Sunday, January 6, 2019

Spring Patterns from McCall

The new Spring McCall catalog was released last week, including this vintage reproduction from The Archive Collection.  At first glance, it looks lovely.
However, there isn't a whole lot going on here.  The low back on the dress is stunning, but this is really just a very basic sheath dress.  I do like the four darts on the skirt front and back instead of two.  But I am confused as to why the back drape is cut in two pieces when there is a side zipper, and the drape is clearly a separate piece.  Then, the separate cummerbund is another added layer.  That seems like a lot of bulk in an area that a 1955 silhouette is doing its best to stay tiny.  But I am pleased that The Archive Collection is still around.  I am just hoping more complex options will show up soon!

I love this Edwardian style corset from Angela Clayton . . . but do I need another costume pattern to add to the growing collection?  Probably not.  But this is beautiful.

I was excited to see the interesting design lines on this dress (the ruffles outline the curved seamlines).  Although the reason I was first drawn to the dress is the floral print, which is not a good reason to purchase a pattern.  But there are some definite possibilities here.  And goodness knows, that fabric is probably made of polyester.

Normally, I am a huge fan of cold shoulder designs.  And I want to like this.  The ruffles, the seamlines, they are all wonderful.  But something about the wide straps with the small cutout on the shoulder makes the feminine design look mannish to me.  Something about the proportions are off.  I am trying to decide if it is worth a little work to figure out the problem, or if I should just move on to the next design.  Maybe the sleeve is too long or too wide?
And here is a lovely little skirt.  I was really quite excited about this one at first glance, but the waistline is slightly north of the natural waist, and those garments have a tendency to rotate on my body over a day of wear.  I do love those pleats, though.  Perhaps View D with the fabric belt would solve my potential issue.  And can you ever have too many classic button front skirts in the wardrobe?  I think not!
The curse of the slightly asymmetrical button front dress returns.  The McCall designer really likes this look!  I previously mentioned my issues with McCall 7863 which has an asymmetrical bodice, and I don't think the issue has been resolved with this design.  The pitch of the diagonal is not steep enough, making the finished dress look like it has been cut off grain to me.  That curved bodice seam is gorgeous, though.  And I would be curious to see how the View C sleeve is constructed.
At first glance, the two David Tutera dress patterns remind me of a Macy's department during prom season.  But McCall 7895 has a lovely bodice and neckline treatment.

The second, McCall 7896, has a very distinctive prom feel, but this cold shoulder silhouette is something I can get behind.  I really do think my issue with the Nicole Miller design above is the wide neckline.  As for the rest of the dress, that trumpet skirt screams Barbie prom dress, but this one might be worth it for the bodice pieces alone.  I see it paired with a full pleated 1960s skirt that balloons out from the waist and stops at the knee.

And I just wanted to share this one because it sure looks like there is no facing under that front and center button and loop closure?!  I can't quite tell in the model shot, so I am going to have to investigate when the pattern finally show up at JoAnns.  There must be an underlap or facing, right?  But this technical illustration is really confusing me.  

What do you think?  Any new favorites to add to your collection?

[Click on image for source]


  1. thank you for making these pattern recap posts! love always reading your thoughts

  2. McCall 7896 would make a sexy wiggle dress if you chopped it off above the knee.

  3. There is something about M7897 that looks strange to me. If I remember correctly, in the original pattern, the draped skirt, in View A, is the same length as the fitted skirt beneath it. In the photo, it looks 5-6 inches longer than the skirt. I wonder why they made it that way. But both views look costumey to me: maybe it's the fabric or the youth of the model, who looks like a 17 yo playing dress-up.

  4. Once again, thanks for this 'service'. Nobody else seems to do it anymore. I finally picked up 7124 (the crazy handkerchief prom dress by David Tutera) to read the instructions. And only for that. Funny what pricing at $1.99 will do (it's cheaper than a magazine or a paperback).
    7890 caught my eye, for the bodice shaping, and I will be happy to change the button placket to an ongrain version. It has been a test of my patience in terms of buying it. Joann's in Ballard/Seattle has it in the drawers, as well as the new book on the counter, but they aren't in the system (it kept trying to ring up at $40). I went to another Joanns in town, and they didn't have any of the Spring bits out. I think they are waiting to take the McCalls off the deep sale discount. And then, only then, will it be Spring at Joanns.