Monday, March 23, 2009
Blue Monday ~ Vintage Barbie Doll Dresses
Happy Blue Monday! To celebrate my first-ever participation in a "Mr. Linky" activity, I chose Blue Monday because blue is my favorite color.
This post shows my much-loved and hand-sewn Barbie doll dresses. These "Gone with the Wind" dresses, as I affectionately referred to them during my childhood, were designed and created for me by one of my grandmother's "beauty shop" customers.
In the early 1930s after finishing the 8th grade, my grandmother completed "beauty school" to become a beautician and eventually open her own shop in Detroit, MI. Most of my grandmother's customers were the Polish ladies from the local neighborhood and Catholic parish. I have many wonderful memories of getting to go to work with my grandmother for the day, rinsing perm rods in the wash basin, sweeping up hair, and unrolling the rollers from "set" hair-dos. I can still smell the permanent wave solution, shampoos and conditioners and hear the droning of the "old-fashioned" hair dryers. I would listen in awe as the ladies chattered about in Polish, a sound so familiar, yet uncomprehensible to my American ears! A special treat was when I was given a few dollars and allowed to run downstairs (my grandmother's beauty shop was upstairs over a Croatian bakery) and buy myself a cookie or donut.
One customer in particular was a family friend of my grandmother's and quite the accomplished seamstress. In addition to these beautiful Barbie doll dresses, she also sewed several toddler dresses for me in various pastels with as much lace, ribbon, and crinolines as you see on these doll dresses!
The Blue "Bubble" Dress
Each dress had a minimum of three layers or crinolines.
The complete "vintage" set. These Barbie Doll dresses are about 40 years old so I suppose that makes them "vintage". Does that make me vintage?!!!
Recently, while conversing with an "old" new friend via facebook, she shared with me how much fun she had playing with my beautiful Barbie doll dresses on my parents' front porch. As you can imagine, these dresses were quite the hit with the neighborhood girls. They were glamorous and brought sheer delight to us 10-year olds! Today, my four-year old adores these dresses and gets the same satisfaction from playing with them as her mommy did. Together, we carefully change Barbie's ball gowns and allow our imaginations to run away with us!
For more BLUE finds, please visit Smiling Sally here.