Tag Archives: McCall

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….

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

1950 Aprons for Barbecues and a Happy Marriage

McCall's Apron Patterns for Men and Women, store catalog,

McCall’s Apron Patterns for Men and Women, store catalog, 1950.

McCall’s featured these apron sets for men and women in at least two 1950 catalogs. I’m not sure how many men barbecued while wearing suits, but they certainly barbecued while smoking cigarettes. (See below.) The pattern on the left, #1481, is described as “Mr. & Mrs. Happy Marriage Aprons.”

Mr. & Mrs. Happy Marriage Aprons

McCall's apron pattern 1481, catalog, May 1950.

McCall’s apron pattern #1481, catalog, May 1950.

happy marriage text953

The happy marriage aprons show the husband doing the grocery shopping, washing the dishes, and mopping the floor. The wife does the cooking, the ironing, and the dusting. Not a bad division of labor, for 1950! (Uh-oh. These aprons “will amuse friends, each other.” I bet a lot of them were wedding shower presents, intended to get a laugh.)

Weiner Dog Barbecue Apron Set

McCall's Men's and Women's apron set pattern #1515, from store catalog, May 1950.

McCall’s Men’s and Women’s Barbecue Apron Set pattern #1515, from store catalog, May 1950.

weiner dog text p 22“Mrs. looks so barbe-cute in hers, with appliqued dachshunds, a toasting hot dog. And the pig chef appliqued on man’s apron will barbe-cure Mr. of hot coal shyness.” Because of strong anti-German sentiment during World War I (and WW II), dachshunds were sometimes called “liberty” dogs, “weiner” dogs, or “sausage” dogs. [cf. “freedom fries” nine decades later.]  In the fifties, my family called dachshunds “weenie dogs.” This 1950 catalog indulged in a lot of puns when it came to aprons and tea-towel embroidery transfers.

An Oh “So-Mannish Apron”

McCall's Apron Set Pattern # 1319 for Men and Women, store catalog, May 1950.

McCall’s Apron Set Pattern # 1319 for Men and Women, store catalog, May 1950.

chef and waitress aprons text1950“Mr. Never-go-near-the-kitchen will hustle to help if he’s wearing his own so-mannish apron.”

French Chef Embroidery Pattern

The McCall’s Needlework Catalog also offered a set of 8″ embroidery transfers suitable for dish towels or pot holders. [Big dish towels made from bleached flour sacks were often embroidered and sold at fund-raising bazaars. I’m still using some that I inherited 30 years ago; thousands of trips through the wash have made them lint-free and very absorbent — not at all like the small, not-very-absorbent ‘dish towels’ made from looped towel fabric that are common today.]

French chef embroidery transfer pattern #1055, offered in McCall's  catalog; May, 1950.

French chef embroidery transfer pattern #1055, offered in McCall’s catalog; May, 1950.

A set of big dish towels embroidered with these charming, cartoonish French chefs would still make a great gift! However, the copyright is probably still held by McCall’s, now part of Butterick, so I do not recommend making them for sale! Bon appetit!1055 french chefs embroidery text

 

 

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Filed under 1940s-1950s, 1950s-1960s, Accessory Patterns, Uniforms and Work Clothes, Vintage Accessories