Monday, February 10, 2020

What's in a name? McCall's New Pre-Spring Collection!

This year McCall's has updated their look and feel for a new generation:

The new pattern covers

Not only have they made changes to the look and feel, the patterns have been given names!

Check out Jacqueline Polikoff's Instagram for more details @jackiemccallpatterns

To be clear Indie sewing brands have been naming their patterns for some time, and perhaps McCall's wants to be seen as keeping up with the times.  Many have respond favorably to the new names, why not, giving something a name can lend personalty to an object.

However, some have noted that all clothing styles repeat and what happens when the patterns are recycled? Does the "new"  updated dress get a new name?

There are endless ways to come up with names.  You could take the few letters of the top portion of one garment say 'Mara', and a few letters from the bottom portion of another garment say 'Sasha'.

 Not only would a new dress be formed, but a new name to go along with the pattern:

The top of 'Mara', with the bottom of 'Sasha' = Marsha

The other point that could be made is that of stereotypes.  To be honest when you hear a name do you not instantly form an opinion as to who the person, place or thing might be like?  Names often carry reputations along with them. 

Does it mean that naming the patterns will cause the same issues as mentioned above? Not necessarily, it could be seen as a sign of inclusiveness, as a way to market to a particular group. 

 Not only do we have the Mara's and Sasha's...........

We also have the Alexis' and Abbie's too!

As long as McCall's is careful to get well rounded, i.e. diverse feed back before selecting a pattern name, they should do just fine.

I am looking forward to the new names, it gives a nice touch to the patterns. The wrap dress 'Sasha' has my name written all over it!

So what is in a name?  That all depends. One thing is for sure, once given,  a name will forever shape how something is viewed......

Tell me what you think about the new names in the comment section below.

Until next time,


  1. One of the reasons I sew is to be me, not Josie or Mia or Amy
    I actually like the pants pattern but cannot bring myself to purchase pants named Abbie (Abbie sounds like a lab coat)
    Not to mention that names become confusing ans redundant...Not long ago I was trying to find a pattern from an Indy I had seen and when a popped it into google, I got 4 different patterns by that name from 4 different companies (and not one was the shirt I was looking for)
    And how do you "file" your pattern stash-at least with numbers, there is a default...
    In short, I hate hate hate hate hate the "names"
    It's a pity because the McCall's block actually fits me well

    1. Pam, the trouble that you had finding the pattern by name is an excellent point! At the very least with numbers you will get a more accurate result when searching. I did notice that McCall's is still numbering the patterns, perhaps for the very reason you mentioned above. Like you said about the name Abbey, everyone automatically pictures something, sometimes favorable, sometimes not 😂😂. Thanks for giving feed back 🙂

  2. I couldn't tell you why, but I really dislike names for sewing patterns. Too cute, I guess.

  3. Hi Linda, I can see what you mean about being "too cute" like you I can't give the exact reason, perhaps it reminds you of grade school? I think people will continue to use the numbers over the names, especially if they dislike the name given the pattern. Either way, what is most important is 'Does the pattern bring me joy and a desire to sew?' If so, then the name really doesn't matter. Thanks for your comment 🙂

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