Barbie and tiny glass beads, the story of a new obsession - Part 1, The introduction

To my friends it is not new that I have a small, but sweet vintage Barbie collection (and a bunch of newer ones).
I got my first Mattel doll, a platinum blond Stacey, when I was five, and the story behind that I told in an earlier blog post is not very flattering for me and my behavior at that age. I never thought about starting a collection, however. Barbies and their outfits were just not in my budget.

Then my sister (both of my sisters still have their childhood dolls as well, a TNT Barbie and a red haired Stacey) got the book "Barbie - her life and times" by Billy Boy. The German version came out 1988, and 18 years after Stacey had arrived in my life, I was fascinated by Barbie all over again.
No one would call me a fashion person. Jeans, sneakers, t-shirt - that's me. As much as I don't dress up myself, though, as much I do love the Barbie fashions. Tiny zippers, tiny buttons, 50s and 60s chic, wild mod designs.
And I learned about vintage dolls that I hadn't heard of before, merely because I was too young at that time or not even born yet.

Not that much later we were at a fleamarket and having studied the book paid off when I found a bendable leg Midge. Not mint in condition, but at an absolutely fantastic price. That's when my collection started. I got more dolls, I started buying the most important price guides, I learned more about Barbie's history and about her German predecessor, the Bild Lilli, and dreamed of owning a #1 Barbie one day.

I can't sew. I don't crochet with yarn. I had never made any Barbie outfits that could even be called outfit. When I started working with wire, however, I had to try and crochet wire dresses for Barbie. The problem was what to use as an undergarment because wire crochet dresses tend to be see through. Although I finished a few, I was not happy enough with them to pursue that.

Then I started bead looming and the idea to loom Barbie dresses kept running through my head. At an early stage I made a tote bag for one of my Francie dolls.
We all know that Barbie has curves, lots of curves. How could I loom something without the curves being a problem?
That's when I had the idea to make a Flapper outfit.

This post is just the introduction to the story of Barbie, tiny glass beads, fringe, shoes, peacock feathers, Ponder (one of my cats, for those who don't know), Christie, Francie, and a new obsession.
The story is too much for just one post, so stay tuned if you want to follow the journey. I'd love to take you with me.

Barbie is a registered trademark of Mattel, Inc. I am not affiliated with Mattel.


  1. When my 90 year old aunt was 80 she told me that most women love dolls when they are older much more than they did as young girls. I do know that is true for me. Cannot wait to see your next post!

    1. I always loved miniatures and as children we loved to look through the Barbie booklets (I like the painted ones even more than those with photos), but I knew there wasn't another one in my future because they were not cheap.
      Now I can get excited about a pair of Barbie shoes much more than about my own!

      I hope I won't make you wait too long for the next post.