Saturday, April 2, 2016

McCall's Dollhouse Patterns

I was going through some saved articles in order to bring you something interesting this morning (after my slight vent yesterday!) when I came across an old McCall’s pattern. It totally sparked a barrage of memories…..

I remember walking (my Mum didn’t drive) downtown to our local department store to shop for material and patterns every Saturday. My mother was a beautiful seamstress; everything from play clothes to my wedding dress. I would hide among the rows of colorful fabrics and play while she paged through the large books of pattern choices in order to choose. When I heard the rumble of the large metal drawers open and close with a thud, I knew it was time to carefully choose fabric, thread and trims. It seemed to me to take hours! Being the youngest of 5 children, I was her sidekick on this regular jaunt to the store (probably because I was somewhat of an annoyance to my older siblings-somehow they didn’t quite get the fantasy world I could create in my head).
Anyway, I digress, the point is, on one of these visits a salesclerk introduced me to the character Betsy McCall. I was hooked. I waited every month for the women's magazine so I could cut out the paper dolls and add to my ‘collection’. I loosely use the word collection-a dingy cardboard box, plastic scissors and badly cut out paper dolls, by some standards would not be a ‘collection’! Betsy was my first foray into constructing dollhouses. I would stack cardboard boxes with crayon drawn windows and cut out doors to make the ‘perfect’ home for her!

Finally I get to the tie in to Dollhouses…..
The McCall’s Pattern Company has a history of promoting dollhouses. Over the decades there have been several published patterns for dollhouses, furniture and accessories. Some may spark memories for you. They may even be tied to your roots of loving dollhouse miniatures. Each pattern is a reflection of the time. Again, proves my philosophy that miniatures and memories are always tied together.
I can’t close without a nod to the Simplicity Company and their connection with Real Good Toys. The RGT dollhouse with the name ’Simplicity’ may be customized with porch choices, additions, etc. In its origins is a wonderful Simplicity sewing pattern to compliment the house structure. It is still available; I no longer carry the pattern, but you can easily purchase it directly through Real Good Toys Dollhouses. It has curtain patterns, furniture patterns, rugs, bedding and other tips. This was the house I chose to build my daughter when she was 5 years old-yup, exactly why I chose this particular house, so I could (drive) my mother to the fabric store and watch her painstakingly choose the fabrics and trims to make the house perfect for my daughter. I apologize for no photo to add of my daughter’s dollhouse; that would take some doing to root through photo boxes today. I will look though, and share at a later date!

Thanks for ‘walking’ down memory lane with me today. My Mum, early memories and sharing the hobby with my daughter are what brought me to this tech world of dollhouse miniature retail at this point in my career. It is a winding path of all things dollhouse miniature. So perhaps you could get lost among the online store’s photos and fantasize about your MINI world today! ~judy

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