Saturday, May 10, 2014

Hope for McVoguerick

Once upon a time there were patterns that fulfilled the promise on the envelope.  They came in one size per envelope, had seam allowances marked, and good instructions.  The pattern draft was so good that when sewn up the garment could look like a high quality item.  Often the instructions would teach by showing a clever technique or two for sewing and finishing your project.  These patterns were available in almost every fabric shop in the country and there were lots independent and small chain fabric shops around.  Even department stores had a fabric section complete with patterns.

Sounds like a fairy tale, doesn't it?  And yet, that is how it was once upon a time in history.  I was lucky to be there, to live that fairy tale, although at the time it all just seemed normal and expected.  I carefully chose and bought this designer Vogue pattern.  There were no huge % off sales then, it was full price and this one at $7 was expensive on my very small stay at home mom budget.  I found a rayon challis print, floral on a black base, at the discount table and I sewed my designer dress.  The instructions taught me the trick of self lining the sleeve instead of hemming, an easy way to finish a curved hem cap sleeve where the inside would be visible at times.  I wore the dress with a glossy black shaped belt, something that was popular in the 80's, and I felt on top of the world.       

A scan of my original pattern, I still have it.

I have no desire to buy Vogue patterns any more.  Or McCall's or Butterick.  They are all one big blob anyway and they managed to absorb KwikSew which I also have no desire to buy anymore.   Drafting errors, pathetic instructions, weird looking garments when sewn up, there are all kinds of depressing things to be found in the new patterns.  

Some years ago while mulling over this deteriorating pattern group company the word "McVoguerick" popped into my mind and I laughed because it was so fitting.  Recently I decided to look up when I first started using "McVoguerick" which was at Pattern Review and found it was in 2006.  I had not seen that word used before.  The impetus for this research came from something I recently read at the Communing With Fabric blog - that Frank Rizzo, the new President/CEO of The McCall Pattern Company is sometimes called "Mr. McVoguerick" by his fellow workers.  I have to wonder, did I start the use of the word McVoguerick? Is it my fault that Mr. Rizzo now has that nickname?  It really would be fun to take credit for thinking up McVoguerick...but I'm sure it was invented by many others as well. 

The blog post titled My Meeting with Vogue Patterns by Communing With Fabric is a fascinating read.  It puts some hope back into the future of the McCall Pattern Company, aka McVoguerick.  How I would love to once again spend blissful time paging through the books at the pattern counter knowing that the pattern I might choose would provide me with happy sewing time and a fabulous garment to wear.