Hat making fun for Barbie

While I was at the GAW Barbie convention last month, I visited with Pam Seeman of Paintbox Designs. She had some adorable hats for sale, which she said are made by her sister. I bought a couple hats for inspiration and proceeded to buy some supplies when I got home. Since then, I’ve made about 10 hats, and have learned to better manipulate hat straw to get the shapes I want … sometimes incorporating happy accidents. Took me about 8 hats before I realized there’s a thread in the straw you can pull to help shape it!

I remembered browsing a Barbie Bazaar magazine at GAW room sales that had instructions for making a variety of hats from hat straw, so I started looking up old issues on eBay and Etsy to find applicable articles and just received a few issues I purchased.

The February 1999 issue has the most detailed instructions, including where to purchase hat straw. The US supplier mentioned, Sandy’s Victorian Trims, still seems to be in business and has a website, sandyslace.com. I purchased hat straw on Etsy from grosgrainribbons.etsy.com and from a couple of eBay shops, so it seems to be readily available.

February 1999 issue of Barbie Bazaar magazine

The April 2000 issue of Barbie Bazaar has more hat-making instructions, using a variety of materials and techniques.

April 2000 issue of Barbie Bazaar magazine

I even found an article about using hat straw to make purses.

April 1999 issue of Barbie Bazaar

Here are some of the hats I’ve made so far.

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.

GAW Fashion Doll Show and Sale

We moved everything from our hotel room to the sales room this afternoon. We managed to consolidate our displays and fit everything on one table. Today was only for conventioneers, but tomorrow we open to the public. Anything that doesn’t sell tomorrow will be listed in my Etsy shop tomorrow afternoon or evening.

Exclusive 2022 GAW Barbie doll

At lunch today, the centerpieces were again in line with the theme of A Knight to Remember.

Carol Spencer gave a delightful chat about her 35+ years at Mattel as a fashion designer for Barbie. Then competition and raffle winners were announced. And finally, the convention doll was revealed.

Here she is with her companion doll.

We also received this acrylic throne.

We also received the original outfits for both dolls.

FYI, next year’s theme is North to Alaska. Not sure how to make a dress for an OOAK doll for the charity auction with that theme. I’m open to suggestions.

Now we wait for the ballroom to reopen so we can set up our booth in the sales room.

GAW Barbie convention – competitions

We just got back from viewing the competitions and buying some raffle tickets. The diorama competitors outdid themselves this year!

GAW Barbie Convention updates

The GAW convention has kept us hopping the past couple of days! Thursday we did room sales all day, from 9am until bedtime. Sales were steady throughout the day, but rush hour seemed to come about 3:30pm when I couldn’t package fast enough!

Friday was room sales in the morning, and then I taught a class in the afternoon where some creative conventioneers learned how to make 1:6 scale lamps for their dolls from beads and battery operated tea lights.

Supper was our first convention meal where we received our first doll, a knight with fashion designed by Paul Bruce, also our table host.

Everyone received this companion doll to the convention doll (coming soon)

The centerpiece at each table was a knight and lady by a fireplace.

After supper was the auction to benefit 3 local children’s cancer charities. There were some beautiful OOAK dolls donated by some incredible artists and bidding was fast and furious. Here are photos of some of the dolls.

The Lady of Shalott by Dawn Anderson/OSS, Lady Constance by Bellisima Couture and Maryann Roy, Lady Emma by Couture Helene, Lady Ludivine at the Court by Wilfred Cogo, Forbidden Love by Dalsdolls and SethFX, Crystal Queen by Robsdolls, Vanessa by Thomas Soderberg, Diamond Joan of Arc by Magia2000, NiniMomo, Dame Doriann by Aponi Designs, Artist Creations, Bill Greening (Mattel), OOAK prototype by Carol Spencer.

We went to bed before the auction ended, but stayed long enough to see my OOAK doll auctioned. Princess Merina features an updo hairstyle by Rob Thompson of Robsdolls, facial repaint by Mindy Matthews of Dolls in Reverse, a sterling silver tiara with genuine blue topaz stones, and hand sewn fashion by me. I made her backdrop and throne as well. She went to this gentleman for $650.

Princess Merina OOAK Silkstone doll donated by Hankie Chic

More updates later!

GAW Barbie convention preview

On Wednesday, I leave for the GAW Barbie Convention in Livonia, MI. For the last few months, I’ve been busy sewing, painting, gluing, and assembling. Here’s a preview of some of the things I’ll be bringing with me.

Refurbished vintage Susy Goose Barbie piano
Refurbished vintage Susy Goose Skipper vanity
Refurbished vintage Susy Goose Barbie vanity
Barbie dresses made from vintage Gianni Vercase and Burberry handkerchiefs
Barbie dresses hand sewn from vintage Barbie handkerchiefs
More hankie dresses … from designer hankies, hand embroidered hankies, and luxury fabrics
I’ll be bringing about 30 one of a kind hand sewn doll dresses with me, along with more furniture, a wide assortment of 1:6 scale miniatures, and much, much more!
I counted and I’ve made over 75 mini pillows!
Come see me during room sales Thursday or Friday or in the sales room on Saturday or Sunday.

Susy Goose furniture repaints for GAW Barbie convention

5 days until we leave for the GAW Barbie convention … and I’m still working on last minute projects. I decided it was time to repaint some circa 1963 vintage Susy Goose Barbie furniture. I have two vanities (Skipper and Barbie) and a piano that are getting refurbished. After removing the music box, I had to do the dreaded soak and scrub to remove the gross red flocking from inside the piano.

I settled on Willow Mist for the base paint color … it’s a pale blush color that leans a little toward lavender. Then I’m accenting with treasure gold, pearl white and pearl pink. After 8 hours of painting, I’m ready for a break. I’ll finish the pieces tomorrow with a coat of sealer and then add new mirrors and seat cushions.

The assembly line …
Lid of the piano
I added cameos in the insets on the sides of the piano.