Tuesday, April 6, 2021

Barbie at the Office

Back in 2009 I had a niece and a great niece that were into Barbies and American Girl dolls and I decided I wanted to learn to crochet to make clothes for those dolls. I soon came to realize Barbie posed the most challenges for me as the tiny steel hooks required to make the thread outfits were torture. When the girls outgrew their dolls I continued to make doll clothes to donate but I dropped Barbie in favor of baby dolls as they were larger and thus didn't require the steel hooks. I swore it would require another young family member for me to consider picking up the hooks to crochet for Barbie again. However, I've learned the lessons of never saying never.

After working on some thread projects I got the desire to work on Barbie clothes again. I have almost 2 full binders of patterns left over from my previous Barbie endevours so I don't lack options.

However, I had read that Barbie had changed sizes since I had bought my cheap model to fit the clothes I made prior to passing them on to my nieces. With that in mind I decided it was time to pick up a new family of Barbies. I had no idea how much they had changed. When I left there were still limited versions of Skipper and Kelly. When I went back to search for the family I realized Skipper was back and Kelly was gone. Stacie had disappeared when I was making clothing, now she is back. Chelsea seems to have replaced Kelly. I don't claim to be at all knowlegable about Barbie or her history. I just try to make sure I have models that will help me make clothes that will fit the dolls I donate.

With that in mind I picked up the Barbie Sweet Orchard Farm Ken and Barbie. I have different sets for the rest of the Barbie family and will discuss them as I get to making clothes for them. I mention Ken now because I found him and Barbie in the same "setting." In the past I'd purchase the bathing suit dolls and dress them but I was having trouble finding one that had a removable suit rather than a plastic suit attached to the doll. This seemed like an alternative I could manage.

I did have an older Barbie from the days of making clothes for my now adult nieces but as I mentioned I was concerned that the sizes might have changed over the years so I bought two of each doll, one to use as a model and one to donate.

I mentioned to a friend either my skills have gotten better or the newer Barbie is closer in size to the fashion doll used in the older Barbie patterns. When I'd made Barbie clothes previously from the older patterns I always had to make them a little larger to fit the older Barbie pictured here. After taking the two top pictures with the Orchard Barbie I pulled out the old Bathing Suit Barbie to compare and I wasn't wrong. The dress was tighter in the back. It did fit but if I was making this outfit for this doll I'd have made the dress larger.

Two major difference I noticed between the dolls are the older doll has signifcantly larger feet. The newer doll has a much sharper bend in her arm. I must say so far I am preferring the newer doll. I'll have to see how she stands up as I continue to work from older patterns.

The At the Office pattern is a free pattern found here. Notes: One challenge of these older patterns is many will list a steel crochet hook size without any mm to go with it. Sadly sizes are not standard across steel crochet hooks. To make this dress fit I used the Tulip Etimo Steel Crochet Hook-Size 0/1.75mm as the suggested hook made the dress huge. I used Red Heart Crochet Crochet Thread, 10, Orchid Pink and Red Heart Crochet Thread, 10, White to make the suit.

I'd crochet the top of the dress together next time rather than trying to sew the top of the shoulders together. I'd consider leaving the collar off the jacket and just sc around the outside of the jacket to create a smooth ending. I'm not crazy about the collar. This is a really quick and easy dress if you need one for Barbie. If you don't want to change colors it would work up fine as a single color dress.


Carol @Comfort Spring Station said...

Barbie brings back good childhood memories - love the pink outfits. #MMBC

Sum of their Stories said...

You may have had fun and games getting your patterns and hook sizes sorted but Barbie looks super smart in her office wear!

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