remember when

I remember getting my first Barbie. I had played with Barbies at friends’ homes, but those were their Barbies, not mine. It was my birthday, and she was a Malibu Barbie, a gift from my across the street neighbor, Lisa, along with an extra outfit and a shoe wardrobe. Not just one pair of shoes but a whole shoe wardrobe, my favorite were the knee high boots.

Over the years I accumulated several more Barbies and a Ken, stylish in his blue velvet jumpsuit, the Barbie Star Traveler Motorhome, and a townhouse, complete with furniture and elevator. The motor home was a gift but I bought the townhouse from a friend of mine who was moving, I think I paid $3 for it, maybe $5. I spent hours and hours with my friends, Vicki and Annie, playing Barbie.

I learned to sew on a small child’s chain stitch sewing machine, making my own Barbie clothes. Mostly they were halter style dresses, but mom would take me down to the fabric store and I would pick out a couple of fat quarters and go home and sew, sew, sew.

I also remember saving up my allowance so I could go up to Pay ‘n Save to pick out a new Barbie outfit. My friends and I would go through all the outfits on the peg over and over again until the perfect outfit was found, and purchased, and brought home to be tried on all of the Barbies in turn.

Many years ago I was working in an office where one of my co-workers sold Avon. On occasion Avon has ‘collectable’ Barbies in it’s catalog. I ended up buying two different ones, for no reason really except, perhaps, nostalgia. They sat in their boxes untouched for almost 10 years, until this week.

This week Bug received a Barbie for Hanukkah. Um, she was what I like to refer to as a ‘Streetwalker Barbie’. I guess she would have been okay (not great, just okay) if bug were a few years older, maybe. Bug was THRILLED with the Barbie and the outfits that came along with her. I was less than thrilled, and I felt like a hypocrite. The aunt she received the doll from is the same person whose daughter we used to buy Barbies for almost every year. Now, the dolls we bought were usually the Holiday Barbie for that year or one of the Disney character dolls, not the new Barbies that have been created to compete with the evil Bratz dolls.

I told Bug I would have to think about whether or not she could keep the Barbie, there were tears. Again I felt like a hypocrite, I had played with Barbie, I had gifted Barbies to others. After chatting with a dear friend I made the decision to let her trade the Barbie she had gotten for one of my ‘collector’ Barbies (Spring Tea Time Barbie) and we would exchange the items she had gotten for other more ‘appropriate’ Barbie items. This was deemed acceptable by Bug.

We spent three hours shopping for Barbie! Holey Carp! Three hours! I have to say, Barbie is not what she used to be. We did come home with a second doll and one outfit, then the next day another outfit and a set with pajamas, nightgown and robe. Bug was in heaven. “Look at the shoes, mama!” She loves the shoes.

Did you know that there are now two different Barbie bodies? Well there are. The first is the ‘old body’, the classic Barbie from the 70s and 80s; then there is the ‘new body’, she is less busty and has a smaller ribcage. The picture shows the difference between the classic body on the left and the new body on the right.  The mannequin came with one of the new outfits and shows the shape of the new body.  The new body does not twist at the waist and has a very different leg joint.


This means that the new body clothes won’t fit the old body dolls, and they still sell dolls that have the old style body. I never thought Barbie would have issues in the fitting room, but like the rest of us, she does.  One of the new outfits was a pajamas, pants and a simple top, the top didn’t fit but the pants did. What’s a crafty mom to do? She knits up a little tank top . . .

and a dress . . .

Both of these are from a set of free patterns I found on-line, here, and were made with a small amount of Baby Ull.  I blocked the skirt on a styrofoam cone.  If/when I make the dress again I’ll add a couple of stitches to the bodice, as this one is a bit snug.  Oh, and I added a couple of short rows to the tank top.

We also picked up a couple of sewing patterns, so I get to sew for Barbie, too.  Oh joy, oh rapture, oh heavenly bliss.


8 thoughts on “remember when

  1. Ginger.. Your a Nice Mommy to make all those cloths for your daughters doll. My mom used to do that for me too. Its one of my favorite memories of Christmas’s past.

  2. Happy Hannukkah!

    I had the Barbie Camper, which I don’t remember as being as spiffy as the Motorhome looks.

    I’m glad you worked out a compromise with Bug, because she does seem awfully young to be exposed to Barbie and what Barbie can represent. Love the knitted duds!

  3. LOL – the shoes were definitely my favorite Barbie clothes, too. Though I spent far more time making miniature stuff for my Barbie (teeny lipstick, a bed, pillows, a purse, etc) than I ever did playing with her. That link makes me wish I still had a wee Barbie to knit for!

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