The Vintage Barbie Project Part 3


After a 3 day sewing marathon, I finished the 1959 Barbie wardrobe for Olivia in time for Christmas, with the exception of the sweater girl ensemble. I actually knitted a tiny cardigan in orange crewel yarn but even that little yarn turned out to be too chunky for the look so I said forget about it, I'll do that one in January!

I've shared the project on Instagram at #vavoomvintagebarbies so you can see a few behind the scenes things there also.You can see my previous Barbie outfits at:

The Vintage Barbie Project Part 1
The Vintage Barbie Project Part 2

Now for the rest!

 This is the commuter set, which comes with a plaid shirt and a white satin blouse. My suit pattern was off so I had to make this one twice! I haven't made her hat box yet but the hat is made with the plastic ring from a milk jug with felt and flowers hot glued to it.

Some fabrics were hard to find like this navy stripe. I really tried to use stuff already in my stash so I could keep this project within a reasonable budget too. Instead of buying fabric, I used an iron on transfer on a white pillow case to print a stripe pattern (made in Picmonkey) on fabric.

 This apple print sheath dress fabric would have also been impossible to find so I painted my own, using a pencil eraser as a stamp. The Easter Parade ensemble included the sheath, a black coat, black purse and bow headband hat.

 They called this set the Peachy Fleecy but he original didn't look very peach at all so I made some changes of my own. I used peach vintage wool from an old moth-eaten coat and added Lucite rhinestone buttons. Her mustard purse and brown felt hat are very much like the original

 The Plantation Belle dress was one of the first that I sewed, I just didn't know how I'd make her hat or tiny pink straw purse. The dress is made in sheer pink swiss dot fabric from the 50s with store bought trim. The hat is a soda bottle lid embellished with vintage sheer fabric from a mis-matched glove. For her purse, I cut pieces out in cardstock and hot glued them to burlap fabric, then trimmed the burlap down and hot glued them together to make the purse shape. The top had an extra flap of burlap that works as a hinge. I braided strands of burlap for the handle and closure. Then, painted in pink acrylic and decorated with sequins and pearls. Of course, she has pink sparkly heels to match her entirely pink dress.

This is the Barbie Q outfit with a cotton pink dress and crisp white apron and chef's hat. I bought a few miniature cooking utensils months ago and can't find where they ended up! 
 One of my favorites, this one is called "Roman Holiday". This is the cruise stripes dress with a matching coat, white belt and red hat. The best part of this outfit is a tiny brass makeup compact, which is the most sought after and expensive Barbie collectible. We made one with a small round locket, poured pink paint inside for the makeup and put a little foil sticker in for the mirror.
 One of the last outfits that I made is the winter holiday outfit. This is a knit stripe hoodie, footed leggings, white coat and plaid bag. The original coat and bag were in a plastic fabric but since I didn't have any of that (and sewing plastic in tiny sized items would be ridiculous) I used cotton for the coat and wool for the purse. The leggings and hoodie are tee shirt fabric. I want this outfit for myself, it looks so cozy!


  1. You are amazing! I have enjoyed this series of posts very much. I know Olivia is going to be thrilled. I still remember the year my mom sewed me an Easter dress and made my Barbie a matching one. Olivia will surely remember this Christmas forever. I really appreciate your commitment to making everything possible from what you have on hand. I hope you will post a few pics of Olivia playing with her Barbie. Happy Holidays!

  2. You have done a fabulous job! You have one lucky girl! The detail and the accuracy is wonderful. It makes me want to whip out my barbies and make clothes for them, though I don't own any vintage Barbies, I've got one from the seventies and the rest from the early-mid nineties, much less glamorous!

  3. This is such an amazing project. I don't know what I like more, this or the dollhouse in progress. Great job on both!

  4. I love this project. Hope you do another year next Christmas! !! I've always wanted to do this for the outfits, I'll never be able to find at an affordable price. Thank you for being so inspiring!

  5. I love this project. Hope you do another year next Christmas! !! I've always wanted to do this for the outfits, I'll never be able to find at an affordable price. Thank you for being so inspiring!

  6. I can honestly say that I love your versions much more than the orignal ones! You have done such a fabulous job, dear. And I love your work-arounds like the iron transfer and the apple paints. You are very creative and clever and I do hope you share her happiness when she receives this fantastic gift. Merry Christmas to you and your family. :)

  7. You have done an incredible job on these outfits! Seriously best Christmas gift ever. Pleas share pictures of your family on Christmas with the BARBIE outfits. I have been eagerly waiting for each new outfit. Can't wait to see the wedding dress.

  8. I am not a doll person but I have enjoyed watching your faithful recreations of these vintage looks. You are the queen of patience, creativity, and nimble fingers! The fact is that I think many of your creations are even better than the originals!!!

  9. Truly breathtaking! You did such a commendable, fantastic job here.

    ♥ Jessica

  10. I have fond memories of my mom sewing clothes for my Barbies.

  11. I have fond memories of my mom sewing clothes for my Barbies.

  12. Hi! If you want more Vintage Barbie patters try this site:

    I've found them to be a better fit the Aileens and they are drafted better.

  13. Thanks for sharing this article here about the printed burlap. Your article is very interesting and I liked your way to express your views in this post. Keep sharing these types of articles here.


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