Barbie (and her other 12" rivals) may not be every woman's idea of a feminist icon. But what if you could use her to develop your child's creative skills, along with encouraging recycling and the lost art of Make Do And Mend? That's the thinking behind Roos Productions, 3 Belgian women who have combined their love of designing textile graphics, creating fashion patterns and exhibiting historical girls' toys.
The result is Dress Your Doll, an innovative set of craft kits suitable for anyone 7 years old and upwards (supervision recommended for young children). Each kit has everything you need to create an outfit for the most popular size of fashion doll, along with accessories from a bag to a bedspread. Everything is printed on non-fraying fabric which just needs to be cut out and sewn together along the dotted lines. Any child who can cut neatly and sew a straight line will soon be creating a wardrobe of mix and match outfits she can be proud of and have hours of fun playing with.
The doll used here is also available as part of the Dress Your Doll range, supplied separately.
The print details are in perfect tiny proportion. The doll on the right is sporting a photo-quality robin on her top and bag.
Patterns are also available that can be used on your own choice of fabric, which is a great way to make use of those old scraps that would otherwise have gone in the bin. They also sell greetings cards that can be cut up and sewn into a doll's T-shirt! They're even willing to design bespoke kits for you, which would be perfect to get your logo out there for advertising campaigns or charity fundraising.
Collecting a few official Barbie outfits can soon start to cost a fortune so making your own not only makes economic sense but also helps teach children valuable life skills and trains their hand-eye co-ordination.
Unfortunately in researching this blog I'm struggling to find any retailers for Dress Your Doll. There are certainly none listed in the UK. I'm sure if you contacted the team at Roos Productions directly and show them some love, they'd be happy to help supply you with their ingenious little product.