McCall's #4780 / UK60 - Wombles Doll Pattern (1974)

The Wombles are furry fictional characters from a series of children's books written by Elisabeth Beresford and originally published from 1968 to 1976. They live in underground burrows and recycle discarded objects in creative ways - what would be referred to today as upcycling. The stories were adapted into a BBC television series in the 1970s, and the Wombles also occasionally appeared in the US on the Captain Kangaroo TV show.

McCall's pattern #4780 (issued in the United Kingdom as UK60), makes a 12" doll with clothing and accessories to make up five different Wombles characters.

The instructions call for the Wombles body to be made of long pile faux fur with jersey knit face, ears, hands and feet. Buttons are to be used for the eyes and nose, with circles of felt for the whites of the eyes. The seaming is unusual and fairly complex, but there are no joints to worry about. The hands have stitched lines to indicate fingers.

The clothing pieces are to be made primarily of felt, except for Uncle Bulgaria's tartan costume. Knitting instructions are given to make mufflers and a scarf. Spectacles and walking stick are made from pipe cleaners wrapped in felt.

The Wombles are cute and their story line makes them even more interesting. I question the recommendation to use jersey for parts of the dolls, as it seems too lightweight and stretchy unless you are stuffing very loosely. I would go for a heavier, more stable knit. The pattern calls for the doll to be stuffed with kapok, but that's expensive and not easily available these days, so fiberfill (recycled, of course!) might be a better option.

Find Wombles patterns on eBay!

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