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McCall’s patterns for your fabric stash


Is your New Year’s resolution to break into your fabric stash? Check out McCall’s Spring Collection for some great ideas.

I have fabric—a lot of fabric. There, I’ve said it (admitting it is the first step). And I know I’m not alone. Sewers have a habit of going to a sewing store and simply falling in love with a fabric… or two or three or twenty. I once knew a sewer who said that if she made everything she bought fabric for she’d finish in the year 2050. So, I’ve decided that in this New Year I’m breaking into my stash more often! Are you with me? And McCall’s newest spring pattern line makes it a little easier. Check out these patterns that use multiple pieces to start you on your fabric stash-busting mission.

Pattern 6511 is a long (low hip) racerback tunic. Designed for moderate stretch knits, the neckline, armholes and hem are bound with a bias strip. The front is artistic with 13 different patches for View A and 12 patches for View B. One yard of fabric is required for the garment back and binding and the contrasting fabrics range in size from 6 inches to 16 inches. I have a fabric combo from Marcy Tilton that is perfect for this pattern!

Pattern 5604 is a sweet, knee-length dress that uses four fabrics, approximately 1 1/8 yards each. Make it sleeveless or with short sleeves and choose an optional flounce. (That’ll use more of your stash!) Suggested fabrics are cotton blends, cotton lawn, linen, and chambray. This is the perfect spring-time dress!

Other stash-busting ideas include accessories and children’s clothes. Pattern 6497 is a cute-as-can-be dress, tunic and pants set for little girls. Required yardage for each contrasting fabric ranges from 1/2 yard to 1 yard. Pattern 6522 is a sophisticated Laura Ashley bag collection. The two styles, drawstring or zipper closer, use three fabrics ranging from 3/8 to 1 1/8 yards.

Check out these and other great new spring patterns from McCall’s. Are you on a stash-busting mission too? What are you making?



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  1. User avater
    eatsallinsects | | #1

    Am I correct in thinking that the description of pattern #6511 should be "racer-back" not "razor-back"?

  2. FFO | | #2

    Thank you for coming out of the closet about your stash. Now I can admit to more than my husband, and numerous movers, that I have been moving the same cloth around the world with us for the past 12 years. I collect as I travel and always afraid to cut into it or not enough fabric to do what I want but these patterns have inspired me since it can utilize the different odd yardages I have managed to accumulate. Also made me realize that the winter clothes I am thinking of now will not be done until spring/summer so I should just move on and start with spring/summer collection and quit kidding myself; that yardage of tweed will last another year, if not more...

  3. PointPatou | | #3


    I agree, it probably should be "racerback."

  4. HotRags | | #4

    I have just begun ballroom and Latin dancing in competition and the need for costumes has revived my interest in sewing, so much so that I have just purchased a serger.

    I started to teach myself how to sew by following patterns at the age of ten. My parents were poor, but there was an old Singer treadle machine in the basement, which had an alarming way of spinning backwards when the rhythm got out of sync.

    I have loved your magazine for decades and it has also inspired me to return to sewing, which I have done for 60 years. However, I have combed through all my issues and have not found much information about how to deal with exotic materials like sequinned, and otherwise ornamented materials, feathers, and other such exotica. Do you have something about this in the archives or expect to publish anything about this soon?

  5. vcalbur | | #5

    I admit I have a lot of stash. I learn to sew at home from my mother and used the machine when she wasn't using her sewing machine. We were not poor but there were seven children and mom and dad. Luckily I am the only girl that learned to sew. My sisters can not sew a button. My brothers probably can sew buttons.
    I liked the fact my mom could sew because my clothes stood out and were different. She wanted to be an fashion designer but opportunities were not there for an Kentuckian. She sew parachutes during the wartime.
    I took a class in middle school to advance my sewing skills and received a D because they were only sewing aprons, no dresses, pants, coats like I was accustomed to sewing. It was plain boring. I never sewed a pillow until 5 years ago.
    Anyway, I only purchase fabric when its on sale or at the fabric warehouse but I able to put out and sew.

    I sewn a black halter evening dress using boning. That was my first time and wore it in a fashion show but my career was teaching.
    I am now retired and use my talent for manufacturing products on a small scale. This is my second career.
    My basement flooded in November, patterns gone but fabric saved because they were in rubber made bins. We need to sew and keep it going and use up our stash because fabrics can dry rot.

  6. MerrySunshine | | #6

    There's an elephant in my sewing room--it's the stash! Thank for the patterns.

  7. User avater
    annieoconnor | | #7

    Hi Eatsallinsects and PointPatou, yes, you’re absolutely right. Thanks for catching that! The post is now corrected.

    HotRags, We have several articles you may find helpful.

    Working with sequined fabric:
    “Sequin Smarts” in issue #92, pg. 42
    “Dazzling with Sequins” in issue #1, pg. 60

    Working with feathers:
    “Fanciful Feathers” in issue #141, pg. 22

    Working with brocade:
    “Exploring Chinese Silk-faced Brocades” in issue #113, pg. 35

    Also, check out the online index to find more (in the red colored band at the top of the home page, rest the cursor on MAGAZINE to find the online index). The index hasn’t been updated with 2011 issues yet, but the rest of the issues are there, and 2011 is coming.

    Hope that helps!

  8. Gringa | | #8

    MMMMMM..........now I am inspired.......just wish the patterns were available here in Mexico.....Fabric shopping here is soo very difficult my stash has dwindled ot almost nothing...sad state of affairs but love the ideas.....thank you so very much

  9. lizziesews | | #9

    I think I have FFO beat. I have some beautiful yellow silk and matching lace from Thiland, which were given to me as a wedding gift 45 years ago. Also some silk and some cotton saris from India, and some georgous embroidered wool from Kashmir. Those were purchased several years before I was even married! I really do want to sew them but...... What if I ruin them? What if whatever I sew goes terribly out of style? What if I gain weight?
    To add to my original stash, my favorite aunt has given me some fabrics that she collected on her travels to Africa and South America. She's 96 and doesn't think she'll get around to all of them.

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