Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Sew Inspired No-Sew Undies

My most recent doll purchase, a pink box Barbie, Artsy Fashionista #3 to be precise, is like most, if not all pink box dolls -- pantiless! Sure Mattel gives an illusion of flesh-tone, molded-on undies with a molded-in-vinyl waistband, leg bands, and Barbie's name and silhouette all over the dolls' panty-area, but these are not panties, Mattel! These are bare bottomed dolls. 

Dolls wearing flared skirts or dresses need their bottoms covered. How much more would nylon panties (or cotton even) increase production costs? And what message are these bottomless, skirted dolls sending to little girls, the target market? Will they think it is acceptable to be pantiless like Barbie?

After freeing Artsy #3 from the box liner and discovering her nude bottom, I created a pair of removable no-sew panties for her.  My method, which also uses lace, was inspired by the very informative Limbe Dolls' St. Regis Lace video tutorial (which requires sewing skills and patience).

Because I am challenged in the area of sewing and the patience to do it, I created removable, no-sew undies for Artsy  using items on hand.  The following images and captions illustrate what I used and what I did to create these.

What I used
Measuring Tape
Two 4-inch long pieces of pink lace (for the panty area)
One 5-inch long piece of pink lace (for the waist band)
Stitch Witchery, an iron-on adhesive*
The tip of a moderately warm iron  (warm enough to melt the Stitch Witchery)

Sticky Back Velcro
Pantiless Doll

Along the length of the non-looped portion of one of the 4-inch long pieces of lace, I placed a 4-inch long piece of Stitch Witchery.  The non-looped edge of the other 4-inch long piece of lace was placed on top of the Stitch Witchery.

Using the tip of a moderately warm iron, I moved the tip along the area of sandwiched pieces of lace and Stitch Witchery to bind these together.

Next, approximately 1/8 inch of both ends of the bound lace strips were folded over.  A 1-inch wide x 1/8-inch long piece of Stitch Witchery was placed underneath each folded end and ironed flat to create hemmed edges.

The remaining 5-inch long piece of lace was used to create the waist.  Looped edge up, it was placed in a T-shaped fashion on one end of the two previously bound lace pieces.   A small piece (approximately 1 inch) of Stitch Witchery was ironed between the T-shaped pieces, attaching the waist to the panty area.

A 1-inch piece of looped sticky back Velcro was placed on the back upper-outer edge of the panty area. Two pieces of hooked sticky back Velcro were placed on each end of the waistband.  With Velcro, the panty is removable.

The above image illustrates how the panty looks from the back.

This is how the panty looks from the front.  

This panty style will work well with A-line dresses and flared skirts.  The Velcro** may create a bulge with tight fitting dresses and pants. 

*Stitch Witchery can be substituted with Liquid Stitch or another fabric glue.  **To prevent the bulge and to create non-removable panties, eliminate the Velcro and stitch the waistband closed in the back with a sewing needle and thread.


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  1. Don't act like you are not pantiless down there. LOL! Wonderful job! Mattel doesn't put panties on because then they would have to redesign all of those pants that won't fit with panties. Heck, most of them don't fit well even without panties. I like when they sew the panties on to the skirts them selves. Took me a long time to figure out what it was when I saw it. "Why doesn't this fit right? Oh, that piece goes between her legs." Duh

  2. LOL! You-so-crazy!

    I like the panties attached to the skirts too. I just realized the skirt of one of my $5 Barbies purchased at Big Lots a couple of years back has panties sewn to her skirt.

    I'm sure you are right about Mattel having to redesign the clothes if panties are added.

    I guess I need to stock up on lace the next time I'm at Walmart.


  3. that is so cool..I can't sew so I should try that.

  4. Thanks for your comment James. If you do try this, please share images. Also if you can improve on the closure technique to decrease the bulk caused by the Velcro, please share.



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