Monday, August 3, 2009

Beach Blanket Shenanigans

Doll's Bathing Suit, Beach Coat, and Accessories Patterns from McCall’s Needlework & Crafts, Spring-Summer, 1969

I don’t trust the look on Camera Girl Barbie’s face. She looks like she’s plotting something nefarious.

Come to think of it... we can’t see all of her right hand, can we? What could she be hiding behind her back?

Bathing Beauty Barbie, look behind you!

For the complete pattern (and more snark!):

emerald bathing suit: just three straight pieces – two are sewn together for pants, one is shaped with chain cord for a halter top. Simple to make in single crochet.
I can’t blame Camera Girl Barbie for feeling just a titch homicidal. After all, it’s a hot summer day, and she’s wearing a bulky knitted shift, which wasn’t “easy” to make. Meanwhile Bathing Beauty Barbie is lounging around in a skimpy crocheted bikini.

SIZE: Fits 11 1/2’’ fashion doll.
Names have been withheld to protect the innocent.
MATERIALS: Fingering yarn, 3 ply, 1/4 oz. Steel crochet hook No. 3. Small snap fastener. Yarn needle.
Fingering yarn? Camera Girl Barbie’s shift is made of ORLON. That’s right, Orlon, also known as polyacrylonitrile fiber, and made from natural gas. No wonder Camera Girl Barbie looks ready to explode.
GAUGE: 6 sc = 1’’; 8 rows = 1’’.

SHORTS: Beg at lower edge, ch 31 to measure about 5’’.

Row 1: Sc in 2nd ch from hook and in each remaining ch – 30 sc. Ch 1, turn each row.

Rows 2-9: Sc in each sc across.

Row 10: * Sk 1 sc, sc in next sc, repeat from * across – 15 sc (waist). End off. For crotch, ch 5, work in sc on 4 sts for 8 rows. End off.
Okay, Orlon won’t actually explode during your average summer heat wave. But it’s so hot today, the sea has baked into a solid, green slab, trapping the sailboats just like paper glued to cardboard.
FINISHING: Sew ends of shorts tog for 6 rows (back seam). Sew crotch in place. Sew snap fastener to top of back opening.
Those aren’t the cries of gulls you hear, Bathing Beauty Barbie, they’re the screams of roasting sailors.

Or maybe they’re your own! (cue Psycho music)
BRA: Ch 21 to measure about 3 1/2’’.

Row 1: Sc in 2nd ch from hook and in each remaining ch – 20 sc. Ch 1, turn each row.

Rows 2-6: Sc in each sc across. At end of row 6, sc in end st of 3 rows down edge of bra, ch 30 for tie. End off. Attach yarn at center of other end, ch 30. End off.

For halter tie, ch 70. End off. Tie center of chain around center of bra.
Fortunately for Bathing Beauty Barbie, it turns out that her plastic skin is impervious to silver painted cardboard knives. Deciding to put the scorching heat to good use, Camera Girl Barbie heads off in search for a giant magnifying glass.

A Barbie Girl always knows how to make lemons out of lemonade.
sleeveless coat tops bathing suit for beach ensemble. Coat, made in one straight piece, is sewn at top for shoulders. Double crochet; edging in single crochet.


SIZE: Fits 11 1/2’’ fashion doll.
Now in the witness protection program.
MATERIALS: Fingering yarn, 3 ply, 1/4 oz. Steel crochet hook No. 3. Yarn needle.

GAUGE: 6 dc = 1’’; 3 rows = 1’’.
A 4’’ gauge swatch would be almost the same size (and shape!) as the actual coat. Just sayin’.
COAT: Ch 50 to measure about 7’’.

Row 1: Dc in 4th ch from hook and in each ch across. Ch 3, turn.

Row 2: Dc in next dc and in each dc across, dc in top of turning ch – 48 dc, counting ch 3 as 1 dc. Repeat row 2 until piece is 3’’ long. Ch 3, turn.

Front: Dc in next 11 dc – 12 dc. Ch 3, turn. Work 3 rows more of 12 dc. End off.

Back: Attach yarn in dc after front on last long row. Ch 3, dc in each of next 23 dc – 24 dc. Ch 3, turn. Work 3 rows more of 24 dc. End off.

Attach yarn in dc after back on last long row. Ch 3, dc in each of next 10 dc, dc in top of ch 3 – 12 dc for other front. Ch 3, turn. Work 3 more rows of 12 dc. End off.

FINISHING: Press piece. Sew shoulder seams. Work 1 row of sc all around outer edge of coat. Work 1 row of sc around each armhole. Press edges.

doll-size beach towel is made by hemming gay scrap of terry cloth.

A close inspection of the “gay scrap” in question reveals... poodles! Specifically, psychedelic green and blue poodles in purple sweaters, frolicking among helium balloons.

I always knew poodles were countercultural!

SIZE: 6’’ x 13’’

MATERIALS: Terry cloth with small design. 7’’ x 15’’.
After all, not one, single poodle voted for Nixon.
TOWEL: Make 1/2’’ hem on each long side, 1’’ hem on each end. If plain terry cloth is used, towel can be machine stitched with doll’s name or appliquéd with fish or beach ball designs.

useful beach bag takes a jiffy to sew on machine with three pieces of felt, two strips for handles.
I didn’t realize this was a sewing project. Requiring a *machine* no less.

But then you’re a hip, modern gal, so obviously it’d be unthinkable to sew an inch of felt by hand. That’s something your grandma would do!

SIZE: 2 1/4’’ x 1 1/4’’.

MATERIALS: Small pieces of felt.

BAG: For sides, cut two pieces of felt, 2 1/4’’ x 1 1/4’’.
Don’t get careless with your measuring. That quarter inch is critical!
For ends and bottom, cut one strip 5/8’’ wide x 5’’ long.
As is that 5/8ths of an inch. 6/8ths and your project will be ruined! Ruined, I say!
Stitch one edge of strip around ends and bottom of one side piece. Stitch other edge of strip to second side piece. Tack a narrow strip of felt to each side for handles.

perky head scarf has green zigzag-stitched edge to match suit.
Yes, that scarf is certainly perky. It’s standing up like the Pope’s mitre.

MATERIALS: Piece of cotton 12’’ x 4’’. Matching and contrasting sewing threads.

SCARF: Hem one long edge of cotton strip for front of scarf. With contrasting thread, zigzag-stitch across one end for 3/4’’, then stitch to center of long raw edge, gradually widening to a depth of 2 1/2’’: finish other half the same. Trim scarf close to zigzag stitching.

Handmade by Mother would like to apologize to any Catholic readers who may be offended. All efforts were made to vet this image in advance. Transcript follows.

Victoria Dunn: “You’re my only openly Catholic friend. Is this offensive?”

Victoria Dunn’s Only Catholic Friend: “Jay-sus wept, woman! What are you thinking? That’s a cross on her little pink Bible!”

Victoria Dunn: “Well yeah, it’s a Bible so. . .”

V.D.O.C.F.: “A cross, not a crucifix! Are you saying that Pope Barbie would read the King James Bible? A Protestant Bible?!”

V.D.: “Er, I was actually wondering if the halter top and short-shorts were a problem.”

V.D.O.C.F.: “Nobody knows what those lot wear under their vestments. But between you and me, a Barbie Pope really ought to be wearing spiffy red shoes.”

Click here for the printable pattern.


  1. There is a pattern for what looks like exactly the same scarf/hat that Bikini Barbie is wearing over at Whit's Knits.

    It's at

    Everything old is new again.

  2. Hey, that looks like a nice pattern!

    And I note that it in no way resembles the Pope's mitre. ;-)