Trendsetter Sindy seated
Trendsetter Sindy joins City Chic

I recently purchased Trendsetter Sindy via eBay and was delighted that she was in great condition, especially considering she came into being in 1985. At the time of purchase the only clue to her age or type was that she came with her original dress.

I’m really a complete newbie with all things Sindy as I only have vague memories of playing with one and that was likely in the 1960s. My re-introduction to Sindy was by pure chance – I found her when researching for my post about articulated dolls.

Within a week of discovering the new Sindy I had purchased City Chic. At that stage, having decided that City Chic was too precious to manhandle on a regular basis, I went about looking for a used Sindy for a reasonable price. At that point, a used vintage Sindy was fetching prices roughly matching the new Sindy so I considered myself fortunate to obtain one for under £25 (so far being the maximum I’ve been prepared to pay for any articulated doll).

But if you’re contemplating buying a Sindy to add to your doll collection then beware, it becomes totally addictive! It doesn’t stop with one purchase. My logic was that I needed a used Sindy to manhandle for pattern creation. It then progressed to buying Sindy furniture and accessories, because they were the same scale as my Kruselings and were ideal as props for my photo shoots. This was what I told myself.

There are hoards of women reliving their childhood, buying now what was not affordable back in their youth and to be honest, I’m now one of them. Good grief, I have a Sindy bath, Sindy kitchen, Sindy wardrobe, dressing table and stool, Sindy patio set, Sindy conservatory set and a Sindy scooter. I’ve also bought a second scooter so that my Kruselings can have one too and I’m bidding on a third as I write this! Where will it stop!

I believe Lockdown has increased this trend. Many of the like-minded Sindy collectors have said that Sindy has kept them sane. I also think that it’s a fantastic hobby and one where social media plays a big part. You only need to search for Sindy on Instagram to see for yourself how creative Sindy collectors are. Here are the Sindy folk I follow:- @debs_sindydollscollector, @sindys_playhouse, @sindy_loves_sewing, @sindy_dreaming, @sindystitches, @every_day_is_like_sindy, @sallyd_silversindyooaks, @sindy_doll_collector, @backpulver1969, @sindysandycreations, @sewsindy, @thelittlesindymuseum, @jollydollyshop, @sindys_mini_adventures, @sindyobsessed, @lucy_dolls_collector, @sindylife2021, @ashley_loves_sindy, @vampveronica, @a_thousand_splendid_dolls, @sindy_collector, @dollsarenotforlandfill, @sindyfrolics, @supersindys, @thesindydollflorist, @sindydollpops, @houseofsindy, @sindycollectorsclub, @my.sindydoll.world, @thesindyballetgirl.

I’m also a fan of the Facebook group Vintage Sindy Collectors that has over 3000 members. Everyone who engages is helpful, fab, fun and friendly.

Although my Trendsetter Sindy is in great condition, I gave her hair and eyelashes some attention. After a good bathing all over, her hair was washed in soft shampoo and rinsed well. It was combed out when wet and I trimmed off the frizzy ends, a few strands at a time. I used small quilter’s clips to hold each section in place as I worked through all the hair.

A centre parting was created by thatching it – dividing each hair plug in two and criss-crossing the halves over each side. Keeping the hair wet was the key to doing this and again I used the small clips to hold the hair either side of the parting. This also had the benefit of pulling the hair down to stay in place until dry. OK so it’s not the original hair style but I’m happy with it for now and until I get around to doing a re-root.

With Trendsetter Sindy’s eyelashes, one side was in place but the other side seemed to have shrunk. On closer investigation, I was able to pinch her head just so the eyes popped forward, enough to reveal that the eyelashes were still there, only they required easing out. For this I took off her head and used tweezers to gently pull out the lashes as I pushed with my finger from the inside, taking care not to dislodge them completely.

I’ve already purchased some doll hair with the aim of re-rooting the head using the knot method but I’m still plucking up the courage to actually start.

Which brought about the reason for buying another Sindy. I didn’t want to ruin my Trendsetter Sindy with a first attempt at re-rooting hair. So along came my short-haired Sindy (alas, one of her eyes is totally without lashes so I’m planning to re-root these once I’ve discovered how to do it, so if anyone knows how best to do this then please do let me know).

My dilemma is that these two Sindy’s have quickly developed their own personality (of course this is all in my head…..) so which one should have the aqua/peach and which one the burgundy/lavender hair? Trendsetter is so laid back and Short-Hair has lain in the bath since she arrived here. City Chic is the one who keeps everyone on their toes and her and Vera Kruseling have bonded. Whereas Joy and Luna Kruseling have taken to Trendsetter. That leaves Sofia and Chloe Kruseling to hook up with Short-Hair, when she finally gets out the bath.

Amid all of this I’ve been focussing on Sindy pattern creation. So far I’ve managed to complete some items to form a Sindy range of outfits but of course it would be a much faster process if I didn’t get distracted by all things Sindy. But then where would the fun be?

So far for Sindy I have Flared Trousers, Flared Long Sleeve Top, Short Coat with Collar, Short Jacket with Collar, Halter-neck Flared Culottes and Dressing Gown. In the pipeline is a short skirt, maxi dress and hooded jacket. Once they’re all sorted I shall decide on fabrics, colours and trims. Then I want to create some accessories. Oh my, the realisation has just hit me….I’m going to be busy…..but then it’s enjoyable busy!

Here’s a peek at what I term my sample stage. It’s where I believe I have got the style and fit I’ve been aiming for, and where I’ve worked out the best approach to construction. I can honestly say that sewing things this small is fiddly, but very satisfying when it finally comes together as intended.

This week is where my new Sindy met my vintage Sindy as I needed to compare models for the outfits I’ve been working on. As I only have one sample of the short-jacket-with-collar and the halter-neck-flared-culottes, a bit of image jiggery pokery was called for to place 2020 City Chic Sindy alongside 1985 Trendsetter Sindy (apologies for any degrade in image quality). Here’s a 1 minute video showing the two of them wearing the culottes and jacket:-

Trendsetter Sindy is slightly more buxom, whereas City Chic Sindy has slightly longer arms. (I had modelled the short jacket on City Chic but realised I should check it out on Trendsetter to be sure it fitted).

Well, as I’ve been writing this, Shopping Look Sindy and Dream Date Sindy have been delivered, so I’ll leave it there for now to go and attend to them, but don’t say I didn’t warn you, Sindy is totally addictive!

City Chic Sindy wearing sunglasses
City Chic Sindy from the 2020 Collectors Range

I went ahead and bought City Chic Sindy, as a birthday present for myself. In my last post I wrote about how I discovered the newest range of Sindy, and although I loved all of them I wasn’t sure if I’d actually buy one. Well it didn’t take me long to decide, less than a week in fact, and I’m not at all disappointed.

City Chic Sindy is fabulous and as someone who makes small dolls’ clothes, I am very pleased with the attention given to the actual finish of her garments. Gosh, I would love the chance to visit the factory where they make these Sindy clothes!

I’ve not done much with my City Chic Sindy yet apart from taking her out of the box and checking out all the items that she came with. But it did give me a reason to practise more with making short videos and Sindy was a natural!

I love everything about her and I’m pleased I chose this particular Sindy doll.

She comes with sunglasses, handbag, shopping bag, and magazine.

Her outfit consists of cape, blouse, leggings and ankle boots (which I love).

She’s wearing earrings (that dangle) and a bracelet.

She is easily pose-able, her legs move very smoothly from the hips, as do her elbows and wrists. Her arms are firmer at the shoulder but still have a smooth action.

City Chic Sindy from the 2020 Collectors Range

I’ve not yet taken off the protective plastic headband as I’ll wait until I have the time to properly enjoy her, and so she’s back in her box for now. Meanwhile I’m thinking about the outfits I shall make for this doll and I especially like the original, vintage Sindy styles. I’m sure that will keep me occupied for quite a while!

My Little Miss Dressy raincoat fits her, so that’s a bonus.

So does my Little Miss Dressy’s knitted jumper!

For more ideas on Sindy, check out these folk:

Instagram – @my.sindydoll.world, @jollydollyshop, @sewsindy, @sindyobsessed, @sindycollectorsclub

Facebook – @Sindysalon16, @VintageSindy

All six Sindy dolls can be purchased from the Sindy Collectors Club website, and are currently price at £79.99

Kruseling dolls
Small Articulated Dolls – Under £25

Researching online for small articulated dolls sent me down a rabbit hole. I got totally lost and absorbed in vintage Sindy. So much so, that I spent hours on several websites, reading everything there is to know about Sindy.

Amanda Volley’s brilliant write up instantly transported me back to my childhood, triggering long forgotten memories. If only I had kept my Sindy!

Fast forward to now and I’m wanting to buy the newest Sindy, a fully articulated version, totally geared for the adult collector. Only I’m not a collector in the true sense; I simply love dolls of a certain type. They must be easily stored, poseable and realistic. Realistic in the sense that they are able to be handled, dressed, undressed and pose-able for regular adventures. I like a doll to be small enough to come on holiday with me without it taking up most of my carry bag.

I’m not sure if I’d want to do that with the latest Sindy though. Priced at £79.99, she’s too immaculate, smartly dressed and preened with a bit too much make-up, for travelling economy class. So, I took a step back and reminded myself of what I want in a doll, if I intend to buy one. It must be a small articulated doll under £25.

This video from Kid Kreations shows all six Sindy dolls from their Sindy Collectors Range that they launched last year.

I shall carry on searching for my vintage Sindy before I decide if I’ll buy the new 2020 articulated one. But thanks to Amanda’s post with lots of useful links, including Vintage Sindy, with great delight I’ve found and have started following @sindyobsessed, @sewsindy, @jollydolly and @sindycollectorsclub on Instagram. Anyone care to join me!

With the price of ball-jointed dolls these days, Kruselings offer very good value for less than £25. Although not true BJD, they are adequately articulated for realistic posing. They also fit well with economy-style travel, having been tested with my grandchildren of primary-school-age, albeit with my supervision.

If there is a downside to choose buying a Kruseling, it’s the lack of finding UK sellers of Kruseling dolls. Maybe it’s due to the dolls being readily available on Amazon. My latest purchase was Luna Kruseling (pictured below).

I purchased Luna via Amazon and was disappointed with the quality. Everything was perfectly good, apart from one of her legs. It looks like she has two right legs (knee to ankle, photo below). There is a distinct shape to left and right legs of Kruselings and I compared her to the others I have. They are OK but Luna’s left knee definitely points sideways, making that leg slightly longer than the right one.

I’m in two minds to contact Kathe Kruse in Germany to make them aware of this quality flaw but as I purchased from Amazon, I suppose that I should really complain to them. Meanwhile I don’t mind having a 2-right-legged Luna as these days I’m trying very hard to reel in my OCD of perfection!

If you’re looking to buy a Kruseling doll, I found three UK online sellers today with stock of Kruselings. Here they are:

  • NonsuchShop, with a bricks-and-mortar-shop in Devon and an online shop.
  • EvesToyShop, with a bricks-and-mortar-shop in West Wales and an online shop, and voted best independent toy shop in the UK for 2017/18.
  • My Doll Best Friend, with solely an internet-only shop.

Since owning a Kruseling doll I’ve developed a keen interest in ‘scene setting’. You only need to search Instagram for #Kruselings to discover lots of inspiration and I try my best to participate when the time allows it. Scene setting is popular for doll owners and their creativity never ceases to amaze me. Check out @windrose_dolls, @escapetodollworld, @thesunflowerfrog, @bellie_beth_baby, @my_other_world, @wandylovesdolls and @little_miss_dressy of course!

Back to the subject of reasonably priced, small articulated dolls. I’ve yet to check out the complete range of Made To Move Barbies. Although I’ve never been a big fan of Barbie dolls, these ones have definitely caught my eye. There are some great Instagram images showing the doll’s pose-ability and I especially like #barbiemadetomovecurvy and #barbiemadetomoveyoga. There’s certainly a wide range to choose from.

It was this ‘scene setting’ interest of mine that led me to vintage Sindy and where this story started. It’s hard to find interesting 1/6th scale accessories at a good price and Sindy popped up on my eBay search. There she was in all her glory, surrounded by her ‘scene setting’ accessories.

I have attempted to make some of my own accessories and so far I’ve made a garden seat, plates of food, doll’s bed, bean bag chair and slider sandals. All of these are detailed in previous blog posts.

Kruselings are 1/6th scale so I’m hoping that Sindy accessories will fill the gap (I currently have my eye on her yellow scooter). When I finally get to buy at a reasonable price then I shall let you know.

Kruselings dolls
Kruselings Dolls – Chloe joins her friends

Kruselings are depicted as fantasy/fashion/action dolls and there are six of them; five girls and one boy. As I already had three, Christmas provided me with the perfect excuse to add to my Kruseling doll collection. My initial selection for purchase was based on the doll’s hair. Vera’s is blonde, fine and straight, Joy’s is dark brown with tight curls and Sophia’s is dark brown and very thick.

Here are my three little ladies recently having fun in the snow wearing their Christmas knitwear. Vera’s hair works well with a hat but Sophia’s is too full. I just about managed to get a hat on Joy and it stayed-put for the photo, but it sprang off after a while. They all became very excited with the prospect of more friends joining them!

None of the main toy shops physically near me stock Kruselings, so once again I searched online and I found the best price to be on Amazon. Although at the time of writing this post most of their Kruseling dolls were out of stock. However, if you don’t mind paying a little more, they are currently in stock from the My Doll Best Friend website.

So my fourth Kruseling doll arrived today. Here’s Chloe with her auburn hair and fringe (bangs).

Chloe is soon to be followed by black-haired Luna, who also has a fringe. I’m holding off on buying Michael as (apart from the hair length) I don’t think he looks much different from Vera. Plus I read a review whereby the person didn’t rate Michael’s hair well at all and found it to be a big disappointment.

By the end of January I’ll have a full house with the Kruseling girls and speaking of houses, my husband bought me a second-hand one last summer. It’s a Barbie doll’s house and being 1/6th scale, it works perfectly for my Kruselings. I’m slowly decorating it and making accessories but so far, my bean bags and doll’s bed are perfect for it.

When buying a doll, it’s difficult to not get side-tracked by the sheer amount of choice there is within the doll market. The main factors I look for when buying are pose-ability and ease for little fingers to manage by themselves (as well as with supervision), but I don’t buy to collect for myself, I buy for role-play with my grand children. As they grow older the role-play is moving more towards designing and making dolls clothes, with them bringing forward their ideas and me having the challenge of making them!

The reason why I decided to make clothes for Kruselings dolls is detailed in a previous post. In that post I also tell/show the difference between 9” Kruselings and 8” Paola Reina Mini Amigas. It was a happy accident when I discovered that most of the outfits I make to sell on the website also fit the 8” Mini Amigas.

Here’s a Mini Amiga and Kruseling side-by-side.

Barbie has also joined in the fun with our Kruselings dolls. I’m not a big fan of Barbie but when I made the Little Miss Dressy knitwear range I realised that it also fits the 11½” Barbie. So perhaps my future Little Miss Dressy creations will be tailored to fit all three doll-brands. I recently discovered the Made-to-Move Barbie doll, which has 22 joints with a big range of motion and I’d love to see one in-the-flesh, but it’s best I hold that thought for another day!

Kruseling dolls bed
Making a Bed for a Small Doll (Kruselings)

Here’s how I went about making a bed for our Kruseling dolls, using lollipop sticks and a glue gun. Once I had worked out how to make it, it took me about an hour to cut and glue the pieces together. Initially there was more thinking than doing but after I had drawn the template the assembly was quite straightforward.

It’s not true 1/6th scale but it’s size was dependent on these 3 factors;

  • Long enough for a 9 inch Kruseling doll
  • Fit within the doll’s house room and still look realistic
  • Shallow enough to fit inside a 12 inch carry case.

Once I had decided on the size of bed I started the preparation;

  • Glue gun
  • Glue sticks
  • Measuring tools
  • Paper
  • Pencil
  • Eraser
  • Clippers
  • Weights
  • 11.5 cm long lollipop sticks (I used 41 sticks but allowed more for error)

Mark out the paper template

This is a rectangle measuring 11½ cm by 24½ cm (I used my quilter’s ruler to get the angles correct and I drew the rectangle).

Using a lollipop stick, draw around them to mark out their placements within the rectangle.

Cutting the lollipop sticks

There are 6 cuts in total using 4 lollipop sticks. Measure at the 8cm mark and cut 4 sticks to the 8cm length. Using 2 of the remaining 3.5cm pieces, measure 1cm from the cut end and cut to shorten the stick to 2.5cm. You will have 4 bed corner posts and 2 centre-bracing bed frame posts.

Assemble the Bed Frame

The template was used to line up the lollipop sticks and I used my sewing weights to stop the sticks from moving while I glued them together.

Start with the long sides and place a lollipop stick at each corner. Use another stick to overlap at the centre.

Using the weights to keep in place on the template, add the 2 ends to form a rectangle. Turn over and add 3 more vertical sticks (left, centre and right) for rigidity.

Using the paper template a a guide, continue adding vertical lollipop sticks to form the slats along the base. Also add 4 sticks horizontally at the sides.

Assemble the Bed Posts

Using the template, set the 8 cm long sticks at the correct distance apart and with weights in place, glue the horizontal sticks across.

The spacing is up to you, but the lowest stick needs to be situated so that the base is set at the correct height. Draw a line at 2.5 cm from the floor-edge.

Attach the Bed Frame to the Bed Posts

Place the bed post flat on the table and glue the bed frame to it above the 2½ cm line, ensuring it sits at right angles. Add more glue to the underside edge of the bed so that it’s not seen. Do the same for the 2nd bed post. Check that it all sits level.

Attach the Bracing Bar

With the bed turned upside down, glue one 2½ cm stick vertically to both sides at the midway point. Use a 3rd stick to form a bracing bar to help hold them in place.

At this stage I could see the bed was in its final stages and Sophia #Kruseling got to try it out.

Finish

There were glue strands that needed picking off and I tried as best I could to lightly sand any parts that required smoothing down. Then it was ready for painting! It got two coats of Liquitex Gesso and I left it with the matt finish.

After I had made the mattress, pillow and duvet I secretly wished I were that size, small enough to snuggle down in the bed next to Sophia.

With the prices of 1/6th scale beds these days, I was absolutely delighted to have been able to make my own. My 11½ cm lollipop sticks cost £1 for 100 and I used 3 or 4 glue sticks.

Three beds have been made so far, two are for Xmas presents (that fit in a little carry case with a Kruseling doll) and I get to keep one. I hope you feel inspired to have a go!

Party outfit by Little Miss Dressy
Small dolls cardigan knitting
Knitting for Small Dolls like Kruselings or MiniAmigas

Knitting for small dolls which are 1/6th scale, such as 9” Kruselings, 8” MiniAmigas and 11½” Barbies, is a very good way of using up leftover (or abandoned) yarn from knit or crochet projects. If you’ve ever knitted then it’s very likely you’ll have some wool at the back of a drawer or cupboard. The projects shown in this post use anything between 5 and 10 grams of double knit yarn. To give an idea of how much that is, the photo below shows 2 balls that together weigh 9.47 grams.

I recently rediscovered knitting, finding it to be a great way of not using my iPad of an evening while watching (or listening to) the TV. I can listen quite easily and with the summer months spent mainly outside in the garden, I got completely hooked on listening to audio books. Consuming books though earbuds completely eliminated any guilt I would have had if I’d sat, reading a hard copy. Anyway, if my garden needs tidying, I can’t sit out there to enjoy a book when I see the jobs that need doing.

So I started with the leftover yarn in my knitting bag and played around for hours trying to work out the best way to knit a small doll’s jumper. I didn’t have a pattern and eventually (thanks to YouTube) I’d worked out how to knit in-the-round. That was a complete game changer for me as I’d always knitted separate pieces and sewn them together. That’s fine for human size pieces but I was attempting 1/6th scale, first with double-knit yarn and then with three-ply crochet thread.

I progressed to knitting in-the-round from the hem up to the neck, followed by picking up stitches for the sleeves and then knitting those in-the-round. It looked OK, but it wasn’t the look that I was after. I didn’t want sleeves that stuck out at right angles from the shoulders, like the photo shown below.

I recalled how Fair Isle sweaters were knit from the neck down and so next I set about attempting this instead. There was plenty of trial and error before I worked out how best to increase neatly in stages. Once I had figured out the amount of stitches needed at the neck and then the body, I worked out when to increase and what to do for the sleeves. By this point I had lots of hand-written notes so I could remember what I had done, rather like an experiment but not so formal.

After several attempts, my experiment was complete and I had knitted my doll’s jumper with long sleeves in both double-knit yarn and 3-ply thread. I then used the same technique to knit a longer jumper for my Kruselings, followed by short sleeved versions. My mind was dizzy with all the possible variations.

Then I adapted the pattern to make a doll’s cardigan for knitting on two needles, with knitting in-the-round for the sleeves only. Doing this in both double-knit yarn and 3-ply thread, it showed me how different yarn affects the sizing. This can be seen in the photo below.

Here’s how knitting the dress version compares in double knit and 3 ply thread.

Unable to find a suitably sized knitting pattern for a basic jumper or cardigan (that fitted sixth scale dolls) I typed up all my notes, knitted everything again taking pictures of my knitting and created two knitting patterns. I’m happy to say that these are available to purchase as a pdf download from my website.

If you fancy having a go at reducing your knitting scraps and knitting for small dolls, then here’s the amount needed to get started;

3-Ply Decorative Thread
  • Long Sleeve Cardigan or Jumper – 7 grams
  • Short Sleeve Jumper – 5 grams
  • Tunic Dress Long Sleeves – 9 grams
Double-Knit Yarn
  • Long Sleeve Cardigan or Jumper – 9 grams
  • Short Sleeve Jumper – 7 grams
  • Tunic Dress Short Sleeves – 11 grams

It’s hard to judge the amount of wool needed but I had already invested in pocket weighing scales. These are perfect for knowing what my finished garments weigh for postage costs but now they also weigh my wool!

If you don’t fancy knitting for your own small size, 1/6th scale doll then please take a peek at the knitwear in my shop, listed in the Separates category. I’m delighted that what started as a way of not using my iPad in the evenings has ultimately produced the content for two basic knitting patterns, one for a dress/jumper and another for a cardigan. Even more delighted was I when I realised my creations also fitted Barbie, which makes my knitting pattern quite versatile.