Hard Plastic Fashion Doll


Hard Plastic doll from the 1960s

Hard Plastic doll from the 1960s

This little doll is made of hard plastic and her arms and head are strung with rubber bands attached to hooks. Her legs are fixed and she has sleep eyes. Her glued on hair is mohair I think. She is marked “Made in Hong Kong” on her back.

This type of doll was fairly common in the late 50s and early 60s and I had a couple of them I think. Many had plastic underwear like this but I don’t recall ever seeing any clothing to fit them on sale. She is about 6″ tall so a little small for my Barbie house but a bit too big for the type of dollshouse I used to have. I had other dolls about 4″ tall who I preferred to play with as a child.

As I have been knitting for Barbie this week I ended up with a couple of garments knitted in a very fine thread which were not a good fit. I decided to lend them to this “Lady Doll” so she would have something proper to wear. I may make her a better fitting outfit later.

Wearing knitted clothes that were a bit snug on the Barbies.

Wearing knitted clothes that were a bit snug on the Barbies.

Saturday Afternoon at the Dollshouse


A busy afternoon in the Dollshouse

A busy afternoon in the Dollshouse

There is lots of activity in the dollshouse today. On the top floor the Tressy’s are annoyed to come home and find piles of clothing on the floor  left by those pesky Barbies. However, they soon start trying them on.

The Tressy's are annoyed.

The Tressy’s are annoyed.

In the living room Tammy’s Mom is keeping all the girls with her. She’s really getting fed up with her home being used as a photo studio.

Mom keeps the girls with her.

Mom keeps the girls with her.

In the bathroom Marissa, creator of all this unrest, is busy plotting another fashion makeover.

Marissa waits for a new makeover client.

Marissa waits for a new makeover client.

Meanwhile, in the kitchen, Tammy’s Dad, Dr Kildare and Army Buddy are intrigued by their elegant lady visitor.

The men admire a stranger.

The men admire a stranger.

Midge Gets A Makeover


Readers of this blog will know that one of my favourite Barbie Models is my USAF Aviator Barbie, Midge. Recently she has been my model for some sewing and knitting projects as well as modelling some outfits in the back garden for a photo shoot. As a consequence of all this activity she’s starting to get a bit untidy. When I first got her several years ago Midge had stiffening in her hair. I don’t really like hair that feels as hard as rock so occasionally I wash it out to give the doll a different look. I did this with Midge after I’d had her for a while and I thought that she looked much more natural without it. Now it’s starting to get a bit fly away and while I rather like the natural look I don’t want it to get too untidy. By the way don’t you think she has lovely eyes? I love the colour of them.

All she needed was a bit of tidying up so I washed and conditioned her hair and restyled it slightly. I decided to document her mini makeover in the form of a story but left out the part where I wrapped her head in cling wrap for 24 hours while it dried. I did use the hairdryer to dry the worst of it but I prefer to let Barbie hair dry naturally rather than use excessive heat.

Midge's hair is getting a little mussy.

Midge’s hair is getting a little mussy.

 Midge Feels Blue

Midge had been having a heart to heart with her new friend Marissa. She was feeling a bit low and said so. Marissa had the answer.

“What you need is a bit of pampering. That will cheer you up. Why don’t I give you a makeover?”

"Do you need a makeover?"

“When you are feeling a bit down a bit of pampering always helps. Well it always helps ME.” says Marissa.

"Just leave everything to me."

“Just leave everything to me.”

A Short Time Later

Marissa has quite a strong personality and is not a friend that you say no to; so before she knew it Midge was at Marissa’s house. “First of all I want you to take a nice relaxing bath.” her new friend told her. “Then we’ll do your hair.”

 

Midge takes a relaxing bath.

Midge takes a relaxing bath.

After her bath Marissa shampooed Midge’s hair. She used Johnson’s Baby Shampoo so there were no tears. “Only the best will do.” she told her slightly bemused friend as she followed up with conditioner from the House of Avon. After Midge’s hair was washed and conditioned Marissa decided to comb it back from her face and set it with pins. She also trimmed away some flyaway bits.

Marissa prepares  to wash Midge's hair.

Marissa prepares to wash Midge’s hair.

Midge after her shampoo.

Midge after her shampoo.

Marissa gets to work.

Marissa gets to work.

The bathroom

The bathroom

Marissa then set to work with the hair dryer. Blow drying finished she did a little more tidying before inviting Midge to take a look in the mirror and see what she thought of her new style. ” All it needs now is some product to keep those flyaway bits in place. Your hair is so fine.”

Marissa is nearly finished.

Marissa is nearly finished.

"Well what do you think?"

“I so should have been a hairdresser!” Marissa exclaims

Midge thought that the new style looked good. “We’re not done yet though.” Marissa said. “Next we go shopping!”

To Be Continued…

Next time, the reveal and a shopping trip.

Notes:

The photos were taken with my Nikon Coolpix L120 camera in the bathroom of my Barbie house.

The bathtub is a ceramic one which I bought because it looks more real than the plastic Barbie ones.

The towel and toiletries are from various Barbie sets I’ve accumulated. Midge’s smock was made by me.

Marissa is of course my Fashionista Raquelle.

Although you can’t see her reflection in the mirror Midge is not a Vampire.

 

Tales of a Knitwit -Knitting for Fashion Dolls


The past couple of weeks I’ve been getting into some more Barbie dressmaking projects. So far I’ve made a couple of skirts and have been experimenting with knitting. One of the skirts was just a simple tube made from a piece out of an old pair of tights, the other two were hand sewn, mostly so that I could practice sewing darts and pleats. I was reasonably happy with them and now need to make some little tops to go with them.

Midge wears a tube skirt made from old tights and a hand knitted top.

Midge wears a tube skirt made from old tights and a hand knitted top.

Midge in one of the skirts I made and a jumper and scarf I knitted.

Midge in one of the skirts I made and a jumper and scarf I knitted.

Although I have often knitted garments for my larger dolls I don’t often knit for Barbie because I don’t like the bulky fabric on shapely fashion dolls. I have a lot of vintage knitting patterns but I decided to look on the internet for some patterns that used finer wool and smaller needles. I recently bought a pair of size 1.25 mm needles which are so fine that I kept stabbing my fingers while I knitted with them. I haven’t found any patterns that use them yet though so I’ve just been experimenting on my own. I did find a lot of patterns that use 2mm needles, that’s a size 14 in the old money. Unfortunately I didn’t have any, well I had one needle, who knows where the other one is. So my first task will be to get some 2mm needles to try out these patterns with.

As usual though when I get an idea to make something I don’t really like to wait. I know I’ll lose motivation if I don’t do something. I went online again and found a pattern for a tube dress knitted in the round on larger sized needles. I haven’t knitted on four needles in years so I thought that would be a good project to keep me going until I get my 2mm needles. There was a cricket match on television that I wanted to watch so I settled down with my needles and a partly used ball of cotton yarn and commenced knitting. It took a while to get used to the four needle method again but the result was a dress that I didn’t have to sew up. I did make a couple of mistakes but as it was just for practice I won’t stress over it. It was fairly quick to knit up too. By the time Australia had got the last South African cricketer out I was nearly finished.

Mary in the dress I knitted  from a cotton yarn.

Mary in the dress I knitted from a cotton yarn.

I made a few mistakes in my knitting and  it doesn’t look great but the next ones I do will be better.I think that the fabric looks a bit bulky and I would probably use finer needles in future but something like this could be knitted up for a child’s doll very quickly. I may make a few more to give the church Barbies a change of clothes for Christmas. The tops that Midge is modelling I made without any kind of pattern and it shows. Normally I won’t do anything without instructions but I think I got the fit almost right just working on her measurements.

One of the websites I found had over 1,000 patterns for Barbie and even a few for Ken. They are all free to download and most look pretty easy. If you want to take a look you can find them here. The site has pattern instructions in multiple languages too so it’s a very good resource. Make sure that you have a look at the ABBA costumes that some clever person has designed. I’m probably showing my age that I remember some of them. I’ll add links to some of the other doll sewing sites I found at the end of this post.

When you are knitting for Barbie or any kind of knitting and crochet really you need to be aware that needle sizes and names of yarns vary from country to country. I have added some useful links I found for these as well.

A lot of my thinner yarns are odd balls and part balls left over from other projects, some were inherited from older relatives and I’m not even sure what ply they are. One of the things that I’ve knitted this week is a dress which was made from the last few metres of a metallic yarn that I bought over 30 years ago to make a dress for my sister. I used to knit a lot more in those days and that was probably my most ambitious project. She wanted this metallic rib knit dress to go out dancing in after seeing the pattern in a magazine. I made it and she wore it once I think; mum washed it and hung it on the line where it stretched so badly she was never able to wear it again. I was a bit cross about that.

Now I prefer to knit for dolls because it doesn’t take as long and it’s a fun way to use up those accumulated scraps.

My models today are Midge aka USAF Aviator Barbie, Mary aka Butterfly Art Teresa and Ember aka Fashion Fever Teresa Wave F.

 

Ember wears the dress knitted from a thirty year old ball of yarn.

Ember wears the dress knitted from a thirty year old ball of yarn.

Today I went to Hobart and bought some 2ply cotton, a pair of 1.5mm needles and a 2mm circular needle so next week I will do some more experimenting which I’ll post about here when I’m done.

 

 

http://www.ravelry.com/projects/estherkate/how-to—knit-for-barbie-and-ken – useful tips and measurements on this site.

http://www.jessica-tromp.nl/freeamericangirldollbarbiedollcabbagedollragedyanndollplasticdollspatterns.htm – another useful site with patterns for dolls of all sizes as well as knitting and crochet patterns for humans and dogs.

http://www.knittingonthenet.com/patterns/dollsbarbieshrug.htm- Barbara Shreiters Knitting on the Net, more free patterns.

http://www.yarnfwd.com/main/needleconv.html -Needle conversion table from metric to US, UK, Canadian sizes.

http://www.crochet-knit.com/yarn_conversion.html – Yarn conversion chart US, UK, Australia, NZ.


Fashion Doll Friday – Superman Incognito

This weeks doll is Ken as Superman. He is based on the 2005 film Superman Returns. His face was especially sculpted and his articulated body is more muscular than some of the more recent articulated Ken dolls.

My Superman is appearing incognito, not as Clark Kent today, but by the name I gave him, Stephen.  His outfit is home made as he is hard to fit.

Wouldn’t those eyes pierce anything?

Stephen


Fashion Doll Friday – Black Basics #07

Today’s Fashion Doll Friday model is Erin who is wearing a generic brand cotton dress and posing in the bathroom of the Barbie Dolls House.

Black Basics Barbie 007 in the dolls house bathroom.

Black Basics Barbie #07 in the dolls house bathroom.

My Favourite Barbies – Naf Naf Midge


Roxanne in her original outfit minus earrings and hat.

Roxanne in her original outfit minus earrings and hat.

Today I’d like to show you another of my favourite Barbies. She is Naf Naf Midge from 1993. I do like  red heads and I also like the Diva face mold. This doll has both.

The doll was a present from my sister who bought her for me in Kuala Lumpur. She told me that she’d been in a department store where they were having a sale and saw some Barbies that she didn’t recognise but thought I might like. The store must have been selling old stock because Naf Naf Midge and  Bennetton Kira from 1990 were both there and my sister got her for me as well.

I’ve had Roxanne, as I call her, packed away for a while but today I decided to get her out for some photos. If I could squeeze one more doll onto the shelf she’d be going up there on display but as it is she’ll be one of my “old body” models. Apart from her gorgeous hair I really like her big eyes.

Roxanne no longer has her ring or her original earrings. One earring was lost so I replaced both with pink plastic ones. I have some nicer ones now that I must try on her. Here she is in some other outfits. I have been saving this dress to show on a redhead and I really like it on her. Like most redheads she looks pretty good in aqua too.

Roxanne (Naf Naf Midge) models a dress from Ellasdolls.

Roxanne (Naf Naf Midge) models a dress from Ellasdolls.

Roxanne in a T-shirt and skirt from Ellasdolls.

Roxanne in a T-shirt and skirt from Ellasdolls.

After I started writing this post yesterday I found Roxanne’s original outfit so I could photograph her in it and after that I did manage to squeeze her onto one of the Barbie shelves. Here she is with some friends you may recognise from other posts. Gina,  Sara and Lisa Two.

Roxanne with Gina, Sara and Lisa Two.

Roxanne with Gina, Sara and Lisa Two.

On Location


The light in my doll room is not great for taking photographs so sometimes I look for other places to take them. Sometimes I take them outside. I’d like to take dolls to different locations but I’m a bit self conscious about being seen taking pictures of Barbie’s in public. I don’t mind people knowing I collect dolls or even that I like to photograph them but I don’t really want people to see me doing it.

Anyway one day when I had nothing better to do I took Sharon, who is a Fashion Fever Summer, around the house looking for other places to photograph her with a suitable background. Here’s one I took. Can you guess where it is?

Sharon in zebra striped dress from Fashion Fever Zebra Closet

Sharon in zebra striped dress from Fashion Fever Zebra Closet

 

If you guessed the bathroom and didn’t cheat by scrolling down to the next picture well done. I thought the white tiles in there might reflect the light better but it was a bit clinical looking so I used my wooden bath mat as a back drop. It’s one of those flexible ones so it curves around nicely. Below you can see the set up.

 

This is where I took the photo.

This is where I took the photo.

 

And finally here is Sharon having fun in the shower, with her clothes on.

Sharon in the shower

Sharon in the shower

PS: No Barbies were harmed during the taking of these photographs.

Happy Halloween


 

Lëtzebuergesch: TRA.

A Halloween Myth-Or Is It?

Halloween is not celebrated in such a big way in Australia as it is in the USA but it is becoming more popular. I’ve not taken any new Halloween themed photos this year so tonight here is one I posted this time last year with an extra photo added. Petra is one of my favourite Fashion Fever Teresa’s.

Petra wonders about her future husband.

Petra wonders about her future husband.


When I was a little girl my mother used to tell me a lot of what I suppose you could call superstitions, you know, don’t walk under ladders, spilling salt is unlucky etc. This is one she told me about Halloween.

The story goes that if a woman sits at a mirror by candlelight and gives her hair 100 strokes with a hair brush she will see the reflection of the man she is going to marry. Personally I think that would be rather creepy but one day when I was playing around with some of my Barbies I decided to create that scene so here it is for your Halloween enjoyment.

image Barbie at mirror

Happy Halloween

My model today is Petra who is a Teresa from Wave A. The male model is my sister’s Twilight Edward (appropriate huh?)The photo was edited in Picasa.