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Book Reviews about Dolls, Teddies and Patterns

Description: Description: Mini doll and Floppy
Susan Kramer

1. 200 Years of Dolls  by Dawn Herlocher
2. Cloth Dolls by Brenda Brightmore

Creating and Crafting Dolls  by Eloise Piper and Mary Dilligan
4. Dolls' House Needlecrafts  by Venus A. Dodge
5. Home Décor for 18 Inch Dolls  by Joan Hinds
6. Sew Baby Doll Clothes by Joan Hinds
7. Sew The International Wardrobe for 18 Inch Dolls  by Joan Hinds
8. Sew Today's Fashions for 18 Inch Dolls  by Joan Hinds
9. Soul Mate Dolls - Doll Making as a Healing Art  by Noreen Crone-Findlay
10. Storytelling with Dolls  by Elinor Peace Bailey and Noreen Crone-Findlay
11. The Complete Book of Sewing  by Chris Jefferys
12. The Teddy Bear Making Book  by Brian and Donna Gibbs



1. 200 Years of Dolls  by Dawn Herlocher


In this book you'll find doll manufacturers from America and Europe and around the world and hundreds of doll marks (mold numbers) listed. If you have any interest in finding out about your dolls kept from childhood or dolls you are collecting as an adult this is the book for you!
Description: Description: 200 Years of Dolls, Second Edition
Dawn Herlocher has been collecting dolls for more than 32 years and it is easy to see she has been passionate about it by the very complete details presented in this volume - antique and collectible dolls included.

Ms. Herlocher covers china, bisque, composite, wooden, latex and cloth dolls amongst others. And the color plates are fabulous.

I was very happy to discover my find of an old doll at a doll hospital in The Netherlands was a Theodor Recknagel doll from Germany in the latter part of the 19th century. So the book really is worth owning for anyone interested in dolls.

This is a great book to browse through and enjoy at leisure, or to use as a handy reference for all your doll collecting and doll making projects!

Details - 350 pages; 8.5 by 11 inches; published by Krause; ISBN: 0873418867
Click here to buy "200 Years of Dolls, 2nd Edition" from


2. Cloth Dolls by Brenda Brightmore


All the patterns are included to trace, and materials for each project are listed. The pattern lines are nice and dark, which makes it easy to use a plain white sheet of paper for tracing. And you'll find measurements given in centimeters and inches throughout. Brenda Brightmore in Cloth Dolls gives us a wonderful book for making our own soft and warm, cute and stylish cloth dolls!
Description: Description: Cloth Dolls by Brenda Brightmore
Contents include
Making the Dolls
Calico Dolls
Covered Needlesculpture Dolls
Pure Needlesculpture Dolls

The book has beautiful and large full color photos of Brenda's finished dolls to give a good idea of what each part of the project could look like - this is a feature I like about this book as I learn mainly by seeing and doing. But, the crafters who prefer detailed instructions will certainly be satisfied with the explanations provided for each step of the way.

Right from the start, the chapter "Making the Dolls" gets you all set to progress on your doll making project successfully. Subheadings include: Patterns and templates; Fabrics; Cutting out; Transferring face guides to fabric; Sewing; Filling; and Special equipment (which I found in my local craft supply store).

My favorite chapter is on painting the faces on the dolls - you can't go wrong following these photos and instructions. I learned a lot from these pages.

More than 10 dolls are included and of course with your own ideas you could create a lifetime of doll families!

I highly recommend Cloth Dolls by Brenda Brightmore!

Details - 128 pages by Krause Publications; 11.2 by 8.3 inches; ISBN: 0873498712

Click here to buy "Cloth Dolls" from

3. Creating and Crafting Dolls  by Eloise Piper and Mary Dilligan

The authors teach how to make basic doll bodies using templates in various sizes, and have included patterns for their clothes and accessories. Creating and Crafting Dolls by Eloise Piper and Mary Dilligan is a colorful and stunning doll making book.
Description: Description: Creating and Crafting Dolls by Eloise Piper and Mary Dilligan
There are 14 pages of photographs of variations of finished dolls, supplemented with line drawings, which provide a starting point for your own inspirations.

Books like this are guides to spark imagination - tools and ideas presented and then it is up to the crafter to make their own individual projects.

I have a lot of fun looking through crafting books and the authors provide much inspiration in this volume. And the nice thing about making your own doll is that it is really and truly YOURS!

You can make a doll for yourself or for gift-giving to your loved ones. Highly recommended!

Details - 113 pages; Chilton Book Company; 8.2 by 11 inches; ISBN: 0801985242

Click here to buy "Creating and Crafting Dolls" from

4. Dolls' House Needlecrafts  by Venus A. Dodge


I've not seen another book with such a plethora of patterns and information for dressing doll houses. And the beautiful and detailed colored photographs are inspirations in themselves. You want to just step into these rooms yourself - lucky little miniatures! If you're wondering what sets Dolls' House Needlecrafts - Over 250 projects in 1/12 scale by Venus A. Dodge apart from other doll house furnishing books, it is that the items are made using all hand and needle crafts with full instructions for the patterns!
Description: Description: Dolls' House Needlecrafts by Venus A. Dodge
The crafts used to make the furnishings and dress the miniature occupants are - knitting, crochet, needlepoint, embroidery, patchwork, quilting, appliqué, ribboncraft, macramé and basketwork. Abbreviations and keys to symbols are included for the handcrafts.

Items to make include - cushions, blankets, housewares, toys, clothes for adults, children, babies, rugs and carpets, pictures and samplers, bedcovers, blinds and curtains, bedding, linens, rugs and lampshades, stools, simple furniture, and upholstered furniture.

I must say this is really a textbook to creating doll house treasures to pass on to future generations. As owner of this book you'll have a lifetime of beautiful projects to make while achieving very worthwhile satisfaction. I love hand sewing and for those who admire and enjoy detailed work, you will have plenty to create!

My highest recommendation!

Details - 192 page paperback; David and Charles Publishers, April 1, 2002; 11.8 by 8.5 inches; ISBN: 0715313584

Click here to buy "Dolls' House Needlecrafts" from

5. Home Décor for 18 Inch Dolls  by Joan Hinds


Home Décor for 18 Inch Dolls is a unique pattern book because it includes directions to make room settings - walls, floors and accessories to go with them, in addition to 15 patterns for doll costumes. Full size clothes and accessory patterns are included to trace from the end pages of the book. This is Joan Hind's tenth book for sewing doll wardrobes and her experience shows.
Description: Description: Home Décor for 18 Inch Dolls by Joan Hinds
Though the dolls are shown in 10 different room settings in certain outfits, there is no reason, as Joan Hinds points out, that your doll cannot wear any outfit in any room - just as you would in your own home.

You can start out furnishing the rooms with unfinished doll furniture ordered from the Walnut Hollow Company or any place of your choice such as arts and crafts stores that sell doll furniture. This book gives directions for lots of finishes and hints for decorating the unfinished wood.

There is a section of resources at the end of the book to buy the unfinished doll furniture, supplies, material and even several brands of 18 inch dolls.

Looking at the practicality of using the unfinished pieces already made is that you don't have to be a carpenter or artist to make basic furniture - you get to have all the fun in applying stains and paint finishes!

To make the room settings, the book suggests using foam board at least 20 inches high (perfect for your 18 inch tall dolls), and 30 inches wide. This also happens to be the size of foam board sold in craft stores.

Instructions tell how to make your backdrop stand up, and also conveniently fold flat for storage. Suggestions are given on how to cover the foam board with fabric to make the walls, and fabric or contact paper for floors.

In a way, you are making portable doll rooms that put together would be a dollhouse for your 18 inch dolls. If you have enough room to spread out your projects you can have several of the 10 rooms set up at once. What better use for a ping pong table or a card table between games. And of course, setting up the rooms on the floor is fine, too!

The themes for the doll wardrobes and accessories and doll rooms are named: Tea Party; Christmas Party; Daisy Kitchen; Birthday Party; Princess Bedroom; Funky Bedroom; Ladybug Bedroom; Enchanted Garden Bedroom; School Room; and Outdoor Fun.

I highly recommend this book for those who both love to sew for their 18 inch dolls and enjoy arts and crafts!

Details - 128 page paperback; Krause Publications; 10.8 by 8.3 inches; ISBN: 0873495845

Click here to buy "Home Decor for 18 Inch Dolls" from


6. Sew Baby Doll Clothes by Joan Hinds


The more than 30 full size patterns have clear instructions and beautiful pictures to help you with each outfit and the accessories to match. There is even a baby doll layette.

Joan Hinds in Sew Baby Doll Clothes is once again helping us with her patterns to make clothes and accessories for 12 inch to 22 inch baby dolls.

Full size tissue paper patterns are included in an envelope inside the back cover.

Description: Description: Sew Baby Doll Clothes by Joan Hinds

Patterns are divided into 4 categories of baby dolls:

Small 12-13 inches

Medium 14-16 inches

Large 17-19 inches

X-Large 20-22 inches


Also, a chart is included of all the doll dimensions in these categories. I find this useful for planning and sewing for dolls that my granddaughters have. And what's great is that each pattern has color-coded instructions for each of these 4 categories of baby dolls.


I love sewing for my baby dolls and in the past mostly relied on store bought real baby clothes. Now I feel fortunate to be able to make exactly what I want using Joan Hind's cute patterns.

Some of the popular dolls in the range of sizes used as models include Bitty Baby, Goetz Muffin and Maxi-Muffin, Corolle Cailin, the Bitty Twins, Adora dolls, Lee Middleton, and Zapf Creation dolls.


And remember, you can add just the trims you want to your own creations to suit the occasion. Just use holiday or seasonal fabrics and trims. It is all up to you!


And if you like to knit, instructions are included for sweaters, caps and booties. This is really a complete one-stop book for keeping your baby dolls well outfitted and warm and cozy with the blanket patterns, too.


My highest recommendation!


Details - 128 pages from KP Books; 10.7 by 8.3 inches; ISBN: 0873499344


Click here to buy "Sew Baby Doll Clothes" from

7. Sew The International Wardrobe for 18 Inch Dolls  by Joan Hinds


Tissue paper full-size patterns for 16 ethnic costumes are included in a large pocket inside the back cover - and what a bargain all these patterns are for what a couple of regular fabric store patterns would cost!
Description: Description: Sew the International Wardrobe for 18-Inch Dolls by Joan Hinds
I totally love Joan Hind's Sew the International Wardrobe for 18-Inch Dolls - how did I get so lucky as to be able to review it? Anyway, the inside lives up to all the promise the gorgeous covers hold.

But let's get down to the sewing basics. Very easy to understand instructions are given to make each costume - even patterns for the shoes to go with them. And, as a nice addition, there is background information on where the costumes are worn by real people.

I do recommend you take your doll's measurements and adjust these patterns as needed before cutting out using your best material. I have an 18 inch Emily Precious Day doll and her waist is one half inch larger than what the patterns call for - so be on the safe side and measure your own doll - as the book recommends.

What is nice is that several different dolls are models for the costumes, so you do get a sense that the patterns will be just right for your full body 18 inch dolls like the American Girl Doll.

The ethnic costume patterns include: Jingle Dancer Costume; Mexican Costume; Brazilian Carnaval Costume; Irish Step Dancer Costume; Traditional Costume of Hardanger, Norway; Swedish Costume; German Lederhosen and Blouse; Dutch Costume from the Netherlands; Italian Costume; Czech Republic Costume; Russian Costume; Turkish Costume, Nigerian Costume; Chinese Costume; Korean Costume and Japanese Kimono.

I thoroughly recommend this volume of Joan Hind's doll costume patterns!

Details - 95 pages by Krause Publications; 10.8 by 8.2 inches; ISBN: 0873419901

Click here to order "The International Wardrobe for 18 Inch Dolls" from

8. Sew Today's Fashions for 18 Inch Dolls  by Joan Hinds


These modern fashions will fit your 18 inch full body dolls including American Girl, Gotz, Creative Doll Company, Laura Ashley, Our Generation Dolls, Tolly Girl Dolls, and similar size dolls. Ms. Hinds reminds us to measure our own doll and check each of the pattern pieces as we cut them out and sew them together to be sure of the correct fit.

Joan Hinds has done it again in bringing a great set of patterns to all of us who love making clothes and everything in the 18 inch doll wardrobe.
Description: Description: Sew Today's Fashions for 18 Inch Dolls by Joan Hinds
Giving just such practical hints and tips throughout is just one way this book of doll patterns, lovely photos and clear drawings stands out from the crowd.

The doll clothes and accessory patterns are included, full size, in an envelope inserted inside the back cover. So, with more than 30 outfits included you are saving a ton of money over buying patterns separately.

A very big bonus is the wonderful array of hand knitted patterns included for sweaters, scarves and hats. They are just delightful and add a real touch of authenticity to your doll's wardrobe. And, by the way, you'll never have to buy doll shoes again - several patterns are included for making them for your doll.

The patterns are divided into events that may be part of a preteen's life, the categories including: School Fashions; Summer Picnic; Wheelin' Around; Playing Hard; Day at the Beach; It's a Snow Day!; Pajama Party; All Dressed Up; Special Occasions; plus resources and the tips as mentioned.

The Special Occasion outfits are my favorite because they remind me of the doll dresses my mother made my dolls when I was a young girl. Those memories are firmly imprinted in my mind. And, you can make just such special outfits for the 18 inch dolls with just a little really nice fabric and trims. And, Ms. Hinds gives her recommendations for sources of dolls and supplies.

Joan Hinds has written and designed many doll books - this is her eleventh. She is from Minnesota and travels around the country sharing her vast knowledge.

Highest recommendation!

Details - 128 page paperback; Krause Publications; 11 by 8.3 inches; ISBN: 0873497724

Click here to buy "Sew Today's Fashions for 18 Inch Dolls" from

9. Soul Mate Dolls - Doll Making as a Healing Art  by Noreen Crone-Findlay


Illustrated with colorful photos and full size templates to copy onto thin cardboard (my recommendation), a useful practical book to make more than 35 dolls - each an aspect of soul mate. A journey to wholeness through "doll-work" is how I see the creative path of making dolls presented in 144 pages by the author, Noreen Crone-Findlay, in Soul Mate Dolls - Dollmaking as a Healing Art.
Description: Description: Soul Mate Dolls - Dollmaking as a Healing Art by Noreen Crone-Findlay
Interspersed with construction techniques including knitting, embroidery and crocheting, the author freely shares her philosophy on handling many of the emotional issues we all face sometime in life - making this truly a combination of dollmaking and emotional healing.

I particularly like that most of the dolls can be hand-held or carried along in a purse or pocket, and can be made in variously textured fabrics and fibers to give a nice comfy feel. Even taking the same pattern and using differenct colors of fabric makes a doll with a totally unique look and character.

And, because each doll maker is creating her own dolls, they are like an extension of feeling and thought - a creation from heart and soul.

Chapter Headings:
1. The Basic Flat Soul Mate Doll
2. The Power of Story
3. Journal Work, Coloring Pages, Dreamwork, and Doodling
4. Emotions and Feelings
5. The Playful Heart
6. The Grandmothers

I recommend this as a good read in addition to the new ways to look at doll making!

Details: Krause Publications; 144 page paperback; ISBN: 0873418069

Click here to buy "Soul Mate Dolls" from


10. Storytelling with Dolls  by Elinor Peace Bailey and Noreen Crone-Findlay


The soft body dolls are just beautiful, and directions to make them are carefully explained. And, of particular interest, to me, is the technique of using what looks like the potholder loom I used as a child. Except this "Pinboard" loom has 18 pegs along each of the four sides. (Instructions for making included.)

This is a delightful and lively presentation of the story of "Jack and the Beanstalk" told through dolls that the two authors teach us to make. The photos in Storytelling with Dolls are a treat to see, showing the dolls off in all their originality.
Description: Description: Storytelling with Dolls
The chapter titled "Dollmaker's Stitches, General Tools and Instructions" really piqued my interest - these are essentials to the craft of any dollmaker.

Included under "General Tools" are 100% woven cotton; a 'Turn-It-All' tool designed by Specialty Distributors; Stuffing Fork; #7 Long Darner; 3 inch Doll Makers' Needle; Poly-fil; Button, Carpet and Craft Thread; Prym Dritz "Fray-Check"; .03 Permawriters; Fabric Mate pens; white fabric paint or Crayola Crayons; Sewing Machine - now isn't that great detail for the projects. The authors really let you know just what you'll need to make comparable dolls to theirs.

Yarn is run warp and woof in just the areas to make dolls and then threaded through using various techniques, which are explained, to make the most original collections of small doll dolls I have seen. Hey, this is something school age kids can learn!

All the patterns for dolls and characters in the story are included to photo copy from the book. Highly recommend for your home and school library!

Details: 80 page paperback; Krause Publications; ISBN: 0873495721

Click here to buy "Storytelling with Dolls" from


11. The Complete Book of Sewing  by Chris Jefferys


This is wonderful reference book to keep at your side by the sewing machine, or by your side on the couch while doing your hand sewing.  Chris Jefferys, The Complete Book of Sewing - A Practical Step-By-Step Guide to Every Technique is a manual of sewing techniques, including hand sewing that I recommend for making doll clothes.
Description: Description: The Complete Book of Sewing: A Practical Step-By-Step Guide to Every Technique by Chris Jefferys
The text has hundreds of clear photographs all the way through, from talking about sewing equipment and supplies, to different techniques in the process of sewing projects.

A must have for the beginning, and enough new and interesting ideas for the advanced sewer, alike.

I have found as I age in beauty and grace (sounds good) that I appreciate a set of useful techniques even more for my hand sewing, especially.

I have learned if I'm going to take the time to hand sew an item I'd rather do it nicely the first time, then have to take it apart and redo.

Highly recommended!

Details: 320 pages hardcover; DK Publishing Inc.; ISBN 0789496585

Click here to buy "The Complete Book of Sewing" from


12. The Teddy Bear Making Book  by Brian and Donna Gibbs


I love the variety of bears offered from the easiest to the more difficult jointed bodies. There is even a teddy that can be completed in an hour or so. Do you have lots of young ones on your gift list? Then, this is the teddy for you!
Description: Description: The Teddy Bear Making Book by Brian and Donna Gibbs
The last pages of the book are patterns for all the teddies that you can xerox or trace to form your own thin cardboard templates. I agree with the suggestion to use the carton of cereal boxes to make your template patterns. It is easy to hold down in place while outlining on material and flexible enough not to crease easily.

The suggested materials to make teddies are available in fabric stores or from the list of suppliers in the index. I also agree with the suggestion for hand sewers to use strong thread, such as button hole thread. I do the same in hand sewing doll bodies.

There is a very useful section at the front of the book called "Guide to Techniques" that shows with text and photos just how to cut out and sew, assemble your teddy, and make the finishing touches such as eyes and nose.

Bear templates included with full photo illustrations
1. Plush Bear
2. Tubby Bears
3. Lollipop Bears
4. Folk Bear
5. Clown Bear
6. Angel Bear
7. Grizzly Bear
8. Bean Bag Bear
9. Shaggy Bear
10. Charming Bear
11. Heirloom Bear

I have to admit from the point of uniqueness I like the Grizzly Bear the best. It is just adorable and one of the easier teddy bears to make.

This is a fantastic book for making teddy bears that will probably bring back memories of the teddies from your childhood!  I think once you begin making the teddy bears in The Teddy Bear Making Book, you will be forever hooked on making teddies for all the little girls and boys in your life.

Highest recommendation!

Details - 105 pages by David & Charles Publishers; 11.1 by 8.5 inches; ISBN: 0715314815

Click here to buy "The Teddy Bear Making Book" from



Description: Description: Books for teaching toddlers to teens by Susan Kramer

All doll reviews and content on this site are copyright Susan Kramer
 and may not be used in any manner without express written permission.


Ebook and Paperback Patterns:


Clothes Patterns for Preemies - Premature Babies

ebook of full size patterns


Boy Doll Clothes 18 Inches and Smaller

ebook of full size patterns




Elsa and Anna Dress Patterns

For 18 Inch Dolls



Shirley Temple 12 Inch Doll

Bodysuit Pattern

E-pattern by Susan Kramer


Child's Jumper Pattern

E-pattern by Susan Kramer


Raggedy Andy Doll Clothes Pattern

For 15 to 18 Inch Dolls

E-pattern by Susan Kramer


Charlotte Doll Body and Dress Full Size Patterns

Inspired by doll of Laura Ingalls Wilder

E-patterns by Susan Kramer


Book or Ebook by Susan Kramer

How to Sew Cloth Dolls and Costumes
How to Sew Cloth Dolls and Costumes by Susan Kramer

Ebook by Susan Kramer

Medium Doll Clothes with Full Size Patterns
Medium Doll Clothes with Full Size Patterns - ebook by Susan Kramer


Baby Christening Gown
by Susan Kramer

Royal Bridesmaid
18 Inch Doll Dress Pattern

E-pattern by Susan Kramer


Bunny Doll E-Pattern by Susan Kramer



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page updated March 10, 2009; July 26, 2014; May 30, 2020; February 4, 2024

Dolls sitemap with many patterns