Friday, January 11, 2013
The 1940 McCall Project: But Wait, There's More...
Oh, my dear. The plot thickens. There is much more to The 1940 McCall Challenge! The McCall pattern company was very prolific back in the day. Can you imagine a modern pattern company putting out 400+ sewing patterns a year, 12 magazines, 27 Style News booklets and at least 7 Fashion Books? That's a lot of advertising and lucky for us, a lot of source material. YAY!
The McCall's Magazines are fantastic. I have all the months except October. I save them up to buy when I am in the States because they are large and while you can find the magazines for really cheap, shipping them to the UK costs an arm and a leg. So, if anyone finds an October McCall's magazine for sale in the UK, do let me know! Otherwise, I'll probably be waiting to pick that one up.
The magazines include short stories, multi-part novels, movie reviews, recipes and other housekeeping tips, great ads and....pattern illustrations in colour! I'll be featuring lots of material from these magazines in The 1940 McCall Project quest.
But wait, there's more....
I present the McCall Fashion Books:
These are amazing!! About 60 pages each of pattern illustrations in colour. They are the same illustrations you can find in the McCall's magazines but all bound up in one booklet (with a few extras that don't appear in the magazines). I'm missing the Winter 1940-1941 Fashion Book and I think there are a few more Advance Paris Style Fashion Books (Summer and December are two that I know of for sure).
But wait, there's still more...Department stores and fabric companies used to produce little black and white leaflets that also feature pattern illustrations. I've come across abridged versions (i.e. 3 or 4 pages each) and full ones, which are around 25 pages each. I think there might be an abridged and a full version for each month (see for example my two October ones below, both with the cross-hatch background...the first one with the cape is the full version and the second one with the suit is the abridged version). The abridged versions don't give any descriptions of the patterns, while the full versions write short, delightful pattern descriptions.
The McCall Pattern Company wasn't all just about sewing. They produced a line of needlework patterns as well. I was lucky to find (in the UK no less), the August edition of the Complete Needlework Catalogue. These Needlework Catalogues also feature a lot of patterns from previous years.
There are also McCall Needlework magazines. I think there are only four of these produced for each year, but I'm not entirely certain. I've got the Winter 1940-1941 magazine and it gives an overview of the needlework patterns but also includes knitting and crochet patterns in the magazine! Phew! I'm going to be a busy girl. I just LOVE it!
I'm going to feature as much of the source material on my blog as you can handle :-) It's a fascinating glimpse into sewing history and vintage styles!
Labels: The 1940 McCall Project