Barbie at the Strong Museum of Play

You may have noticed I haven’t posted a new Barbie dress in a little while and only digital items are available in my Etsy shop at the moment. That’s because my husband and I are currently on vacation in Rochester, NY. Today, we visited the Strong Museum of Play, in downtown Rochester, which has a nice exhibit about Barbie. According to some articles we read about the museum, they also have the papers of Carol Spencer, a former Barbie designer, in their archives (available to researchers by appointment).

The exhibit was called Material Girl: Inside the Closet of America’s Favorite Doll, and included Barbies from the 1960’s to present.
Barbie and the Handlers were inducted into the National Toy Hall of Fame.
Barbie dioramas by Julie Conner.

Rochester, NY, is also home to a couple waterfalls and is very close to Lake Ontario. The arts community is huge here and they host many, many festivals. We’re about a week or so ahead of prime leaf peeping season, but the scenery has been gorgeous, nonetheless. And the town is full of huge victorian mansions.

Top: Upper falls in downtown Rochester, NY. Bottom left: Lower falls, north of downtown Rochester. Bottom Right: Lake Ontario.

Heading home bright and early tomorrow morning, and then it’s back to sewing!

Shopping treasures from GAW Barbie Convention

Believe it or not, I actually took time to do some room shopping and wander the sales room at the GAW Barbie Convention. I didn’t make it to every room, but I did find some treasures.

Susy Goose Barbie furniture to repaint
3D printed and laser cut backdrops
Miscellaneous treasures: hats and bouquets from Paintbox Designs, a pretty dress for one of my dolls to wear (many of whom were purchased nude and have nothing to wear when they’re not modeling my fashions), jewelry, luggage, a silk scarf to make into Barbie dresses, a pink poodle, and a 3D printed mannequin.
I bought one doll, a Silkstone Barbie who has had her hair restyled (so pretty!). I bought her loose, dressed in lingerie. I was disappointed to discover later that her waist is broken and she’d been taped together. She still models well for my purposes, but I wish the seller had disclosed that.

A special Christmas present

If you’ve been following my blog for a while, you may remember the Barbie and Ken dolls I customized for my niece’s wedding last year. This year, my Mom asked me to recreate her wedding dress for Barbie as a Christmas gift. So I borrowed her dress from her cedar chest and set to work.

My parents only have 2 photos from their wedding, and neither photo is in color, but my Mom’s dress was blue and she remembered that Dad wore a navy suit. She still has the drIed bouquet in the cedar chest and the ribbons were pink, so we’ve surmised the roses were pink as well. Neither one remembers the color of Dad’s tie or Mom’s hat, which is long gone, so I had to take some creative liberties. I thought the younger Frank Sinatra doll was a pretty good likeness for my Dad, and then found a vintage Barbie with short curly hair for my Mom. The cat eye glasses are from the Katherine Johnson doll Mattel did recently to honor the NASA mathematician featured in the movie Hidden Figures.

I used blue silk organza for the gloves, and blue netting over blue silk tissue taffeta for the dress. I took the suit from the older Frank Sinatra doll and made a new tie from the same silk as the dress.

Custom Barbie shoes

I’ve been running low on magnetic brooches and decided to make some more. I found some adorable little resin and rhinestone bows from the Etsy shop NailArtExtravaganza that I thought would be just perfect. So I ordered them, they arrived, and wow, are they tiny! I didn’t have any magnets on hand that were small enough. So rather than order smaller magnets … I pivoted and decided to dress up some Barbie shoes. Turns out the bows are exactly the right size to decorate Barbie shoes.


Sweetheart Roses for Barbie & Victoire Roux

1BB7B9DA-5278-4131-9EC9-436434380FE4All of my fashions are sewn entirely by hand with needle and thread … no sewing machines in sight. I use a back stitch with tiny stitches that give a secure and accurate seam so your fashion will fit perfectly. Each fashion is fully lined.

This dress was sewn from two hankies: a rare vintage round hankie and an embroidered hankie. The classic silhouette features a bubble skirt and shaped v-neck bodice. Dress includes an ultrasuede belt with pink buckle. Dress and belt are fastened with metal snaps. Available now in my Etsy shop.


It’s a Barbie Christmas … tree

The church my sister attends does a Festival of Trees event every year over the Thanksgiving weekend. Individuals choose a theme, decorate a tree in that theme, and then donate the tree for a silent auction that benefits local charities.

This year I talked my sister into a Barbie themed tree. Throughout the past year, we’ve been collecting ornaments, dolls, and a variety of Barbie items from eBay, Etsy, antique malls, dollar stores, and the GAW Barbie Convention. My mom made a tote bag, I made a tree skirt, my sister knitted a Barbie blanket, and we roped the whole family into making a variety of ornaments.

Tonight, we spent an hour and a half decorating our tree. I think someone’s little girl is going to have a very Merry Christmas!