Finding an Old Friend: McCall Sunsuit #1030

What are the chances of seeing a child’s sunsuit pattern from the 1940s and finding a photo of myself wearing that exact outfit? It happened.

McCall Sunsuit pattern 1030, catalog, December 1946. Girl wearing sunsuit, circa 1949.

McCall Sunsuit pattern #1030, pattern catalog, December 1946. Witness2fashion wearing sunsuit, circa 1949.

I remembered that picture of myself wearing a sunsuit because the pose — so coy! — is so cringe-worthy. But it was quite a surprise to find that it not only resembles the sunsuit pattern, it is identical except for the choice of fabric.

McCall Sunsuit pattern 1030, McCall store catalogs, late 1940s.

McCall Sunsuit pattern 1030, McCall store catalogs, late 1940s.

I have seen this pattern, #1030, in three McCall Needlework Catalogues (December 1946, May 1950, and November 1950.)  Like most clothing for children, styles remained constant over several years. It qualified for the Needlework catalogues because of its applique trim.McCall pattern 1030 text960

At first I thought I was wearing a different sunbonnet than the one shown, but another photo, although overexposed, shows the same squarish shape:

A squarish bonnet is included in pattern 1030.

A squarish bonnet is included in pattern 1030.

You can see the bonnet's dark band on this photo.

You can see the bonnet’s dark band on this photo.

I have no memory of this playsuit. I don’t think many of my clothes were home-made, although my mother was a good seamstress. I would guess that it was a gift from my grandmother or my aunt; both of them had friends who sewed very professionally. Posing in a new outfit was a family tradition. My mother — whose friends called her ‘glamourpuss,’ loved the camera. I usually hated being photographed (note the resentful scowl in one photo) and still do.

"Glamourpuss" posing in a new dress, 1932. There sems to be a Marlene Dietrich influence....

“Glamourpuss” posing in a new dress, 1932. There sems to be a Marlene Dietrich influence….

4 Comments

Filed under 1930s-1940s, 1940s-1950s, Children's Vintage styles, Hats, Sportswear, Vintage Garments: The Real Thing, Vintage patterns, vintage photographs

4 responses to “Finding an Old Friend: McCall Sunsuit #1030

  1. I love seeing documentation like this – and it’s even better when it is personal. I’m glad your mother insisted on the photos!

  2. Aww, I think it’s a sweet photo of little-girl-you! And how fun to see a real version of the pattern sketch all made up!

  3. You have the most wonderful family photo collection–lucky you! And what a beautiful mother. Any photos of her at around age fifty or older that you would like to share?

    • My mother never became an “older woman.” In a way, I am going through family photos in an attempt to get to know her as a person rather than a mother.
      I am very fortunate to know so many breast cancer survivors now, because there were fewer successful treatment options in the late 1940s and early 50s. She died at age 49.

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