Way back in another life I used to knit small items and sell them by the basket full at crafts fairs, one of the many hippie-esque ways I put myself through college. It never ceased to amaze me that tiny Barbie outfits made from mere scraps of fancy yarn sold well for $12 – $15, and this was 20 years ago. NO pattern is necessary! Make a simple tube big enough to go around Barbie and long enough to be a gown, miniskirt, etc. For “evening” clothes use up your scraps of “glam” yarn.
Do something fun for the strapless top of the dress: a few rows of eyelash, etc, and the rest in stocking stitch or a simple pattern or stripes done in a coordinating or contrasting yarn.
Make a “fur” wrap and/or hat to go with the outfit from a bit of mohair or angora.
For presentation, draw a Barbie outline on a piece of hot pink card stock, photocopy, and pin the completed items to the body outline, then slip into a large ziplock bag.
Worsted-weight yarn gives a “chunky knit” look to wee Barbie, otherwise just knit at sock-weight or baby-weight gauge for the dress, using fingering-weight, sock-weight or baby-weight yarn. If you use a heavier yarn (eyelash, chenille, mohair, whatever) for the bodice, just pick up enough stitches to go around Barbie when switching to the finer weight yarn for the skirt.
For sleeveless shirts, make a tube long enough to go from Barbie’s hip to the underarm. Divide fore and aft (no shaping necessary). Knit the front half for an inch, switch to smaller needles, and work until the piece measures from underarm to top of shoulder. Cast off. Work the back the same way. Make a shoulder join using the first few stitches on each shoulder and you have a nice boat neck opening. For a crew neck, go around the neck opening with one round of single crochet. For a turtleneck, pick up stitches all around, knit for half an inch, and cast off.
Barbie pants are easy too: Make two glove fingers long enough for Barbie’s legs, then join on dpn’s as though making a two-finger glove, then knit up to Barbie’s waist and cast off. Run a bit of elastic through the cast-on edge.
A 14″ piece of I-cord done in eyelash yarn makes an ab-fab Barbie “feather boa.”
I made lots of Barbie clothes for relatives when their kids were that age. It’s a fun way to experiment with patterns and use up odd bits. These make fun, simple Barbie clothes if the child in question isn’t into the fancy ball gown Barbie stuff.
Copyright © 2001 Dez Crawford. Used with permission.