Summer 2015 Supplements
Who Dressed Betsy McCall
by AnneLise Wilhelmsen
Dress Up Fun with Betsy McCall, a Game
by AnneLise Wilhelmsen
AnneLise Wilhelmsen brings a lifelong love of sewing and years of professional pattern making experience to her position. Her passion for collecting antique textiles and her enjoyment of costuming history have led her to publish articles and patterns in several publications, including Doll News. AnneLise is a Member-at-Large of UFDC, and has won numerous awards for costuming both modern and antique dolls.
As a child, AnneLise always looked forward to visiting her grandmother because her grandmother took McCall’s magazine. But she wasn’t allowed to cut Betsy out and play with her because her grandmother passed her magazines on to other family members. When AnneLise was in fifth grade the family moved from the suburbs to a little farm in the country and suddenly she had no friends, not even very many neighbors. AnneLise was lonely and bored! One morning she took a walk and ended up in the hayloft of the barn. It was empty. There was not even any hay. But way over in one corner there was an enormous paper bag. Inside were probably three, maybe more, years’ worth of old McCall’s magazines left behind by the previous owner. And for the first time ever, AnneLise got permission to cut out Betsy McCall paper dolls. She played in that hayloft every day after that, and it was warm there because of the heat from the animals down below. Even though it was freezing outside she remembers not having to wear her coat. She just sat on it and cut and cut and cut until she thought her fingers might fall off!
Bibliography for “Who Dressed Betsy McCall”
Advertisement for Cinderella Dresses, Delaware County Daily Times 4 May 1951: p. 26.
Advertisement for Pincock’s Juvenile Shop, The Ogden Standard-Examiner 21 August 1959: p. 8.
“Avoid Blue Jeans.” Idaho State Journal 30 June 1958: p. 13.
“Betsy McCall is Real Doll.” The Indiana Gazette 29 August 1952: p. 6.
Blackwell, M. “Fashion Awareness Dawns.” The San Bernardino County Sun 9 January 1967: p. 12.
Cook, J. “Helen Lee, 82, Fashion Designer for Children in U.S. and Abroad.” The New York Times 15 March 1991: Obituaries.
“Fashions for Tots are Pretty But Practical.” Tucson Daily Citizen 2 August 1960: p. 10.
“Helen Lee Fashions: To Russia With Love,” McCall’s Pattern Fashions Winter, 1964-65.
“Little Girls’ Fashion Wardrobe.” Kingsport Times-News 26 January 1958: p. 53.
Melburn, B. “For the Little Girl Without a Curl.” Tucson Daily Citizen 22 July 1963: p. 24.
Preuss, L. “Without Her What Would Little Girls Do?” The Milwaukee Journal 7 January 1959: p. 10.
Roe, D. “Clothing Affects Child Behavior.” Waukesha Daily Freeman 2 September 1954: p. 5.
Sales Management. Volume 72, 1954: p. 76-78.
Schneider, L. “Trade Winds.” The Decatur Herald 18 February 1961: p. 11.
“She Created High Fashion for Little Girls’ Clothes.” The Corpus Christi Caller-Times, 12 May 1968: p. 22.
Sheppard, E. “Says American Children are World’s Most Chic.” The Des Moines Register 26 September 1967: p. 9.