This month, we finally got to take a long-awaited family trip to Jamaica! The trip had been overdue when we originally booked it in March 2020, and I’m sure it won’t surprise you to hear that we then had to postpone it due to the pandemic. Because of the surge in cases over winter and the emergence of Omicron, I didn’t really allow myself to believe that we would actually make it this time, until a few weeks before. Cue a big panic about what on earth I was going to wear for a fortnight in 30 degree heat! Time to get sewing, and one of my first makes was this off-the-shoulder top.
McCall’s M7757: The pattern features four off-the-shoulder tops and a pair of loose fitting trousers with an elasticated waist.
I made a modified version of view B. It was an easy to use pattern, and the instructions were clear. Many of the pattern pieces are essentially just rectangles so cutting out was nice and easy too!
This fabric is a linen/viscose blend. I love the colour, and as you might expect it handles really nicely and is slightly more supple than a pure linen. I note that the pattern recommends somewhat draper fabrics (“Gauze, Crepes, Challis, Stable Knits”) but I think that the linen content makes it hold the ruffle shape really nicely.
Sizing and Alterations
The pattern comes in sizes XS (29.5-30.5″ bust) to XL (42-44″ bust, but there is so much fabric gathered in to the top that I think the XL would accommodate some larger bust sizes if you tweak the length of the elastic).
I made a size S, one size down from the recommended size for my bust measurement (but in line with by high bust measurement).
My ‘hack’ of the pattern is very simple: I lengthened the front and back pieces (which originally formed the very cropped elasticated ‘boob tube’ which sits beneath the ruffles on this view of the pattern. (I didn’t make any changes to the ruffles themselves). I then sewed a standard hem instead rather than an elasticated one. Super easy! I ended up making a skinny belt too so I have the option to cinch the waist in depending what I’m wearing it with.
Notes for next time:
- I found the width of fabric gathered into it still rather large for my liking. This was probably exacerbated by the linen content in the top which really shows the volume – but I do still like this as a loose and boxy top. On a future version I would probably take out a couple of inches of width from the front and back pattern pieces.
- The armscye was really tight/high. On my next version I will add about an inch to the height of the front and back pieces above the armscye.
- It’s probably easier to measure the required length of elastic on your body than to use the guide pattern piece – the guide was a bit off for me.
As I mentioned, construction was pretty straightforward and I don’t really have much to comment on here. One thing I did, and I can’t remember whether this was actually in the instructions (I’m writing this from my holiday so can’t check!), was to pre-shape the bias binding for the armscyes. The armscyes were quite tight little curves so this really helped to get a nice flat binding round these edges. If you haven’t done this before, it’s just a case of using an iron to shape the bias to match the curve you are going to sew it to. Then bind the curve as usual.
This was a pretty quick make – you could make it in an afternoon. There aren’t many pattern pieces and the only bit that really took time was threading the elastic through the channel.
I really like this pattern. I personally wouldn’t ever wear the original cropped top design, but playing with the length definitely makes it much more like something I will reach for whenever there’s warm weather!