In the last weeks I came across the idea to create something new for my little Francie. I love to be a creative artist and I really enjoy designing own clothes for my famous fashion dolls. I could do it all day long but I hardly have the time to do it but I really love to do it and use the time for creativity. That’s how the idea a “Solo in the Spotlight” for Francie came into existence.
I created a top for Francie last year when I did a kind of circle skirt-dress for her and I used it for this idea too because it fits quite well. Then last autumn I played around with designs for skirts. I tried to make a pencil skirt for her. That was not very hard. You can see how I did this here https://youtu.be/IilLSlJTXFE and here https://youtu.be/Allj1knKfLg
It’s basically the same pattern. Then I added a the pencil skirt, made it longer and added the circle to the bottom of the skirt. The idea for this circle came from the Barbie Fashion Designer program Mattel published in the 1990s for PCs. I know the fashions don’t really fit when you put them in fabric. You have to re-design them for fabric but it’s ok. You can work with them when you know how to modify them. Now they are almost a picture of their time. I mean the 90s are almost gone for 2 decades but I’m really happy to have lived on earth back then and I’m glad I have these old PCs programs running on my old PC. I also have an old printer for printing them.
The idea behind the dress was simply to test if my idea would work out in the way I wanted it too. I did some tests and I worked out in the way I wanted it to. I know I always use white or another simple color for my tests but for me it’s okay. In the next weeks I plan to do more of these simple pieces of clothes. You know when you have some basics you can play with them and can put them together in a very creative ways. That’s my idea at the moment. I just want to play around a little bit with the pieces I have at the moment and put them together in new creative ways so that you can get new pieces with low effort.
It was not important here to make a realistic piece of clothing from the 1960s. Some other collectors complained about that it would have been unrealistic but I think we are not in the 1960s anymore. It does not matter here. The idea behind this whole project is still if it is possible to create a “Solo in the Spotlight” for Francie, not the question if it is a realistic dress or not.
Believe it or not, but there is a truth about all her collectors. The truth is that her admirers are all different. They have different motives to collect. What we all have in common is the passion for one doll – Barbie doll. Some consider her as shero, icon, object of desire or childhood memory. Some try to look like Barbie or they have a Barbie tattoo or do strange things with their bodies to look like Barbie. I think I differ from my fellow collectors in the case that I don’t want simply to collect or have a look at the dolls but I also want to learn. The learning motive is something likely to be forgotten.
Do I need only one motive to collect?
When the TV people come they are always open for sensations. You often read about the proportion stuff. You know her body is unrealistic. I know it too, but I never felt the desire to look like Barbie. My motives are different. I’ve been interested in learning about fashion and fashion history since I was ten years old. At that time I had the first lessons in history and we learned about ancient Egypt and I wondered how the people back then ran around. What did they wear? Did the wall paintings in the Pyramids tell the truth? Could somebody wear the fashion from back then nowadays? I know not every 10-year old girl would ask herself these questions, but I’ve had a thirst for knowledge.
Brand-awareness in pre-teens?
In the mid 90s when I was 10 years old I saw my fellow classmates wearing fashion from certain brands. The older we grew the more brands appeared. I also started to wonder what these brands wanted to tell me. How did the fashions looked like? That was the time when many Designer Labels did a Barbie doll like Macy, Ralph Lauren, Calvin Klein and many more. The clothes themselves were way much too expensive for me, but I saw it as a way to have something from these brands at home. Something in the long run, not like the clothes you wear and throw away later. I really loved the Escada Barbie from 1996 the first time ever I saw her in a catalog. I have some of the Designer Barbies from the mid 1990s but not all. I sold my regular Playline Barbie dolls for the Designer Barbie dolls. They were very expensive back then. Little did I know about what would later come.
Interests in collecting expanded
I’m a long time collector and I don’t regret it to be one. Collecting things is in my blood. I got the genes from my parents. I started back in1996 and I knew I wanted to be a collector. For 10 years collecting itself was okay, but my interests expanded. My interest in Playline dolls, the ones with the pink boxes that you’ve probably seen until the early 2000s grew. So I started also to collect some 90s Barbie dolls I had when I was little. They were not expensive back then and ebay the place to go. That was the time my interest changed for the first time a bit, but it wasn’t the only time. In the early 2000s amazon offered books in Germany too, and it was the first time I had access to them. Before it was complicated to order non-German books.
Social Media is helpful
So after my first book purchases from amazon I learned about early Barbie fashions, identification and got in contact with other collectors for the first time. That’s good and bad at the same time. It’s good because you can learn a lot, meet new friends and buy Barbie dolls you are looking for. You can learn about the release of new dolls. That’s positive, but there are also negative effects like stalkers. They try to give you a hard time. Like in every community there is jealousy. I found my interest in doing extended research and doing repairs the Social Media. I saw some other collectors did it and I tried it and had success.
No negative effects in my life
I’ve never had the wish to transform myself into a Barbie doll. That may attract other persons, but I’ve never had the wish. Barbie is good the way she is. No doubts. I’ve learned many things and read about interesting books I’ve probably never read without my interest in this fashion doll. I’ve even learned languages with her help, but I realized it all later. My interest in sewing fashions grew. I started to deal with making patterns for Barbie dresses. The understanding of techniques is what I want. I have many more books that wait for me. Let’s see if I can learn Japanese to get more knowledge. I know that’s crazy, but it’s me.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Many many years ago I had a Bikini for my Barbie dolls. For a long time I was looking for this bikini. I had no idea how it was called. I did a long research and found it finally. Recently I found the bikini for a reasonable price. I’m glad to have it. This time I’m not going to sell it.
Today I have only a pic for you. I thought it might be a good idea to show you some of the 1980s fashions because the documentation is very poor and you have to search for hours. So here’s the start of a new series. This outfit is called #9150. I don’t know which of the two bags originally belongs to the outfit but I assume it’s the one between the outfit. I got it with the two you can see.
I got two new dresses last week. It’s summer and I didn’t find much new stuff for my dolls. This time I want to tell you about Fashion Avenue because the dresses came out under the label of Fashion Avenue. Fashion Avenue is a fashion line from Barbie which run from the 1990s until 2002. The quality was very good. You really got something for your money. Accidentally I found these two dresses. I always liked them but I found them to be too expensive in nrfp (never removed from package) condition. The fashions are not complete but I didn’t care about it at the moment. The blue dress seems to be very hard to find. I tried to find it via ebay but I had no success.
I hope you can see the lovely rose on the seam of the blue dress. Very lovely!!! I already have a doll for this dress in my mind but she still needs a new body.
There’s a good page where you can see all the Fashion Avenue Fashions from the begin til 2002. Here’s the link Fashion Avenue . I hope you enjoy the page as much as I do.
I keep my promise and do not neglect my blog like I did in the last months. Today I’d like to show you a video that might be useful when you are new in the world of Barbie doll and especially interested in Superstar Barbie (era from 1977- appr.1999). Maybe you had a Barbie doll when you were little and want to have her again. Maybe you are completely without any ideas where to look for shoes. I know it’s one of the most difficult topics. What kind of shoe belongs to what kind of outfit and how do they differ?
I think this is a good video to start with when you are new but you want to know more about shoes.