Friday, 9 August 2013

I'm A Barbie Girl


My eyes bored into the lady examining this fabric at Wednesday's car boot sale, mentally willing her to put it down. Luckily, once she found out the price, she dropped it in disgust and walked away, leaving me to saunter over and hand my £1 coin over to the stall holder.


Awww, is that to make into something for your little girl? The seller asked. No, its to make into something for this big girl, I replied. Yes, typical me. THIS vintage fair to prepare for and The Green Man festival in less than a week and I'm knocking up ridiculously impractical clothing like I've all the time in the world.


 As a typically British child growing up in the Seventies, Sindy was the norm. When Joanna, an older girl, moved next door and invited me round to play dolls I was in awe of her Barbie - suntanned, gargantuan boobs with a wardrobe of clothes to die for - psychedelic cat suits, high heeled mules, flared jeans, mini dresses. Barbie certainly put Sindy's boring ballet, horse-riding and bridal outfits to shame. Most of all I loved her carry case and forty years later I finally own one (courtesy of Arizona babe, Janice).


Not that I use it for the original purpose.For a grown-up it's the perfect thing for carrying booze round festivals and to the curry house.


No doubt I'll get lambasted for promoting a doll that apparently makes young girls feel inadequate and promotes an unrealistic body image.


What rubbish! This was my favourite doll when I was growing up - Mary's Quant's Havoc. A bad ass in a catsuit, go-go boots and lurid green eye shadow - never influenced me one bit.


On the subject of dolls I loved this beauty as soon as I caught sight of her on the £1.99 bric-a-brac shelf in Banardos. According to my doll-lovin' pals she's a Bradley doll. Jon says I only bought her 'cos she's a mini me.


Hmm....

Barbie dress made using a 1970 "Woman, Easy Makes" pattern (that's debatable), Perspex belt (Liz via Urban Outfitters), chandelier earrings (India, 2005)

Thanks for the amazing feedback on my last post. You are incredible.

Have a fabulous weekend and do come and say hello if you're near Warwick on Sunday. I'm not as scary as some people think!

80 comments:

That's Not My Age said...

I love the Barbie booze-case!!

edie pop said...

I hope to be the first to comment on this wonderful post!!! I'm in awe, childhood memories and dreams come true with your fabulous photos!!
I adore the dress! I spent several hours looking for a similar fabric on ebay during my last years, and even a single bed sheet was too expensive considering the shipping cost, so I finally see how cool it could turn on you! The shape is wonderful and I adore the frilly hem! My annoying and older cousin used to have a Barbie case and I always envy her for that reason, you made a perfect use of it, it shows that it's a good quality bag!! I love also the Mary Quant's doll and the vintage poseable one!!
I love this post and you!!!
Thank you!!
Have a wonderful weekend!
xxxxxxxx

Patti said...

LOL! The Mary Quant doll stole your fashion! Love your new Barbie dress. You pull it off perfectly with just that right amount of irony, but affection for the original. you look fab top to toe, as per always. And isn't that what we all carried in our Barbie cases??? : o

makinggooduse said...

Superb Barbie dress there, Vix - and, as always, you wear it so well. I had a Sindy when I was little but progressed to a Barbie doll as I got older. I loooooved my Barbie with a passion and was heartbroken when one of her legs fell off (she was sent away to be mended - thankfully.) And the outfits she had - totally amazing -wish I still had some of them now as they were psychedelic late-Sixties creations like you wouldn't believe.

Emalina said...

Teehee that fabric is hilarious, not to mention your comment about making it for a big girl! I'm with you there sister!
Plus I'm very impressed that you've actually made a gorgeous dress out of it, that suits you down to the ground (love your hair and those amazing earrings too). What a star you are Vix, thanks so much for your kind words about my Mermaid post they mean a lot.

Emalina said...

and how could I forget to mention the Barbie bag and its contents! That's what big girls like to carry in their bags oh yeah!

Cordelia Earle said...

Hi,

I am going to Green Man Fest next week too. I take it you mean the one in Wales? We won tickets for it and I have never been to a festival before!! eek.

Will you be having a stall there or just visiting for the ambience. If I see you would you mind if I was brave enough to come say hi?

Anyways, loving the dress. Hopefully if I can find enough fabric I am going to be making myself a skirt today, to go with my handmade trousers for the festival!

Well take care, have a good weekend.

Cxx

Little Blue Mouse said...

I love what you've done with the Barbie fabric, it looks great.

You might get complaints for promoting using a doll's case for carrying booze!

char said...

Ah, I love this dress - totally practical for a festival, in my opinion!

Carina Rosenholm said...

Amazing dress and what a a perfect bag!
You are such a beaty!'
Xxx

LandGirl1980 said...

This is facking AWESOME!!!!! i LOVE IT! Although - I was a Sindy girl growing up.

Ronnie (RR) said...

I absolutely love your bar-in-a-bag! Fabulous

Emma Kate at Painted Style said...

Wow! Incredible dress! We had some second hand barbies as kids so it was good training in spotting a vintage Barbie! I've found a few over the years. And Daisys and Sindys. My passion has to be Pippa though. She was just so damn pretty! xxx

Nat said...

Enjoyable post as ever Vix and clever you with the new dress and nifty booze bag :-)
I was a Barbie fan- so very excited to get my first one circa 1983 on a trip to London (growing up in the wilds of Zim, such items were the stuff of dreams!). Loved her to bits and was devastated when my nasty older brother chopped off her luscious blonde locks, giving her a punk do instead!

Cloud of Secrets said...

Oh, this entry had me chuckling out loud at multiple points -- especially the repurposed Barbie case.

My sister and I weren't allowed to have our own Barbies until we were 10, so's not to absorb unrealistic body and fashion expectations. I think the deprivation just made me more obsessed -- at least with fancy clothes.

thorne garnet said...

how dare someone charge you a pound for that fabric! They may as well have given it to you. What a steal! I never find fabric , it's always some butt ugly polyester double knit. I'm sweating just thinking about it.

Barbie case as booze tote? Brilliant! I think you can get one more beer in there.

Of course, I love the dolls. I had lots of Barbies growing up and never felt like I had to live up the her body type. People got to blame something, they may as well blame a doll.

The Small Fabric Of My Life said...

Fabulous dress. My favourite doll was called Scraggy Sarah - a kind of deranged Tiny Tears.

Krista Gassib said...

How could you top your previous post, just did! Barbie, that bitch ain't got nothing on you baby! I think this dress makes every girl a little envious the fabric was destined for your talented dress making hands. It's so gorgeous! The carrying case filled with booze makes my face sore from smiling, this is why I loves you!

Love your mini me haha I have three Bradley dolls that I treasure too. Your childhood doll is a total rocker so perfect for our Vix. I wasn't into dolls at all not that I can remember, but as an adult I do have a tiny collection of precious toys sprinkled all over our house. They make me happy as do you.
Love you honey xxoooo

Lea Lockwood said...

I thought "Mini-Vix" as soon as I saw that doll, too! I love your blog and your beautiful clothes, especially the maxi dresses.

Cecili said...

Excellent dress and that booze case made me lol :)

Liz said...

Love the dress - and the booze in the carry case! I had a Tressy doll and she had hair that grew. I used to make clothes for her.
Liz @ Shortbread & Ginger

Val Sparkle said...

I love Barbie! But I'm most partial to the earlier ones, before she became a perpetual blonde. My mom thought she was a bad role model, but I begged so much that I finally got a Midge, Barbie's freckled friend. Same body, but less pretty. Oh, well, I got the Dream House, too!

I love your dress, and your Barbie carrying case. That's the way to keep it relevant!

SabinePsynopsis said...

What a fantastic dress! I met Barbie the first time when we visited friends in the States in the 70s and their children had a whole cellar full of Barbies, including children, houses, horses etc. I remember thinking I had gone straight to heaven.

Sandra said...

the Mary Quant doll! I didn't know there was such a doll, she is totally awesome! your mini-me doll is fab - I had a brunette Sindy (I wanted the blonde)I loved her, she had a blue gingham dress not too dissimilar to one of mine, and no shoes!! I can't believe it, I am Sindy.....If I find out exactly where in Wales I'm going (minor details, I never know)hopefully we can visit the Green Man fest x have fun there x

Ariane Lasalle said...

Oh! what a find that fabric!
The dress is brilliant!
Plus the Barbie case full of booze, that's hilarious!
You should send a pic to the Barbie maker, Mattel, hahaha!
Only you could do that!

Have a wonderful weekend

Ariane xxx

Sarah DeLicatease said...

Aw it's perfect! I love barbies, especially over 15 year olds :D! Modern barbies I don't like..

Ps: Stella Artois is YUMMY!<3

Louise McDonagh said...

That Barbie case is perfect for booze... how wrong is that? Lol. That doll could have been modelled on you, it's so cute. I wish I was around to come see you Sunday but alas I will be on my way to Yorkshire. Xx

mondoagogo said...

[delurking] How have I never heard of Havoc before? She's AWESOME. Great name, as well.

I love that you keep booze in your Barbie case.

Also, the reason why I'm delurking is because I've finally worked out who you remind me of -- it was your previous post, seeing photos of you now next to stuff from the 80s, and I finally realised you remind me of a schoolfriend's mum who I knew in the 80s... Same length/style hair, same jewellery etc. I mean it in a nice way, btw, it was nice to be reminded of her.

Harrie Hattie said...

Haha what a shocker!!! the booze that's fab. The dresses just keep getting better. Your going to have to make them and bring a rail to the events :) and yep Jon its a mini vix a beaut!!! xxxx love it

Forest City Fashionista said...

You have been rocking the pink lately! (and that's not a sexual reference) Love that fabric - my Barbie was my favourite toy in the 60's when I was growing up because of the clothes. Mine had a red bubble haircut. Yes, she had a ridiculously unrealistic figure, and her career options were limited back then, but I don't think I my self-esteem was damaged by her. That case makes the most awesome booze caddy!

Jean at www.drossintogold.com said...

The Bradley doll is gorgeous, and yes, she does remind me of you!! I was too old for Barbies but I had a few Ginny dolls. Didn't really care about them though. I wanted my sister's 18" high ballerina dolls but she didn't share much.

I LOVE your hair today, and the chandelier earrings and arm candy are making me pass out with vicarious pleasure. Have a great weekend. XXXOOO

señora Allnut said...

that's a so amazing and funny fabric! you can't let it go something like that!!and love your ridiculously impractical clothes, you're a queen in pink!!
and your vanity-booze is the perfect accessory for a modern girl!, cute and useful!!
(I've also own a Sindy!, she was the best Barbie imitator, perfect for us, working class children!)
besos

Hollie "Jet" Black-Ramsey said...

best. fabric. ever. And I love your innovative use of that Barbie case!

Trudie said...

How ridiculous that so one would baulk at one pound for cool fabric. Oh well their loss and your gain and no it looks a million bucks.

You know I never was into Barbie, we were seriously poor so I never had the latest toys or dolls. I had what I refer to as budget Barbie'e which was those packs of three dolls in plastic from the cheap $2 shops lol.

I love, love you Mary Quant and Bradley dolls and I laughed hysterically out loud at your "wine cooler" bag.

Sue said...

Oh you are so much better than a Barbie girl, you are the original Vix!! They should be making Vix dolls with your fabulous wardrobe and books about your life and adventures. I for one would buy a Vix doll. I had a Cindy doll and then my grandma went overseas and got me a Barbie. I cut her hair into a bob and peirced her ears then made her shit loads of clothes!

Janice Tutone said...

I admire your energy & creativity. You look gorgeous as ever in the Barbie dress! Also, I love how you styled your hair....so pretty! I don't know how you get so much done in a week & still have time to blog. I love it all!!! XXX

Connie said...

I'm so glad someone found a very good use for a Barbie case. Much better than carting around miniature shoes and annoyingly tight little dresses. Gawd those snaps were hard to snap. Your dress, however, is insane. Love it!

Lon Anderson said...

That's a really unique looking dress!!!

Miss Simmonds Says said...

FUCKING HELL!!! I LOVE THAT DRESS. Thank god you got that fabric, it's bloody amazing. The wonderful Barbie Booze Storage Unit is just perfect for keeping your alcohol organised. Never seen Havoc before but she's bloody amazing, not surprising she's your fave. The Bradley Doll/Mini You is so pretty I really like her, think I've seen those go for good money on ebay.
Have a wonderful weekend, I can't dress how much I love that dress! xxxxxxxxxxxxxx
look I wrote dress twice! I meant stress

Linda Wolf said...

SWEET dress, Vix! You look super! Nice score on the fabric and love the pattern you used. That Barbie case is probably one of the most creative repurposing efforts I've ever seen!

Was a big fan of Barbie growing up and had dolls all my adult life until this year. Actually, I wouldn't have pegged you as a doll person at all for some reason. But it's funny how our can dolls influence how we look, isn't it?

xxx

Trees said...

WOAH!! I would have beat that lady to get hold of that fabric, its mind blowing. I love the frock you made its amazing. When I was a kid Jem was my favourite - she had an office job of some sort by day (they never made it clear what her day job was) and was a rockstar by night. Plus she had the most epic lady mullet and so many shiny clothes!

Marla Robinson said...

OMG!! I love that Barbie dress.

Helga! said...

Feck YES! Love love that frock!!! How frigging fabularse is that print?!
I was Sindy and Barbie and generally doll mad as a child and I turned out ok. According to me, anyways!!! I just love how people can't take responsibility for themselves.
The carry case has me green with envy. I had loads of Barbie shite, but never a carry case!!! EEEEK! Never heard of the Havoc doll, she's awesome!!!! You ARE a doll, darling!
Love Helga! xxxXXXxxx

CityScape Skybaby said...

I've been away for a week so I need to read your last post after this, and see what has been happening! Love your Barbie dress and bag Vix, your childhood memories of Joanna sound a lot like mine. I remember Pippa dolls and Sindys, but I got to know an older girl who was from a very glamorous family and I remember going into her bedroom and there were just rows and rows of Barbies all immaculately kitted out, I was awestruck, though we didn't actually play with them or anything. Your little Bradley doll is a mini you! I have a similar doll my mum bought me but she's in very bad condition, squashed face and tatty hair, come to think of it, she's a bit of a mini me! xx

Fiona said...

What an amazing dress and I love the imaginative use of the Barbie bag.
Can't believe how good Havoc looks after all these years, my Sindy is looking somewhat jaded with hair resembling a bog brush!
Have a fab weekend.

Ulla-Marie Nilsson said...

Great (and fun) look as usual, and such a practical bag.

Veshoevius said...

haha!! Fantastic dress! I had Barbie dolls growing up, my sister got the Sindys. I loved dressing them up in all the clothes, shoes and accessories - maybe that's where my wardrobe obsession started!

Mrs. D said...

Lovely pink fabric indeed! The dress turned out gorge and the booze case goes with it marvelously - so funny!

I had a few Barbies myself back in the 80's and even had a Ken. I loved playing with it and all the clothes and accessories were fantastic- I still remember the Corvette and the boutique, so much fun!

Pull Your Socks Up! said...

Cripes what a gorgeous frock you churned out of that amazing fabric you magical fox you!!!!!!!!! I'm so glad you ended up with the Barbie fabric, perhaps any scraps could be fashioned into some wonderfully inappropriate "cunting" a la our Miss Ivy Black!!! That would wipe the Barbie disapproval off anyone's boring, politically correct ideas. Bloody gorgeous you are. And the bag? Perfection. xoxoxoxoxoxoox

Sandra said...

hey Vix, we have had a look, it's definately the Welsh Green Man festival isn't it? we are trying to see if there are day tickets as the ones we have seen seem to be a weekly one x

Indigo Violet said...

That dress is marvellous - I have quite a few Barbies which I ostensibly bought for my nieces to play with! I had a deprived childhood - only a Sindy and a Tuppence.

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Loulou said...

Oh my goodness ... I laughed out loud when I saw the shot of your open Barbie case with the booze in it. That's my girl!

And your little doll really does look like you. That's funny too.

All in all, I'm leaving your site with a smile on my face, as is so often the case.

Have a great weekend, my friend. And here's to making impractical clothes when you have loads of other things you should be doing!

Alex M said...

Too cool and I just showed your liquor caddy to my husband who gives you two thumbs up!

My BFFs daughter was a major force in consulting on one of the latest Barbies -- "Architect Barbie" which was a project spear-headed by a couple of female architects I know. Where we are, Barbie = Power. More Power to you Vix!

Tamera Wolfe said...

Barbie booze Case--ROFL-AWESOME!!

Only you could totally ROCK a Barbie maxi dress. It's FABULOUS!!

I have all of Julie's Barbies packed up in a trunk. We even have a Korean one!

I LOVE HAVOC--so cool!

The new doll is definitely supposed to be a Korean girl. The giveaway is the stripes and the style of her dress (we have several of these)

Style Eyes said...

Honestly I was always more of a Sindy than a Barbie fan. Probably just because I was jealous of the boobs! That is such a fab use for the carry case.

Skye said...

I had about six barbies, I think, my favourite was Golden Dreams (not Showers) who had sort of gold wire stuff in her hair that you could curl, and excellent 80s dynasty disco gold lame outfit. My BFF had a similar number of barbies, and we had one Ken between us, and an Action Man. Anyway Ken and Action Man used to come over and have all-in orgies with all twelve Barbies and it was FILTHY.

Impractical Vix dress and Barbie booze carrier definitely in the spirit of Barbie as I knew here - that chick was always up for it!

The Brunette said...

Oh I do love that fabric...I loved Sindy and Barbie as a child but I always loved the dark haired dolls not blonde ha ha! I think thats why I have always had a think for dark hair and would never want to be blonde. I love how you have your hair too I really like plaits. Looking fab x

Dina said...

I love Barbie :D

freckleface said...

Wow, you ARE a barbie girl! Lush! My elder sister had Barbie and Sindy, lucky duck. I had to make do with Skipper, but she did have some bostin' clothes. What a great name for a doll role model, Havoc. Go-go Vix! Fancy being disgusted by a price tag of a squid. Tight wad. Q and I had a right good laugh over your use for the Barbie case. Life in plastic, it's fantastic! ;) I particularly love that the wine is only half full!!

As for the Bradley doll, I think I am coveting it as much as you coveted that Barbie case...swoon, she's a total beauty. Hope today went well. xxxxxx

Mrs C said...

As ever Vix you can pull off anything, you look like a fantastic confident Barbie doll.

I made a my little pony skirt but felt like a 2 year old in it, so I am in awe xxx

Perdita said...

I love that you've repurposed the Barbie case into a booze case! Mwahaha!

I am the same with Hello Kitty ... People think I'm buying for a kid, nah, for ME!

two squirrels said...

Oh Vix we were all with you.......glaring at the lady to put the fabric down......because it so wanted to be made into a spectacular Vix creation........eeekkkk it's fabulous.
Barbie never looked so good.
Hmmmm we had Sindy to.......blah blah blah.....mum hated Barbie.......what ever.......You are right Barbie's wardrobe is so much better.
Love v

FASHION TALES said...

Brilliant! Ahhh, that dress print is just too cool! Great repurposed case as well. xx/Madison :-)

Sharon S said...

Hi my dear! The barbie dress and drinks case are so you and so fabulous! Hope you had a great time at the vintage fair too xxx

Sarah said...

I used to have a few Sindy's, I got my first one when I was about three or four (complete with Sindy's dream house!) but then gradually Barbie took over, I much preferred Barbie's clothes! x

The Vintage Knitter said...

What a brilliant dress; you are clever! Its not only the sewing but having the 'eye' to see the potential in something and turning it into a real head-turner! You rock! xxx

P.S. Utterly fabulous drinks storage too!

The Style Crone said...

I am too old to have experienced Barbie as a child! Your Barbie booze containing carry case and brilliantly created pink Barbie dress work together with perfection.

Vintage Jane said...

Fab dress and case. My favourite was always Action Girl! M x

silkpathdiary said...

I absolutely love that dress and the case! You really, really suit pink! xx

Misfits Vintage said...

HOly bejayzus, my first thought was 'WTF is she doing in Barbie?' and then I saw the frock and my second thought was HOW CAN I STEAL THAT BARBIE FROCK???

You look AMAZING! The frock is magnificent - YOUR HAIR MAKES ME WEEP FOR ITS BEAUTY - and I could not love that beautiful little Mini-Vix doll more. She's a treasure!

Love you more than catsuits and green eyeshadow!

Sarah xxx

pastcaring said...

Booze in the Barbie case, you are such a bad ass, Vix, I love it!
I had a Sindy for my 3rd birthday, and loved her dearly until I discovered Barbie later on. I feel a bit disloyal now, poor old Sindy had a haircut and was turned into a boyfriend for Barbie, since my mum wouldn't buy me a Ken. They could have been lesbian lovers, of course, but I was unimaginatively heterosexualist.
Your Barbie frock looks wonderful, it's amazing fabric (a whole pound!) and even if the pattern wasn't as easy as it made out, you've obviously done a brilliant job.
That little Bradley job is definitely you, Jon's right, and how come I have never heard of Havoc? She's a bad ass too, just like you! xxx

lasophia said...

Did I comment on this yet cause I think i've looked at it 3 times. I'm a Barbie freak! I would have died if I came across that fabric. You did it justice. Outfit of the year nominee.

Elise said...

Omg, best dress ever! I was a huge Barbie fan growing up, and being a rather spoilt child I had a whole shelf of them along with every accessory you could think of. I feel all nostalgic now! :)

BellaBean Vintage said...

What fabulous fabric and such a beautiful dress - you're so clever. And what could be better than owning Barbie - wearing her of course - Ken would be all over you if it weren't for his unfortunate plastic mound in a place where more useful equipment would have been preferable! Fully jealous of your Barbie case - the site of alcohol always makes me want to drink ...it's only 11am...should I...

Lisa Goodman said...

That's probably the most amazing dress I've ever seen!! I was obsessed with Barbie when I was a little girl (had the mansion house and everything!) and went through a Barbie resurgence in an ironic fashion as a teenage goth. That Barbie booze carry case is genius.

Lx

http://the-sportista.blogspot.co.uk/

mumzy said...

Congratulations on finding your own mini-me doll ............. she is so cute and kitschy and your pink Barbie dress is amazing!!

toni said...

Hi Vix i'm Toni I live round the corner from you! A guy called Glen reccomended your blog to me as I used to be a great jumble sale fan! I still love to mooch round the charity shops ! Nice to have a read through your blog. Love your Barbie dress and the handy booze case !

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