Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Sew Expensive...McCall... something-or-other.

Boy it has been too long since my last blog post! I'm sorry about that. I've been swamped with preparations for our move from Norway to California (it never seems to end), work, and keeping the house perfectly spotless for the realtor to show off.

But today I have a few minutes so I thought I'd treat myself to a Sew Expensive post.
Today's pattern is McCall... it's a mystery!

This lovely beauty sold last month on Ebay but for the life of me, I couldn't find its pattern number in the photos. But that doesn't stop if from being utterly delicious.

This anonymous beauty sold for an amazing $180.49!
(Update! We now know it is McCall 3894.  --Thanks, Ginny!)

Believe it or not, in the realm of beautiful vintage couture patterns, that's actually reasonable. I've seen patterns like this go for up to $300.
This one is by designer James Galanos. His name might not ring out like Givenchy or Dior, but the man has style (he even dressed American First Lady Nancy Reagan) and is now an amazing 88 years old (well done, sir!)

James Galanos, image courtesy of
Galanos contributed a few different designs to pattern companies like McCall and Vogue over the years but another one that stands out in my mind is McCall 4046.

McCall's 4046 - Image courtesy of Sandritocat Vintage Patterns
Just lovely, isn't it? Though where I would wear it if I made one, Santa only knows.
I don't know that I could justify almost $200 for a dress pattern that I have nowhere to wear, but I think I could manage for a neglige pattern that I could make and wear every day. I have the great privilege of working from home now, so I have retired my lovely office apparel and spend my money instead on things like silk pajamas that I can wear all day in my studio. It makes for a very luxurious work day, let me tell you!

Not to mention, you all know that I would plunk down the entirety of my pattern savings to get my hands on another Simplicity S-Series pattern.

Oh, and in other news, the movers come to pack up our things in a few days, including my pattern collection and all things Mrs. Depew Vintage related, so until then, you can use coupon code PACKITUP for $5 off of a $20 or more purchase at my Etsy shop.

But back again to the topic of pattern savings, do you have one? Or do you have a sewing budget? I have a small amount squirreled away for patterns at all times so that when that rare pattern I've been after for years comes up for air, lack of funds doesn't get in my way.

Oh, and also, now that I'm easily distracted and am thinking about squirrels, here's one to brighten your day.




  1. It's McCall's 3894:

    Putting the designer's name into a search on the vintage pattern wiki usually brings up a bio page about them if there is one, with a list of their patterns.

    I do always wonder who it is that buys these patterns for such ridiculous amounts. And if they ever get made up or if they just sit in a collection somewhere being "preserved".

  2. holy smokes! I also wonder who is buying these outrageously expensive patterns and why. Love the cover squirrel! :P

  3. "Santa only knows" - I love that! One because it's funny and two because it's true! I haven't heard of this designer but I'm a history junkie. I'll have to look that guy up!

  4. I think the bodice to McCalls 4046 would make a nice wear-anywhere blouse, lengthened so it would tuck in. The skirt, no, that needs an Occasion!

    1. P.S. And I love the squirrel . . . so cute! And doesn't he know it!