Sindy the doll we love to dress

Our Sindy Museum Blog

In praise of Homemade

Posted on April 19, 2020 at 9:35 AM

I was talking to my friend the other day and she asked me how was I coping with lockdown? Well I said I have very clean kitchen cupboards and I'm writing for the Sindy Museum again. “You still haven't written about homemade clothes yet” she sighed. Now this is true, but they are on the list of things to add to the Museum as we recognise they form an important part of Sindy’s history.


In keeping with many Sindy owners, my friend’s Sindy only had a couple of bought outfits. She remembers having Bell Sleeves (1974) and Checky Coat (1975) and a couple of cheap clone doll outfits. All the rest of her Sindy’s clothes were made by her mother and her grandmother; and in fact her grandfather made her Sindy’s wardrobe! Even the most luckiest Sindy owners, who had a majority of bought Sindy outfits, often had some homemade too. And of course some owners, like Kathy here, only had a Sindy doll and everything she wore was homemade.


These clothes could be sewn or knitted and were well catered for by the sewing and knitting pattern manufacturers. Sadly over the years, with the advent of cheap and accessible bought clothing, the art of home dressmaking and knitting has declined apart from a few talented individuals who still make their own garments today.


Still, a number of collectors enjoy looking at and collecting vintage patterns, and some Sindy anoraks like me also enjoy looking for and collecting those homemade clothes that came from those patterns. You can often find them in Sindy clothes bundles on eBay and sometimes nice ones are listed separately but still don't cost very much to buy.


So, I thought for this week’s blog I would share with you one of my favourite sewing patterns for Sindy. Here is McCall’s 1972 pattern 3429 for a teen doll fashion trousseau. As you can see it cost 40 Pence at the time.

I love how the pattern suggests using lots of different fabrics, although it is not surprising that this collection mainly uses those mainstream fabrics of the time nylon and crimplene! Ric rac, lace and embroidered trims, ribbons, all their contemporary fabric embellishments are here too. They adorned Sindy’s outfits and ours. In fact, both my sister and I had matching Mum-made crimplene maxi-skirts with two rows of embroidered trim at hem… we felt very grown up and fashionable in those skirts. We wore them to death although being made of crimplene they were pretty much indestructible so even when we grew we were still wearing them as midi-skirts!

I bought these clothes first (apart from the wedding dress and veil) because I really liked them when I saw them in a lot on eBay. I did not know they came from an actual sewing pattern until a couple of years later when I spotted the pattern for sale. The wedding dress and veil were in Kathy's collection which she kindly gave me. I do hope that one day I will find the wraparound pantskirt to complete this set. Shoes and bouquet are models' own.

I hope you enjoying seeing this set. Forgive the girls for looking a bit messy, I was going to photograph the outfits flat but I got a bit carried away.


Keep safe and well in these difficult times