Take Two: Pati Palmer and Melissa Watson on Project Runway, Sewing Bras and More

Take Two with Melissa Watson and Pati Palmer on the McCall Pattern Company blog.

The New York Times does this fun feature called “Take Two: A Dual Review of What’s New.” They pick two famous people, who are usually polar opposites, and ask them to each review products or concepts in a couple of sentences. We thought it would be fun to try this with McCall’s licensed designers and mother-daughter sewing duo Pati Palmer and Melissa Watson (Palmer/Pletsch).

Pati Palmer is a pattern designer and sewing instructor with more than 37 years of experience. She has designed more than 200 patterns for The McCall Pattern Company, and she’s the author of 10 sewing books. Pati taught sewing seminars throughout North America and Australia for 15 years before establishing the Palmer/Pletsch International School of Sewing in Portland, Oregon.

Melissa Watson is Pati’s daughter, so it’s no surprise that her love of fashion and sewing can be traced all the way back to childhood. Melissa designed a line of print fabrics for Springs Creative and co-designed the DIY Line for McCall’s. Soon after that, she began designing for the Palmer/Pletsch line at McCall’s — creating patterns that appeal to the next generation of sewers. [bios from Pati and Melissa’s Craftsy class]

Take Two Pati Palmer & Melissa Watson. On the McCall Pattern Company blog

photos from Lifetime, Threads, Great British Sewing Bee and the New York Times.

Friday Goodies: Sewalong, Pattern Giveaway, And More


on the McCall Pattern Company blog 8-21-15

Lots of goodies on the blog today!

  • Enter our pattern giveaway
  • The next sewalong is here
  • Download a new coloring book PDF
  • Meet our guest pinner

Scroll down to read more about each…

pattern giveaway on McCall Pattern Company blog

Want to win a new fall McCall’s pattern? All you have to do is check out the new collection here, then leave a comment on this post telling us which pattern you’d like to win and why. Must have a valid email address; only one comment per person. One winner will be randomly selected next week and notified via email. We’ll also announce the name of the winner on this post, so check back next week if you want to see who won. UPDATE: Congratulations to Pamela (Parcher2001), random winner of this giveaway! Pamela, see the comments section for directions.

announcing the V1467 pea coat sewalong on the McCall Pattern Company blog

Plans are underway for our fall sewalong. By popular demand, we’ll be sewing V1467, the pea coat/jacket pattern by Anne Klein for Vogue Patterns. We’re thrilled that Rachel of House of Pinheiro and #sewphotohop fame will be co-hosting the sewalong with us. Order your pattern today while it’s on sale for $5.99USD! A sewalong schedule will be posted here soon, but look for things to begin around mid-September.


For those of you who enjoy our coloring book PDFs, here’s a new one featuring eight of the hottest Fall ’15 McCall’s patterns. This downloadable PDF features high-resolution line art, which you can color with your fabric ideas and styling details. Just enter your email address below to download our McCall’s Fall ’15 coloring booklet. You’ll receive a confirmation message on the page and the link to download the PDF will appear just below it.

Note: You will NOT receive an email from us with the PDF. You must click on the link that will appear—McCall’s Fall 2015 Coloring PDF—just below the horizontal box that says “Your email was sent successfully.” Clicking on it will download the PDF to your computer or device; if the PDF does not open immediately, then locate the file called McCall’s Fall 2015 Coloring PDF on your device and open it.

Your Email (required)

Erica Bunker guest pinner for the McCall Pattern Company

We’re super-pleased to have Erica Bunker as our first guest pinner. We’ve long admired her advanced sewing skills and impeccable taste, not to mention we always find ourselves repinning her Pinterest pins. Follow Erica for a week starting today as she pins the things that are inspiring her fall and winter sewing plans. And if there’s someone you’d like to see as a guest pinner, please let us know in the comments section.

Have a great weekend filled with lots of sewing!

Finishing Techniques For Knit Garments. Plus, Sneak Peek!

McCall's M7244 Plenty by Tracy Reese dress sewing pattern.

Happy Friday! Here’s a sneak peek of a new McCall’s pattern I just love. It’s a Plenty by Tracy Reese dress pattern and it will be available very soon, along with the rest of the new Fall collection for McCall’s. The reason I’m sharing it here is one, it’s really cute and flattering. Two, the torso is lined with power mesh (tricot)—love this idea!

Here’s the original designer dress turned inside out. The fabric is a textured knit jacquard that’s ivory and black on the right side and solid black on the wrong side. See how there’s a neck facing attached to the black power-mesh lining on the bodice?

Detail photo of McCall's M7244 Plenty by Tracy Reese dress sewing pattern.

I have several knit dresses planned for my fall sewing and I want to borrow this finishing idea. I’m gravitating to the thought that a power mesh lining could help smooth things out, like a layer of lightweight Spanx. And finishing the edges with facings makes me happy, because I’m never really pleased with the knit bands I make at the neck and arm hole (they’re lumpy). So I am definitely going to borrow these two finishing techniques for the knit dresses I have planned.

Have you been using facings and power mesh/tricot linings on your knit garments, and I’m just really late to the party? Do tell. I think this concept works better on more stable knits, like ponte and double knits. Speaking of fabric, I went to my local Jo-Ann’s this past weekend to buy some craft supplies and ended up leaving with three cuts of knit fashion fabric, including this gray textured knit. Very pleased with my purchase.

Here are some more photos of this Plenty by Tracy Reese dress, because we know you like these kinds of detail shots. Coming next week: the new fall collections video. Stay tuned!

Detail photo of McCall's M7244 Plenty by Tracy Reese dress sewing pattern.
The bodice and the lining are serged or stitched together as one to the flared skirt.
Detail photo of McCall's M7244 Plenty by Tracy Reese dress sewing pattern.
Want, want, want this textured jacquard knit the designer used.
McCall's M7244 Plenty by Tracy Reese dress sewing pattern.
Gotta love a v-neck for a flattering line. We feature this dress in the soon-to-be-released fall collections video. It’s even cuter worn in real life.