Blast from the past

Courtney’s post on Retro Knitting reminded me of a booklet/magazine that’s been on my knitting shelf for what seems like forever.


This one is a 1965 reprint of a magazine originally published in 1952. It used to belong to my Aunt Vivian, who gave it to me when I was in high school. I remember knitting these slippers!


And check out this dress:


Aunt Vivian used to make clothes for our Barbie dolls. Does this look familiar?

that dress

The sash is long gone. I found this dress, along with some other treasures. The other items are from more doll clothing booklets, and I have those, too. Check out what a fashionably dressed Barbie was wearing in the late ’60’s and early ’70’s. Styling sheath dresses:


Mohair winter coat, scarf, hat:

the pink

A sequined shell:


And this half of a skater outfit. I love the mohair edging on this. I wonder where the fabulous flared skirt went? I’ll have to check with my sister; she has the other half of the doll clothes!


Check out this elegant skirt.


Especially the waist shaping!


Aunt Vivian loved to knit and crochet. She made lots of clothes for our dolls, and vests for us. In her later years she knit many, many hats for the homeless. How lucky was I? Two knitting aunts, one on each side of the family.

Oh, by the way, I’ve been backwards sleuthing: Aunt Rose must have taught me to knit the summer I was 14, not 16. Beginning the summer I was 15 almost 16, I worked in a salmon cannery in Alaska during the summers, to earn money for college. Hey, I’ve just gained two years of knitting history!

19 responses to “Blast from the past

  1. I remember them ALL!!! I thought I was in possession of them. Guess I’ll have to check to see what’s in the sack in the attic.

  2. I loved this posting! I want to see those things in real life.

  3. Oh I love those Barbie clothes!

  4. My Barbie and Midge would have LOVED sharing those outfits!

  5. So fun, my Barbie’s had crocheted things from my Grandma.

  6. LOL. My sister used to sew 1800’s Barbie clothes. Now she sometimes knits teeny sweaters as Christmas ornaments.

  7. I’m beginning to wish DD liked dolls instead of dragons so I could try and make some of those.

  8. Those are great Barbie clothes! I love hearing about everyone’s knitting history, as you well know. Thanks for sharing all this wonderful information with us!

  9. That’s awesome! I love finding old things, but old knit things are the best! 🙂

  10. Wow…I have an old booklet like that but it’s for crochet. Those doll clothes are awesome. I just love old things like that.

  11. Those doll clothes are GORGEOUS. I love that you saved them. It inspires me to keep knitting for my 6-year-old’s American Girl doll. Thanks for the fun post! 🙂

  12. One of these days, I’ll have to show you all my sassy GI Joe outfits.

  13. The running joke in my family was that when my sister and I played Barbies, I used to love to sew and make clothes for mine, and do their hair. My sister would just staple or sticky tape some fabric around hers and spend her time constructing make believe situations for them and her!

    Love those clothes!

  14. I love this post! I actually have some Barbie knitting patterns I’ve knit up for Christmas gifts; so much fun to do!

  15. My Barbie has the orange drop stitch outfit in lavender fingering with the shiny thread in it. I learned to knit using size 0 needles and fingering weight.

  16. My mother didn’t knit me Barbie clothes, but she did sew them – I wish I had kept them, but I think we gave all of my Barbie stuff to a young neighbor when I outgrew them. Love that you kept them!

  17. My only doll was a green faced witch.
    Maybe if I had had a normal doll filled childhood I would have learned to knit instead of decorating witch hats with moon & star beads.

  18. I used to sew Barbie clothes all the time. My mom would give me scraps of fabric. I’d buy real patterns. Once the sewing machine needle went right through my index finger–little trip to the ER for a tetanus shot followed that one. Once she gave me a scrap of a fur stole she was lining so Barbie could have a fur too. (I still have the human sized fur–can’t think of what to do with it as I will never wear it.) Anyway, thanks for the trip down memory line.

  19. what treasures! I love these. The tiny sequined top is my favourite!