Fashion Illustration

1952 – Kindergarten Sewing Patterns

Full and frilly dresses to make for little girls.

We are nearing the end of our August 2022 Back to School theme. Traveling back in time to observe some of the sweetness of life found in mid-century magazines is a respite for the increasing craziness of our current world. There is nothing more sweet than a kindergartener and one feeling special in her favorite dress is the cherry on top.

This page from the August 1952 edition of Good Housekeeping magazine shows 3 patterns to make for your aspiring student. Pages such as this showing sewing pattern recommendations were common in mid-century household magazine since sewing clothing for children was generally more cost-effective than buying off the rack. Full and frilly was the name of the game in 1952. Each look had a bow in the back. The look was complete with bobby socks and Mary Jane shoes.

All 3 patterns are from Simplicity sewing patterns. Each sewing pattern was identified with a number. The editors at Good Housekeeping told readers that the numbers for these patterns were 3961, 3964, and 3963. You might be surprised to know that modern technology allows us living in 2022 to look up sewing patterns to see the original photo or illustration of the completed garment, and the pattern pieces used. Check out the 3 images below. The illustration on the left shows the sewing pattern illustration, the middle shows the pattern pieces, and the illustration on the right is from Good Housekeeping.

Simplicity 3961 – Child’s One Piece Dress and Apron

The pattern above gave the option to make the dress only, the apron only, or the 2 combined. I used the online Commercial Pattern Archive to get the pattern illustration and pattern pieces. This lovely tool comes to us from the University of Rhode Island.


Here are the 2 other dresses featured in the Good Housekeeping page.

Simplicity 3963 – Girl’s Jumper and Blouse
Simplicity 3964 – Girl’s One-piece dress and petticoat
Good Housekeeping August 1953 – To make for the Grammar School Delegation

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