How to create a mediocre Barbie skirt

My granddaughter fervently wanted to win the Barbie Easter basket at our recent Breakfast with the Bunny extravaganza at the local high school. We bought boatloads of tickets, way more than the basket was worth. And she won! Hip hip hooray! Total happiness, right? Initially, yes but then she discovered that the Barbie was a SWIM Barbie. Can you imagine that?

She was not happy that Barbie was clothed in nothing but a swimsuit. This was an affront to humanity and she wanted, she said, a skirt for Barbie. So I made her one which wasn’t really up to snuff.

Ultimately she was happy but as her reaction was not total joy so I decided the post had to reflect that. I decided to entitle this post How to create a mediocre Barbie skirt because that is what I accomplished!


  • Barbie in need of clothes
  • Scrap of fabric
  • scrap of elastic
  • Thread
  • Sewing machine

(photo by Zara Biegel)barbie-re-2


Cut a piece of 1/4″ elastic the width of Barbie’s waist plus .5″ for seams.

Cut a piece of fabric twice as wide as the elastic and .5″ longer than where barbie-re-3you want the skirt to end. Also add .5″ at top.

Fold over the a small amount of fabric and then fold again. This fold should be .5″ so the elastic will fit.barbie-re-4

Fold 1/4″ twice on the bottom to make a hem.

Sew the top folded fabric with a straight stitch.

barbie-re-5Sew the bottom folded fabric with a blanket or hem stitch.

Use a safety pin to insert the elastic into the placket created for it. When the last of it is just about in, sew that opening closed with barbie-re-6elastic fully caught in seam.

Keep using the safety pin to advance the elastic through the seam. When it gets all the way to the end, remove the pin and secure the elastic. Sew it firmly in place.


Stitch the back using a 1/4″ seam, this will look better and is all allowed in the cutting. Backstitch at each end. Press the seam open as best you can.

Slip the skirt onto Barbie. She will not react. Barbie’s barbie-re-8owner may not jump for joy either.

Zara told me she wanted the “skirt” to be up there also. I said, oh you wanted a dress?

She replied in the affirmative and added, plus shoes. A few minutes later she was carrying the Barbie around with pride. She changed her name to Flower.

After she left I went online. I found 10 super cheap poorly made Barbie dresses for 10 bucks and 50 pairs of shoes for half that. I ordered both and Z thought they were FABULOUS.

Morale of the story: Fashionistas are fickle clients!

Sew happy!

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Here is a link to a project that received a much more glowing review.

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    Kathy Mathews

    My passions are quilting and sewing. Add to that French, Spanish, books, swimming, travels, new restaurants, yoga and chocolate and you have me. All of these are best shared with family and friends. Except for chocolate, don't touch my chocolate. You can email me at

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