I promise I am doing my best, but I have this brace on for another month, and it greatly limits my range of motion. Combine that with black thread and you have a less than ideal crocheting experience. Still, I do my best! Hopefully it will be enough. Thank you for reading and I hope you have a fantastic day!

8 Comments

Filed under Barbie Who?

Happy (Belated) Birthday to Me

This post is long overdue. I meant to write this post when it was my birthday back in June, but you know how life can be. Things were chaotic, and I didn’t have a chance to finish writing about it until now. Since I sprained my wrist, I now have to take a doctor mandated break from most crafting for the next week. I plan on spending that time catching up on things! I want to get some writing done for the blog about things that happened this summer. I think this will be a fun way to pass the time until I can craft again.

My birthday is June 2. I know, I know, boring stuff. Most years I just get some warm greetings and some cards. Beyond that, it always passes by without much hooplah at all. This year was different; my friend Gwen surprised me and came for a visit! Gwen and I have been friends since we were at university together. We are both science nerds, and we hit it off swimmingly years ago. We have managed to keep our friendship alive despite the distance between us. Gwen drove 8 hours to visit me while I was staying with family. It was the best possible thing for me to see Gwen and have her support at that time. On top of that, she didn’t come empty-handed. She brought a few small gifts with her. Gwen has been supportive of my blog from the beginning. She has also been an amazing friend to me over the years. After the death of my Aunt Marie, I was in a slump when it came to blogging. Gwen helped get me back into the groove of things again. Thank you for being my cheerleader!

Gwen’s first gift was a Midge doll. Gwen said she found this doll at a flea market and had to get it for me because of her hair. Gwen thought that the doll would make a great Amy Pond. I have to agree. This girl is lovely, don’t you think?

IMG_0085

This doll rang a bell in my mind the moment I saw it. Then I remembered that Crochet with Cindy has this doll! She uses it to model some of her creations! Here is a link to a post where her Midge is modeling a lovely outfit. From the time I saw her on Cindy’s blog, I thought it looked like Amy Pond. Seeing it in person has confirmed that feeling. The doll is known as Palm Beach Midge and she was released in 2001. Most collectors agree that it is a travesty for a doll with such a pretty face to be on a body with painted clothes.  I feel similarly, but her freckles makes me forgive the swimsuit. The necklace is another story – I find it even more annoying than the clothes because it is harder to cover up. I am going to use this doll for Pond. There is absolutely no doubt in my mind that she will be a perfect fit with that character.  I haven’t decided on what outfit(s) I will create for her, but you can bet it will be something that will do justice to them both.

She also gave me another doll. This doll is vintage and positively stunning.

IMG_0084

I love Barbie dolls that are older than me. There is something charming about the dolls made in the 50’s, 60’s, and 70’s. They can also be deceiving. The first time I saw a vintage doll, I thought it was a cheap Barbie knock-off from the dollar store because the plastic was different than I was used to seeing. Luckily, I took a closer look and realized that she was a real Barbie doll. This is the blog post from that adventure.

This doll appears to be even older than my first vintage doll. She is Sunset Malibu Barbie, a doll that was released from 1971 to 1977. My Vintage Barbie has an informative blog post about her. This specific doll was an earlier model made in 1971 or 1972. Her butt marking says ‘© 1966… Made in Japan’. Production of this doll started in Japan, but it left that country in 1972 to move production to Taiwan. Later runs were made in Korea as well, so you can get a fairly accurate idea of when the doll was made by looking at the country of origin.

IMG_0083

Considering she is a decade older than me, she is in great condition! She doesn’t have any major flaws on her face and her body doesn’t have any bites or scratches. I like how the painting of her lips, eyebrows, and teeth haven’t chipped away. It really brings out her personality. I also like her orange dress. I wasn’t able to find anything online to indicate weather this is a Barbie dress or something homemade. The dress does have a bit of fraying, but it is in better shape than most of the doll clothes I’ve come across since starting the blog. Overall, she is an amazing gift that I will cherish. She has a special place among the dolls I own.

Gwen’s next gift was a stunning Barbie astronaut suit.

IMG_8004

I generally keep my eye on the Barbie aisle in stores, but I have never seen this outfit. Isn’t is adorable? This is the Barbie Careers Astronaut Fashion Pack from 2014. It has the outfit, a pair of boots, and an awesome helmet. It seems to be lacking gloves, but I’m okay with that. Doll gloves can be fickle and easily lost.

For this, is there really any question as to what episode I have to tie it into? I have to turn it into one of the skeleton astronauts from Silence in the Library. It would involve a fairly extensive repaint, so I will have to keep my eyes open for the perfect doll to use for this project. I’m sure that one will pop up before too long.

Gwen’s final gift is something I have pictured in the blog a few times before. Stands!!

IMG_0082

She gave me doll stands! How cool is that? This is something that has made picturing the dolls much easier. I can’t believe I went so long without them. Gwen gave me five stands, but one of them walked away (I suspect the cat and toddler). I have considered getting stands in the past, but I never would remember them when I was browsing eBay. Luckily, Gwen saw my need and said it was no big deal. These stands make it much easier to pose dolls and create dynamic scenes. I am really excited about the possibilities they open up. Thank you so much, Gwen, for such a thoughtful gift!

I am very lucky to have good friends in my life, and I am even luckier to know that they support me. Gwen has been a great support for me and has gone above and beyond anything I could have ever asked of her. Above all of that, she gave me a promise. Gwen said that she would keep an eye out for dolls and other Barbie things that strike her as Whovian. She isn’t as big a fan of Doctor Who as I am, but her judgment is solid (just look at that Pond doll!). I hate to rat her out, but I don’t think she’s seen series 8. The blasphemy! Still, I trust that she’ll find some wacky stuff by the next time we meet up. Gwen lives in a more metropolitan area, so it will be interesting to see what she can find. I’m sure the things she acquires will be different from what I can find in our small new town. Thank you, Gwen, for everything. You rock!

Beyond these cool new acquisitions, we hit an absolutely fantastic milestone yesterday! 100 followers of the Barbie Who? blog! I am blown away that 100 people want to go on this journey with me. You all inspire me and help keep me motivated. Thank you for following my blog and being so supportive over the last few months. I can’t thank you enough. You guys rock!

In my life, things are going well. My wrist is slowly improving, and I even finished one of the Ood shoes. I couldn’t work on it for more than a few rows at a time, but those rows add up after a few days. Also, I am still waiting for the new sewing machine foot. For some reason, the postal service decided to send it to the wrong hub. I am hopeful it will be here before the weekend. Then I can start on the sewn Ood jacket! That will be fun. In the mean time, I am looking for a glove pattern and making a strategy for the Ood hindbrain. I have seen several different ways that people made knit/crochet brains, but none of them look like they will scale well do miniature size. I will keep looking and make my own interpretation if needed. That is enough rambling for one day! I look forward to everything ahead, and I hope you have a fantastic day.

14 Comments

Filed under Barbie Who?

Ood Pants, Take 4

It has begun! I have sewn my first garments for fashion dolls. It has been quite a journey. Sewing for dolls was different than anything I have sewn before. I am excited to tell you all about the terrifying lows, the dizzying highs, and the creamy middles.

All sewing adventures start with choosing a pattern. I decided to use pattern G from Simplicity 1242. I was drawn to this pattern because it was simple and vintage; I absolutely adore vintage style. After browsing the instructions, I realized it was a straightforward pattern. It only required two leg pieces and some elastic for construction. After rummaging through a bin of fabric scraps, I assembled everything I needed for this journey.

I began by unfolding the thin pattern paper. This is always the most nerve-wracking part for me. With a toddler at my legs, you never know when an arm will reach up and try to rip what I’m working with. Luckily, she was more interested in her blocks than what I was doing up above. Once I had found the pattern I needed, I used white copy paper to trace the pattern. I didn’t want to cut out the original because I am certain I will be making this pattern again. I don’t like to cut original patterns, and doll clothes are small enough that I can get away with this little cheat.

IMG_9953

Next, I ironed out a piece of scrap fabric. It was part of a fat quarter I had leftover from making a drawstring bag. I believe the fabric is 100% cotton, and it is somewhat thin. I figured it would be a good fabric to test this pattern. First, I folded the fabric over so that it had two layers. Then, I cut out the pattern twice. I wanted to make at least two pairs of pants just in case one had problems or the sewing machine decided to eat the fabric (I love my new machine, but it did that twice when I was making curtains – eek!). The first piece I cut out was exact to the pattern. The second pair had an added 1/4″ in the waist area. Bloggers Brie and barbielea suggested adding extra space in the waist to better fit modern dolls, and I figured I should listen to their experience. Once the fabric was cut, I made my way to the sewing machine.

Before I started sewing, I read the directions that came with the pattern. They were composed of two blocks of text and two pictures; they certainly didn’t spell things out to the level I prefer. Being the visual person I am, I relied way too much on the pictures when assembling the first pair of pants. The first few steps went well. I sewed the front seam, pressed and sewed the top seam, and inserted the elastic without incident. Next, I looked at the second picture where it illustrates how to stitch the leg seams. I stitched up both legs, and then I went back to the back seam and crotch. That is when I realized my mistake. Because I waited to stitch up the back, it was hard to get the fabric to sit properly. The crotch area was particularly wonky. I read the written instructions again, and I was supposed to stitch the back seam before I stitched up the legs. Oops! I made the most of it, and when I was finished it wasn’t too noticeable on the outside. The seam is uneven when you look closely, but you can’t tell anything is wrong when the doll is wearing the pants.

Once I had the pants sewn up, I realized I had made another mistake. The bottom of the pants had a raw seam! I forgot to fold over the fabric and hem the cuffs at the bottom (where the feet come out). I looked at the instructions and I didn’t see it in the written part or in the picture. Maybe patterns expect us to know to do those things? Maybe I can’t read? Maybe I’m a total noob? I’m not sure; it is probably a combination of all three possibilities. To fix this, I rolled the fabric into the pants and pressed it with the iron. Then, I hand-stitched the hem into place. It was tedious work, but I finished it quickly due to the small size of the piece.

IMG_9954

This first pair looks pretty good, all things considered. This was my first attempt at making doll clothes, my first time sewing with a 1/4″ seam, and my first time using this pattern. Even with the mistakes I made, the pants fit my Ood doll! It was a bit difficult to slide them over her hips, but it wasn’t impossible. The bigger challenge was making her giant feet fit through the bottom cuffs. Even with those small problems, I am very happy with how the pants turned out.

IMG_9955

Because the first pair of pants were a success, I decided to do something fun with the second pair. I used a decorative flower stitch on the bottom cuffs to make them more interesting. Decorative stitches are a big advantage to having a computerized sewing machine; I wanted to utilize that capability. It didn’t take long to thread the machine and sew it into the cloth.

IMG_9956

Before I started construction on this pair of pants, I made sure to re-read the instructions. Between what was written and what I remembered from the first pair of pants, they came together beautifully. The final seam was much easier to sew, and I didn’t have to hand-stitch anything. I am very happy with how it turned out, and I am stunned at how little time it took to make them once I knew what I was doing. It would take me over a week to knit or crochet a pair of pants, and I was able to make two of these in a little over an hour. Huzzah!

I decided to let Snow White wear these trousers. The pink detailing seems to fit her style better than it does for the Ood dolls. I also couldn’t get them to fit the Ood dolls. The first pair of pants had extra fabric in the waste. The smaller waist works great for dolls with a teenage body, but it was too small for modern Barbie dolls. Old patterns are fun! I guess I will plan on making at least two of anything I sew so that I can adjust them accordingly.

IMG_9957

One big problem I felt with both pieces involved the feet on my sewing machine. None of the feet that came with my machine sew a 1/4″ seam well. The feet are all better suited for a 1/2″ or larger seam, and I found myself sewing blindly on all the curves. It was easier to sew the straight area of the leg because I could guide the fabric on both sides of the foot. On every curve, I was afraid that I would sew myself out of the fabric or I would sew too far into the fabric. I don’t like gambling, so I had to find a solution. After doing a quick search online, I found a sewing foot that is designed for assembling doll clothes. I ordered it off of eBay, and I am waiting patiently for it to make it to our home. I have decided not to sew any more doll clothes until I receive the new foot. I want to make a jacket or shirt when it does arrive. I have enough scrap black fabric to make at least one shirt, and I don’t want to ruin it by using the wrong foot.

One of the jackets included in this packet of patterns may work as an Ood jacket, after a few modifications. It is pattern E from Simplicity 1242. My only hesitation is that it looks a bit too long for an Ood. There are a few other jacket and shirt options in the other Simplicity patterns I bought. I will compare them before I make a final decision. We shall see what I come up with!

IMG_9958

I think I can say that one Ood will have a knit outfit while the second has a sewn outfit. I have also been playing around with a few other ways that I can differentiate them. Eye color is the first thing that comes to mind, but I have a few other ideas, too. What they hold in their hand is another way to differentiate them. One will have a hindbrain while the other has a translation orb. Before I hurt my wrist, I was playing around with different ways of making the translation orb. For now, I am stuck just looking for brain patterns online so that I can get a feel for how other people approach constructing a brain. Thus far, none of the patterns look like they can easily scale down to Barbie size, so I may be making my own pattern for that, too. Stay tuned!

What is next? Well, my wrist is still on hiatus. I am doing some exercises to help build up strength, but I get pain and cramps whenever I try to knit or crochet. The way I have to bend my wrist is putting too much stress on it. I don’t want this injury to linger, but at the same time I have a lot of things I want to craft. I am trying to do one row for the Ood shoes every night just so that I can make some iota of progress. If I keep that up, the next Ood update might be the Ood shoes for the first doll. For now, I am going to focus on writing a few more posts about our summer and the cool Barbie things we found while visiting family. Thank you for reading about my first sewing adventure! I hope you have a fantastic day.

10 Comments

Filed under Barbie Who?

It Came From the Basement

This is the second installment in a series I lovingly call ‘stuff we found at grandma’s house’. These items were a total surprise to me. It all started when we noticed a rotten smell coming into the bathroom. At first, we thought one of the cats had hidden a dead animal somewhere in the area. After an extensive search and thorough cleaning, we didn’t find anything. When the smell became worse, we realized it was coming from the basement.

Nobody likes going down to the basement. My parent’s house is 120 years old, and the basement is unfinished. It has brick walls and a cement floor. There are always spiders and numerous spider webs on the stairs leading down to it. Occasionally, you will see a mouse or snake hanging out in there. It is pretty gross. Despite all of that, bad smells will make you do extreme things. We bucked up and went down to investigate.

When we went into the basement, the source of the bad smell was obvious. There was an inch of stagnant water sitting on the basement floor. It was overwhelming at first, but things improved when we used the wet-dry vac to remove the water. Because of mold and bad smell, we also had to empty everything out of the basement that we could move. Thankfully, there isn’t much down there: only emergency supplies, a hot water heater, and a few storage boxes. We moved everything onto the front porch to air out. While we were moving things around, we found this green tub filled with toys.

Long story short, the standing water in the basement didn’t come from rain. It was from a leak in the water heater. We replaced the heater, and that solved the bad smell problem. It took a lot of cleaning and a week of airing out the basement, but the moldy smell went away. The only thing left was to sort through boxes to see what had been ruined. Most of the items were salvageable, and we found some gems in the green tub filled with toys.

I was delighted to see the contents of this box. Unlike the other things we found around the house, I had no idea that my mom held onto these things. I thought these toys had been given to charity when I was a teenager, but it turns out they were tucked away in the basement for over a decade. I was delighted to take inventory, and these are the Barbie toys in the mix.

Growing up, I had two Barbie cars. One was a stretch limo and the other was this glorious beast. I remember that I received the limo for my birthday when I was 6 or 7. I was so upset because my younger cousin, Derek, sat on it and tried to ride it. I thought he was going to break it! Luckily, nothing bigger than a cat has tried to get into this car. In fact, I have fond memories of when my sister and I would harass our cat, Ariel, with it. She was a good cat who grew up with 2 rambunctious girls and all our crazy antics. It was a wonder that she ever let us pet her.

The car itself has held up well; it even still has the remote. It is somewhat faded, but the wheels move without any problems. It also cleaned up well and no longer smells like flooded basement. The car is battery powered, and I haven’t been able to get it working. My husband said he would crack it open and see if there was anything he could do to fix it. I found an eBay listing stating this is a 1993 pink Barbie convertible RC car. I wasn’t able to find anything else about this model elsewhere online. If I find anything more concrete, I will update this post.

Up next is an adorable Ariel doll. The Little Mermaid was my favorite movie growing up, and I had several dolls from the movies. This doll is a Hair Fashion Ariel doll made by Tyco in the early 90’s. She is shorter than the Ariel dolls made by Mattel, and her face looks younger. I wasn’t able to find any web pages or blog posts about this doll, but I did find this photo by PrincessMermaid. It shows a picture of the doll in her original box. Isn’t she pretty?

My Ariel doll is a bit worse for ware. She is missing a few accessories, and when I took its clothes off for cleaning I realized that her leg was broken at the joint. I am fairly sure that this break happened before I found the doll because I hadn’t tried bending any of her joints. However, I can’t rule out that some of the other people in the house handled her before I was able to start cleaning.

I don’t know if it is going to be something I can fix because of where the break is located. I am sure that I can glue it back into the joint, but I am fairly sure the glue would fill the entire socket and the doll would lose the ability to pivot in that area. With her tail on, it isn’t a big problem. The leg stays up and can bend into different positions, so I am keeping it as-is for now. This vintage Ariel doll is just hanging out with the other Disney princess dolls for now.

The other doll in the box is a veterinarian Barbie. Growing up, I loved animals and I insisted on having the veterinarian Barbie doll. She was released in 1996 and is called Pet Doctor Barbie. If memory serves, I received her as a birthday gift from my mother. I remember that she came with a cat, a dog, and a basket that made noise. While we seem to have lost a few pieces from the original set, her outfit is surprisingly intact. She has the matching shirt and pants. I don’t entirely understand why a veterinarian would wear a cropped off shirt, but then again it was the 90’s and Mattel did some pretty crazy stuff with some of their dolls. This Barbie even has her watch! Can you believe that such a small piece stuck around for so long? It would have been cool if she had her stethoscope, but I wasn’t that lucky. I am excited to have her to pass on to my daughter. I hope that she loves animals as much as I do and enjoys this doll as much as I did.

This Barbie doll and the Ariel doll didn’t lose the basement smell from airing out alone. These two dolls smelled terrible for longer than anything else we found. They smelled the worst out of everything in the box when we first found them, but I managed to solve that problem. First, I cleaned them and their outfits with dish soap and let them air dry. While I was cleaning Barbie, her pink plastic hair band disintegrated. The plastic was old and I think it had hardened with age. I picked out all the bits of pink plastic from her hair and, once the hair was dry, I replaced it with a brown plastic band. Cleaning with soap wasn’t quite enough to remove the smell, so I soaked both dolls in a mixture of 1 part vinegar to 3 parts water overnight. Then I let them air dry on the front porch. I repeated the soaking three times before the smell was completely gone. I like using vinegar. The slight acidity of the solution killed any microbes that were living on the dolls. The vinegar solution didn’t discolor the skin or hair of either doll or their clothes. It took some effort, but I am happy that I was able to salvage both dolls.

This next find is something special. It is my walking Barbie horse. I received this horse for either my birthday or Christmas in the 90’s. I remember how delighted I was by her and her ability to walk. I also remember how much our cat disliked her and would attack her when she was walking on the kitchen floor. Luckily, she was cured of basement smell with just a scrub down and airing out on the front porch for two weeks. Her hair was a bit worse for ware, but I’ve seen worse. To fix her hair, I combed it out and gave it a hot-water dip. That managed to tame it enough for me to braid it with my friend, Gwen. I did the tail and she did the mane. We were like little girls again, sitting on the living room floor braiding a doll horse’s hair. It was fantastic.

This horse can walk! Luckily, her internal electronics are still intact and running. This makes me extremely happy, and it brings great joy to all of us to see my toddler running after it. As far as identification, I wasn’t able to find an exact match for this horse online. I believe it was just called ‘stepping horse’ or ‘walking horse’ because I don’t remember the name Tawney at all. I can see that the horses released over the last decade or so all seem to be named Tawney. I was able to find several horse gifts sets that were released in the 90’s, but none of them rang a bell to me. I remember that my horse came with a bridal, a saddle, and some pendants for her hair all in matching pink. I was able to find a similar set, but all of the horse’s accessories were in red. Oh well! You can’t win ’em all. For now, her exact identity will have to be a bit of a mystery.

The craziest part about this horse is that I bought another horse exactly like her from a flea market nearly a year ago. I bought the flea-market horse because it reminded me of the Barbie horse I had as a child. I am just blown away that we were able to find that original horse after all these years. Now that we’re home, I managed to find the second horse and I braided her hair, too.

I need 4 more Barbie horses and we can reenact the Kentucky Derby. If I can find them, I will make sure to make outlandish hats and dresses for the dolls in attendance. Anything less would be improper.

The final item I will share with you today is a doll quilt. This quilt was made for my by my paternal grandmother when I was a little girl. I don’t remember when I received it, but I am fairly sure that all the grandkids got a small quilt for Christmas that year. This quilt is too large for a Barbie doll; it was made to wrap a baby doll into when playing. I adore it! It makes me want to dabble in quilting. I have considered making a pot holder or a Barbie sized blanket. We shall see how my other sewing exploits go before I commit to a big quilting project.

I’m not sure if or how I will incorporate these into Barbie Who?, but I thought it was fun to share this unexpected blast from my past. Currently, I am grounded from knitting and crochet because of an injured wrist. I was in a car wreck, and the steering wheel was none too kind to my body. I am trying to spend the down time writing on the blog and doing some sewing. Sewing is more of a chore because of the wrist brace, but I am confident I can adapt. Depending on my ambition, the next update will probably be a sewn garment for the second Ood doll. If not, it will be another tidbit from our summer back home. Until then, cheers!

2 Comments

Filed under Barbie Who?

Ood Jacket

Horray! Another Ood Update! I finally finished the Ood jacket, and I am very pleased with how it turned out. While part of me will miss her floral shirt, I am happy with how this doll is coming together.
A knit jacket made for an Ood doll

This jacket is made with size 10 crochet thread and size 0 (2.00 mm) knitting needles. The pattern I used for this jacket is from the Sticka till Barbie website, pattern number 913. I would rate this pattern for intermediate knitters. It didn’t have anything crazy, but it wasn’t easy either. For me, the hardest part was picking up stitches for the sleeves. It was difficult to do this with such fine thread. In all honesty, I had never picked up stitches before this pattern, so I had to look up a few tutorials on YouTube in order to get an idea of how it worked. After failing to do it with the knitting needles several times, I wound up using a small crochet needle to do the work. It was awkward to work with a knitting and crochet needle at the same time, but I managed to make it work.

Beyond that, I had a bit of drama that set me back at least a week on this piece. I found some black crochet thread at a thrift store. I was excited for it, I thought it was a great buy, and I was incredibly naive. About halfway through the back of the jacket, I realized that this thread had problems. It would break when you tugged on it. This is something I have never seen in thread before. Just a light tug and poof! It would be broken. I learned this when the toddler grabbed and yanked the thread as I was working on it and it made a meter long length of string fray badly. Then, I took the thread and gave it a light tug. It broke clean-through. I unraveled part of the ball and tried it again; same problem. I am completely stunned and upset. I had at least 4 hours worth of knitting into the piece when I realized the yarn had this problem. I checked the rest of my cache to make sure that none of the other skeins have this flaw. Luckily, it was only this odd-ball black thread. Overall, I am happy I realized this problem sooner rather than later – I would have hated to finish the jacket and have it fall apart when my girl is playing with it down the road.
an Ood doll with yarn and knitting needles

After the yarn problem came to light, I had to buy a new skein of black crochet thread. This was the biggest time sink for this project; I forgot it the first time I went shopping and didn’t have time to go again until a week later. I went to a Hobby Lobby since they were having a sale on thread that week, and I bought a new skein of Artiste brand size 10 cotton crochet thread. The color is coal black, and it does not disappoint. It didn’t snap when I tugged on it, and it matched the color of the previous skein. This stuff will is well suited for doll clothes. Fabulous! As a side note, I am so glad to be living somewhere with more than one craft store. Our old small town had a family owned craft store and the city (an hour away) had a Hobby Lobby, but this area has Hobby Lobby, JoAnn Fabric, Hancock Fabric, and Michaels. I am amazed by the sales and coupons that I now get to use.

Beyond that, the only other eventful thing to happen while knitting this piece was with the toddler. She managed to get into my craft cubby and ran off with the knitting needles. Luckily, the stitches came off cleanly and I was able to get them back on a needle without having to re-knit any rows. Even if it had been worse, it happened within the first few rows of the final sleeve and wouldn’t have been hard to restart the sleeve if she had done more damage.A Barbie doll wrarinf an Ood mask and outfit.

This Ood is almost complete! I have to make her hindbrain, shoes, and gloves before she will be complete. I think I will tackle her shoes next because I have a crochet pattern in mind to create them. I am also going to begin work on sewn pieces for the other Ood doll. It should be interesting to see how sewing goes. I am not accustomed to 1/4″ seams, so it will be a new experience. Fingers crossed that it will go smoothly. Thank you for reading and I hope you have a fantastic day!

6 Comments

Filed under Barbie Who?