Name: Sue Scrase
Age: 61 (internal age about 8)
Lives in: Norfolk, UK
Occupation: Retired teacher, Sindy fashion designer
Known for: Sindy-Sue boutique in Sindy Town, Sewist53 on Instagram and Etsy shop
Favourite Sindy: too hard to answer, I LOVE them all!
Questions and Answers
1) Q: How did you first discover Sindy? A: As a child I was bought one for Christmas.
2) Q: How old were you when you got your first Sindy? A: I was eight and my sister, who was six got one the same Christmas.
3) Q: What model was your first Sindy? A: She was a Weekender with brunette short hair and a fringe. Two years later I got a Walker with the classic dark blue skirt and jacket – I LOVED her so much!
4) Q: What kind of Sindy/Sindy item did you dream about as a kid? A: Honestly…ALL the outfits in the Sindy catalogue, which was my constant companion and was always well thumbed. I used to dream of those outfits! They were far too expensive for my parents to buy, but I did get some furniture for Christmas. I also wanted, with all my heart, the Sindy wardrobe trunk – when I finally bought it from Ebay as an adult, I cried!
5) Q: What kind of Sindy/Sindy item do you dream about now? A: I still have a wish that one day a Gayle may come to live with us in Sindy Town and, perhaps slightly more achievable, a blue kitchen table set that was the first thing I had as a child.
6) Q: What led you into your Sindy career you have today? A: I was in the very privileged position that I could take a year out of work when I was fifty. I wasn’t sure what I wanted the next bit of my working life to look like. I sewed all the time, it was something that I loved and had only a little time for when I was teaching full time. I made dolls (particularly Tilda) and lots of different clothes for them. I learned to make bags and I extended my me-made wardrobe for myself, but I had nothing to do with these things I was making. Once all my friends and family had been gifted something I had no outlet and my home was getting stuffed full!! It was when one of my lovely nieces said to me “Auntie Sue, I don’t need any more purses!” I started to seriously think about where my creative outlet was going to run! During this time I was also teaching adult classes crafting and sewing, which was fulfilling, but not enough.
The short answer to this question is: Instagram! I had heard of a new magazine that was coming out in the UK called ‘Mollie Makes’ and it sounded right up my street. New, modern and all types of crafting with beautiful photography and fun articles. It kept sign posting this new thing called Instagram, where you could include your digital content. My son bought me my first ipad in 2014 and I was hooked! I started to join in with ‘Make it sewcial’ on a Monday with the wonderful Alison Saddler and met up with lots of like minded people and then I found Helen O’Brien, @poorlittlenell and Cathy Howard, @jollydollyshop who were into Sindys and it rekindled my love of her… I began to focus my creative energy into designing and making for my two new dolls, which were BOAC reproductions from the 2002 batch… And then I discovered ebay and found I could buy all the things I had dreamt of as a child!! Oh what joy!! I opened my Etsy shop in 2015, but started by selling craft items. Then several people encouraged me on Instagram and I began to list Sindy dresses in the shop.
I LOVE fashion, fabrics, yarn and colour so designing and making seasonal collections for the dolls means I get to use all of that creativity without thinking about what would suit me! Also, I do enjoy using the very best fabrics and yarns and as the Sindy clothes require only a small amount of either, I can use them and people appreciate that. Last year I fulfilled yet another dream of mine, helped by my fabulous artist friends, Kellee @kelleerich (wordsmith) and Mark @tall2D (illustrator) and now each collection is accompanied by its own ‘catalogue’ just like the Sindy clothes of my childhood… Sindy also gets her own miniature version to browse too!
7) Q: Can you mention three people you think helped you there? A: My husband, best friend and all round soul mate, Alan (@sailor-sid on IG) who not only encourages me at every turn, makes all my room boxes, has recently extended our range with 3D printed items, but also loves the Sindys too! And puts up with hours of dolly-chatter without complaint! My affore mentioned friend, Kellee, who started calling me Sindy-Sue in 2015 and it stuck – hence the Sindy-Sue boutique! She is a real fan and indulges me in hours of design talk and fabric and yarn lust, despite the fact that she does not have a Sindy and is a proper grown up! And Cathy, @jollydollyshop who showed me that you could stand up and say – “I design and make high end fashion for Sindy dolls” without feeling silly. She also enabled me to see that there is room for all of us in this world of dolls and, although we both make and sell, we do not have to be in competition. We can appreciate each other’s skills and support one another too.
8) Q: Do you have a special goal for your Sindy work? A: Yes. Before I stop making and selling I would really like to produce a Sindy picture/story book. I love making up the stories on my IG page and would really like to have the chance to make a hard copy of some of it one day. Also I would really like to produce a pattern book for sewing Sindy clothes, like I wished I had when I was a child.
9) Q: Can you mention three people you think of as doll influensers? A: Ummmmm, I can give you two who particularly influence me… @sindy_the_traveler (Gabriel) is my go-to person for the height of what is elegant up to the minute fashion. He has a team of beautiful Gauntlet Sindys who are poised and glamorous and travel with him to wonderful locations. Rachel Godfroy (@sindystyle_uk) a fabulous designer and maker – a big part of the design team for the new Kid Kreations Collectors Sindys 2020 and the new Sindy Play Collection 2021 and a gorgeous person to meet in real life!
10) Q: What do you love/like/appreciate about Sindy? A: I love her beautiful face. I love the feeling of nostalgia that she induces in me. I love the fact that playing with her and being in her world, creating clothes and stories around her takes me to a very calm, tranquil place where everyone is kind and there is little stress.
Anything else you’d like to share with us? I know that social media is not always deemed to be a good thing. I can only speak about my experience. I love the community we have on Instagram. I have ‘met’ so many wonderful, kind, generous, creative, funny, clever, amazing people on the platform that I can honestly say it changed the direction of my life. Some of those people I have now met in real life and that has been so special to me. One day very soon I hope to be able to come to visit the Little Sindy Museum for myself and, of course, I will bring my MiniMe with me!!
THANK YOU to Sue for your amazing work and for taking the time to answer all the questions!