​ A little over 10 years ago, I sat down with my friend Susan Sirkis and she asked me if I would continue The Wish Booklets” business when she was gone. She giggled and told me not to worry—she wasn’t planning on going any time soon! When she passed away on September 27, 2019, it was too soon. There were so many things I still wanted to learn from her, and so many questions. But with a stiff upper lip and determination, I am continuing the Wish Booklet business and preserving Susan’s legacy and the amazing work that she created. She left a “road map” to help me find my way! Susan’s husband Mike, of over 62 years, a retired Army officer, has become my new mentor and is helping me “chart my course” in this new endeavor.

 ABOUT MY FRIEND SUSAN SIRKIS 

Susan Sirkis was a visionary and a prolific writer. She created a publishing company, THE WISH BOOKLETS, which specializes in videos, patterns, and booklets—a modern resource for creative doll and miniature enthusiasts. With over:

  • 33 titles in print,

  • 12 do it yourself doll videos on related subjects,

  • paper dolls,

  • and multiple stand-alone patterns, it is a fantastic resource.

Susan was involved with fashion history for more than 60 years. Her father was a historian and he taught her to focus more on what people wore, rather than what they did. Her keen eye for clothing style assisted her in recalling dates of historical occurrences. She dedicated years of continued study of fashion history as it related to adult female clothing.

 

Early on, Susan began to make miniature replicas of historical clothing, using dolls as models. In the 1960s, she began writing and publishing a series of booklets with patterns for doll dressmaking. They featured historical background information for each period covered.  Susan also created:

  • videos,

  • downloadable resources,

  • study sets,

  • and even created a “Doll Like Hitty” inspired by the children’s book about a wooden doll.

Susan contributed fashion-related articles for magazines such as DOLL READER, NUTSHELL NEWS, and DOLL NEWS as well as other doll and miniature related publications. Susan traveled frequently to lecture on historical fashion related subjects, and taught classes with other collectors, sharing her joy in her craft.

 

Susan served as a consultant for several companies,

  • designed dolls in the 1980s and 1990s for the growing collector market

  • designed dolls for other commercial firms

  • coordinated several of the UFDC annual convention souvenir dolls—perhaps the most controlled limited-edition doll in the world!

  • made and marketed her own one-of-a-kind dolls. These tiny dolls illustrate female fashionable clothing of a historical nature.

Susan was a former President of the United Federation of Doll Clubs, Inc. She dedicated decades of service and volunteerism for the organization, not only as a creative leader but supplying artwork used at UFDC conventions. She served as editor of two UFDC souvenir journals, most recently the 2009 DVD/CD presentation, which was the first of its kind. She was the proud recipient of the UFDC Award of Merit, the National Association of Miniature Enthusiasts Mel Prescott Award, and the UFDC Ralph Griffith Award for outstanding dealers at the UFDC National Convention Salesroom. Her dreams will continue.

 A BIT ABOUT ME (BRADLEY JUSTICE) 

My name is Bradley Justice; I am a collector of dolls for over 40 years and a lover of fashion. Susan Sirkis was not only a mentor to me, she was like a second mom. Many of you know me for my love of Barbie—creating couture style costumes for this type of doll—but I have been costuming and creating all types of dolls for decades. I have designed a cloth doll pattern based on the historical “Maggie Bessie” dolls of Old Salem, NC. I love to research, study fashion and textiles, and travel the country speaking about the history of the Barbie doll.  

   

My goal is to continue bringing Susan’s wonderful creations to you, sharing her legacy, and ensuring that her many ideas and inspiration continue throughout the doll world. Susan left behind so many thoughts, ideas, prototypes, and creations that will soon be shared on our Facebook Page “The Wish Booklets”.