Saturday, October 27, 2012

From a Sow's Ear

Top designers have been creating ensembles for Barbie for decades, but in real life many of us shop for our wardrobes at Walmart and Target.  Similarly not all of the characters in my doll world can afford to shop at exclusive boutiques like Ni'Chalet’s in Morristown.  Last year I snagged a number of $1 fashion packs at Dollar Tree and then set out to make silk purses from these sartorial sow’s ears. 


Our model today is Greta Behan, a gift from Debbie Behan Garrett of Black Doll Collecting who knows my fondness for dollar store clones. 


I upgraded her to an articulated Mattel poser body that had previously belonged to a Barbie cheerleader or athlete.

The black and white striped top had unfinished neck, hem, and armhole edges.  I wanted to stop the fabric from developing runs so I stitched black rick rack around the neck edge. 


I also cut the back open and added a Velcro closure so my ladies can put it on and take it off without having to pull it over their heads. 

The skinny jeans show off Greta’s long, shapely legs but did not fit snugly at the waist so I added some belt lops and made a braided belt from red embroidery thread.

Greta has flat feet and can’t wear any standard fashion doll shoes so I made her a pair of suede sandals. 

I also opened the side seam of the jeans and stitched rick rack around the hem to coordinate with the other rick rack accents.

Greta's hat was borrowed from a Dolls of the World Barbie and her purse is a Kari Michelle accessory.

Several of the Dollar Tree fashion packs included shapeless tube dresses made from cheap velour.  The orange and lime green ones were so bad I couldn’t salvage them but the red and black ones yielded just enough fabric to make the coordinating bolero jacket with ¾ length sleeves that completes Greta’s ensemble.

Greta will be wearing other Dollar Tree ensembles in an upcoming photo story about LaQuita Jackson, a remarkable young woman who is determined to make a better life for herself and her son even though she wasn’t born with a silver spoon in her mouth. 

À Bientôt


  1. Funny, I just purchased this set again! The knit on the top wants to run! I can see where the rikrak would stop that. Great job at restyling the fashions

  2. Greta Behan is certainly making a fashion statement in her improved fashions. It looks as though she has been given a lip enhancement, too. Am I correct?

    I enjoyed the outdoors, wooded area images.

    Great job!


  3. I bought this fashion as well. Thanks for sharing. I didn't know that the top frayed. I actually purchased the fashion for the top. You did a good job on redoing the outfit. Looking forward to being introduced to LaQuita Jackson.

  4. Love your fashion enhancements. LOL about the Ni'Chalet comment. That jacket is really nice. The rickrack on the bottom of the pants is my favorite. Little details can make such a big difference.

  5. Everything is cute but I especially like the rope belt addition. :-)

  6. Dear All,

    Thanks for your compliments. The high winds from Hurricane Sandy were playing havoc with my internet connection yesterday so I couldn't respond but I appreciate all your comments.

    Debbie you are right, I did attempt to darken Greta's lips but I think we need to send her back to make up before the next shoot.

  7. Hello from Spain: I love buying clothes for your redo. Great job at restyling the fashions. I love the striped shirt and photos .. Keep in touch

    1. Hi Marta,

      Thanks for your comments. It took me some time to figure out how to embellish Greta's wardrobe but it was a lot of fun.

  8. Hi dear,hope the Hurricane stops soon and life becomes normal again there!! :( Btw hope the place where you stay is not affected much!

    Greta looks stylish,I loved the one where she is posing against a rock or something,her face is slightly shown in that pic,beautiful outdoor shots,I loved this post.
    Your mix and match style looks quite trendy on Greta, I must say!!:):D

    1. Hi Pam,

      Hurricane Sandy has brought cooler temperatures to Georgia but no other ill effects. My iPod does not have a neutral density filter so in the backlit shot of Greta posing against the tree she is under-exposed. I enjoy shooting outdoors, however.