The McCall’s range has its finger on the fashion pulse! Interpreting trends as swiftly as they appear on the high street. Use the unique pattern hashtags to share your makes on social media. ‘Learn to Sew for Fun’ patterns are designed for the complete beginner, with easy to follow instructions and basic sewing tips.
The history of McCall’s Sewing Patterns
In 1870, Scottish immigrant James McCall began designing and printing a line of sewing patterns. As a means of advertising his patterns, McCall founded a four-page fashion journal entitled The Queen.
When McCall died in 1884, his widow became president of McCall Company. Though still mainly a vehicle to sell McCall’s sewing patterns, The Queen began to publish homemaking and handiwork information, and by 1890 had expanded to 12 pages. While magazine moved to be exclusively lifestyle content and changed names frequently, the patterns went from strength to strength.
McCall led the way with sewing pattern innovation.They were the first company to introduce printed patterns and started printing directions on their patterns in 1919.
While McCall started with perforated patterns just like other brands, by the turn of the century included seam allowances in the patterns and printed annotations. They realised the perforation method had a degree of inaccuracy, whereas printing lines and markings had a greater accuracy rate. They held the patent rights to their printed pattern technology until 1938. They also introduced full colour printed envelopes, greatly improving their quality and making the designs more lifelike.
By the 1940s, McCall’s also had more advanced instruction sheets as they adapted the step-by-step instructions method as well to offer more cutting layout examples, in-depth preparation tips and pattern adjustment tutorials.
McCall’s became most popular for their fashion forward styles that captured key trends and modern cuts. This tradition has continued with their latest designs taking inspiration from popular ready-to-wear clothing and catwalk trends.
Learn to Sew
Beginner sewing patterns don’t need to be boring! Learn to sew gorgeous clothes that are perfect for the modern maker. McCall’s Learn to Sew levels helps to guide beginners through simple dressmaking projects with friendly bite-size instructions. The numbered levels help you know if the project is suitable for you and as you try new patterns we’ll teach you the skills to keep boosting your confidence and ability!
The McCall’s vintage pattern collection has been reinvigorated with fresh pattern reissues from the 1970s and 80s. Our Laura Ashley sewing pattern collection has been a smash hit since their re-release. With designs from the 1940s, 50s and 60s also in the range, you’ll find your perfect decade of vintage sewing pattern to try.
Learn to Sew McCall’s Indie Sewing Patterns
Check out our range of McCall’s Indie Sewing Pattern collaborations for you to try with designs from Brandi Joan and Melissa Watson! Our indie sewing pattern licensees create designs in our standard size charts for a consistent experience across our brands.
Brandi Joan creates indie sewing patterns for McCall’s. The TikTok star shares sewalongs for her patterns and helpful sewing tutorials for all skill levels. Her fun approach to fashion and style mean her patterns are on trend and designed to make a statement.
Melissa Watson is the daughter of “Fit Expert,” Pati Palmer. Just like our Palmer/Pletsch patterns, Melissa’s designs have in-depth fitting tips, design recommendations and professional sewing techniques. The patterns themselves have alteration lines printed on the tissue to help you with your fitting techniques.
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