When Heather Lou of Closet Case Patterns released the Ebony Tee I really liked the swing shape of it, and I came in mind of McCalls M7407 which is a very similar design but just has a set-in sleeve option (the Ebony also comes with a raglan sleeve).
McCalls M7407 is a Melissa Watson designed pattern that incorporates the Palmer Pletsch tissue fitting method (Melissa is the daughter of Pati Palmer). I’ve recently come across Melissa as she presents the tissue fitting method on the McCalls YouTube channel and I like having videos on in the background when I’m sewing away. She also has a great Instagram feed showing how she wears her patterns on a day-to-day basis. Her designs are fashion forward and she gives great inspiration on how to style them (which works well for NYC but not so much for rural Dumfries & Galloway!).
It is described as “flared pullover top and dress are close-fitting through the bust, with round nekline with band, back neck slit, narrow hem , and sleeve variations”. Within the pattern you get two options – a hip length top and a knee-length dress, which can be sleeveless or 3/4 length. The front and back pieces are not cut on the fold due to the size of the pattern pieces and to provide extra drape. Bear this in mind when selecting your fabric as you’ll have a seam front and back. The back has a key-hole finish at the top.
My version is based on View A as a size 16.
This is a soft and drapey viscose blend jersey that has really good stretch – Retro Ripple Viscose Jersey. I love the retro vibe of the print and the colours are perfect for me. I think I used around 1.5m (I forgot to make a note) rather than the stated 2.3m This was only because I eliminated the flare at the centre front and back, and wasn’t using a directional print.
I wasn’t sure I wanted quite such a swishy top and after seeing soisewedthis versions on Instagram I decided to cut the front and back on the fold, thus eliminating the additional fullness here. The centre front and centre back are marked on the pattern – I extended these down parallel with the grainline and made sure these new lines were on the fold when cutting out. This also eliminates the back keyhole making for a quicker sew. The neckband was sewn on in the round.
There are two things I would like to address on future versions. Firstly, the length. On the model it clearly shows version A to be more of a tunic length and mine is most definately not. The pattern envelope states a finished length of 29.25″ for the size 16, but measuring the tissue paper and accounting for seam allowances and hems, the finished length is more like 28″. Anyway, I think the proportions would look better on me with a couple of inches added to the length. Secondly, I think I’d take some of the side flare out (you can see it bunching up a bit in the next photo). Because I’ve removed the flare in the centre front and back it doesn’t look quite so balanced.
I wasn’t really sure what this top would look and feel like on me, but I’m really pleasantly surprised. It is definately a super comfy top to wear (and great if you’re planning on having a big meal!), the key to its success is using a really drapey fabric.
Total cost: £25.50
Fabric: 1.5m Retro Ripple Viscose Jersey @ £10/m = £15.00
Pattern: McCalls M7407 = £8.75
Notions: Thread = £1.75