Friday, July 06, 2007

Here We Go Again – Part 2

I just wanted to share with you the letter I received from McCalls Patterns. They were actually very prompt in replying to me even though the letter was kinda...well, read it for yourself:

Dear Carolyn,

Thank you for your email concerning McCall Patterns. Whenever possible, we try to provide our home sewers with the information they desire. We appreciate you taking the time to send us your comments about our patterns. It's so important for us to know how you feel about our product, and what we can do to make it better. Be assured, your thoughts and opinions have been forwarded to the proper department for review. You may want to visit our Butterick site to view the new edition of Connie Crawford Patterns, designed for plus size figures. Currently the selection is small as the patterns have only been in our catalog for 2 issues, but we do intend to add more designs with future isses.

Meg Carter
Consumer Services

So there you have it folks...I have been sent over to another division of their pattern company to hunt for fashionable patterns. I know that a lot of people like the new Connie Crawford patterns but I personally find them a little dowdy and am waiting to see what else is offered before I indulge. And yes, Marji, I know that Butterick, Vogue & McCalls are all one company...but since they attempt to do business as three separate entities, you think they would want to get my dollars in all three places...guess not.

The letter and the promptness of it did very little to change my I remain McCalls patternless in NJ!


  1. Incredible. They sent you to Butterick ... sheesh. And I agree with you about the CC pattern line being dowdy. But I'm probably biased against her in general since I met her once at a sewing expo and she was ... uh ... well, I'll leave it at that.

  2. Wow! Ain't that about a ...! Connie Crawford?? They must not know 'bout you! I couldn't even picture you in one of those getups. As you can see, I'm definitely not a fan. We should all get together and start our own pattern line for fashionable non-anorexic DIVAS!

  3. What a way to blow you off! A thanks but no thanks letter, Count me in for those non anorexic diva patterns! those CC patterns are not for me!

    Keep up the good fight!

  4. Reminds me of when I was much larger and wrote an actual letter (a long one(to Vogue Knitting) taking them to task for not having their knitting patterns in decent sizes. They were using the same Fitted, Close-Fitting, Oversized, etc. scale as Vogue Patterns. If you took their finished measurements and applied the fitting chart and its measurements, most of their patterns were apparently designed for bust sizes from 18" - 30". Hardly a normal population.

    They never bothered to reply, but in the next issue the fit chart was gone!

  5. I'm with Erica B. They must not know 'bout you. And, um. There are only four patterns in that line. Not really a 'fall' collection.

  6. I think it's been said here before, but here's a business opportunity for you.

    You can't tell me there isn't someone out there who can't draft up your ideas, and partner up with to start a pattern company.

    I'm not "plus" size, though hardly anorexic, either, but I'd love to see a cmarie12 line of patterns hit the market.

  7. great ideas, ericab, beth, cidell -- All of you ladies have great style, and it would be great to see a pattern line with your design sensibility. Its incredible that McCalls didn't do a little research in the blogosphere. How hard would that be?? The CC patterns leave me cold, too. Keep up the good fight!

  8. I agree totally about the CC line being dowdy. I've met Connie when she's come to St Louis to have her teaching seminars and she *can* be an overwhelming presence, but she's passionate about what she does.

    It seems to me that the CC line, along with a lot of the indie's (which is why I really don't like most of the Indies) that design for plus size think that large squares of fabric put together like Omar would constitutes Stylish fashions for the plus segment of the population. It's a design aesthetic that needs to change.

    I think the root of the problem lies in the concept of what Plus Size sewists Want in fashion.

    Meanwhile, I'll add that when one company produces the same product under different brands, they aren't trying for your $ under each brand, they're trying to capture your market segment in one of the brands, while maybe offering just a smidge in the crossover brands.
    At issue here is that you (and a host of other sewists) have the design aesthetic of One Brand while they're offering your particular product under another.
    I'd write again.
    In fact, I'll write too.
    Can you email me the contact information that you received in your letter back? Thanks

  9. I wouldn't be so quick to assume that your letter won't have an impact. A large company can't have one individual (especially the one who opens the emails) saying "Hey, great idea. Design department - get busy!" With enough time and email volume, I think they could be convinced to consider their market and what we want. Personally, I think that if we picketed naked (nothing to wear), we'd get that company moving - ANYTHING to prevent THAT from happening again. ;-)

  10. These folks definitely have their heads in the sand(I'd say someplace else, but that would be very very rude). They obviously are not doing their research in terms of the blogosphere. Between the sewing blogs and the blogs written by/for plus sized (my fav is "fatshionista" but that is just me)might give them a HINT that there is a thriving market of women greater than size 12 who have highly developed senses of style and want to make their own clothing instead of buying the "Omar the Tentmaker" stuff that is available generally. But in general, many people in the fashion business seem to prefer that women who wear over a size 12 keep their mouths shut and stay invisible. Too bad, McCalls - you guys are way late on that one.

  11. Please post where you sent your email so that I can join this bandwagon! I am so tired of making do! Thanks for the rants and keep them up!

  12. OMG, what a saga, thanks for sharing this with us, I don't think these patterns company's understand how important it is to give there costumers, special attention,, oh maybe there haven't heard about blogging, word doesn get around,
    can you let me know some good fabric stores to check out in Manhattan?

  13. What an absolutely glorious rant! I love you!

  14. Maybe we should each write and provide a link to Our Spokesperson's blog......BTW, Carolyn, congratulations on winning that election. ;-)

  15. The response from McCalls sounded too much like a form letter to me -- hardly a response at all. I applaud your initiative in writing your letter in the first place.

    Karla said...

    Maybe we should each write and provide a link to Our Spokesperson's blog......BTW, Carolyn, congratulations on winning that election. ;-)

    I agree with Karla. Now that we've elected you as "Our Fearless Leader", I stand behind you! ;-) I don't have a real problem with the CC designs, but my tastes tend to run toward the conservative. But everyone shouldn't be forced to dress according to my tastes. We DO need variety in plus size clothes.


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