McCall’s Continues to Serve the DIY Fashionista

As Paris, New York, London, and Milan get ready for this autumn’s Fashion Week, another branch of the fashion industry is on the alert for the latest trends: it’s McCall’s Pattern Company. In a recent article for the New York Times, columnist Steve Kurutz reminds readers that globe-hopping fashionistas aren’t the only ones interested in the lines of the international fashion houses. DIY sewists also insist upon being kept in the haute-couture loop. McCall’s has been publishing dressmaking patterns for them since 1870 (http://www.nytimes.com/2016/08/04/fashion/mccalls-pattern-company-sewing-do-it-yourself.html?_r=0).
McCall’s actually began as a lady’s magazine in 1863, eventually becoming one of the twentieth century’s most popular glossy periodicals for women. But while the magazine finally ceased publication in 2002, the dressmaking aspect of the company is still going strong. McCall’s creates patterns for home sewists, publishing an average of 700 new designs every year. McCall’s features four different lines of fashion: McCall’s, Butterick (targeting the vintage market), Kwik Sew, and Vogue Patterns. (The Vogue brand belongs to Conde Nast, but it has been licensed to McCall’s.) Over the decades Vogue Patterns has featured designs by Givenchy, Christian Dior, and Valentino, allowing the home sewist to wear couture style without having to pay exorbitant prices for it. About half of the patterns in this line are licensed from such well-known companies as Tracy Reese and Rachel Comey.
With the increasing resources available over the internet, McCall’s is now using sites like Pinterest, Facebook, and Instagram, posting its most popular patterns from the past to emphasize its lasting legacy. McCall’s has also begun selling downloadable patterns, bypassing its traditional market in fabric stores.

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