So…A Sewalong?

sewalongs hosted by The McCall Pattern Company

Now that we’ve got this blog up and running, it’s time for us to get serious about hosting a sewalong. Help us get an idea of what kind of sewalong you want (or don’t want) by taking this brief survey below. You can also leave a comment here with any additional thoughts about sewalongs, or, suggest a pattern you think would work well for a sewalong. Thanks!

Please take our survey about sewalongs.


  • Garment most interested in sewing? Dress, followed by jacket, then top or pants. But all close.
  • Difficulty rating? 63% picked average
  • Brand preference? 68% said it didn’t matter as long as they liked the pattern
  • Likely to participate? 60% said yes to a sewalong in September or October
  • Participated in a sew along before? 65% said not yet

Sew Our New Ralph Rucci Patterns

Ralph Rucci for Vogue Patterns; V1404 and V1419

These two new Vogue Patterns by Ralph Rucci are top sellers for us, and I think it’s easy to see why. The designs are fresh and flattering, and they’re challenging just enough for sewers who are tired of making basic patterns all the time. Thinking about sewing one yourself? First read our tips to ensure success with V1404 dress and V1419 coat, then scroll through the detail photos we’ve posted here:

1) Be sure you like the fit ‘n’ flare style on yourself first. You do not want to go through all the effort only to discover you’re more of a sheath person. (Ask me about my peplum debacle of 2012.)

2) Make a muslin! I hear you groaning but this is practically mandatory for these two patterns. You want a slim fit through the shoulder and bodice. If you can’t bear the thought of sewing an entire muslin, just do what we do here sometimes and only make the bodice and a little bit of the skirt.

3) Use the right fabric if you want to closely mimic the designer originals. The V1419 coat is made of a heavy, water-repellent gabardine bonded to some kind of flannel. “Think techno fabrics,” advises Penny Payne, McCall Pattern Company fabric editor. She likes denim and gabardines for this coat—anything that is firm and tightly woven. You want the fabric to have stiff folds to it.

The V1404 original designer dress is made of ultrasuede, a soft-to-the-touch fabric that makes stiff folds. We love denim or a thicker wool crepe for this dress. You might be tempted to choose a lightweight dress fabric but keep in mind the end result won’t hold that flare shape of the designer original.

4) Take your time with these patterns. I just looked over the guide sheets for both patterns and we instruct you to sew them in the same way Mr. Rucci did—your interior dress or coat will look just the same as the designer garments. Which is a really cool thing and should make you proud that you are constructing your garment the same way a noted couture designer does.

Details photos:

Ralph Rucci for Vogue Patterns V1419 coat.
The original Ralph Rucci coat from which V1419 is drafted. Note how the fabric makes the sleeves form distinct bells.
Interior of Ralph Rucci for Vogue Patterns V1419 coat.
The inside of the designer coat. No lining, just beautifully finished Hong Kong seams.
Interior of Ralph Rucci for Vogue Patterns V1419 coat.
Another interior shot of V1419 for you.
Ralph Rucci for Vogue Patterns V1404 dress.
The designer original dress for V1404. Note how the ultrasuede fabric makes stiff folds even on the hanger. That’s what gives it the distinct fit ‘n’ flare shape.
Interior of Ralph Rucci for Vogue Patterns V1404 dress.
Interior of V1404 dress, specifically the lining side of the quilted hem.
Interior of Ralph Rucci for Vogue Patterns V1404 dress.
V1404 dress turned inside-out. We instruct you to finish your version just like this.

Visit our new Pinterest board for even more detail shots for these two patterns, plus several more photos of the new Vogue Patterns fall collection. People have been telling us how much they love these detail photos, and we’re thrilled to hear that. We’ll do our best to post more images like this.

Editor’s Picks: Butterick Fall Collection

Have you seen the new Butterick Fall collection yet? There’s something for everyone, especially if you’re looking for wear-to-work options. Here are my five top picks from this collection:

Butterick B6090 dress
1) B6090 dress

Here’s a great case for paying attention to the line drawings. B6090 has great bones, people. Look at the shirring at the bodice and the little buttons all down the front—love it! This dress says vintage-y but in a way that feels fresh—like a starlet walking down the street on a sunny day or a cool girl at Coachella. For fabrics, choose lightweight georgettes in retro prints, or a sheer organza or lace and layer it. Make it more youthful by shortening the sleeves, or turn it into a tunic.

Inspiration for Butterick B6090
Inspiration for Butterick B6090
Butterick silhouette dress B6088
2) Butterick silhouette dress B6088

What I like about B6088 is how it creates this enhanced, genetically-blessed silhouette for you. Its lines help narrow your torso and slim your hips, and seriously, what’s not to like about that. I’d sew it out of black and ivory wool crepe or a decent ponte knit. Or maybe give it extra pow by making the middle part in a bold print or contrasting texture. You can also amp it up a bit by sewing the sleeves in a different color.

Colorblock inspiration for Butterick B6088
Colorblock inspiration for Butterick B6088.
Butterick B6103 riding jacket
4) Butterick B6103 riding jacket

This jacket is perfect for when you need a little rock-star glam in your life. I like all of this pattern’s versions, especially View C with its shaped hemline in the back. (I might make it a little shorter in the back and less skirt-like, but that’s just me.) That gray brocade we show on the model works well, I think, so I’d look for a similar brocade or jacquard fabric, preferably with a little Lycra for stretch. This jacket would also look killer in velvet, right?!

Jacket inspiration for Butterick B6103
Jacket inspiration for B6103
Butterick B6106 jacket by Katherine Tilton.
4) Butterick B6106 jacket by Katherine Tilton

I almost dismissed this jacket as too art-teacher-style for my tastes. But then I was chatting about it with Carlos, our Vogue Patterns designer, and he said he could see it looking very minimalistic and chic in ivory, with simple topstitching detailing. And the next thing I knew I was bookmarking this pattern to order. I can see this made up in a gabardine, denim or wool crepe. Or try mixing different textures and colors for more of a statement piece. As I’m a symmetrical kind of gal, I might use the right front of the jacket and swap it out for the left front, so the two front pieces mirror each other.

Jacket inspiration for Butterick B6106
Jacket inspiration for B6106
Butterick midi skirt B6102
5) Butterick midi skirt B6102

All hail the return of the midi skirt! I mostly wear pants to work but I will be sewing and wearing a midi skirt or two this season. I love that the pleats in B6102 start below the yoked waistline, so you’ve got a less poufy and more flattering waist area. As far as fabrics go, I’d make this in a firm fabric, like a classy silk-wool or textured cotton, or go soft and drapey with a lightweight wool or challis.

Midi skirt inspiration for Butterick B6102
Midi skirt inspiration for B6102

Ok, I shared my faves of the Butterick Fall collection with you. What are your top picks? Follow this blog with Bloglovin