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

Mini Amiga Elena and Kruseling Vera
Kruselings and Mini Amigas -Sharing Dolls’ Clothes

When selecting a doll to make clothes for, Kruselings were my first choice. I was looking for a poseable doll that resembled a little girl of between five and eight years old, and one that was under twelve inches tall.

It took a while web-surfing my way through the maze of available dolls to eventually settle on a Kruseling doll, only to find that its popularity is mainly outside of the UK.

When looking online for UK sellers of Kruselings, there were only three retailers (plus Amazon ) showing up in searches and not a huge choice in stock. So far I’ve purchased three Kruselings, one from each retailer; Vera from My Doll Best Friend, Sofia from Liliana Dolls, Joy from KR Bears and Dolls.

Sonja Hartmann is the designer of Kruselings and she has a website that showcases the dolls, with links to eBay for purchasing them. (I would have thought it in the manufacturer’s best interest (Kathe Kruse (Germany), to actively promote Kruseling dolls in the UK, but my online searches don’t reveal much of that is going on; they must have their reasons for not doing so.)

Having spent countless hours web-searching for information about dolls, I’d discovered that Paola Reina have a Mini Amigas doll range. Being just 2cm smaller than Kruslings and with similar proportions, my Kruselings’ clothes also fit Mini Amigas. So, it was a perfect excuse for me to add a doll to my collection, for research purposes of course! For this little beauty I found the best price on Amazon.

Elena, a Paola Reina Mini Amiga doll

Vera is also available on Amazon.

Vera, a Krusling doll

Here’s a close up of Mini Amiga Elena (left) and Kruseling Vera (right).

Just look at those eyelashes!

Here they are below, side by side. I think Vera looks more athletic and older than Elena, who has a different torso shape. But what about those knickers? The ones on Elena look like old-fashioned school knickers, but they are easier to get on an off than Vera’s, which are a snug fit and barely go over her bottom.

Here are their feet. Mini Amiga Elena has teeny tiny feet with chubby ankles (my Kruseling slider sandals are way too big for her). Kruselings have quite large feet with slim ankles but then those feet are probably designed to give stability for posing.

Here are their hands. Elena’s look quite dainty and bigger than Vera’s. But of course, Vera’s are movable.

Both brands claim their dolls are made of “high quality vinyl” but now I’m able to compare them, I much prefer the softer vinyl of the Paola Reina Mini Amigas to the hard vinyl of the Kruselings. Also, in places, the Kruseling feels as if it has a textured surface; not rough, but definitely not smooth. My ideal doll would be a hybrid of the two. Both are pretty but I’d like the posability of a Kruseling and the texture of a Paola Reina combined.

Kruseling (left) and Mini Amigas (right)

Here they both are wearing the same size crop top. It gives you an idea of the difference in size between them both.

There is no competition between them though for being able to pose. Poor Elena can’t bend her knees to sit down and so her legs go very wide; not ladylike at all.

Whereas Vera can sit better, although not completely upright with her legs extended.

Oh yes, Elena will definitely have to stand at tea parties!

Should you want to know more about the dolls, there is a 2017 blog post from My Doll Best Friend that goes into some detail about Kruselings.

Meanwhile, Kruselings’ popularity is growing. There is a public group on Facebook for sharing photos called Kruseling Adventures Group and then there’s Instagram hashtags #Kruselings and #KruselingsDolls with daily photos being posted.

Little Miss Dressy regularly posts photos too, so why not join in? You can find us on Instagram and Facebook .

party skirt Kruseling size
Making a Tulle Skirt for Kruseling Dolls 1.6 scale

Making a tulle skirt for your Kruseling doll is relatively easy. It consists of layers of 6 inch wide soft net that are sewn together and gathered. Bias binding tape is used for the waistband and a single snap fastener/press stud fastens it at the back.

making a tulle skirt for 9 inch dolls

This skirt is available in the party category of the Little Miss dressy shop and comes in purple, orange, yellow and green (the party outfits comprise a skirt, a crop top and slider sandals).

Here’s how it’s made:-

First I made a sample skirt to test it for size and see how it would look. For the waistband, I had used a strip of fabric and realised a bias cut piece would give a much smoother finish. This was because once the skirt section had been gathered it curved naturally at the waist.

I then sought a practical method of sewing several skirts in a row so that my work process flowed in a way that suited me. Of course this method might not be perfect for others but it’s how I shall describe it here.

Materials for Making a Tulle Skirt:-

  • Cardboard template measuring 6″ x 15″ (or 15cm by 38cm)
  • Some small weights
  • Soft net or tulle, 5 pieces of 6″ x 15″ (6 inch rolls are ideal)
  • Good quality satin bias binding tape (not the cheap, loosely woven type), 5¼” long
  • Snap fastener 5mm
  • Lighter (to seal the bias tape edges)
  • Ruler, pencil, scissors, pins, needle, thread, stick picker

Prepare the layers one at a time; measuring, marking and cutting them. Cut 4 pieces from plain coloured tulle and 1 piece of decorated tulle.

making a tulle skirt for 9 inch dolls

Use the weights to keep the layers in place on top of each other and pin 2 rows about 1″ apart, along the length of the tulle. Measure and mark the centre of the tulle and machine sew the full length along it as shown below, then remove the pins.

making a tulle skirt for 9 inch dolls

Keep the decorative layer side up and fold the tulle along the centre line where it has been sewn. Pin it down if necessary. This gives you a rectangle 3″ x 15″ that has 10 layers of tulle. Sew along the folded edge to keep it in place.

Set the machine stitch length to 5 and sew 2 rows along the folded edge as shown below, keeping long thread tails at each end for gathering.

making a tulle skirt for 9 inch dolls

Gather the rows evenly until the piece measures 4½” at the waist and tie the threads at each end.

making a tulle skirt for 9 inch dolls

Using a lighter, carefully seal the two edges of the bias tape to stop it fraying. It’s not entirely necessary but it does make it easier later on when hand stitching the waistband.

Folding in the ends of the tulle, attach the bias tape to the waistline at about 1cm from the edge ( I hand-basted first and then machine sewed) leaving excess at each end.

making a tulle skirt for 9 inch dolls

The final part takes a little bit of patience to get a neat finish and it’s all hand sewn.

Fold over the bias tape and pin it in place, making sure the ends are neatly folded in. I had to double fold because of the width of tape I used. It does give a bulkier waistband but I like the finished look.

making a tulle skirt for 9 inch dolls

Any gathered stitching that is showing after the waistband is added will need to be carefully removed. For this I used a small stitch remover but it can also be done with a pin.

making a tulle skirt for 9 inch dolls

Lastly, attach the snap fastener to the waistband.

making a tulle skirt for 9 inch dolls

Hand sewing is not my favourite pastime but at least I was able to sew on fasteners whilst listening to my audio book and enjoying the lockdown sunshine.

Here are Joy and Sofia in their party outfits, enjoying a chat and keeping cool with a cold drink.

making a tulle skirt for 9 inch dolls

What’s great too is that this size fits the Mini Amigas doll range by Paola Reina, so Joy and Sofia invited Elena to join them.

making a tulle skirt for 9 inch dolls
Kruseling doll 36.37mm Pink Blue flip flops 1.6 scale (3)
Make Slider Sandals for your Kruseling Doll 1.6 scale

If you want to know how to make slider sandals for your Kruseling doll then this post will help.

Little Miss Dressy wanted a sparkly, flip-flop or slider sandal to go with the dolls clothes it sells, ideally in a matching colour.  So, clothing production was paused and the idea of making them gained ground.  Time passed browsing the web, seeing what was already out there and again noticing that there was not much on offer for Kruselings. Decision was made to make them. I mean honestly, I asked myself “how hard could it be?”

Here’s how it went…..

Testing Phase

First I experimented with some foam stickers and ribbon that I already had. Indeed, my idea  worked, but my cutting skills lacked consistency. I really didn’t like the uneven, finished edge of the sole and using an emery board to smooth it off, didn’t work.

Brainstorming

Chatting to my practical husband and, whose brain operates completely different to mine, he said “a cutting die would do the job in no time……” but I didn’t have one, nor was I intending to mass produce. I think he soon regretted his input, having then got tasked with making me one, and  then cut out all my soles. “Teamwork” I told him.

Construction

Four soles, 2 each of left and right feet are needed. On one pair, a slit is made on either side of the sole. In this case it was 10mm wide and slightly curved.

Two sections of ribbon or braid are needed for the upper part and in this case they were 40mm long. These wrap over the foot and get tucked in through the side slits, folding under the top layer and in-between the top and bottom layers. (Care is needed not to tear the edge by the side slits when squeezing the ribbon through them).

Testing

The paper backing of the foam sole is peeled back gradually, starting at the toe, after the upper part has been put through the slits. (The sides tend to bulge out and need to be gently pushed back and stuck to the bottom sole).

The bottom sole is placed onto the top sole, starting at the toe, making sure neither soles overlap at the edges. (Not easy if rushed, and it helps to have the sandal on the doll’s foot when doing this).

Once this part is done, the sandal upper is securely stuck between the top and bottom soles.

Next was the heel section and I found this better to manage if I took the sandal off the doll’s foot. Remove the rest of the backing paper slowly, allowing the remaining top and bottom soles to stick together, again making sure neither overlap.

Quality Control

I always want perfection but sometimes have to make do with less than that. What I see, others sometimes do not and at times it really is in the eye of the beholder. But the camera shows everything! Up close is the real test.

Try as I did to get both top and bottom soles stuck together evenly, the final effect did not satisfy my eye. After more brainstorming/chatting to my husband, I got handed a rotary drill, a quick lesson for using it and instructions on how to “take control” of it. It did the job just fine, blending the edges of top and bottom soles together, enough to pass my quality control.

Little Miss Dressy plans to have sliders that will match the dresses and separates available but why not have a go making them yourself? If you’d like to make slider sandals for your Kruseling doll then here’s what you’ll need:

  • Sticky back foam sheet
  • Pencil for marking
  • Paper template of your doll’s foot
  • Craft knife
  • Scissors
  • Ribbon or thin braid
  • Measuring tool
  • Tweezers

A rotary drill is only needed if you want a smoother, finished edge to the soles.

Good luck and happy crafting!