Boys' Clothing Patterns: Chronology

Figure 1.--This McCalls pattern for an 8-year old boy's suit was undated. It was made in the button-on style. It looks to have been made about 1920.

Many 19th-century fashions were not avialable as ready-made clothes, but rather as patterns. I believe that mass-market patterns were first added to the fashion magazines that became so popular in the late 19th century. I believe the first magazine to do this was The Delineator. Soon they were a regular feature of fashion magazines. The pages were full of illustrations for patterns which could be purchased. Often a free pattern was actually included in the magazine. After the turn of the century ready made clothes became more common than patterns. Home sewing, however, continued to be very important during the first half of the 20th century. After World War II, women became a steadily increasing proprtion of the work force. Moms who worked, had less time for home sewing,


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Created: November 7, 2003
Last updated: 11:35 PM 8/24/2009