Another Must-Have Top This Season: The Statement Sweat

McCall's M6992 sweatshirt pattern is chic and easy to make.

“Statement sweats have proved their staying power,” says Ruth La Ferla writing for the New York Times this week. Um, yeah, they’re everywhere! I thought the fancy sweatshirt trend, which debuted two years ago on the runways, would have died out by now but I was wrong.

And I’m glad I was wrong because we have a super-cute statement sweat pattern! McCall’s M6992 is the perfect platform to go creative and make your own fancy sweatshirt. I’ve put together some looks here to get you thinking about your future snazzy sweat:

1. Go elegant: Look for luxe fabrics. Remember you only need a small piece if you make the rest of your sweat from a basic fabric. Or, add an inset like the collar and bib of a tuxedo shirt. Fancy-schmancy!
Inspiration for statement sweats using pattern M6992
2. Add embellishments: We love how Stella McCartney adorned her basic sweat with zipper tape—so cool! You can also sew on some of those jewels in your sewing drawer (you know they’re there), or you can go wild with your random pieces of leftover trim (also cluttering up your sewing drawers).
Inspiration: Add embellishment to your sweat.
3. Make a refined-casual statement: You can keep your sweatshirt relaxed but a cut above the ordinary by using prints with solids. Or have some fun and expose your shoulders. (Remember what Donna Karan said about shoulders: “It is the one place I guarantee that will never show a wrinkle, never gets fat.”)
Inspiration for sweatshirts using McCall's M6992
Did I succeed in inspiring you to make your own statement sweat with M6992?! If so, show us what you make by pinning it to our Pinterest fan gallery.

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McCall Pattern Company Fall Into Fashion Pinterest Contest 2014
Congratulations to Sasha Sinclair, the winner of our Fall Into Fashion Pinterest contest! It was tough to choose just one winner, because we received so many fabulous entries, but our judges felt Sasha really took our call to “show us what inspires you” to heart. Check out her winning board here, and look for more social media contests to come.

V1419 Sewalong update: Did everyone see Lauren’s fabulous post on fabrics to consider? This weekend I’ll be stitching up my second muslin (first one was too small) and writing a blog post about it that hopefully will go live on Monday. Feel free to start working on your own muslins now…I almost think it’s better to get your muslin done before you decide on fabric, just because I think it will help you narrow down what kind of fabric you ultimately want. At any rate, have a great weekend!

Scenes from This Year’s American Sewing Expo

 

McCall's designer Melissa Watson admires the leather jacket this American Sewing Expo attendee made.
McCall’s designer Melissa Watson admires the leather jacket this American Sewing Expo attendee made.

So we’re back from Novi, Michigan, where the McCall Pattern Company exhibited at the 2014 American Sewing Expo. We had a great time! But before I show you a little more about that, here’s a link to Lladybird/Lauren’s post about choosing fabric for the #V1419Sewalong: Fabric Selection. Reminder: She and I are trading off on posts about this sewalong. Next week I’ll talk about muslins.

But let’s get back to this year’s American Sewing Expo…. Here’s  a glimpse of what was going on in our booth and at the show:

Event planner extraordinaire David Tutera (and new McCall's designer!) signed autographs.
Event planner extraordinaire David Tutera (and new McCall’s designer!) signed autographs.
McCall's designer Khaliah Ali also chatted with fans and shared style tips at the American Sewing Expo.
McCall’s designer Khaliah Ali also chatted with fans and shared style tips.
And more designers in our booth! Clockwise from left: Joi Mahon (McCall's); Katherine Tilton (Butterick); Gertie (Butterick).
And we hosted more designers in our booth! Clockwise from left: Joi Mahon (McCall’s); Katherine Tilton (Butterick); Gertie (Butterick).
We raffled off some of David Tutera's new fabric line with Fabric Traditions for Jo-Ann Fabrics.
We raffled off some of David Tutera’s new fabric line with Fabric Traditions for Jo-Ann Fabrics.
We bought fans ice cream and admired the things they sewed with our patterns.
We bought fans ice cream and admired the things they sewed with our patterns.
We hosted a fashion show of our latest patterns.
We held a fashion show of our latest patterns.
We sponsored the annual Passion for Fashion show and served as one of the judges.
We sponsored the annual Passion for Fashion show and served as one of the judges.
The McCall Pattern Company at the 2014 American Sewing Expo.
And we had a lot of fun!

I’ll post more photos from the American Sewing Expo on our McCall’s Facebook page, and you can see all the looks from our fashion show here. Have you been to this show? What about other sewing shows, like the Sewing & Stitchery Expo in Puyallup or PatternReview meetups? What’s your preferred way to take classes and congregate with fellow sewists? Leave a comment here!

20 Questions with Vogue Patterns Designer Carlos Correa

Carlos Correa, Vogue Patterns designer

We admit it, we love those features where celebrities answer random questions about themselves. Since you’ve told us you like getting to know the people behind the brands, we thought we’d ask Vogue Patterns designer Carlos Correa to share a little bit about himself:

1. Where did you grow up? Bayamon, Puerto Rico

McCall Pattern Company blog
Carlos at age 10 with his sister Elizabeth. “She was a huge influence on me as I was growing up. One of my most vivid memories from the 70’s was of her going out one night in a silk chiffon peasant dress à la YSL. She looked amazing.”

2. When did you realize you wanted to be a fashion designer? I grew up with four sisters and a mother who all sewed very well, so I was aware of clothing and fashion at a very early age. Somewhere around age 15 I realized what a fashion designer was and that this was something I could actually do for a living.

3. Where did you go to college? Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) in New York City.

4. When did you join the McCall Pattern Company? 1992. I was very young.

5. Can you and do you sew for yourself? Yes, I sew. My last project was V8842 parka and I took about three months to make it.

V8842 parka made by Carlos Correa, Vogue Patterns designer.
V8842 parka made by Carlos.

6. What item in your closet do you wear the most? My slim-fit pants from V8940.

7. Who are your favorite designers? Donna Karan and Ralph Rucci always inspire me.

8. What was your favorite vacation? I went to Iceland in 2008 and it was amazing. The country has an unspoiled natural beauty that you can’t find elsewhere. And Icelanders really respect their environment.

9. What is your favorite food? I could live on cookies and cakes. They call me the cookie monster here at work.

marlene dietrich
Marlene Dietrich, favorite style icon.

10. Who is your style icon? Marlene Dietrich, because she was very daring and she knew her body and her style very well.

11. What’s your favorite pattern in the current Vogue Patterns collection? V9041 men’s jacket. It’s a modern take on a classic pea coat design. For women, V1419 coat by Ralph Rucci, because it’s modern and classic at the same time.

12. What’s your favorite store? Century 21 in NYC for the thrill of the hunt. They have everything and you can’t beat the discounts.

13. What brings you your greatest joy? A job well done.

Carlos on vacation in Iceland.
On vacation in Iceland.

14. What makes you laugh? Celebrities acting foolish.

15. What’s your favorite vintage clothing era? The 1930s-1940s. In the ’30s we saw a lot of pre-war experimentation in fashion that was almost daring for the day. In the ’40s with the big shoulder pads and tailored suits women’s style was assertive and confident, before ’50s style turned them into dainty things.

16. What’s your favorite TV show? Anything with Real Housewives. Doesn’t matter where the location is, I’ll watch it.

17. What’s the one thing you splurge on? Skin care. I love anything by Origins, especially their anti-aging products.

18. What’s your favorite thing about working and living in New York City? The incredible diversity of the city.

19. What are the last three things on your credit card? Wee-wee pads, dog food and a trip to the groomer, all for Bella, my 10-year-old Maltese.

20. What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given? “Silence is golden.” Sometimes it’s better to keep your cards close to your vest.