Not all Skipper patterns are alike! #BuyerBeware #DollClothesPatterns

In this image, we see two patterns for Skipper doll clothes. The pattern on the right is Simplicity doll clothes pattern number 7600. The pattern on the right is a Skipper/Barbie combination pattern from Vogue, number 9964. Over the top of these two pattern photos, we see the words, "Beyer beware" and beneath them is the logo for ChellyWood.com, a website for free printable PDF sewing patterns for making doll clothes to fit dolls of many shapes and all different sizes.
Please visit ChellyWood.com for free printable PDF sewing patterns and tutorial videos for making doll clothes to fit dolls of many shapes and all different sizes.

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:

A skipper doll from the early 1970s wears handmade doll clothes that include a pink poodle skirt and a summer shirt. Her hair is pulled back with pink hair clips.
Please visit ChellyWood.com for free printable sewing patterns for making doll clothes to fit dolls of many shapes and all different sizes.

 

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).

This photograph shows the Chelly Wood doll clothing designer doll measuring Skipper's arm with a tiny 1:6 scale tape measure. Skipper extends her arm while the Chelly Wood doll looks at the tape measure to determine how long Skipper's arm is from the underarm to the wrist. Skipper stands barefoot in a swimsuit beside Chelly Wood's tiny 1:6 scale sewing desk. On the desk, a Creatable World doll is seated, waiting her turn for measurements. The creatable World doll seems to be wearing a training bra and panties. Their legs are crossed so the CW doll leans back on the sewing table elegantly. Behind them is a dress form, ironing board, and a tiny window. There's also a miniature china hutch filled with fabric. This is clearly a teeny-tiny doll sewing room. All the dolls seem to be having fun as they prepare for a new wardrobe that fits both Skipper and the Creatable World doll. If you'd like to see the wardrobe of free printable sewing patterns that Chelly Wood has designed for either Skipper dolls or Creatable World dolls, please visit ChellyWood.com and click on the 10 inch doll size from the main Home page gallery.
Please visit ChellyWood.com for free printable sewing patterns for making doll clothes to fit dolls of many shapes and all different sizes.

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.

The image shows the Chelly Wood doll holding up Voge Craft Pattern #9964, which offers patterns for vintage Mattel Barbie and vintage Skipper dolls. The pattern set includes a sailor's suit, a gingham dress with apron in a sort of 1950's style, and a pair of pants with a shirt that has a folded cuff. The article on ChellyWood.com that accompanies this pattern recommends this pattern for vintage skipper dolls, due to the availability of the pattern plus the versatility of the different patterns offered.
Please visit ChellyWood.com for free printable sewing patterns for making doll clothes to fit dolls of many shapes and all different sizes.

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.

The image shows a Mattel Stacie doll wearing handmade doll clothes that include a felt sleeveless shirt and a pink poodle skirt that flares outward, as if Stacie is spinning around. The overlay says, "ChellyWood.com: free doll clothes patterns and tutorials," reminding you to visit ChellyWood.com for your free printable sewing patterns for making doll clothes to fit dolls of many shapes and all different sizes. Would you like to make today's pink poodle skirt with a felt poodle patch sewn onto the skirt, along with the easy-to-sew felt sleeveless top? Please click on the link in the caption, and it will take you to the page where you can download and print the free printable PDF sewing patterns for making this outfit.
Click here for all the free printable sewing patterns you’ll need to make this outfit: https://wp.me/p1LmCj-HSY (available after 14 May 2021)

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:

This catalog insert from 1985 shows a Skipper doll wearing a swimsuit so you can clearly see that her knees bend, but her upper body is similar to that of an older vintage Skipper. Other images provide on this insert page include Barbie and Ken in swimsuits from the era, a "Tracy and Todd" wedding clothing set, an "Angel face" Barbie doll, a quick curl Barbie in cowboy boots, and a twirly curl tool set. There are also a number of Barbie "fashion extra" packets shown, including of note, white tights (stockings), a set of nine pairs of shoes, and a stocking cap with leg warmers.
Please visit ChellyWood.com for free printable PDF sewing patterns and tutorial videos for making doll clothes to fit dolls of many shapes and all different sizes.

 

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.

The photo shows the Chelly Wood doll (a Spin Master Liv doll that has been altered to look like the real doll clothing designer, Chelly Wood) holding up Simplicity Skipper doll clothes pattern number 7600. This pattern shows a Skipper sized doll from the 1980's wearing a swimsuit, a cheerleader costume, a shirt with ruffle collar matching a skirt with ruffle, a criss-cross tank top with capris, a formal gown, a Flashdance style tee with a circle skirt and short leggings or bike shorts, and a hoodie with capri pants. The logo on this photo reminds us that this image comes from Chelly Wood dot com.
Please visit ChellyWood.com for free printable PDF sewing patterns and tutorial videos for making doll clothes to fit dolls of many shapes and all different sizes.

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.

This is a photograph of a Mattel Skipper doll wearing a handmade hooded sweatshirt with handmade leggings. The sweatshirt's hood has a lining. She stands before a mottled purple background. Her sweats outfit (the hoodie plus the leggings) is made of a pale powder blue color which softly contrasts the purple background she's standing in front of. She wears blue sneakers that look sort of like Vans in a style that reminds us of loafers. The logo for ChellyWood.com is in the lower left corner of the photo.
Please visit ChellyWood.com for free printable PDF sewing patterns and tutorial videos for making doll clothes to fit dolls of many shapes and all different sizes.

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:

*ChellyWood.com earns money by linking to JoAnn Fabrics, Amazon, eBay, Etsy, and other online affiliate programs. Links provided above may be affiliate links. For a full list of my affiliate programs, and to understand how cookies are used to help this website earn money, please see my “Privacy Policy” page.

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

  1. 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.

    1. 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.

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