McCall’s M7434 peasant top muslin


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.  🙂mccalls-m7434-muslin-back

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.mccalls-m7434-muslin-side

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???

The jury is still out on this top, and I want to be 100% convinced about a pattern before cutting into my nice (and not inexpensive) rayons.mccalls-m7434-muslin-neckline-detail

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.  🙂

27 thoughts on “McCall’s M7434 peasant top muslin

  1. Oh my, the overgrown toddler comment actually made me laugh out loud. It is hard to see past the “combo”, but I think you’re right-a gorgeous flowy rayon could really make this a Boho-beauty!

    I really enjoy your blog!


  2. I thought I was the only one who sometimes ended up with results like this! Even working with rayon I think I would narrow the bottom by a few inches at the seams, sort of like big darts that taper to nothing at the neckband. Pick fabric you love and it will be a very pretty top.


    • Thanks for the suggestions, Kathryn. They really swung out the hem on this pattern – I was surprised just how huge it was! As for making and posting questionable garments, I think it’s better to laugh these things as opposed to getting frustrated by them. It’s just sewing. 🙂


  3. I think it will turn out nicely in a rayon, but if you’re not used to wearing stuff like this, expect to take some time to get used to it. One thing that can help if you are not happy with the final item is to make a casing at the hem and run some elastic through it. That way, you still get the peasant style, but it’s a bit more taken in.


    • Interesting suggestion, thanks Laura! This is definitely an unusual style for me, and I can’t decide if it’s just this ugly fabric that’s putting me off, or the style itself. Maybe both!


  4. This post made me laugh, in a good sort of way. Don’t go out wearing the muslin. Cut it up for patchwork! Soft, drapery fabric will be lovely. You might be able to get away with a smaller size …. I would also take some fullness out of the sleeves, but that’s just my preference as I don’t like baggy sleeves. Looking forward to seeing the final version. Go for it!


    • Haha, thanks Margaret. And I appreciate your honesty: “Don’t go out wearing the muslin.” Duly noted. 🙂 Oddly enough, the baggy sleeves don’t seem to bother me nearly as much as the huge hem. I don’t like feeling constrained in a woven top with long sleeves, so the looser sleeves are an intriguing alternative to me.


  5. That is certainly an interesting fabric combination… I agree with others that you could take some of the fullness out – definitely at the back but probably at the front too? I have been tempted by different silhouettes recently as well – it’s good to try different things!



  6. This will definitely look/drape better in rayon, and I second (third?) the “take some fullness out” comments… it just looks way too big on you. Do you have more muslin to cut a small ? I like the high/low hem, keeps it from looking maternity-ish.


    • Maternity! Oh man, definitely not the look I was going for! Hahaha. I probably do have more muslin to cut a small, but I’m not sure if I’ll bother. Instead I may just try taking some fullness out of this version, as you and others have suggested. We’ll see. I’m still not convinced I can pull of this style, even in a smaller size.


      • I have to qualify the maternity comment by saying that I have a large bust so anything that is super-full like that with a straight hem on me reminds me of maternity wear, so I have to be careful with length, longer to me = not mom-wear LOL. It does not look maternity on you.


  7. I think you will like it a lot more in your drapey rayon fabric. I also think it’s too big in some areas.
    It looks like the sleeves and the neck fit. The back looks too big but the front doesn’t look bad. I think you have too much fabric (even for a flowy design) in the side panels.
    If you’re committed to the pattern (and I think it’s cute, if you get it to fit how you want) you might want to try another muslin. I wonder if an old sheet might have a drape closer to your rayon?
    Cute haircut!


  8. I am going to be brave and will risk censure from all and sundry. I never post a negative comment on other peoples creations. Until now.

    I HATE THIS TOP. REALLY. HATE. IT. It makes you look huge, which you are most definitely not.

    Yes, I did mean to yell.

    I like a peasant blouse, they are so nice and easy to wear. But this pattern is too massively oversized, how about an alternative, like New Look 6179. I have made 6179 and it is true to size, it goes together easily, and probably uses a lot less fabric as well. You could use the neck line finish from this pattern and make a high low hem as well.

    That’s my vote. Don’t waste your rayons. ♥


    • I’m with Elle. And I think the raglan sleeve magnify the problem somehow. And yes, it looks maternity. Like twins maternity. I really like how you’ll post the questionable pictures on your blog. I’m really trying to picture it with the rayon and less fullness, its possible it will fix the problem…


  9. My suggestion is to go and try on a RTW rayon peasant blouse and see what you think. Yes, the rayon will drape, but you may still dislike the silhouette.


  10. I’m with Elle but if you narrow those side panels and slash the front center panel across at the bust line and allow it to drop, the grainlines will be parallel with the floor and not have drag lines.It may take a strip an inch wide to be placed in the slashed opening. In the side photo it shows that the center panel is too short and causing that section to flare away from your trim little body. I remember wearing tops like this in the 70’s when I was pregnant and you don’t want that! The sleeves look very wide from the elbow down to the wrist so maybe narrowing them a bit might give better proportions.


  11. I’ve been waiting for a few people to post reviews of this pattern before I purchase it. The only other review I saw was also made with cotton, which seems too stiff a fabric for this style. When I googled images of the pattern, they have a full body shot of the model wearing it. Then you really see how over-sized it really is !


  12. Hrm… I love a good peasant top but this design looks pretty dang wide even in the flowy fabric on the cover art! I think the puffy sleeves will look AMAZING in a rayon but I’m not at all sold on the trapeze silhouette. I like how those look on gals with delicate shoulders (aka, not me). I think a rectangle or slightly a-line silhouette would look great.


  13. Ok, then, I’ll be echoing most everyone. This top is way too big for you. I do think you could lengthen the front a couple of inches, it should lay flatter that way, and then take the sides waaaaay in. The puffy sleeves are cute, but a bit too puffy. And the softer, flowy-er fabric will be much nicer. But I do think it’s a cute pattern, more my style (for the short and barrel-shaped). I think you should do another muslin in a rayon (maybe find another mash-up of fabrics from the remnants counter?) and see if that makes a difference. I’ll bet it will. 😉


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