Summer, Must You Go So Soon?


I know, we technically still have a few more days of summer left. But once we get past Labor Day here in the US and all the kiddos go back to school, it feels like another summer streaked past us before we even knew it was here. Sigh.

To cheer us up, let’s look at some photos—a mashup of #mancandymonday and #throwbackthursday. In 1978 we traveled to Antigua to shoot these photos for Vogue Patterns Magazine. Love it. Scroll down for more photos.

Miscellaneous stuff:

  • Been reading all your blog post comments as have many other members of the McCall’s team. You guys give helpful feedback; please keep it up.
  • Planning a Pinterest contest; details to come soon.
  • What do you think of the Ralph Rucci coat pattern (V1419) for a sewalong? There seems to be the most reader support for that pattern. If you want to sew a coat but not that particular pattern, check out a new Craftsy class that teaches you how to sew Vogue Patterns coat V9040.
  • Anyone going to the American Sewing Expo in September? We’ll be there in booth #420; please stop by and say hello!
  • We’re also sponsoring the Sewing Party on November 8. Read more about this cool sewing event here.
  • So glad you liked our Fall Collection video! Planning another one as we speak.

Spread from a 1978 Vogue Patterns Magazine issue

Spread from a 1978 Vogue Patterns Magazine issue

Spread from a 1978 Vogue Patterns Magazine issue

Spread from a 1978 Vogue Patterns Magazine issue

Have a great Labor Day weekend and here’s to a fantastic fall together!

Art-Teacher Chic: We’ve Got the Patterns For It

Rachel Comey Sparrow dress
Art-teacher chic: Rachel Comey Sparrow dress

Not too long ago ran a trend piece on what it calls “art-teacher chic.” We read it and thought, hmm, that’s the perfect way to describe the style of some of our patterns.

“Art-teacher chic—loose tunics, big ceramic necklaces, modest shoes—has become the go-to uniform for fashion-y women who are done with overdone.” —

Designers like Rachel Comey (a Vogue Patterns designer), Celine and Prada exemplify this easy, wearable style of dressing.

Celine fall_2014_look_11
Art-teacher chic: Celine top and pants, fall 2014
Art-teacher chic: Tsumori Chisato poncho, available at Bird

If you’re looking for art-teacher chic patterns, check out Lynn Mizono and Marcy Tilton for Vogue Patterns. Katherine Tilton nails the look for Butterick. For even more examples of patterns that exemplify this creative, relaxed style of dressing, check out our new Art-Teacher Chic Pinterest board.

Art Teacher chic Vogue Collage
Vogue Patterns art-teacher style. V1410 by Lynn Mizono is a current bestseller for us.
Art Teacher Chic Butterick Collage
Butterick patterns that meet the art-teacher chic criteria. Katherine Tilton’s B6101 top is another bestseller.

Is art-teacher chic your style? I just got back from a long weekend in Woodstock, NY, where this kind of dressing is de rigueur for women of all ages. Tell us more about your look by leaving a comment here. Thanks!

The Seven Pieces to Sew for College, Then and Now

college students in the 1950s and in 2014. Any parents out there packing a daughter off to college or university for the first time? I came across an article in a 1950 issue of Vogue Patterns Magazine called “7-Part Plan for a College Wardrobe.” Let’s compare those pieces the “college girl, young woman newly graduated into business, and the newly married” needed in her wardrobe then with their 2014 wardrobe counterparts today:

The "short coat" of 1950 is the cape of 2014. This pattern is Vogue Patterns V9038.
1. A cape is the contemporary answer to the “shortcoat” of 1950. This cape pattern is Vogue Patterns V9038. Sew it in a a soft, warm wool so your college student feels like she’s wearing a blanket. This satisfies their toddler-like craving for anything that’s soft and cozy.
One-piece dress for college in 1950 and 2014.
2. Few college women live in dresses today like they did in 1950, but a dress can be handy for things like career externships. McCall’s M6989 is conservative but flirty and young, and we especially like designer Melissa Watson’s take on her own pattern (far right).
The skirt for college in 1950 and in 2014.
3. The “separate skirt” still gets a lot of mileage in 2014, especially if it’s one that can be dressed up or down. For McCall’s M6842, choose a ponte knit that won’t need ironing after being left at the bottom of a dorm room closet for three weeks.
The shirt for college in 1950 and in 2014.
4. A tailored shirt is still a wardrobe staple in 2014, but a flattering and chic wrap blouse is what will be worn this semester and next.  Sew McCall’s M6991 from a silky poly charmeuse or georgette that doesn’t require your precious to make a trip to the dry cleaners.
The jacket for college in 1950 and in 2014.
5. Don’t expect it to happen too often, but there will be times when your college student will want to shed her sweatshirt and wear something a little more tailored, like a jacket. Go collegiate prep with Butterick B5926.
The suit to wear for college in 1950, and the "suit" to wear for college in 2014.
6. Ok, we struggled to come up with a 2014 counterpart for the 1950s ubiquitous suit. Personally I can’t think of the last time I wore a suit, much less picture a college student or recent grad wearing one. But yogawear in 2014 is everywhere, from college campuses to the Hamptons. (Tip: Visiting the Hamptons and want everyone to think you own a summer house there? Walk around looking like you just left yoga class.) Try Kwik Sew K3988.
The strapless dress to wear at college in 1950, and one to make in 2014.
7. Colleges and universities still have formals and parties where a little strapless dress is just what a girl wants. Your college student is finally at the age where she can appreciate owning a one-of-a-kind dress you made for her, and she’ll feel sad for her friends who have to borrow their sorority formal dresses from Rent the Runway. We like Butterick B6019, which has a sophisticated, retro feel to it.

What was your college uniform like? Did it include any of these pieces? Tell us here! And for more patterns that work for today’s college students, check out our #NowTrending Pinterest board.