Dolls sold as part of a sewing set were offered as early as the late nineteenth century. But in the twentieth century, with the advent of commercial sewing patterns, they became more popular than ever. What better way to teach a girl the sewing skills she needed as a wife and mother?
During the '30s, '40s and '50s, a variety of sets were made. The doll pictured above is a common type that sold in the 1940s, in conjunction with patterns by Simplicity, Butterick and McCalls. There were also sets featuring hard plastic "dress me" dolls such as Lingerie Lou. By the 1970's, when more women worked outside the home and sewing became less common, these sets all but disappeard.
Copyright 2006 by Zendelle Bouchard.