My Favorite Mattel Dolls and Why!

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First it was hard to choose.... except for


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barbieoldnewgreenredo

I'm not a doll "collector", but I held on to my original BMR(no.3) from 1959-60. Currently she is the matriarch of BMR Ltd in my doll stories. She is at least 60 years old, and I treat her as a well botoxed matriarch instead of a teenager. Attitude and wardrobe keeps her grounded in her age.
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barbieoldnewgreenredo

My Happy Family Grandma doll is the first non-rescue I purchased. She's not the easiest to dress, and I envision her in her 50-60's, her character is Mom(Sandi) and I gave her gray streaks some blond. She's Ryan's mother on her left and appears occasionally in my doll stories. She will soon have a storyline and home of her own.
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A girl after my own heart is Vickie, owner of Vickie's Vintage boutique. My first articulated doll, she is an entrepreneur much like myself. She's spirited...

Stranded on an Island
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and paired with a hunky non-Mattel guy, Joe the Detective.
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Vickie's Vintage has been through 4 versions, this was opening day of the first one.

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barbieoldnewgreenredo

Another new doll purchase was Lara,(1/2 off and a 20% off coupon) New Look doll, fully articulated and contemporary. Lara's BMR's niece in my doll stories, and manager of BMR LTD, in Chicago, currently in the GrandView (Grand Hotel). I plan to explore more about her in relationships, back story and working with more rehabs!

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barbieoldnewgreenredo

Here's Ryan again with his dad, Todd. With the limited amount of faces on male Mattel dolls that were articulated, I tried to make him cool, but older. I wish Mattel, made older dolls period...or I will have to start aging some more.
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barbieoldnewgreenredo

Emilie was a gift from a close friend for Christmas. She is lovely--and timeless and her grayhound is exquisite. Her storyline is with Colette as assistant/companion. She has the bendy legs and TNT body, so is very hard to pose, but she will find her own storyline soon.
Week 1
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I'm creating a 20's wardrobe for her for the 2022 Barbie convention in Chicago....YAY! She even has a beauty mark.
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barbieoldnewgreenredo

Carly and Stephen are articulated, and are my first dolls of color. Carly works in VV's boutique and Stephen works with Ryan in the Chicago Department of Housing and Development. Stephen is an old articulation...there are very few articulated Male AA dolls by Mattel. And, I'm going outside the 'Ken's' now for AA males.

PS Colette(Jazz Baby) isn't included here, because she has been quite a pain lately! So There!

My dolls' stories can be found at

oldest https://oldnewgreenredoblog.blogspot.com/

NEWER https://barbieoldnewgreenredo.blogspot.com/



Thank you for visiting, I will try and respond to every question and comment. I will be doing further posts on tutorials for the Hotel and contents.

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Sewing for a Mattel Jazz Baby-Pt 1

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Hi, All. 
barbieoldnewgreenredo

Armed with my measurement chart, I prepared for battle with some vintage patterns. I had purchased downloads for vintage fashion doll patterns from all the way back into the early 1960's-1980's. Earlier patterns were designed for Barbie, Toni, Sindy, and a few others that were floating around. So, since Colette is very tall and thin(not busty) I chose to work with older patterns as they, with added length, were closer in size than say TNT patterns in the shoulders and hips. 

barbieoldnewgreenredo

My first project was a little romper from McCall's 6697 from 1974. I thought the longer leg would look great on the Jazz Baby body. And, I knew I could easily add height to the waist piece. 


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So, far so good, the shorts fit very well. I did fold  a little excess at the back seams and pressed the edges under. 


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Instead of gathering I made a deep pleat for the bust, thinking that would lie flatter on the Jazz Baby trimmer figure, trying on all the while.


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The added an additional 3/8" height to the waistband was perfect. 


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I used a zig-zag stitch hems to blend in with the pattern.  All the seams are the recommended 1/4". 

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And of course Colette is happy since her signature necklace looks great with the diving neckline. 

When downloading files from pattern sellers, I have found inconsistencies in how accurate they print out. I recommend checking your measurements on ALL downloaded patterns---every page...as there will be discrepancies. There are multiple dealers  for downloaded patterns on Etsy. 

Patterns in stores are now $15-20 or so, downloads are much cheaper, but for patterns out of print or a certain number of years old.

barbieoldnewgreenredo

I thought that jacket above the pink-bell bottoms had some great lines. I chose a mini-dot print, dots are always fresh and clean and lined in white, this would be classy enough for Colette's tastes. Testing the pattern against the doll, I extended the length on each piece almost 3/8".
 I also followed the angle of the sleeve edge in to the side---by .... and cut the sides in by a full 1/4". This means the entire jacket will be 1" narrower.  
Lining the jacket with white, nicely finished the sleeve edges, the collar edges, neck edges and front. Do all this before sewing up the sides and after trimming and clipping all the edges, you can turn it all out. Then sew the side seams, and hand finish the bottom edge/or blind stitch on the machine. I didn't want any stitching to show on the white inside, so I used white thread. Any white stitches showing on the black were easily touched up with a permanent marker pen.



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barbieoldnewgreenredo
For the Pants I used Simplicity 6901 from 1963. This is before TNT and fat legs...and better for the hip measurements of Jazz Baby. This is the lavender pant in the I view to the left. I added a full 3/4"+ to the length, and reduced the darts just a bit. 1974 barbie was very small in the waist.

I really like these pants have enough butt room for the dolls to sit down. I like this pattern because it sits a bit higher than bought clothing for that reason. You can taper the legs on the inside as much as you want...just make sure you can get the doll's leg through the bottom. This will be my go-to pattern for woven fabrics.
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I added a fabric tie (cut on the bias) and lined with the white. 


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One thing about dress styles, they come and go and come in style again.---and this winged shoulder is definitely classy look, anytime.


barbieoldnewgreenredo

I'm sure this would work for any doll today, with the proper fitting.


barbieoldnewgreenredo

I used the top from the 6901 pattern for this fabric. I didn't add length as the pattern ran long to begin with. I did cut in to the sides a full 3/8" though. this gave a slimmer body and still leaving plenty of room.


barbieoldnewgreenredo

I used two snaps to hold this together and did all edges with a straight top stitch.




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I used the 6901 pants again for the stretch dark denim, again tapering the leg in from the inside leg seam, tapering from the crotch to the bottom leg edge. 


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Colette thinks they are nice and slim on her long legs. I hand hem the bottom edges.
barbieoldnewgreenredo

The next project is a dress from a purchased original McCall's 6232  from 2010, so post TNT body, and using Barbie's current body shape. I chose the silver purple woven fabric for a cocktail dress. I extended the length of the skirt by an 1" at mid thigh on both pieces. 


barbieoldnewgreenredo

If I make this again, I will do a full length fold on the pattern to bring the back in just a bit. Other than that, everything is pretty much to pattern.

I also cut out a similar dress to compare for knits McCall's 6876 which was a downloaded pattern originally from 1994. Definitely styled for the TNT body, I kept this in mind while fitting the pattern. I extended the body 1/4" below the bust, and 1/4" below the hip as TNT's are taller than the original body type. I also cut the armholes up a full 1/4" tapering from 0" to 1/4" at the neck seam. I fitted the original neck piece to the new images.


barbieoldnewgreenredo

The beauty of working with knits as they are a bit more forgiving and ususally don't unravel. This sequin looking fabric was quite light-weight and gave my machine some issues. Eventually I found the needle would become gummed up from going through the plastic 'sequins', and had to be cleaned regularly. 
I ended up hand sewing all the edges and the neck piece.


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Colette likes the cut-up leg, of course you can let it go as high as you want.



barbieoldnewgreenredo

The top could be smaller across the bust. Since I took off the extra 1/4" at the shoulder, I suppose I could tighten the bodice from the center front, if I use this again. (Which I will) this is a classic style and certainly still usable for a 'performer' that my doll is.


barbieoldnewgreenredo

The back looks great and the lines are fine. I did roll an extra bit in the turning the back slit and used one hook and eye at the top.


barbieoldnewgreenredo

Colette says, magnifique'!

Tips---for adapting patterns for your dolls, measure-measure-measure, everything. I'm not going to make a recommendation for any one company with down-load patterns, as I found discrepancies with all of them. 
You may have to adjust your printers parameters and % to get an accurate pattern. But, then always measure your doll, and the pattern pieces. 

barbieoldnewgreenredo


I will eventually (when perfected) post the altered pattern pieces for the Jazz Baby, but I hope this helps to give you an idea how to adjust your own patterns. 

Thank you for visiting, I will try and respond to every question and comment. I will be doing further posts on tutorials for the Hotel and contents.

Please follow me at these great blog parties: