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MacCall's Sewing Patterns History and Stockists

Cover of McCall's magazine (1911)
Cover of McCall's magazine (1911)
Fashion 1916 in McCall's
Fashion 1916 in McCall's
McCall's Homemaking cover (1938): Jinx Falkenburg
McCall's Homemaking cover (1938): Jinx Falkenburg

In 1870, a Scottish tailor immigrant James McCall began designing and printing his own line of sewing patterns, in New York City. As a means of advertising his patterns, McCall founded a four-page fashion journal entitled The Queen: Illustrating McCall's Bazaar Glove-Fitting Patterns.

When McCall died in 1884, his widow became president of McCall's company and hired Mrs George Bladsworth as the magazine editor, holding the position until 1891. Though still mainly a vehicle to sell McCall's sewing patterns, The Queen began to publish homemaking and handiwork information, and by 1890 had expanded to 12 pages. In 1891, the magazine's name became The Queen of Fashion, and the cost for a year's subscription was 30 cents.

In 1893, James Henry Ottley took over the McCall Company, increasing the subscription price to 50 cents a year, and the number of pages to between 16 and 30 per issue. He also began to publish articles on children's issues, health, beauty, and foreign travel.

In order to reflect the magazine's expanded range of topics, the name was changed to McCall's Magazine — The Queen of Fashion in 1897. In time, the name would be shortened to McCall's.

Despite the name changes, for many years information on McCall's patterns filled an average of 20% of the magazine's pages.

Patterns were unprinted until 1919 when they started printing information directly onto the pattern pieces. In the 1920s, selected patterns had full-colour illustrations on their pattern envelopes. In 1932 they started printing full-colour illustrations on all pattern envelopes. McCall usually printed the date of release on their envelopes (the only company which consistently did so before mid-century), which makes it easy to date their patterns.

 

See below a list of the stores where we sell currently the McCall's patterns:

C&H Brighton

179 Western Road
Brighton
East Sussex
BN1 2BA

01273 321959

brighton@candh.co.uk

Monday       - 9.30am - 5.00pm
Tuesday       - 9.30am - 5.00pm
Wednesday - 9.30am - 5.00pm
Thursday     - 9.30am - 5.00pm
Friday          - 9.30am - 5.00pm
Saturday     - 9.30am - 5.00pm
Sunday        - CLOSED

Bank Holidays - Open 9.30am - 5.00pm

(Closed Easter Sunday & Easter Monday, Christmas, Boxing day & New Years Day)

C&H Chichester

33/34 North Street
Chichester
West Sussex
PO19 1LX

01243 783300

chichester@candh.co.uk

Monday       - 9.30am - 5.00pm
Tuesday       - 9.30am - 5.00pm
Wednesday - 9.30am - 5.00pm
Thursday     - 9.30am - 5.00pm
Friday          - 9.30am - 5.00pm
Saturday     - 9.30am - 5.00pm
Sunday        - CLOSED

Bank Holidays - Open 9.30am - 5.00pm

(Closed Easter Sunday & Easter Monday, Christmas, Boxing day & New Years Day)

C&H Eastbourne

82/86 Terminus Rd
Eastbourne
East Sussex
BN21 3LX

01323 410428

eastbourne@candh.co.uk

Monday       - 9.30am - 5.00pm
Tuesday       - 9.30am - 5.00pm
Wednesday - 9.30am - 5.00pm
Thursday     - 9.30am - 5.00pm
Friday          - 9.30am - 5.00pm
Saturday     - 9.30am - 5.00pm
Sunday        - CLOSED

Bank Holidays - Open 9.30am - 5.00pm

(Closed Easter Sunday & Easter Monday, Christmas, Boxing day & New Years Day)

 

C&H Winchester

8 High Street
Winchester
Hampshire
SO23 9JX

01962 843355

winchester@candh.co.uk

Monday       - 9.30am - 5.00pm
Tuesday       - 9.30am - 5.00pm
Wednesday - 9.30am - 5.00pm
Thursday     - 9.30am - 5.00pm
Friday          - 9.30am - 5.00pm
Saturday     - 9.30am - 5.00pm
Sunday        - CLOSED

Bank Holidays - Open 9.30am - 5.00pm

(Closed Easter Sunday & Easter Monday, Christmas, Boxing day & New Years Day)

 

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