Enid Gilchrist pattern book and paper patterns

Made by Southdown Press Pty Ltd in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, c.1970.

Since 1851, when Isaac Singer built the first commercially successful sewing machine for home use, there has been a need for sewing patterns. Enid Gilchrist produced many pattern books for dolls, infants, children and adults. Her pattern books could be widely purchased through newsagents and New Idea.

Making clothing from scratch has been declining since the popularity of affordable ready-made clothes and an increase in women entering the workforce. In addition, today there are paper patterns ...


Object No.


Physical Description

Pattern book, with paper patterns, 'Enid Gilchrist's Toddlers Clothes', paper / metal, published by Southdown Press Pty Ltd, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, c.1970, used by June Vance, Australia, 1970-1979

An Enid Gilchrist pattern book of toddlers clothing consisting of 52 pages with a coloured front cover. The front cover shows a stylised photograph of a boy and girl toddler with a soft toy. Title on front page is 'Enid Gilchrist's Toddlers Clothes'. Also written on the front cover is 'From 18 months to 4 years' and '50 cents'. The pattern book contains black and white illustrations, photographs, patterns and text for making a variety of toddlers' garments as well as advertising. Folded up inside the pattern book are five hand-made patterns made in brown paper with blue pen and pencil writing outlining the pattern instructions.


Text on cover reads 'ENID GILCHRIST'S / TODDLERS / CLOTHES / 50 / CENTS / From 18 months / to 4 years'. Manufactures details on front page of book.



282 mm


203 mm


5 mm



Published by Southdown Press, 32 Walsh Street, Melbourne. Printed by W.J. Morgans, Errol Street, Prahran.


Southdown Press Pty Ltd c.1970



This pattern book was used by June Vance between 1970 and 1979 to sew for her children, nieces, nephews and grand children. She used this Enid Gilchrist pattern book and others to draft her own patterns. She was considered a "wonderful seamstress" by her family and was skilled at using fabric leftovers or disused adults' clothing to make children's clothing.


Credit Line

Gift of Bronwyn Bernett, 2007

Acquisition Date

22 June 2007

Cite this Object


Enid Gilchrist pattern book and paper patterns 2018, Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, accessed 16 October 2018, <https://ma.as/365610>


{{cite web |url=https://ma.as/365610 |title=Enid Gilchrist pattern book and paper patterns |author=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences |access-date=16 October 2018 |publisher=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, Australia}}


This object record is currently incomplete. Other information may exist in a non-digital form. The Museum continues to update and add new research to collection records.

Know more about this object?


Have a question about this object?