I’ve completed the sleeper set; my first completed set! Meet my little dreamers.
My first, and probably only ever, complete outfit set!
The Sleeper outfit (#2) is one of the original 1983 Series outfits and has the least number of letters used in the clothing codes. It is the ‘easiest’ to collect all the different versions. Although I have a few that are recorded as being produced by two factories, I have decided that my ‘set’ is complete with one example of each letter. (AKA, one of each colour)
As this outfit was only produced for one year, and I am an A-type personality, I wanted to make sure the kids and the clothing matched. Therefore, the majority of these kids are 1983 bald kids, and the clothing factory matches the doll’s factory. It took me quite some time to find the last kid, Walker. I’ve had his sleeper for over a year!
This outfit consists of a t-shirt and a pair of overalls. The shirt always has a striped pattern. The overalls are a solid colour with differently coloured piping around the bib, buttons, and leg cuffs. It also has a large brown teddy bear patch with the Cabbage Patch Kid logo on the tummy, in the middle of the chest. This outfit came exclusively on ‘boy’ dolls. This outfit came with blue striped sneakers.
Coleco started selling this outfit in 1985. It likely ended production no later than sometime in 1986. If it is found later on a kid or in a package it was likely because the company was using up old stock.
If you have an outfit that is not recorded here, I would like to hear from you. Information is best sent in the form of pictures. For details, visit Taking Clothing Tag Pics.
It appears that some of the shirts may have come with more than one pair of overalls. This is a problem because it’s the shirts that have the information tag. This could mean that there’s more than one ‘version’ of some letters. (FB Conversation, May 2020)
Factory Variations – none (at this time)
Given the large patch on the chest of this outfit, it’s very hard to confuse it with any other outfit. However, if the shirt is separated from the overalls, they could potentially be confused with shirts from other outfits; however, as these shirts are always tagged, so the confusion would be short-lived.
> This outfit is one of the most popular 500s outfits. Consequently, it has been replicated by many talented seamstresses. A pattern has even been created and is available from Diana’s Patch on Etsy. Handmade overalls can be ordered (at the time of this update) from Originals By Sue.
Brazil outfit made by Dianne’s Cabbage Patch Finery (custom order) and the others were made by Leanne Tattersall.
> The red overalls (517?) are generally considered very hard to find.
> Fun fact: A prototype version of this outfit can be found in the 1985 Coleco Catalogue (p. 3, 16). The shirt isn’t striped like the final version, but the overalls are quite similar!
Cotton two pieces PJ’s – The top closes up the front and has a bow in the middle and one at the neck. The front closure, neck, and sleeve hems are all white. Coloured rick rack runs up either side of the front opening, and the left side has a teddy patch and an arched Cabbage Patch kids patch. The bottoms have footies and rick rack around them. The entire thing is the same colour.
This outfit was sold only on dolls manufactured in 1985 and later.
My goal is to find every version of every outfit that was produced. Below is a record of each version of this outfit that I have, up to the date indicated. To understand clothing codes, factories and variations, please refer to the suggested readings below.
If you have an outfit that is not recorded here or does not match my information, (e.g. you have a B505D OK that is purple, not pink) I would appreciate hearing from you. Information is best sent in the form of pictures. For details on the pictures required, jump to Taking Clothing Tag Pics.
> Mimic Preemie Outfits: #715 – Plain cotton preemie PJ’s. The most obvious differences are the lack of a teddy patch and rick rack. In addition, there is only one bow at the neck.
Correct Outfit(s): Sleeper (#2) & Cord Outfit (#5). Most frequently ‘incorrectly’ found on: Elephant rompers (#7), Kitty Track Suits (#6) It has also been found on: Ducky Dress (#11), Bib Dress (#15) (only once), Preemie Outfit #13
The Sleeper patches have a yellow and gold colour scheme, whereas the patches on the Corduroy Suit have a brown and dark beige colour scheme.
Both versions of the patch were used as ‘incorrect patches on other outfits, but I have a higher percentage of the lighter ones recorded as used in this way.
The Taiwanese factory patches also come in both light and dark, but their patches are generally much darker in colour.
Correct Outfit: Kitty Track Suits (#6), Most frequently ‘incorrectly’ found on: Ducky Dress (#11) It has also been found on: no other outfits It has NOT been found on: Sleeper (#2), Cord Suit (#5), Elephant Romper, (#7), Bib Dress (#15)
There appear to be two versions of this patch. One has a light-coloured outline and the other a dark outline. There does not seem to be any pattern as to when a factory uses the light or the dark version.
Once again, the only exception is the USA patch. Although there is a USA patches look like the others (although the face is badly rendered), another version has a green mouth, black eyes and pink whiskers and yet another version has pink eyes, green whiskers, and a black mouth.
Correct Outfit: Elephant Romper (#7) Most frequently ‘incorrectly’ found on: none stand out at this time It has also been found on: Kitty Track Suits (#6), Sleeper (#2), Cord outfit (#5) It has NOT been found on: Ducky Dress (#11), Bib Dress (#15)
UPDATE: An elephant has been found on a bib, but no details are available on if it’s original or had been added later.
Each factory seems to have produced both a light outline and a dark outline version.
There are two types of trunks, one S-shaped and one C-shaped.
The C-shaped trunk has only been found on TSU and OK outfits with the ‘incorrect’ patch (as in, not Elephant Rompers). These OK patches are also lighter than most of the other OK patches. Interestingly, they are also found on aftermarket outfits. Jump to Plentiful Patches Part 1 for more information.
Correct Outfit: Ducky Dress (#11) Most frequently ‘incorrectly’ found on: Elephant Romper (#7) & Cord outfit (#5) It has also been found on: Sleeper (#2), Bib Dress (#15) It has NOT been found on: Kitty Track Suit (#6)
There appears to be little variation in the appearance of the duck patches. The only differences I can see are in the colour of the thread used to make the feet and bill. Some thread is slightly darker than others.
Correct Outfit: Bib Dress (#15)
Most frequently ‘incorrectly’ found on: none stand out at this time It has also been found on: Kitty Track Suits (#6), Cord outfit (#5), Ducky Dress (#11), Elephant Romper (#7) It has NOT been found on: Sleeper (#2)
This patch does not seem to have been used ‘incorrectly’ very often but has been found on almost all the ‘patch’ outfits.
There do not appear to be many factory variations in the appearance of this patch. However, this is very difficult to determine, as bibs are very easy to switch from outfit to outfit. P factory giraffes may have slightly darker dots than the OK factory giraffes.
The only exceptions I’ve found are the USA patch and the TP patch. The USA patches look significantly different with gold edging, a silver tail, and red body dots versus the OK giraffes with orange edging, a yellow tail, and beige dots. The TP patches have very dark orange outlines and very dark spots. The tail is a dark golden yellow and sticks up.
As noted in Part 1, this patch is very rare. I have only recorded it on Kitty Track Suits (#5), Elephant Rompers (#7), and Ducky Dresses (#11) so far. I have seen it in yellow, red, and blue.
Other Bunny Patch (not CPK)
This patch is often confused as an official CPK patch. At this time our evidence shows that it came on aftermarket, Sunshine Kids, outfits. Like all the patches at the time, they were likely sold individually as well.
As noted in Part 1, this patch is very rare. I have only recorded it on bib dresses. I have seen it in white, yellow, and red. I have three instances of this patch on early Coleco outfits, and one (in red) on a Tsukuda outfit. At this time I have only found it being used by the OK factory.
The 1983 regular kids clothing series uses the cutest patches, but it’s like holiday elves lived in the factory! Sometimes the patches aren’t on the outfits they’re supposed to be!
Informative Note: It turns out I’ve been using the wrong word to describe these things. I have no idea where I learned applique, but they’re actually patches.
Embroidered patch: a piece of embroidery that is created by using a fabric backing and thread. They can be attached with a pin, sewn on, or affixed with more modern methods such as iron-on, dryer heat-activated adhesive, and velcro backing. (Ref) Applique: ornamental needlework in which pieces fabric in different shapes and patterns are sewn or stuck onto a larger piece to form a picture or pattern. (Ref)
The majority of the ‘incorrect’ patches I have recorded are on OK outfits, with a scattering on P outfits. I have only one Taiwanese factory outfit recorded with an incorrect patch, an AX outfit. The rarity of this find can also be attributed to the fact that Taiwanese clothing is not as abundant as China factory clothing.
The ‘Foreign’ Patches
Some of the patches engender questions. The bunny patch and the sheep patch are greatly questioned.
I’ve found this patch on early 1983 and 1984 kids, both examples on outfit 15J OK. It has also been seen on a Tsukuda . (Jan 2023)
Almost all the bunny and sheep patches have been found on OK outfits; only one has been found on an AX outfit. It would appear that both have an East Asian influence in look and/or use. Although they appear to be legitimately CPK, the bunny, at least, can also be found on aftermarket outfits.
As noted above, this does not preclude the outfits from being genuine CPK. There’s evidence of aftermarket outfits using ‘genuine’ CPK patches. For example, this Sunshine Kids outfit, produced by Playmates, has an elephant patch.
Both the Shilllman Company and Playmates manufactured their toys in Hong Kong (Ref), the same place Coleco could have acquired their patches from. It appears that more than one toymaker used the same supplier!
Interestingly, all of the elephant patches on ‘incorrect’ outfits (aka not Elephant Rompers) have a trunk shape that matches the trunk shape of the Tsukuda and aftermarket outfit patches.
Could all these elephants have come from the same supplier? Maybe the elephants on the ‘incorrect’ outfits were a last-minute order or ordered when their regular supplier ran out. Jump to Part 2 for details
Either way, the bunny parch is rare on CPK outfits and the sheep patch even more so.
Oh no! An elephant romper without a shirt! What ever will you do??
A plain white cotton shirt comes with the Elephant Romper outfit (#7) and the Corduroy Suit (#5). All of those that came with the Elephant Rompers have decorative navy-blue zig-zag stitching around the hem of the sleeves and the neckline. The white shirts that do not have decorative stitching are a clear minority and only came with the Corduroy Suit. The Corduroy Suit generally comes with the plain shirt but could have come with both.
So far, it appears that if the jacket in the Corduroy Suit is the tagged piece in the outfit, the shirt is pure white; if the shirt is the tagged piece, it has blue stitching. I have no data to back this up. In my personal experience so far, both of my plain white shirts have been with KT outfits. Comments are very welcome.
UPDATE: The white shirts started coming out on KT kids in the Cord suits very early. WE now have evidence of one on a triple HK KT kid.
The zig-zag decoration on the shirt can be used to identify the outfit’s factory of production. This is useful because, in many cases, it is the romper or the jacket that is the outfit piece that is tagged, not the white shirt. If the white shirt is missing or becomes separated from the rest of the outfit, it is difficult to know which white shirt can replace it.
Some of the factories appear to have a distinctive look to the zig-zag pattern used on the white shirts. If you match the pattern to a factory, you can match a shirt to a shirtless outfit.
The pictures below are the factory patterns that I have confirmed. If you have a #5 or #7 outfit that you know came together and is from a factory not seen below, I would appreciate pictures.
If you have a shirt that does NOT match the patterns here, I would welcome the information. It may be that a factory produced two different stitch patterns, or it may be that the patterns used for the two outfits are not the same.
One of these things is not like the others, one of these things just doesn’t belong. ~ Ernie, Sesame Street
The 1983 series outfits that the PMI factory produced (letters S and T) were unique in several ways. One of them is the colour of the trim and thread used to accent the basic white shirt and the white blouse.
The White Shirt
The basic white shirt came with the elephant romper outfit (#7) and the corduroy suit (#5). Most of them came with a decorative navy-blue zigzag stitching around the sleeve hems and the neckline. Some factories can be identified by the characteristics of this zigzag stitch, but that is a different post!
The unique thing about PMI white shirts is the COLOUR of the decorative thread. Unlike the other factories, the colour of the thread matches the colour of the outfit itself.
The PMI factory created two versions of each 1983 outfit (that they made; they didn’t do all of them). So, there are four white shirts with decorative zigzag stitching that isn’t navy blue. I know of these two, do you know of the other two?
Also, if you have these outfits and know, can you provide complete codes for them? I don’t know if either is S or T.
The White Blouse
Like the thread on the white shirts, it’s the rick rack on the blouse in the ruffled overalls outfit that is a colour match. Once again, I have one of the two PMI outfits, but I don’t know the complete code. Do you have this outfit or the other PMI outfit? Can you send me pics?
I am still looking for information on PMI versions of the following outfits. If you have them, please send tag pictures!