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).
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.
Heading home bright and early tomorrow morning, and then it’s back to sewing!
My sister and I took a road trip to Chicago this weekend to shop the national Barbie convention sales room on Saturday, when it was open to the public. We’re working on collecting Barbie dolls for a “Barbie around the World” themed Christmas tree for a 2023 Festival of Trees charity auction (we like to work ahead). Mattel has done several series of Barbie dolls from around the world, so we’re trying to get a good mix. We managed to pick up 2 more beautiful dolls: princesses of Ireland and ancient Mexico. I think we’re up to 10 countries now. Plus we scored a plant stand from an antique shop to use as our tree to display the dolls. Love that it’s already green!
Of course I had to do a little shopping for myself too.
Plus, we saw some friends from the GAW Barbie Convention and spent a day with my nephew. All in all, a fun weekend! Now back to sewing …
My husband and I decided to get out of the house yesterday and do some antiquing. We visited a new-to-us antique mall as well as a favorite in Grand Rapids, Michigan. We never buy much, but it’s always fun to look. I was pleased to find a booth with sewing patterns from the 1950’s – 60’s and snatched up this Vogue Couturier pattern to see if I can adapt it for Barbie (anyone heard of the designer Rodriguez of Spain?). I also found a booth with some lovely antique lace. I soaked the lace in Woolite and warm water for an hour or so to get out any dust and musty smell and then laid it flat to dry. I’m planning to layer it over silk tissue taffeta for Barbie dresses.
I’ve been so busy making things to sell at the Grant A Wish Barbie Convention in April, but I’m also looking forward to room shopping. To get in the spirit, I decided Barbie needed her own shopping bag.
Make your own mini shopping bags by downloading this file. Fold under along dotted lines and white tabs. Put glue on the white tabs and assemble. I used a small hole punch to punch out the white circles on the sides of the bag. Then thread ribbon through the holes and tie knots on the end or tape to the inside of the bag to secure.
I stopped into our local JoAnns store today and imagine my surprise when we stumbled upon a big display of Liberty of London Tana Lawn fabric! JoAnn is now an authorized retailer for Liberty fabrics!!! Available online and in select stores only. While the fabric is pricey at $34.99 a yard, the prints are amazing and the quality of the fabric is divine … so lightweight and easy to sew … just perfect for Barbie dresses! I had to pick up 1/4 yard each of some beautiful prints to play with.
When I was last in London — pre-pandemic — I visited the Liberty store and first fell in love with their Tana Lawn.
Liberty’s exquisite designs are exclusively hand-drawn by artists right at their in-house studio. The printing takes place at their mill in northern Italy, which uses both innovative digital technology and age-old techniques to give results that are impeccable. The Liberty London fabrics have been at the cutting-edge of design and decorative arts since 1875 and now forms an international wholesale business, working with retailers, brands and designers across womenswear, menswear, childrenswear and homewares.
If you’ve been wondering why I haven’t been posting many dresses lately, it’s because I’m busy getting ready for the GAW Barbie Convention in Livonia, Michigan, next month. I have about 25 OOAK dresses set aside to take with me (and hoping to get more made!), plus I’ve been working on 1:6 scale miniatures and some custom orders. (I won’t show you the dresses now, for fear you’d want to buy them before I get there and then I’d have none to take!) I’ve been trying to package up the miniatures as I go so I’m not frantically packing the day before. Here’s what I have done so far. More to come! Come visit Hankie Chic during room sales and in the sales room. Hope to see you there!
My sister’s church does a festival of trees every year. People donate and decorate themed Christmas trees and gifts and then the trees are auctioned off to help support a local charity. This year, my sister and I decorated two trees: a baby tree (with gifts for a newborn) and a Barbie tree. Here are photos of the Barbie tree. My sister made the quilt and pillow from Riley Blake Barbie panels and fabrics. I made the tree skirt from coordinating Riley Blake fabrics. The tree is trimmed with a variety of Hallmark Barbie ornaments and Barbie accessories. A Barbie house, helicopter, dolls, miniatures and more are included.