Sometimes you try something different and the result is… questionable. With a little time off from work this week, I sewed up a muslin of McCall’s 7434, a peasant top that is much more flowy and billowy than anything I would usually wear. The result? It’s a head scratcher. I also chopped off all my hair this past weekend using (gasp!) my fabric shears. Still questioning the result of that one too. 🙂 But, let’s focus on the shirt, shall we?
In theory, I like this pattern. I purchased it a few months ago when the weather was just starting to turn cool, and I have a few cuts of some gorgeous rayons that I thought would pair nicely with it. The top is pretty huge at the hem, which is unusual for me, but I thought it might be nice to try something different. I also thought this pattern would be work-friendly and a welcome change from my usual and uninspiring lab attire of t-shirts and jeans. The top is gathered into a circular neckband with ties, and the sleeves are gathered at the wrist with 1/4 inch elastic. A fairly simple pattern overall.
As always, I traced the pattern. Sometimes my pattern alterations go awry, and I like knowing that the original is preserved in case I ever need to go back to it. Plus, I’ll be honest, I hate working with tissue paper! It’s too fragile to withstand my manhandling of the pattern pieces while sewing.
For this top, I traced a medium (sizes 12-14). Below, the result:
Hmmmmmmm. Now, I used a completely inappropriate fabric here – a somewhat stiff cotton/poly blend that I picked up at a discount fabric store approximately 1 million years ago. I didn’t have enough of one fabric, so I used two prints that, in my opinion, make a pretty hideous combination. But, try to imagine it in a more pleasing color palette and with much more drape. When I squint at it, I don’t hate it. 🙂
I cut the high-low hem, and the hem is indeed quite low in the back. If I decide to move forward with this pattern, I think I’ll cut the hem straight across in the back, which is an option included with the pattern. I also think I’ll add an inch or two to the straight hem, since I think I could use just a bit more length in the front.
The only flat pattern adjustment that I made before sewing this muslin was to add 2 inches to the sleeves, which is a standard adjustment for me. The sleeves came up a bit long, but too-short sleeves when I bend my arms is a huge pet peeve of mine. At this length, the sleeves will still hit my wrists when I’m working at my desk. For those of you blessed with broad shoulders like me, note that I didn’t do a broad back adjustment here, and the top still fits pretty well. With all the gathers, I think I can probably get away without it.
From the side, this top appears pretty tent-like! I imagine the effect will be greatly reduced in rayon, especially if I scrap the high-low hem. I know tent dresses are “a thing” right now, but they are really not for me.
If you’re wondering just how wide the hem actually is, allow me to illustrate:
It’s HUGE. Will this be graceful and feminine in a nice rayon, or will my top blow up over my head during a stiff breeze? Will I be flashing my coworkers while reaching for objects on high shelves?? Do I look like an overgrown toddler from 1974???
As a side note on the construction of this top, the neckline finish is pretty nice. The gathers all get neatly enclosed within the neckband and facing, and there is a separate bias strip that finishes the vertical opening. The only thing I didn’t like was the fact that the vertical opening ends in a point, which I always find to be unstable after the garment is worn and washed a few times. (Or maybe I’m just not very good at sewing them!) If I wind up using this pattern, I think I’ll change this to a curved bottom with a matching facing piece that will simply get turned to the inside.
Anyway friends, what do you think about this pattern? Can I pull off a peasant top? Will this top’s problems disappear when I change to a beautiful and drapey rayon? I haven’t seen many reviews of this pattern online, so if you’ve sewn it up, please chime in.
Finally, I hope all of you who celebrate American Thanksgiving enjoyed a wonderful and relaxing day yesterday! John and I revived our tradition of going out to eat at a local restaurant for Thanksgiving dinner, which was such a treat. No cooking, no cleaning, and really amazing food. Can’t beat it. 🙂