there she goes, skipping down memory lane again

26 Jul 2008


Close to forty years ago when I was about 8 or 9, my mum and the other mothers from the West Launceston Primary School Mother's Club made piles and piles of Barbie and Skipper clothes to sell at the school fair.
Production began a few months before hand and patterns were shared, materials collected and numbers finalised.


My sister and I had Skipper dolls, Barbies little sister.
I didn't get a Barbie until I was about 12 and she didn't last well.
I wasn't rough with her but after I left home visitor's children were allowed to play with her and her legs were broken off.


When mum gave me all her old patterns there was an old zip up bag, with a metal zip mind you.
Inside were the patterns and fabrics she used to make the School Fair clothes.
Some cut out pieces were still waiting to be put together and there is evidence of my sister and me putting one or two things together ourselves with my cousins toy sewing machine and its telltale chain stitch sewing.


The mothers knitted as well and we had quite a few little skirt and cardigan outfits, jumpers, even a hoodie for our Skipper dolls.
Skipper had the flattest feet so that she could wear her little ballet style flats.


Skipper survived the sixties, the seventies and those marauding visitors, they survived being packed away through the eighties and nineties and then being brought out to entertain grandchildren, nieces and nephews.
Kate has my Skipper now and my sister keeps hers at her house.


This Barbie is one of Kate's dolls and is dressed in some of the old Barbie fair clothes.
Mum stitched the pearl beads around the bottom of the jumper and there was a skirt to match but that is probably at my sister's house.
My Skipper has red hair, my sister's is a brunette.

My cousin had a Barbie( she was five years older than me) and lots of wonderful bought and home made outfits for her.

She also had a Tutti doll.
I loved Tutti.

Does anyone remember her? She was such a little cutie and I desperately wanted her.

You can see more of my Skipper pictures here.

8 Responses to “there she goes, skipping down memory lane again”

  1. Memory lane is wonderful place for a stroll now and then. Thanks for sharing yours with us.

    cheers Kate

  2. I had a Skipper doll and wished I was like her--thin with long golden blond hair. My family moved frequently as Dad was in the Air Force. Skipper was the one doll I clung to and kept through the years. I gave her to my daughters.

    The oldest was into stuffed animals and not a fan of dolls. The youngest loved Barbie and my Skipper. I had a sweater that my aunt had knitted for her. And I had made a few clothes when a young girl.

    Years later I longed to see my Skipper. I found her body but not her head. Daughter could not remember what in the world had happened to her dear little head. We never did find it.

    I enjoyed your post so much and as you can see I also skipped down memory lane. I often do that when I read your posts.

  3. Hi Jen, I think we must be the same age. I also had a Skipper and wanted a Tutti as well. Don't think I ever got one though. I was more of a baby doll girl,but do remember having lots of fun with Barbie. My sister is four years older than I,and I don't remember us ever playing dolls together. Which makes me sad...I wish we had been more close.
    Thanks for sharing your sweet story.


  4. When I was 12 years old, I had a Skipper too and I loved her!
    Yes, Barbies little sister with red hair, I remember her very well.
    My father bought her in Berlin forty years ago, it was the best present for me. Nice to see her again, thank you! -Antje-

  5. My goodness, this brings back memories!

  6. This is a wonderful post, Jenny!
    I think we only had the "fake" Barbie's growing up... not that we complained- we played with them all the same!
    I love their homemade clothing! It's so good of you to hang onto things like this for the next gernerations... what beautiful keepsakes.

  7. We had barbies and a skipper doll.. our Skipper "grew". If you twisted her arm back, she grew a bit older, or you could shrink her back down to a younger shorted self.

    We had lovely clothes as well, made by mom and grandma... knitted stuff too. And the tiny buttons they used! I still have some cards of those tiny buttons for doll small!

  8. My first doll was Midge, then a skipper. I loved her. My sister and I are 1 year apart and are very close. We always played dolls together. She got a Tutti doll for Christmas and took it to school. She let someone take it home and they never brought it back. She was so sad, we still talk about that today.

    My Mom made our doll clothes. Once she made a yellow sequined gown. Wish I had kept those things.

    Thanks for the memories.


Thanks so much for taking the time to chat. I don't always have time to reply but I do read every message you leave.