Wednesday, February 25, 2015

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

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

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.