Friday, April 10, 2015

McCalls 7046 T-shirt : a sort of new pattern for a change

Hey I sewed up a new pattern! To be precise, a not so old pattern. I think it was the McCalls release previous to the most recent one, and I bought it on impulse. Actually I tried to improvise this ruched side seam t-shirt a while ago and the result was ok, but sometimes it is so nice and simple to buy the exact pattern.

dot tshirt front McCalls 7046

I am really happy that I tried this pattern. Kind of cute, huh?

dot shirt on form

I got this knit fabric at a Bay area Sewist Meetup group a few months ago, so basically free. Not sure what is the fabric composition but it feels like 100% cotton interlock knit.

neckline of dot t-shirt McCalls 7046

I don't recall what the neck finish was on the pattern instructions (because I never follow them) but for a cotton interlock t-shirt I think the neckline band finish looks the best.  In this old post about t-shirts there is a link to a video on the Threads magazine site that explains it so clearly. The stripe looks a bit swoopy in the center top but it doesn't seem that way when worn, I think it is a slight optical illusion of the dotty stripe.

Now with this close up of the top do you see my slight mistake? I was trying very hard to match the stripes for the sleeves, and using the aqua row as my match line, but obviously not paying attention otherwise as the fabric is upside down on the sleeves. But I never even noticed until I looked at this photo. So hopefully not really noticeable.

Here is the pattern envelope, with a print mostly obscuring the pattern detail, of course!

McCalls 7046 pattern envelope

McCalls 7046 tech drawing

and the drawing. The more I look at it the more I like the dress version with the single layer ruffle skirt - but sleeveless for summer. I have some oddball knit jersey that might be just right for this.

Super simple pattern and some interesting details about the fit. I rarely make McCalls patterns but every once in a while. The only other knit top I have made with McCalls is this one which I have made three times. It is kind of big in the size 12, I had to take it up at the shoulders to get it to fit so very roomy. Some fitting details on that pattern in this post . I wonder if it is roomy because it is a Palmer and Pletsch for McCalls pattern, and those patterns are designed for fitting adjustments. Don't get me wrong, their patterns are sometimes a bit frumpy on the envelope but actually quite good and even though they require going through the fitting steps (for most people) the result is a nice.

Anyway, I was expecting McCalls roominess in the neck and shoulders and this pattern is not like that. At all! No wiggle room, and I was lucky that it fit but it is not at all like a typical Big 4 t-shirt pattern, at least to my experience. Also I cut it out with an extra inch down the full length of the side seams front and back because I like to fit on the fly. I ended up taking away most all of that above the waist and keeping it around the hips but that is my typical pattern adjustment. I saw a review that the top came out too small for the person who sewed it, and it very clearly states the finished bust measurement is less than the pattern size bust measure by about an inch. So that is negative ease, people. Beware! If your knit is not very stretchy or you don't want the super clingy look then adjust accordingly. For a t-shirt I don't like things to be super tight, so you might think my version looks too loose but I prefer it that way. And ignore the fit on the dress form - that thing has no hips whatsoever.

The side seam gathers could not be easier, just a piece of elastic sewn on the side seam. I actually used their elastic guide and it was perfect. another plus for this pattern.

dot shirt side view McCalls 7046

Final note - completely construction on my regular machine, straight stitch. I am just not a serger sewer - only for seam finishing. Although I would like to have the machine that sews the knit hems, is that the coverstitch? but in the scheme of things not really important.

Another look, and a few tulips in the background. Plus the sad drought-stricken lawn. We have to save our water for important things around here - like the swimming pool. Does that sound awful? but hey, California, what are you going to do?

tshirt dots

Also I just finished another t-shirt and and I am putting the cuffs on a woven shirt so it is the season of tops.

Happy weekend sewing, and I hope things are starting to look like spring for everyone.


  1. Lovely top - I did not notice the upside sleeves until you pointed them out, so no one will ever notice. We did the drought thing here a few years ago... thankfully it is raining again and we have more after tanks installed now. Good luck with it!

  2. Such a perfect T-shirt to welcome Spring! I did notice the reverse of the colors, but that is my job for Pete's sake...looking for lines...drag lines, grainlines. The dress pattern seems a little over done with the ruffles on the bottom after ruching the sides too but in an abstract small print, it probably work. So glad you made the T-shirt first to work out the skimpier fit.

  3. love the ruching on the side!

  4. Nice shirt, and I will keep your comments about the sizing in mind. I find that interesting because the last two McCalls patterns I've used with my daughter have been tiiiight(!) and she is the same size and we are using the same size pattern. So many people complained about too much ease (which I never found to be the case) that maybe they started drafting tighter.

  5. Well you made us all feel so good, that a fabulously talented sewist like you can make a silly mistake (sleeves)! lol. Only noticeable in photo, and a cute T-shirt.

  6. I love the dotty print, and didn't even notice the upside-down dots on the sleeves until you pointed it out! Our back lawn continues to look really sad -- we're thinking about replacing it with synthetic lawn.

  7. This is very flattering on you, I think you've sold me on it!

  8. I love your dotty top, call the upside down pattern a "design feature". I have a few over-long RTW tops that I might ruche the side seams on, safer than shortening and then finding they shrink. We get long hot dry summers here in Western Australia, too.

  9. That's a really cute knit top. Not too long ago, I saved a project by adding ruching to the side seams. It is flattering and easier to wear.

  10. GREAT fit through the shoulders and bust! You could almost use that part of the pattern as a sloper.

  11. Wao!! cute top with lovely print and suits on you well.

  12. What a really nice fitted top! Looks great. I also love your garden too hehe!!