Vintage #Barbie #patterns on new Barbie #dolls @

Image shows Superstar Barbie, nude, standing next to the modern Teresa doll, with a ruler in between the two dolls. Overlay says, " free printable sewing patterns and tutorials."
Visit for free, printable sewing patterns and tutorials.

Sorry about the nude dolls everyone! But I often get questions about the differences between vintage Barbies made by Mattel and today’s Barbies. The photo above shows that their bodies are definitely different. How are they different, though? Will the older doll’s clothes fit the newer dolls and vice versa?

I’ve been asked this question often, over the years, and I can tell you a little about my own experiences with older patterns on modern Barbies. However I do not work for Mattel or Vogue or any of the pattern companies that you can find in the fabric stores. I have been sewing for Barbie since I was about three years old, though, and I sew for both vintage and newer Barbies.

I have measured my vintage Barbie’s waist and bust, and compared these measurements to my modern Barbies’ waists and busts.

Vintage Barbie’s waist measures 9 cm (3.5 inches) whereas modern Barbie’s waist is 9.5 cm (not quite 4 inches). Vintage Barbie’s bust measures 15.5 cm (6 inches), whereas modern Barbie’s bust is only 12.5 cm (approx. 5 inches). So there is a slight difference. And when sewing for Barbie, even half a cm makes a big difference in how a garment fits.

With that said, I have a collection of both vintage and modern Barbie patterns, and I’ve never had a problem getting my doll clothes to fit. I think this has something to do with the way I measure darts when fitting my Barbies for their clothes. Just in case you’re new to sewing, let me explain. The darts are the seams that we sew from the waist to the tip of the bust, to allow “give” in the curvy bosom area.

Before sewing darts, I lay the doll on a flat surface, like an ironing board, desk, or table. Then I take a straight pin and pin the darts where I think they probably fit best. I try the bodice on the doll with the darts pinned. If it doesn’t fit, I adjust the pins. Then I mark a line with a fabric pencil (just a regular lead pencil will work, as long as you’re not sewing light-colored fabric), and I follow my pencil line to sew the darts.

This should help you adjust the older patterns to fit newer dolls and vice versa. The trick is to constantly try the clothes on the doll as you go. (I probably do this ten times when creating one garment.) That way you can seam rip, if needed, before you get too many pieces put together.

Additional Information:


Recently, some of my followers have wondered what motivates me to give my patterns away for free.

First of all, I’m a librarian by trade. Librarians love free stuff! We believe that the more a person knows, the more enriched their life will be. So it may sound kind of crazy, but I want to become a sort of Gutenberg Library of free patterns that help people learn to sew doll clothes.

If you’d like to learn more about my motives, feel free to visit my Chelly’s Books page.

My Gallery Page is the easiest way to search through all of my patterns to find what you want. Each image on the Gallery Page takes you to links for patterns and tutorials.

Need help printing my patterns? This link offers a tutorial showing you how to download and print my FREE patterns using Google Docs. (For the older print-a-pattern tutorial, which uses Microsoft Word, click here.) To review my difficulty scale (demonstrating how hard or easy a pattern is by the number of flowers displayed), take a look back at this blog post.

Please note: you must enlarge my patterns to fit a full-sized piece of American computer paper (8.5 x 11 inches or 216 x 279 mm) without margins, before printing. These designs use a scant 1/4 inch seam (4 mm to be exact).

My patterns are now available through “Creative Commons Attribution.” This means that I created my patterns (and therefore I own rights to them), but I’m willing to share them with everyone who will tell people about my website.

Here are some helpful ways to tell the world about my patterns:

Are you new to sewing? I’ve got a playlist of tutorials for the beginning sewists on my YouTube channel. It includes video tutorials showing you how to do a basic straight stitch when sewing by hand, how to use the whipstitch to hem a garment, how to sew on snaps, and even how to design your own doll clothes patterns, for those who are new to design and alterations.

In case you haven’t heard, I have actually designed some commercial patterns for Lammily LLC. You might want to visit the Lammily website to see what they’ve got going on.

If your question wasn’t answered here, feel free to submit a question. I’m always happy to help my followers find what they need, so they, too, can make amazing doll clothes and crafts!

One thought on “Vintage #Barbie #patterns on new Barbie #dolls @

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.