OOAK Sindy doll rerooted hair
Rerooting the Hair of a Sindy Doll

This post details my first attempt at rerooting the hair of a Sindy doll and shows photos at various stages of the process. There is a short video at the end showing a close-up of rooting one length of hair, for which I used the knot method. (I haven’t included details on how to remove a doll’s head).

Having purchased Trendsetter Sindy I was keen to do a reroot on her but first I wanted a practise run. So another Sindy doll was purchased on eBay and apart from her hair, this little lady is in great condition for her age. However, I don’t think her body is the original one for her head but more about that later.

This Sindy was described in the eBay listing as a Diana doll and these were first sold in 1982 by Pedigree as Sunshine Sindy. Inspired by Princess Diana, this Sindy doll came with short, layered hair either blonde or brunette. According to the Petradolls website, Sunshine Sindy had Hong Kong marked on the lower back but this doll’s body doesn’t.

She is marked Sindy 033055X on the back of her head, correctly matching the 1982 Hong Kong short-hair Sindy, but her head wobbles a bit on the body. I checked this Sindy’s neck knob alongside Trendsetter’s and it is distinctly smaller. Also her head fits better on Trendsetter’s body and loses the wobble. So I’m convinced that my Sunshine Sindy’s head and body are not matched. I only mention this because after rerooting her, the weight of the new long hair now drags her head backwards. It probably wouldn’t have been so noticeable if I had kept the new hair short…..but I wanted a mermaid and in my world, mermaids have long hair.

Supplies for Rerooting the Hair of a Sindy Doll

I purchased my hair from The Doll Hair Emporium via Etsy and this particular hair is Solstice Nylon.

Excluding postage, the nylon hair cost me £8.50; I used one 12.5g Standard size pack and one 25g Medium size pack and I did not have any left over. This hair length is 38 inches / 96 cm and comes tied together half-way along the length. So to reroot this Sindy doll, in total I used 37.5g of hair packed in 38 inch lengths.

Once out of the pack, the nylon hair easily becomes flyaway. I kept it wet with a spray bottle to make it stay together. I also cut my 38 inch length in half, thus working with 19 inches to be threaded through the needle. One 19 inch length rooted 2 holes and the finished hair length became approx 9 inches.

The tools I used were a long darning needle, sharp scissors, needle threader, pliers and a small bowl of water.

Preparation

Remove Old Hair

With sharp scissors cut off all the hair back to the scalp and using pliers (working from the inside of the head via the neck), gently pull out the hair plugs.

Prepare New Hair

To do this I separated the strands of new hair with the needle, wetted it all and then tied a double-knot at the centre of its length. I didn’t count the strands but eyeballed the thickness to about 1mm and I prepared about 6 lengths of hair at a time. The knot in this nylon hair did tend to come loose but by wetting each strand in the bowl it made it easier to double-knot.

Method for Rerooting the Hair of a Sindy Doll

Things to Keep in Mind

I started at the back of the head, working around to the front in rows, using an elastic band to keep rooted-hair out of the way. I made many more (evenly placed) holes in the head for adding additional hair strands. This I did by poking the needle through the scalp with the pliers, gently but firmly. However, I kept to the original hairline around the head. I also made a small side parting by ensuring the hole placement was sufficiently aligned for thatching the parting. The long 19 inch strand fills two holes adjacent to each other.

Inserting the Needle into the Doll’s Head

When rooting with the long darning needle, the eye of the needle was pushed into the scalp (using pliers) from the outside, just enough for it to poke through the neck-hole. Keeping the hair-strand wet and stuck together helped ease it through the needle threader.

One end of the 19 inch length was threaded into the needle and pulled through the hole, as far as the knot. The second end of the length was then pulled through an adjacent hole. The double-knot in the centre of the hair-strand has kept the hair in place.

Hair Styling

At this stage I didn’t really have a clue how my Sindy’s hair would be styled. The new, springy nylon hair seemed unruly and so it got tied back with an elastic band. Then I teased out the section for where the parting would be, leaving the rest held by the band.

There are some helpful YouTube videos that show how to thatch a doll’s hair parting. I’ve seen one that splits each strand in half to criss-cross it and another where the adjacent strands are criss-crossed. I chose the latter method. Because I added more holes to where I wanted the parting to be, there were enough of them to alternate the criss-crossing.

My Sunshine Sindy was without eyelashes in one eye and I was unsure how best to replace them. As I knew there would be more poking around inside her head I decided the best interim hair style for her would be plaits. So at the moment Sindy has the dreadlock look. I’m hoping that when her plaits are released she will be graced with wonderful waves.

Rerooting Video (1m 35s)

Here’s my short video showing the technique I used for rerooting Sindy’s hair.

My Sunshine Sindy doll is shown in the images below with her hair in plaits, patiently waiting for her eyelash appointment and part way to being transformed into a tropical mermaid. I eventually managed to pluck up courage to do her eyelashes using this same method and that will be the subject of my next blog post.

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!

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.

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