Tag Archives: Vintage

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?

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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.

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