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I had a great time visiting some of my favorite thrift stores in metro Detroit this weekend. I picked up some great craft supplies, including a lot of fantastic vintage sewing patterns. My favorite has to be this 1964 Barbie doll offering from McCall’s. Not only could you make some evening outfits for Barbie, Ken could get his western fix, too! My mom always talks about how her dolls of the 1950s, usually Madame Alexanders, really didn’t have outfits for sale as moms made all their daughters’ doll clothing. Both my mom and grandmother made a lot of clothing for my dolls, so I’m excited to add this to my pattern collection – does anyone else collect vintage patterns? Check out the jump for more pattern photos.


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Once I opened up the package, I found these carefully cut pieces of pattern and fabric. Someone had clearly planned on finishing this piece, but never did. The fabric is a lovely black-and-gold brocade.
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The original sewing instructions.
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Chaps for Ken?! Why not?!


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Comments

  1. Tina says:

    I just HAD to comment on this! TOO COOL!!

  2. angie platten says:

    It never got finished because someone realize soon enough that they valued their sanity above all else and, that whoever made these patterns had obviously never sewn themselves. They had never tried to turn down a hem on a circle the size of a pencil for that ridiculous neckline. Been there. Done that… rather, TRIED that. After that, I created my own patterns which did NOT include a pencil neckline to be turned and hemmed. Insane, I tell ya’. :)
    But hey, it does look cool… from the year I was born, too! Love Barbie’s formal dress with the maxi coat!

  3. Angela says:

    Ah. This brings back memories. My mom made barbie clothes for her younger sisters in the 60s. I was the lucky recipient when they grew out of them. I had a couple cool gowns like the one pictured on the pattern.. “F”. I passed them on when I outgrew the barbies. Wish I hadn’t.
    Thanks for sharing!

  4. Rosalyn says:

    I still have clothes for my Ken and Barbie (still have the dolls too) that my mother made for me from this pattern! LOVED IT! I know what a pain it must have been to make and I can appreciate every stitch. Thanks for the memories. I think I’ll get my dolls out and just look at the stuff again for old time sake. LOL

  5. Amanda Burch says:

    I think what I still can’t get over is that my Mother used fabric that was supposed to be for the outfit. She made swimsuits out of a lycra type, suede look for vests and boots, and evening wear from brocade. She did sell them at an unbelievable low price for all of the work that was required, but it made her happy to make them. I have what she saved and the Skipper, Midge, Ken and tons of Barbie dolls to pair up with the clothes. What a great memory to have as I am approaching my 50th birthday this month. Thanks for the post.

  6. Honeybee says:

    Barbie was my first model. I did not have formal patterns–I made Barbie clothes “free-hand”, without patterns, by hand. Then I was given an old Singer treadle sewing machine…I was off and running. That is how I learned to sew. I still sew to this day and will probably sew until the good Lord calls me home. I love these memories.

  7. Suzanne says:

    I learned to sew by using Barbie sewing patterns. I remember that I was using my Mom’s sewing machine that had no backstitch. She’d shown me how to painstakenly tie knots at the end of the seams. I thought that was a nuisance, so I just left the seams “loose”. Needless to say, my Barbies tended to have their clothes fall apart :-}

  8. Melsews says:

    I have my original Barbies and original patterns. My mom found a “Barbie” notion pack back then with miniature zippers and buttons to use when constructing Barbie clothes and I still have some of that left. My grandmother knitted clothes for Barbie and Ken, my mom sewed clothes for them, plus I learned to sew making those clothes. Great memories.

  9. michelle says:

    Whoa, this takes me back. My Mom was a hopeless seamstress, but I had a pink & white version of the cowgirl costume pictured on the pattern, due to some other crafty Mom. My Mom bought it and a number of others at the Paul L. Best School Fair wayyyy back in the day.
    I still have Barbie & most of her things in the fancy duble case I received for Channukah (my daughter more a beanie baby girl).

  10. michelle says:

    Whoa, this takes me back! My Mom was NOT a seamstress, but i had a pink & white version of the cowgirl costume on the front of the pattern, due to some other crafty Mom. My Mom bought several homemade Babrbie outfits at the Paul L. Best Elementary School Carnival.
    Still have Barbie and many of her bits (my daughter was more of a beanie baby girl).I alway appreciated the amazing felt boots & hat – doubly so now.

  11. michelle says:

    Whoa, this takes me back! My Mom was NOT a seamstress, but i had a pink & white version of the cowgirl costume on the front of the pattern, due to some other crafty Mom. My Mom bought several homemade Babrbie outfits at the Paul L. Best Elementary School Carnival.
    Still have Barbie and many of her bits (my daughter was more of a beanie baby girl).I alway appreciated the amazing felt boots & hat – doubly so now.

  12. crafty penguin says:

    I love collecting vintage patterns, mostly from charity shops where they are only 50c to AU$1. My best find has been a 1950′s pattern for a ‘daring’ off the shoulder ball gown. Mostly I buy whatever takes my fancy, but unless they are very rare I don’t buy incomplete or torn ones. I am collecting them in the hope one day I can figure out a way to display them. I have never found a Barbie pattern though! That would be a good day. Not many people seem to want to buy them, so every few weeks I clean out the local St Vinnies shop. They are always surprised that I buy 15 -20 patterns! the illustrations are just so kitsch, or stylish or just plain cute that I can’t resist. I also have a girl’s dress pattern which says ‘not suitable for chubby girls’ on the front :D very politically uncorrect!

  13. Jessica Leigh says:

    My Mom made me a ton of handmade Barbie clothes when I was a little girl. She still has most of the patterns and I still have the clothes! My most favorite Christmas Present was one year when we were very poor, living in a tiny trailer with only one sleepable bedroom. We had a “Charlie Brown” type tree found in the woods (Best Christmas Tree EVER) and Mom spent weeks hand-stitching the Barbie clothes and then bought a small wooden Lane trunk (the kind for jewelry) and filled it with the Barbie Clothes. It was such a memorable and lovely Christmas!