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:-

Vintage Trendsetter Sindy with City Chic 2020 Sindy

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!

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
Kruselings miniature plate of food
Making a Miniature Plate of Food for Kruselings 1:6 scale

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)
  • PVA glue
  • Small paint brush
  • Reverse action tweezers.

Method:

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;

  1. This one uses plain 300gsm card and nail varnish.
  2. This one uses plain card.
  3. This one makes fancy plates using a computer print out.

Here’s Vera #Kruseling preparing lunch for her friends!

Sofia Kruseling sat on her bean bag chair
Making a Bean Bag Chair for a Kruseling Doll 1:6 Scale

Making a bean bag chair for your Kruseling doll is quite straightforward and uses two pieces of fabric of exactly the same size. It can be made in under an hour and the trickiest part is filling the bag without spilling anything.

My inspiration sometimes comes out of nowhere; I recently had a clear out of old gift boxes and discovered some bags of tiny polystyrene beads that had been used as padding. It was these that gave me the idea to make my Kruselings their bean bags. I had no idea if there was enough but I thought I’d start with making one and see how much filling was left. It was mostly guess work by eye.

I started looking for a picture of a child-sized bean bag and came across a great blog post by Project Nursery that details how to sew one up. The child in the post’s photo looked about the same age as a Kruseling doll and so I used those measurements detailed in the blog post and divided by six to scale it down.

I drew out the pattern for a Kruseling doll bean bag as shown below. It’s a rectangle 7.5 inches by 5.5 inches, with one end curved.

To test if the size was correct, I first cut out the pattern using some plain cotton and sewed around three sides with a 1cm seam, leaving the shortest straight edge open. (Folding in the seam allowance and ironing the open edge at this stage helps for when sewing it up later.)

I filled up the bag to about one inch from the open edge. This left enough fabric to sew closed the seam and gave the right amount of bagginess to the bag. I machine sewed the seam closed, as near the edge as possible.

Happy with the size, after testing it out on Joy Kruseling, I made a cover for it in exactly the same way but hand-sewed the opening closed.

The key thing to remember is that the opening seam has to be twisted or off-set, like shown in the photo below; the side seams get brought to the centre.

I had enough filling to make three bean bags, so one for each of my Kruselings. If I were to make any more I think I’d try dried rice as the filling in place of polystyrene balls because no matter how careful I was, static made them dart everywhere.

One bean bag cover requires half a fat quarter but of course it’s not entirely necessary to make a separate cover for the bag because it’s twice the work, but it does give some flexibility for changing colour scheme whenever you like.

The bags were finished just in time to get a shot of the girls relaxing in the garden before the sun went down.

Joy, Sofia & Vera Kruseling
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 .