Monday, December 15, 2014

Design 736 - Vintage Boy and Girl Sock Dolls Pattern

Design #736 makes a boy and girl doll from men's size 11 1/2 or 12 tan, white or flesh-color cotton socks. No publisher's name is on the pattern, but it appears to be a publication of Reader Mail, Inc., the company responsible for Laura Wheeler, Marian Martin and Alice Brooks patterns, among others.

The dolls have darts for shaping their bodies. The arms and ears are made separately and attached. They have embroidered features and "straw yarn" hair. The boy is given a sleeping face, while the girl is wide awake and smiling. No size for the finished dolls is given, but they look like they would make up to be about 12" tall.

The girl doll wears a nightgown and the boy a one piece pajama. If you wanted to make daytime clothes, the nightgown could easily be shortened to a dress, and the pajama to a romper.

The tricky part about making these dolls might be finding the right pair of socks. Men's cotton dress socks that have no texture or ribbing would be ideal.

Copyright 2014 by Zendelle Bouchard

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Simplicity 7188 - Pair of Pilgrim dolls & fall decor

This pattern makes cute boy and girl pilgrim dolls, plus a soft sculptured pumpkin and oak leaves table centerpiece, and an oak leaf and acorn wall hanging. It is copyright 1985.

Nowhere on the envelope does it say what size the dolls are, but I would guess about 18". They are made separated pancake style, with the head, torso and legs all in one piece, and the arms with stump hands are sewn on separately. The dolls are to be made of stretch knit fabric, with embroidered features and yarn hair. They have different hair styles, but otherwise the boy and girl dolls are identical.

Their pilgrim outfits are made of solid color fabric with accessories of felt. The clothes are not made to be removable, but could be, with slight alterations. Like most craft patterns, the dolls are not meant to be played with, but a child over 3 who is gentle with them could do so.

The dolls are very simple patterns that a beginner should have no trouble with, but their clothes are a little more complex and might require some help or experience.

Friday, October 17, 2014

June Bride 15" Vintage Cloth Doll Pattern

June Bride is a 15" cloth doll from the booklet "Dolls Old and New," which includes several cloth doll patterns. There is no copyright date or publisher's name on the booklet, but it appears to have been printed circa 1970, though individual patterns may have been offered at an earlier date. This may be a publication of Reader Mail, Inc., the company responsible for Laura Wheeler, Marian Martin and Alice Brooks patterns, among others.

June Bride is a baseball-head doll with attached ears. Her arms and legs are sewn in place so she cannot sit. Her facial features are embroidered after stuffing. Her hair is worsted weight yarn. She has mitten hands and flat-soled feet.

June Bride's wedding gown is a very simple one, with the bodice and sleeves all of one piece. The bodice is trimmed with lace and buttons to give the illusion of a yoke. She has a veil, petticoat and bouquet, but no underpants or shoes.

June Bride would be a nice doll to display a miniature-sized version of your own wedding gown.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Simplicity 9193 - 16" Witch doll for Halloween

This pattern, designed by Mitzi Bibens and Donna Towe, makes a witch doll and her simple outfit. The pattern is dated 1994.

The witch doll is made in a separated pancake style with lobster-claw hands. She has a center-seam face and some very simple needle sculpting to give her eyes and mouth added definition. Her lower legs are shaped like pointy-toed boots. A dowel inside her torso and head keeps her head from flopping. Her facial features can be painted or drawn with marker and colored pencil. The instructions call for her boots to be painted black - but it would seem to be simpler just to make her legs from black fabric. Her hair is purchased wool.

Her outfit is constructed very simply. The bloomers and two piece dress are sewn to her, but with a few simple alterations they could be made removable. The sleeves and hem of the dress are cut in long points with no finished hem. Her hair is glued to her head and the hat is then glued to the hair.

This is a fairly simple pattern which could produce good results for a beginning sewer. It is meant to be a decoration, not a child's plaything.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

McCall's Pattern 5740 - Set of Dolls in Two Sizes (1977)

McCall's Pattern #5740 makes a simple 16" and 37.5" doll with variations of dress and hair. The doll's long dresses reflect the Americana style that was popular around the time of the U.S. Bicentennial.

The large and small dolls are constructed in the same manner, in separated pancake style which goes together quickly. The dolls have appliqued felt eyes, noses and mouths. Their most distinguishing feature is their long stitched eyelashes. Their hair is made from rug yarn with a choice of two styles: long braids or Princess Leia-style buns on either side. Clear instructions are given for attaching the hair.

Two styles of dresses are given. View A has a front skirt panel, collar and cuffs trimmed with lace. The rest of the skirt is gathered in tiers. View B has a plain flared skirt and cuffs. Slip and pantie patterns are included.

This is a simple but cute pattern. My only concern with making it is that no provision is made for reinforcing the doll's neck. The larger size in particular has a huge head that would certainly flop without any internal reinforcement. But an experience dollmaker should have no trouble adapting a method from another pattern or previous project.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

McCall's 7560 - Hillbilly Stuffed Dolls Pattern (1964)

McCall's Pattern #7560 makes three "Hillbilly" dolls - Paw who is 17" tall, and Shorty and Pearl, each 12" tall. Designed by Virginia Black, they were clearly inspired by the popularity of "The Beverly Hillbillies" television series which was the number one show in America at the time.

These dolls are made with an unusual method that calls for their heads to be made from either pink jersey knit fabric or a women's pink ankle sock (instructions are given for both); while the rest of their bodies are made from woven fabric such as broadcloth. Both the large and small dolls have applied noses, choice of embroidered or drawn features, quarter-seamed torsos, mitten hands stitched to indicate fingers, and crewel wool yarn hair. The main difference between Paw and the kids is their legs and feet; Pearl and Shorty have one-piece legs and feet cut from black fabric to resemble stockings, while Paw's bare feet are constructed separately and then applied to his legs. Paw also has a beard made from the same yarn as his hair.

The clothing of all three dolls is simple to make, with the patches added to the pieces before the side seams are sewn. Paw and Shorty have "suspenders" made from piping cord or heavy twine. The dolls' hats can be made from burlap, cotton crash (?) or an old finely-woven straw hat.

These dolls are charming characters which evoke the pop culture of their time. They would make a great gift for a fan of the Beverly Hillbillies or bluegrass music.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Baby Dolls by Joan Russell for Woman's Day (1964)

This set of patterns, designed by Joan Russell, makes a chubby baby doll which can be varied with different facial features and hair colors, plus a wardrobe of clothes. It was offered to readers of Woman's Day magazine in 1964.

The pattern is described as making five different dolls, but they all use the same pattern pieces. They are made in baseball head style, but unlike most dolls with this construction, the front face piece is wide enough so that the face is flat and the head more square than round. The baby's arms (with stubby, separated fingers) and legs are stuffed separately and then attached.By varying the embroidered facial features and colors of yarn hair and appliqued fabric eyes, the maker is instructed to make the characters of Sleepy Head, Angel, Red Head, Cry Baby and Cherub. No size is given for the dolls, but they look like they would make up about 16" tall.

The pattern includes a complete wardrobe of clothes to sew, including a smocked dress and bonnet with bloomers; coat and hat; underwear, bib and blankets; one-piece pajama and nightgown with drawstring bottom; bunting; christening outfit with eyelet gown, coat and bonnet; plus knitting instructions to make a sweater, bonnet and booties.

Joan Russell's dolls are fairly simple to make, and the outfits have some interesting details, like the smocked and knitted pieces. This is a classic '60s cloth doll pattern.