Come On Barbie, Let’s Go Party: A Sewist’s Guide to Barbiecore


Barbara Millicent Roberts, better known to friends and fans as Barbie, is having somewhat of a cultural renaissance at the moment, stirred up by the release of her live-action feature film, though she can hardly be argued to have been absent from the public imagination at any point since her debut in 1959. 

Part of this Barbiessance, if you will, has been a robust dialogue about Barbie’s divisive status as a feminist icon, whether a tool of commercialism can be a force for anything except further consumerism, and of course, whether the entire discourse cycle is predicated on the old sexist idea that women are incapable of complex thought and multilayered opinions, and must be protected from reading novels or anything that may inflame their hot little heads. 

It’s an interesting conversation with no real clear answers, something Barbie may enjoy as the scientist and academic she is. Above all else, Barbie is a toy and licence, with the aim to sell more toys and merchandise. And yet it is also undeniable that Barbie represents a positive shift in encouraging children to dream big of their futures. She embodies a very specific kind of ultra femininity that is alienating to some, yet much of the polarisation comes from the fact that women, and the things associated with them (like the colour pink), are hated, devalued or dismissed by society.

Much to think about. Anyway, we’re actually here to talk about a completely different side effect of the Barbiessance – Barbiecore!

Barbiecore is a fashion and aesthetic trend that celebrates the hallmarks of this longtime fashion icon. There are a lot of 80s and 90s throwbacks with a dash of classic Barbie’s classic 60s style and a lot (we mean a lot, a lot) of pink, as well a sense of fun and playfulness: think love hearts and bows, sequins and sparkles, reaching back for what child-you might have though adult-you would wear. 

Many of us may have started our sewing journey crafting outfits for our childhood Barbies. It seems only fair to turn the tables and make a little bit of Barbie magic for ourselves so we’ve put together a sewist’s guide to dipping your toe into the boisterous pool party of Barbiecore! As Danish-Norwegian Europop band Aqua so rightfully said: “You wanna go for a ride?”


When scoping out fabric for a Barbiecore make, there is a very easy starting point: Think Pink!

From hot pink to baby pink, millennial pink to bubblegum pink – you can’t go wrong. Try experimenting with patterns like sweet pink gingham or add some other bright colours to the mix like yellow or, of course, aqua. 


Blackbird Fabrics – Buttery Poly Satin in Blossom Shimmer

Tessuti Fabrics – Adele Fuchsia Poplin


Drapers Fabrics – Maggie Printed Crepe De Chine in Barbie

The Fabric Store – Bold Gingham Linen in Vintage Blush



What could be more Barbiecore than a pattern literally inspired by Barbie? The Barbara Bodice (and Millicent Skirt) from Charm Patterns by sewing starlet Gertie Hirsch was designed to capture the classic vibes of vintage Barbie (and Margot Robbie’s instantly iconic trailer outfit). With princess seams, a scoop neckline and multiple strap options, this look’s sweeter than an ice cream sundae served for two! 

Sewing level: Intermediate

Size guide: 2–20 and 18–34, with A–H bust cups


Along her illustrious history as a business woman and girl boss, Barbie has shown her skills merging corporate wear trends with her high-femme aesthetic. A suit or blazer, like the 80s-inspired Heather Blazer from Friday Pattern Co, made up in a gorgeous candy pink fabric will have people clearing your path as you stride into every room with the confidence of a woman whose curriculum vitae boasts experience as a doctor, an astronaut, a NASCAR driver, SeaWorld trainer, Marine Corps sergeant, ballerina, pastry chef and six-time presidential candidate.

Sewing level: Confident Beginner

Size guide: XS/0 – 7X/32 (32 inches/81 centimetres – 60 inches/152 centimetres chest)



Get ready to dazzle on the dance floor in a playful party frock like the fabulous Gracie Steel’s Blooming Bustier Dress. This sweet strapless dress’ striking structured silhouette and optional (but essential) oversized bow detail embody the fun feminine frivolity that is so beguiling about Barbiecore. Embrace the drama and get a little silly with it!

Sewing level: Intermediate

Size guide: A–Q (Up to a 61-inch hip) 

READ MORE – Awaken Your Inner Aurora With These Essential Sleepycore Sewing Patterns


Margot Barbie’s sparkly rhinestone cowgirl look instantly captured our hearts and imaginations. Those fabulous flares marry rodeo queen with disco queen energy. If you want to steal the look for yourself, try the Jude Flare Jeans from Closet Core Patterns.  And, of course. a sweet little vest is so hot right now – we love the Pipit Vest from Common Stitch.

Sewing level:

Pipit – Confident Beginner
Jude – Advanced

Size guide: 

Pipit – AUS 4–24 (Up to 132.4cm bust)

Jude – 0–20 and 14–32 (Up to 62.4-inch hip)



If, like Ken, you go literally nowhere without your rollerblades, you might be feeling a bit more of an athleisure Barbie moment. Think a sporty unitard in hot pink like Mood Fabric’s Camden Onesie or a two-piece set like Swimstyle Pattern’s Easy Crop Top and Gym Shorts in a truly outrageous 80s print scuba.

Sewing level:

Camden – Confident Beginner 

Swimstyle – Beginner

Size guide: 

Camden – 00–32 (Up to 63.5-inch hip)

Swimstyle –  XS–3XL (Up to 46-inch hip)


Another great way to explore a bit of Barbiecore is to dip into any vintage patterns you may have on hand. There’s a hint of nostalgia present in Barbiecore, and after all, if something was fashionable in the past, there’s a fair chance Barbie wore it. For a hit of inspiration, and a truly addictive scrolling experience, check out @SunsetSaraid‘s Barbie-inspired vintage sewing adventures!