Archives

Barbie Fashionistas Measurements

I was really excited when the new Barbie Fashionistas line was announced. I haven’t been very interested in Barbies for a long time (although I did buy a Made to Move doll for the articulation to re-body by Merida doll, and will probably get more in the future), and seeing the new variety made me want to start collecting the new dolls right away. I was especially excited that instead of one standard size, the new dolls come in four types: original, curvy, tall, and petite. (Note: post ahead contains doll nudity.)

Promo pic of the new dolls on a pamphley

Promo pic of the new dolls on a pamphlet

But I was also aware that with new body types, it’s no longer one size fits all for Barbie clothes anymore. Some outfits can be swapped between bodies but others can’t. There will be new clothes coming out for these dolls later this year, but for now, my dolls are stuck wearing the clothes they came in.

My four dolls: original, curvy, tall, petite

My four dolls: original, curvy, tall, petite

I did buy four dolls right away to compare them. Above you can see that I chose the Valentine’s Day doll for the original size, and three Fashionistas: a blue-haired curvy girl, a brown-haired tall girl, and a dark curly-haired petite girl. Most of these outfits are pretty cute and they came with matching accessories. For more information and pictures about the individual dolls, you can see my review post on Sailor Ariel’s Dolls.

The four body types without clothes

The four body types without clothes

Without their clothes, the differences between these types are more apparent. Each one has a unique shape and set of measurements. At first glance, you can tell that tight-fitting clothes for original Barbie would probably work on petite with a little room to spare (although pants legs would be too long), but they wouldn’t fit over the larger frames for the curvy and tall sizes. I measured each of these bodies to come up with a more precise comparison, and here are my results.

Fashionista measurement chart

Fashionista measurement chart

Each doll is a different height and width in various places. I tried my best to be accurate to the nearest quarter of an inch. More specifically, here is what I measured:

  • the doll’s height from top of the head to toes
  • the width around the shoulders
  • width around the chest
  • width around the waist
  • width around the widest point of the hips
  • the rise (from base of the torso to the top of the hips as marked by the molded underwear)
  • length of the torso
  • length of the legs from hip to toe
  • inseam (inside of leg down to the ankle
  • width of thighs around the widest point
  • length of arms from shoulder to finger tips
  • length of arms from shoulder to wrist (for a long sleeve)
  • width of bicep (widest point at top of the arm)

The results are interesting to compare. I’d also like to note that I took one more measurement. My husband asked if all of them had the same size head, and the answer is yes, with one notable exception. All of the dolls’ heads are 1.5″ tall, but when I measured the circumference around the crown, the curvy doll’s head is a little bigger. Most are 4″ around but curvy is 4.5″. This doesn’t look like a noticeable difference when holding the doll, but it might affect hat brims or similar items.

Using these measurements, I am now developing basic patterns that can be adapted to each of the four sizes. In my experience, some basic patterns like simple dresses can be easily adjusted on the fly to be a little larger or smaller, but more close-fitting clothes take more work. To start with I will be doing the basic t-shirt and jeans to get the hang of the adjustments I need. Look for this new pattern coming soon. For now, here’s a preview of the first outfit (on the original size Barbie):

Original Barbie in t-shirt and jeans

Original Barbie in t-shirt and jeans

I hope these measurements help other pattern developers adjust for the new sizes, too!

Ears in Progress

I’ve been working hard on a new project and I wanted to show you some of the progress pictures. Are you ready for a peek behind the scenes┬áto see how I make things?

I’m making doll-sized mouse ears! I love wearing my ears whenever I go to Disney (and sometimes on other occasions, too). I looked for ears that my dolls could wear, but I couldn’t find any. It seems that Mattel has made a few Disney Parks themed Barbies in the past which come with ear hats, but these are hard to find now, and I was worried that they would fit my Disney Store princess dolls because they have bigger heads than traditional Barbies. So I set out to make my own.

The base ears were modeled on the computer and 3d printed out of plastic. My husband and I went through several attempts before we got these right. We finally made decent ears in two sizes:

Sizes for 12" dolls

Sizes for 12″ dolls

The narrower size fits Barbie and other Mattel dolls, including the older princesses. The larger size on the right fits DS princesses with wider heads like the Frozen dolls and Merida.

They look really cute on the dolls. We made them in black and white for two different styles:

A few of my dolls modeling the ears

A few of my dolls modeling the ears

But I didn’t want to stop there. Half of the fun of the ears is all the different ways you can customize them!

The next step was experimenting with bows. I already had a number of colors of ribbon in two different widths. I sat down with the hot glue gun to see what I could do. My daughter actually has a lot more experience with making bows, so she helped me develop the right technique to make tiny bows look perfect.

Here are the ears with their bows on:

Ears with bows

Ears with bows

For the final touch, I created symbols for each of the princesses, printed them out, and glued them on. With a coat of clear nail polish to seal the edges, the ears were ready and looking beautiful!

Princess ear designs

Princess ear designs

Finally, I dressed up the princesses in all of the new outfits that I’ve been working on, and it was time for a photo shoot! The ears look wonderful modeled on the dolls. I’m so happy with how they turned out, and I’m lucky that I had so much help from my family to get them just right.

IMG_4498

IMG_4503

IMG_4502

IMG_4501

These were so much fun, I can’t wait to make more! Which character would you like to see me make ears for next? I could make a set for princes (although I don’t have all of the prince dolls), or maybe villains, or even Star Wars! Write a comment with your ideas and help me choose.