Tip’s Thoughts: McCalls Early Spring 2020

We’ve got the first release of 2020 and it’s McCall’s early spring release. Similar to Simplicity’s early spring McCalls also has done a total refresh to their branding. Unlike Simplicity’s I’m not sure that I like it. I think I prefer the logo in the previous bold, modern font to this more whimsical, wispy font. But… I really like the placement of the modeled view along with the drop box to make it pop with the additional views to the right. The removal of the pattern description is a small thing that I miss and I hope they bring back. As a plus I am excited that due to the way I store my patterns the new pattern number placement is perfect. In short the redesign is sort of a wash to me.

In an effort to make finding others and sharing your McCalls make easier on social media they have added a name in addition to the pattern number for each pattern. Though I see why they think this is easier, I’d rather just stick to the numbers. Admittedly that might be because I am a numbers person and typically find it easier to remember numbers to names. Also it just seems like eventually they will run out of names. ** Insert shrug** I guess we’ll see how many people utilize the new names. Let’s get on to the patterns.


Not surprisingly, most of these are dresses (I’ve really got to sew more separates). In my defense 12 out of the 20 new patterns are dresses.


  • McCalls 8030 or the Josie is an obvious pick due to my love of shirt dresses, though I hardly ever sew them. I really like the yoke and the drop shoulder sleeve. There’s a tad bit of variety with option of sleeve cuffs, a collar, a belt and three different hems. This would be lovely in shirtings or linen, maybe even a challis for less structure.
  • Wrap dresses are another weakness of mine and I’m sure I have a pattern similar to M8036 (aka Sasha) already so this should probably be in the category below, because I doubt I’ll purchase it. Still I really like the wrap options or a sash belt, a sewn in tie or buttons which give each of the views a different look. Not so sure about how I would feel about the poofy sleeves on me, but they are very on trend. If I grab this one it will definitely be for View C, though View A is really sweet. I can see this in lighter fabrics like a rayon challis, silk, viscose crepe or even polyester woven.
  • While M8037 (otherwise know as Mara -this name doesn’t fit to me) is reminds me of the ever popular Vogue 9253, with its very deep V-neck this one calls for a knit fabric. Which means no zip and therefore a slightly quicker sew! The front slit and option for long or no sleeves is also nice. The sleeves make it seem a bit more elegant and the sleeveless seams a bit more toned down. I like all the views here and even though I doubt I have anywhere to wear any of these looks I think I’m grabbing this pattern.
  • Though M8035/Brynn  is a simple dress that I could probably make using another pattern (M6744 perhaps) I really like it. Well View C anyway, the peplum on View A is hideous to me. View B is ok, but I would attach the bottom tier RSF to hide the edge they want you to show. I used double gauze for the first time for my friends baby shower gift and I would love to use it again for this dress. Seersucker would also be great for a spring look.
  • Finally something that isn’t a dress, but still not separates M8047 – the Edie jumpsuit. As much as I love the pattern hacking (or frankenpatterning) I don’t own many of McCalls Create It patterns. I really like this one though as I can see myself using every bodice and every pant. This is one I’m grabbing. I have a gorgeous matte jersey that would be great for this.
  • I’m not sure why, but I’m feeling this Mattie blouse (M8041). Don’t love that they used (what looks like) a satin, for the model – they don’t even recommend it, but I like the shirt itself. A challis, chambray or tissue linen seems like a better choice.  There aren’t many options here, but I do like the V neck combined with the button placket and the cuffs. Don’t love the collar add on, but the pockets work. So even though I hate that I only get one (I guess 2 if you count with or w/o pockets) top with this pattern, I will likely buy it because I always need more tops.


These are on the borderline – I don’t hate them, but I can’t see myself buying them either. Sometimes once another sewist shares their make these can jump up to the Yay! list.


  • There’s really nothing about this dress that I don’t like. As I type this I think I should have swapped this with M8036/Luna above. It landed on the meh list simply because it seems like it is quite formal (I mean views B & C include a sweep train!) and I don’t have a need for semi-formal/formal dresses in my wardrobe. Perhaps it would be a good pattern to grab “just in case“, because if ever I did need a dressier pattern I’m sure this one would be OOP. I truly do love both the low and high back and think this could be gorgeous in sequins, velvet, crepe or a matte jersey.
  • M8042/Mia is a cute top, but maybe just not for me. My right to change my mind is probably going to be used on this one as I feel like someone will make one and I’ll love it. There isn’t anything I specifically dislike about it, but also nothing that makes me love it. I think the fabric is throwing me a bit. We’ll see.
  • I definitely see the appeal of M8043 (BKA Allister). If I was younger or my stomach was flatter (lol) I might be interested in this top. The open back, the keyhole front, and the wrap are all features I like, it might just be a bit much in one piece. This is another one I’m sure I’ll love on other sewists.
  • The Sophia or M8033 is the epitome of “meh”. There’s nothing inspiring about it, but it’s a good staple pattern. I think fabric choice will really make this dress pop or flop.
  • The last two dresses are both great pieces, I just feel they are staples and therefore repeats. M8032 or Blythe is a basic fitted bodice dress just with a gathered skirt and a puff sleeve. I would instead recommend V1004 which is a great base for dressmaking. Also give M7861 or M7994 a look.
  • M8031 or Alexis is the classic unstructured shirt dress. This would be great in a challis or crepe. I don’t love the lapel collar and prefer the shirt collar of  Vogue 8903, but that’s just me.


These range from just not my style to I don’t get it.


  • I typically love garments with asymmetrical hem (see M7997 and Vogue 1649), but the M8048/Jessa doesn’t speak to me. After looking at the line drawings for a while, I think my issue is the simplicity of the jacket itself doesn’t go with the very dramatic hem.  I think the two peplum versions seems more balanced  and work better.
  • Theses pants are just weird to me. I’m not sure what decade this is? 80s maybe? I do NOT like the yoke of M8045/Abbie. These look mid rise on the model. If they aren’t high rise why are there so many buttons? This whole look leave me befuddled.
  • M80390 or Lily is listed as a blouse, but it looks like a jacket to me. Perhaps it’s the double breasted views B & C as I can a blouse in view A. The lapels of view C definitely gives me blazer vibes. I feel like they started with an idea of a wrap button close blouse and then just keep adding elements that landed them at a lazy blazer.
  • This one had some potential, but on initial impressions I felt something was off. M8040 aka Emmie is just missing something and I’m not sure what it is. They did provide three different sleeves lengths and 2 different hem lengths and I appreciate the variety. Still something seem to be missing. Maybe someone will make this and I’ll get it. I do like the sleeves.

There are a few patterns I didn’t include so be sure to check out the entire release on McCall’s website.

What do you think of the new patterns? Which are your faves? Also do you like the rebranding or should they have left well enough alone?

What do you think?

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