Sindy Mam'selle Outfits
Mam'selle for well dressed dolls
The Mam’selle “Gear Get Up” range of outfits, were made in Lines Brother’s Richmond factory between 1965 and 1967. The general thinking is that the range was discontinued after Pedigree moved to Canterbury. However, Frances Baird in “British Teenage Dolls 1956-1984” says that although Paul outfits were dropped after one year, Sindy and and Patch outfits continued to be made until 1969 (pg 132). Colette Mansell in “The History of Sindy” refers to these oufits as being introduced in 1965, 1966 and 1967.
There were some beautifully designed clothes suitable for Sindy, which were created by independent designers.
Some of these garments had labels, but they are very rare, see above left. Another way to recognise them is that they have very distinctive flat Newey poppers, see the two photos above middle and right.
Cataloging the Mam’selle range is extremely difficult and we have been unable to find a single definitive source of all the products available. We have gathered together everything we can find and we would be grateful for any insights other collectors might have on this range.
Because they were only available for such a short time, and also because they were not quite the same quality, and perhaps because they were not so prized at the time as the ‘real’ Sindy outfits, good examples of these are now extremely hard to find and can fetch enormous prices.
Teenage Shoes (Ref DR314)
A pack of eight (we think) assorted shoes for teenage dolls. Although not necessarily made for Sindy, they sometimes included some of the Sindy range shoes such as her kitten heel court shoes, but others were the more distinctive Mam’selle flat T-bar shoe range. These were made of hard plastic and had “Cinderella D.02” written on the sole. They came in a wide range of colours, so far we have seen white, black, tan, gold, red, yellow, royal blue, baby blue and pink.
Sugar & Spice (Ref DR350)
A simple short-sleeved, pink poplin shift dress with a navy blue bib inset. The ‘bib’ was edged in white cotton lace and with four vertical rows of white detail stitching. The dress had a white plastic Peter Pan collar. It fastened at the back with a flat white painted metal popper.
Blue Beat (Ref DR351)
A sleeveless, aqua/turquoise blue cotton A-line day dress with an inset front panel detailed in black stitching to look like a pleat. The neck, armholes and hem were trimmed with black cotton binding and there was a black plastic ribbon tie attached to the front of the dress just below the neck. It fastened at the back with either a flat black painted metal popper or flat Newey metal popper with a black plastic cap.
Gear Nightshirt (Ref DR352)
Described as “kinky” in the Pedigree catalogue, this sleeveless shortie nightshirt and matching briefs were made of blue and white striped cotton. The bottom hem edge of the nightshirt and both the arm and leg holes were bound in a red binding, with a matching red bow on the nightshirt. The neck and chest of the night shirt and the top of the briefs were trimmed with cotton lace. The nightshirt fastened with a flat white painted metal popper. There was a pair of white daisy sandals for her feet and for bedtime reading she carried a copy of “The Beat Express” magazine which was made from double-sided printed card. This magazine can be found printed in both yellow and green as shown below.
Cool Cat (Ref DR353)
A high-waisted long-sleeved party dress. The dress consisted of two parts sewn together. There was a sleeveless underdress with a floral pattern on a turquoise-blue background made of cotton. Over this was an overdress of light blue chiffon which formed see-through long-sleeves with gathered cuffs. The dress was trimmed with white cotton lace round the neck, at the cuffs, the low back opening and bottom hem. At the neck there was a light blue satin grosgrain ribbon tab decorated with a flat pale blue painted popper. The dress fastened at the back with the same flat pale blue painted popper. There are variations of this dress with different floral material and with different coloured ribbon tabs and poppers, the chiffon overdress can also be found in different colours.
Fan Club (Ref DR354)
A sleeveless white cotton motif T-shirt with a slash neck and a denim skirt. This T- shirt was very roughly made of stretchy cotton, interlock stitched to stop it fraying around the neck, arms and along the bottom, although the opening at the back was finished off with a thicker cotton material probably to attach the flat red painted metal popper it fastens with. Printed on the T-shirt in a red print was the Sindy “S” from her logo. Teamed up with a grey denim hipster skirt which fastened at the back of the waist with one flat black painted metal popper. The skirt had four light grey belt loops with white stitch detail, sewn on at the waist which held a wide red plastic belt. We don’t think this outfit came with shoes.
Crochet Look is a very interesting garment. A number of collectors choose to display this dress as shown above, as a yoke dress. However, it was shown worn the other way around in the “Pedigree Toy Box” catalogue of 1966.
As you can see, it looks good either way.
Crochet Look (Ref DR355)
A knee-length cream coloured dress made of a light cotton flannel. It had a high plain yoke with two darts under the bust and three-quarter length sleeves. The sleeves and yoke were made of a fine machine knitted wool and cotton thread pattern to give the effect of crochet. The sleeves and neckline were finished with a white binding and the dress fastened with two flat brass or white painted poppers at the back.
On her breast Sindy wore a tiny detailed ‘gold’ fob watch which fastened on the dress with a tiny brass broach pin (see inset photos above). The watch is very detailed with a watch face on one side and the watch mechanism with cogs and screw heads on the back.
We are unsure as to what shoes (if any) came with this outfit.
Sindy's Salon (Ref DR356)
Everything Sindy would need for a night in ‘washing her hair’. Indeed the 1966 “Pedigree Toy Box” catalogue described it as “Everything for Friday night shampoo and set”. The contents were not listed but included in the catalogue illustration (see photo below left) were multi-coloured curlers, a “Sindy” shampoo sachet, hair net, hair grips, brush & comb, and a golden yellow towel printed with a red Sindy “S”.
The set shown above was found with two shampoo sachets. An original Mam’selle shampoo sachet and also the Sindy shampoo sachet with red writing. The owner wonders if the Sindy sachet was simply added to this set. As you can see from the 1966 Pedigree trade catalogue, the illustration showed a Sindy shampoo sachet with the red writing, together with a towel (an example is shown second left). These accessories look identical to those included with Sindy’s first Bath (see 1968 Scenesetters). We have seen a boxed set with both the towel and Sindy sachet, but unfortunately we don’t have it to show.
Shown left is, we think, the first Pedigree branded ‘Sindy Salon’ release which we believe was the original Triang branded ‘Hairdo Set’ repurposed when Pedigree took over the Mam’selle products in 1966.
There is also very pretty variation of this dress, using a floral pattern in a similar colour palette.
Pop Posy (Ref DR357)
A sleeveless shift dress made of a kind of basket-weave cotton with a green, gold and pink floral print on a white background. It had a white vinyl rounded collar, a deep pink satin ribbon ‘tie’ and it fastened at the back with a flat white painted metal popper. We are also unsure as to what shoes (if any) came with this outfit.
Oranges and Lemons (Ref DR358)
An orange poplin sleeveless shift day dress with a contrasting yellow cotton trim on the neck, armholes and faux slant-pockets. The trim is picked out in a black overstitch which is also used on the hemline, back opening and down the front seam to a single kick pleat. The dress is fastened at the back with a flat black painted metal popper. We are also unsure as to what shoes (if any) came with this outfit.
Sindy's Garden (Ref DR359)
Sindy’s Garden was a pretty floral box containing a red plastic trough with a yellow “Sindy” sticker on the side and a contrasting yellow plastic drip tray, two yellow plastic flower pots with contrasting red pot saucers, a plastic bag of compost labelled “Specially prepared for Sindy’s Garden” and two packets of seeds also labelled “Specially prepared for Sindy’s Garden”. The seeds were dwarf varieties of Phlox and Livingstone Daisies and they came in beautifully illustrated packets showing Sindy, Paul & Patch working in a greenhouse. Sindy was wearing her ‘Weekenders’ outfit, Patch was in her ‘Dungarees’ and Paul had his ‘Casuals’ sweater on.
Pop Accessories (Ref DR360)
Lovely accessories for Sindy outfits. A white Mam’selle handbag, white stockings and white plastic calf-length ankle ‘shortie’ boots. There was also a long shimmering purple chiffon scarf (top left hand corner) made from the same material as the top layer of the Mam’selle ‘Hello Dolly’ dress and the headband. Very 1960s in their style and so fashionable at the time especially the white stockings.
The photo right shows how the scarf, stockings and handbag could be used to accessorise an outfit, in this example ‘Op Art’ (see immediately below). The scarf was quite a crude item and it was finished off without a seam. Therefore, there was a tendency for the edge of the fabric to fray quite badly, which may account for why this item is so very hard to find today.
Op Art (Ref DR361)
Optical art is an art form concerning the interaction between illusion and picture, and understanding and seeing, such works are abstract, with many of the better known pieces made in only black and white. The term was first used in 1964 and in this regard Sindy’s dress really does reflect the times.
This was a sleeveless dress with a scoop neck and a low V-back. The bodice was made of white cotton with a honeycomb design in the weave of the material. The armholes and neck were bound in black and overstitched in white, and the two-tone effect was carried through to the skirt which was printed with an op art design. The black and white theme was continued with the decorative black faux-belt with a white tag sewn on the skirt. The dress fastened at the back with a flat black painted metal painted popper.
In the Mood (Ref DR362)
A beautifully simple dress in a candy pink fine wool crepe with a high waist and long sleeves. The round neck and gathered cuffs were trimmed with white cotton lace. It had a matching ribbon sash belt to tie under the breast and another for the hair. It fastened with one flat silver or white popper at the back of the neck. The ribbon in this photo is not original. We are also unsure as to what shoes (if any) came with this outfit.
We have variations of this outfit which are believed to be authentic, there is a version which is made of a softer lighter coloured cotton with a slightly different shaped bag, and a version which has a flat red painted metal popper at the front rather than white (see photo left).
Sunday Best (Ref DR375)
A navy blue two-piece suit made of cotton sailcloth. All the edges were trimmed with red binding and there is a decorative white hoop on the collarless jacket and which is repeated on the skirt. The jacket fastened at the front with one white painted metal flat popper, and the skirt fastened at the back of the waist with one flat red painted metal popper. It came with a Mam’selle handbag which was made of a white vinyl which fastened with a pull-though brass stud and a pair of Sindy’s white kitten heel court shoes.
Ship Ahoy (Ref DR376)
A thick white cotton fisherman’s knit jumper with a thickly ribbed neck, wrists and waist. It came with a pair of navy three-quarter length trousers made of cotton sailcloth. The trousers had turn-ups and a front fly fastening of a flat Newey metal popper with a black plastic cap (we don’t know whether there are others which were just painted). There was a yellow vinyl duffel bag with a red & white cord and the outfit was completed with a pair of flat white shoes. This outfit came with a pair of Sindy’s white lace-up sneakers and a pair of her sunglasses.
Miss Mod (Ref DR377)
Fully-lined with white satin, this blue, green and white finely brushed cotton plaid coat and matching peaked baker’s boy cap was very fashionable. The collar of the coat and the peak of the cap were made of shiny black plastic. The coat fasted with three black painted metal poppers. The cap wasn’t lined and was made up of four triangular pieces of fabric with a flat black painted metal popper at the crown which they met. A shiny black shoulder bag with a fringe and a front flap, with a stud on it which did not open, and a pair of black knee high boots completed the outfit.
Hello Dolly (Ref DR378)
For this party dress, Sindy was given a 1920s flapper-style, sleeve-less, knee-length dress made of of purple cotton covered with a layer of beautiful shimmering nylon chiffon. It had a low waist, scooped neckline, the armholes were trimmed with a white nylon binding and the dress fastened at the back with a flat black painted metal popper. The skirt was decorated with three tiers of fine white fringing, each tier decorated with a white cotton embroidery flower. There was a matching headband made of a piece of the purple chiffon folded and stitched to a one inch piece of thin white elastic, and a pearl “Charleston” necklace. The dress also came with a pair of backless sandals which look like Sindy’s kitten heel two-strap backless sandals; however we cannot establish which colour they were, as we have seen conflicting references to both her white and her gold & black sandals.
Gad Abouts (Ref DR379)
A chocolate brown, corduroy sleeveless pinafore dress trimmed with black cotton binding on the armholes and neckline which fastened at the back with a flat black painted metal popper. Underneath the pinafore was a mustard coloured, long-sleeved, turtle-neck cotton knit jumper with ribbing around the neck, wrists and waist which fastened at the back of the neck with a flat black painted metal popper. The outfit came with black stretch tights and a silver medallion which could be worn as a necklace or as a chain belt.
The medallion had the head of an Egyptian Pharaoh on it and is now extremely hard to find. Probably because it could be worn as a child’s bracelet. This outfit did not come with shoes.
Paris Date (Ref DR380)
Described as a “going away ensemble” this is a three piece outfit consisting of an collarless edge-to-edge duster coat, a co-ordinating sleeveless dress and a matching hat. The coat was made of pink cotton with the edges (but not the hemline or the cuffs) edged in orange binding. There were two chest height faux-pocket lapels made of the same orange trim. Both orange and white stitching can be found on these coats.
The hat was made of four triangular sections of the floral material sewn together with a little ruffle brim of the same fabric and with a stylish slight overlap. It had a little orange loop on the crown where the four sections met. Although shown left with pink Mam’selle shoes, we believe this outfit actually came with white kitten heel court shoes.
The pretty faux-wraparound dress (it is actually sewn from the hemline to the waist) was made of a complimentary orange, pink and white floral cotton, with orange cotton binding around the armholes. It was trimmed down the front and around the neck with a ruffle of the same material, and it fastened with one white painted metal popper at the front of an elasticated waist.
Miss Sindy (Beauty Queen) (Ref DR381)
This gorgeous long-sleeved gown had a red velvet scooped-necked bodice with a low V-back and was trimmed with white fake fur around the wrists and neckline. The full-length creamy satin skirt had a flocked snowflake pattern sprinkled with coloured glitter and there was a stiff net underskirt to ensure the pattern could be shown in all its glory. The gown fastened at the back with one flat white painted popper. There was a silky blue ribbon sash with “MISS Sindy” printed in red and it fastened with a fine gold stud similar to a split pin.
There was a silver metal crown. This outfit did not come with shoes.
Spring Sunday (Ref DR382)
Underneath the jacket was a delightful sleeveless cotton blouse of a co-ordinating white, turquoise, green and salmon pink floral print. It had the same turquoise binding around the armholes and it fastened with three brass poppers down the front (please see photo on the right).
All Aboard (Ref DR383)
Described as Sindy’s “Fab holiday gear”, this lovely casual set was just right for messing about on boats. It consisted of a pair of white cotton drill bell bottoms edged in a blue cotton trim and with a red cotton hoop trim approximately one inch from the bottom of the legs. These trousers fastened with one flat dark blue painted metal popper. On top Sindy wore a white mesh top with three-quarter length sleeves. The neck front was scooped in shape whereas the back was more V-shaped. The bodice was lined with a thin dark blue cotton and the edges of the sleeves were also trimmed in the same blue binding as the trousers. The top opened down the back and fastened at the back of the neck and at the waist with two flat dark blue painted metal poppers. This outfit came with a sailing cap and duffle bag shown below right. This outfit did not come with shoes.
There is a very nice variation of this outfit where the mesh top is lined with red cotton instead of blue. This version also has the dark blue painted poppers.
There is also a version with the blue lined mesh top, but the red and blue hoop trim on the trousers has been stitched with the blue at the top and the red at the bottom.
A nice touch to the boxed outfit is the string handle to the duffle bag is looped over the shoulder of the mesh top.
For Sindy’s head there was a navy blue captain’s hat made of thick dark blue cotton with a dark blue vinyl peak with a cotton backing. It had an elasticated hat band and there was a jaunty gold coloured metal anchor emblem attached above the centre of the peak. She carried a light blue duffle bag which was made of plastic with a grained effect. It was glued rather than stitched and it had with a red & white twisted string handle.
Wildcat (Ref DR384)
A red long-sleeved, low-waisted coat with a matching hat. The coat was made of a soft wool material in a bright pillar box red. The neck, cuffs and hemline were edged with faux-fur leopard skin. The front edges were trimmed with a black cotton binding and the coat fastened at neck with one flat black painted metal popper with another hidden sewn-on metal snap fastener at the waist. The drop waist was accentuated with a row of black stitching. The large beret style hat was made of the same faux-fur leopard skin decorated with a faux-fur bobble.
The outfit was completed with a large white plastic oval shoulder bag with a flap which fastened with a gold split pin type stud, it is did not open. We cannot verify the footwear but we believe this outfit came with white plastic calf-height ‘shortie’ boots.
Miss Cortina (Ref DR386)
This was a striking dress reminiscent of a chequered flag which was used to used to promote the new Ford Cortina MkII in 1966.
The Sindy version is a faithful replica, and was a long-sleeved shift cotton dress with a solid white round-neck cotton collar. The matching chequered hat was made up of four pieces of triangular fabric stitched together and it had a white flipped-up brim to match the dress’s collar. It fastened at the back with flat white painted metal popper. This outfit did not come with shoes.
It provides a fascinating insight into how British companies worked together in the 1960s. Pedigree was able to release a contemporary fashion and Ford secured some additional advertising.
- First row a folded single page leaflet, that we think was sent to members of the Sindy Fan Club, which advertised the new outfit. It also advertised the new Cortina MkII to a Sindy owners’ parents.
- Second row on the left is one of the orginal adverts and on the right the cover of the 40th anniversary issue of ‘The Indicator’, the MkII Cortina Owners Club magazine.
An original Cortina MKII advert.
Cortina MKII owners club 40 year souvenir edition cover.
Bahama Bound (Ref DR387)
Bahama Bound was a three piece garment outfit. It consisted of sleeveless wrap-over beach dress with an attached white satin ribbon tie belt (the same ribbon as used for the ribbon ties on the jacket in first version of ‘Bridesmaid’). It was made of pale blue and green gingham cotton with pale blue cotton binding around the edges. Under the wrap-over dress, Sindy wore a bikini. The bikini pants are the same style as ‘Bedtime Beauty’ with an elasticated waist but bound leg holes, and the bra-top is a cross-over style made of gingham triangles bound completely with the blue tape which formed the shoulder straps which are looped at the bottom and slide onto the back straps. The back-straps fastened with one flat white painted metal popper. It came with a domed shaped straw hat which had elastic strap attached to each side of the brim to hold it on Sindy’s head. There was a pair of the green lens sunglasses and white kitten heel two-strap backless sandals to complete the outfit.
The ribbon ties on the dress have not been untied for many, many years and understandably the owner does not wish to undo them, but they hope that this picture together with the description will give all Sindy collectors a greater understanding of this wonderful and rare outfit. If anyone has the bikini we would love to show it please.
April Showers (Ref DR388)
A blue floral print PVC mac with a solid white vinyl collar with notched lapels, white folded-back cuffs and a white tie belt. The belt was made from a length of vinyl folded over 3 times and stiched along the open seam. There was a matching sou’wester style hat made of the same floral PVC with a solid white vinyl brim. The pattern on the cotton-backed PVC was beautiful, it had a deep purple/blue background with gold and yellow daisy like flowers with pink centres and pink roses. She was given white plastic calf-length ‘shortie’ boots to keep her feet dry.