McCall’s latest collection
In a recent blog I asked, “How early do you start your fall sewing?” Many of you responded saying fall wasn’t on your radar yet. I understand–it’s hard to sew with a heavy wool fabric while the air conditioner is fighting off blistering hot days! So, as I started to look through McCall’s fall collection, I was happy to see many multiseason items. Check out a few highlights below and be sure to browse their full fall pattern line.
Pattern 6609, from the Fashion Star collection, is an easy to sew fitted dress. The shoulder seams on the V-neck bodice extend over the shoulder creating slight cap sleeves. Jointed to the bodice at the waist seam, the straight skirt ends just above the knee and has a back kick pleat. A rounded side-front panel makes this dress stylish and unique. This pattern is perfect for color blocking or combining different fabric types–both extremely popular styles this summer and fall.
Pattern 6612 is a cowl-neck dress or tunic. This sew-in-a-night pattern has great options for any season. Choose a simple, cut-on cowl or a more dramatic fuller cowl that is attached separately. Hem lengths range from low hip to ankle and sleeves vary from sleeveless to long sleeves. Make it in light jersey for summer or in a cozy sweater knit for fall or winter.
From Nancy Zieman, pattern 6607 is a loose, sleeveless top with various hem length options. The low-cut cowl neckline makes this a great garment for layering–in the summer wear it over a cotton tank and in the fall layer it over a long-sleeve turtleneck top.
What’s more multi-season, than a pair of jeans? Pattern 6610 offers straight or boot-cut fitted jeans in both misses’ and miss petite sizes. For summer, cut the hem to a Capri length and make it in a bright, fun color.
When you go pattern shopping, which patterns attract you–season-specific looks or styles that can be adapted for any time of year?
6610 line sketch
6612 line sketch
6607 line sketch
I am soon going to be 69 and I'd like to look good, but I would not purchase any of those patterns. I notice most patterns are pictured with young women as models. Is it because many of these designs would not look appropriate on older women? They tell us baby boomers are the largest part of the population, so why are there not good designs for us as well.
I am particularly frustrated as I have recently been looking for a dress for a wedding. I searched the entire town for something appropriate for me I found ONE - just one in all those shops that fit me appropriately and was a decent color and an 'okay' fabric! I thought, in the midst of this search, I would sew but could find no patterns I liked, let alone fabric (we only have quilt shops in our town). In my search I overheard other women combing the racks as I was and talking to a companion saying the same kinds of things.
Am I one of a minority who feel this way, or is there a real need for stylish perhaps more classic styles that do us older girls right?
I too am an older woman and my problem is I won't wear sleeveless anything. Why can the pattern makers create a sleeve option to go with the sleeveless versions?
I agree, sleeveless, low necklines, tight fits, fitted, just don't do it for me. I keep my old patterns that I like so well and now that I am larger, adjust them when I can. And yes, all of the models are young and a size 4 (even thought the patterns often start at 6)!
Could we please have patterns in real plus sizes? I wear a 20-22 but a pattern 26-28. It is VERY difficult to find any patterns with some fitted style above a pattern 22.
There is absolutely a need for styles for older women. And not just in the larger sizes--I have a friend who is a tiny little 80 year old and all she can find are young girls dresses that are totally inappropriate.
I totally agree- older women need clothes that are stylish
and age appropriate -- even Vogue's older lady patterns are
mostly not - a little fuller thru the waist- flatter in the
back- and not large thru the hips and below. Surely there must be some attractive patterns that are meant for us some-
where.Elegant sometimes- pretty other times. Posted 9.39pm July 6th.
Regarding patterns for sleeveless garments--would it be so terribly difficult to include a sleeve, and why are the 'arm holes' in sleeveless garments SO BIG the entire side of the bra 'shows' under the arm?
Regarding patterns for slacks/shorts for 'fat' ladies--why is the crotch seem always so long from the beginning of the 'curve' to its' end between the legs? How can I shorten it?
Is it my imagination or has the quality of fabric gotten worse in the past 5 years?
I've been reading these comments with great interest. I feel appropriate, smart-looking clothing and patterns for the older woman is certainly an ongoing problem. For me personally, finding stylish clothes with a classic look is such a challenge. Shopping for myself is slowly becoming history. I wish the pattern companies would recognize this problem and come to our rescue.
Yes, when we get a bit older, we may lose those shapely curves and muscle tone, but that shouldn't mean we can't continue to look nice. These days we're still active and productive. Our minds are young and we desire to 'look sharp'. For me, shopping for myself in retail stores is slowly becoming part of the past.
It's a known fact that our haircuts and hairstyles are a frame for our face. Our choices depict who we are and how we feel. Our choice of clothing should express this as well. We all want to look good for ourselves first....... and others as well. We need these choices!
I would love to read more discussions on this subject. A blog was mentioned above. Would someone please direct me to that place along with any others that might exist?
Dear seniors, I agree with all of you.
Sleeveless arms, nude shoulders, deep décolleté... So nice when we were young. That was in an other century !
Neither In France it is not easy; ( at all) to find patterns, and ideas for elder woman,
The apparel (confection) size is 38/ 40/ 42 = 8/ 10/ 12
Even in France, real women are taller, thicker, larger with more hips and bustes.
The end of the creativity in shops/boutiques, warehouses seems the size 48.= 18
In catalogues you can find bigger sizes. Every body is doing his best , but is not really what you could expect. and not at all what you like to wear.
Even the Patterns of a German magazine are not very creative in bigger sizes. 22, 24 and more . More ? You had to follow a regime, with pills and 1 special meal a day ( that is a very lucrative industry !! ) and then we shall see .
I guess –admiring also the younger women draped in formless dresses, pressed in to narrow , pants,( jeans) with a T shirt, and looking to the mountains around the belly and hips, that the lake of choices in the clothing industry is an ageless and world wide problem
The question is, what to do against the dictate of : small, smaller , smallest ?
The group which is suffering of the lake in choices is probably great, but who is shouting that from the roofs ?
May be we had to be strong together and asking and re-asking bigger sizes, more creativity, better fabrics,
I am not a sewing star, my outfits are simple in made in nice fabrics and with surprising notes . That are the eye catcher and the sewing misers are not in the picture. Except if the person knows more about sewing then I .
Courage. with excuses if my English is not what it had to be..
I am 54 yrs. old, 5' tall and weight 90 - 92 lbs. I am tiny both vertically and horizontally. I work in a very nice clothing retail store. I can't afford what I sell and that's a moot point anyway because everything is too big. We have a petite section that goes down to 00p but for me that size is huge (especially in the waist). So, I thought since I have to look nice for work, I would try to sew my own clothes. I bought books and videos about altering patterns but they all mainly focus on making adjustments upward. Even if I try to figure out what an opposite adjustment would be, there is no instruction for flow from one adjustment to another.
Even when I was young I didn't wear garments that were low-cut or sleeveless. I absolutely hate pants that sit below the waist. I find children's clothing inappropriate for me and they don't fit in the waist. I am the same size now as when I was 18 years old. Back then I had no problems finding clothes to fit. I own two pairs of pants that I bought in 1980 from the same store I work for now. Those pants were size 5 and fit me fine without any alteration. If those same pants were sold today I would take a guess that the size would be labeled 0000p if not smaller. Since patterns require too many adjustments, and instructions for adjusting downwards is difficult to find, my only option is too take those pants apart when I have a vacation and try to figure out how to use them to make new pants that fit. Signed - Apparently not a real woman.
Since I'm fairly new to this particular forum, can someone tell me if there's a way to reply directly to a specific posts? I notice questions without answers. Thank you.
For those of you who cannot find suitable clothing or patterns, get thee to a computer patternmaking program such as Patternmaster by Wild Ginger. Sorry McCalls.
I've almost decided to go to fashion design school to learn to make patterns for the "pretty plus" crowd. My mom is petite plus and in her 60's. It's nearly impossible to find clothes for her. I recently made her a skirt and had to remove 10 inches from the length! I really think the fashion industry has begun designing for their own glory and not for the general population.
I'll be interested in seeing the reviews for #6610. I've had trouble finding patterns for jeans. They keep getting discontinued.
I am 73 years old and weigh in at 10st9lb as I am only 5 foot tall you can imagine the problems I have. To add to this my bust is 44" my waist 36" and my hips 41" I have long since given up buying off the peg, it is too soul destroying! I only know of one manufacturer whose clothes fit but regret too say that I find their clothes old fashioned. Adjusting patterns is a nightmare and time consuming I chose my patterns with great care make the adjustments and then cut and make them up in Swedish tracing paper make any further adjustments and then make it up in my chosen fabric. Yes buying fabric is getting more and more difficult I travel to Birmingham where there are still a couple of good fabric stores plus the rag market. Locally ( within 15 miles) there are 3 stores which sell fabric. I save my pennies and then go on a fabric spree I choose fabrics which I like and know will suit me and add them to my fabric stash so that when I want to sew I usually have a suitable fabric on hand. There is always the internet but I like the touchy feely test before spending my cash. If any one out there can offer further advice I would love to hear from you.
Girls! I thought I was the only one with this problem.
Things fit relatively well when I was in 20s & 30s, even 40s.
Now at age 60, I'm learning how to adjust for a 34DD. But there are so many other points where a mature figure differs from those young things! The stomach might be fuller, but I think it's also higher. The shoulders come forward and the back curves to the front too. This kyphosis, including the forward jutting of the neck, makes one look "short-waisted" in the front. That's a lot of adjustment alread -- and I haven't even begun on my stomach!
What happened to HALF SIZES? I can remember my grandmother shopping in the half size department of Lord & Taylor and I know the pattern companies also had half size patterns. Does anyone know of those patterns really addressed the needs of mature women who have 50+ years of gravity working on her and 30+ years of bra straps cutting into the shoulders? My granny didn't sew, so I don't know.
I'd love to start a movement to pressure the pattern companies to bring this size class back for us!
Other than that, if I can't learn on my own to alter patterns, my fall back is to have a dressmaker develop a set of basic skirt and bodice patterns for me. My younger sister has the opposite problem: 4'10" and less than 100 lb. Absolutely everything she buys (size 00 or whatever) must be taken in by the tailor. I'm sure there are some garments that just cannot be taken in and look good!
Courage girls! There must be an answer for us!
You can use sleeve patterns from different patterns, as long as they are similar styles. You might have to do a little tweaking, but it works. Search the pattern books for classic styles; sewing patterns.com is a good site; it has all the pattern companies including independent companies. I go to Joann Fabrics when they have pattern sales. That's the only time I buy patterns, when you can get them for 99 cents or $1.99. Look at Neue Mode and New Look patterns; they have a little different take on styles. I find lots of cute patterns there. I will be 62 years old this year, by the way. I wear a size 14 pattern; I used to wear a size 12 when I was younger. I weigh about the same as I used to, but it's redistributed a little bit! One thing I have noticed about patterns now is that I think the pattern companies have increased the waist length by a couple of inches. Patterns used to fit me pretty well, but now I notice that when I hold a pattern up to myself, the waist is about 3 inches lower than where my actual waist is. I don't think I have shrunk that much! Has anyone else noticed this? I think they must be making the patterns for taller people now. I am about 5 ft 4 inches, by the way.There are a lot of interesting fabric shops on the internet. Go buy a Threads magazine and look at their ads for fabric shops.I agree, it's really impossible to find a dress when you need one. It's much easier to make one yourself. They seem to have a lot more to pick from in fabric than they do in ready to wear. You could probably find something if you have hundreds of dollars to spend; I don't! I hope this has helped someone.Try appleanniefabrics.com, or plushcatdesigns.com, or fashionfabricsclub.com for interesting fabrics.
Ah, yes---this is all SUCH good news! Armed with a B.S. degree in Clothing & Textiles from 1976, I've been a Tailor ever since, and you-all are my favorite clients. Colleges have been discontinuing these degrees (my class was the last where I attended), so I saw the day coming when I would have total job-security.
DO buy the clothes you can find that come close to fitting (really, only the shoulders are a "must"), and contact your local Tailor. We don't charge like your hairstylist, either, so it'll be worth it. Mind you, I'm not talking about someone who does "Alterations". Pick someone with training; a four-year degree works. Shopping will be more fun, especially if you include the Tailor (I love going with).
Should you choose to make it yourself, once again the Tailor can help. We can make you a sloper (basic fitting pattern), and you'll be set.
JDtailor -- your response is very interesting and gives me hope that somewhere I can find some expert.
Do you really go shopping with customers looking for items for their professional wardrobes/special event wear?
I have gone through some websites of local ASG members (Mass.) and have found 1 who mentions development of slopers as one of her services, along with customer evening/wedding gowns. I don't remember too much about the educational backgrounds of these people.
In my opinion, the challenge with the patterns of today is that there is a certain "sameness" to them. Look at evening dresses... All either strappy or strapless. Even if I were to master the alterations for my ample breasts, those styles are bound to look provocative on my curvy frame. I've discovered that by combing through my mother's old patterns, pattern companies used to offer numerous views that included multiple sleeve/sleeveless alternatives within the same pattern.
I must give McCalls a shout out for the new multi cup patterns.. I'm starting two dresses today. I'm hoping I can do minimal alterations and jump right into sewing, rather than spend a whole day getting the fit right. I'd they would include this option across the pattern line, I'd sew more.
I have found a web site that you can order older patterns. It's momspatterns.com. There are several dress patterns with the sleeve option. In fact I just ordered one.
Wow! After reading all of your comments, I find I'm not alone! Isn't that great? Not! I'm in the 60+ group but do not want to look dowdy. I too save my very old patterns because they have a classic look that are better suited to my slowly aging body. Even my 96 year old mother wants to look good. Is there anyone listening out there?
I agree with everyone commenting on the lack of good plus size patterns! Most patterns are up to pattern size 24 only which is about a 16W. Does anyone making patterns know the populations of the world are getting bigger in total body size?
I was going to buy a new sewing machine and was looking for one that was a good machine not intended for quilting or embroidery. They were several thousand dollars. When I took my renewed sewing enthusiasm to the pattern counter I could find very few patterns for my 63 yr. old body in its mature size.
I notice -like other's who have written in, that the larger sized patterns available, are made for giant versions of a small person... as opposed to a mature body with roundness. Many plus size patterns and garments seem to be made for Men's bodies! For example the shoulders are too wide, and the vertical space between the shoulder and the chest is way too long!
I have decided against buying a new machine, because I don't want to pay for custom made patterns. I may as well buy custom made clothes! This is a cause the machine companies should champion. They would sell more machines, if sewing patterns were less challenging to find, and nice fabrics were available. I also agree the quality of fabrics is poor. Good wool is especially unavailable.
Fabrics in Joanns and Hancocks are similar to those used in low end / inexpensive clothes. So, why waste your time to sew what you can buy cheaper. Hmmm...no patterns and low quality fabric. Somebody should listen!
When I was young and slender everything I tried on was a possibility for a stylish look. Now I am 63 and no longer slender. It is difficult to find garments, patterns, and fabrics that work well for me. Perhaps learning about fashion draping will help me improve my personal styling, and customize my wardrobe to my needs. I look forward to the lessons this book provides!