Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Roly Poly Pincushion Dolls Pattern

This pattern to make a pincushion doll in two variations was designed by Janet C. Brandt and published in the November 1984 issue of Doll Reader magazine. The doll could also be made up as a child's toy.

No size is given for the dolls, but they look like they would make up at about 6" tall. The body is made in five or six segments to give it the rounded shape. The facial features are embroidered. Two examples are given as to how they could be finished, but there are many possibilities with these dolls.

 My main concern with the pattern is there is no method given for weighting the bottom so that the dolls would stand up straight, but it doesn't seem like it would be too difficult to figure that out. This is a cute pattern for a sewing room doll that could use up scraps of felt, fabrics and trims, and be decorated in many ways.

Copyright 2015 by Zendelle Bouchard

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Painted Fabric Dolls from McCall's Needlework & Crafts Magazine (1970)

Leaflet No. 765-NB, published by McCall's Needlework and Crafts Magazine, is a pattern to make three painted cloth dolls. The dolls are simple pancake style, with elaborate designs meant to be made with ball point paint, also known as liquid embroidery. The leaflet is one sheet of 17" x 22" paper, printed on both sides.

The three dolls are named Elspeth, Amanda and Lilly. They appear to represent older girls in period costumes. Amanda and Lilly are each holding a doll. They measure about 15" tall. The maker is instructed to transfer the design of the dolls to fabric using tracing paper, pencil and carbon paper. These days it would be much simpler to scan the designs and print them directly on fabric. While the ball point paints would give good results, they dolls could also be hand or machine embroidered. The patterns could also be used in an embroidered or appliqued quilt or wall hanging.

I have never seen a cloth doll made with this technique, have you?

Copyright 2015 by Zendelle Bouchard

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

The Mad Tea Party - Alice in Wonderland Doll Patterns by Joan Russell (1965)

The November 1965 issue of Woman's Day magazine featured The Mad Tea-Party, a set of cloth dolls of characters from Lewis Carroll's "Alice in Wonderland," designed by Joan Russell. The magazine included free patterns on tiny grids for you to enlarge, or you could order the set of full-size patterns by mail. The full-size patterns are on six 17" x 22" sheets of paper, with black and white illustrations. No size is given, but Alice looks to be about 14" tall.

The Mad Tea-Party includes Alice, the March Hare, the Dormouse, the Mad Hatter and the White Rabbit. The heads and torsos of the dolls are sewn in quarters, with two piece arms and legs, jointed with buttons. The maker is instructed to make Alice and the Mad Hatter from cotton, the White Rabbit and March Hare from wool, and the Dormouse from velveteen. They have appliqued and embroidered facial features. The Mad Hatter's nose is stuffed to give it dimension. The hair and tails are of yarn.

Each character, except the Dormouse, has a simple version of his or her outfit, well known from the classic illustrations by John Tenniel. Alice wears a short sleeved dress, a pinafore with two pockets, and felt shoes. The Mad Hatter wears a sleeveless shirt, corduroy pants, jersey jacket, velveteen hat, felt bow tie and shoes. The March Hare wears a sleeveless shirt with simple tie, and a jacket. The White Rabbit's outfit consists of a sleeveless shirt, vets, jacket and bow tie.

These simple patterns in Joan Russell's signature style are simple to make, and will delight fans of this classic story.

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.