As you may recall from last week’s swimsuit pattern discussion, the Southern Hemisphere of our lovely planet Earth is currently enjoying summer, so in honor of my southern-hemisphere followers and fans, I’m doing some blog posts about the swimsuit/bodysuit pattern shown as View B, on the vintage McCall’s Teen Doll Fashion pattern number 3429, which appears above.
Two weeks ago, I showed you my sewing fail, with regard to this swimsuit / bodysuit pattern. Once I’d tossed my salmon-colored first attempt aside, I decided to give it another shot with the purple swimsuit fabric I got from FabScrap, which turned out much better, as you can see below.
But I have a tough time letting go of an in-progress project, so I decided to retrieve the salmon colored swimsuit out of my sewing room’s trash can and give it another go.
In the image below, you can see that, although the pattern calls for a single-layer swimsuit, in typical Chelly Wood style, I wanted to give my salmon swimsuit “fail” a coral-colored lining in the re-boot of this project. (See Figure 1.)
But as you can see in Figure 2, I had already clipped and hemmed some of the edges of the original swimsuit, so I had to stitch very close to the edges of these original clipped stitches, in order to create my lining (see figures 3 and 4). That was tricky!
I’m a little embarrassed to admit that the same mistake I made with the first salmon-colored rendition of the swimsuit from vintage McCall’s Teen Doll Fashion pattern number 3429 happened all over again… I sewed the right strap to the left strap instead of sewing right-to-right and left-to-left, leaving me with leg holes that didn’t go where leg holes belong! (See figure 5.)
You might think I could just seam rip the crotch, but no. That didn’t work. I had to seam rip (unpick) the straps too and start all over again from there. (See Figure 7, below.)
But by this time, the fabric of the straps was really scruffy looking, so I turned the rough edges of the straps inside themselves and sewed them to the correct sides with a whipstitch. (See Figure 8.)
At this point, I began to realize that there was a lot of extra fabric where the right half and the left half of the swimsuit were supposed to come together. So I trimmed off some of this excess fabric, keeping my fingers crossed that this wouldn’t make the whole swimsuit too slender for Barbie. (See Figure 9.)
I was surprised to discover that it wasn’t a problem of the swimsuit being to skinny; rather, the swimsuit was a whole lot shorter because of the change I’d made to the straps. (See Figure 10.)
I hypothesized that it wouldn’t fit the vintage Barbie it was originally designed for, but I was really hoping it would fit a modern Barbie. To my surprise, I could get it on a vintage Barbie, as you will see below, but remember all that trimming I did back in Figure 9? Well that affected how wide the crotch ended up, as did my lining. Here’s a picture comparing the crotches of the swimsuit made with the original pattern and my alteration:
It really looked pretty good on my vintage Barbie, so in all honesty, I kind of think my alterations made for a better-fitting swimsuit than the original McCall’s 3429 pattern! But I was curious…
Would it fit other dolls too? I tried it on my Queens of Africa doll, and found it wasn’t a bad fit at all.
So then I thought, heck, if it fits the Queens of Africa dolls, it will probably fit a Made-to-Move Barbie. Right?
Wrong. It was a little too loose in the straps for her. I don’t think the original McCall’s Teen Doll Fashion pattern number 3429 (before my alterations) would have fit her either.
But the real surprise was my Curvy Barbie!
Wow! She looked great in it! There was just one little glitch. Can you see what it is?
How about from the back…?
I mean, yeah, it fits her curves so nicely! With her pink hair, she looks all mixy-matchy in this swimsuit, I think. But…
Since it fits her all snug, the lining sort of eeks down below the swimsuit itself a little awkwardly.
But in spite of that little glitch, I feel like the re-boot was a success overall. Now Tall Barbie and her friend Curvy can hit the beaches in retro-style with their swimsuits, both of which were made from the McCall’s 3429 swimsuit/bodysuit pattern from the 1970’s!
It goes without saying that if you’d like to learn how to alter doll clothes patterns just like I do, my Creative Spark class, “How to Alter Doll Clothes Patterns” will give you exactly the skills you need to alter a commercial pattern like McCall’s 3429 so that it will fit dolls like Tall and Curvy Barbies. Click on the link I’ve provided here to learn more.
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.
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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.