Sunday, May 23, 2010

Re-defining Modest Barbie Style

Modest Barbie Style has modest, durable, and stylish clothing for today's Barbie. This is my goal. To stay true to my goal, and provide a quality product for an economical price, has proven itself to be a challenge and a stretch these last few weeks. I was given the opportunity by a customer to create a few dressier dresses, and I learned some important basics about sewing in the process.

DO you know what a bias
is? I didn't. But now I do. Fabrics like satin are stiff in one direction, and stretchy in the other. Now, if you cut out your pattern pieces in all different directions, and then try to sew the stretchy pieces with the stiff pieces, do you KNOW the havoc that can cause?? I do. believe me. On this pink/gold dress, I wanted the floral piece to cross her body as you see. Getting the multiple pieces to line up while one of them was stretching and the other wasn't, was like living in a bad dream. I called my mom (the all-knowing sewing fairy) and asked her what was wrong with my fabric. Her first question to me was, "Well, did you cut on the bias?" My dumbfounded silence was enough for her to know that I had not.

With that lesson learned, and filed away for next time, I could not let this dress go to the garbage. I worked and worked, using more than an entire bottle of fray-check, and finally achieved sufficient success. So, valuable lesson learned, and one fancy dress to show for it.

Thank heaven that I actually cut the black dress on the bias. Phew.

Lesson #2: Did you know there are multiple kinds of twill? While doing these outfits to the right, I began researching different types of "khaki" and began to discover the amazing versatility of the fabric we call "twill". There is foulard or surah, serge, twill flannel, sharkskin, herringbone, houndstooth, lining twill, denim, jean, drill, covert, chino, gabardine, cavalry twill, and fancy twill. BRILLIANT! I can't wait to get my hands on some of these fabrics!

Lesson #3: Racer-back, sports bra style bras work best for Barbies.

Last lesson: Making quick-sew items for my daughter's friend's birthday party can result in making items too quickly to realize that the dress and shorts are a bit too short. I mean, I DO have a reputation to keep up! This IS Modest Barbie Style after all!
So, what do you think? Tips? Tricks? Comments?


  1. If she was shorter, those shorts would definitely work. I've learned that at school. The tall girls can't get away with wearing what the short girls can. The skirts and shorts can be just as short but they look shorter if there's a lot of leg showing. Know what I mean? It's not fair, but it's true.

  2. Ahh!! The lesson of the bias cut. I first learned about it when making the Bella Pants for my girls. It is written on the pattern pieces so I had to figure it out. The skirt pattern I lent you has the pieces lined up of the bias. If you have any questions, let me know.

  3. i know where you can get over 160 different styles of modest handmade barbie doll clothes for all religions under dolls and accessories