Tuesday, June 18, 2013

McCall #820 - Raggedy Ann & Andy (1940)



Raggedy Ann and Andy were storybook characters created by Johnny Gruelle in the early 20th century. They are the most popular dolls of all time, and have been mass produced by a series of companies under license since 1920. This McCall pattern, copyright 1940, was the first one published for home sewers. It makes 19" Raggedy Ann and Andy dolls wearing their usual outfits, plus a hooded cape for Ann. When the pattern was reissued in the fifties, McCall's used the same stock number (820) but the envelope has a different illustration.



Raggedy Ann and Andy here have the same separated pancake style construction that has been used to make the commercially available dolls for generations. They have oversized mitten hands, yarn hair and button eyes. Transfers are included for their embroidered facial features and the hearts on their chests. The maker is instructed to use striped fabric for their lower legs and black for their feet, just like the store bought dolls.



Raggedy Ann's outfit includes a dress with set in sleeves and a pleated ruffle at the neck; drawers gathered below the knee; an apron; and the hooded cape. Raggedy Andy's shirt and trousers are sewn together to make a one piece garment. His sailor cape and black tie complete his outfit.

These dolls are classic Americana. What more can be said?







Thursday, June 13, 2013

Ella's Original Doll Pattern #41: Cicely, Circa 1810 Bride Doll

Ella DeHart self published many doll patterns in the 1960s and '70s. Many, like this one, are Barbie-sized. Cicely is dressed as a bride in the Empire style of the early 19th century.



Cicely has a quarter-seamed head with ears, an hourglass torso with separate bust pieces to stitch over her body after stuffing, and a shapely bottom. She has stitching to indicate fingers. She is to be made of skin-toned percale, fine linen or any cotton. The maker is instructed to cut the head pieces on the bias to make the cheeks rounder. Hair can be darning thread, yarn or a wig; very little direction is given on this and style is left up to the maker. (A common hairstyle in this period was for the hair to be worn up, with little wispy curls around the face.)



Cicely's wedding outfit includes a gown with Empire waistline, pleated bodice, and overskirt with vertical gathers at the hemline; pantalettes and petticoat; veil, gloves and slippers. She should have a bouquet of tiny flowers. Although instructions call for the ensemble to be all in white, it should be noted that brides didn't always wear white at that time.



This pattern looks like it would be rather tricky to make, with a lot of detail on a relatively small doll. What do you think? Have you made one of Ella's patterns?





Thursday, June 6, 2013

Fairy Tale Doll Patterns from the Marcy St. Doll Co.


This pattern makes three different fairy tale rag dolls from the same basic pattern. There are five 11" x 17" sheets included; one for the doll, one for the basic dress, underwear and shoes, and one page each to customize the doll as Red Riding Hood, Snow White or Alice in Wonderland. The pattern is copyright 1980 by Deborah Anderson, a cloth doll artist who ran her Marcy St. Doll Shop in downtown Portsmouth, NH for many years.



The doll has an unusual construction with a four piece head shaped by forehead darts; darts and inset arms in the torso; and a separate foot piece. The arms have mitten hands with stitching to indicate fingers. Facial features are embroidered, but buttons may be used for eyes if desired. Muslin is recommended for the dolls; their hair is made from yarn. The instructions are clear, but not very detailed. This pattern would be best for an intermediate sewer with some doll making experience.



Alice in Wonderland's pattern has a pinafore to go over her dress. Her hairstyle is straight with bangs. Red Riding Hood has a cape with hood. Her hair is styled in braids. Snow White's pattern has a long cape gathered with elastic at the neckline to form a collar. She wears her hair in curls tacked to her head.

This is an interesting, but hard to find pattern. I would love to see one of these dolls made up.