Posts tagged: Barbie Vintage

When the Barbie clothes had own names

A long time ago Barbie clothes had names. The era started in 1959 and ended in the early 1970s. Until then every clothing ensemble had its own name. The names were sometimes funny, partially inspired by Hollywood and had a very high quality… a kind of Haute Couture in miniature. Today I’d like to show you two of my early (Vintage) outfits. The first one is a dark gray suit with a white shirt called Saturday Date. The red socks came in an extra Accessory Pak along with the red tie. Hey, we can be creative in this point. We can combine what we like. Why not a red tie and red socks for a date on Saturday in 1961? Have you noticed the tiny zipper on the pants?

Ken's Saturday Date

The next outfit is for Skipper.  It’s called Sunny Pastels and was produced in  1965 for Skipper (Barbie’s younger sister, also available since 1965). The dress is made of cotton and has a very high quality too. Although the outfit is 52 years old the colors are still vibrant. By the way it’s one of my personal favorite outfits.

Skipper's Sunny Pastels

 

A look into my workshop

Behind the scenes I try to figure out how Vintage Barbie clothes (Vintage era from 1959 – 1966) were made. I’m especially interested the patterns for the fabric. How can I turn a piece of fabric into a piece of clothing. I want to design own clothes in the Vintage style later but at first I have to understand how the patterns are made and the result I get when I follow sewing instructions.

It’s not as easy as you might imagine. I have to deal with many different problems. Especially the body forms of early Barbie dolls seem to be one of my main problems. At first I thought they were all the same size but they aren’t. Although they seem to be the same size they aren’t and that’s a big problem when you don’t know it. Then you can’t adjust the pattern to the body. For example that’s my result when I tried to sew a blouse.Barbie Blouse

 

Vintage Barbie blouse

As you can see here the blouse seems to be to tight for the Midge/Bubblecut body I used here. Obviously the breasts are larger than it seems. I haven’t really measured until now but fellow collectors told me that the first Ponytail Barbie bodies are smaller/ the measures are different. That’s very interesting and a good thing to know. By the way it’s no problem that the blouse is to tight. I thought that I might get problems like these. I made it just for reasons of learning.

Differences in the Movie Date dress (Mattel) and Cream Puff dress (Fab Lu), a good copy of the Movie Date

Last week I found a Vintage Movie Date dress. Barbie Movie Date dress

It might not sound very special but here’s the story why I write about the dress. In summer 2017 I got a Vintage dress (Barbie Vintage era 1959 – 1966). I thought I had bought the Movie Date dress but in reality I hadn’t. I needed several months to find out that my dress without any label was made by Fab Lu. It got the name Cream Puff. The design of the Cream Puff is very similar to the Movie Date. The only difference is in the processing of the seams, the wideness of the stripes and the colour of the stripes.

Cream Puff looks like this…

Fab Lu Cream Puff

and here you can see the difference of the seams… the Fab Lu seam is normal, not special but in comparison to this seam the Movie Date seam is very different but very Mattel-like. I have seen the Mattel seams in very different outfits but all in the same way done.

Fab Lu Cream Puff seam

Vintage Movie Date dress

At first sight and without both dresses it’s very hard to see the difference. That was my problem too. I hope I can help you with my information.

 

Let’s dance … a new dress

Last year I wanted to buy a Let’s dance Vintage Barbie dress but most of the sellers refused to ship to Europe. So what kind of idea came into my mind? If I can’t buy one, why not do my own copy? I found a seller who recreated the pattern and bought it.

Two weeks ago I was able to start my work and within a few days I had my own version. It’s very similar in comparison to the real Let’s dance Vintage dress. Here are some pics of my version…

Finally I found the real Let’s Dance. Another collector from Europe had one left over.

Wannabe restorers

I’m back from my vacation and want to talk to you about a serious topic. Again I heard from a case of bad work. I can only warn you. When you want somebody to restore something for your collection, check at least twice. You can never be careful enough. The best advice I can give you is to inform yourself how things are done and then ask the concerning person questions how to do this or that. Then you might be able to check if he/she understands the work. When I’m asked for advice I always tell people that there is a risk when you restore something. You don’t know how things were stored from the owner. The material doesn’t tell from the first sight. Of course the material can change and you don’t know it. It’s always your risk when you restore something.

Concerning a reroot it looks like this…

If the restorer tells you that big holes in the head are normal, think about asking another person to do it.

 

Talking Barbie

Several weeks ago I posted what Talking Barbie said in Japan. Now I have found out what she says in Sweden thanks to a Swedish collector.

Det är skoldags(=time to go to school)

Jag tycker om att vara finklädd (=I like to be nicely dressed)

Jag ska gå på party (=I´m going to a Party)

Kom så går vi och köper kläder (=Come on we will buy clothes)

She also says: Jag tycker om fina kläder, (=I like fine clothes).

Lucky Lips … or the interesting change of the colour of Barbie lips from the Vintage era

When you consider Vintage Barbie dolls you might have noticed that some of these dolls have very pale lips, not the normal pink or red lips. Why are they so pale? Well, the paint faded. That means that the colour pigments of the original colour disappeared or bleached out. And it looks like this… there are so many shades but I have only three example that I can show you at the moment. I hope that this might help you because it’s really hard to find detailed information about this phenomenon and all the shades.

1rst Midge

Swirl Barbie

1rst Ponytail Swirl

 

When we consider that they came in the following make up schemes … then you maybe understand what I want to express.

Barbie early identification help

 

Retromania !?

Today I saw a docu with the title “Retromania”. I admit I saw the title last Friday while watching youtube. It was interesting but I think that I’m probably not the only one who had the idea years ago. When I was still in school I thought about doing my own clothes because I had problems with mainstream fashion. There were trends I really hated and customized some of my own clothes long before. Once I sat in school and we discussed the whole topic. In my class were classmate who did not understand why I wanted to my own thing.

It all began with a preparation for a formal school graduation party. I wanted to wear a something like a Swing skirt but I had no idea of the name nor where you could buy one. Yes, there were times when these clothes were not so easy to get like today. We had no second hand clothes store where you could look. So my mom did her best to sew me a skirt. It was pretty fancy.

Maybe I have been more into Retromania than I ever thought before. I started to feel the way I started to collect Barbie and the feeling continues but nowadays it’s no problem to get the Vintage clothes. There are many stores where you can buy them. I have always been on the “I like to do what I like” way and not impress others. Why be so uniform? Why not be the Audrey Hepburn in heap of ….. ( I forgot her name).

Anyway I think others feel the way I feel too. Maybe we look for a bit stability in a world that changes constantly. I don’t know. Maybe that’s why I collect Barbie dolls. I can stay in touch with the past. Last weekend I did a copy of a great dress from the early 60s. I really like to copy early Barbie clothes. The quality of the fabrics is so good. The dresses are very detailed. You can easily understand how it is done. Maybe some of you understand me … and here’s a pic of my work.

Helpful pics !?

Maybe you are interested in starting a Vintage Barbie collection too but you have no idea how to identify the early Ponytail Barbie dolls with all variations of Make up and hair colors. Here are two pics that might help you. I found them recently and think they are very useful.

 

 

 

How to store old Barbie dolls

In the last weeks some researchers did some research in behalf of the Toy Museum in Nuremberg how to store old Barbie dolls the best way. The researchers found out that it is the best to store the old dolls in a  cool, dry and dark environment. Here’s the link to the German article http://www.deutschlandradiokultur.de/spielzeugmuseum-in-nuernberg-barbie-forever-young.1008.de.html?dram:article_id=379793 .

I don’t know if this was published in English speaking countries too. If it’s not you can use google translator for reading it.

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