A Love Letter to McCalls 7195

20160514_173642Dear McCalls 7195,

I picked you up this fall when I decided I needed to make more casual clothes. I scoffed a little, knowing you were a very simple pattern with four basic pieces and two darts. You had no fun detailing or challenging new skills to learn. You were a sweatshirt pattern with a front, back and two sleeves.

20160514_172027You forced me to try knits and I will forever be glad of that. Though the first fabrics I chose for you weren’t particularly fun, or pretty, (or stretchy, really), you made me test out some zig zag sticthes and get over my fear of knits. In fact, my first finished version of you was so boring and unlike what I normally sew, no one asked if I made that top. That made me a little sad, but, I can appreciate you for what you are, now.

That boring, grey sweater quickly became my favourite layering piece and I wore it multiple times a week (thanks to its unremarkableness, I could get away with this) and realized I should try making another, jazzier sweater. I figured I should use you again as I knew how you fit and, well, it was easy.

20160514_171945I wanted to change you up, just a little bit, for the next version. My second try was the cozy, sweater dress to replace a previous favourite which got tossed once I realized it was cut off-grain. I extended your lines to mid-thigh, making a new muslin to ensure I got the hips just right. Using super thick, fuzzy trackpant fabric, I made the warmest, comfiest dress for the fall. I added a little bit of sparkly lace, because, well, I need something to jazz things up. This dress became my staple for Thanksgiving and Christmas family get-togethers. Thank you for keeping my at least physically comfortable during some uncomfortable holiday dinners.

20160514_171848I was feeling creative one night and rustling around to see what I had to throw together. I found some grey jersey, some light pink linen, and you, McCalls 7195. And born, that night, was my new favourite, the sparkly pink bow sweater. I realized your simple design was actually a canvas for any embelishment my heart could desire. The bow sweater became a weekly staple at work and on the weekend. This sweater open my eyes to the possibilities of what you could be, McCall’s 7195.

20160508_171654Winter was ending, and I sadly packed you away into my pattern box, reaching instead for sundresses and flowy blouses. I got busy (and stuck on another, interminable project) and began to fear I would get no sewing done this spring. And then came Me Made May. I realized I sorely lacked easy-to-wear spring clothes and knew who I could count on to deliver. I pulled you from that dark box, McCalls 7195, and made you into my new favourite striped jersey t-shirt dress. I wore it three times in that first week.

20160514_171657This got me excited. I finished that t-shirt dress in a few short hours and realized I could make another top. The next day came seafoam peplum horsey blouse. Ridiculous yet charming. And so easy to make and wear.

20160514_081119I had more cotton and thought I could make just one more top before the week was out. Lastly, you helped me create my minimalist sleeveless blue gingham top. Summer perfection. And made in under three hours.

20160514_171007So, in conclusion, McCalls 7195, I wanted to thank you for your patience in my cutting, and taping, and colouring, and tracing a hundred times over. I should never have doubted you versatile simplicity or scoffed at your beginner basic construction. You have served me well, and I bet, will continue to, for years to come.

Sincerely, your biggest fan,

Samantha Schmidt

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