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2012/5/3 Collection of sewing patterns (41), doll's clothes, McCall Printed Pattern No. 418, for 'Movie Dolls', for a 20-inch doll, made by The McCall Co, United States of America, 1936, used by Daphne Kingston (nee Watt) Mackay, Queensland, Australia, 1936-1940. Click to enlarge.

Shirley Temple doll sewing pattern

Made
This packet of McCall's doll's clothes home sewing patterns (No. 418) was made in 1936 by the well-known American sewing pattern manufacturer, The McCall Manufacturing Co. The patterns are for clothes to be made for 13 to 25-inch "Movie Dolls" and the illustrations on the packet resemble the famous child movie star of the 1930s, Shirley Temple.

Shirley Temple began her film career at the age of four in 1932 and rocketed to fame in a few brief years. Her "feel good" films produced in the depth of the Great Depression attempted to bring hope and optimism to the cinema viewing public to help them forget their worries for a short time. Shirley continued to make films until the age of 12, then only a few more in her teens until retiring from the industry in 1950 at the age of 22. Despite this relatively short film career her name is still commonly known 70 years later (in 2011) and her films continued to be shown on Australian television well into the 1970s.

Many items of merchandising were produced during the 1930s about the popular and timeless film star. In 1937 "The Australian Women's Weekly" noted that Shirley Temple earnt 50,000 Australian pounds from her four films over a year and a further 100,000 pounds from associating her name with commercial products. Probably the most popular of all were the Shirley Temple dolls which were prohibitively expensive for most families. At least the clothes for a similar sized doll could be made by a mother or grandmother at home with the help of this McCall's sewing pattern. During the Great Depression and well into the 1970s sewing the family's clothes was undertaken with the help of McCall's patterns where the latest fashions could be made at a fraction of the ready-made ones.

This McCall pattern was used by Mary Griffin to sew doll's clothes for her daughter, Daphne, in Mackay, Queensland, in the 1930s.

Margaret Simpson
Curator, Transport & Toys
October 2011

"Shirley Temple is Big Business" in "The Australian Women's Weekly", 18 December 1937, p.36.

McCall's from Wikipedia
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/McCall%27s

Information provided by Daphne Kingston, 2011.

Summary

Object No.

2012/5/3

Object Statement

Collection of sewing patterns (41), doll's clothes, McCall Printed Pattern No. 418, for 'Movie Dolls', for a 20-inch doll, made by The McCall Co, United States of America, 1936, used by Daphne Kingston (nee Watt) Mackay, Queensland, Australia, 1936-1940

Physical Description

Sewing pattern, doll's clothes, McCall Printed Pattern No. 418, for 'Movie Dolls', for a 20-inch doll, made by The McCall Co, United States of America, 1936, used by Daphne Kingston (nee Watt) Mackay, Queensland, Australia, 1936-1940

The sewing patterns for doll's clothes comprise 41 cut out pieces and one transfer. The patterns are housed in a cardboard, envelope style, sleeve with a title down the side, 'McCALL / PRINTED PATTERN WITH TRANSFER', '418', with an illustration of five dolls wearing a variety of outfits and labelled, 'A:E'. On the reverse side of the sleeve are a number of patterns and a sizing chart.

Dimensions

Height

204 mm

Width

160 mm

Production

Notes

The patterns were made by the well-known pattern manufacturing company McCall. This firm was established in 1870 by a Scottish immigrant to America, James McCall. McCall designed and printed his own home sewing patterns and advertised them in a four-page fashion magazine called "The Queen". It is now a worldwide company which designs, manufacturers, markets and distributes sewing patterns, and instructions for women's, men's and children's clothes, accessories, costumes, craft items, home décor and doll's clothes.

The original pattern comprised 41 pieces and one transfer. The patterns were patented by the McCall Co. in 1936.

History

Notes

This McCall pattern was used by Mary Griffin to sew doll's clothes for her daughter, Daphne, in Mackay, Queensland, in the 1930s. It was donated to the Museum in 2011 by Daphne Kingston for whom the doll's clothes were made 80 years ago.

Source

Credit Line

Gift of Daphne Kingston, 2012

Acquisition Date

6 January 2012

Cite this Object

Harvard

Shirley Temple doll sewing pattern 2021, Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, accessed 4 March 2021, <https://ma.as/426226>

Wikipedia

{{cite web |url=https://ma.as/426226 |title=Shirley Temple doll sewing pattern |author=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences |access-date=4 March 2021 |publisher=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, Australia}}