31 Jan McCall Pattern Company Interview & Giveaway
The McCall Pattern Company founded in 1870 is a mainstay of the home sewing industry.
Through the years, the pattern companies have undergone numerous business changes but they are still here! I had the privilege of touring the Manhattan company headquarters in 2013 which was very impressive. I was guided through the conception to realization of its pattern process, and the company truly runs like a well oiled machine.
Today the McCall Pattern Company is owned by CSS Industries, and sells sewing patterns under the McCall’s®, Butterick®, Kwik Sew® and Vogue Patterns® brand names.
In support of the 2018 RTW Fasters, The McCall Pattern Company is serving as the official pattern company of the 2018 RTW FAST by featuring a pattern giveaway to one lucky Faster each month!
If you have ever wondered who is behind the scenes of The McCall Pattern Company Instagram, Facebook, Blog, Sewalongs, and other online content, meet Meg McDonald, the Social Media Manager for CSS Industries. (Photo below from Instagram. Meg models Vogue 9289 – post here.)
Meg took the time to answer a few questions about her job and the company at large. Read on…
Your job looks like fun! Can your share your job description with us?
I do social media and marketing for CSS Industries, the parent company of McCall’s. So that means I create and publish social media content, and I engage with our consumers online. I’m a home sewer myself and a former sewing blogger, so talking with people about sewing all day long is a pretty great thing to do for a living.
Aside from the incredible longevity, what distinguishes the McCall pattern company from the indie patterns popping up in such abundance?
One of these days I’m going to write a blog post about this, because it seems like everyone wants to talk about this so-called duel between the “Big 4” and the indies. I guess a short answer would be that McCall’s and Simplicity offer far more pattern options each year than the indies do, and at more affordable prices. We did a survey recently where we asked questions about commercial patterns and indie patterns, and many respondents felt that the Big 4 were much more “consistent” than the indies.
How long does it take a current fashion trend to appear as a pattern?
Our production schedule dictates that we work about nine to 12 months ahead, but we can fast-track a trend if necessary to get it into consumers’ hands faster. We also anticipate trends by following the top designers, so we know ahead of time what will be hot next year.
I have found your sew alongs to be very helpful. Do you have any planned for 2018?
Yes! The #RoyalWeddingSewAlong is kicking off very soon and will be lots of fun. We’re planning it now with our colleagues from Simplicity, so stay tuned!
Susan Khalje told me that a pattern is a blueprint for your design, and customizing it is up to the sewist. I agree with her statement, but customizing takes planning and requires a vision. What advice can you offer for taking a pattern to the next level?
By the way, we love it when people put their own creative spins on our patterns. I try to do this myself. I keep a Pinterest board filled with all the designer outfits I’m inspired by. I’ll find a pattern that’s close enough to the designer original, and then I’ll try to incorporate the things I liked about it. I’m not skilled enough to make radical design alterations to any pattern, so I focus on small things that give a designer touch. Like quilting a cuff or finishing an edge with custom bias binding, or changing the length of a bodice or sleeve. Little touches like those can make all the difference.
What is your best selling pattern for 2017?
Two of our top sellers for 2017 were also just named “Best Debut” patterns by PatternReview: Vogue Patterns V9253
Since Butterick Patterns originated in 1863 we have watched the popularity of home sewing rise and fall through the years. What is the state of fashion sewing in the 21st century and what current sewing trends have you observed?
Even though we’ll probably never see the amount of home sewers that we did in the previous century, I personally feel hopeful about the state of fashion sewing. My Instagram feed for McCall’s is filled with young sewers. I see sewing schools and sewing workshops popping up everywhere. Sewing is cool again. Collectively we need to reach out and mentor new sewers, so they get hooked on sewing and become passionate about it just like we did. Let’s not let fashion sewing die out!
What is next up on your sewing table?
Right now I’m trying to finish my Isabel Marant-inspired jacket that I’ve been working on since before the holidays. After that I’ll probably start working on a dress for the Royal Wedding Sew-Along. Pattern to be determined!
The photo below is from a McCall Pattern Company Instagram post. Meg credits the cape she made in the photo with her return to sewing. Read here,
Thank you, Meg for providing us with a little insight into one of sewing industries leading companies, and a huge thank you to The McCall Pattern Company for serving as the official pattern company of the 2018 RTW FAST!
Congratulations to Faster#510, winner of the first pattern giveaway!
Please send your contact information to firstname.lastname@example.org by Friday, February 2 to claim your prize or a new winner will be selected.
Until Soon 🙂