Cover Image property of BT Batsford, Ltd.
This image property of BT Batsford, Ltd.

  • PART I: General principles of toymaking
    • 1. Development of soft toymaking in relation to other types of toys; 2. Tools and materials; 3. Understanding patterns; 4. Basic techniques; 5. Designing soft toys; 6. Processes which may provide a useful extension of soft toy techniques; 7. Features and characteristics; 8. Finishing a toy
  • PART II: Techniques related to specific toy types
    • 9. Jack-in-the-box; 10. Jack-in-the-box puppet; 11. Knitted toys; 12. Flat toys made from the stitch-around method; 13. Glove puppetry
  • PART III: Adapting toys with a historical connection to soft toymaking
    • 14. The Marotte; 15. Two-faced dolls; 16. double-ended dolls; 17. Pantin or jumping jack
  • PART IV: Professional toymaking
    • 18. Getting your toy designs published; 19. Making toys commercially; 20. Showing and exhibiting toys
  • Bibliography
  • List of craft suppliers
  • Index

Title: The Techniques of Soft Toy Making
Author: Enid Anderson
Publication Date: Hardcover:1982
Publisher: BT Batsford, Ltd., London
Page Count: 144
Book Dimensions(ht. x w.): 10" x 7 3/4"
ISBN: 0713423919

PATTERN RATING: Star Rating. This book is about teaching toy design, and not giving patterns, so the rating is very misleading. She gives a lot of examples of gusset shapes and different types of soft toys that I found interesting. The patterns shown are diagrams and parts of illustrations only, of which there are many.

INSTRUCTION RATING:Star Rating. Ms. Anderson is generous with her illustrations and goes over aspects of toy making in good detail. There were a lot of places where I wished for yet another illustration, though. The gusset section especially could have been a lot longer than the space given, as it is such a critical aspect of three-dimensional toy making. This book could have been 200 pages and not seemed overdone. She tries to pack a lot of information into this book, and did a decent job of it.

BONUS MECHANICS RATING:Star Rating. Ms. Anderson gives a wealth of information on toy design, and was worth the price of admission.

SUMMARY- In front is a small history section of stuffed toys and dolls - including a very short explanation of what a Golliwog is, when it was created, and mention of social changes making it "not so in fashion now." She seems to regret this, which I find a little off-putting. I've since discovered that there are actually doll clubs out there today (2008) who actively promote the Golliwog, or "Gollies", so they appear to still have a fan following - but I've also found examples of them in books with "darkie" and "N-word" dolls. I understand the value of history, but it's not always a good thing to celebrate all aspects of it...