A sewing background definitely helps when taking on Barbie clothes. I found a lovely site that addressed some of the issues when sewing these wee things. I was glad to read her recommendations and will add some of my own as I go along.
I made three outfits from this pattern. It’s a vintage pattern – you don’t find many new Barbie patterns in the stores these days. Instead many kind-hearted seamstresses have taken the time to lay the pieces out and photograph them, often with a ruler alongside so that you know how to size them when printing, and then upload them free of charge for anyone to use.
I sewed the pants and top with cotton broadcloth, always easy to work with.
Hem top and bottom, followed by sides.
I used Heat’n’Bond bought by the roll, and cut it lengthwise into quarters. The small thin pieces allow you to fold the hems over and iron them in place as you move along. It also greatly reduces fraying on an unfinished edge (and I rapidly discovered that a finished edge adds WAY too much bulk). The Heat’n’Bond holds extremely well but I still ran a line of topstitching along each edge.Make straps using Heat’n’Bond. If you lightly spray the fabric with water, the first hem will finger-press quite easily; the Heat’n’Bond fuses the two turned edges.
Attach the straps and add velcro to the centre back.
Hem the bottoms and the waistline edges. If you try to do this at the end, there will be no room for your fingers or your sewing machine to work!
Sew the outer side seams. Press. To reduce bulk and minimize fraying, sew a second stitching line close to the first and cut excess fabric away.
Sew the crotch seams, leaving an opening at the centre back. Hem centre back opening and add velcro.
Two More Outfits with Same Top plus Skirt
I chose fussier fabric for these two and found it best to line the skirts with ultra-light fusible interfacing to stabilize them a bit. They were so slippery!
Every stage was a bit of a learning one, and I’m looking forward to the next batch of wee clothes!