When I was a little girl, I loved playing with Barbies. I had quite a collection. I remember laying all the outfits across the floor and wishing I could wear my favorite Barbie dresses. Little did I know that I could… all I had to do was grow up and learn how to sew. This is the power of sewing… You can take an idea and make it a reality. This is how I did it.
The Suburban Shopper Barbie caught my eye years ago and I wanted to recreate the entire outfit in my size. This month felt like the right time. Barbie just celebrated her 62nd birthday on March 9, 2021. Suburban Shopper Barbie debuted in 1959 and was reproduced as a limited edition collectors’ doll in 2000. I bought one of the collectors dolls on eBay and spent hours searching online for all the perfect supplies. I am going to breakdown all the supplies and the cost. This definitely wasn’t a cheap project, but it was worth it to me. Let’s get to it…
Supplies & Cost
- Collector Barbie from eBay: $157.78 (I could resell her, but I wont. She is a keeper!)
- Blue Chambray Fabric from Fabric.com: $53.49 (3.5 yards)
- Cotton Eyelet Lace Trim from Laceking on Etsy: $50.80 (28 yards total, two 14 yard pieces)
- Lace for Flower Applique from Kabooco on Etsy: $7.82 ( I spent hours looking for this!)
- The Zooey Petticoat from Malco Modes: $59.01 (white, size medium. It is so soft! Love it.)
- White Wedge Shoes from Amazon: $32.84 (They are not high quality materials, but I do like these shoes. I wore them all day when photographing this dress and did not get any blisters. I’ll definitely wear them in the future.)
- Straw Bag from Amazon: $29.47 (fun bag, lined, I’ll use it. Thumbs up.)
- Straw Hat from Amazon: $13.54 (costume worthy? yes/maybe. real life wearing? no.)
- The real pink vintage phone (pictured above): $0.00 (It is actually my daughters’ play phone that once was a real functioning phone.)
- My Sewing Time: Priceless (It was a lot of work!)
Total Cost: $404.75
Was it necessary to buy the actual Barbie? No, but I am glad I did. It made for fun pictures and I could analyze the dress better with it in my hands. I was extremely particular about the supplies I bought. Accuracy mattered more than the cost. I could have easily bought cheaper trims, but they wouldn’t have been as nice. Also, I picked a nice fabric for the base of the dress. It is 100 percent cotton and nice quality. The shoes, bag, hat, and petticoat were needed for the full look. The petticoat is great quality and I am so happy to finally have one. That wraps up the supplies and accessories.
The Full Video Tutorial
I really love the eyelet lace and little applique flowers. I think they reflect the Barbie dress as close as possible. I also like the way the darts make the lace misaligned. It is more interesting to look at. I wouldn’t change a thing.
For a brief moment I considered skipping the pockets. I know, I know… “It has pockets!” forever. I went for the extra work and made big squared pockets, my favorite, because my phone can lay on its side in the pocket. They turned out great and I love that they are even more hidden in the pleat.
Now let’s not nitpick over *PERFECT* stripe and waistline matching; it is so very close and I am satisfied. What is a tiny millimeter here and there? I have an invisible zipper tutorial that shows how to align pattern and seams. You can see the thread loop at the top of the zipper that slides into a tiny hook.
That’s a wrap! I hope you like my recreation of the Suburban Shopper Barbie. Until next time, go get creative and make something you love.