Cloth Doll Patterns in 1960s Needlecraft Catalog

These cloth doll patterns were offered in an undated catalog named Needlecraft Patterns. This appears to be another incarnation of Reader Mail, Inc., a company that advertised all types of craft patterns in newspapers across the U.S. Because the catalog also offers knitting patterns for Barbie dolls, with photos of dolls from the early 1960s, that helps to date it. The 9" doll with wardrobe of clothes, the laundry bag doll and topsy turvy doll are both baseball head style. The Sleepytime Gal, 12" clown and Santa are sock dolls. The floppy cowboy doll is 44" tall.

Cloth Doll Patterns in 1950s Alice Brooks Designs Catalog

These patterns were offered in an Alice Brooks Designs catalog. It is not dated, but appears to be from the 1950s. Alice Brooks was one of the many names used by Reader Mail, Inc., a company that advertised all types of craft and sewing patterns in newspapers throughout the U.S. The patterns are priced at 25 cents each. Some of the dolls are baseball head style, and some are sock dolls.

Cloth Doll Patterns in 1940s Laura Wheeler Catalog

These pages are from an undated Laura Wheeler catalog. Judging by the hair and clothing styles, it is from the 1940s. Laura Wheeler was one of the names used by Reader Mail, Inc., which advertised patterns in newspapers throughout the U.S. The patterns are priced at 15 cents each. The cloth dolls are all baseball head style.

Free Vintage Cuddle Toys Pattern - Bunny & Bear Stuffed Animals

These sweet animals are from a Laura Wheeler Designs catalog from the 1950s. They have very simple pancake construction with embroidered details. Click on the images below to bring up a full size version, then right click to save to your computer.

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