My mother taught me a valuable lesson, very early in my life. While
at a store, I found a display of dresses for my Barbie. I asked her to
buy me one. She absent-mindedly answered "sure." So I looked through the
dresses, picked my favorite, and handed it to her, so she could put it
in her shopping cart.
She looked at the dress, agreed that it was beautiful, then she looked at the price. "No doll of yours is going to have clothes that cost more than mine," she snapped back at me, and promptly returned the item to the store shelf.
I learned two things that moment. If my Barbie wanted to be a clothes horse, she was going to have to wait until she could earn her own money, to do so. I also learned that when parents absent-mindedly answer "sure," they don't mean "yes." They mean "I'm busy kid, get out of my face."
To be fair, my mother was not some evil creature who wanted my Barbie to go through life with nothing but a swimsuit and a birthday suit. My doll ended up with more clothes than any other doll in my neighborhood. She had a real silk evening gown, pajamas, even a red dress that matched one of my own. My mother made them all, out of sewing scraps. And since my mother was great at sewing, all of them were beautiful. No crudely concocted couture for my doll. I never had but a couple Mattel fashions (given to me by other children for birthdays and the like). I also never learned that life was about learning to spend, spend, and spend.
Today I have many dolls of Barbie scale (though very few of them are actual Barbies). Some of my favorites are by the Japanese Takara company. Those Takara dolls have very few Takara outfits, but none of them have to go naked. Because, as I grew, my mother taught me how to turn sewing scraps into doll outfits too. On this page, I share some of the outfits that I made, with you.