Hubby invited me to accompany him on a short business trip, and as you might guess, I made a beeline to Mood Fabrics.
Here I am with the charming owners of the store, Eric and Phil Sauma.
Eric, on my right manages the store, and Phil wearing orange, buys the fabric. Mood was bustling with customers during my 2 ½ hour visit. I even met a Goodbye Valentino follower, Anne Martin, from Spokane, WA who was nice enough to introduce herself to me and pose for a photo.
After leaving Mood, I had the pleasure of touring the McCall Pattern Company.
… is the first word that comes to mind describing my afternoon at the iconic corporation. The tour was truly enlightening as I was walked through the steps of pattern conception to completion, as well as introduced to the people who make it happen.
Did you know the McCall Pattern Company owns Butterick, McCall’s and Vogue patterns? The entire process happens in this one office with the exception of pattern printing.
Located on the 34th floor in the historic Equitable Building near Wall Street, I was immediately captivated by the views from nearly every office!
The vast amount of information I received during the tour is impossible to recall exactly, but following are highlights I found interesting:
- Butterick is the first and original pattern company, founded by Ebenezer Butterick in 1863. In the 1960s Butterick purchased Vogue Patterns and in 2001 The McCall Pattern company acquired Butterick and Vogue.
- Dressforms spanning every shape line one of the halls. Misses Patterns are designed on a size 10 dressform. Below is the perfect size 10. Is that you? It’s not me :)
How cute is this!
- Each pattern company has its own designer who designs all of the patterns (minus the designer patterns) for its respective company. It’s true! One person designs all of the Vogue patterns…… another all of the Butterick and another all of the McCall’s.
- The fabric and pattern design play a huge role in the fabric stores. Once the patterns are finalized with fabrics for the pattern books, the information is shared with sewing stores thus influencing fabric selections.
- Maybe you already know the company works a year in advance. It was quite exciting to see the preview for Winter 2014, but understandably photos were not allowed.
- After the pattern is designed, the muslin is made by one of six sewers. After the designer approves the muslin it is sent to the next department where the actual garment is constructed. The department was working on 2014 Halloween costumes as I passed through.
- All photography is handled in-house by one photographer in one studio!
- The largest department appeared to be the one transforming the original paper pattern to the retail pattern complete with instructions and illustrations.
- Below are files of the company’s current patterns, and guess what?
This area is staffed with an employee ready to help customers facing pattern issues.
- The company regularly reads the Pattern Review website and truly values thoughtful interaction with its customers.
- Vogue Patterns Magazine is also housed in the McCall Pattern Company offices. I had the pleasure of meeting and visiting with Kathy Marrone, the Editor in Chief.
While the behind-the-scenes treat provided insight into this well oiled machine, I left slightly dumbfounded, saturated with information and awestruck by the details of manufacturing over 200 patterns a year by a moderately sized staff.
Many thanks to the McCall Pattern Company for such a fabulous tour!
And now, what better way to conclude my eventful day than meeting up with two Mood Sewing Network bloggers so full of life and creative energy?
Just how good can a day get?