McCall’s Patterns Summer 2020

The latest line of new summer patterns has been released with the recent announcement from McCall’s, which can be seen here. While I think that a lot of the new patterns are sort of generically lovely summer styles, there are a few that I’m on the fence with in terms of adding to the list. The past few releases I’ve included the new #Names in the descriptions, but I’m sort of over it so I’m just going with the numbers this time around. Anyway, there’s a lot to see, so let’s jump in!

M8103 – I think this dress is cute, but not particularly original. The skirt options make it a more versatile pattern, and I do think it’s great to include the more classic streamlined silhouette and the more on trend ruffly option, but it’s not so unique a style that I feel the need to add it to my overflowing pattern collection.

M8104 – I’m going to predict that this is a popular style for McCall’s – it feels very on trend for the summer, and the relaxed fit feels really appropriate for the stay at home life. I think the the sleeve options offer a simple way to create a variety of styles from the same pattern.

M8105 – I really like the crossed bodice on this dress – I think it looks super elegant. I’m not so sure about the slit in the skirt – the model does a good job of showing us just how deep the overlap is, but I think I’d still probably prefer something with a full layer of fabric covering the front of the body. This high slit does seem to be a trend with the summer styles that are coming out though, so it should be interesting to see if this design detail gets picked up anywhere else.

M8106 – This dress feels like it would be cool in concept but is sort of meh in execution. The tied hem isn’t a completely unique detail, but here it just sort of looks a bit sloppy? And I love a cowl neck drape, but I’m not really liking the proportions of how this one is sitting on the model.

M8107 – This dress is like the slightly more casual version of the previous pattern, but with a v-neck and dropped sleeves. I think this one is slightly more successful, but overall is still leaving me feeling a bit meh.

M8108 – This dress looks more in line with the super frilly release that came out earlier this year. This sort of baby doll dress isn’t really a style I gravitate towards, but I do think the bodice and sleeve combos give some cute options if this is a silhouette you enjoy.

M8109 – I really like the ruching detail on this dress, and I think it could be a really fun party dress option if you are looking for a pattern for that. I actually think that view C could be really elegant if a floor length train was added – the off the shoulder sleeve detail would look really lovely in a full length dress. I do like the straps or puff sleeve options on the shorter dress though.

M8110 – I don’t usually go for tiered gathered skirts, but somehow the juxtaposition with the sleeker raglan top takes this from dowdy to cool. I really like the sleeveless version, but I do think the options with the raglan sleeves are pretty cool as well.

M8111 – This dress is one of those styles that would be really forgettable were it not for the use of the sequin fabric in the modeled garment photo. The design is really simple, but simple designs are great for complex or tricky fabrics. I think this simple mini dress is not for me, but I do think it could look great on someone who has the stature of the model.

M8112 – Ok, this is the pattern that floors me because it is just a simple t-shirt/sweater pattern, and yet, I want it. I don’t know why – I think it has something to do with the way the sleeves drape on the longer version (or maybe I’m being won over by the sequins) – but I really like this most basic of shirt patterns. I can’t imagine I’d be making the cropped top at all, but I’m definitely interested in the really basic, relaxed view B.

M8113 – Peplums are back! I’m not sure I’d have anywhere to wear this oh so ruffly top, but I sort of really enjoy the asymmetric peplum hem on view B. View A is obviously the most “wearable” version, whereas I’m thinking that views B and C would need slightly more formal occasions to warrant the long swooshy trains.

M8114 – Ummmmm, yeah. It’s, like, barely a top. I mean, ok, yes, the younger crowd will wear this and look cute and it’s fine, but this is definitely not designed for those of use whose undergarments are feats of structural engineering rather than just being social niceties.

M8115 – This is so generic I don’t even know what to say. It sort of keeps the ruffle trend going (more evident on the model than in the line drawings), but otherwise looks like so many other top styles that I don’t have much to say.

M8116 – Another peplum. I actually think the peplum is interesting, but I’m not sure how I feel about the gathering around the boobs? I don’t really dislike it, but I don’t really like it either. It’s just sort of… there? I get the sense that it is trying to mimic the look of an under-bust corset, but in such a non-specific way that I’m just not sure if that is the intent or if I’m just imagining it.

M8117 – Another top that I have no interest in wearing, but actually find sort of interesting. I think the criss-cross and wrapping designs are really interesting, as is the cut-out detail. One thing I do find interesting is how large/bulky the sleeve looks on the model and how slim it looks in the line drawing.

M8118 – Is it weird if these are the first pair of paperbag waist pants I’m sort of excited by? I’m not sure why – I don’t normally get too excited by that style, but I actually sort of love the design detail here. I think it has to do with the proportions – the ruffles are more of a small detail and highlight the waist the with belt, rather than obscuring it behind massive folds of fabrics. Plus, elastic waisted pants are totally calling to me in quarantine life right now. I’m not usually into wearing shorts, but I think these are super cute, and I like the culotte length as well. I’d even consider doing a full length version for myself, because I think that would look super elegant!

M8119 – I want to like this jumpsuit, but it sort of misses the mark for me. I think the design is fine (it’s really straightforward for a jumpsuit), but the horizontal stripe on the top is really throwing off the look for me. I do enjoy the sleeve detail on the third view, and I think this could be a nice option if someone wants a jumpsuit where they can been quite covered up, but overall it’s just not doing it for me. I’ve got better options in the stash, so I think this one will be a pass for me.

M8120 – This ruffly cardigan is a cute option if you like the flouncier styles. I think the three lengths give lots of styling options, and I think the three sleeve options are nice as well.

M8121 – I’m pretty sure there won’t be a lot of disagreement when I proclaim this Nicole Miller design the best of this release. The detailing on the back of the jacket is much more than I’ve come to expect from these recent McCall’s releases. I’m also shocked that they were able to put so much detail into a sequined fabric (the same fabric that Burda used for their June jacket?). I think it’s fabulous, and I love all the details – the sleeve zips, the asymmetrical front, the collar proportions – all of it! Plus, I need to find me some of this sequin tweed/bouclé fabric! (Ok, so I may have found it here, but it is out of stock. The hunt continues!)

M8122 – This Melissa Watson design is such a counterpoint to everything else in this release. It is so structured and tailored compared to all the flouncy, frothy summer looks in the rest of the release. I’m not sure I need to add this to my stash, but I do appreciate the streamlined look and the awesome pocket detail. It’s also nice to see something different in a release where so much feels the same.

And that’s it! Overall I’d have to give this release a rating of “meh” with an occasional “oooh.” I think I will definitely be adding the moto jacket and paperbag waist shorts pattern to my collection, and despite my better judgement, the t-shirt pattern might find its way in there as well, because, well, relaxed fit t-shirts sound about right for the COVID life. Otherwise I feel like this release is largely full of things that are either pretty but I don’t need them, or boring and I’m not interested. I’ve started questioning if the lack of interest is coming from being in lockdown, but I don’t really think that is the case – I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t be interested in most of these patterns were were not dealing with COVID, though I expect the t-shirt pattern might actually have less appeal were were not in lockdown. Who knows? But what do you all think? Is the McCall’s release full of fun summer styles? Or is it all largely impractical designs that don’t have much purpose for daily life – be it in or out of quarantine? Feel free to discuss it all in the comments!


24 thoughts on “McCall’s Patterns Summer 2020

  1. Thank you for your thorough review. Most of these aren’t for me even on sale. But maybe they will attract the younger crowd. I do like the moto jacket but then again I like Nicole Miller (didn’t even realize it was her pattern until you pointed that out). I think I could find similar in my Burda magazine stash and at this point don’t have space for them anyway.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh dear this release made me feel really old, the styling is so very 2000s. A lot of that is just the fabric choice (and the makeup and hair) though. I loved the Nicole Miller jacket and the waistcoat, but the rest are too full of ruffles and peplums and other frilly bits for me. But it looks like there are lots of fun dresses there for those who suit that style. And it’s not boring, so kudos to McCalls for that.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Definitely feels like a young person’s collection which judging by McCalls’ last few releases seems to be the demographic they’re aiming for. I agree with you about the button up dress pattern probably going to be the most popular but I keep returning to the jumpsuit pattern and thinking would it work in a nice soft linen and the addition of a tie belt?? I don’t think it’s Covid related lethargy I just think the pattern releases this year have been very uninspiring which is a shame as we could all do with something to cheer us up ☹️

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I also like the paperbag waist pattern, strangely enough. I like the skort version of it too, just not sure about the longer length but that’s because I don’t like palazzo style pants very much.

    Other than that I also felt there were a few things I’d totally would have worn 2 decades ago – AHHHHH! Or never, haha!

    I also bought the May Burda after seeing your review 🙂 it came with an additional book of ‘the best 15 dresses’ or so here in the Netherlands, but they’re only size 34-44, which is a bit annoying as I’m a 46-48 in Burda. Oh well! The advantage of it is though that it has very detailed instructions per dress, rather than the sparse usual ones.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. At first glance M8115 looked like pregnancy wear 🙈 not a good look unless you actually are pregnant. Otherwise.. No. This is not for me, staying with Burda thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Thanks for the review and I agree with most of your opinions about the patterns. I personally think I need to make some of the patterns I already have before buying any more. There were some here which I think would look nice on a younger person but are not for me. I suppose its hard for them to keep coming up with new ideas.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. It looks like we’ve finally moved past the Year of the Sleeve and have started the Year of Ruching! McCall’s has been consistent with their appeal to a younger and more casual market, and this release is no exception. I had to completely disregard the photos of models 40+ years younger than me and focus solely on the line drawings in order to assess these designs. There are actually some nicely fitted, detailed patterns here, which is a nice change from the unfitted boxy shapes and piles of ruffles we’ve seen from other companies recently. If I had a teenage daughter I would be buying most of these patterns, but as it is I will just stick with my own collection of modest dresses and tailored shirts and pants.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. A lot of these are probably things that I would have loved during my college days. I would have been all over that sheer dress as a black layering piece for all of the recitals that I was involved in! I did see a few gems in here. The jacket is fantastic, and I can see myself wearing the vest over a tee as a mom life outfit. I’m surprised at how much I like the paper bag pants/shorts, since I’m not much of a tucker and have exactly zero shirts that would work with them. Whether I manage to buy them is TBD, since my closest Joann’s has gotten pretty bad about stocking newly released patterns even before the lockdowns started. I had to wait about 9 months before I got the last release that I really wanted.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I’ve been thinking about making a vintage nightgown and peignoir lately so that’s what my eyes when I look at this. Like M8103, on the surface, has a great bodice that could be a nice vintage looking nightgown with a bias skirt on it but then I’m zooming in and looking at the bodice on the model. It looks…really ill-fitting? Like why are the cups so tall and there is no actual shape going on there. Not sure I want to drop 14.95 on a pattern I’m not sure is designed correctly. Why bother including mulit-cup size pieces if they’re not even designed in a style that form fits to the bust? baffling.

    M104 would be a decent peignor if you just do closer together or maybe 3 or 4 button loops. Again, 14.95 though…hmm.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Thanks for your review. I agree that these latest designs are a bit blah. I can’t see anything that feels new and fresh. It seems like a rehash of styles we have seen before. I do like the sequinned top just a little bit though so it’s probably my pick for the whole collection.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. The moto jacket and relaxed tee will be coming home with me at some point. I don’t know why. I need more patterns like I need more width in my hips. However, it’s an inexpensive hobby if I can buy them on sale. The rest is for the youth of the world. And I hope they sew up those pretty summer dresses and look gorgeous.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. so much meh.

    The moto jacket is awesome and that sleeveless blazer should be a fall jacket…

    So much repetitive stuff and making it in sheer fabric does not a new design make! lol!

    Liked by 1 person

  13. My Laura Ashley teen self wouls have liked a lot of these or maybe my 20something daughters. The moto jacket is pretty awesome though.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Thanks for the review of this release. Only 2 that have any interest for me are 8112 (t-shirt) & 8121 (moto jacket), but I already have multiple basic t-shirt and moto jackets still unsewn.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. This is defintely geared towards people my age (22), as these looks i.e. ruching, wrap tops, tie waists, etc. are currently on trend. Trends that are on repeat from the 70s and 2000s, as previous people have stated.

      Liked by 1 person

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