Monday, January 4, 2016

Looks From McCall January 1950

Well, the New Year is here and it's 2016!  I hope you all have a wonderful New Year. :)

But let's pretend that it's not 2016... let's go all the way back to January of 1950!  The 1940s are over, and a whole new decade is beginning!  What will fashion hold?  A new prosperity is beginning, and lots of things are changing.  This is a real treat, as this booklet is much longer than many of them. I hope you will enjoy this look into the past.  Let's open it and see!

McCall 7919

On the cover is this sweet off-the-shoulder dress with a tiered-skirt.  Lovely for dancing?  This catalog is from my personal collection.  Whiteside's was Morgantown's local downtown fashion department store for many decades, and had a truly enviable pattern & fabric department.

Here's some similar dresses from the Pattern Patter Team:

1.)  Simplicity 4629 @ Grandma Made With Love
2.)  Simplicity 7165 @ Happy I Found It
3.)  Butterick 8367 @ Sydcam 123
4.)  Advance 6758 @ Jeanie's Shop

McCall 7917, 7912
These sweet dresses for a junior hint at the incoming full skirt that would be so popular in the 1950s.  Note the very fitted waist on 7917, and the sweet gathered shoulders on 7912.  Note also the shorter hemlines.  I LOVE those big pockets!!

Here are some similar patterns from team members:

1.)  Simplicity 1581 @ Fancywork
2.)  Hollywood 1880 @ Frisky Scissors
3.)  McCall 7165 @ She'll Make You Flip

McCall 7921
Need a refresher on how to do a proper buttonhole? :)  How about those angular pockets on 7921? Claaaassy!  I love how they reflect the shape of the collar.  Very tasteful and clever design if you ask me.  Worthy of Vogue but here it is from McCall!

Some equally tasteful looks:

1.)  Simplicity 2961 @ Tabby's Vintage Shop
2.)  McCall 7413 @ Erika With A K
3.)  Advance 5143 @ Knightcloth

McCall 7919
Here's the billowing, tiered-skirt dress seen on the cover.  You can make it several ways as you can see... all of them as pretty as can be!  This style for dancing will likely never go out of style.. you can still dance the night away in a very similar dress!

McCall 7918
Look at this beautiful dancing dress with a scalloped collar!  Oh, it's very pretty!  Again, scallop-shapes at the hip/waistline mimic the scallops at the neck.  Very fine design.  A quiet touch like that means so much to making a design something special.  As pretty as a flower.

More late 40s & early 50s Scallops:

1.)  Vogue 6392 @ Purple Plaid Penguin
2.)  Simplicity 2796 @ Fancywork
3.)  Advance 5043 @ Rose Corners
4.)  Simplicity 7228 @ Violet Crown Emporium
5.)  Simplicity 2509 @ Clutterina

McCall 7910
More youthful looks with bare shoulders as a sundress, or with a jacket for a more formal occasion. Taking a holiday for the winter?  You could still wear these looks on your cruise and look like a Hollywood star!  Wear some sunglasses and everyone will wonder just who you are. ;)

More stylish sundresses, in stock right now!

1.)  Vogue 3206 @ Sandritocat
2.)  Simplicity 2895 @ Floradora Presents
3.)  Simplicity 8080 @ So Vintage On Etsy
4.)  Simplicity 2425 @ Purple Plaid Penguin

McCall 7920
Another lovely sundress with bolero featured on the next page.. again, you could wear this today and look every bit as chic as the girls in 1950.

More bolero'd sundresses:

1.)  Vogue 7564 @ She'll Make You Flip
2.)  Simplicity 3124 @ Frisky Scissors
3.)  Simplicity 1621 @ Sydcam 123

McCall 7925, 7922

Super-chic dresses with amazing attention to detail on this page!  Total elegance when worn with gloves and a matching hat & handbag. :)  The unusual neckline and asymmetrical shape of 7922 looks couture dramatic, meanwhile the very deep neckline of 7925 is sure to turn heads.

More drama from our team:

1.)  Vogue S-4694 @ Fragolina
2.)  McCall 7881 @ Erika With A K
3.)  Simplicity 2876 @ So Vintage On Etsy
4.)  Vogue 959 @ DRC Rose Patterns

McCall 7916, 7914, 7913
More unbelievable drama with buttons, peplums, and more big pockets!

More pretty peplums:

1.)  Butterick 6450 @ Redcurlzs
2.)  Vogue S-4855 @ Bluetree Sewing Studio
3.)  McCall's 3505 @ Selvedge Shop
4.)  Butterick 5633 @ Roma's Maison
5.)  Simplicity 2321 @ Vintage Needle Finds

McCall 7924, 7911
More intriguing design here!  7911 features buttons that stop at the waist in the front, but continue below the waist in the back!  What a clever feature.  Meanwhile, the curved pockets of 7924 mimic the curve of the yoke.

Here's some more shaped yokes:

1.)  Butterick 4200 @ Pretty Pattern Shop
2.)  Butterick 3599 @ Selvedge Shop
3.)  McCall 7000 @ She'll Make You Flip

McCall 7915, 7923

Here's another shaped yoke in 7915, and more GIANT pockets in 7923.

More buttons and pockets:

1.)  Simplicity 8060 @ So Vintage on Etsy
2.)  Sew-Rite 8168 @ Grey Dog Vintage
3.)  Simplicity 4515 @ Grandma Made With Love

McCall 7937, 7935, 7339, 7928

How about something for the younger set?  Again we have some interesting yoke & bodice designs. Not a lot of frou-frou here, these are practical and comfortable designs.

Pretty girls looks from our team:

1.)  Simplicity 3292 @ Sandritocat
2.)  Hollywood 1673 @ Pengy Patterns
3.)  Simplicity 2069 @ Sydcam 123

McCall 7931, 7927, 7670, 7932, 7926
Here we have some peasanty looks that are comfortable and girlish, but not overly frilly.   Even the designs for the smallest girls have special design touches.

More similar looks:

1.)  McCall 8363 @ Cloe's Closet
2.)  Simplicity 1862 @ Vintage Needle Finds
3.)  New York 1867 @ Fancywork

McCall 7933, 7929, 7936, 7934, 7930

Can't forget pretty blouses, slim skirts, and flowing lingerie for bedtime... :)  Rebecca's Vintage Salon has the lovely 7930 wiggle/pencil skirt in stock.  You could have a vintage look very quickly! Shorten it for a more modern look if you would like.

More similar patterns from the team:

1.)  Simplicity 4556 @ Fancywork
2.)  McCall 6819 @ Keepsakes Studio
3.)  Butterick 4652 @ So Vintage on Etsy
4.)  New York 568 @ Vintage Needle Finds & Fancywork

McCall 1519, 1514, 1517, 1515
The last page is filled with quite a variety of items!  Cowboy jodhpur suit for the kiddos, shirred and embroidered dress for tots, ties for the man of the house, and matching novelty BBQ aprons for your summer grilling!  Maybe an odd choice for January, but you can never start too early, am I right?  I like how the lady's apron has a cute wiener dog motif, while the man's features a pig chef. 

Some fun team patterns:

1.)  Butterick 4958 @ Frisky Scissors
2.)  Simplicity 3960 @ Grandma Made With Love
3.)  Simplicity 4816 @ Sew Betty and Dot
4.)  McCall 957 @ Sew Betty and Dot

The back features an advertisement for Botany brand fabrics.  There are still "Botany" fabrics produced for airline and upholstery use, but I don't think this has anything to do with Botany Mills of New Jersey.  (Now a historic district, by the way.)

Here's an advertisement on a matchbook for Botany ties.  Botany not only made textiles but also a few items of clothing, ties probably being the most prolific. :)

I hope you enjoyed this look at January, 1950!

Happy New Year, Happy Sewing!  Happy History!

Let us know what you like best. :)


  1. Lordy my mother made clothes like these. I just loved them then as well as I do now. They are so pretty. She made me school clothes like these too.Thanks for sharing and the memories of my mom who is now gone.

  2. In the 1950s this is the way women dressed to go shopping in town and always looked appropriate for Sunday church. I didn't realize how much I missed women looking this beautiful,

  3. What wonderful patterns. I love them all but am especially fond of the draped skirt in pattern 7922 - so very elegant. Thanks for sharing your catalog with us.