Monday, May 5, 2014

Jeans and tees for Barbie

Generally, I sew fantasy-type clothes for my dolls. Ball gowns, 50s sundresses, silky negligees - the kind of stuff I just don't have occasion to sew for myself. But all that frou-frou stuff just didn't seem to fit for Katniss.
So, I decided it was time to make jeans for my girls. I really love making jeans for me, so it seemed like a natural extension.
Teresa (standing) is wearing my first attempt. I am using Simplicity 4702, view E. I made Teresa's pair out of a thin stretch denim, and it turned out just too big. On the advice of some Instagram friends, I roughed them up a little, rolled the cuffs and called them boyfriend jeans. I think it works. For the jeans details - button and rivets - I used hotfix studs. The 2mm studs are the perfect size for Barbie jean rivets and the 4mm size makes an excellent button. The jeans actually close with a snap at center back.
The second version, shown here on Allriane, is my favorite. I slimmed the jeans through the waist, hips and thighs and took in the waistband. The critical change I made was to firmly interface the waistband to prevent the stretching out that happened with the first pair. I also added functional hip pockets, so that Allriane can put her hands in them. One thing to note here is that Allriane actually doesn't have a Barbie body. Her body is a Liv doll, which is slimmer than Barbie. I love these jeans, but they don't fit the fuller hips and butt of Barbie. They are perfect for Liv and Obitsu dolls though.
For Katniss, I went back to the original Simplicity pattern. My only alteration for fit was to slim the back hip slightly (like 1/8 inch), and to interface the waistband. The fabric is an extremely stretchy lightweight baby cord. I also flared the legs to give them a more wide leg look. With the waist interfaced, the fit is perfect. Since these are cords, I didn't do the front pockets or rivets.
In back, all three pair of jeans have traditional patch pockets. I did have to slim the pocket pattern piece slightly (1/8 inch on each side) to compensate for the stretch of the fabric.
Once I had the jeans done, I realized that my dolls have no casual tops. So I set about making a few.
Katniss got the first one. This is again Simplicity 4702, this time view F/H top. Other than adding 1/4 inch of length, I made no changes for fit. For the front piece and the neckband, I used a Superman sock. I am beyond thrilled with how it came out, and I really wish I could find a giant sock to make myself one. The sock was too small for the sleeves and back of the top, so I used a scrap of rayon jersey for the rest. The necklace was also made by me, from a lock and key charm which Anne sent me. Thank you!! Katniss loves it!!
I made Allriane's top next. The pattern is Simplicity 4719, and this is view G. Again, the pattern is sewn unaltered. I'm pretty thrilled with my teeny neckline binding, which I did sew as a binding rather than a band. The fabric is cotton lycra jersey left over from this top. I have found that using fabrics with a bit of lycra, really improves the drape in these teeny little clothes, and makes them look more realistic.
Teresa's top was the last one I sewed, and I'm not sure I completely love it. I wanted something relatively unfitted, to go with the boyfriend jeans vibe. This top is Simplicity 5785, view A. I made it out of chiffon, double layered for opacity and a clean finish at the neckline. After it was done, I thought it was pretty shapeless and unflattering. I took in the side seams a little, and shortened the front hem so that it hit at the waist instead of the hip. I also added some beading to the neckline to bring the focus up. I'm still not sure I LOVE it, but it works with the style.
I kinda love the easy, relaxed vibe they have together. I like to think that if Katniss had grown up in the US, maybe this would have been how she dressed.

5 comments:

  1. I just can't get over these -- so great! The Superman sweater and distressed jeans are just killing me.

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  2. Barbie needs some causal clothing for those days when she needs to run some errands or run around the park. I love the superman Tee the best.

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  3. I love all of the little details, and the sock shirt is quite clever. My husband was reading over my shoulder, and I think he was impressed too--he wanted to know if you're going to branch out into G.I. Joe clothes next!

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  4. I love your Barbie clothes! It has been years since there has been a fashion doll in my house but I think I need to find a little girl and try to make a few of these. You have taken Barbie's clothing to a whole new level. Great job!

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