I’ve mentioned before that, at the age of nine or so, I began my long and illustrious (snerk) sewing career on that most time-honoured of passtimes, making doll clothes.
Barbie clothes, actually.
Ok, clothes for Barbie’s friends, relations, little sisters, etc., mostly. As a non-blonde myself I took great pains to make sure my doll collection represented as much diversity of body shape and colouring as I could, given the medium (I was, however, a Barbie snob; no knock-off dolls allowed). Also finding a Ken doll that didn’t look doofy was a miracle, so when I did, I bought two.
And, when my father came up to visit us for Christmas and incidentally divest his
basement of the horde of boxes I left there when we moved out of Saskatchewan, he brought the boxes containing the remnants of my childhood Barbie collection. So I took the opportunity to document, rather briefly, some relics of my first sewing adventures.
You may notice the lack of actual Barbies in any of these photos. This is because when my kids reached doll-playing age, I very cheerfully gave them the barbies. I’m not a collector. I loved Barbie because she was a blank slate, a vessel devoid of personality that could become any and everyone I desired. It wasn’t about preserving anything about the original doll, ever.
Of course, when you give a 15-year-old plastic doll to a three-year-old, well… let’s just say the attrition was fast and brutal. Necks are a particular area of weakness in these dolls (which mostly dated to the late 80s and early 90s)… it took Tyo only a few months to destroy most of them.
Ah, well. I always liked Skipper better, anyway.
Of course, clothes were only part of it. There were entire worlds to create. Computer components (see above), food (not pictured… it included beads for “fruit”, bits of shredded foam for bread and cheese, and little snippets of leather for dried meat…), and, of course, books.
Ok, Peter’s Ken dolls may be a bit better dressed…
but this is totally where it all began!
… why yes, I am a total dork. Don’t act surprised.