In 1870, a Scottish immigrant named James McCall — odd, because “McCall” doesn’t sound Scottish — put out an “illustrated guide” to a pair of gloves he was manufacturing. The McCall’s pattern was born.
Fast forward nearly 150 years, and I’m posting a picture of a McCall’s pattern on a phantasmagorical thing called the Internet. What would James McCall think? He’d probably go look at the books and see how his company was doing and whether or not it was being publicly traded. (I think it is, but it’s confusing.)
When the Small Wonders line was shown to the nice people at McCall’s by the fine folks at Springs Creative, they liked it a lot. In fact, they were immediately inspired. They felt the line could be put to use in their business. When making garments and the sewn accessory, larger-scale prints may be harder to work with for folks who don’t do these things on a professional level. Matching seams becomes a bit trickier; a large flower gets chopped in half and suddenly looks like something from Little Shop of Horrors and you just hope no one looks at you from the back. A toile can give fits. A damask languishes in the stash. Projects stall.
The small print is a lovely choice for an apron, say, or a painfully adorable romper outfit for a baby, because these problems cannot occur. Besides, tulips are cute. So McCall’s and Springs joined together and I worked with McCall’s to create an 8-piece pattern line for sewists. These are bag, accessory, and clothing patterns and I’m so pleased with them because I know you will be, also. And I’ve never claimed I was a garment-sewing person; I’m not, though I’ve made bags in my day. No, I’m just the fabric designer and pored over patterns until I found the ones that fit the best. It’s interesting to note that these are the first patterns McCall’s has produced for independent retailers in…ever.
Today, I’m giving away a 3-pack of these patterns — which, again, are available only at local quilt shops and independent online retailers like Fabric Depot, Missouri Star, etc. The 3-pack goes to Ms. Lou, who made an adorable bag of her own from the China group of Small Wonders. I think you’ll like the bag patterns you’ll be receiving in the mail soon, friend. You’re getting the pattern above, plus the painfully adorable romper outfit, plus the girl dress with matching doll dress one.*
Congratulations, Ms. Lou. Send me your mailing address (smallwonderswednesday @ gmail) — and you keep totin’.
*I was never the girl with a dress that matched my doll. So I’m passing my pain onto the world to fix. Everything always works out.