05 August 2011

Martha Nelson Thomas - Doll Babies

I discovered the Doll Babies a few years ago, when I bought one for 50c at an Op Shop. I thought she was a CPK clone, as many people do, but after doing some research I found that she was actually designed BEFORE Xavier Roberts, not after!! Unfortunately, it turns out, Martha Nelson Thomas (MNT) neglected to copyright her designs, and as a result, lost out on a FORTUNE!!

Anyway, here is my original girl. She is crude by CPK standards - more boxy in shape - but you can see the design elements definitely coming through.  Mine wears a OOAK outfit with fluted edges done on the overlocker. She is hard to dress, since she is just a square with arms and legs! I have taken her apart and re-shaped her, as her original creator did a poor job of it. When I had her opened up, I could see the markings inside the head and tags, and documented them for future reference. She is an original purchased and sew-at-home body. Her hair was plaited into mini dreds, so when I undid them, she ended up with a wicked crimp!!

The heads were originally soft sculpture - as were the CPK's - but were released in a do-it-yourself kit at around the same time as the launch of the Cabbies. Bodies were sold "pre-sewn", heads sold separately. Just some simple seams and you had your own baby! Pattern books were also published, as well as manufactured clothing and shoes. I have since purchased a selection of heads, in various sizes and colours, however I have yet to get my hands on a clown. Its on my wish list!!

Some other Doll Babies I have made :

This guy is smaller than the original, kinda like a preemie. I used some stretch fabric that I dyed to get the dark brown colouring, and a pattern that was graciously provided by the lady I bought the heads from. He is a favourite for sure!

This is another full sized body I made - not from the original pattern (although I do have it in my bookcase). The body is more CPK than MNT, which gives him much more shape. Need to tweak the arms and legs a bit, but I think he was a success. Just needs some clothes, now....

A selection of my MNT Doll Baby stuff. You can see the size differences, with the Doll Baby, Little Doll Baby, Tiny Doll Baby and the Teeny-Tiny Doll Baby kits. I've got a lot of work ahead of me if I'm going to use up all the heads I have!!