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I Think They Think We’re Stupid

November 24, 2013

I noticed last night that Butterick had some new patterns posted online so I clicked through them, and the farther along I got the more I felt like I’d seen some of them before. Sure, the style of the overarching McCall Pattern Company doesn’t shift much between it’s McCall’s and Butterick subdivisons (boy is that confusing, they should really rename one of the McCalls) – they are quite blatantly reusing each others patterns now.

Here is the new Butteric 5977:

click for link

And here is McCall’s 6519:

click for link

I actually own the McCall’s pattern because I think the dress and jacket are cute. But really, it makes me feel like they think we’re stupid. These patterns are nearly always sold right next to each other, do they think we don’t flip through both catalogs at the store? The Butterick “See & Sew” line never goes on sale so it’s supposedly the “cheaper alternative” at $3, but in the U.S. the regular patterns go on sale for $1 every couple weeks. Do they really think we couldn’t just wait a week or two and buy the pattern with more substance for less? Obviously this is a large corporation we’re talking about that has (probably) the biggest share of the sewing pattern market right now (Simplicity does this too mind you, they don’t get a pass either. Check out S2263 and S2451). But if they’re new competition is from the independent designers that are popping up all over the place, shouldn’t McCall’s be trying harder to make their company look more personal and less corporate I-don’t-give-a-fuck-what-you-little-people-think? In my opinion, that’s what the small pattern companies have going for them – real people, engaging personalities, personal stories on their blogs, and yes often more interesting design and packaging.

I’m not saying the small companies are perfect (my issue with them is mostly style) but McCall, you’re really not helping your situation here.

What do you all think?


7 Comments leave one →
  1. November 24, 2013 7:49 am

    maybe they should call it McButteralls.

    • November 24, 2013 7:53 am

      except they own Vogue and Kwik Sew now too. KwikMcButterogue?

  2. Emily C permalink
    November 24, 2013 8:20 am

    I ithink the issue is they are run by business people. The smaller companies are closer to the customer and understand what the customer wants. Having been the customer in previous years makes them less likely to underestimate the customer.
    Also there are many not smart people.

  3. November 24, 2013 10:36 am

    Good work Holmes! I think only the die hards notice though, that’s why they get away with it.

  4. November 24, 2013 2:48 pm

    It’s a shame that they resort to re-packaging the same designs, but as annoying as it is, I have to give them credit for knowing how to make money off these patterns. Gotta love capitalism, right?

  5. November 27, 2013 4:54 pm

    LOL wow, I’ve often seen SIMILAR patterns re-packaged but this is so blatant that it’s quite shocking isn’t it?? I hope they don’t think we’re stupid LOL – let’s say they love the patterns so much that they want to be sure they reach EVERY demographic? 😉

  6. mary permalink
    December 1, 2013 10:52 pm

    They’ve been doing this for quite a while. But, to be fair, sometimes we don’t notice a design until it is made up in a colour that we see as flattering. Or a better backdrop, or in the see and sew version which actually is a better price. (for those who aren’t American)…. or they’re just finding a less obvious way of re-releasing a popular pattern, or….
    It does make me wonder if they are identical, or did different people draft them. Sometimes I’d like to have the name of the drafter on the envelope. Would be a great short-cut for fitting issues. So and so is good, so and so had a great run! etc…
    just thoughts.

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