Sewing Patterns Without Pity

Or, where I wonder WHO is doing the art direction & styling for McCall's pattern books.

First up, Baby Daddy. This picture had me so flabbergasted I had to take pictures. Thus was born the inspiration for this post. See what I did there?
In our first game of "What's Wrong With This Picture", we have the OBVIOUSLY pregnant man. Either that or he's had one too many beers. Then there's the Rebel Without A Cause leather jacket coupled with Maverick's sunglasses from Top Gun. But the real gem is the COWBOY-themed diaper bag. Because every hipster-dad I know rocks that cowboy quilter's fabric style. Uh huh.

Moving on, we have McCall's 6027:
While there's nothing inherently "wrong" with the picture, her shoes are ALL WRONG for that dress. Royal Blue suede shoes would've been more fashion forward than peach strappy sandals with her foot hanging far enough off the back to wonder HOW she manages to stand at all. This is a case of taking that "shoes have to match the hemline of the dress" just a wee bit too far. It's joined by it's friend McCall's 6278:
Now this one is DEAD wrong as far as styling. I'd go so far as to slap the person who chose the fabrics for this abomination. If anything the loud/busy fabric should have been the contrast with the darker fabric in the middle. However they didn't ask me. The strappy sandals (what IS it with strappy sandals?) lack the proper proportion & color to complement this one. The proper footwear would have been some sort of black shoe to complete the look. As it stands here, the dress feels unfinished at the hemline because there's nothing to anchor it.

Speaking of anchors... McCall's 6346 has given me the WTH? reaction every time I've seen it. If it were possible to make her look more like an oompah loompah, I don't know WHAT they could've done.
First off, the hem line is WAY low on the longer dress. It's out of proportion with her height and the shoes aren't helping. Switch the shoes! Put the taller shoes on the long dress and the flats with the short dress!

McCall's 6342 just makes me say Oh MYYYYY!
George Takei & Quattron technology couldn't save this. It's just all kinds of wrong.

McCall's: The 70s called. They want their shoes, floppy hat & high-waisted with charmeuse blouse with neck tie back.
And it's a "Fashion Star" pattern no less. I'm almost 40 and I KNOW my mom had an outfit or three like this when I was growing up. The 70s were great when it was, you know, the actual 70s.
But wait! There's more! Just like those Ginsu knives we all remember, so McCall's & Fashion Star are going to give us MORE 70s Redux Greatness.

You'd think they'd have a bigger budget for shoes & accessories though. At least the model was different...

Which brings us to McCall's 6612.
Let's spot all the things WRONG with this one, shall we?

1. "Easy" and "Knits" do NOT go together. I've been sewing for going on 30 years now. Knits aren't straightforward like a woven. They have special notions, presser feet and techniquest to keep them from rolling, bunching and otherwise being a nuisance.

2. Skin tight hoochie showing dress and "Plus Size" do not go together. As a member of the "Plus Size" crowd, I wouldn't be caught dead in a dress cut up to my lady business and have it be spandex. I've got a little more dignity.

Way to go McCall's for making a dress in a plus size that would most likely never be made AND worn by a truly plus size woman. But thanks for thinking of us! At least there's McCall's 6127.
If we can't pull off the t-shirt masquerading as a dress, we can always layer on flowy, voluminous pieces that totally hit in all the right spots to de-emphasize our plus sizedness.

What's that McCall's? We should be grateful? Or what? You'll give us a muu muu pattern? Oh wait...
I kid you not. This ... uhhhh ... is in the current (Fall 2012) pattern catalog. My great-grandmother wore dresses like this in the 60s. They were called "housedresses" or "muu-muus" back then. Nothing says "svelte" like a tent hanging from your shoulders that just gets wider as it goes below your lovely lady lumps.

Speaking of the 60s, did you see Nurse Nancy McCall's 5895? You didn't? Well here it is!
I haven't seen a nurse in a dress since I was kid. Or when I was hospitalized in Jakarta two summers ago. Again with the tent-with-a-neckhole style. I'm guessing THIS one is maternity scrubs. It has to be.

If you've stuck with me this far, THANKS! Now let's look at the Bumblebee dress and the scrubs dress. They look awfully alike. Maybe THAT is why I get asked all the freaking time "when are you due?" I'm not pregnant, I'm FAT.

Another thing I've NEVER seen in all my sojourns in medical establishments is a "fashion foward" scrubs top. But they do exist. Thus seweth McCall's 6473.

I've also never seen a medical professional armed with a bottle of hand sanitizer as if it were some sort of weapon. And I've seen a LOT of medical professionals over the last few years. I've logged so many hours in so many medical facilities that I've started asking them for "frequent flyer" cards.

Lest you think I'm full of pattern catalog hate, let me leave you with two really good examples:

I can't post individual pictures because the entire catalog is really, really well done. The children were photographed in settings where one would expect to see them. Even the studio shots had some real thought put into them with props and so on. Made me want to buy them all. The models inside looked like actual models who actually modeled for a living as models. Maybe that's why the patterns are all $11.99 and never go on sale for $1.99 or $.99 like McCall's, Simplicity or Butterick.

Speaking of Butterick, I want to point out that this offering in plus size was actually something a real human being might wear and look GOOD in.
It is the right proportion and fit, is modeled by an actual plus size model and is styled quite nicely. Shoes that look good and model position that isn't unnatural and forced-looking. Butterick uses a lot more pattern illustrations than McCall's. Maybe the reason why the photos look so much better is because they are interested in quality of photo, not quantity.

Sew ya later!


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