How to make shoes for a flat-footed Barbie

My niece is turning 4 soon, and an order for new shoes for her flat footed Barbie has arrived so I set to work!

These are now the 3rd and 4th pair I’ve made for flat footed Barbie dolls. The shoes for these flat feet are very hard to find, and when you do find them, they are overpriced. So I make my own, and it’s very easy. The first pair of flat-footed shoes I made were these slip on pink shoes which went to Darwin with my niece. The second pair I made were these orange sandals with ankle strap, which were for a flat footed doll I picked up at an op shop for $1. I’m most happy with those ones, they worked out quite well.

To make these doll shoes, I use some recycled black vinyl, I can’t even remember where I picked it up from. You sometimes can find this on packaging or old things you might throw away, so keep an eye out for it, you don’t need much. Any kind of flexible plastic you can pierce with a needle will do. I trace around the soles of the doll’s feet to make a paper template, then trace that with white crayon onto the vinyl, and cut out the soles with sharp scissors. Then I pierce the plastic with the largest needle I have, pushing it all the way through, 3 times each side where the shoes strap will go.

I then use my 1.25mm crochet hook, and push that through the needle holes to make sure they are big enough. Then using fine crochet cotton, the first row is three single stitches (UK dc), then 4 rows of 2 ch 3 dc (UK trbl). The last row is some slip stitches and singles again to attach to the other side. Sometimes I’ll add an ankle strap of chain stitches like I did with these red ones. I always put the shoes on before finishing the final stitch to make sure they’ll fit. They don’t take long to do, especially as I chose not to spend too much time fiddling on these ones.

In the package I’m sending to Darwin, I’m also popping in some doll knickers which I made ages ago using a pattern I found at crochetville. I’m not happy with them, they have ties but I’ll pop them in the package none the less.

So I had a go at making my own Barbie doll knickers, they are ‘boyleg hipsters’ so very easy to make. They simply pull on and sit on the hips, which will be easier for my 4 year old niece to dress her doll.

My own pattern for Barbie doll ‘boyleg hipsters’
1. ch 28, sl st to form ring, treble into ea ch (US dc), sl st, do not turn, 28 stitches
2. ch 2, treble into ea treble (US dc), sl st, do not turn, 28 stitches
3. ch 2, treble ea into next 5 treble, turn
4. sl st into next treble, ch 2, treble into next 2 treble, turn
5. ch 2, treble ea in next 2 treble, sl st into 3 trebles on opposite side of ring to form two leg holes
fasten off and turn inside out to hide the seam at the crotch.

Then I just had to make a simple pull on party dress, didn’t I?
My own pattern for a pull-on dress for Barbie
* using 3.5mm hook, gauge depends on the yarn and how many stitches it takes to go around the chest, check every few rows to check fit.
1. ch enough ch to go around chest, sl st to form ring, pull on over hips up to chest to check fit, ch 2, trb in ea trb (US dc), sl st in 1st trb, 23 trb
2. ch 2, trb in ea trb, sl st in 1st trb, 23 trb
3 – 8 repeat row 2
9. ch 2, 2 trb in ea trb, sl st in 1st trb, 46 trb
10. ch 2, 2 trb in ea trb, sl st in 1st trb, 92 trb
11. ch 2, 1 trb in ea trb, sl st in 1st trb, 92 trb
12. in bottom of row 1 using contrast yarn, ch 1, dc (US sc)  in bottom of ea trb, sl st in 1st ch, fasten off


Purple and White Stripes Baby Jacket

How many of these things am I going to need? I do not know, but I just feel like making a bunch!

My baby is expected in summer, so I really don’t know how many of these will be worn if at all! I guess if they don’t get used they might make nice gifts for someone else. The jackets I’ve been making are different sizes, so maybe some will fit for the first winter. I’ve already started on my next baby jacket which is white!

This one was easy and boring to do. If I use this pattern again, I’ll try and use a more interesting stitch. I think the stripes saved me from absolute monotony! This simple baby set pattern comes from the Lion Brand Yarn website, to access their free patterns all you have to do is register. This is the same site I got the baby socks pattern from.

I drew up this simple pattern on a square piece of card. This way I could do it while watching tv, when I prefer not to have to read patterns. The square board is as big as the back of the jacket, and I’ve made markings for the sleeves and front sections. This pattern really was very straight forward and easy, all you have to do is make 5 rectangular shapes and sew them together. But instead of making up the sleeves separately, I just worked them right onto the made up vest in rounds.

I used my left over purple and white dimples yarn from Lincraft, I think I used the 4mm hook. I chose some very cute recycled flower buttons, and gave them a quick scrub with Earth Choice detergent and a recycled toothbrush so they came up just like new.

Although this is newborn size, it looks a bit bigger than that to me.

❤ ❤

Simple Blue Pouch

This was very easy to whip up, it took me just over an hour using some nice blue wool from my left overs bag.

An internet friend asked me if I could make a pouch for his GPS which measures 125mm x 76mm x 16mm. Usually I don’t sell what I make, preferring to make gifts for family, but I figured that this wouldn’t be too hard so gave it a go.

My pattern for a simple pouch
1. ch 18, treble (US dc) in 3rd ch from hook, tr in ea chain to end, ch 2, turn (16 trebles)
2. treble in each treble, ch 2, turn
3-25. continue row 2 until piece measures 25cm long (about 25 rows)
26. fold at 12th row, making a base of one row, 3 dc (US sc) in ea space down the sides joining two sides together, last space has 1 dc then 2 dc in base row, dc in bottom of ea treble of row 12 to form bottom ridge, dc up the other side like the first side, ch 36 (long enough to be twice the width to form draw string).
27. cut the yarn and thread through first row of trebles, sl st in 1st ch to form draw string, fasten off
LoL! well that’s my pattern as I understand it, I don’t know if anyone else will!

I wrapped it up in some recycled tissue paper with a tiny homemade tag and posted it off to Western Australia! It fit inside a prepaid envelop which only cost $1.40 which I thought wasn’t too bad at all.

Today these fotos came back from my friend in W.A. I’m very pleased to see the GPS actually fits inside. Really, why wouldn’t it? Oh, I don’t know, I thought I might have made it too small!!

I’m glad something I made so simply is a useful thing!

❤ ❤ ❤

P.S. Thanks to Louis for the fotos featuring the GPS! ❤

Four Little Lost Angels

As I was taking them home from the market, I knew I would have so much fun cleaning up these second-hand dolls and dressing them in new crochet outfits, perhaps even with angel wings! In the end I settled on summer dresses complete with pretty bonnets and mary jane slippers. These tiny Kelly dolls are just 4.5 inches tall.

I first found the little blonde in a washing basket full of toys. The stall holder was busy selling a set of Dora dolls, so when I said I would like the tiny doll, she dismissed me saying I could have it for free. Well, I wouldn’t take something so special for free, it just wasn’t right! Her hair is in excellent condition, and she even has two near new shoes. I was thinking to give a dollar, but when we looked in David’s wallet a 50 cent coin was sitting on top so I grabbed that and pressed it into hand of the man that was helping her with the stall. I think it must have been Karma, because later on at another stall, I saw the three other dolls, all with different coloured hair and all just 50 cents each! It was so uncanny it must have been fate that these four tiny Kelly dolls should meet in this way!

Crochetting some clothes for these dolls turned out to be a lot more challenging than I first anticipated. I made several attempts before I ended up with a dress I was happy with. At first, I did a smaller version of the Barbie doll dress I usually do, using baby yarn, but I decided the result looked too bulky. Later, I made matching knickers for that dress using a free pants pattern I found on an old blog, again using the baby yarn. I made a top using baby yarn and a free ruffle top pattern, but I did not use the right size hook and yarn, and it didn’t fit. The problem was, I was using baby yarn when I should have been using fine cotton thread.

At first, I really didn’t think I would need to follow a pattern for this project, but I did. I had a little success with a free dress pattern @ Crochet Crafts by Helga, using fine cotton and 1.5mm hook as recommended. But I didn’t like the skirt, I thought it was too short so added more rows, which then made the result bulky. Finally, I made a dress I liked using the bodice from Helga’s free pattern, but adding my own skirt. Using the same cotton, I made some panties using Helga’s free pants pattern,shortening the legs by making just one row of sc. I stitched up the gap at the back of the pants as I don’t think it needs a button, pull on pants are fine for this small doll. I then made matching pull on panties for the other dresses I made, one each of pink, green, apricot and yellow. Each dress has one button on the back of the bodice.

Because you can’t see the panties underneath the dresses, I decided the dolls needed some little tops to show them off! Maybe these outfits can be PJs or summer beach outfits? The tops are just the bodice part of the dress, with every stitch in the bottom frill incr. The tops looked a little plain, so I crochet a tiny heart, clover, flower and sun to attach in contrasting colours to the front, to make them look more fun (hopefully!). The flower is just clusters to form 5 petals, and the sun is a round of 15 trbls, with a 2nd round of a picot in every 3rd trbl. I used the heart and clover patterns explained in previous posts.

Then I made them all matching Mary Jane slippers with my own made up pattern.

Mary Janes for Kelly Dolls by Teena Sutton
using 1.25mm hook, fine cotton
1. ch 7, trb (US db) in 3rd ch from hook, 2 trb, 2 db (US sc), turn
2. ch 2, trb in next 5 trb, 3 trebles in the stitch space at the toe, go round to the other side of the shoe and do trb in ea 5 trb, 1 trb at the heel, sl st in 1st trb of this round
3. ch 2, db in next 2 trb, sk 2 trb, trb in next 3 treble to form top of toe, sk 2 trb, db in next 3 trb, sl st in 1st db  of this round
4. ch 8 to form ankle strap and sl st in 1st ch

Finally, I finished the outfits with bonnets, again with a pattern I made up myself. When I found these dolls, their hair was mostly ‘fly-away’ and a real mess. After shampooing, conditioning, air drying and finally smoothing with baby oil, their hair came up very nicely indeed. The pretty bonnets help keep the hair in place.

Pretty Bonnets for Kelly Dolls by Teena Sutton
using 1.25mm hook, fine cotton
1. chain 10, trbl (US dc) in 3rd ch from hook, trb in ea next 6 ch, 5 trbl in last ch which is the bottom of the last trbl, trb in the bottom of the other 7 trbl, turn
2. ch 2, trb in ea trbl, extra 3 trbl in last trb, trbl in bottom of each trb, turn
3. ch 2, sk trb, (3 trb in next trbl, sk trb, trb in next, sk trb) twice, 3 trbl ea in next 3 trbl (9 trbl), sk trb, trbl in next trbl (sk trbl, 3 trb in next trbl, sk trb, trb in next) twice, turn
4. ch 2, (sk trbl, 3 trb in next trbl, sk trbl, trbl in next) thrice, 3 trbl in next, trbl in next, (sk trbl, 3 trb in next trbl, sk trbl, trbl in next) thrice, turn
5. ch 2, repeat (sk trbl, 3 trbl in next, sk strbl, trbl in next) seven times, each cluster of 3 is in centre of cluster below, turn
6. repeat row 5 except don’t turn, ch about 12 or enough to be long enough to form the chin strap, measure, slip stitch into the other side of the bonnet to form chin strap, don’t turn
7 (bonnet frill), ch 2, repeat the pattern from previous row, except each cluster has 5 trebles instead of 3, turn
8. ch 2, repeat the previous pattern, except each cluster has 7 trebles instead of 5, fasten off.

Making outfits for these four Kelly dolls was heaps of fun and very satisfying. I learnt more about adjusting patterns for size, and also how to make pants. These are such a joy – but I think they will be going in a box soon. One day I’ll bring them out again as a special treasure.

This is my post for this week’s Transformation Thursday hosted @ The Shabby Chic Cottage. Be sure to check out fun crafty stuff at this blog party!

Large Green Doily

I spent a beautiful sunny Sunday morning working on this, sitting outside in our courtyard when the sun finally decided to show itself, so I took the opportunity to work on my vitamin D deficiency!

This was meant to be a jug cover, but because I couldn’t use the recommended .75mm hook as it was just too small for me, using the 1.5mm meant the spaces in the doily were too big to make a jug cover. I used a variated green thread, which was amongst one of my op shop finds, and it makes a nice colour I think. Besides the Sunday morning, I also spent some of the Saturday and the Sunday evening to finish this off.

I used a pattern called ‘Chrysanthemum’ on page 52 in the book called “Crochet Covers for Jugs and Bowls” by B.R. Bolin, which I borrowed from my local library. I have taken so long in getting around to doing this green one, I extended my loan by a month, but I had to return the book the other day.

To be honest, I’m really not that into doilies. I certainly wouldn’t find use for many, just to protect a couple of furniture surfaces is all. But the reason I’m doing this is for practice. I think jug covers, on the other hand, are something much more practical, and environmentally healthy too, much more so than insect sprays and repellents. But my skill is just not fine enough to be able to make something that will keep insects out of a cup or bowl, so I have more work to do.

I didn’t want to iron this thread, as it feels like it has synthetic in it, so I just washed it in cold water with a little ‘Earth Choice’ dish liquid, then pat dry with a towel. I had a go at blocking as described @ Kitty and Me Designs. I guessed I’m supposed to stretch it out a little, the edges look better when I did that. All I used was a thick piece of recycled packing cardboard and some pins. I did find the centre, but it ended up a little off centre.  I started at the centre as recommended, working my way out to the edges. I let it air dry naturally, and I didn’t starch it because I just want to see how this would go. Another good blog post I found about this was @ Suzann’s Textilefusion. It definitely looks better after the blocking!

Now this one is finished, I’m thinking to try a different pattern which has smaller spaces in the centre, or perhaps I’m ready to try that smaller hook!

Restoring Two Old Barbie Dolls

I found these two gems at a secret location! If I told you where, I would then have to kill you!!! /jokes!

I’ve found a little second hand store that is convenient for me to drop in regularly, so I can check if they have any more from time to time. I found these two naked and bagged up together for just $2. That’s a dollar each! I think they are simply gorgeous! As a way to help mend the sadness of loosing my special childhood Barbies, I would like to see if I can restore them! This picture was taken on their first day, when I simply could not bring myself to photograph them naked, so I chucked on the blue dress and whipped up the grey one very quickly.

The blue dress is the first one I made, using the dress my Nanna Pam made for inspiration. This dress is now with my niece. I gave it to her to go with the new base model Barbie, as a farewell gift on her way back to live in Darwin. For the other doll, I just grabbed some grey wool that I had handy and quickly made up the winter dress, this time it was shapeless so I made a belt for it later. My niece didn’t like the grey dress which is why I still have that one. Otherwise I would have chucked it in with the other clothes I gave her!

I started with the doll on the right, and washed her hair following instructions on several sites on how to wash Barbie doll hair. A couple of sites said to put baby oil on it at the end to smooth it down, so I did that although I was worried it would ruin it. I started by gently combing out the tangles. It was pretty bad and some of the hair did come out. Then I wet, conditioned and rinsed first, then washed and rinsed, then conditioned it again, leaving in the conditioner for a couple of minutes, then rinsed thoroughly. I just used my herbal shampoo as it was all I had. I combed through again and let it dry over night, roughly holding the hair in place with a loose hair tie around her neck. When the hair was dry the next day, I put a little baby oil on my hands and just smoothed down the ends. I’m very surprised at the softness of the end result. I’m also thinking that these dolls are perhaps not as old as I first thought, because the hair has come up quite ok.

To celebrate this old doll’s restored hair, I made her a new dress in some nicely coloured fine teal wool that my mum gave me. A pair of white shoes match the wide-brim white hat I made. She had to borrow the doll stand from my grandmother’s porcelain doll for this photograph, as that’s the only one I have. Perhaps I need to get more dolls stands? LOL! I don’t think I’m going to get into the doll collecting thing serious enough for that!

Today I cleaned up the other doll of this pair. Her hair was a real mess, which is why I left her til this morning because I was a bit afraid of it! It took me a while to untangle it, some hair did come out but not as much as the other doll. She also has some damage on her right forearm, I don’t know what it is and couldn’t find anything about that kind of thing on the net. So after her wash I used nail clippers to remove as much of the peeling plastic as I could and made her a little bracelet to help hide it. I also put a couple of pins with matching beads into the wholes in her ears so she has matching earrings. A couple of plastic accessories like the orange shoes, topped off with a winter beanie hat results in a very cute look I think!

I’m finding restoring these very cheap dolls rewarding, because they only cost $1 and come up very nicely. It’s a lot more enjoyable than buying a new doll. I now regret getting new dolls now I know you can get nice ones so cheaply! And once you take a doll out of the box it’s value decreases just like driving a new car out of the car yard!

Tiny Pink Treasures

When I went to the Salvo’s store a couple of weeks a go with David, I picked up a couple of special pink treasures! This is my Pink Saturday post for this week, which is hosted by How Sweet the Sound!I had already looked on ebay for some miniature doll’s tea sets and found they were a bit overpriced for my very modest doll collection. I remember when I was little, I was given a couple of tiny doll’s tea sets. I’m really sad I haven’t been able to keep any of them. I did treasure them for a little while, but as a child I lost them or they broke. Then I saw this set for just $1! This tiny tea set is part of my Barbie’s Pink Tea Party setting.
Also at Salvos, David spotted this small bag of cheap crochet cotton. Well spotted, David! Most of you will know how expensive new crochet cotton can be, but I picked this up for a total of $2. I’m really keen on that unused ball of pink, it’s the perfect shade for something special! And it hasn’t even been used, what a bargain find! I’ve already made my first small pink doily with it, which I use as a doll’s coffee tablecloth.
Using the pink cotton, I also made these special tiny pink scuffs for the flat footed Barbie I gave my niece. They were very easy, I just pierced some black plastic vinyl with a large sewing needle, then used those holes to crochet tiny straps to form the top part of the shoe. Easy Peasy!
Thanks for stopping by for my Pink Saturday post this week, be sure to check out the other great pinks at How Sweet the Sound!
❤ ❤ ❤

My selected highlights from this week’s party

Brisbane Markets @ Rocklea

David and I now have a goal to get around to all the markets at least once to check them out, and the Brisbane Markets at Rocklea are apparently one of the most popular. So the first one we have gone to was two Saturdays ago, for the Saturday Fresh Market.

There were heaps of people and I must admit the crowds were daunting for me, but I did the right thing and did not insist David take me home right away like I wanted him to. I don’t think the fresh food prices were cheap, but that wouldn’t be the reason you bought food from here. The food is fresher and straight from the farmer, or so we are told, but it’s not the place for a bargain you can’t get anywhere else.  I can get in season fresh food from coles online, I just get what’s on special so the prices are very similar. And there are no crowds to contend with! There was also a bit of traffic, thank goodness David was driving.

As I walked past an antipasto stall I got a good whiff of the mouth-watering aroma. I just love marinated artichokes but settled on some feta stuffed olives. I didn’t realise how expensive they were until I felt like it was too late to decline. I should have just been honest with the guy and said “doood, that’s too expensive!” but you know, I couldn’t do that could I? These very, very yummy stuffed olives cost me $8 for a small container. That’s $8 that could have been better spent, so I had to enjoy them! David doesn’t even like olives so I got to eat them all by myself. Oh no, what a sad, yummy loneliness!

Then last weekend, we went to the Sunday Discovery Markets, also at Rocklea. Once again the weather was gorgeous with cloudless blue skies, but there was a chilly bite to the wind as well. We got there just before 11am and they started packing up early for the midday finish. So we had about an hour to wonder around, looking at all the treasures. Besides the blue vase I posted on Monday which we picked up for $3, we also got some cute little trinket boxes which we thought were a good price for $6-$7.50 ea. I also grabbed another cane basket for $2, which was solid except for a small break in the handle which I can cover up with ribbon.

I wonder which market we will check out next?!
❤ ❤ <3!

Barbie’s Blue Jacket

I made this bolero jacket for a Barbie doll back in January using a beautifully soft blue wool kept from my childhood. It’s particularly nice, and although its a very simple design, it required some fiddly fine work. This is  my post for today’s Blue Monday which is hosted at Smiling Sally.

The purpose of me making this was to practice making a bolero jacket for myself. That is how all this Barbie thing started. I bought the doll purely for the purpose of practising making real clothes. But as I opened the box, the magic started all over again and I have fallen in love with Barbie once more!

I actually managed to keep my two childhood Barbie dolls up until I was in my early 30s, but lost them in a terrible accident that happened while I was moving around after I left my first husband. Before the ‘accident’, I used to look at them in disdain, wondering why I couldn’t bring myself to throw them out, why was I carrying them around with me during such a difficult time? Now I know why, it was because I was in denial, I couldn’t admit just how much I loved my Barbie dolls!  They were in excellent condition and I had hung onto them for 25 years. But after the ‘accident’ they absolutely  had to be discarded and it’s a real tragedy!

Yesterday when David and I went to the Rocklea market, we saw a couple of  old Barbies from the 1970s and 1980s amongst the second hand treasures, all with very ratty hair so I didn’t get any. Instead we grabbed this really pretty blue vase which turns out to be slightly flawed.

I found an excellent blog devoted to collecting Barbie called “Don’t Just Play with Barbie, Be Barbie“. The inspiration for this blue jacket I found at Barbie Basics.

There seems to be a real Barbie doll enthusiast community, how fun!!

❤ ❤ ❤

Highlights from this week’s party include


Yes, it is true. I am having a hot and steamy secret love affair – with my sewing machine!

Of course, this does not mean I love David any less, how could I? “He da man!” (pretty much, pretty much). And there is no law written that a happily married woman must not love her trusted sewing machine dearly.

What an absolute treasure my old sewing machine is, and oh so lovely. A much-loved well-worn relic, it always works like a smooth charm whenever I feel brave enough to venture near it. I’m not sure why I don’t use it more often, this wonderful refined beast intimidates me with its perfectness. It simply purrs as it glides the seams all my itself, all I have to do is turn it on! But so patiently it waits for me, never pesters me for attention. Just is always there for me when I need it.

And just like a good friend, if I’m making a mistake sewing something the wrong way around, it Knows it isn’t the sewing machines fault. So it says nothing, and just keeps sewing, trusting I will see my own error sooner or later. My sewing machine ain’t gonna tell me I’m wrong and remains silent. I’ve known people like that!

This machine came to me second hand by a friend of my mother who I believe didn’t use it much, and I didn’t realise straight away just how precious this thing truly is.  It’s had two services so far, one in Darwin and one in Brisbane, I should try and find someone I trust here on the south side to do it, but I’m a bit nervous about that! We all know how I have ‘trust issues’! How I would be lost without my Husqvarna, no other could possibly replace it.

Oh, I love my sewing machine!

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