A colleague of mine has two little girls who love Barbie, so of course, I’m sewing them a wardrobe of Barbie clothes for Christmas this year.
The first project I decided to tackle was the shirt shown in View 3 of the Sew-Easy Advance Barbie Pattern #2896. When I started the project, I was imagining a super simple short-sleeved top that buttoned in the back.
That’s what it shows on the envelope, right? Doesn’t it look like that shirt buttons in the back?
But we’ll get to that later. First, let me tell you how adorable the instructions for this pattern are! Just have a look:
I’ve seen other vintage patterns that offer instructions for children who are just learning to sew, but this little packet of “How to Sew for Your Doll” instructions takes the cake! How cute is that little ladder of step-by-step advice?
Now usually I prefer to do a little altering of the patterns when I use someone else’s design. Essentially, I like to take their idea and tweak it just a bit, to make it my own.
But with Sew-Easy Advance Pattern #2896, I decided to just cut out the shirt exactly as instructed.
The shape of this shirt bodice reminds me a lot of the bodice I designed for my little yellow dress with a bias tape collar, which fits Strawberry Shortcake 6″ dolls. I posted that lovely dress earlier this month.
But to my surprise, this Barbie shirt didn’t have any darts at all. So where was her bosom going to fit? After all, this was designed for the vintage Barbies, which were pretty chesty.
I’m not fond of using a facing, because when you put a facing in a Barbie shirt, a lot of times a child’s play time has to include interruptions for stuffing the facing back into the collar.
Here’s the shirt with the wrong side out, so you can see that there was a bit of puffiness to that facing:
And then there’s the raw edge of the facing and those single-fold hems along the shirt’s sleeve edges. To avoid fabric from unraveling, I used a bit of Fray Check along these raw edges.
That may have been a bad idea, as you’ll see later in this post.
I also created a little top-stitching edge all along the shirt’s opening, including the collar, even though that wasn’t mentioned in the instructions. Here’s a closer look:
Once I had sewn everything but the bottom hem, I tried it on my doll. To my pleasant surprise, it fit her chest just fine.
I mean, yes, it’s hanging open a bit here, but it really did fit her pretty well. I probably should have pinned it shut for this photo:
But the sleeves poked out with a strange space-age pointy-ness, like I was making a shirt for Barbarella or something. Maybe this was due, in part, to my use of Fray Check. I’m not sure.
I was also a little concerned about what my mother would have called “gap-osis” under the arms. See, look:
That’s more skin than Ken needs to see, if you ask me! But then I realized it wasn’t supposed to fit on the doll that way anyhow. It was supposed to button in the back.
I finished hemming the bottom and tried it on her, the so-called “right way,” but…
Yeah. What the heck? It was not supposed to look like that!
Ummm, yeah. What went wrong?
It definitely didn’t look like that when you put it on her the “right” way.
So I tried what seemed like a more natural fit.
The sleeves still looked a bit stiff, but at least it fit her better around the bust. And the neckline didn’t look like it was choking her.
Now this isn’t a real vintage Barbie, modeling my doll clothes; it’s a reproduction Barbie. I don’t think that should make much difference in how the Sew-Easy Advance Pattern was fitting her though.
My doll has a twist-and-turn waist, which I experimented with.
The shirt definitely looked better with the snaps in front, no matter what direction Barbie was standing in.
You may be wondering where you can get the pattern for my fruity long, narrow skirt. It’s an alteration on my pencil skirt pattern.
“What is an alteration?” you ask.
Well, since you asked…
Maybe you already own some great commercial patterns, but you really wish you could alter them to look just a little different. If so, my Creative Spark class, “How to Alter Doll Clothes Patterns” may be just what you need to make your commercially designed patterns into the pattern you see in your imagination.
Are you worried that you won’t have time to take a course in doll clothes pattern alteration? You’ll be happy to learn that, for any class on Creative Spark, you don’t have to follow a schedule. Just sign up when you’re ready.
It’s a one-time fee for the course, and there’s no specific time limit to finish your course. You can just take your time and learn at the pace that suits you. So please go have a look at my paid courses on Creative Spark, using this link.
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.
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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.