Double Header Pattern Review: McCalls 7412 Top and McCalls 6930 Shorts

McCalls 7412 Top

Let’s start at the top. I saw this pattern when it first came out, and I thought it was just adorable. It’s WAAAAAAY out of my wheelhouse, but I’ve seen women my age (and some older) wearing this kind of open shoulder top beautifully. I had some Milly fabric left over from my StyleArc Artist Tunic, so I decided to take a gamble.

Pattern Description: From McCalls website, “Loose-fitting, pullover tops and tunic have scoop neckline, cold shoulder detail, and sleeve/hemline variations. A, C, D: Flared sleeves. B: Purchased scalloped lace trim and bishop sleeves. C: Hemline ruffle. D: Layered sleeves”

I made View B, omitting the lace trim.

Sizing: 4-26. I made a size 12.

Available as a PDF? No

Fabric Used: A remnant of the Milly voile that I used for my StyleArc Artist Tunic.

Machines and Tools Used: Pfaff 2130, Juki MD654DE serger, Naomi the Naomoto, ironing board, sleeve board, shoulder stand, Clover Hold It Stiletto, silk organza press cloth.

Needle/Notions Used: Universal 70/10 needle, 1/4 inch elastic from stash, thread.

Tips Used during Construction: Anything by The Pressinatrix.

Did it look like the photo or drawing when you got through? Yes, more or less. I screwed up a little bit on the shoulder band so it ended up wider than the picture, but it’s not terrible and I’m not going to go back and pull it out.

How were the instructions? They were fine. This is very straightforward to make. The only slightly tricky part is making sure you line up the openings for the cold-shoulders properly.

Close up of the cold-shoulder

Construction Notes: Nothing unusual. I sewed the seams with my Pfaff, and serged the seam allowances together, rather than sewing a double seam. This pattern would work quite well with French seams.

Likes/Dislikes: You know how I said this is WAAAAAAY out of my wheelhouse? Well there’s a reason I don’t stray too far from my wheelhouse. I finished it, tried it on…

And I hate it.

It makes me look like a mile-wide stump, and a pregnant stump to boot. It even makes Shelley look fat.

Would you do it again? Would you recommend it? No, I will not make this again. This was a fail for me. The word “blowsy” came immediately to mind when I looked in the mirror. Though I still think it’s cute and I think on the right person it can look great. I’m just not that person.

Conclusion: Win some, lose some, learn something. I’ll donate this to Sister Thrift near where I live so hopefully someone will love it and it will benefit the dogs and cats at the local Humane Society.

McCalls 6930 Shorts

These, on the other hand, are right in the middle of my wheelhouse!

Pattern Description: “Fitted shorts or tapered pants (below waist) have shaped waistband, side-front pockets and back zipper. A, B: Back patch pockets. B: Scalloped hem. C: Carriers and stitched hems.”

I made view A, the short-shorts.

Sizing: 6-22. I started with a 14, but backed it down at the waist significantly.

Available as a PDF? Yes!

Fabric Used: A heathered dark wash denim from Gorgeous Fabrics (of course). That fabric is sold out, but you can see similar Here.

Machines and Tools Used: The usual suspects (see above)

Needle/Notions Used: The usual suspects (see above) as well as stash interfacing, a zipper from stash and two trouser hook/eyes.

Did it look like the photo or drawing when you got through? Yes

How were the instructions? They’re fine. Again, this is a straightforward pattern and goes together readily.

Construction Notes: I started with a 14. I’ve noticed in previous McCalls shorts and pants that I end up with a lot of gapping at the back waist, so I tried them on before applying the back zipper and sure enough… I took about an inch out at the CB. That did the trick without distorting the side seams. I sewed all the seams on the Pfaff and finished the raw edges on the serger.

Likes/Dislikes: Love these! They went together readily, and they are really cute. I’ll probably make the longer versions as well.

Would you do it again? Would you recommend it? Yes and yes.

Here are shots on Shelley. I won’t subject you to my Mary Melanoma pasty white legs again. 🙂

The side pocket detail
And the Back, slightly overexposed to show the pockets

Conclusion: These are a winner – this weekend I was batting .500 – ah well. This happens sometimes.

Happy sewing!

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13 thoughts on “Double Header Pattern Review: McCalls 7412 Top and McCalls 6930 Shorts”

  1. What a cute top! I was all set to hear how much you loved it and see your lovely self in it and BAM!, you hate it. Lol Been there, done that! I actually like the look of my shoulders, as far as bone structure, so this is something I might try. I don’t, however, need any help looking a mile wide. 🙂 I’m still fondling my pink striped jersey, BTW. I think it wants to be a maxi dress, though. Soon, please, God and thanks Ann!

  2. I have the shorts pattern you used and am happy to read your review – I am looking forward to making them. The shorts look like a wardrobe workhorse and the top actually looks really nice with them. Casual and beachy.

  3. I think this kind of top looks perfect only in a swimmers body! Good shoulders, little waist, long torso. Even the model here doesn’t look good. I tried the cold shoulder once with catastrophic results hahahhaha. Love your shorts, I have a piece of very good linen and this would be a good pattern.

  4. Thanks for the heads up on this pattern. I think I’ll pass. But the shorts are definitely a winner and I need some new ones for the summer. I love the fact that you share not only your successes but your fails as well with us. Good to know that failures happen to everyone!

  5. Maybe you could have introduced some shaping at the side seams – slightly. Give it a curve below the bust to above the waist.

    1. I’m not sure how well that would work, Chris. On me, the entire effect from the neckline down, with all that gathered fabric billowing over my bust, just makes it too… too. You know what I mean? 😀

  6. I’m sorry you didn’t like the top, it looks great IMO (I think I have this pattern in my stash, need to check it out,…) and the shorts also look fabulous!

  7. I agree with those who said it’s not good on the model either. To my eye, it’s too much sleeve combined with too much gathered bodice. I wonder how it would look with either slimmer sleeves or much less gathering in the bodice. But then there goes the breezy summer don’t want anything touching me fit. Not to mention it sounds like a lot of work to re-do the pattern.

  8. I forgot to add – I like the shorts, except that they zip in back. I haven’t worn pants or shorts other than front zip or pull-on for many years. I don’t know why, other than back and side closures are too hard for me to fasten up or undo. But I do like the smoother lines the back & side closures give. Maybe it’s time to give them a try again.

  9. Way too much fabric in one place. If you’ll notice on the model the sleeves are the exact same length as the top which lends itself to an even wider look. She looks like a brick.

  10. Baseball players and teams (Yay, Orioles this year!) who are batting .500 are doing great! I knew the top was not going to please you when I started reading, but don’t you love how we charge ahead anyway? Against all reason. (Yes, I know the Red Sox are playing .500 ball, too.)

  11. Blousy: been there so I feel your pain. On the peep shoulders, I’ve had success with closer fitting knit tops by cutting off the sleeve head, and dealing with the raw edge.

    Much better silhouette and flattering for all. There is an discontinued Vogue pattern that does the same thing, but I make my area of shoulder exposure bigger:

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