Monday 24 October 2011

Barbie and Ken...

In my last post, I showed you these things pictured to the left, but didn't tell you what they are.

Yes, I know, they do look a little unusual and they are definitely NOT examples of fine sewing, but they will be well used and we had lots of fun making them.

Maybe the following picture will help you.....

Ken and his two friends, Barbie and Barbie, like to go swimming. The problem was, they didn't own a swimming costume. Out came an old aerobics costume from the 1990s. Yes, I know, I should have taken a photo, but I didn't, so you'll just have to use your imagination.

First up, I looked at the outfits Ken and his two friends already had. Eeeek!!! Have you ever seen such fiddly little clothes, all neatly sewn with velcro fastenings? Onto idea number two. I downloaded a couple of free Ken and Barbie patterns from the Internet. The instructions were as detailed as those for a child's dress.

No, I just held bits of the aerobics costume around the dolls and hacked into the fabric. I then used a combination of hand and machine sewing to create rather brightly coloured costumes that can be pulled on and off without fastenings.

I'm sure you've worked it out by now. Here are Ken and one of his friends lying on their new beach towels.

Little Miss is at that stage where she is quite confident cutting pieces of paper, but she's not yet up to sewing. How to involve her in this project? She chose the ric rac and positioned each piece onto the towelling. She then had the very important job of cutting the ric rac to just the right length. The narrow ric rac she could manage if I held it taut. For the wider ric rac, I made the first little cut, then she could finish it. After the ric rac was sewn on, she also cut the threads as close as she could to the fabric.

I tend to be a perfectionist and no matter what the project or its purpose, I still like to do it properly. Making Ken and the two Barbies' swimming gear, has shown me that not all projects need to be done to perfection. These little outfits will be loved and used just as much as if I had spent hours sewing them with perfect little seams and fastenings. Improvisation can be good.

During October, The Artsy Girl Connection is highlighting Upcycled projects. I've entered Ken and Barbies' swimming gear. Head on over and have a look at lots of awesome upcycling projects. You can even vote for your favourite.

Jill, over at Creating My Way to Success, has an ongoing Clothes Recycling Linkup, with over 158 fabulous ideas to turn old clothes into something new and useful.


  1. This is awesome! :o) I just love their new clothes and stylish beach towels! These are the kinds of things I went nuts over when I was a little girl! Loved when my mom would make something for my Barbies. :o) I'll bet your Little Miss is in heaven! :o)

  2. Totally cute, Pam! A fun read!

  3. Those swimming outfits are awesome! I'd love some togs for myself like that! love the shimmery fabric!

    And thanks for the shoutout for my clothes upcycling linky! I'm off to check out the other one now!

    Thanks for linking to a Round Tuit!
    Hope you have a great week!
    Jill @ Creating my way to Success

  4. Wow.. they look so cute and you just know she'll love them because she helped..

    I remember my barbies had a pair of pink, high waster jeans.. a few years ago I came across the Barbie tub and just stared at these little pink pants completely fascinated.. how did anyone ever make such perfect mini pants?
    I remember struggling to get my barbie dolls into them but the struggle to make them must have been so much worse!

  5. you know the saying "courisity kills the cat", thanks for letting us know what that cute little project was!

  6. how fun,Pam...your post brought a BIG smile to my face and it also reminded me of barbie dolls I had. I wish I knew how to sew then.

    The beach towels are cool and I think Little Miss had a lot of fun doing the project. I had fun just reading it. :)

    Looking forward to seeing your new project very soon. You are so creative!

  7. Hi, I found you on the Creative Me Monday hop and yours was the first one that caught my eye. Had to stop by and become a new follower, LOVING the Barbie stuff, so cute.
    Jennifer from Just Wedeminute--

  8. Barbie and Ken's upcycled swimsuits are AWESOME! super cute!

  9. Hehehe... what lovely sparkly costumes! You should send them up here for a holiday by the sea side :D

  10. So great that you managed to involve Little Miss in this project. I bet it will make it all extra special for her.
    I totally agree about how fiddle dolls clothes can be. The ones that I have made have been for bigger dolls and even they drove me nuts!
    Great job!

  11. love these - they're so blingtastic! You really can't beat the 80s for lurid, shimmery fabric! Looks like Ken and his harem are set for some fun poolside

  12. Very cool! The most stylish Brabie dolls I've seen in a while! :o)

  13. What a great idea. I would love for you to link this up to More the Merrier Monday. It starts every Sunday night and lasts through Wednesday.

  14. That is so cute! Look how stylish they are. This is so fun. I am a new follower from Creation Corner. Vicky from

  15. Too cute! These are great! Found you via The Creative Paige! Love for you to link to our Things I've Done Thursday Link party. I also have a give-away going on for a custom blog button!


  16. Oh so cute! I use to make my barbie's new outfits when I was little. I would use the scraps from my mother's latest sewing project. I wish she had sewed with such pretty shimmery fabric.

    I love your blog and am your newest follower.


  17. too funny! I always begged my mom to make me barbie clothes....and she always put it off, now I know why! Thanks for linking up with Eat, Grow, Sew!

  18. wow that is awesome. I hope one day i can make barbie clothes for a little girl. how fun. Thank you so much for sharing and for linking up to last weeks show and share. We hope to see you and your newest project on Wednesday.

    A mommy's life...with a touch of YELLOW

  19. Thank you for your nice comment on my fairy dolls. I love these Barbie outfits - takes me right back to my childhood when I used to make doll's clothes!

  20. Sorry, I meant thank you for your comments on my jeans - bit of a mix up there replying to comments! Happy new year.

  21. Lol oh barbie and ken! I have found the same thing looking at instructions for doll clothes. Tiny tiny versions of adult garments- ugh! I'm impressed with your hacking :)


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