What ever happened to Tressy dolls? #ToyCollector #DollClothes

In this image, the Chelly Wood doll (a Spin Master Liv doll that has had her face repainted and her wig dyed grey to look like the real doll clothing designer, Chelly Wood) holds up Simplicity "Tressy" doll clothes pattern number 5731 with 7 different doll clothing items pictured on the front of the pattern.
Please visit ChellyWood.com for free printable PDF sewing patterns and tutorial videos for making doll clothes to fit dolls of many shapes and all different sizes.

In the image above, I’m holding up a Tressy doll wardrobe pattern, published by Simplicity in 1964. As you can see in the list offered on the back of the pattern (see below), these patterns will also fit Barbie:

This close up of the back of the Tressy doll clothes sewing pattern says, "Wardrobe for 11 and a half inch teen model dolls. Suitable for such dolls as Tressy, Annette, Mitzy, Babs, Kay, Polly Jr., Tina, Barbie, Midge and Gina."
Please visit ChellyWood.com for free printable PDF sewing patterns and tutorial videos for making doll clothes to fit dolls of many shapes and all different sizes.

But my gosh! Look at the list of dolls that can swap clothes with Tressy! So today I’m asking, not only what ever happened to Tressy dolls, but what ever happened to all of these other lovely ladies?

I’m not 100% sure, but because they can swap clothes with Barbie dolls, they must not be the same dolls as the Tressy that was associated with Ideal Crissy dolls of the 1970’s.

This list on the back of the pattern threw me for a loop. I’d never heard of some of these dolls: Annette, Mitzie, Babs, Kay, Polly Jr., Tina, Barbie, Midge, and Gina. What a lineup!

Granted, most of us are familiar with Midge, but Babs? Never heard of her.

Do any of my followers own one of the dolls listed on the back of this pattern, and if so, how is she different from or similar to a vintage Barbie?

As a seamstress, what I found most inspiring, of course, were Tressy’s wardrobe items:

The image shows a close photo of Simplicity Tressy Doll Clothes Pattern 5731 (Copyright 1964). The doll clothes patterns offered in this pattern set include a long green ball gown with 1960's bodice style; a knife pleated skirt with a 3/4 length sleeve shirt; a pajama; a pair of pedal pusher pants with a 3/4 length sleeve shirt; a ruffled blouse with an American style jumper; a V-neck dress that goes above the knee; a swing coat with 3/4 length sleeves.
Please visit ChellyWood.com for free printable PDF sewing patterns and tutorial videos for making doll clothes to fit dolls of many shapes and all different sizes.

Just look at all those 3/4 length sleeves!

You can still see the price tag on my Simplicity Tressy doll wardrobe pattern number 5731. I paid a whoppin’ fifty cents at a second-hand store for these patterns.

But the package says they will fit Barbie, so I was thrilled to find an uncut pattern at such a low price!

Everything pictured there was in the package. Nice!

Tressy — the darling of the wardrobe — was given top billing and honored with a copyright and trademark. Oddly enough, though, they didn’t show the same respect to Barbie or any of the other little darlings on the back of the pattern.

Have a look:

This is the back of Simplicity 5731 doll clothes pattern. It shows the sketches of each outfit in the wardrobe, and a red arrow points to the words, "1964 American Character. Inc., trade marked Tressy (registered trademark symbol) used under license."
Please visit ChellyWood.com for free printable PDF sewing patterns and tutorial videos for making doll clothes to fit dolls of many shapes and all different sizes.

Today we think of Barbie as the queen of the fashion doll industry, but perhaps back in 1964, Tressy was a close contender. I’m not old enough to remember that, so I can’t be sure.

But I’d love to hear from you, my followers. Did you own any of the dolls mentioned in the Tressy doll pattern‘s list of clothes-swap dollies? And if so, what are your memories of that doll?

I look forward to reading about your memories in the comments section below.

Most of the patterns I display and talk about here on ChellyWood.com are also available for sale on eBay. However, if you’ve never purchased a pattern on eBay before, it’s a good idea to read the article I wrote called, “Tips for Buying Used Doll Clothes Patterns on eBay.” It will save you time, money, and will likely prevent buyer’s remorse.

And by the way, if you use the links I’ve provided to make your eBay purchase, this website will receive a small commission, which helps fund the ChellyWood.com website, so I can continue to provide you with all the free patterns and tutorial videos offered here.

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Chelly Wood and the ChellyWood.com website are not affiliated with the pattern company or companies mentioned in this blog post, but Chelly finds inspiration in the doll clothes designed by these pattern companies. To purchase patterns from Simplicity, McCall’s, Butterick, or other pattern companies shown and discussed in this blog post, please click on the links provided here. These links below the “Disclaimer” section do not help raise money for this free pattern website; they are only offered to give credit to the company that made these patterns.

9 thoughts on “What ever happened to Tressy dolls? #ToyCollector #DollClothes

  1. I had a Tressy as a child. Tressy, who is not affiliated with the later Ideal dolls except that she has the grow hair feature, was around from 1964 so she is younger than Barbie. She was made by American Character and in Britain was licenced to Palitoy. My childhood Tressy is a Palitoy doll.
    I wrote a page about her with links to Tressy sites which I hope are still working.
    Tina would be Tina Cassini, a doll I have heard of but know little about. Babs and the others would most likely be either Barbie or Tammy clones usually but not always made in Hong Kong. Some were direct rip offs, they didn’t care much for copyright in those days.If you google Barbie/Tammy clone dolls you will find info on quite a few of them. Some were very nice, some a bit cheap looking.
    My cousin had Barbie so I know that Barbie can wear Tressy’s clothes, some of Barbie’s were a bit snug on Tressy but she could wear them. Except the shoes which was a pain because Barbie had lots of shoes and Tressy hardly had any but her feet are a bit bigger.

  2. I had a Tressy, she had short curl under hair but she also had a long pony out of a hole in the top of her head and when you pushed a button on her tummy you could pull in and make it grow. Then she had a little knob on her back with a key and you could turn it and make it go back in. Her head was a bit larger that Barbie. More like a Tammy size. But her body and feet were very close to Barbie. She originally came in a red one piece dress with white trim edge.

  3. I am 62. I just saw the Barbie movie and it made me think of the Barbies I had. However one of the “Barbies” was a Tressy doll I got as a Christmas Present when I was in kindergarten along with a box full of clothes my mother made. She was a wonderful seamstress and sewed almost all my clothes (dresses). I remember the doll patterns she used and the beautiful fabrics. She sewed matching coats and dresses, strapless gowns, PJ’s and robes along with trousers, blouses and jackets. She used snaps and ric rac. They were beautiful! I remember trying to follow these patterns and make my own as I got older and found it difficult to sew such small clothes. LOL. Anyway I actually think I still have most of the clothes she made but probably not the doll. And yes they fit all the mature Barbie models.

    1. Thank you for sharing your story here, Stacie. As you described the lovely doll clothes your mom made, I imagined each one in detail. It was fun to think about!

  4. I have a Tressy doll and her friend Mary makeup. I have bought them this year on EBay. With some differences they can share their clothes.
    Annette doll is somehow similar to Babette doll produced by Uneeda (if I recall well) and were very similar, I have some because I love them in particular.
    They have cheap plastic body, so they can easily loose an arm or leg.
    The head has got a hole on the top, covered by the hairs that she wore ponytail.
    The head is very similar to Wendy doll but her legs were one piece to the body and had way bigger feet.

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