crafts · patterns · Sewing

Early spring McCall and Simplicity (and some sewing inspiration!)

I love new patterns – nothing makes me happier than seeing new patterns, and planning my upcoming wardrobe.  I like to think that I have a pretty good eye, but occasionally a pattern photo or illustration will be so bad that I just can’t imagine how the garment would look on me.  In those cases I rely on the many talented women in the sewing community – you would not believe how often I buy a pattern after seeing it on someone else!  I made my way to Joann’s for the sale tonight, and purchased several patterns that were “inspiration” purchases.  I thought I’d blog about them (and the beautiful garments made by other sewers) to highlight the difference from picture to reality.  (Oh – and I also found the new McCall’s and Simplicity patterns – my review is at the bottom!)

Clockwise from top left: Vogue 8571 (See: Girls in the Garden,) Vogue 8469 (See: Mezzo Couture,) Vogue 8380 (See:Did You Make That,) Vogue 8631 (See:Lazy Stitching,) and Vogue 8645 (see:Adrienne’s version.)

See what I mean?  I find myself totally unable to interpret the Vogue drawings!  I have the same issue with McCall (though theirs often stem from some odd photo styling.)

I think that the top left tunic may be one of the worst pattern photos ever.  It’s just so bad – the shiny! leggings, the stumpifying shoes, the pulled back hair (making the shoulders look out of proporton,) and the fact that the tunic does not fit her.  But!  I just saw Ann over at Sew Baby News make it, and it was so cute!  Plus I just got a similar top at the thrift, and it’s very flattering, which I would not have thought at all.  Other patterns: McCall 6069 (chalk this one up to changing tastes – I thought I didn’t like drapey tops, but it turns out I do,) McCall 6070 (see: Underneath the willow,) and McCall 6031 (See: Mushywear.)  These are all knit garments, and I’ve recently bought a bunch of knits in preparation for spring/summer sewing.  I can’t wait – I love wearing my knits!

While at Joann’s I found the new McCall’s patterns hiding in a drawer (the book was not out, but they were good for the 99 cent sale going on through Saturday!)  It’s a pretty good collection, and includes a new line of patterns by the author of Generation T.  I personally don’t care for those books, which remind me a bit of the early Stitch and Bitch books, in that everything is sort of skewed towards that “punk rock crafting” aesthetic that I don’t get.  But the new patterns are cute, and I can see teenagers really loving them!  Here are the three patterns I picked up:

**Edited to add:** I got another look, and the Generation Next patterns are actually by several different designers, only one of which is the Generation T designer.  I can’t wait to see a few of them made up!

I really like the Laura Ashley dress.  Are there still Laura Ashley stores in the US?  We don’t have on here anymore.  I plan to make the view with the flutter sleeves from rayon challis.  It’s a bit 70s, and I’m in a 70s mode right now.  I like the coatdress for the view with the little ruffled sleevecaps.  The skirt pattern looks like a good basic – View A is just gathered, while the other two are ruffled and tiered.  I love a full skirt in the summertime!

I also have to give McCall’s props – I’ve been complaining for ages (well, since I started sewing!) that no one shows the finished hip measurement on the back of the envelope.  They started doing that in the fall (I think) and it’s very helpful for me!  For instance, I now know to plan to use an 8 on the top, blended to a 12 on the bottom for the Laura ashley dress, and I didn’t have to measure the pieces to figure that out!

My Joann’s also has the spring Simplicity patterns:

These are the ones I plan to pick up as soon as there is a sale.  I love that Cynthia rowley pattern, and I’m imagining it in gingham, with the jacket in lightweight denim (yes, almost exactly like the illustration… my imagination needs a boost!)  Both PR patterns look nice – the ruffles on the jacket are trendy, but I think I like the plain collar even more.  The dress will be pretty in cotton sateen.  I like the little knit cardigan with tabbed sleeves on the first pattern.  And that Jessica McClintock dress is fab – I love the cocktail length with the pleated bodice.  I have nowhere to wear that to, but seriously I’m going to have to come up with somewhere to go!

Whew – that was a lot of talking about patterns!  I’ve been off from work for a week, but I haven’t sewed anything at all – there’s been way too much traveling and holiday party-ing.  I’m in the process of planning a travel wardrobe for Italy in March – so excited!  Hopefully I will get the plan together and post soon.

14 thoughts on “Early spring McCall and Simplicity (and some sewing inspiration!)

  1. Likewise, you would not believe the number of patterns I have bought after seeing them on your blog! You have a great eye 😀 I love that Cynthia Rowley pattern too, it’s so new that I can’t even find it on the Simplicity website! Where did you find the image (or did you take it yourself?) and is there a technical drawing? Happy new year!

    1. I got the pictures from They don’t have the technical drawings up (I checked at Joann’s for yardage etc on the ones I liked.) They’ve been at my Joann’s for weeks, so I don’t know why they aren’t on the website yet!

  2. I’ll be looking forward to seeing some of these done up in your usual cool, breezy style. Thanks for the shout-out on my McCalls knit dress… It’s nice to know that someone whose style I admire likes something I’ve made. Good luck in the new year – I’ll be following along to see your creations!

  3. I love the Jessica McClintock dress, but I wouldn’t have anywhere to wear it either. The McCall’s 6069 is actually extremely cute when it’s finished (I LOVE my version), but don’t try to squeeze it on fabric, because it really does take a fair amount.

  4. Wheeee! Thanks for the link, Stitchywitch. It’s really intersting to look back at an early make of mine (and early blog post!). Looks like you have lots of exciting things lined up for 2011. Keep blogging!

  5. Some people don’t get the shiny! I saw a dolled-up 18-year-old at the train station… shiny gold lame leggings on impossibly skinny legs. I had to turn away and laugh because she looked so much like CP3O)!

  6. Oooo… Great choices! Can’t wait to see – especially the new Cynthia Rowley.
    Ps. Thanks for the link chick! 🙂

  7. Wow, that’s alot of new things to sew! The Jessica McClintock is BEAUTIFUL, surely there’s somewhere in Italy you could wear that to… If only for the amazing photos you could take!
    A lovely selection 🙂

  8. I just found your blog from your Vogue 8663 Pattern Review. This is a really cool post! I also find myself buying new patterns when I see a cool version someone made.

  9. I’m envious that you’re going to Italy. Have fun. I love the red dress with the big bow and the vogue dress on the right. You actually look good in 99.99% of patterns. Have a happy and safe holiday.

  10. What is the pattern number for the McCalls Laura Ashley on the left please? It looks great. I’m a complete beginner so I look forward to reading your review when you’ve made it, to see if it’s easy enough for me to attempt too!

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