Book Review: Children’s Fashions 1900 – 1950 As Pictured in Sears Catalogs

I thought it was time to do another book review from the many books in my library. This book, “Children’s Fashions 1900 -1950 As Pictured in Sears Catalogs” is one that intrigued me for a long time. I searched and searched on Ebay for someone selling the book with lots of pictures inside so I could tell if I wanted it or not. I don’t think I ever found one with enough pictures to satisfy my curiosity, so I just went ahead and took the plunge and bought one off Ebay.

If you click on the pictures, they enlarge somewhat…



It is a glossy paperback book, rather large in size…9″ x 12″ and about 3/8″ thick. The front cover has the only color pictures…it’s all black and white drawings and photographs taken from Sear’s Catalogs on the inside. The back tells about the book being for children aged 4 -16. There are shoes, hats, and other accessories in it as well as boys clothing.

It is arranged by year, starting at 1900 and working up to 1950. The dates are up in the top corners in parenthesis so it’s easy to find the time period you are looking for. Since several of the dolls fall into the years from this book, it is helpful for making clothing for Samantha (1904), Rebecca (1914), Kit (1934), and Molly (1944). I got many ideas for doll dresses from these pages.

Here are some pictures for you to see how the book is laid out inside. The pictures are the actual pages taken from the Sears catalogs during those years…





The book is published by Dover and JoAnne Olian is the Fashion authority who compiled the pictures and put the book together. I think it is an interesting book, and especially love looking at the prices and the slogans from year to year…





The pictures below are from the page above… Can you tell which dress I copied?





I think this is a very good resource book and if you sew for dolls, it is a wonderful “idea” book that you’ll find yourself going back to time and time again. I really don’t know what took me so long to get it…

See you tomorrow,
Blessings, Jeanne


  1. Linda Doyle says:

    Oh wow, those pictures are fabulous! And to think I remember that last page well in my own lifetime!!! Am I old or what? But gee, those prices are really an eye opener too! A dollar for a dress???

    Regarding that last picture, I see Molly’s tennis outfit there, the second from the left. And the striped skirt—-I had one just like it, plus the outfit on top with the bolero jacket,– that too!
    That outfit on the left at the top looks just like the candy striper outfit I wore when I was in high school, which I might add, was NOT in the 40’s, but late 50’s. And all the puffed sleeves, imagine ironing those back then, when nothing was permanent press!

    I just love going through these pictures, and it is kind of sad to see how we have gone from really dressing up to just kind of throwing casual clothes on. I’m sure a lot of outfits weren’t comfortable, but we sure looked nice! I really do think the way people dress says a lot about civilization!

    • Hi Linda,
      I’m late at responding but tonight was my big Couples Party… so now I’m back to blogging again…
      I had an outfit made for Molly that looked like the “tennis” one and can’t find the pictures of it… and I was a candy striper too and my jumper was almost like that one too.
      I used to dress Rebecca up in sweet little dresses and it was sad for me when she decided to trade in her casual clothes for her dresses. I’m still a dress kind of gal…guess I always will be….
      Thanks Linda,
      Blessings, Jeanne

  2. I always wondered what this book looked like on the inside. Thanks for sharing some of the pages. It looks like a good resource to have on hand. Those hats are gorgeous! They frame the face so perfectly. The prices are unbelievable! Wishing you a great (& productive) day, Jeanne.

    • Thank You Cindy,
      Sorry for the late reply… tonight was my big Married Couples’ Christmas party and I haven’t had a second to repond to any posts. It is a nice book and really fun to browse through… One lady already emailed me and said she was reading the post, but before she got it even finished, she went to Ebay and bought one for $11 something… then she finished the post. I guess “someone” liked it…
      Yes, the prices are unreal…
      Now that the party is over, I feel like I can breathe…tomorrow the eye doctor, Monday a mammogram and then it’s smooth sailing till Christmas…
      Thanks Cindy,
      Blessings, Jeanne

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