Monday, April 1, 2013

My 1st Project Runway

Barbie Fashion Project Runway

During the school holidays last December, my niece in Penang, Kyra came to me saying that her mommy (my sister Cindy) told her that I was good at sewing and asked that I make some new clothes for her Barbie dolls. How could I possibly reject an adorable 7 years old’s request? So, I accepted her request and that gave birth to my 1st ever Barbie Fashion project runway! Smile

Like most girls , I often played dressing up dolls in my childhood days, but never a Barbie.  Barbie seemed to become popular only after my “time”.  At my tender age, the popular dressing up doll games was paper dolls, not this type of sexy plastic doll.  I guess some of you ladies would know what this paper doll game was about. Yes, it was a paper game made of A4 size thin cardboard, with a printed dolly girl figure and other colourful and fashionable dresses with tab and pre-cut tearing line. To play, we just had to press on the tear line to detach the doll and dresses. To dress the doll, the tab of the dress was folded and fixed on to the paper doll.  I still could remember that I used to design new paper dresses for these dolls from my own cardboard. Now with Barbie, instead of paper, I used scrap cloth that I salvaged. 

At first I did not obtain the right measurement from the Barbie doll. I did online search for Barbie free fashion templates and downloaded those as sample. However after making a few dresses,  it seemed very difficult for me to get the measurement right unless I had a doll to try on. I asked around my lady colleagues to see if any of them had daughters who had an extra Barbie doll to loan to me for this project. I managed to get one from a co-worker whose daughter had more than 10 Barbie dolls and wouldn’t mind to lend me one of her least favourites.

I took a few weekends and some late nights to come up with the following collection. I tried rushing to complete them in order to bring them to my niece during the Chinese New Year holidays for her to dress her Barbie with new clothes to celebrate New Year too. Smile

I must say, thanks to this project, it brought back many of my happy childhood doll playing memories. Not only I got to fulfil my fashion designing dream by coming up with series of fashion to dress up her Barbie dolls, I got to experience playing Barbie which was not available back in my time.

Shared below were my experimental Barbie Fashion collection.

Elegant Evening Gowns
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One dress 2 ways
My own design gowns, with scarf  and hair accessories.
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Casual Wears
Matched with bags, scarf and hat.
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 Sexy hot bikini swim suits
Using stretchable fabric recycled from my evening dress, after I had shortened the dress into mini skirt.
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Kyra and her Barbie dolls performing Chinese New Year Barbie Fashion Show


The Project Runway Models

Kyra and her models enjoying high tea



  1. You are so talented! What an amazing job you did, sewing such small items is not easy especially clothing, lol. Your niece is one lucky girl. I do believe your Barbie fashion show was a huge success, congrats!

    Best wishes,

    1. Hi Sheri:
      Thanks, that really made my day! :-)
      Yes, you are right, not easy to sew tiny pieces of cloth especially the bikini.

  2. Hi Yin,
    Bravo, Bravo Bravo!! it's like watching a real project runway!! hahah.. very nicely done and thank you for bring back those "paper dolls" memories.. haha.. me too used to draw my very own paper dolls and dressed them up with dresses that were cut out from my exercise books :)

    1. Hi Sylvia,
      Good to hear from you. I hope you have settled down in KL.
      Hahaha... those time I used to flip thru the fashion magazine and copy the latest design patterns for the dolls too!
      With only one boy, I do not have a daughter to share the Barbie fun, so I shared with my niece. During the project time, I even have an urge to get myself a Barbie to play hahaha.......

  3. Yin, this how many girls decide to become designers for Barbie dolls . I how you made so many outfits for doll. How about a sarong? I from Hawaii and sarong is popular for heading to beach or just for outing. I sew also but in states they have ready made patterns to sew clothing fast and easy.

    My mom is the designer know all about pattern making with a degree in designing. I am into real estate.

    Vickie Chen

    1. Dear Vickie:
      Aloha, glad to have visitor from Hawaii. Sarong is also popular in Malaysia the Batik designs normally use on sarong now evolved into fashionable dresses and shirts too.
      Understand US very active in promoting DIY hence lots of ready templates but in Asia we still a bit behind.
      For next project runway, may use old sarong to make some outfits as your recommended.
      Thanks and hope to see you again.



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