Barbie’s fashionable knit wardrobe

This is adapted from a post from 2009. There’s some good stuff back in the archives!

I’ve had this booklet/magazine that’s been on my knitting shelf for what seems like forever.

booklet

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!

slippers

My Thrumbelina Thrummed Slippers have a very similar super simple shaping.

thrumbelina thrummed slippers

Check out this dress:

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, at Mom’s house. 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. Stylish sheath dresses:

sheaths

Mohair winter coat, scarf, hat:

the pink

A sequined shell:

shell

And this half of a skater outfit. I love the mohair edging on this. I wonder where the fabulous flared skirt went? I always wanted one just like it for me. I remember sewing dresses with full circle skirts with my Aunt Rose (who later taught me to knit); I loved twirling in them. In college I made a simple full circle skirt with a drawstring waist…out of a bedsheet!

skater

Check out this elegant skirt.

skirt

Especially the waist shaping!

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. Aunt Rose taught me to knit when I spent the summer with her when I was 14. How lucky was I? Two aunts with crafty skills, one on each side of the family.

Who taught you to knit?

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16 responses to “Barbie’s fashionable knit wardrobe

  1. Your Barbies were quite stylin’! LOL My Barbie wore OFF-THE-RACK and the *rack* was the Sears toy department. 😉

    My alcoholic Aunt Shirley taught me to knit. In between martinis and cigarettes, she was quite the talented knitter. I loved her. I thought she was SO cosmopolitan compared to my “frumpy” Mom. Little did I know…….

    • My Barbies had no off the rack ensembles, and at the time, I really wanted some. Now I know how much better the handknits were! Just like real life…

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  2. Man, if I’d known how to knit when I had Barbies, I would have knit them so many things. Even now, I wish I was in some kind of close contact with someone who might appreciate some Barbie wardrobe enhancement, because I think it’d would be a fun way of using up leftover sock yarn. Alas, the only close wee ones I have are two nephews whose father is unlikely to support the notion of Barbies for his boys. Maybe my brother will knock someone up one of these days…

    I mostly learned from a book, with some assists when I got stuck from a couple of co-workers

    • Your comment about leftover sock yarn made me realize…I don’t think Aunt Vivian did other fine gauge knitting. I think she purchased yarn specifically for these Barbie knits. That’s pretty special!

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  3. My grandmother was the creative force in my life. She was a tailor and she tried very hard to teach me to sew clothing. I do have a few pieces of doll clothing that I made as a child. Thank goodness she took pity on me and also taught me to quilt and crochet!

    • I don’t remember ever seeing my grandmother (the only one that I knew) do handwork of any kind. Her daughter, my Aunt Rose, was taught to knit by a woman in the neighborhood, who was a stickler for correct work and ripping! Aunt Rose was much gentler with me than that. (Or maybe my work was always perfect…hmmmm)

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  4. I learned how to knit from a lady who took pity at me because I was so bored waiting for my mom at the gym 😛 I don’t even remember her name! I dabbled in crochet for a while until knitting got me again in high school.. my first few sweaters were hilariously dreadful.

  5. Your barbies were so stylish!

    I taught myself to knit. My grandma taught me to sew. I think I got a craft pamphlet at binary and taught myself crochet, knitting and just refused to tat. There was various help from knitters along the way, but mostly just books and later videos. YouTube is fabulous.

  6. My mom and sister taught me. My Barbies have many of those same outfits! Mine even has a cashmere suit.

  7. First thing I remember knitting was for my Barbie. A skirt! Not the one pictured above.

  8. what a great trip down memory lane. My aunt and I use to pour over McCall’s magazines to find Barbie clothes to knit. I think I still have some that my daughter kept for her Barbie. Such a cool post.

  9. Those are precious! My aunt used to knit some Barbie doll clothes for my doll, too! I need to see if I can find them.

  10. My mother, nonchalantly. I learned to make golf club covers because I did not know how to make the thumb for a mitten. I started needlepoint, then petit point and then got arthritis in my 20’s so have stuck to cooking. btw I was never allowed to have a Barbie, and after hearing my favorite teacher’s lecture (RIP, Fr. Cap) I’m glad. Not only was she a bad role model, people knitted her clothing to fit! Thanks for a trip through the past.

  11. Juli Sampson

    Oh my gosh–this brings back memories! My grandmother knit me a whole set of Barbie clothes, and it included the cape and strapless dress as well as an angora sweater set. This must have been where she got the patterns.