Barbie has a long reputation for being the best dressed piece of plastic on the planet. So naturally, as I began to collect the Barbie Basics line of Black Label dolls, the search was on to make additions to her wardrobe. Quelle surprise! What I found in the stores were cheap, sparkly duds catering to tweens. (Yes, I know, first and foremost, Barbie is a toy.) But what attracted me to this line of dolls were their long, fashion proportions, variety of hairstyles and their quintessential fashion staple....the little black dress. Sadly, much of what I found online were, well...."doll clothes" that had NOTHING to do with current fashion. In this age of Project Runway, The Oscars, and "Fashion Week," the public has become more style consience than ever. So why can't fashion dolls be dressed in, well......real fashion!!!!
This blog grew out of my search to find a reasonable way to create clothes for the fashion doll while, all the same, allowing the collector to express their the inner Calvin Klein, Chanel, or Galliano. Though everything here can be applied to the 16" doll, I chose the Barbie-proportioned doll because there are fewer fashion options available for her. This blog shows you how to create simple patterns for your doll and how to use them to interpret current trends in high fashion. It is written for those with little or no prior experience, although more experienced sewers may also find it entertaining. Think of this blog as... Fashion Design 101 for Creating Doll Clothes.
As far as me, the author of this blog....I have a BFA in Fashion Design from one of New York's top design schools as well as over 30 years experience working in fashion education and fashion journalism around the world. The pattern drafting instructions and garment construction featured in my posts are based on those I learned while in school as well as from observing the professional pattern makers I employed in my classrooms. After much experimentation, these techniques were modified and simplified to make them easy to follow for the beginner. More importantly, they are relevant to the constraints imposed upon by the doll's proportions and should get you up and making clothes in a jiffy.
Inasmuch as my blog is a living, breathing, on-going entity (much like the fashion industry), the number of posts are likely to add up quickly. We keep you up to date with the latest catwalk shows from around the globe as well as other chic events important to the world of fashion. So that you will be able to follow along at any given point, I have attempted to make navigation as simple as possible by creating special "pages" here, under "TUTORIALS" with links to the basic lessons (slopers, patterns) covered at an early time.