Thursday, January 8, 2015

Barbie Sized Creations

Twas a very merry Barbie Christmas over here. My four year old enjoys playing with Barbie sized princesses and also Barbie. She received a Barbie camper, a Barbie sized house and a few new dolls. The house came furnished, but with only one bed. I could see this might be an issue. Also, sadly lacking any blankets.

My first creation was to cut some fleece as blankets. This took no time at all.  I cut fleece in a rectangle and a couple larger rectangles to be folded as sleeping bags or just larger blankets. 

I looked at Barbie beds other people had made and that is still on our list to do. Maybe even some bunks for the smaller Chelsea sized dolls. I did find these little cots.

I thought it was really quite ingenious. On a trip to JoAnns, I found a 10 pack of 12" 1/4" dowel for the frames and Popsicle sticks for the ends. Dipping into my fabric stash, I quickly put together the fabric parts of four cots and small matching pillows. It was nearly dinner time and I figured it would be easier to enlist my husband's help for the woodworking.

Together we spent about two hours, much long than I expected, finding the right bolts and nuts, drilling holes for aforementioned bolts, and drilling pilot holes. As we assembled the first cot with wood glue, it appeared quite wobbly. We decided to just add the Popsicle sticks to the ends of each dowel first and made sure it could lay flat.  After the glue dried, we inserted the bolts to complete the cots. 

I still think the cots are very cute and nice that they fold flat. But I think it's a bigger project than it seems and one wrong step or leaning breaks the Popsicle sticks. We have had two cots need repair already from misplaced body parts. Fortunately, they can be glued. New rule for the cots is that they can only be in or on the house, not on the floor.

 After receiving money for Christmas, my daughter bought herself a Ken doll. Apparently, Ken likes to take baths in the Barbie house and would really like a bathrobe. Sewing for Barbie and Ken is not really pleasant, but I also accept that these tiny things do not need to be perfect or have perfectly finished seams.

For the robe, I decided to forgo proper sleeve construction and simply traced around Ken's open armed body for a pattern.  There was a back piece and two front pieces.  After hemming up the sleeves, I sewed them up and considered being done.  But then I found some lycra binding intended for fleece (that matched!) and bound the whole robe.  Finally I sewed more binding together to make a tie and attached it along the whole back part of robe for security.  Due to it being out of thin fleece, it worked very well.

The Barbie camper included a swimming pool, yet no one had their swimsuits on.  I made a couple swim suits which didn't work very well.  The best one is a one piece I cut around a doll out of a four way stretch material.  No edges are finished and it is easy to get on and off.  Ken got a multipurpose gym shorts/swim suit by tracing his pants as a pattern.  That worked well.

Some of the smaller girls needed new dresses.  The lack of footwear for flatfooted Skipper and Stacy is disappointing for us too.  The dressing, undressing and hair styling is what my daughter enjoys.  It's hard to have many choices if they don't exist.  But two new dresses I could make.  The Skipper and Barbie dresses are very easy to make.  I had made Barbie dresses a few years ago and followed the same method.

 Finally, every evening the dolls need to sleep.  The house sometimes is a hotel and there's only so much space.  It's very sweet how my daughter gets them all into bed with their shoes under the beds or cots and tucks them in. Because of the camper idea too, I made sleeping bags.  I followed the basic instructions from here with my own dimensions.  My first bag was out of two layers of flannel and was rather bulkly.  Then I used one layer of flannel and one layer of quilting cotton.  I liked these the most.  I did tuck in some batting as a pillow, but the pillow got negative reviews from one daughter.  Finally I made two mini bags for the Chelsea sized dolls out of two layers of quilting cotton with no pillow.  They are all pretty cute and roll up nicely.

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