This summery post has been in the making for a long time. I finished Barbie’s dress a couple of years ago after purchasing a set of 50’s patterns but I couldn’t portray her without shoes, a sun hat, a shawl… and since I’m into making underwear – Barbie needed some too.
The classic 50’s style dress has big pockets in the side panels which are formed with deep horizontal pleats and fastened with a button at the top. The bodice and the shoulder flaps are lined so the edges were easy to finish neatly. The summery fabric is a sweet printed cotton from which I made a little summer dress for my daughter years ago.
The hat and basket are made out of a lovely authentic Panama hat I salvaged when my friend was throwing it away after it had started fraying at the edge. Aren’t they just right for this outfit?!
The large brim hat is cut from the crown of the original one. To prevent fraying I first machine sewed a couple of rounds to make circles of about 13 and 14 cm and then cut between them. Then I hand sewed a thread around to tighten and form a new crown. The basket is machine sewn with seams secured with extra stitches before it was cut from the edge of the original brim. The handles are satin ribbon decorated with tiny buttons.
The shoes are built over some book covering plastic. The fabric is a wonderful stretchy silk with a little lycra which doesn’t fray too easily. The plastic pieces are covered with the material and sewn together. The leather sole, which needs to be a little longer than the inner sole, is glued on and so is the heel.
The shawl is crocheted with a pattern for an adult sized one (Suuri Käsityö 5/2020). I used ordinary polyester sewing thread and my smallest crocheting hook. Well, I need something to work on with my hands all the time🙄
For the underwear I used some beautiful old off-white lace edging and the same silk as for the shoes. Modifying old Barbie patterns I made some pants and a longline style bra. The pants have a framilon elastic band inside the top seam and I sewed some into the top seam of the bra too to prevent it from stretching too much. The bra is closed with just one snap fastener to prevent bulk so that the dresses still close.
The petticoat is also silk, some cream coloured silk organza and soft silk tulle which is actually from my own wedding veil! I discovered a while ago that even though I had folded it neatly with some silk paper it had holes in and would never be used as a long veil again. Some bits of it maybe for something, and so I sacrificed a little to make Barbie’s dresses fall more beautifully 😍
Here she is just back from the flower market 🌸☀ I hope you have a wonderful summer too!