Monday, July 17, 2017

Mini TLC Barbie Haul

A little luck at the Fleas this weekend and found a junky Barbie haul... must have been from sisters because there were doubles of everything.  Nothing particularly fantastic, but they needed rescued so I was glad to oblige.

Poor, poor, junky Bubblecut Barbie has a beautiful titian bubble, but her nose and chin are nipped very badly.  She also has a bad necksplit.  I thought I'd try to repair her nose/chin with "the nail acrylic method" and see how it goes.  She's messed up badly so nothing to lose, really.  Her hair is so pretty so it's a shame her face is such a mess.

Ponytail Barbie fared a little better, with a lip rub and chopped hair....

Oh dear, someone chopped her ear as well.

Only one Ken, but the presence of two Ken jackets indicate there were probably two of them once upon a time.  He's in fairly good shape, but his leg keeps falling off.

There were two of these fairly-hard-to-find cases but unfortunately they are both in pretty crappy condition with rust, though the zippers aren't broken, just hard to use.

Lovely doubles of multiple mix-and-match PAK items, which does that make me happy?  Yes it does, because I flippin' love PAK stuff.  Some of it is kinda grimy but it should clean up no problem.

More PAK goodness.. the floral top is stained but it should come clean, to be honest.  I'll let you know how it goes when I get a chance to clean it up.

The pants were in the best shape overall.

Two PAK sweaters...

Filthy PAK playsuit (where's the other one?) and a dirty PAK silk sheath that needs the zipper repair.  Both will probably come clean with some effort, and the silk sheath can be repaired.  Too bad there weren't two silk sheaths, they're somewhat hard-to-find  (White is harder to find than the colors in my opinion.)

One PAK apron with one lonely rolling pin.  I have so many rolling pins!  But where have all the other utensils gone?

One Wig Wardrobe head was included with two out of three of the wigs.  The inside of her head is totally green from earrings but it hasn't seeped through her head (yet.)

There were also two full sets of ecru luggage (3/4 pieces shown here) which if you've read my previous entry, you know was actually sold with Samsonite branding.

Also included were some cute clone clothes, again in sets of two.  A few shoes, a mirror, a few Ken items.. but nothing really special... still... I have to adopt them, haha.

Kinda fun, right?

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Laundry Day

Oh golly, it's been a while!

But, to be fair, it was slow going in the vintage Barbie department over the winter.  Now that we're back to flea market season, and "good for photographs outside" season, I can get back to writing a bit.

I've been cleaning up Barbie and her clothes for as long as I've been collecting Barbie.  I've tried, failed, tried again, and kept going.  Like many collectors, I'm no mint-condition obsessed person.  I'm happy enough finding slightly messed up dolls and clothes and doing what I can to make them better.

One of the lovely things about vintage Barbie clothes is a lot of them were made out of sturdy fabrics and remain very washable to this day.  Yeah, they're old, but a lot of their flaws are still repairable.

So, I've used products from Twin Pines of Maine for cleaning up dolls for about 20 years.  The products really work better than anything else, at least in my opinion.

I hadn't had any of their products around the house for a while, so I decided to place an order and refresh my stock.

When my order arrived, I pulled out a bunch of white Barbie items from the doll clothes bin and stuck them in some Perk (doll clothes cold water detergent) with some added Booost (detergent booster.)

Honestly, I had forgotten how well this stuff works!

Check out this before and after comparison of two "Friday Night Date" dresses that were equally yellowed/dirty.

The whiter one is after about 24 hours of soaking in the Perk/Booost solution.  They were about equally dingy gray, though the left one didn't have age/dirt spots.

Close up of the comparison.  Additionally, the brown spots you can see on the dirty one also came out (almost) completely with Perk/Booost.  There's a sliiiiiight yellow discoloration where they were, but you'd have to be looking for it to spot it.

So, while Perk/Booost is pretty pricey, I still recommend it if you really want to clean some doll clothes (or other vintage textiles.)  Though this outfit isn't worth much, it's certainly worth more now than it was when it was gross and dirty.

I've got some more before/after comparisons coming up that I can show you later.

I should also note, that Perk/Booost can't help everything.  I had an orange PAK skirt with some sort of funky red/brown stain on it (possibly lipstick) and it did not come out even after 24+ hours of soaking.  (But I might just dye the skirt brown I guess.)   However, a satin white PAK dress had gross brown stains I didn't think would come out, but they came out completely.  So it seems like luck, and just test it and see.  If it doesn't work, you're no worse off than when you started.  If it does work, then great!  You've improved your collection.

More pics coming later.


Some late additions:

Before and after.. the brown stains on this dress came right out.  (The flecked on glitter was already mostly gone.  Otherwise, it would have come off, just FYI.)  It came very clean!  The flocking didn't come off, which was a nice bonus.

Another trashed Friday Night Date dress had a torn-off sleeve but I threw it in the wash bin anyway.  It came very white, so I suppose I have to stitch the sleeve now!

Dirty and brown Friday Night Date dress had age spots.  Came very white, the spots are nearly all gone, the largest one has a slight yellow remainder.



 These Ken shirts came pretty clean.... still a little yellow but maybe some more soaking would help.

The brown stain is less visible now, still a slight spot as you can see.. also the dress had a blue color to it from a previous stain treatment and it came much more white.

I had to take some stitches out to remove the rose from the dress before treatment.  The gross brown stains miraculously completely came out!  Also, this dress had really funky gross white stains on the back of the train.. it looked like maybe milk or something.  It COMPLETELY came out.  Of course, now I need to press and re-stitch.. but who cares about that, it looks clean as new!  I am VERY impressed.

Well, this is a surprise.  This thing was totally trashed as you can see.  I soaked it first for 24 hours and there was no improvement.  When I soaked it again, 48 hours, in a stronger solution, it came pretty clean.  You can't tell, but it still has spots, they are MUCH lighter though.  Now if you wanted to dye it another color or something to cover the stains, you probably could.  Much nicer.