In building a doll collection it is well to pay attention to originality of the doll's body and clothing when possible. More of the doll's story is found in the original presentation than in any substitute. Period.
Finding and purchasing desirable dolls close to their original state is more and more difficult. These prizes bring a deserved premium. In choosing a doll to add to your collection of course one consideration is price. Another is rarity of the doll over all. Do you want a fine doll in a well thought out new presentation or had you rather have a less exciting doll in its near all original condition? For a rare one, will you ever find it again at all? Collecting dolls on a small budget by buying heads and making the bodies and clothing is one way to have a nice group of dolls with a more modest outlay. I have always done some of this and continue to do so.
In the 1950's when I first began to acquire old dolls, I bought the best heads I could and made bodies for them and read Mrs. Fawcett's guide on dressing them. When a complete doll came my way affordably I was happy to have it, but doll repair and sewing for the dolls has been part of my life with them from the first. I never turn down a fine doll head for lack of the body and clothing, so I have had a lot of practice making cloth bodies for China and papier mache heads.
Shown is a lovely doll head made by Dixie Redmond on a body I designed and sized for this head. The pattern offered is suitable for many types of shoulder head dolls. It may be sized up or down on a copier to fit a particular head. As given, the body makes about a 22 inch doll.
To purchase the body pattern as a downloadable pdf for $7 using a paypal account click on button.
There are seven pages in this downloadable pdf document. When printing it from your computer you might like to print pages 1,6 and 7 on photo paper and the other pages on plain. Make several copies of pages 3 and 4 with the pattern shapes and have them enlarged or made smaller as you need for different dolls.
To see a discussion about doll body proportions see
http://www.maidatoday.com/2012/02/classic-body-proportions-for-antique.html on Maida Which I wrote a while back. e