Pattern Review: McCall’s 7686

Although I completed the Vogue 8940 men’s wool coat, I’m still waiting on people to be around to model it for me, so, instead, I’m going to post a couple of easy knit tops that I made post-coat, but pre-Thanksgiving.  Both are a bit of a “style risk” – not things I’d typically make or wear, but I wanted to experiment and whip through some quick projects using newer patterns, so I thought I’d share, despite my somewhat ambivalent feelings as to their results.  First up is one of the new McCall’s tops, 7686:


I made View C, the rather plain 1-sleeves top:



Here is my official review:

Pattern Description: Woman’s knit top with shoulder, sleeve, and ruffle options.  I made view C – the one shoulder, bell sleeved, no ruffle top.

Pattern Sizing: McCall’s sizes 6-14 and 14-22.  I made a size 12, grading out to a 14 and the upper arm and lower hem edge.

Were the instructions easy to follow? I barely used them, but when glancing through I thought they were fine.  I did like that it told you to stabilize the shoulder seam.  I used a serger and cover stitch machine, and not a regular sewing machine to construct, so I didn’t really follow a lot of the instructions, as they assume you are trying to sew knits with a straight stitch only machine.

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the envelope once you were done with it?  I think so!  I even used a stripped fabric.

What did you particularly like or dislike about this pattern?  Likes: This top has this year’s sleeve trend and cold shoulder trend rolled into one, but isn’t too overstated.  The sleeve is just enough bell shaped to be fun, but not so large it won’t fit inside a jacket once it gets cold.  I wore it for Thanksgiving dinner.  To that I must clarify that we had Thanksgiving dinner at a seaside fish restaurant and it was about 85 degrees outside, so it was totally appropriate for the setting. I really liked having the one shoulder because the sun felt wonderful.  Also, it’s only 3 pieces, and goes together crazy fast.  From pulling out the envelope and fabric to done was about two and a half hours.  Dislikes: As drafted, I’m pretty sure that the bust coverage is pretty minimal on the right side.  I avoided that potential disaster completely by adding almost 2 extra inches to the top of the neckline on the sleeveless side – it was just skirting the line of “appropriate.”

Fabric used: Some sort of knit of unknown fiber content from the Michael Levine Loft.  I’d guess its a poly jersey, but it is pretty soft, so it could have some rayon in there perhaps.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made: I added about two inches to the top of the neckline on the sleeveless side, because, having made several one-shoulder style skating costumes, I could just look at the pattern and know it wouldn’t be anywhere near enough coverage.  (Perhaps why they chose the other style top to put on the model?)  I also added an inch of length at the lower hem.  I didn’t need to lower the waistline at all; I just prefer a longer top.  I used a serger for all of the construction, and a cover stitch to do all of the hem lines.  I also attempted to make something of a lazy person’s FBA, but I ended up removing all of the excess I put in, so I don’t think I would count that as an actual alteration.  I did NOT add elastic around the neckline, but I thought about it.  It seemed to stay up fine without the elastic, but I did put some toupee tape on my sleeveless boob, just to prevent any unfortunate slippage at a family event.  If I were to make it again, I would use elastic around the neck edge to secure it. I’d recommend this modification, especially if you plan to make the version with the ruffle, as you will want something extra to help support the weight.

Would you sew it again?  Would you recommend it to others?  I don’t think it is my most favorite top of all time, but it’s definitely cute, and it took like practically no time to make.  I’d totally consider making another one if the right fabric came along.  I haven’t been the biggest fan of the ruffle trends, but for some reason this pattern grabbed my attention.  I might try one of the other versions too, I like most of the views in this pattern.  I would recommend this pattern to others with the caution that the one-shoulder cut could be a bit low on the shoulder-less side.  Be aware of where the marked bust-line is on the pattern, and figure out how much coverage you want above that, then add to the pattern.

Conclusion: Overall I think this is a cute top, and I think it was the perfect piece for my Thanksgiving day outfit.  At least, it was perfect for the weird fall-summer weather we have been having.  It didn’t take long to sew, and I am happy with the results.  I’m likely to find other things I want to sew in the meantime, but I’m happy I decided to throw this together for the holiday.

4 thoughts on “Pattern Review: McCall’s 7686

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