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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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!
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;
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.
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!
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
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.
If you want to know about making a miniature plate of food for your Kruseling doll then this post may interest you. I’m always looking at ways for making miniature accessories for my dolls. There are lots available on the internet but it can work out expensive if, like me, you’re looking to build up a good and varied collection.
I was on the hunt for some plates of food and after not being able to find what I wanted, I set about making them myself. I found plenty of 1/12th scale, but not 1/6th which is the size needed for Kruselings (or Mini Amigas, or Barbies).
To make the miniature plates of food I figured that I would need 4 plates, food, glue, tweezers and varnish. I already had the glue, tweezers and varnish, so I scoured online (including eBay and Amazon) for the right size plates and food but again, search results were not quite what I wanted.
Quite by chance I came across nail art accessories that resembled fruit slices and they looked the right size so I took a chance and ordered them. I intended using milk carton tops for plates but they were a bit too deep for displaying the food.
I’m lucky to have a handy husband who made me some aluminium plates to the exact diameter I wanted, otherwise I’d have probably gone with buying 1/12th scale from eBay, which would have been fine for a tea plate but I wanted a dinner size plate.
Materials & Tools Used to Make a Miniature Plate of Food
32mm diameter plates
Nail Art Decoration Fimo slices (£2.99 incl postage from uk_beauty_supplies on eBay)
Small paint brush
Reverse action tweezers.
1) Prepare the fimo fruit slices according to how you want them laid out to get an idea of how many will fit the plate. I chose lines of overlapping slices. (My pack contained 12 compartments of at about 10 slices in each and my plates have 21,29, 31, 33 slices on them).
2) Work on 1 plate at a time and place a thin layer of glue on it using a small paint brush. (I think my slices are 1mm thick and I made the glue layer the same thickness.)
3) Use the reverse action tweezers to pick up the fimo slice and place it on the plate. (A second pair of ordinary tweezers also helps to steady the plate when doing this.)
4) Leave to dry completely. A coat of clear nail varnish on top will give a shiny glaze and finish it off nicely.
If you have the patience to make your own plates, I found some great YouTube videos for making them;