Tropical Mermaid Sindy doll
Replacing a Sindy Doll’s Eyelashes

Sindy needed her eyelashes replacing and this post is about my first attempt at rerooting the eyelashes of a Sindy doll. I’ve included some photos at various stages of the process and a short video at the end, to show how I knotted and rooted one eyelash plug. (I haven’t included a clip on making the final trim).

Method

The eyelashes were replaced using same technique as for the hair reroot but with a slight variation to making the knot in the eyelash plug. This time I did count out the single hairs, 6 for each eyelash plug which were then folded in half to double the plug’s thickness and then secured with a knot. (The knot was tied in place with the help of the needle and this is shown in the video).

Tools and Supplies

The exact same tools were used:- a long darning needle, small sharp scissors, needle threader, pliers and a small bowl of water.

A shorter hair weft (15cm long) was used instead of the 39 inch loose hair length. This was a 100cm wide piece, stitched together at one end. The black weft was purchased from KinsWonders via Etsy and cost £4.95 excluding postage. I found this hair weft to have very uneven lengths and so I wouldn’t want to do a short-haired reroot with this. It needed to be soaked wet to thread it all through the needle.

Notes

Some of the doll’s eyelash holes had merged together, maybe from when they were originally inserted at manufacture. In this case I still used the same amount of hairs in each plug but I inserted a second plug right alongside the previous one and maybe even a third. Care is needed when inserting the needle, as I think too much pressure could merge the holes into being one single split. I’m sure if that happened it could be glued from inside but I wouldn’t want to chance it with my limited experience.

Having Sindy’s hair plaited helped keep it out of the way and the elastic band lifting up the lashes sat nicely at the hairline.

I left the lashes like this for about 4 weeks (because I was nervous about cutting them) and I wiped a tiny amount of light glue over them, hoping that this would hold their shape better.

Meanwhile I set Sindy’s hair so that it would be wavy when unplaited, first by plunging it into very hot water for a minute and then into cold water straight after. It was left to dry naturally and unplaited after the eyelashes had been trimmed.

When I finally made the cut on the eyelashes it was with small curved scissors. At first I made them 1 inch long to remove the excess, and then I gently trimmed them to their final size.

The End Result

I would encourage anyone to have a go at replacing their vintage Sindy doll’s eyelashes. The apprehension I felt before has gone now and I’m so pleased to have finished my girl’s transformation. I’ve already got 4 more vintage ladies patiently waiting for their chance to shine brightly.

So here she is, my tropical mermaid Sindy, currently wearing a long dress until I decide what outfit to make her. Her crown was made by Kristina Ridgewell, a Sindy fan like me, and also a member of the Vintage Sindy Collectors Facebook Group.

Rerooting Video (2m 13s)

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

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!

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 2020 Sindy Doll

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.