Martha Nelson Thomas Doll Babies

31 Mar



These dolls were purchased in “kits”. The body and head were purchased separately.


Pictures above is the body kit. Included was a pre-sewn doll body,  instructions for hand finishing, how to stuff the doll, and how to affix the head to the body. Because these dolls’ “soft-sculpture” traits, ( belly buttons, bottoms, elbow, knees, fingers, toes ), were constructed by each individual who purchased the kit, quality of craftsmanship will vary vastly according to the skills of each doll maker.


The doll maker would need to purchase the DOLL BABY head, flesh colored polyester thread, ball point sewing needle, and fiberfill stuffing. The doll baby head was made out of durable vinyl. The doll heads were 4.5″ tall.

There were 5 heads available:

  • 3108 pigtail baby
  • 3107 bald baby
  • 3109 ponytail baby
  • 3110 curly hair baby
  • 3111 short hair baby

The hairstyles were available in the following colors:

  • 01 blonde
  • 02 dark blonde
  • 03 brown
  • 04 rusty red
  • 05 light brown

The DOLL BABY head came with the birth announcement, certificate of authenticity, a name tag, care instructions, and the doll baby story.


Finally, these dolls were made to fit infant clothing size 3 months – which is really a really easy way to obtain cute, properly fitting clothing for your doll!!

The doll baby story

Kentucky native Martha Nelson Thomas is the creator of the original doll baby. She began making dolls as a child and says, “that’s the way I played. I’d make the dolls and my sisters would play with them”. Her mother, a seamstress, taught her to sew, and her three sisters and four brothers provided her with a deep understanding of the importance of fantasy in the minds of children.
Pursuing a career in art, Martha enrolled in the Louisville School of Art. During her senior year there, Martha created her first life-sized painted doll. From that first soft-sculpture doll, Martha began developing what is now known as her DOLL BABY.
Various features of her DOLL BABY have been developed over the years. Martha comments, “ when I hit upon a nose that I liked, I stayed with it; and when the toes developed, I kept them”
Martha’s philosophy about dolls is simple…..they are meant to be loved, cuddled, slept with, and most of all, played with. She feels that too often we seem to forget that it is the children who gives life to the doll and not the reverse.
DOLL BABIES create priceless childhood memories with their unique charm. Created with love, a DOLL BABY makes a very special addition to your family. Martha Nelson Thomas’ DOLL BABY is the original…..there is no other.
Care instructions:
Since all DOLL BABIES are meant to be played with, cuddled, and loved, chances are they will get a bit dirty every now and then. Don’t worry….this is a natural thing! Our doll head is made of high quality, durable vinyl and if you made your body following our instructions, it will be made of 100% polyester interlock knit fabric. Both of these materials are washable! To begin washing your baby, you must first undress it, ( oh well, babies love to change clothes, they usually wear a size 3 months, so they are usually pretty easy to fit ). Put a shower cap over your babies hair to keep it from getting wet and then give your DOLL BABY a sponge bath using lukewarm mildly soapy water, (Katrina’s toy blog recommends Woolite). Air dry the doll – no hair dryers or dryers. Just lay the DOLL BABY down for a nap while it’s drying. Once your baby is dry, sprinkle a little baby powder on it’s tush, that’s what makes BABY smell right!
By the way, DOLL BABIES are allergic to dog bites and sauerkraut!

Other DOLL BABY products

Even though these dolls were designed to fit any infant clothing sized 3 months, quick and easy clothing kits were also sold to make designer outfits.

The kits included:

  • All fabrics and trims needed, even buttons
  • Fabric pieces were pre-cut
  • instructions


Other DOLL BABY products:


Gallery of DOLL BABIES:



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6 Responses to “Martha Nelson Thomas Doll Babies”

  1. Roberta March 8, 2019 at 4:14 am #

    Hello, my name is Roberta, I am looking for a patterns like the ones that shows though your website , I would love to buy a pattern or patterns to make these dolls for my grandchildren and children of need, so as my request is please let me buy one of your doll patterns, I do enjoy love to sew and I do have patterns of little clothes that fit them perfect, I found a few of those Cabbage patch dolls clothes patterns but can’t find the patterns for the bodies they are most hard to find these days, please eather text me or call I would love to get or how I can get a pattern of those dolls. Sincerely Roberta Boroff, phone number is 1(916) 826-0400


  2. Jenifer Renee Damerville August 6, 2019 at 3:19 am #

    I have one of these 1984 do u know who buys these?


    • Katrina August 9, 2019 at 1:41 am #

      Collectors buy these dolls. Ebay is still the best place to sell collectibles.
      Thanks for visiting my blog!


  3. Nana sharon November 21, 2019 at 1:15 am #

    I have a little doll baby head. Looks to be middle size doll. Any idea I’d body dimensions?


    • Katrina December 1, 2019 at 8:52 pm #

      I would check my article on the doll kits. You may find rough dimensions there.


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