Childhood Wishes


When I was a little girl playing with my fashion dolls I loved those little booklets that sometimes came with a new fashion doll showing all the outfits and accessories you could buy for them. I had very few genuine outfits though. Most of the accessories like cars and houses and pets in the Barbie booklets I doubt were even sold in Australia. If they had been we certainly would not have been given them. Our parents thought that genuine Barbie or Sindy outfits were expensive and so the majority of the dolls wore generic clothing. Getting “the real thing” was a big treat.

As I’ve mentioned I did not have a Barbie growing up but I did have Skipper so I had a little booklet and I used to mark the outfits I really liked with a tick hoping I’d get them one day. I did the same with my Sindy Set booklet where I must have marked almost every piece of clothing Sindy, Patch and Paul had.

The Sindy Set

Many years later when I started to collect dolls as an adult one of the first things that I decided was that once I was going to collect some of those outfits I had admired as a child. That is actually how I ended up with so many Sindy’s. I’d get a new outfit and as I started to build up a collection I needed more Sindy’s to wear them. My goal was to buy all the outfits from the booklet if I could and now, twenty years later I have most of them and I am starting to think about completing sets with all those hard to find little accessories. If I manage to do that and I still have room maybe I’ll think about collecting some of the fashions that appeared after 1967 so that my later Sindy’s will have the right clothes too. Yes, I will probably have to buy more Sindy’s.

I did have a few genuine Sindy outfits as a child. I had “Emergency Ward”. I’m not sure if I asked for it. I was not a big fan of playing doctors and nurses. It was fun to put it on Sindy because it had a lot of bits to it but actually, I would have preferred “Lunch Date”, “Dream Date”, or “Country Walk” I had the red “Leather Looker” skirt and the print blouse and the “Weekenders ” that Sindy came with of course. I don’t think I had anything else. I didn’t have any outfits for Patch except her underwear. I still don’t have a lot as anything to do with Patch tends to be expensive but I have managed to collect a couple that I really liked.

There were Barbie outfits that I admired too. Our cousin had a Barbie and she had a couple of Barbie outfits. I was occasionally allowed to try them on my dolls but I found that they didn’t fit Sindy, Tammy or even Tressy that well so I didn’t get serious about wanting them until I was an adult collector. My vintage Barbie fashion collection has progressed rather more slowly than the Sindy one but now that I have a nice little collection of vintage dolls they need authentic clothing and once again I’ve set my sights mainly on the outfits that were issued prior to 1967. Here are some of the outfits that I admired as a child and now own.

Naturally, as I liked Barbie’s Silken Flame and Red Flare so much I had to have Skipper’s junior version of it. I had to wait about forty years but I got it in the end. These days I actually like it better on Skooter as I think my titian Skipper looks better in green.

I am still working on getting some Tammy and Tressy family outfits, they are quite expensive over here and I am not as familiar with them although my Tressy did have one genuine outfit “Evening Date”. Poor Tammy had to make do with whatever fitted her.

What I love most about these vintage fashions is how nicely made they were. They were made of good materials, even a “pak fashion” like Barbie’s “Sheath Sensation”. They were a variety of colours and styles and they had loads of little bits and pieces to go with them. When you see Vivienne’s vintage fashion shows you are really seeing me playing with all those outfits that I wanted when I was nine or ten.

10 comments

    • Thanks for your concern. There have been some fires in Tasmania but nothing serious near me. The worst ones are those you have no doubt seen on the news on the east coast of NSW and Victoria. Really horrible and like nothing we’ve ever had here before.

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  1. It was the same for me as a child too. The only genuine Sindy outfit I had was the active Ballerina set she came in. If we did have a treat it was usually a Faerie Glen outfit as they were cheaper but still well made. We used to make a lot of our own dolls clothes by sewing and knitting. My Nanna could crochet a dolls hat in five minutes! it’s great to collect what you’d have liked as a child but didn’t get. I’ve just recently got part of Paul’s motorway man (the jacket and trousers) and Sindy’s shopping in the rain outfit in full, even the newspaper and oranges! There are quite a few more I’d like. We’ll see what 2020 brings. You’re right that the clothes were much better made then. The offerings now are nowhere near as well made.

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  2. All I got was clone dolls! I did have Penny Brite and that was it. No wonder I never got into dolls as much as Vanda. I would have liked the mods but I did have genuine Match Box cars and I had a lot of fun with them. I used to tick those off in the little booklet too. Sadie, Mary, Dee, Lisa and Lena were all clones. All their clothes were sock dresses or if I was lucky clone outfits. Their furniture was old tissue boxes or anything I had lying around that I could be inventive with. Our cousin had lovely swirl titan Barbie with lots of nice Barbie clothing and I remember Xmas 67 she got Barbie’s shoe wardrobe that she had been on about for ages. Vanda was able to get some of her dolls via the green shield stamps. I’ve collected a few clones for the hell of it but you can see how ugly they are compared with the real thing. Although I was surprised to find out a couple of them were not clones like the ugly Tammy with red hair that I found and got for five bucks.

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      • Yes they did make some quite nice outfits and I had a few nice ones but never got to choose any myself. Never ever got to choose any dolls except for Penny Brite. Dad got her for me once he knew I wanted one.

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  3. I used to be inventive when making furniture too, I made settees and chairs for my Pippa dolls from polystyrene egg boxes. They were colourful and perfectly sized. The cardboard ones we have now wouldn’t really work. Cushions were easily made from scraps of material. My friend was luckier then me, she had Sindy’s paddling pool and furniture set and the yellow buggy and blue tent camping set. I had quite a few clone dolls as well, they were much cheaper at the time compared to the real thing. My husband said he spent hours playing with his toy matchbox cars. He also had a couple of Action Men.

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  4. No Barbie for me. My mother seemed to always lean away from what was most popular. I didn’t play with dolls a lot, but I think I had a doll named Tammy and possibly Penny. I made all of their clothes, except the ones they came with. My mother made all of my clothes, so there was always a lot of fabric in the house.

    My cousins had Barbie and her collection of friends, the clothes, car and house. Looking back, even if I had Barbie, I still would have had to make her clothes. 🙂

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    • When we werre young a lot more mothers sewed and taught their daughters to sew so home made clothes were not unusual and some were really beautiful too. I guess that had I not seen those little books I would not have wanted the genuine items as much but it didn’t really make me unhappy not having them. I guess I looked on it like I now look on winning the lottery. I’d love it to happen but I’m OK with what I have.

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