Sunday, January 3, 2010


Of all the doll fashions I have collected over the years for my Sasha dolls, the Fisher-Price "My Friend Mandy" line has consistently been the best.
Introduced in 1977, Mandy was an instant success -- and with good reason. The dolls and separate outfits all came with delightful extra outfit patterns for mothers and daughters to sew together. The doll itself was a clever blend of vinyl head and limbs with a soft stuffed body. The design was not unlike the early French fashion dolls who were made of porcelain and leather.
While Mandy and Sasha might not seem like "stand-ins" for one another they actually are. They can easily exchange outfits with one another without any alterations being made. Even the Mandy styles are quite similar to those in the Sasha line. And the sewing patterns also work perfectly for Sasha. While it is true that Sasha has wider shoulders than Mandy it doesn't seem to matter in the clothing which usually has a raglan sleeve design instead of a more typical inset sleeve. Even the Mandy shoes fit Sasha perfectly. They are usually plastic, and not very attractive, but the clogs are especially charming.
Over the years, following her introduction, the line of "Friend" dolls increased and eventually included a boy. There were dozens of outfits and patterns offered by Fisher-Price as well as many doll and sewing magazines.
Sasha and Mandy are contemporaries not only in their manufacturing period but their age and fashion style.
Now that Sasha has become a valuable collectible doll her friend Mandy makes a great stand-in model for those who design fashions for Sasha. Since her body is soft it is easy to pin fabrics on her so she makes a great mannequin.

This week we will see just how charming Sasha looks as she models clothing borrowed from her friend Mandy.