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Tuesday, 12 February 2013

Well here's a blast from the past

Here's Something I'd long since forgotten about, but rediscovered  while browsing the internet for sewing patterns... My memory was jogged when I found this "Vintage YO-YO TOYS Sewing Pattern - Doll Clown Dog Owl Caterpillar Toys" - it's a pattern by Simplicity # 8225 © 1977.

The pattern contains templates and instructions to make an owl, dog, clown, caterpillar and a doll from different sized yoyos, see photo below...

I wonder why it stopped being fashion to make these dolls for children in your family or friend's children, they were such a common site in my early years and it seemed you couldn't visit an old lady or couple with children, without seeing one of these!

They turned up in any Village, School, Church fete, bizarre or jumble sale and there were many patterns for them published in magazines, books and being sold in Fabric & Haberdashery Shops at the time.

 Then the Mid-Eighties arrived and they just began to fade away... occasionally you'd encounter one in a friend's house, or during an attic "tidy" but mostly they all got donated to charity I guess, as more often than not that's where you'll find one these days.

Image from cover of Simplicity pattern 8225 (found on Ebay)

While they look like a lot goes into them, that's only true in terms of time and fabric scraps and the end result is just so kitsch and to me perfect, the design is simple, so is it's execution  which I guess is another reason why I love these dolls so much...

It also means that you can easily make yourself one if you have a spare few hours and perhaps even a doll face to top it off with, with minimal effort and to be honest, you don't even need to use a pattern, the only thing that may be awkward is how to string all the "yoyos" together to finish it off, but lucky you, I've found two cute little diagrams which explain it how to do it clearly, so if you do make yourself one one day, don't forget to drop me a line with a link so I can look at the photo's and get jealous!




 The images above and below were taken from a website that shows you how to make a plastic recycled "Scrunch Doll" the link to this website can be found below, just scroll down for the link...




I remember these dolls as being really bright and really cuddly and always made me smile whenever I saw one!

Most of the ones I remember had Clown faces, but I've seen in  patterns from the time, that some people got quite creative and they always seemed to give them bells or pom poms for hands and feet too, I have no idea why though!

My cousin Ernie, used to make patchwork quilts, she cut hundreds of tiny hexagons out of old clothes and sheets, placed two together back to back, then sewed them around the edges, turned them back the right side up, and then put them in a bag until she'd saved enough to sew them all together into a blanket... She had bin bags full of them!

 I remember, when I was visiting my Great Aunt ,I always asked to see Ernie's patches, and one day, after I remarked they were like "those Dolls" she showed me how to make one...using her patches to demonstrate (unfortunately they weren't sewn together, so I never got to go home with a new doll, but at least I'd gained the knowledge to make one if I ever had enough time and scraps!) 

I've come to realise, that not only are they lovely, cheerful and cuddly toys, they are also very cheap to make and serve as a really cool way to display, whilst recycling Vintage fabrics!

Or you can even make one out of Plastic Bags, by following the directions I've found on this site:

Recycled plastic bag "Scrunch Doll"

It also serves as a pattern to make fabric ones too, a slight bit of tweaking and you'll have your doll!

Enjoy,


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