Sunday, 3 July 2011

Storytelling Sunday - Sew Sindy

Welcome to Storytelling Sunday! Come on in, did you bring a story with you?

This is the story of a girl, a book and a doll called Sindy.

Once upon a time, when men walked on the moon and everything we ate was plastic, I asked for a Sindy doll for my birthday. I loved my Sindy; and I longed for the days when I too would own yellow boots zipped to my knee and a micro skirt which barely covered my behind. She had a small wardrobe to choose from, my doll. My Mum didn't believe in shop bought clothes. They were a waste of money. So Sindy stuck to her check mini until the glorious day I went to the library and found this:

Top Outfits for Teenage Dolls by Nesta Hollis

For the next year it was my favourite book in the whole wide world. I thought it had been written just for me. As soon as I handed it back into the library I put my name down to take it out again. On a loop.

The ones I made then
And then I sewed. Oh, I sewed. Any scrap I could save, any ribbon I could gather. Annette-next-door joined in; and we had grand plans for a Sindy Boutique, lovingly crafted from old cereal packets. We worked through the eight weeks of our Summer holiday, piling up lots of skirts (easy); dresses (a bit harder); to tailored jackets (pretty darn tricky, since you ask). I have them still though we never did finish up that shop. Teenage life got in the way eventually. All that work? No, I'd never let them go.

The ones I make now. Felt coat and a dress from a sock
And that might have been the end of the story, if I hadn't got chatting to a scrapbooking friend one day. (Julie, thank you - this one's for you!). I described my book. She said, quick as you like, "Here's an Amazon link for a second hand copy. Buy it. You know you want to." Or something like that. So I did. I ordered it and it arrived and I opened it and I gasped. Because inside that pink cover I knew so well were some tracing paper patterns, lovingly folded into the right pages, all marked with the details in a pencil hand I had seen somewhere before. Were these the very patterns I had traced all those years before? The paper was the same, the writing very very similar..I can't say for sure because I couldn't find any library marks on my book (and you know that's the first thing I'd look for). So let's just dream; and believe that my book came back to me and that my patterns were waiting.

So that's my story for today. If you have one of your own to share you are very welcome to add a link and we'll come round for a read. Don't forget to tell your readers it's a Storytelling Sunday post so that they can join in too. The more the merrier!

Sindy in the nurses uniform I finally sewed thirty years after she first asked for it

48 comments:

Jimjams said...

Awwww how cute - my Mum knitted and sewed clothes for my dolls (Barbie, Sindy and Tressy of the extendible hair) too! Sadly they are long gone :(

Kirsty.a said...

Fab story. I believe it's your book

Amy said...

Oooh, yes, it is your book - it was meant to be!

I have been able to publish ... fingers crossed I can visit links later in the day!

Sue Althouse, a.k.a. midwestgirl said...

Getting that book in the mail must have been a very happy day! And I'm so impressed with your sewing, especially the miniature size!

Jennifer said...

Aww, lucky Sindy having such a wonderful wardrobe. So happy you found a copy of that favourite book. We did tend to make things we wanted back in the day. I remember my sister and I wanting Dr. Scholl's sandals so badly. We made fake ones with construction paper and foam bottoms. I still remember the staples (used to fasten the top strap) rubbing into the sides of my feet! hee hee

Maria Ontiveros said...

I absolutely believe that is your book - coming back to you where it belongs.
What an awesome story today Sian. Thank you for continuing this series. I love it.
Rinda

Scribble Monster said...

Great story Sian, I love that you still have it all. Jen

Louise said...

my first thought was did you check to see if your name was in it! another great story and like you i had a sindy...with knitted clothes, mum still has all the patterns xx have a lovely Sunday xx

scrappyjacky said...

It certainly sounds like the book's come home,Sian!!
I remember making Sindy clothes as well....but with a lot less skill than you, I think.

Jane said...

of course it's your book, what a great story.

Ifa said...

Reunited! It has to be your copy.

JO SOWERBY said...

your book came home <3 xxx. i am so sure it is the one. i used to make stuff for my pippa dolls and i can knit stuff or make things off the cuff. i didnt have a dream of a shop though. love this story,
jo xxx

Lynn said...

That is such a fab story - the book has to be yours. I had a Sindy and she would have loved to have a wardrobe like that. Thank you for storytelling sunday - I'm pleased i've finally managed to join in.

Miriam said...

Of course it has to be your book! This story brought tears to my eyes Sian, for lots of reasons and I am feeling a bit like that at the moment! thank you so much for sharing this with us, and yes I used to make clothes for my Linda.

debs14 said...

I can't believe that it wouldn't be your book - what an amazing story! I was a Sindy girl too, only mine had brown hair. What am I talking about, she still has brown hair - there is no way I will ever get rid of my Sindy! I used to be allowed to buy occasional new outfits for mine from the Women's Institute shop in town. No high street mass produced fashion for my special lady! And of course I used to try and copy whatever I had bought - just so she had a choice of outfits of course. Oh those hours sewing fiddly small pieces of fabric! Thanks for stirring up some more happy memories. (We would have definitely been friends if we had met in our childhood!)

Becky said...

How patient you were to sew all of those clothes - they are wonderful. And of course that was your book - it has to be!

Lizzie said...

Great story Sian - as ever! I remember making clothes for mine and my sister's dolls. I didn't have the luck to discover such a fabulous book though, so the clothes were much less well-made.
I'm so impressed at the coat and dress you made - how they are still in one piece; also that you still have them, all this time later. Sindy is lucky to have her new clothes too! Love the dress-from-a-sock - classic!

Wanda said...

What a neat story...a memory of an old friend and help from a new one. So glad you found that special book, and even more special is that you still sew today.

S said...

Oh I love true life stories with fairy tale endings - thanks for sharing Sian.

Angelfish said...

Oh what a wonderful story! I'm quite sure it is your book come back home again:) I used to make clothes for my Sindy too, but not nearly as lovely as yours

Alison said...

Serendipity!...that's what it is- so that you would one day be able to tell this great story! It was Tressy for me, and I remember making clothes for her and using toilet roll as patterns!
Alison xx

Deb @ Paper Turtle said...

Woah! What a cool story, Sian. I'm going to pretend that it IS the book you used when you were younger!

I LOVED seeing those adorable clothes you made for your doll. I have some Barbie clothes that my mom made for me and I've been thinking about doing a blog post. I may copy you on your presentation here as I love the way you have pinned them up on a clothesline cord.

dogmatix said...

great story and I agree with everyone else....it has to be your book :)

furrypig said...

I wasn't really into dolls being a Tom Boy so I gave my sister all mine and never owned Sindy or Barbie!!
I would love to believe it is your book coming back as it feels like a magical happy ever after ending to your fairytale today on Story Telling Sunday

Ruth said...

Great story ... and, yes, that's your book, no doubt!

Alana said...

Wouldn't that be so cool if it WAS your origional book....or spooky?
Well your Sindy must of been the best dressed one around...mine had to contend with one outfit. I had a ballerina one. The Tiny tears had my old baby outfits and a few knitted items my mum made....still can't sew or knit!

Gem's Crafts said...

What a fab story! I had a Barbie when I was younger rather than a Sindy, but I loved dressing her too :) My mum used to make clothes for our dolls and our teddies. I tried once on my kiddy sewing machine but failed miserably! Mum has always been the sewer in the family!

Cheri said...

I used to make Barbie clothes out of any scrap I could get my hands on. So I definitely know the feeling. Mine weren't nearly as well done as yours and definitely no longer exist!

Clare said...

I loved my Sindy doll (never considered a Barbie, Sindy was much posher!) I too made my own clothes for my Sindy but were nothing compared to the your amazing creations. I would have loved that book when I made Sindy's clothes, the world would have been my oyster!

Karen said...

What a fabulous story! Love the ending; how terrific! Although I started to sew at a pretty young age, I don't remember making doll clothes. My mother did, however, and I sure wish I had some of them today.

Mary B said...

Wow clever you those clothes look really professional.

JulieJ said...

I think I am on round 3 of making dolls clothes. I sewed and knitted for my Sindy and trssie and made jumpers from socks for my brother's Action Man (I've been thinking of blogging that one), then I sewed and knitted for my BF's daughter's Barbies. Now I have started with my daughter's Barbies. My original creations are somewhere - I think they came out of my mothers loft and will probably turn up again when DD has outgrown her Barbies.
I just wish real clothes were as quick to make as these wee things.

Melissa said...

I've just had a catch up read on your last several post Sian and it was totally enjoyable! I adore these Sindy outfits!! I had a story in mind for today, but with so much family here and the nieces & great-nephew needing so much spoiling, I'll have to save it for next month. (They've gone for a few hours to visit other family, so I'm relaxing with a little blog reading!)

Ginger said...

Oh Sian that's an incredible story and without a doubt the same book you held so many years ago! My grandmother had made me barbie doll clothes with her sewing machine, I loved them so much... Once again you have given us a great read :)

WendyB said...

Sian, I think that's my most favourite little story ever. Obviously it MUST be your book and I am so impressed with those little outfits.

Julie Kirk said...

Some things are just meant to be. I'm so pleased to have helped reunite you + the/your book! x

helena said...

Oh I love you have the book again. I used my sindy as someone to sew for mor than anything else - you are right jackets were so har d- turning the sleeve right side out was such a squeeze

Lisa said...

wow Sian, this is a fantastic story and one that had me grinning from ear to ear. I inherited a second-hand Sindy when I was a child - nothing Barbie for me - but no one I ever mention her to has ever heard of her! I think people think I am confused. But I have a memory of freckles - were there different models? I have to admit that I inherited the clothes too and just mainly stuck with those as her tiny body was too hard for me to sew for. I had a toddler doll that was about the size of a real toddler and I sewed all sorts of clothes for her from the age of 5, using real baby patterns. I don't think I kept anything though :-(
thanks for the trip down memory lane!

Denise said...

Oh Sian, you have taken me right back to my youth,only I had a Tressy AND I couldn't sew to save my life but she did have a rather fetching haircut - Mum wasn't too impressed at me playing hairdressers with Tressy!!

Carmen said...

Sian this literally gave me goosebumps and a lump in my throat. I must be going soft in my old age.

Your fabulous creations certainly put the bog roll and cellotape creations my sister and I were so proud of in the shade :D

I wish I'd kept my Cindy. I often think that - I had the ballerina one with the brunette hair. She was properly proportioned and much prettier than Barbie. *sigh* (In fact she stole Ken more than once! - he obviously appreciated the fuller figure)

Sian said...

Hurray for fellow Sindy fans! Lisa I think Patch, Sindy's little sister, had freckles, does that sound right?

Lisa said...

Sian - thanks so much for the link to the vintage Sindy site. I think it might have been patch but my memory is vague. But when you mentioned her Brownie uniform, that gave me a real flash-back so that sounds right! I might ask my mum to see if she can remember any more detail. Thanks so much for taking the time to reply!

Missus Wookie said...

Oh how lovely to have the book and patterns - if it isn't your own returned it was obviously an equally loved copy.

Princess made doll clothes for ages, wonder if I can get photos of some of those. Nothing as complex as yours however!

Susan said...

Oh my goodness, what a wonderful story! The clothes you made look terrific - the ones then AND the ones now. When Jen and I were little our mother knit us each a wardrobe of clothes for our Barbie dolls on Christmas. I never really appreciated what she had done - it couldn't have been easy to knit tight-fitting pants for a Barbie! - but I wanted store-bought doll clothes. Sad, but that's how it is when you're a kid - you want what's being marketed and what everybody else has. Thanks for the story.

Cheryl said...

Aww so cute your outfits are fab. I have to admit I am still a sindy fan my mum bought me my first Sindy in 1977 and in my 40's I still collect but I love the 1960's doll's the best and have quite a collection of outfits and furniture now. Thanks for sharing x

Gail said...

Those are so cute! That book has to be yours - so glad you're reunited with it.

Sandie said...

Oh what a lovely story Sian!! I want to believe that it is your pattern and writing. No, I DO believe! You must have been so excited when you found it.

jennifer said...

ah, i had sindy too. my daughter has inherited my sindy house, though it's filled with disney princess dolls now! i could do with a book like this to make some more clothes for them though.
i do believe your book has come back to you. gotta believe in magic! x

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