With a new Barbie movie coming out this year, I thought it would be fun to revisit my Barbie blog posts, originally posted in 2009, 2015, and 2019. Here’s a mash-up:
In 2019, my pilot friend Dave Worth saw an exhibit at SFO, San Francisco International Airport. They always have interesting exhibits there. The current one was on 1950’s consumerism. This picture he posted on FB caught my eye. (Barbie was introduced in 1959.)
The Knitting for Barbie canister featured a 2 piece skating outfit for Barbie. It says: Step by step instructions, especially designed for young beginners.
I was wondering just what kind of skating outfit was in that Knitting for Barbie canister, so I googled “knit 2 piece barbie skating outfit” and found this pattern page on Ravelry. It’s a 1962 pattern for a sweater and skinny pants. There’s a picture of the printed pattern, and more googling found a copy of the pattern posted on an old blogspot blog.
The instructions are extensive and quite bossy, with a header that says DO ONE STEP AT A TIME — DO NOT READ AHEAD and a footer that says DO NOT PUT YOUR WORK DOWN BEFORE YOU FINISH THE ROW YOU’RE WORKING ON. The pattern is aimed at beginners, with instructions for ribbing that include moving the yarn back and forth between the needles for knits and purls. I wonder how many of these outfits were knit, and how many were abandoned?
Maybe it wasn’t that hard. At least it was small; the cast on for the back is only 14 stitches.
This is the top half of the skater’s outfit that my Aunt Vivian knit for my Barbie. It’s a completely different outfit from the one in the canister. More on this from my 2009 blog post below. (I’ve been blogging for a while!)
I’ve had this 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 belonged to my Aunt Vivian, who gave it to me when I was in high school. I remember knitting these slippers!
My Thrumbelina Thrummed Slippers have a very similar super simple shaping.
Check out this dress:
Aunt Vivian used to make clothes for our Barbie dolls. Does this look familiar?
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, worn with negative ease on very curvy Barbie.
Mohair winter coat, scarf, hat:
A sequined shell:
And this half of a skater outfit. I love the mohair edging on this. I remember the fabulous flared skirt. I always wanted one just like it for me. I remember sewing dresses with full circle skirts with my Aunt Rose when I was 10; I loved twirling in them. In college I made a dress with a full circle skirt with a drawstring waist and drawstring neckline…out of a bedsheet! No pattern needed.
Check out this elegant skirt.
Especially the waist shaping. No drawstring waist here! Based on the ribbing at the waistline, I’m guessing this was knit from the waist down, so those would be increases for the shaping. Sleuthing!
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?