My Crazy 80’s Fashions by Me! Doll

by Wendy Copley on July 25, 2013

My Crazy, 80's Fashions by Me! Doll

Hey everyone! It’s time for another edition of Things I Found in Boxes!

This time I have a little gem that my parents dug up shortly before the boys and I arrived in Iowa to visit them — a DIY fashion design kit called “Fashions by Me!”

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I had several of these sorts of kits when I was about 8 or 9. I have very fond memories of my Fashion Plates and Flip and Fold Fashions because I played with them often, but I didn’t remember this set at all until I saw it on the counter in the laundry room. I had to dig around in the box for a bit and then it all came flooding back.

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This is how my doll was dressed when I pulled her out. She is in awesome shape (even her hair) so I’m guessing I didn’t play with her too much. This lovely pink and white lace outfit was from the “Bridesmaid” accessory pack. I remember creating this outfit, but it would be a stretch to say I “designed” it because all I really did was follow instructions.

So why exactly am I referring to this doll as “crazy”? Let’s take a look at how did I put her no-sew outfits together:

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Ahhhhh!

She has slots all up and down her arms, legs and torso!

Why does she have slots? I decided to make one of the outfits that I hadn’t put together yet to show you why.

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I started by stretching the included piece of sparkly silver fabric out under the cardboard pattern making tool. I marked the lines for a top and some pants.

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Next, I cut the pattern pieces along the marked lines.

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Then, carefully following the instructions I used a special purple tool to jam the fabric into the slots on her body!

Yes! You jam the fabric right into her body! It works really well, but it feels kind of weird and serial killer-ish, to be honest.

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But when you’re done you have a beautiful disco queen in all her sparkling glory! Here are a few of my favorite details from her outfit:

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The big honkin’ flower that’s glued to the side of her face! Because this kit is “no-sew” it came with a glue stick to affix most of the accessories. For some reason this cracks me up.

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The sassy harem pants! You could choose to go with big bell bottoms, but I chose to follow the directions and make the pants bloomer-style.

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Matching sparkly silver clutch! (It’s hard to see the sparkles in this photo, but trust me — they’re brilliant and glamorous.)

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But best of all are the sequins that are glued directly to her skin. Did people do this in the early 80’s? Did they glue big sequins on their bodies? The directions specifically told me to accessorize her outfit in this manner, so I’m thinking this may have been a thing.

Whether it is historically accurate or not, after seeing this I feel like the modern age is sorely lacking in chest-al sequinage.

The blue felt shopping outfit

To close, I’d like to share one final outfit — a blue felt number that the box tells me is appropriate for shopping. It features the same shimmery top as the disco outfit, along with culottes and a shawl-style jacket. The hat is a big, floppy donut-shaped piece of felt that’s pulled down over her hair.  Quite fetching, I think!

Do you remember this toy? Did you play fashion-designer a lot as a child?

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  • Heather Dubarry

    Yes, she did have slots! I remembered correctly! I remember not really liking this because the clothes didn’t stay put too well, and what’s the point of a doll if you can’t have her act out action scenes? (I was a Star Wars fan, so my dolls were always saving the world!)

    I had fashion plates too. And my brother had the boy version of that–monster/superheroes plates. I think those were cooler. I think we still have all of these hanging around somewhere. I’ll have to look around and see what happened to them.

  • Yeah — her arms and legs don’t move either, so she was no fun to pretend with! I think this was only fun if you viewed it as a kind of fancy craft project.

  • Estela

    There is a kit available now called Harumika (i think) that is the same idea, but it’s just a dress form torso with a slot in the back that you poke the fabric into to hold it. I had never seen this one, and I grew up in the 80s! So cute! I made a lot of my Barbie clothes, many of them just tube tops and tube dresses cut from old socks!!

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