That Swoon-Worthy McCall’s Gown, New Video, Another Discussion Topic, and More

McCall's Archive Collection 1930s'era gown. M7154

Here’s a Friday roundup of things to know and me asking you a bunch of questions:

1) We released the McCall’s summer collection this week, and not surprisingly, M7154 was the crowd favorite. Isn’t it stunning? It really captures the essence of late 1920s to early 1930s glamour. I’m doing the same thing many of you said you were going to do: Add this to my pattern collection, just to have.

If you are going to sew this pattern, you’ll want to head over to Pinterest where I just added this photo here and a few more detail photos of this gown:

McCall's Archive Collection M7154 vintage gown pattern reissue,

2) Have you seen our new video series? It’s called Fashion Sewing & You, and we partnered with Jennifer Wiese of Workroom Social in Brooklyn to make these videos. In each, Jen takes a McCall’s pattern and shows you how to make stylish, fashion-designer hacks to it. Here’s the latest video in the series, “Sewing With Bias Tape to Create Design Interest”:

3) Do you want a McCall’s coloring book? So you clearly welcomed the “coloring book” we just did for the latest Vogue Patterns collection. Should we do a similar-type PDF for the new McCall’s summer collection? Tell us in the comments if you’d download a McCall’s PDF coloring book too.

4) Do you quilt too? If you follow us on Instagram (and you should if you don’t!) you might know that I’ve recently gotten into quilting. I started taking quilting classes about six months ago when I was in a bad karma rut with all the clothes (i.e., wadders) I was sewing for myself. Having always believed quilting was something I’d take up when I was much older, I was happily surprised to find that I really like it. Designing my own quilt patterns and thinking about color interplay forces the gray matter to think in new ways. Plus, to be a beginner in something is a little bit…exhilarating! (And this all has me considering what it’s like to be a beginner sewer, which explains the recent beginner-oriented posts here.)

Quilt made by Meg Carter of the McCall Pattern Company
My first quilt EVER! Made it about six months ago.

But here’s what I want to know: Can you be a quilter AND a fashion sewer? Or do most people end up taking sides. Do quilters ever dabble in fashion sewing, I wonder, or is the thought of fitting a garment as overwhelming for them as designing a quilt is for me? Leave me a comment here and let me know if you quilt and sew garments, or know any quilters who also make clothes.

I'm so inspired by Jessica's Alabama Chanin version of V9022. Love it!
I’m so inspired by Jessica’s Alabama Chanin version of V9022. Love it!

5) One last thing: Alabama Chanin. I’ve long been an admirer of Natalie Chanin, and she’s a big fan of our patterns. After seeing some really cool Alabama Chanin-style makes in the blogosphere, like Jessica’s dress (right) and Laura Mae’s retro suit, I am itching to make my own AC piece. Maybe something along the lines of this coat, but less labor-intensive. I smell a summer project!

Have a great weekend!

We’ve been sewing since 1863.

  1. more colouring books please!

  2. The gown is gorgeous! I have no idea where I might wear such a thing… but it is divine!

    The quilting vs fashion sewer question – I would say that usually people really do one or the other, and not both. Usually. 🙂 When I took a “get to know your new sewing machine” class, the teacher showed us a couple of garments she had made, but she commented the pretty much only did quilting now, while she had done more garment sewing when she was younger. Seems like people I know stick with one or the other, and in fact I hear complaints that Bernina stores nowadays seem to focus on quilting and not the fashion sewers so maybe that is telling in itself? The Bernina store where I live certainly is quilting and craft focused (the name is Quiltique!) while the Pfaff store is more garment focused. Maybe things aren’t like that in other cities, but it would be interesting to know.

  3. I just saw the colouring book for the first time – looks very useful, so I’d be happy with more, too.

  4. The part about quilting that I really, really like is the piecing. I am less than enthusiastic about the finishing-up bits, including the actual quilting. So, I tend to do pieced garments; either color-blocking with patterned fabrics rather than solids, or using quilt-pattern pieced sections in garments. If you use unusual color combinations, and non-floral prints, you can avoid looking as if you’ve shopped your wardrobe out of a 1980s home dec catalog.

  5. That dress!!!!!!! Wow! It’s gorgeous!

  6. I look forward to seeing the different renditions of M7174 in modern fabrics. Could be interesting.

  7. Yes, I do trad. quilts, art quilts, and make clothes too. Lately I’ve tucked away my sewing machine, however, to make more room for cardmaking, altered art, and paper, dies, stamps, inks, embellis, and more.
    It’s all good!
    Tina in San Diego
    (please make coloring books!)
    Please send me something free! 😉

  8. I do both, usually a big quilt spread over a few months seems to work. Garments are always my first love.

  9. Love to think more color books are on the way! I Love sewing garments, now have fabric for my first quilt. My sister and I sewed small squares together back in 1960 for a doll ‘blanket’, it just never had a back added! She spent many years doing alterations, and myself garments. Have plenty of “resource materials’.

  10. I think I am a little unusual because I sew both garments and quilts. Most blogs I follow and sewers I know do one or the other. They also tend to migrate between the two, but don’t do both at the same time.

    I began quilting first, and do Longarm quilting for others. I started sewing garments for my daughter, and then got sucked into adult garment sewing because nothing in the stores fit post-baby. I now have two fabric stashes (maybe that’s why most people only do one or the other, little overlap in fabric?). I love both, and depending on my mood, prefer to sew one or the other.

  11. Please do more coloring books. Also I do everything from upholstery sewing to French heirloom. I have a quilt going in every stage of the process and clothing in all stages too. I don’t think I’ve met a fabric art I don’t like.

  12. I started out sewing clothing, and found that some members of my IRL sewing meetup group were entirely unenthusiastic about my quilting projects. On the other hand, I’ve noticed from attending QuiltCon that many quilters are very comfortable using quilting cotton for any and all garments, regardless of drape or hand or anything. The net result is I’m more flexible and appreciative and experimental, and I tend to keep the two sides of my sewing life separate. 🙂

  13. The original drawing on this dress makes it look like it wasn’t originally fastened with a zipper in the back. Do you know how it was designed to fasten? Just curious : )

    1. Guessing it was some kind of side enclosure?

  14. I have been sewing garments since I was 10 years old (!) but only took up quilting as an adult. I enjoy both types of sewing very much. Now, I especially like to sew clothing for children. (When I was younger, I enjoyed sewing clothes for myself, but I don’t do that very often anymore.) And I enjoy all types of quilting. I like having different types of sewing projects going at the same time, so I always have a choice of what to work on next.

  15. Hi
    I’m making this for my daughter’s wedding. It’s taken ages to find the right kind of silk. She’s finally settled on a lovely natural white undyed satin back silk but the medium weight (80g) seems a bit lightweight and you can see through it if the light’s behind you. I though I might try and line the skirt but then thought it might spoil the drape. There is a heavyweight (160g) silk which is gorgeous for the skirt but maybe won’t drape as nicely for the bodice especially as the bodice is two layers. Can you give me some advice please. Many thanks, Debbie

    1. Hi Debbie! You should join our Facebook group as one of the members made this for her niece’s wedding, and she is very good about dispensing advice. Her name is Gill. Here’s the link to the group:

      1. Hi Meg, Thanks for the link, but I can’t find the Gill who made the dress. Would it be possible to ask your colleagues who made this beautiful dress what weight of silk they used, and if the lined the skirt. I have to order the silk on-line as I can’t find a shop locally – just to avoid making a expensive mistake. There are two weights 81g and 160g. Many thanks

        1. Hi Debbie! It was a 4-ply silk and it was unlined. Hope this helps!

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