Pattern Review: McCalls M7249 Top

Or, “You Win Some; You Lose Some.”

After the Paco Peralta Coat, I wanted something easy, so I rummaged through my pattern stash and came up with McCalls 7249. It’s getting warmer and I thought the sleeveless version would be nice. It only has 3 pattern pieces, so even better!

Easy as 1-2-3?

The pattern calls for “Jerseys, Cotton Knit, Silk Spun Knit.” I used rayon jersey left over from last year’s (successful) Butterick Jumpsuit.

The front piece has two overlays that are gathered into the side seams. That’s where the first issue showed up. The overlays are self-faced on both the top and bottom. That’s where the second issue showed up. They are both sewn at the neckline to the v-necked under piece. That’s where the third problem showed up. The pattern is “designed” to be with sleeves or sleeveless, using the same front and back pieces. That’s where the fourth problem showed up.

As I gathered the overlay, I thought, “That’s an awful lot of fabric going into the side seams.” There are three layers, the middle of which is about a 3:1 gathering ratio. That’s a lot of bulk, even in a lightweight fabric. Another issue I noticed was that the gathered side pooched out at the top.

That little flap would drive me crazy.

Second problem, and this was a real issue with my fabric: the overlays are self-faced on the top and the bottom. The facing on the bottom is about 1 ΒΌ inches deep. With my nice soft rayon jersey, the facing kept falling down, so I ended up sewing the facing in place, which IMO ruins the line.

At this point I was starting to feel very “meh” about the whole project.

Also, the upper facing kept flipping outward as well. This was on a dress form, so you can imagine how often I would be tucking it back in during the course of a day.

One photo captures two problems.

As you can see from this picture, the third problem appeared at the neckline. The weight of the two overlays pulled the under-bodice to the outside. I tried every which way from Sunday to fix it, but nothing worked. It kept falling outward no matter what I did.

The fourth problem is that McCalls doesn’t give a separate armhole for the sleeveless version, so the armhole gaps like crazy. I should have anticipated this, but if you recall at the beginning I said I was looking for something easy.

When it looks lousy on the dress form, you know it’s not going to work out.

Before hemming it, I decided to try it on and see how I liked it.

There’s a whole lotta ‘meh’ going on.

The good news is I saved myself hemming it. This one is going straight to the fabric recycler in our town. Here are better lit shots on Shelley. You can decide for yourself if you think this is worth your time.

Well, not everything turns out to be a winner, even in my sewing room. I always ask the questions in reviews, “Would you sew it again, and would you recommend it?” Unfortunately with this one, the answer to both questions is “No.”

Reviews like this are never fun to write, but hopefully they are helpful. It doesn’t make me hate McCalls. In fact my next project is a Palmer/Pletsch shirtdress that I’ll make with a fabulous Textured Cotton Shirt-Weight from Gorgeous Fabrics. More on that later.

Happy sewing!

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12 thoughts on “Pattern Review: McCalls M7249 Top”

  1. Looks like it could have been beautiful – so, it’s too bad it didn’t work out.
    What would be a solution to too much fabric?

    I’m working on Vogue 8993, in a linen. The front has large box pleats, the back is darted; all the weight of the fabric is in the front. I only did a muslin for the bodice (shame on me) and got the fit I wanted. I basted the skirt to the bodice for a fitting today and … the weight in the front pulls the bodice so that I now have gaps and drag lines from the armpit. I’m thinking a grosgrain waist stay… if that doesn’t work, I’ll shorten the skirt (I’m making the longer version). Any thoughts?

    1. A petersham waist stay attached at the side seams, princess seams and hook closure at the CB zipper would be me first move as well. If it needs more than that you can also add petersham “Suspenders running under the lining and attached to the waist stay at the princess seams. Does that make sense? I notice the pattern also suggests “lightweight denim” which could be disastrous if it’s heavier than a chambray.

  2. THE designer may not actually understand garment construction. Some patterns only work in the computer

  3. I made this pattern and have worn it quite a bit. It was a very fine jersey knit though and the only real problem was at the v of the neck where it looks messy. Glad I read your experiences because I was going to make it again in some thicker fabric and it would have had the same issues.

  4. I had similar problems, but mine weren’t quite so bad. I managed to remove some of the excess where it pooched out on the side, and resolved the V area with bit of hidden stitching. That said, it’s still sitting in a hanger waiting to be hemmed. Oh, and I used fabric I bought from you!

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