Earlier this summer I spotted a Barbie doll while surfing Ebay. It was a red-haired doll called a “bubble cut” from the early 60s. It was one of a mixed lot of dolls that someone was selling for a more than fair price. Feeling nostalgic (this was the first Barbie I owned as a child) and knowing that older dolls could be somewhat valuable caused me to impulsively click on the “buy it now” button.
I did not pay a lot of attention to what I was actually purchasing. The following week when the box arrived, I was surprised to find that I hadn’t just purchased a few Barbies. I had bought 26 dolls! I had only wanted the one doll and really, I wasn’t even sure that I wanted that one. What was I going to do with so many?
The other dolls were recent models and in very good condition. Some were even new in sealed boxes. Most were Barbies but there were others too. I had to ask friends with young daughters to help identify them.
My sister Julie, and I have been stuck in our homes for weeks since the pandemic began and we both could use a new project. It occurred to me that maybe the dolls could give us something new and fun and worthwhile to do. If we sewed a wardrobe for each doll, added some shoes and accessories and styled their hair, we could package them and donate the dolls to a Christmas toy drive. Julie has always been a bit of fashionista anyway. I knew she would be open to designing and sewing clothing for these naked ladies. I had some fabric stored away plus buttons and trims and enough other supplies to get us started.
And that is how the Christmas Barbie project got started…