As the heading for today’s blog post states, “Not all Skipper patterns are alike!”
You see, Skipper has undergone quite a few changes over time. The earliest rendition of Skipper was a nine-inch doll with no bust and a fairly inflexible body.
Here’s my vintage Skipper, modeling a poodle skirt:
In the 1980’s, she became taller but still didn’t have much of a bust. During this era, she did have more flexible legs though.
Then came today’s Skipper. A modern Skipper is a full 10 inches tall and then some, and she has a little A-cup bust (in doll proportions). In the photo below, that’s my modern Skipper standing up in the middle; the doll on her left is a Creatable World doll, which has similar proportions (minus the A-cup bust).
With all the changes Skipper has undergone over the years, it leaves us wondering, “Which doll clothes patterns will fit which Skipper dolls?”
Thus the “buyer beware” warning. You need to really know which Skipper you’re sewing for before you purchase a used Skipper pattern online or even before you download a free one.
So let’s have a look at my vintage patterns for a reference guide. Here’s my Vogue 9964 Barbie-and-Skipper combination pattern. It’s a retro re-print that I bought in the 1990’s, but it’s designed to fit the older, vintage Skipper that was relatively stiff-jointed.
This Skipper is actually built more like a modern-day Stacie doll, which is pictured below, wearing the same poodle skirt that will fit my vintage Skipper.
Now let’s have a look at the 1980’s Skipper doll. I don’t actually own one of these renditions of Skipper, but I’m familiar with them. To see an image of a 1980’s Skipper, look through the packaging catalog below, where we see a 1985 model Skipper in her swimming attire:
You can see that the 1980’s Skipper‘s knees were bendable, and she had a slightly different body mold from the older, vintage Skipper dolls. But she has a flat chest like vintage Skipper.
Now let’s move ahead another ten years or so. This is my Simplicity 7600 Skipper pattern, which was published in 1991.
By that time, Skipper was starting to develop a little bit of a training-bra bust, as you’ll notice if you click here. Her neck was quite long in the 1990’s, and she had a ton of hair!
Unfortunately, because of the adaptations to her neck and hair, it’s really hard to find one of these Skipper dolls from the early 1990’s in decent shape. They often had their heads popped off and stuck on some other doll’s body. So you’ll see these dolls with heads that are loose, necks that are damaged, and hair that’s in terrible condition, but it’s hard to find these softer-bodied 1990’s Skipper dolls in high-quality condition.
However, it would be fair to say that with the 1990’s Skipper, Mattel was making strides toward the fun-to-play-and-pose Skipper that we see today.
Now let’s have a look at the modern Skipper. I haven’t seen any actual commercial patterns for today’s Skipper, but if you know of one, please share the pattern brand and number by leaving a comment in the section at the bottom of today’s blog post.
But to have a look at modern Skipper, you can either check out the image of my modern Skipper below, or click on over to view all the patterns I’ve designed for her.
You may wonder how I design my modern Skipper patterns. A lot of times I take an old pattern like the Simplicity 7600 hoodie and leggings patterns, and I just make a few alterations to create my own version that will fit a bigger Skipper. You really have to know a thing or two about making pattern alterations, in order to do this.
Would you like to know more about pattern alterations? I actually teach a class on that! Watch the video below to learn more.
Okay, so let’s summarize.
It’s best to know which Skipper you’re sewing for, before you buy a pattern to make Skipper doll clothes. There are different body types for vintage (prior to 1980) Skipper dolls, the 1980’s versions of Skipper, the 1990’s versions of Skipper, and a modern Skipper doll.
Did I miss anybody? If so, let me know in the comments! Thanks!
Most of the commercial patterns I display and talk about here on ChellyWood.com are also available for sale on eBay. However, if you’ve never purchased a pattern on eBay before, it’s a good idea to read the article I wrote called, “Tips for Buying Used Doll Clothes Patterns on eBay.” It will save you time, money, and will likely prevent buyer’s remorse.
And by the way, if you use the links I’ve provided to make your eBay purchase, this website will receive a small commission, which helps fund the ChellyWood.com website, so I can continue to provide you with all the free patterns and tutorial videos offered here.
To read more about my free sewing patterns and tutorials, please visit the “Helpful Tips” page.
Disclaimer/Credit/Affiliate Marketing Link:
Chelly Wood and the ChellyWood.com website are not affiliated with the pattern company or companies mentioned in this blog post, but Chelly finds inspiration in the doll clothes designed by these pattern companies. To purchase patterns from Simplicity, McCall’s, Butterick, Vogue, or other pattern companies shown and discussed in this blog post, please click on the links provided here. These links below the “Disclaimer” section do not help raise money for this free pattern website; they are only offered to give credit to the company that made these patterns.
Skipper dolls are products offered by Mattel, which holds the registered trademark for them (™). Please visit the Mattel Toys website to learn more about their company and its trademarked toys.
2 thoughts on “Not all Skipper patterns are alike! #BuyerBeware #DollClothesPatterns”
Early 90s Skipper is my favorite, with those big adorable anime eyes. I took good care of my Skipper dolls and didn’t store them in sunlight or anything but the necks crumbled making the heads fall off. I think there was a manufacturing defect in these dolls! It breaks my heart.
I’m not a fan of the modern necks with that T-bar that is difficult to get past, when swapping doll heads. I sort of wish they would go back to that easy-to-pop-off head from the 1960’s and early 1970’s. That would make it so much easier to swap heads from, say, a less-than-articulate Barbie (or Skipper) to a Made-to-Move Barbie.