Friday, August 30, 2013

Doll Spotlight: Most Mod Party Becky

Seeing as a lot of people seem to like my doll posts, I thought I'd focus them to one post a month with a spotlight on a certain doll or part of my collection. I'm also thinking Fridays might be a kind of 'Feature Friday' but instead of having the same feature every week, there will be four features that rotate throughout the month, so the 'Doll Spotlight' will be the last Friday starting today. I haven't thought of any other features, yet, so we'll see how it all goes! I'm not sure if I'll keep the name 'Doll Spotlight' for this one, either - I'm trying to think of something a little catchier.

Anyway, I'm starting with the Most Mod Party Becky set that was released in 2009. She is a reproduction of a prototype doll, from 1971, that was never released. Here's what the booklet that comes with the doll says about her...

The Becky Doll Story

Do you remember seeing that pretty, perky face in 1971 Barbie doll fashion catalog? Becky doll was introducted as cousin Francie doll's new mod friend. With silver-ash blonde hair, styled in a classic flip, this prototype sure did make an impression in pictures. But as 1971 went on, Mattel never moved forward with Becky doll's production. Until now! For the first time ever, Barbie Collector presents Beck - with Twist 'N Turn waist and bendable legs. The wait is over! Welcome, Becky doll!

Most Mod Party Becky

I love the design of the box - for some reason it makes me think of a 1970s board game...

Most Mod Party Becky
but the inside is more fun!

Becky uses the Casey mould (also used by the Twiggy doll released in 1967) which was the biggest smile the Barbie family had seen at this point! She comes with three of her very own fashions, with little 'Becky' labels sewn in, a number of accessories and a booklet which shows some of the original images of the Becky prototype.

Becky close-up
Becky close-up.

Most Mod Party Becky
Look at the neat accessories she comes with! I love the pink turntable and the little record. And you can't have a party without invitations and a guest list.

Mod Party Trio
All three of the outfits being modelled by Dee Dee (a 30th anniversary repro Francie), Lulu (Smashin' Satin repro Francie) and Becky. Lulu is wearing an extra jacket not from this set and Dee Dee wears the repro boots she came with.

What do you all think of the Doll Spotlight feature idea? Are there any doll related questions anyone would like me to answer for the next Doll Spotlight? Or, if the question is more pressing, you are welcome to email me at

Hopefully you all enjoyed this Feature Friday Doll Spotlight and I'll be working on the spotlight for next well as trying to think of three other features! (Maybe I'll just try to think of one other, for now...) And you can follow the tumblr I use for my doll collection in the meanwhile, if you're interested.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Swinging Blue Dress

Some time ago, now, I fell in love with a dress on ASOS. It sat in my 'saved items' for a while and I looked at it longingly most every day. Then, one day, it had sold out in my size! I was devestated as I hadn't even seen a 'low in stock' notice underneath it to warn me. A friend on twitter offered suggestions of how I could check for it on eBay or to check if it came back in stock so I left it in my saved items just in case. One day, when UniDays was having a 20% off offer for ASOS, I chanced a look in my saved items and it was back in stock in my size! O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay! Needless to say, I bought it without hesitation.

The dress is so very '60s (but could also be early '90s does '60s, too), which is what attracted me to it. The '60s were my first love - as a Beatles-obsessed thirteen year old I fell in love with the decade that brought my favourite band to fame. I think the Austin Powers films helped with my love of the '60s, too. I still want, well, pretty much every outfit from the opening sequence of International Man of Mystery. My thirteenth birthday party was even '60s themed! Safe to say, I loved the '60s and I've come back around again (I've never not loved the fashions of the '60s, of course). So, I'm happy that there are still a lot of '60s inspired clothes out there because original pieces don't always come in the combination of  'cute, in my price range and my size!'

A detail shot so you can see the texture of the fabric.

This photo doesn't really do it justice...My only issue with it is that the lining is horrible. It feels like one of those nylon raincoats that don't actually protect you from the rain. I'm a bit worried that taking the lining out may ruin the way the dress sits, though, especially as it's quite short. If it wasn't so cute, I'd have returned it but it really is just so cute that I don't care.

I seem to be acquiring quite a few dresses with Peter Pan collars.

I've been thinking about my style a lot, lately, and how it's changed and how it is changing and I've been feeling a little lost. This post at Retro Chick definitely tapped into some of the things I've been thinking about lately as well as giving me more food for thought. Maybe it's something I can go into in more depth one day, though I suppose that I touched on it in this post from the beginning of last year.

Monday, August 26, 2013

A day in Melbourne

A little while ago I booked myself a day trip to Melbourne, my plans being to see the Hollywood Costume exhibition at ACMI and Monet's Garden at the NGV. I'd also had grand plans of taking lots of photos (not in the exhibitions, obviously) and writing up a really nice blog post when I got home. Like many plans, the latter did not happen - what with rain and carry bags and delayed flights I wasn't in a photo taking mood so I only have a few not particularly great quality photos for this post.

Miss Fairchild and I posing at Monet's Garden.

Knowing I'd only be there for a day I didn't want to rush myself and make plans to meet up with my lovely Melbourne friends. Then, on twitter, I saw that Miss Fairchild was planning on going to the Monet exhibition so I DM'd her and we ended up making plans to see it together. As much as I love wandering around alone, with the mood I ended up being in that morning I was really glad I made plans to meet her! We had a really lovely day and I'm looking forward to going back to Melbourne again (and meeting up with some more friends, too). You can see Miss Fairchild's post about the day here.

Having a cup of tea!

The main reason that I went over to Melbourne was the Hollywood Costume exhibition. I kept seeing everyone else that had been going post or talk about it and I'd loved the previous exhibitions I'd seen at ACMI (Tim Burton and Disney Princess) so I was pretty keen on going. I definitely enjoyed it and it was great seeing all of these costumes in real life (I spent the most time looking at Rachael's grey suit from Blade Runner...swoon!) but it didn't quite compare to the other exhibitions I'd seen there. It was still definitely worth it, though and I'm incredibly glad I had the opportunity to go.

And I couldn't resist this brooch from the gift shop! Like many, I watched and loved the 1939 The Wizard of Oz as a child and this brooch is just too cute. It would be great to have one in silver, too, to match the shoes in the book.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Barbie convention finds

Today is the last of the posts about the Barbie convention! I wore another pink outfit for Sunday but was so exhausted I didn't get a proper photo of it.

I think you can see just how exhausted I was...

The pleats look so sharp in this photo. I wore my glittery loafers again as they're very comfortable and Sunday was sales room day! I was hoping to find some more vintage Barbies but I ended up with a lot of boxed dolls from the 80s on. I remembered the day after, though, that there was a really rare doll that I'd wanted to go back and look at again but I forgot. I probably wouldn't have been able to afford it, though, despite having been saving for this for ages. I'm incredibly happy with what I did find, anyway.

I've developed an attraction to space-themed dolls so I was super pleased to find three astronaut Barbies! I love the pink one - as I said on Instagram she seems more B-grade sci-fi Barbie to me.

And here they are displayed on my (tiny) space shelf! I've since added another astronaut that I nearly forgot I had packed away.

There was a Wonder Woman doll on the 'lucky dip' table and I was a bit miffed that I didn't draw the ticket for her, so when I found two Wonder Woman dolls in the sales room I was obviously quite pleased. I was also happy to get the Frenchy doll as I'd been so annoyed at myself for not getting more when they were on the shelves. The Bedtime Barbie is one I had when I was little.

And I also got a partial vintage Francie outfit!

Well, I hope you've all enjoyed seeing my convention outfits and finds. I had so much fun and being around so many other people who love what I do was a great feeling. But it's also fun to find out the different ways everyone loves Barbie and what their collections focus on. (Just like with any kind of collectors, really.)

Has anyone ever been to a convention like this, whether for dolls or other types of collectors? I'd only been to the two pop culture conventions this past year, Oz Comic Con and Supanova, which are very different formats, of course.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Black and white and a touch of gold

On the Saturday night I made plans to go out with some friends, as a belated birthday celebration, after the convention's banquet. I kept changing my mind about what to wear until I ordered the dress that I wore in this post - I paid for express postage so I figured I should make the most of it and ordered another dress that I decided to wear on the Saturday night.

I felt quite 1980s-does-1960s in this, maybe because of this girl from John Waters' Hairspray? Either way, I love this dress and the way everything ended up looking together. (And I love 80s does 60s, too).

Love this necklace!

Ha! This photo basically looks like a mirror image of the top one. Variety in posing isn't exactly my forte. The night didn't go quite as planned and I spent most of the time with my coat on - I felt a bit sick after eating too much at the banquet so we got tea and then wandered around trying to find somewhere that wasn't too loud or expensive. We didn't find anywhere so we just went home! Ha.


I tried my best to do the look second from the bottom seen in my review of Retro Makeup but it's not quite the same.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Red, white and pink

For the Saturday of the convention, I decided to wear pink on pink with a dash of red, white and gold. I grew up during the Pink Box era of Barbie so, while not all or maybe even most of Barbie's outfits were pink, it was the colour most associated with her, so it seemed appropriate to wear pink over the weekend. Plus, it's my favourite colour.

Accesory details, including the only sweater clips I own and my vintage valentine brooch.

Some of the competition entries for the day. This category was vintage Barbie  - I voted for the Barbie in the electric blue coat. My little Fluff doll in her green dress is just next to her. She didn't win but I did win one of the raffles!

And here is what I won! A repro Barbie in a custom made outfit by one of the women in the club, inspired by this vintage Barbie outfit. She is so lovely and I'm so chuffed that I won her. I'll have to find a nice place to display her.

I was attracted by her red hair and the paisley fabric.

The jacket is even lined! The detail is just gorgeous, really.

Hopefully you aren't all getting sick of reading about dolls because there is one more convention post to go! (But there will be a pure outfit post in between this one and the next post with dolls).

Friday, August 16, 2013

Loving the spin I'm in!

As I mentioned in one of my recent posts, the doll club I'm a member of held a Barbie convention this month. They are held every two years and this was the first one in Adelaide in ten years, luckily coinciding with my first year as a member of the club! 

The Friday night was a birthday celebration for Barbie's best friend, Midge, who turns 50 this year. I wanted to wear a Barbie themed outfit so mum and I set out to recreate the Barbie outfit Black Magic from 1964. (Hence this post's subject). To cut a long story short, the dress pattern I bought wasn't quite right and didn't work the way I wanted it to but luckily there was a similar enough dress on ASOS to save the day.

Barbie's outfit didn't include a hat or belt but I felt it looked better with both. My hair isn't long enough to put in a ponytail, so I tried to style it similarly to an American Girl Barbie, who had a bob in various lengths throughout her production run.

I think the overall effect of the outfit worked quite well. I didn't wear the cloak for most of the night, though, because another lady there had the same idea. Later on, I talked to her and she thought it was great we wore the same thing and we could be titian and blonde Barbie twins, so we got a photo together (with someone else's camera).

A look at the dress sans cloak.

There was a competition for OOAK (one of a kind) party dresses for Midge. The one in the middle was one of my favourites!

And here are the party dresses I made for my Midges. They didn't turn out as well as I'd hoped and the fabric was awful to work with but they seem pleased with their new frocks. They didn't win, sadly.

Everyone attending also got a gift courtesy of Mattel - this Barbie and Midge 50th Anniversary gift set! I already had a set but I'd not wanted to take the dolls out because they look really lovely displayed in the box. So, now I have an extra set that I can take out (as you can see I already have) and play with. It was an incredibly lovely surprise.

I've got a few more posts about the convention so hopefully you all don't get bored of dolls.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Op Shopping Tuesday

Last Tuesday it was my birthday and I spent most of the day op-shopping with my mum. I used my birthday money and managed to find a few nice things. Nothing particularly old or what I usually look for but some neat finds, nonetheless. And here are some sneak peek photos of the clothes and proper photos of the rest.

Check out the sequinned design on the shoulder of this 80s cocktail dress I bought.

A similar design on the hip.

The print on the utterly ridiculous 80s dress I found. It has a detachable peplum and very big shoulders (of course!) but it actually looks pretty good on, I think. I posted some terrible photos of these on Tumblr for anyone who wants to see them.

I'm honestly not sure where I will wear either of these dresses but I feel nearly certain there will be some occasion in the future that one of these will be perfect for.

A nice vintage plaid skirt. It has a bit of a '30s sillhouette to it.

I love the covers of these Kim Aldrich Mystery books. I found a little information on them here. It seems there were only four books in the series, so I'm only missing one! They sound kind of interesting so I may actually get around to reading these one day.

And some various dolly things. Mostly clone (i.e. knock-off) things, except for the mermaid and I think the white hat as I believe it's from Day to Night Barbie's outfit.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Two Outfits from Last Week

Gosh, been nearly a week since my last post. I had a couple planned for the rest of last week, but I had a setback with my thesis and it just really drained any blogging energy I had. Plus, I was getting some things ready for the Barbie convention (put on by the doll club I'm in) I was at over the weekend. There will be posts on that, probably next week, but for today I have a very short post on two outfits from last week. I only have one good photo of each outfit, unfortunately, so it really is a short post.

The above outfit was one that I wore out last Tuesday night to see Frances Ha. A friend kindly invited me along to a special screening she had free tickets for after I'd mentioned on Tumblr that I was looking forward to seeing it. It was a fantastic film and I highly recommend it to anyone who hasn't seen it!

And this one was worn out the next day to lunch! (As well as a meeting with my supervisor, which is when I realised there was a huge setback in my thesis schedule). I haven't worn the top before but everything else has already been seen.

Oh, and I'd like to say thank-you to everyone who commented on my last post! I've got so many more posts planned that I'm hoping to type up today and schedule for the next couple of weeks.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

How I made my Rockford Peaches costume

In the past, I've had a couple of emails from people asking me how I made my Rockford Peaches costume. Well, since I've got costumes on the mind, right now, I thought I'd do a post with some tips on how I made mine. Obviously, as it was made a few years ago, I don't have progress shots and I should warn that I know very little about sewing so the descriptions of how things were done may be vague. Hopefully it'll still be helpful!

Below is the pattern that I used. And by 'I' I mean 'we' and by that I really mean my mum. Ha. I just really hate sewing but I like trying to figure out how I can alter patterns to my needs (which is a bit more difficult when you don't know much about sewing terms and whatnot). Basically, what I suggested was to extend the front panel so it came across like the uniforms did and to shorten the length. Does that make sense? (The extending bit, I mean). I believe it was basically done just by cutting straight across from the pattern piece for the front until it seemed wide/long enough. It doesn't look exactly like the uniform but it's a decent approximation and it meant I didn't have to buy another pattern. The buttons on the panel are just for show and the dress actually does up with press studs/snaps. Any similar pattern would work just as well. The buttons on my dress are solid white but they're a little more pearly in the film.

Here are a few links to some I think could work:

Next was finding the right fabric. This was probably the hardest part. The uniforms are probably a cotton drill or something similar to that - they would have to be a sturdy fabric, anyway, for what the players would be putting them through. However, I just couldn't find a fabric similar to this in the right colour so I ended up getting some kind of matte satiny fabric instead. At least, I thought, it's the right colour! And I had, and still don't have, any plans to actually play baseball in this so it's not too much of a disaster. Because it's not a shiny fabric from a disntace it looks fine.

The second hardest aspect was finding a plain red baseball cap. You'd think it would be easy but it was impossible so we just covered the logo of a cap with red fabric and put an 'R' patch over it (or perhaps we attached the 'R' to the fabric and then glued it onto the hat). I don't have any good photos of the hat but you can see a phone shot in my original post on the costume. The movie hats had an 'R' in a circle (which you can see in the top picture) but the original Rockford Peaches uniforms had just a white 'R'. 

The hair is easy - I wanted mine to look like Mae's so I set it with a middle part and pinned the fronts so I could have the little peaks like her hair did but any '40s styled hair that will fit under a hat would work.

As you can probably see the 'patch' on the front of my dress was just printed onto paper and sewn on. I think there may have been official embroidered patches at the time, but I can't quite remember. At any rate, there aren't any now! I was running low on time so we just found a decent sized image of one online and printed it out. I believe I didn't have enough money to buy some transfer paper or else I would have transferred it onto fabric. If I wear this again, I will probably do that next time! Someone else did a pretty good job of making their own patch.

The belt isn't screen accurate (it has a covered buckle instead of the plain metal one) but it's very close and I had it on hand.

Just traced over a large '5' that I'd printed out, cut it out of some red fabric and it was sewn onto the back.

I don't remember which pattern was used for the shorts but any red shorts would do the trick! I think we used something from Wearing History but I haven't found any shorts patterns that sit nicely on me. These weren't going to be seen, though, so it didn't really matter. I think the shorts might be satin in the film or for the official uniforms, though.

For shoes, I just wore saddle shoes. I didn't want to fork out the money for proper baseball shoes and these were the closest I had. Plus they do look pretty cute with the costume!

To be honest, if I wore this again I'd consider remaking the entire thing, mainly because of the fabric. The fabric I got is the right colour but not the right kind (but in the time frame I was working in, it was all I could get - it's not that easy to find good fabric, here. I've been running around trying to find some for another costume but just can't find something that's quite right). I'd put belt loops on so it was more like the uniform worn in the film. I'm not sure if I'd put the AAGPBL arm patch on as it was an anachronism but I'd definitely get a proper patch for the front of the uniform. But I'm still really proud of this (even though I didn't make it entirely myself) and it was one of the first times I'd ever created a costume that was from a movie or had a specific reference.

A round-up of what you'll need:

A peach-coloured dress/uniform
A Rockford Peaches patch for the front
An AAGPBL arm patch, if you are going for screen accuracy
A red baseball cap with an 'R' on it (I found a shop that makes some on etsy)
Red shorts
Red knee socks
Red belt with a silver buckle
Black shoes or similar
A bat! Or a catcher's mit.

Hopefully this post has been helpful even without any in progress shots! If anyone would like to see anything else like this in the future, just let me know. (I've also been asked how I did the Roswell costume before). And if it's all too much for you, you can buy officially licensed uniforms here! They also have some on Amazon that aren't particulary accurate but still cute.

Let me know what you think of the post or if there is anything I should have added that I either didn't think of or forgot.