Back to the Seventies

 I have been sorting through several boxes of old magazines which a friend is getting rid of. Most will go to the Op Shop but Naomi and I thought it would be fun to look through them first. I want to share an old pattern book that came out of one of them.   This came out of an Australian Women’s Weekly from 1972. In fact I remember that we had this particular magazine and mum gave me this booklet as I was starting to make things myself. I may even still have a copy of this somewhere in my craft files.

1970s doll patterns

I remember making a golliwog from this pattern. It seemed a pretty easy one for a teenager to try.

Knitted Golly

However I would never have had the patience to make this disk doll, even today. I seem to remember that mum might have made one. She had a lot more patience for this type of thing but we don’t have one so if she did make one she probably gave it away. She would occasionally make things for people who asked her and ask maybe $5 for her trouble. It was one of her hobbies.

A disk doll made from fabric scraps.

There were also patterns for knitted dolls clothes.


Here is one that I actually did make myself. You can see it below on Baby Alive. I didn’t make her the bonnet as she has big hair or the little bootees because I ran out of wool, always a chance when you are using remnant balls. However, it is a nice pattern and not difficult so I’ll probably use it again.

Baby Alive will be staying even though she has white hair.


  1. Spooky,..just today I got a book circa 1983..falling apart from used bookstore,pg 99 Rosette dolls, for dutch/cowboy and scarecrow variety.They are so cute I’m very tempted to attempt them, Love your knitted clothing.Even w/ crochet I only manage very odd looking things I pass of as meant to look scary.

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  2. I plan to make furniture for our dolls once I have my new studio set up as my current one is too small and I have my art supplies everywhere but I am full on with ideas. Never could get into knitting and sewing. The best I ever came up with were a few squares for rugs. Well we can’t all be good at the same things can we.

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  3. I can’t follow patterns or follow/recall the terms for stitches, if it’s something someone shows me I’m o.k.. I hate machine sewing but hand stitching is betty for hand- made’s in need of repair anyway If my Granny hadn’t taught me even that would be lost, my daughter doesn’t have any interest. But I do see some who like to recycle or make new things from old..

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      • I can knit, sew and draw, but like you I can’t do fancy lacy patterns. I’ve never managed to learn to crochet, my Nanna did try to teach me once but I couldn’t grasp it. Mum taught me to knit. My Dad helped me with the drawing. I’m not very good at following patterns. I do have some simple ones but a lot of the time I just make things up as I go along. Yesterday I’ve just made six Christmas outfits from socks. I found a pack of three Christmas baby socks in the charity shop aged 0-3 months. They are designed as Father Christmas, Elves and Reindeer. I’ve made them into dresses and they are a good fit on the fashion dolls. I’ll be using them in a Christmas fancy dress shoot. I just had a light bulb moment when I saw them – they would make good Christmas outfits!

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      • Creative people have these lightbulb moments. I would say Naomi is more creative than I am but I think I have a good eye for colour and composition which is why photography is my thing I guess.


  4. I’m hoping to find some cute seasonal socks too,up till now I’d use the best unmated ones to use. Lately using the thick hair retainers,to cut into tubes for sheath dresses. Still have so many random unidentified naked Barbies, I put them in whatever I can find.


  5. I really enjoy collecting old knitting and crochet patterns, I started collecting 1930’s to 1950’s doilies and edging patterns especially ones during WWII. They talk about rationing and how to use your stash/bits of left over crocheting thread/yarn to liven up clothing, mainly things around the home. I really got excited over doll patterns that were included in some booklets. I marvel at the tiny tiny work with thread, and how things were spruced up with just a little bit of yarn/thread. I have found some old Barbie and clone doll patterns mainly from Coats and Clark Company, these things are so fun to look at for the fashion styles, etc. I learned to knit age 11 from an elderly neighbor and managed to save money to buy a McCalls knitting magazine that had tips for beginners which had a few doll patterns, including baby dolls and Barbie. Whenever I find these pattern magazines or old booklets from yarn companies I buy them. I found knitting takes me too long for doll clothes ( I need written patterns, not diagrams to follow) and crochet is quicker. I taught myself from a booklet to crochet at about age 15. Mostly I do make doll clothes from simple circles. From the 1980’s thru 1990’s there were Lots of crochet/knit doll patterns in most craft magazines. Crochet World always had a lot of doll ( not just Barbie! )patterns for knit/crochet. I saved so many of them! You have really great knitting skills to make these garments! I can’t seem to have patience to do overly detailed needlework. Just simple stuff for me! I enjoyed this post very very much!

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    • I am glad you liked it. I never learned to crochet although I tried a few times to I get caught up on the increases and decreases. I’ve seen some fabulous doll patterns and they tend not to look as bulky on fashion dolls as knitted ones. Old magazines are so interesting to look through too especially the war time ones that show people how to recycle and reuse. Maybe we need more ofthat again today.


  6. I also kept that article and remember my mum making the disc dolls. I am looking for an old pattern of a lion toy, the body was patchwork and when my mum made it she filled it with a piece of foam like a pillow. Probably around 1968-1973. I accidentally threw out mine because it was torn, not realising my sister wanted it. Please contact me if you have this. Regards,Chris.

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