my barbie wore chanel.

Or at least I thought it was just as nice, if not nicer, than Chanel.

barbieMy grandmother knitted these Barbie outfits for me.  I had several, but this is the only one I preserved.

It was the 60’s.  I thought I had an incredibly chic wardrobe for my Barbie.  Heck, I still think this is an incredibly chic ensemble.  Can’t you just picture it on Jackie O?

A little back story about my grandparents on my mother’s side; my grandmother was 42 years old when my mother was born.  Yikes!  Right?  I believe my grandparents considered her quite the surprise. Anyway, by the time I came along my grandmother was already 66, and she passed away while I was still in school.  We lived in Chicago when I was younger, my grandparents were in Minneapolis.  All of these factors meant that I didn’t really know her that well.

But I do know that she was very handy with a needle, whether it was knitting, crochet or needlepoint.

In addition to my fantastic Barbie outfits, she made this darling crocheted dress for my mom when Mom was little.

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Look at this picture of my mom, doesn’t she look like she is about to get into some mischief?

so sweet mom in sepiaMy mom was born in 1940, so these photos had to be taken right around WWII.  I know that my mom remembers rationing from those days.  I’m sure that the easiest way to come up with a special dress for my mom was to make one from nothing more than a ball of yarn.

These pictures were probably taken a little earlier, when my mom was just a toddler.  Can you see her peeking out of the window behind my grandparents?  And on the right is my mom with her older sister, Marilyn.

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I’m afraid that grandma’s skill with a needle was not passed down to me.  I did a little cross-stitch back in the day, but I never learned to knit or crochet.  I’ll hang on to these mementos as they remind me of a much simpler time when Barbie’s wore home made Chanel and people made do with what they had.

21 thoughts on “my barbie wore chanel.

  1. oh Linda, these are adorable. My mom was born in 1945 and had me when she was 41. Then had 2 more children after that, 9 of us all together. I started a blog once to share my memories of our simple life on the farm and pictures. But that’s one of my many things I didnt finish. You should take a look.


    1. Well I can’t figure out how to edit that. She was born in 1925! My oldest sister-in-law sewed Barbie clothes for us and I still have most of them too!


    2. I am checking it out … Dippity Do … I can’t tell you how many times I was sent to bed in Dippity Do and the pink tape. Remember the pink tape? My mom would form a little curl with Dippity Do on either side of my face and tape it down for the night. that stuff was so uncomfortable. On another note, I’m pretty sure your math is wrong, unless you are indeed only 28. Which you can’t be if you remember Dippity Do! Your mom had to be born well before 1945 😉


  2. Linda,
    Love that cute little outfit for Barbie and the Dress. I remember my Daddy making me Barbie furniture in the 60’s. He made me a sofa and chair of wood and upholstered them! It was brown fabric that was actually upholstery material. I do not remember where the fabric came from. I would take my furniture to the babysitters where her grand daughter stayed as well and we would play barbie’s all day. My friend was so jealous of my new Barbie furniture! I wish I still had it. I was proud of my first furniture!



  3. I can’t believe you still have those. I had left all mine at mom and dads and they got ruined in that flood in Kentucky. Didn’t have anything to pass onto Kris for her Barbies. I didn’t know you had moms knit dress. I remember playing Barbies all dsy too. We made furniture out of shoe boxes, blocks and other homemade stuff.


    1. Most of my Barbie stuff also got ruined in that flood. I’m not sure how I managed to salvage this one outfit. Maybe I had taken it away before the flood? Anyway, I do remember the designing my Barbie’s house and planning her wardrobe were always the most fun part for me.


  4. This is so special that she made clothes for your Barbie. My mom was the oldest of nine and I was one 24 grandchildren. I got to make biscuits with my grandmother and feed the chicks with grandfather as they had a farm. I do have a quilt from her which I cherish. But crocheting was not in her basket of skills that I know of. And the little pink dress is just precious and so is your mom.
    As for Dippity Do and pink tape I had so forgotten about those and yes I experienced both. I remember trying to create tendrils by making what my mother called “a spit curl” and slapping some pink tape on those suckers!


      1. Me too! the taping of the bangs. And unruly is the perfect adjective for my hair – I sometimes refer to it as a Chia pet with all the rain and humidity here.


  5. Oh, What a great looking Barbie she must have been! I as well lived in Chicago until I was six, I spent a lot of time with my grandparents before we moved to Missouri. My grandmother tried her hardest to teach me to crochet, I could make a very long chain, but could never figure out how to hook it together! You brought back some great memories today for me!


      1. Now wouldn’t that be something! I loved there from 1963 to 1969, we lived in Posen. My grandparents lived at 103rd and May street.
        I don’t remember my mom using Dippity Do, but she would put my hair in pin curls, what torture to sleep on! I also remember being jealous of my older sister getting to use PSSSSSST dry shampoo in a can!!!


      2. Well, we were in the same county. We lived in Hazel Crest. I think Cook County is rather large though. I remember that dry shampoo too! I slipped in the bath (that I was about to share with my sister and brother!) and cut my head open. A trip to the ER and some stitches later, and my mom had to use dry shampoo on me for a while. I found this comical post while randomly looking up Pssssst Dry Shampoo, check it out.


  6. We got the Dippity, but apparently we were too poor to get the pink tape. Damn, I wanted that pink tape.
    I double clicked the photos to make them big and gosh…your grandmother looked like Harlow, except prettier. Wow!


    1. That’s so sweet of you to say. I never thought that of my grandma, but looking at the picture again myself, I see what you mean. As for the pink tape, trust me, you are lucky you didn’t have the pink tape. That stuff felt like it was ripping your face off all night long.


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