Barbie Body Types to 2008

Summary of all the different Barbie body types up to 2008 (when I made this page). It was after that when they came out with the Fashionistas tall, petite, curvy etc.

Classic / Vintage / Original / Traditional shape – 1966

Has a barrel chest, tiny waist and 1966 stamped on her back. It’s really not that her boobs are so large, it’s her whole rib cage that’s out of proportion, then that tiny waist and sudden hips.

Bellybutton – 1999

This now seems to be the default body except for Fashionista. There are commercial patterns out for it now, including Simplicity, which says it in code: “for Barbie’s new shapely curves”. That’s not really fair to people who don’t happen to know the code and don’t know the difference. They should just say it in English, “Fits 1999 Barbie, does not fit 1966 Barbie”. Is that so hard?

The Shorter Barbie – 2006

She is only 11 inches tall instead of 11.5 inch. She wasn’t popular and wasn’t made for very long. I’ve heard that some people don’t like her, but I think she’s cute. I like the way her legs are attached smoothly, without the painful-looking cutouts in the thighs.

ModelMuse

The newest body mold, found in the Barbie Basics line. Even skinnier than the others. Mine are stamped 2003/2008.

I don’t want to use nudity for the featured image so I just snagged the most classic Barbieish-looking young lady that Mattel popped up. In case you wonder, she’s the Barbie Travel doll. I have no idea by looking at the picture what shape she is!

Comments 8

  • Hi Janel,
    I have been going crazy figuring out which Barbie I have! Your instructions and are so great and helpful!!! I want to make the strapless dress. Here is her naked pic! LOL stamped 2015 I just got at Walmart? Thank you so much! Joan

  • I accidently sent my message to soon! I love the info on the Larger Barbie strapless dresses you have up. Looks like a a belly button or the Model muse?
    Joan

  • She is 11 1/2″, flat feet
    Joan

  • Hi Joan!

    I would casually call her Bellybutton, although there are other variations quite close to Bellybutton shape though slightly different. I just searched “Barbie measurements” and the results seem to be mostly shock that Barbie isn’t shaped like the average American.

    So I tried measuring a BB I have here, which is surprisingly difficult.
    Using a string I get 4.75 – 3.375 – 5.125
    With a tape measure it’s more like 5 – 3.5 – 5

    Along the way I found this fascinating and informative post:
    https://dollsdollsdolls.net/2018/06/13/the-naked-barbie-show-part-two-belly-button-body/
    There’s also other great links to further reading.

  • Wow Janel!!! Thank you so much! That sure gave me a headache, lol…. Well I’ll get back to it. I tried an old pattern and altered it twice with elastic to be more versatile. I made the gown with your bodice pattern and a circle skirt from a Tammy doll pattern I cut out a million years ago. I have to make the bodice a little bigger in the waist and found out there is this thinner Velcro to use! It’s not finished in the back. I like when the bodice fits well. I am trying to figure how to position the Velcro so it can fit at least 1 other type. Gratefully, Joan

    • Mmmmm they’re so beautiful! I’m glad you found something here to help. Thanks so much for sharing, it made my day!

  • Hi. Here's one for you. My great-granddaughter decided she wanted to come to my house and make Barbie clothes with me (yeah, right). Now, I'm a quilter, not a dressmaker, so i've been struggling with just making something that will fit. She brought 3 Barbies, (ok, 2 Barbies and an an Elsa) then took them home and left me to finish the patterns (she's 7 and terrified of my machines). So, long story short, what size pattern would you recommend I use to fit all her Barbies/Elsas when I have no idea which size they are?

    • Funny, that's exactly what I'm working on at this moment. Phooey on trying to figure out which body it is. We need a one-size-fits-all Barbie dress. How about a simple belted pullover shift that could be made dressy with the right fabric. I already have it at the pattern stage, I'm making up some tests, then get it into a sharable graphic or pdf.

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