Dressing up Barbie dolls for collectors and children has been a cherished hobby and activity for decades. While there are a lot of fashionable outfit packs in stores, it can be harder to find vintage styled patterns for Barbie to wear. With basic sewing skills you can make vintage Barbie homemade doll clothes for very little cost and using very little fabric. Even if you only find one pattern you like, you can change up the fabric and accessories to create new styles.
Trace and cut your fabric along the pattern pieces. Sew a small zigzag stitch around the perimeter of each pattern piece after you cut it to keep the edges from fraying. Follow the directions of your pattern, if provided, for piecing the outfit together or follow the general steps below as a guide.
Make tops by stitching together any arm pieces to form a long or short tube. Stitch the bodice of the top together, leaving the back open. Attach the arm pieces to the arm holes, or hem the arm holes if the piece is sleeveless.
Make trousers by sewing down each leg from the crotch to the ankle, or shorter depending on the pant. Sew together each leg by sewing from the front to the crotch of the trousers to halfway up the back of the trousers, leaving a portion open for fastening.
Sew skirts by cutting out a single piece of fabric and hemming the bottom edge or attaching lace along the bottom. Gather the waist together so the skirt puffs out. Sew the gathering in place. Sew up most of the back of the skirt, leaving a portion open for fastening.
Create dresses by sewing the top portion of the dress first as in Step 3 and then attaching it to a skirt portion such as from Step 5, leaving the top open in the back for fastening.
Attach strips of Velcro to the backs of tops, trousers, skirts, and dresses to close the item around Barbie's body. Add any lace, beadwork, or sequins to the outfits as desired.
Whether you are dressing an actual vintage Barbie or a newer Barbie with vintage clothes you may need to make adjustments to patterns to accommodate the slight differences in the two dolls such as a slightly larger waist on the newer dolls.
Tips and warnings
- Whether you are dressing an actual vintage Barbie or a newer Barbie with vintage clothes you may need to make adjustments to patterns to accommodate the slight differences in the two dolls such as a slightly larger waist on the newer dolls.
Things you need
- Vintage style pattern
- Sewing machine or hand sewing needles
- Lace, sequins, or other decorative items, as desired