Fashion Week In The Doll Room

This week I am working on making some clothes for the Barbies that are going in the church box. I haven’t made any dolls clothes for quite a while and I’m not a good sewer at the best of times. I never seem to be able to cut patterns neatly.

However, I found amongst my pile of dolls patterns that I had one for making Barbie clothing out of socks. It’s quite an old pattern and the garments are actually meant to be glued together at the seams instead of sewn. I thought about trying this out but I had a couple of problems. The first was that my craft glue had dried up, the second was that I was not sure that the finished clothing would be strong enough to survive being played with by a group of enthusiastic young children.

image scan pattern
the cover of the pattern leaflet
image pattern
The Pinafore dress

I decided that rather than wait till I got to the shops to get more glue that I would sew the clothes using a combination of hand and machine stitching. Whether that will prove to be any more durable than glue I don’t know but I will find out in a few weeks I expect!

A lot of the simpler patterns for Barbie are rather bulky and bunchy looking but these actually fit quite nicely and I would even consider using them to make things for my own dolls. I didn’t have a sock that I wanted to use but I did have an old pair of knit fabric tights which I’d kept because I thought it might make good Barbie knitwear.

There are patterns for tops, a skirt, leotard, pinafore( jumper) dress and stretch pants. I have made a few from the tights and some other scraps of stretch materials I had lying around. I’ve kept them easy to put on and take off. Where I have used Velcro I decided to use the stick on type, normally I use the sew-on type but I wanted to experiment.

The dolls themselves are mostly 80s and 90s Barbies with the Superstar face. Some had extreme hair cuts or nibbled fingers but they cleaned up well after their Spa Day recently. (See my previous post)

image dressed Barbie
This Barbie wears a long sleeved top made from ribbing and dress made from a pair of old tights

I have quite a lot of vintage patterns from the 60s that came from old magazines that my mum kept. I may use a few of them to make some more outfits as I still have five more Barbies to dress and they are very simple patterns. 

Here are a few of the finished ones. They are by no means perfect but then the first fashion doll dresses that my mum made for our dolls were little more than shift dresses with holes for heads and arms and a bit of blanket stitch to neaten them and we were perfectly happy with them. I do want to improve on these though so expert sewers please don’t laugh.

image dressed Barbies
These are the first ones I have finished.

Here are some links to free patterns I found on the Internet


  1. Lovely! I’ve used socks for Barbie knits before now, it’s a great way of making them look to scale – I would never have thought of gluing them though, great tip. I love making clothes but loathe sewing (it takes too long and I want results now now now) and I’m a duffer with a sewing machine … So I’m definitely going to try this – thanks!


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