A scrapbook of whatever I'm making, collecting, or just obsessing about
at the moment.

Saturday, December 26, 2015

Time out for Sindy

I'm taking a break from sewing to enjoy one of the vintage Sindy dolls that are joining my collection--some of the "Belles of Christmas 2015."

For a long time I resisted Sindy dolls. They weren't familiar from my childhood, being mostly sold in Europe, and they were so much like Tammy as to be almost redundant. Plus it is expensive to buy one in really good condition.

But they grew on me after a while--such a sweet face and nice demeanor.

This one was on ebay as a very cheap "Buy it Now." Her hair was sparse and badly rooted; she smelled like stale cigarette smoke; and her face paint had faded.

She came with the wedding dress and veil, both of which had stains, plus her calico & lace dress and two pairs of jodhpurs--all of which also smelled like stale cigarette smoke.

So right away everything got lathered up and washed with sweet-smelling soap.

Getting rid of the smoke smell can be difficult, but I was lucky this time: now she and her clothes smell fresh and nice and all the stains cleaned away very easily.

Next I figured out a hairstyle for her that would cover up the parts of her head that weren't rooted: a simple ponytail or ballet bun will work--maybe that was her original hairstyle. Her hair is still shiny and nice--not dried out and frizzy like some old dolls.

Last, I carefully changed her expression by adding paint to her face: I enlarged her pupils, thickened her eyeliner at the outer corner, and gave her lips some color.  I just used washable watercolor paints--the color can come off and she can be restored to her original coloring any time.

Here is her "before" picture--can't really see her hair problems very well.  But she did look nervous, so I changed her eyes.

The calico & lace dress she's wearing needs some work too: there's no tears, but the white lace and elastic have turned grey. Will have to experiment a bit with trying to whiten them up again.

Sindy already has a pretty new sister in the collection, and they will I hope soon be joined by two brunettes. I despair of ever adding a red haired one--they are rare and costly.


Jenny said...

You have done her proud! She is one of the Sindys that was sold here in North America, based upon her original dress. Many of that era of Sindys have pale lips. She looks very pretty now! I amassed quite a collection of Sindys, one even came from Noosa, QLD, Australia (a re-root 1986 New Face Sindy)...she has very long red hair! I was buying about 20 years ago, and postage was cheaper as well as purchase price. I bought my first Tammy well after Sindy arrived here! lol I was a Barbie child, so Tammy didn't appeal to me much back the, although her clothing was another story. I bought a Tammy out of guilt for having so much of her clothing!

Tricks and Manners said...

Jenny, thank you for the wonderful comment--I'm so glad to meet another Sindy fan! And thank you too for the helpful information. I want to learn all I can about them. That's so funny that you bought your Tammy out of guilt! :-D She did have lovely, well-made things--and all those clever accessories too! I was a Barbie child too; my sister had the Tammy. Our clothes for them were mostly home-sewn, our mom and older sister being very talented that way. I've seen pictures of some re-root Sindys on Flickr, and they are stunning! Maybe I can get my red-head that way! About the Sindys sold in America--do you think they were perhaps not quite well as made as the others? I'm wondering whether that odd root job on my Sindy was deliberate or accidental.

Jenny said...

I managed to acquire well over 50 Sindys in my mad dash, and many have very thin rooting. I don't have any early '60s Sindys, which were the same body and sculpt as Tammy, with a unique face; all of mine are later ('70s to mid-80s), with bendable legs and the more familiar Sindy face. My History of Sindy book doesn't seem to have the US-marketed doll, but I think she is from around 1974. In 1986 her look changed drastically; in 1987 she was made by Hasbro and that face changed again with new eye color, etc. Then Hasbro introduced a long-legged Sindy who came to resemble Barbie far closer; I believe they only sold in Europe and Canada; Mattel didn't appreciate the US competition! I have some examples in my collection, though only a very few.
I still have a couple of dresses I made myself, using a Tammy pattern, when I was around 10. All hand-sewn, as I hadn't yet learned to use a sewing machine. My mother was an athlete, not especially domestic, and didn't sew so I had to learn from others, in school. Now that I'm retired, I've come full circle, and sew for my dolls again, although mostly the bigger, 1950s fashion dolls rather than this size. I have sewn for LMR and Ginny, but for some reason Sindy and Barbie just get my mending attention, if that!

Tricks and Manners said...

Over 50 Sindys! You're my kind of person! :-D I love multiples too, but aside from Barbies--of whom it's easy to acquire whole colonies--seven Sashas is the most of any one doll I have. Did you collect the outfits, furniture, etc. for them? Sindy certainly had a lot of great stuff. One of the brunette Sindys I ordered has her horse with her--I'm excited about that. The History of Sindy book is going for big bucks on Amazon, so I checked out google instead and found some sites that show samples of the different versions you mentioned--"Our Sindy Museum" is pretty amazing, with every outfit documented! Too bad there seems not to be something similar for Tammy. What are the 50s fashion dolls you like to sew for? I'm guessing Miss Revlon and maybe Cissy and Sweet Sue? I have a 21" Miss Revlon I've sewn for--such elegant patterns available for MRs.

Jenny said...

Ah, yes, I have multiples of most dolls I've collected...
All sizes of the Revlon dolls except the 25", Sweet Sue Sophisticate, Toni, and SSw/flex foot; Horsman Cindys in most sizes (some I have purchased from others, and are illustrated in online reference sites!); Dollikins in 19", 11" and 6"; Circle P dolls; 14Rs including a couple of Royal dolls, as well as catalog offered; 'pixie' VT-18s (likely using the Revlon molds, but not made by Ideal...two I have are Eegee); hard plastics including Sweet Sue, Nanette, Toni, Mary Hoyer, etc. I have Gene Marshall, mostly early in their run with just a couple from Integrity; many Tonner dolls plus Ellowyne Wilde & friends, and two hard plastic Evangeline Ghastlys. Tiny Betsy McCall by American Character and Robert Tonner; Ginny, Jill, Jan & Jeff; Ginger; Muffie; other 8" toddlers.

Tricks and Manners said...

Sounds like a fantastic collection! Lots of my favorite dolls there! I ALMOST got to visit the Tonner Company Store in Kingston--we stopped there on vacation but they were CLOSED! :-( Probably would have agonized over what to buy if I'd been able to get in.

Do you have a blog that I can visit, Jenny? I would love to see pictures of your dolls and the things you make for them! Or are you on one of the FB pages?