Barbie doll wiki: Books you should know

In this week I’d like to blog about books, or better books you should have in your collection. I’m sitting in the middle in a heap of books while writing.  I can tell you from my long term collecting experience that it’s a big advantage to have some books as reference. I have not only one book but almost a shelf of Barbie doll books. The topics are very different.

There are Barbie doll books for identification, books about Barbie history, books about Japanese Barbie and their clothes, Barbie books similar to catalogs, Barbie books about clothes, books about her accessoires and books in Japanese (no joke) about Barbie. Okay, I also have two German editions but do they count? They were some of the first books I found about Barbie doll as a collector. In times before amazon.com was known worldwide it was not so easy to get every book you wanted ( especially if they were written in English). Of course you could try to get them with the help of local book stores but hey, it was not as easy as you might think. I think I got my very first Barbie book in 1998 and it was a coincidence that I found it.

The possibility to talk to other collectors, who had books, was very helpful. That’s how I found out that there were books similar to catalogs. It was certainly helpful knowledge. I can recommend you lots of books but I think it’s useful to put them in categories.

Barbie books for id

In this paragraph I’d like to introduce you to some of my favorite Barbie doll books. Books for identification (often similar to catalogs):

  • The Ultimate Barbie doll book by Marcie Melillo
  • The collectors encyclopedia of Barbie dolls and collectibles by Sibyl DeWein and Joan Ashabraner (first published in 1977, I have the 1992 updated version)
  • Skipper: Barbie doll’s little sister by Trina Cottingham and Scott Arend ( for Skipper, her early fashions, Tutti and Todd and their fashions)
  • Barbie doll photo album from 1959 until 2009: identifications and values by Michael Augustyniak
  • Barbie doll around the world 1964 – 2007: identifications and values by Michael Augustyniak ( incomplete but nice)
  • Collector’s Encyclopedia of Barbie doll by Michael Augustyniak ( about collector Barbie dolls)
  • Collector’s Encyclopedia of Barbie dolls exclusives 1972 -2004 by Michael Augustyniak
  • Collectibly yours Barbie doll by Margo Rana
  • Identifying Barbie dolls by Janine Fennick
  • The wonder of Barbie dolls and accessoires 1976 – 1986 by Paris and Susan Manos
  • The world of Barbie dolls – an illustrated value guide by Paris and Susan Manos

In which books you can find fashions and accessoires

In this second paragraph I’d like to give you some titles about Barbie fashion and accessoires

  • Barbie doll fashion Vol. I, II and III ( from 1959 until 1979) including all fashions
  • Barbie in Japan by Keiko Kimura Shibano (special made fashions for the Japanese market, written in English)
  • Japan Barbie Yasuhiro Sekiguchi Collection (written in Japanese)
  • It’s all about the accessoires by Hillary Shilkitus James
  • The Complete & Unauthorized Guide to Vintage Barbie(r) Dolls – 3 Edition by Hillary Shilkitus James

Japanese Barbie books written in Japanese

In the third paragraph I’d like to give you some names of my Japanese Barbie books. I can’t tell you if they are the only ones in Japan but they sounded interesting to me any my thirst to get to know new things.

  • ??????????????????????? (Babi to watashi ? kisegae doresu o tsukuri tsudzuketa hansei-ki) by Fumiko Miyatsuka
  • ??????????? ( Babi kara hajimatta) by Yukiko Kanno
  • Twist Barbie (yomiuri kara-mukkusiri-zu) by Mineo Takami

The Japanese books are not so easy to get. The book by Fumiko Miyatsuka is currently available through amazon.jp. You need a credit card to buy the book but the shipment is very fast. I think my copy arrived within a week or less. The other books were a bit harder to get. You need a Japanese address to buy the other books over the marketplace. There are special forwarders who are specialized in shipping goods abroad. I used tenso.com for my orders and the books arrived at my house within two months. I used the cheapest shipping method because I have to pay taxes for the shipping costs too. I know it makes no sense but it is this way in Germany.

My list of books written from employees, the founder itself and the history of Mattel

In the fourth paragraph I’ll give you some names of books from employees of Mattel, the company history itself and the founder. Let’s start with the founder. Again I’ll give you a list.

  • Dream Doll – The Ruth Handler story written by Ruth Handler and Jaqueline Shannon
  • The story of Barbie by Kitturah B. Westenhouser
  • Barbie her life & times by Billyboy
  • Dressing Barbie by Carol Spencer
  • Forever Barbie by M.G. Lord
  • Barbie (R) Talks by Gwen Florea
  • Barbie – A visual guide to the ultimate fashion doll by Mattel

Books missing in my collection

There are some books I don’t have like

  • Barbie and Her Mod, Mod, Mod, Mod, World of Fashion by Joe Blitman
  • Francie and Her Mod, Mod, Mod World of Fashion by Joe Blitman
  • Barbie Forever ( not available in Germany yet, but I preordered my copy)

Of course I can’t tell you if these books are useful or not since I don’t have them in my collection.

That’s my whole book collection at the moment. I hope that my lists are helpful to some of you. I put photos of all my books in my instagram account.

Why I recommend buying Barbie books

Now I’ve given you the list with all the Barbie books I have in my personal bookshelf. I think it’s important to own books about Barbie dolls. You can make yourself independent from other collectors. I love to read in books and especially in Barbie books. You can learn a lot from them. That’s also one of my focus points. I like to learn things from books. You can use them as encyclopedia. One can help other collectors with knowledge. I know there are lots of collectors who start to collect and then immediately stop again. Forget this group. If you’re really interested in the topic buy books. They are helpful. They are fun. Go, buy and learn.

A rare swimsuit from Spain

Some of you know that I like the Congost Barbie dolls from Spain. Last year I got a Tropical Barbie from Spain but she came naked. I had the chance to get it via a Spanish Barbie collector. She arranged it that the swimsuit landed in my collection. I really like the color. It’s very different from the US version but hard to find. What makes the swimsuit different from its US version is the pattern. It’s more yellowish than the normal version while the US version has more black in the fabric. It is as elastic as the sister but it is much rarer and harder to find. You may ask yourself why. I think it is due to a smaller quantiy that was produced in spain. I was told that it is hard to find Spanish Congost Barbie dolls in good condition because the production was done cheaply and many children customized their dolls. That means the children cut the hair. I have also seen dolls with missing hands or legs. I know it’s weird. Dolls in good condition are not so easy to find. I don’t know anything about the prices but maybe they could be the missing link why some of the Spanish Congost dolls and fashions are hard to find in good conditions.

Spanish Tropical Barbie in original swimsuit



Left and middle pic show the US versions of the swimsuit

Do you want a Vintage dress like Barbie?

Have you ever considered to dress like a Barbie?  I have considered it. I have several dresses like the very early Barbie Vintage dresses. I don’t wear them daily but sometimes when I go out for a dance or when our group has a appearance. I’m a member in a local dance club.

I enjoy dressing myself up. Of course there also a clothing line by Unique Vintage and they have copies for humans of original Barbie doll dresses. I have none of them. I have dresses from other labels like the one below. I got this one yesterday.

Barbie Movie Date dress
Neckholder dress by Vivian of Holloway
Blue and white neckholder dress
Neckholder dress by Vivian of Holloway
with a gigantic skirt

You can wear a real petticoat under the dress. There’s enough space for it. I write it down here because I also have skirts and they aren’t wide enough to wear a petticoat under it. So let’s thank Vivan of Holloway for this fabulous dress. I’ll take care of it.

How not knowing the Winter Holiday outfit makes you a rookie

You maybe know the say “unexpectedly comes often” and so it was with this outfit. Last week I saw it and bought it. I had seen it in a video before and liked it. It was not a long time ago. My outfit is not complete here. It’s just a part of the whole outfit. The handbag, the jacket and the shoes are still missing but I like the hoodie and the pants. I was surprised how the hoodie was cut. The idea with the little zipper is just great. In general I think I have told you about the quality of early Barbie doll fashion.  It’s very good in comparison to what is sold nowadays in toy stores.

Is it warm enough for a Winter Holiday?
Or is Barbie freezing in these pants?
Anyway, let’s hope the best.

An incredible fabric haul success story

10 days ago I learned that one of the last shops for fabrics is going to close. So what did I do? I went and visited the store maybe with a little hope to find a cheap sewing-stiching machine combination too but I think I dreamt a little to much. They have lots of stuff but no machines. At first I only wanted to see how much they had reduced the price for fabrics but it was only 20% for fabrics. I found some small end pieces which were cheaper than the rest. It’s enough to test my patterns in the next weeks. Maybe I’m going to visit the store another time before they close their doors forever.

My find at the fabric store

Why my new sewing machine Pfaff Quilt Ambition 2.0 is the secret ingredient

In the last months I had problems with my old sewing machine. I needed an incredible long to find out where the problem was.  It was the position of the needle holder. Found it out, fixed it. Next problem. I wanted to sew with a fine cotton fabric. Unfortunately my machine didn’t like the fabric. Maybe it was a problem caused by age but anyway she produced so many mistakes that I decided to buy a new one.

I did a long research about fabrics and old sewing machines, needles for the machine. I tried anything but the result didn’t change much. Then I started to look round for a new sewing machine. It was no easy task. There is a wide range of sewing machines. At first I thought it was really difficult but then somebody made the suggestion on youtube to make a list what you want your new sewing machine to have. The list helped me a lot. I watched several videos to learn about different features. I got to know features I never heard of like the regulation of the sewing foot pressure and many other things like the IDT ( integrated dual transport) for fragile fabrics very useful.

I also went to a local shop and they showed me some machines. So I finally came to my decision that I wanted to have the Pfaff Quilt Ambition 2.0. I don’t plan to quilt in the future but I think some of the features are very handy for future Barbie sewing projects.

Pfaff Quilt Ambition 2.0
Pfaff Quilt Ambition 2.0
Pfaff Quilt Ambition 2.0

5 reasons you should be talking about the Enchanted Evening dress

The other day I bought a Vintage Barbie outfit named Enchanted Evening and was very disappointed when it arrived here. The condition was so bad that I gave it back. I had no chance to use it for display. The only thing I could have done was using it as a pattern for sewing but that was not the intention I had.  The fabric is very delicate. I don’t know exactly the fabric maybe some kind of satin and I saw no chance to repair it with my abilities. Here’s a pic of the back.

I even had problems to put the body into the dress because of it’s tightness. I didn’t want to destroy it and I thought this might happen by the next time I dress or undress the body.

So my advice before buying the dress from anyone selling online is

  • let them send you a pic from front and back
  • let them send you detail pics from the seams so that you can check before buying
  • try to read as much as possible about the fabric
  • ask someone who has the dress to tell you about the color
  • get yourself a reference book about the dress

 

Barbie Cool Trends Fashion Designer 1996/1997

When I was ten I saw the Fashion Designer for Barbie doll. I loved to see the fashion for Barbie in the stores when I was younger than 10. I had my problems to choose one of the fashions I had in my hands. I always wanted to have all of them. This was seldom possible. Fashions were expensive in Germany. I liked the idea to design own clothes for Barbie but I was never able to do it in my childhood. In search of new sewing patterns the Cool Trends Fashion Designer came into my mind several weeks ago. Two or three weeks ago I won an auction. I got it for an incredible price. In the envelope was more than I expected. Even the textile paper was there and it has never been opened.

Barbie Design Set for children

The reason I bought it was the chance to get new patterns. The fashion patterns themselves are saved as .bfd – files.  I have been looking around to find a program for convert or open the stuff. The format seems to be so obscure that you find nothing about it online. I have an old PC where I could install the software without problems. The only solution I found for getting the sewing patterns was to print them directly. I have the chance to use several printers. One of them did print the pattern. So I was able to try the patterns. They are printed in the right size but you get no measures and no description about the number of pieces of paper that you need for one specific outfit nor where to put the second or third part it. I think I have to guess in the next weeks and just try my best.

 

 

Print Aplenty Barbie doll dress

Do you know the feeling when you got a piece that you have been looking for an eternity?It’s a very good feeling. That’s what I feel at the moment like. Last weekend I found it unexpectedly and I won the auction. The postal service managed to ruin the envelope but nonetheless the dress arrived here safe and sound. I like it because it’s a nice piece of history. I have the green version dress although there is a black version of the dress too. Maybe that’s my next goal.

#1686 Barbie dress