Tuesday, July 22, 2014

McCall Pattern Co. and Mini Wardrobe Update

If you're way into social media, you'll notice that McCall Co. has amped up (started?) their social media presence via Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Sewing blogs, Pattern Review (perhaps other streams like Kollabra too??)

I was pretty giddy about this development because I think it's awesome that they are getting more vested in what the home sewer likes/dislikes/wants/needs/opines on...etc. Yet I was surprised that NO ONE was talking about the fact that McCall Co. is talking! Eep!

So when the new Vogue's were released, of course Lauren of Lladybird (Vogue pattern release review here) unleashed a torrent. And then McCall replied and a little dialogue kicked up. In the link above, Lauren talks a little about their participation on the blog.

After some super-sleuth Googling (I am the world's worst Googler), I found this post by While She Naps and was again giddy that someone was directly talking about it!Yay!

WSN mentioned that she'd asked for a headshot of "Meg" (BMVKS social media person) to include with the article and they basically said no. Commenters thought this unfair; that McCall should include a face for us to follow.

I HIGHLY disagree.

I think it would be kind of crazy to have the social media person officially be the 'face' of McCall in the sewing community. And not solely because "what if she leaves the company" but because...it just isn't that way. There is a difference and that's okay! I'm not an "Indie pattern sewer". I don't have anything against them...I just don't go out of my way to acquire and sew from Indies. I will sew what I want and if what I want comes in a $3.99 New Look envelope or $1.40 McCall's envelope...yay me!

Besides...we don't have to live in a limited world, choosing between Indie -or- Big4 et al. We can have them both all!

Have you noticed McCall's new presence on social media? What do you think?? Like/dislike/indifferent??

Do you think McCall needs to give Meg a face?




Sorry for being so whiny lately. :) Last night I cut and sewed together the NL6130 pants. I swear I removed like 3/4" from the front rise and they still cover my belly button. Also, There's like 13 inches of excess fabric through the leg.  They look horrific in the legs and an insanely funny turn of events; the BEST view of these pants are the back! I took selfies so I don't have any...you'll just have to trust me.

So now I get to unpick the seams and try to salvage them. I like this dark, dark fabric so I don't want to chuck them but good grief...

Saggy, droopy legs

Pinching out the excess in the back leg...and as you can see, I'm not pulling them taut against my body!

The back fits well even though the front is about an inch too high

Excess fabric at the knee. Again, I'm not pulling them super tight or anything.


I am ready to be done with my mini-wardrobe but it is just not happening.

The other leg looks slim because I tried pinning out and resewing but that doesn't really produce good results because there is still a crap-ton of fabric through the knee and at the back of the leg. Plus I made the leg opening way too small! LOL!


  1. I love that McCalls has a social media presence and that they are reading reviews and blogs. I agree with you though, I don't think it's necessary that they put up a face to represent the company. I think they way they are is just fine.

    As for the pants, I usually have the same problem. But I found a slim pants pattern in Simplicty 1373 (I think that's the right number, I'll check when I get home) I LOVE those pants!! It's a slim pant leg with less ease than any other pants pattern that I have. All the others have so much ease in the leg that I look ridiculous and balloon-like. I suspect its because I'm very hippy and I have a butt (that's not a complaint, I love my shape!) and with patterns, they assume, that the larger your hips are - your legs must be too. so, I made the pants in a stretch sateen and realized I didn't even have to put the side zip in - the fabric stretched enough over my hips. I just added a 2" wide elastic. I'll have to put up a review sometime this weekend. I'm ready to make another pair or five!

    1. NOOOOOO! don't say that!!!

      I have made the shorts from 1373 and briefly considered using that pants pattern and didn't.



    2. Lol! Yes you should! I hope you do. :). Get it at the next .99 cent sale at Joanns if you don't have the pant pattern anymore.

    3. You are so right. The pattern designers think that large hips equate to large legs; this is SO not true. I have muscular quads and slim hamstrings. I hate all of the pooling of fabric at the back of the leg.

  2. The problem you are having with the NL pants is why I stopped sewing until I noticed people were having success with other pattern companies - for me that was Burda and Jalie. Now I'm sewing again and loving it. Like you, I won't say that I'll NEVER sew with the Big 4 but I've found very little that I want. When I do see one I like, I usually flip through my Burdas first and/or check the reviews.

    I don't understand why they don't address these issues. We've been complaining about them for years.

    For me - the extra money spent on a Jalie is money well spent. I don't waste as much fabric and they come sized so that I can use them for my granddaughters, my daughters and me! Burda works out as a bargain when you factor how many patterns you get in one issue. I probably won't sew them all but I sew more than I would have thought.

    Your pants are going to be so cute on you (judging by the way they are starting to look). You've got way more patience and/or skill than I do!

  3. I believe that the "face" of McCall's social media is LindsayT, who used to be an active sewing blogger and active PatternReview member. (Someone let this slip somewhere in a PR post.) She'd done a number of articles about shopping for fabric in NY's garment district, among other things. I can't find her old blog though--she must have taken it down when she got the new dig. If it is Lindsay, she's a good choice--she's "one of us" and has an energetic personality.

    Re: your pant leg fit. I've had the same problems with most pant patterns. The only one that I tried that gave me a nice, slim cigarette leg shape was the Colette Clovers. I think people have had good luck with the (free) StyleArc Barb pants, so that might be an option to try, as well.

  4. I was approached by McCall's to publish the photo of my daughter in her Easter dress that I sewed up for her on their Facebook page (here). It took me by surprise, but was thrilled to be asked. My family and friends loved it, and apparently others thought it was cute, too! I see they do that a lot these days, and it is smart. Only a handful of my friends and family sew, but all of them went to their FB page that day to check it out. So they got a ton of exposure that day from random people visiting.

    AND--probably more importantly--some sewers were able to see the pattern in a different light since I had chosen to make the dress a touch differently than the others had (no LONG sash and very modern colors/print on the fabric).

    Meg was awesome on her end, very supportive and kind, and even told me to get on the doll part of the pattern so I could get my little one a little dress for her little one. So kudos to her!

    I think having her as the "face" of BMV is smart, but she will need some people supporting her just in case she does need to leave the company!

    Your pants are wide, huh? Eek, I don't know what to tell you since I never have that problem outside of pj pants. My thighs are extraordinarily big for my frame, so I look for extra room there. Hmm. I love the advice of the above ladies, though!

    1. Oh, lol, you all meant FACE literally. I don't care one way or another. She can exist as herself in the written word. That's fine. I love that Julie is so invested in being a face for Fabric Mart, though, so maybe they could bear that in mind, since it seems to be working well for FM?

  5. So how did we both publishing blog posts about McCalls today?? Yours, though, is kinder. Anywho, I only joined Instagram a month ago but @McCallPatternCompany is one of my favorite posters (a list that includes you, Nakisha). They're very inspiring. It *never* occurred to me to care whether there was a face to go with all them posts. Good luck with the pants!

    1. I never noticed the Monday fabric thing! That would be pretty awesome and I hope they get it back on track!

      I follow you too on IG!!

  6. I think it's great the McCall's is doing a blog.

    The reason you're having problems with the pants is they're not designed to be a slim fit pant. You can tell that just by the line drawing which shows them falling straight from the hips, which will have a slimmer leg if you're in one of the smallest sizes. I'm sure the modeled photo on the pattern envelope is also pulled tight in the back with binder clips to slim the legs. Sorry.:(

    If you want a true slim leg there's a Vogue pattern by Sandra Betzina that has nice slim legs. I can't think of the number right now but it also has a cowl neck tunic with it.

    1. Ahhh. Good point Debbie.

      Step 1: Look beyond the pattern photo
      Step 2: Understand the tech drawings

  7. I haven't seen the McCalls blog. How wonderful.. I will have to check it out. I don't think they have to put a face on it..
    Sorry your having trouble with your pants pattern.. SO frustrating.. I don't sew many pants
    due to this fitting problem.. HA
    Happy sewing.

  8. I'm pretty stoked for it! I told them at the ASE last fall that I wished they were on twitter. Now they are covering social media VERY well and are on more social media platforms than I am. I love all the interaction. YAY!

  9. I think it is very smart of them to interact with sewers on social media and I am very happy about it. Regarding your pants, sigh, pants are sooo easy to sew and sooo hard to fit! Best of luck.

  10. Regarding pants fitting - all companies seem to be huge in the thigh area - big, baggy things, which is okay for uber comfy casual, but not for smart. I don't know why this is - I presume they think it is easier to take in that to let out. With pants I sometimes despair.

    Social media and McCalls - I spend too much time on s m now !!

  11. Ha, I must be out of the loop! I didn't know about Mccalls social media presence, and having a face to the company until your blog post. I guess I don't mind either way.

    I hope you can work out the fit on the pants, I think they have potential. Stay encouraged with your mini-wardrobe. I am proud of you for sticking with it. I'm sure it is easier said than done. BUT you will have a great product in the end!!

  12. The turnover in a pattern/media company is too high to make it about one poster. I've had several email chats with several editors about one topic over the course of six months at Threads...eh, no whining today.

    Pants need fitting like bodices do, but somehow it's beyond commercial pattern companies skillset and they let gravity do the job. I do a Full Butt Adjustment for my pants (much like the FBA but upside down and backwards) and I need to put it up on my blog. Sooooon.

  13. Sigh.....Pants do require some work.

  14. Hi from Meg! Yeah, no photos of me, please! It's about the brands (Vogue Patterns, Butterick, McCall's & Kwik Sew) and not about me. Let's just say I'm female, that I love to sew, and I love fashion. And I can get pretty nerdy about crafting and home decor too. IRL I'm way quieter and serious than I am online. Engaging in social media brings out my playful side. Does this help?

    1. I'm perfectly happy with the online presence of the McCall Co!!!!

  15. Wow that is a ton of "ease" in those legs!! I also agree with you that they (McCall's) should not have a face because the commenter is representing the company, and not herself.

  16. I loved the dialogue between McCalls & everyone on the Lladybird blog. I haven't needed a "face" for any of the pattern companies or fabric shops in the past & can't see why I'd need one now.

    As for pants, well maybe investigate a personalised pants block. It will fit you and you can redraft to suit each style you want.

  17. I totally agree with your opinion that the face of mccall's shouldn't be a 'real person' since it's not that person's opinions, it's the company.

    And thanks for linking to LLadybirds blog, that post was so funny and I like her blog too.

    Good luck with the pants.

  18. One of the reasons I almost exclusively sew Stylearc patterns is the wonderful fit. Yes they are a bit more expensive than the big 4 but they are such great value in that I actually wear the garments I sew. I often don't have enough experience or knowledge to puzzle out all my fit issues when I sewing other patterns, and it was so disheartening to spend time (and fabric!) on wadders. I still have lots of other patterns in my stash but I just find myself without the energy to sew them up knowing I can reach for a stylearc pattern and know it WILL fit. As for Vogue/McCalls/Butterick I am not too bothered about the poor styling or fabric choice since I tend to look at the line drawings anyway, I just wish they would address the sizing/ease issue. It is great that they are participating in social media!

  19. I think it is great that McCalls/Butterick/Vogue are getting in the social media game - I think it is why so many independent designers have had such success over the past few years. Though I have to say I let out a little EEP! when they commented on my Vogue release review a few weeks ago - definitely wasn't expecting that. Also, I don't think they need a "face" - they are a large company (compared to indie designers) representing multiple designers/employees and multiple brands. I think it is great they are participating in the conversation and that they are communicating with their customers.


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