Some of my “earlier” work… for Barbie that is… Part 1

It actually sounds a bit funny to say, “Here’s some of my earlier work…” like it should be something from a painter or a writer. But not to me… this is my earlier work of sewing. You know, way back when. When I was 8 or 9. Now don’t laugh… and those of you who think you can’t sew… there is HOPE and you’ll know that when you see my pictures.

I don’t know about you, but I was crazy in love with Barbie! I mean crazy for her. I even belonged to the Barbie Fan Club! Did you?


She was the Lemon Swirl Ponytail Barbie and she was gorgeous to me! I still even had the tiny little 1/4″ bobby pin that went in her ponytail.



I’m sure I played with her every single day when I was little. When I got a bit bigger, it was all about accessorizing… you know, things like making her a bed out of a shoebox, having pencils poking through the 4 corners, then putting the lid on the top and having a canopy bed! Anyone remember that? Of course you had to cover the shoebox with fabric and then make a bedspread and a sheet and a pillow. A ruffled piece of lace always had to go on the canopy part.

Then I progressed to cutting things out of catalogs and taping them to the closet doors… things like pictures for the walls, windows, lamps, fireplaces, etc. My sister and I could riddle a catalog to shreds and have it all taped to the closet door. It was fun and promoted lots of imaginative play. Seeing the need for more clothes, but having no money, I turned to making my Barbie clothes.

These Barbie and Skipper clothes that I saved have been in the back of my mind for a few years now, as I thought “maybe… someday” I might have a blog and show these to the world. Of all the posts I’ve done, probably none will be as personal to me as this one. Barbie was the doll that started it all for me. You should have seen the debate in my head as last Christmas I decided to sell my whole Barbie lot on Ebay. I knew my daughter was never going to be interested in my stuff and it had been just sitting on a shelf for years and years. You betcha I cried as I wrapped Barbie up in bubble wrap and placed her in the case, along with the rest of my gang.


I am so very fortunate to have kept as many things as I did when I was first learning to sew. (I guess you could call it that…some things are hardly recognizable as doll clothes.) When I was very little I sewed for those 3″ Troll dolls… you know, take a strip of fabric, cut two holes in it, slip it around the trolls arms, wrap it to the back and safety pin it together, Viola! That was my very first sewing. Then I progressed to Barbie. These are “actual, untouched, stained, threads showing, not fitting, Barbie and Skipper clothes.” I guess I got an A for “Always trying!” They are mostly just fabrics with holes cut in them for the arms to go through. Then I progressed to making pants and shorts. Do you think those fit Skipper after I had spent an hour or so stitching them by hand? NO, I’m sure they didn’t, but did I stop trying? NO…and neither should you.

So let me share some of very early creations and then tomorrow I’ll share some of my “later” creations, when I was 8 to 10 years old.









See you tomorrow for Part 2,
Blessings, Jeanne

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  1. Linda Doyle says:

    Oh my gosh, Jeanne!! Excuse me for laughing—-this sure made my day start on a funny note! But bless your heart, you tried and were just starting out. Those lavender pants, boy, the stitching is really something! Were these clothes inside out to show the seams, or was that the way they were worn? So cute though, and yes, you get “A” for effort! We all have to start somewhere!

    • Hi Linda,
      Glad you had a good laugh. I did too as I looked closely at those things…and yes, those purple pants were the outside… I probably couldn’t turn them wrong side out if I tried.
      Just wait till tomorrow… you’ll get another laugh to start your day with.
      Blessings, Jeanne

  2. Oh Jeanne!!!! I remember those clothes AND those days! SO fun! Thanks for the trip down memory lane!

    • Cindy,
      Wasn’t that fun? I should showcase YOUR Skipper and stuff you have sometime. Now that would be fun!
      Love you, Jeanne

  3. Loved seeing your earliest work. I am amazed at what “not having enough money to buy things” teaches us and how our earliest passions stay with us as we grow up.

    I have very similar Barbie memories as you do, Jeannie. You should see my dolls, though, they couldn’t be given away, much less sold. They were played with and played with and played with…

    • Cindy,
      As much as I played with my Barbie, I’m surprised she was in as good of condition as she was. However she did have the green ears where I pierced them with colored head straight pins. It ruined her value I think. Oh well…
      Blessings, Jeanne

  4. I think you did pretty good for your age. My two older sisters and I were not allowed to have a Barbie or any doll with breasts. Our parents thought it was “not nice” to have a doll with “real” looking body parts. :o)

    • Oh, that’s too bad. I guess I never really thought about it. It was way before things were thought of like they are today. It never bothered me, and taught me how to do darts! Guess that was a good thing.
      Blessings, Jeanne

  5. I love this post… I too sewed just like you did at that age.. what great memories these pics remind me of… scraps and a needle and thread sure made for happy girls. Can’t wait to see tomorrows post.

    • Thanks Kath,
      I think there are a lot of us ladies who grew up sewing for Barbie.
      It was so much fun for me to share these clothes and my story.
      Glad you enjoyed it and hope you like tomorrow’s post.
      Blessings, Jeanne

  6. Jeanne! Looking at these first doll clothes remind me of my attempts back in the late 70’s.
    I remember doing the same things. re: cut out holes for arms, and the top (yellow background with the blue and white flowers) Looks exactly like my work!…. Brings back many memories!!! can’t wait till tomorrow for your next posts!

  7. You bring back such memories. Looks like my first Barbie outfits. My Barbie was the first bathing suit one with the mohair type pony tail. I had her till I was in my 20s and she was stolen during a move. My nephew saw it happening and didn’t say a word. What’s a doll to a 14 year old boy?… I have a few of the newer ones now but only for models. I had one of those original Kens too and skipper. My sister had the black haired bubble cut one. I remember one Christmas getting the dream house and the wigs that changed color. Such memories.

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