Simplicity 6006 - Holly Hobbie Rag Doll and Wardrobe (1973)

Simplicity pattern 6006 makes a Holly Hobbie doll with her wardrobe. Several patterns have been issued over the years to make Holly, but this was the first one. It is dated 1973.

There is no size given on the pattern, but the doll makes up to be about 20" tall. She has an unusual construction in that her head is to be made from a sock, while the rest of her is regular woven fabric. Darts add some shape to her torso. She has mitten hands with stitching to indicate fingers, and flat soled feet. The maker is instructed to put two rows of running stitches around the doll's head at the level of her eyes. This is meant to give the head some shape. She has embroidered features. Buttons can be used for her eyes; or her eyes can be embroidered onto scraps of fabric that are then used to cover buttons, which are then attached for eyes. Holly has yarn hair steamed into curls.

Holly's wardrobe consists of a long slip and pinafore (made from the same pattern pieces), a long sleeved dress, bloomers, poke bonnet, and felt Mary Jane style shoes. The underwear has ribbon inserted into eyelet lace for trim.

I have seen several of these dolls made up, and in my opinion they are some of the ugliest vintage cloth dolls I've ever encountered. The shaping of the head, the embroidered covered button eyes and the French knot nostrils are just plain weird. But then again, some people like weird! For a pattern collector, this is certainly an unusual design.

Copyright 2015 by Zendelle Bouchard

McCall's 8349 - Boy and Girl Dolls in Two Sizes (1982)

McCall's pattern 8349 makes a boy and girl doll in 17 1/2" and 13" sizes dressed in old fashioned styles. The pattern is copyrighted 1982.

The dolls are made with a simple body in separated pancake style, with contrasting color feet to look like shoes, and mitten hands. The head has a flat face with a separate round stuffed nose; and the back of the head is in three pieces to give it a rounded shape. The girl and boy dolls are made with the same pieces, the only difference between them is the embroidered facial features, and the yarn hair styles.

The girls' lace-trimmed dress can be made long or short. For the longer version, there is a pinafore and mob cap to give her a "Little House on the Prairie" look. The shorter version, without the pinafore, looks more contemporary. The boys' outfit is a shirt with gathered sleeves, pants with elastic waist, and a vest. These pieces could be used to make another girls' outfit as well.

Although there is nothing unusual or exceptional about these designs, but the dolls are cute and the clothing patterns adaptable to a number of different looks. The instructions for this pattern are detailed, especially the page on hair styling, so this looks like a good pattern for a less experienced (or less confident) sewer.

Copyright 2015 by Zendelle Bouchard

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

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

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.