Glossary of Terms for Vintage Cloth Doll Patterns

There is an infinite variety of ways that a cloth doll can be constructed. But many vintage cloth doll patterns fall into a few basic styles. Here are some of the terms I use on this site to describe those methods.

  • Pancake - these dolls are made of just two pieces, one for the front and one for the back. An Edith Flack Ackley doll is an example of a pancake doll.
  • Modified pancake - still two pieces, but with darts to give the doll a little more of a three-dimensional shape. Simplicity 7234 is an example of a modified pancake.
  • Separated pancake - the body parts are all made of two pieces, a front and a back (or a right and a left), but they are sewn and stuffed individually and then joined together.
  • Baseball head - this type of doll has the head constructed with two vertical seams down the face - usually right through the centers of the eyes - like the seams on a baseball, to make it round. Design 7143 is an example of a baseball head.
  • Thread jointed dolls have separate arms and legs attached to the torso by a sturdy piece of thread or string. For thread jointed legs, the thread would be inserted at the outside of the top of one leg, go through the leg and the bottom of the torso, through the other leg and be secured on the outside. Arms may be jointed in the same way, through one arm and the top of the torso, and through the other arm. Baseball head dolls like Design 7339 are almost always thread jointed. Ella DeHart's George and Martha Washington are another example.

I will add more terms as I go along.

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