Sunday, July 11, 2010

I'm a Barbe Girl, in a Barbieless World

Yesterday we had to run errands. I needed to get a birthday gift for my 5yr old niece, and she LOVES Barbie. Do you know how hard it is to find a Barbie Doll for sale in this city?? There are virtually no toy stores in SF!!! There are kids but no toystores, go figure.... On a side note, I also would love to get some used ones for my Art Unraveled class, but you can't buy them in thrift stores anymore. California passed some really overzealous law about lead in kids toys and now no thrift stores sell used kid stuff. That has got to really suck for parents and people who like to collect or use dolls, stuffed animals and toy cars...

Anyway, since we got the car we ran down to Target. OMG I forgot how Target on a Saturday is the land of Zombies...people pushing carts slowly, not looking where they are going and runnign into you. No one apologizes, just dead stares.. shudder.... I got to the Barbie aisle and took my sweet time looking at all of them and finally deciding on which was to be the birthday gift. I use to collect and customize Barbies 10 yrs ago when we had space. Looking at the Cyndi Lauper one and the 1965 Astronaut ones made want to collect again! But I fought off the urge, got the gift one and got out of there as quick as I could.

When I got home, I felt like I needed a break from jewelrymaking. I decided to try and sew a dress. So many of my vintage dresses are falling apart, the fabric is disintegrating. Trying to buy them in my size now is really difficult, so I thought I'd give making one a try. I use to love to sew but as I got older and changed proportions patterns started looking terrible. The outfit would fit across the bust but be baggy in the shoulders and back.

A few yrs ago, I took a fitting class and learned that you need to buy patterns based on your upper bust size then adjust them rather than on your full bust measurement. Commercial patterns are graded for a size B cup and I'm a DDD I had been lucky with patterns when my bust was smaller but now it was a trainwreck. Also my patterns are vintage and most of them aren't my size, so I need to grade up then adjust for bust, as well as height and swayback..... And people wonder why I don't sew more often LOL. I recently got Fit for Real People book, and was ready to tackle pattern adjustment again. I just got the pulled out my cardboard cutting board and realized a cat had used it for pee target practice UGH!!! So I went online and ordered another, this time it will go up on a shelf. I still had the urge to do something, so I decided to try and do one without making a new pattern. Not the best of ideas, but the dress didn't have darts just some pleats in the bodice so I thought it would be ok. It turned out 'ok', I don't like the blousyness of the top but its good enough for bopping around the house and going to the store. I finished it completely buttonholes, buttons and hems an can wear it, that;s the most important thing! I was on a roll, and didn't want to wait for the cutting board so I cut out another one without altering it. I did add some length to the front bodice and thats it. I'll use it as a muslin to see how much I need to alter the pattern. Hopefully not too much!

Tomorrow its back to jewelry work. I have a bunch of resin bezels to do and some earring designs I want to make for the show. I also want to clean up my table. Its a good 3 inches deep and the piles are growing!! Its just too much of a mess to work in.

Now to get a pot of tea and do some Bead Blog Reading!

A Bead A Day If you are a fan of turning flea market finds into shabby chic treasures, stop by A Bead A Day to help Lisa with ideas for using a bead reminiscent of an antique treasure. Jewelry Making Tammy has been thinking about Christmas in July this week, starting with beaded ornament covers.

Art Bead Scene Art Bead Scene offers up a unique inspiration piece for July. Stop by and take the ABS Challenge!

Beading Arts Cyndi wants to know: what does your work say about YOU?

Carmi's Art/Life World A Napoleon themed medallion is this week's resin project with Carmi! Cindy Gimbrone aka Lampwork Diva This week's Wednesday Wire is in the mood - in the mood to make something special so she turns to a fabulous tutorial.

Earthenwood Studio Chronicles Melanie reviews some of the Song Lore pieces she has finished in the first half year of the project.

Lorelei's Blog: Inside the Studio Lorelei was a participant in the first Designer Challenge at the Art Bead Scene. Come over and see what she made with her Humblebeads!

Snap Out of It, Jean! There's Beading to be Done! This book review by Jean discusses making fabulous earrings in 30 minutes flat! How cool is that?

The Writing and Art of Andrew Thornton Honoring a friend who passed away, Andrew hosts a necklace auction on his blog to raise money for a good cause.


Spirited Earth said...

wow i am impressed..altering patterns ..congrats on diving right in there...
i used to sew easy stuff..i've recently been feeling the urge, summer dresses and tops are fun and mostly not crazy making..

on hunting Barbies..ha guess you should've been looking in texas..Barbieland..

Anonymous said...

This is impressive. I love to sew barbie outfits. But it's very hard to find patterns and free ideas on the web. I'd love to share mine, if you want. My barbie has a pretty impressive ward robe :)
I found a great website where the blog owner shows for free how she sews all the outfits on her blog. It is called joliebarbie.
If you have one to share, I'll be glad to see it.