Fourteen patterns I haven’t got time for: Simplicity {4534, 7231, 8410, 8710, 8778} Butterick {4933, B5688, 6650, 6729} McCall’s {3432, M5856, M6480, 7287} and Style 1723

Sometimes a pattern is beautiful, in design and in presentation, and I buy it because I like beautiful things and I want to make something beautiful. 

Sometimes a pattern is hideous, in design and in styling/artwork, but I still buy it because I want to see what I can do with it. 

Sometimes I go through my pattern box and pull out a bunch of stuff that just isn’t hideous enough to be interesting. Stuff I collect in a box until the box is full and then either eBay or thrift shop the whole mess.

In the spirit of Fall Cleaning and planning, here is such a box.  

Consider this a Planning To Not Do post. 

McCall’s 7287 from 1980. I like how sad the kids look. Seriously, sometimes kids look like that. This is good illustration. 

However, the clothes are BORING. 

I have a boy, and this pattern is for girls, which means if I used it I would be sewing for a friend, which means I’d be showing off at least a little bit, but this pattern is too basic to really satisfy my showing-off needs. 

So this girls’ pattern is useless to me. 

Which is actually not true, the vest doesn’t close at the front, which avoids the issue of closing right-over-left for girls, left-over-right for boys. So really, this pattern could be for boys, it just appears to be for girls only. Which is an unfortunate choice in cover art. Maybe there’s a reason? Maybe they ran the same pattern for boys that year, but with a different embroidery transfer included? Who knows. 

Easy McCall’s M5856 from 2009. At first I was into this, but then noticed how it’s strangely unflattering on both the model and the illustration. How did it even do that? 

Simplicity 7231 Blah. Better shirts, pants, and bikinis exist in the world, and in my pattern box. Strange styling too, it’s got such a cold look for a beach vacation type pattern group. 

Also, button-up shirt with sarong. For me that would only happen if I’d forgotten to re-pack my beach bag and had no choice but to wear whatever mixed-up stuff was in there. Not a look I’d build on purpose. 

McCall’s M6468 from 2011. I am tempted to actually throw this one, like into the recycling, because: 

If you ask pattern makers and designers and seamstresses and people interested in fashion and people who sew for themselves, “what got you into sewing,” a huge percentile will say, “When I was little I started making clothes for my dolls and it was fun,” and I hate to think of some kid being overwhelmed by the complexity of these doll patterns and being turned off, or worse, taking it to their mom to sew and never having the experience of playing around with making stuff themselves. 

Ok I’m being dramatic. I won’t really put it in the recycling. But I do consider playing around with doll clothes as a real, legitimate gateway into sewing. Halloween costumes, same thing. Don’t make them for your kids, help your kids make their own.

Style 1723 from 1990, I made it, I did a blog post, it’s a Throw. 

Butterick 6650 from 2000, I made this too, must’ve been in 2000, as a surprise for a friend. Did it up in a galloping horses print in brown and white, with a contrasting pink handkerchief-print yoke, collar, and cuffs, and pearl buttons. It was meant to be kind of terrible and kind of great. Nailed it! 

Not keeping it because I now have better (more fun, vintage) patterns for men’s and for women’s western shirts. 

Simplicity 8710 is so sweet. And so costume-y looking. Maybe would look ok with just the under-dress but without the collar? Meh, pass. Love the hair on the girl in the middle though. 

Simplicity 4534 from 2005 is kind of a weird one. Lingerie inspired outerwear, but with a high, modest, closed-in sweetheart neckline. It’s like it wants to be sexy but is afraid. I thought about how this would look as sleepwear, or extended into a dress, and decided: not awesome. Some of the style lines are cute? Someone else can love this. 

Butterick 6729 from 1988, I love the illustrations here. I really really love how View B at the top right is obviously talking into her super spy-tech earring-phone to her spy handler back at some covert agency. And all the other ladies are looking around suspiciously. 

This one would fall into the category of So Ugly I Want To Fix It, except that there’s a handwritten note on the envelope that says “no back yoke pieces,” and I don’t want to work that hard on my ugliness challenges. 

Also interesting to me that this one cost $2 at the Goodwill. That seems like a lot for an old ugly pattern, especially one that clearly says it’s incomplete. I got this as part of an eBay lot, which included many patterns with thrift store stickers. I wonder if that’s something that people do, buy up crummy patterns at the thrift, resell them for an extremely slim profit as part of a miscellaneous pattern lot. 

Simplicity 8410 from 1987. I love this pattern art. Look at the guy in red. With those reflective sunglasses. Both these 80’s patterns are so smoldering! 

I would keep this and make it for me if it was a men’s XS, but it is a men’s XL, with who knows how much ease. I fear it would take over the entire house. 

McCalls’s 3432 from 2001. I bought this on sale thinking pjs are a fun gift for a teenager, but with no particular teenager in mind. Didn’t notice at the time that this junior sized pattern envelope is sized for the larger range, which is basically the same as regular women’s sizes, which I have some cute vintage pj patterns of, so this one is redundant. Throw!

Butterick B5688 from 2011 is not my size or my style. Also it smells like floral scented laundry detergent. Outta here! 

Simplicity 8778 from 1970. Love the artwork. I get a medical vibe from View 1, like if her white necklace was actually a stethoscope I’d totally believe it. Maybe she’s a  veterinarian! Maybe she keeps doggie biscuits in those pockets! 

I think it’s the raglan sleeves and the V neck. Pretty common combo for scrubs. Maybe that’s why I’m not into it. It’s also large, resizing would be more trouble than I’m interested in.

Butterick 4933 is, like, so close! So close to being a great pattern! If that bizarre yoke were set like three inches lower! Like the yoke on harem pants! As is, it’s just weird! Plus the pattern is very small! 

Also, the zip is in the back, and the front looks like the back yoke on jeans. I would put these on backwards every single time. And be enraged. 

There. Done. All throws. Feels good. 


14 thoughts on “Fourteen patterns I haven’t got time for: Simplicity {4534, 7231, 8410, 8710, 8778} Butterick {4933, B5688, 6650, 6729} McCall’s {3432, M5856, M6480, 7287} and Style 1723

  1. I love this post! Buy more patterns so there’s more of this!
    Also, do you have pictures of your ‘bad’ western shirt?


    1. I’m willing to grade up a size or even two, especially for a simple design, (I fit a pattern size 12 or 14 pretty well, but most of the patterns in my box are smaller, especially the older, extra delightful 1950’s ones) but with complex designs it would be more efficient to drape a new pattern than grade up. And yeah, it would have to be the best pattern in the world to go to that effort in my spare time.
      I was surprised to see the last Simplicity is a pattern size 18. In my very unscientific sample of vintage patterns, the larger sizes are rare. I like to think it is because the original owners of the size 18’s were grown up and were buying with a goal and actually used the patterns, whereas the teenagers who bought the tiny sizes got distracted by other shinier patterns and never used the ones I now own.


  2. those 80s patterns still amaze me….I always stare at them for far too long thinking how much of this did I lust after when I was 16…..the shoulders in b6729 are huge…..


  3. I think I recognise a past boyfriend in that Simplicity 8410 and yes, I think he was from 1987 too!! Some of the cover illustrations are hilarious; especially befuddled and bored kids.
    Something I find fascinating is that your second hand patterns are quite expensive in the US, 60c – $3.99, which given the Aussie dollar exchange rate is about 90c- $5.20 It’s bizarre that’s almost everything is cheaper in the US except second hand patterns. I wouldn’t pay more than $1AUD for a pattern in a charity shop, heck they practically chase me down the street asking me to take the things away!! Which is why I have so many damned patterns I never use. On ya, for the chuck out, that must feel good ;)


    1. Second hand pattern pricing is fascinating, there’s such a range! Sometumes I’m afraid to drop patterns off at the thrift because I worry the store will see no value in them at all and throw them out. And then on the other hand are places that value old patterns a little too much.
      I found some nice 1970’s patterns at an antique store recently, I was expecting antique store prices (by which I mean inflated) but was pleased when they turned out to be $1.50 each.

      Liked by 1 person

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