McCall’s 7094 and the Flamingos from Hell

By | October 15, 2015

M7094flamingo

Satan’s flamingos! Those are words I never thought I’d say sequentially, but I think I’m going to make it my new favorite sewing swear. These flamingos really are the devil’s work. I mean, just look at those beady, red eyes:

M7094bird

I think I can succinctly summarize this project in three bullet points:

  • I hate this pattern with an ice-cold fury.
  • I despise this fabric with flaming, fiery passion.
  • I love this top like it’s my new BFF.

What the what? Yeah, it didn’t turn out like I thought it would either.

So, the pattern. This is 7094. I took PR comments that this top runs large to heart and cut an extra-small. Seconded, thirded, fourthed–it’s totally true. This top is isn’t necessarily hard, it’s just the fiddliest little fiddle that ever fiddled. The front placket and pleat instructions left me like WTF, and I had to take out my stitching several times to try to get it right. Which never happened, because:

The fabric is the work of the (flamingo-favoring) devil. Look at it wrong, and it starts fraying. Whisper near it, and it starts fraying. Pink the edges and IT WILL KEEP FRAYING. So as I’m trying to figure out these head-scratcher illustrations, my fabric is literally falling apart in my hands, and what happens?

I freak out, I wad every last component of the project roughly in a bag, and I stuff it in the recesses of the closet. My husband was not thrilled with my oh-so-mature reaction, but it I have to admit, it felt kinda good.

You know what else feels good? Adding contrast facings, of course.

You know what else feels good? Adding contrast facings, of course.

I moved on to another project (this asymmetrically seamed knit dress), I moved apartments, and I let those flamingos simmer in their own vile maliciousness.

By the time I pulled the (extremely wrinkled) pieces back out of the bag, I was like, “Screw it. This is probably going to end up in the garbage instead of my closet anyway. What the hell? Let’s give it a go!”

My enthusiasm is off the charts here.

My enthusiasm is off the charts here.

With that attitude, I attacked the front placket. I bunched. I mangled. I stitched. I did not give a shit. And it came out sort of okay. Not great by any means, and certainly not anything like the instructions. But well enough to keep going to the next step.

And the next. And the next, and the one after that, too. In a few more sessions, I had nearly finished it. It wasn’t totally smooth sailing. One side of the neck band is attached to the collar in a pretty slapdash manner, and the sleeve caps have enough fabric to gather instead of just ease per the instructions.

Jeez, these gathered sleeves on this huge smock-style top are going to make me look like one of the Golden Girls, right?. But they don’t. It all came out fine. It’s a serious mess, but who cares? With the black fabric, it doesn’t show. It looks cute enough, and it’s super comfy. I kind of love it and want to wear it every day.

M7094back

I dig the open back — it’s a unique design feature. (Carmen’s version really shows this off to fantastic effect.) With a cami underneath, I can wear this to work, but then on the weekend, I feel like I’m wearing something fun. It feels more exposed than it really is, but just as a heads-up, you really do feel kind of exposed. With a light fabric with a little drape (this is a 100% polyester that has a rayon feel), the pleats in the shoulders fall nicely and the whole thing just hangs well and feels right.

Check out those sweet shoulder pleats!

Check out those sweet shoulder pleats!

Also, I just really love the flamingos. So, um, thanks, Satan?

Apparently I have to paste this code into a post to claim my blog, so follow my blog with Bloglovin. (Personally, I am all about getting blissful sewing distractions via email. Whatever floats your boat.)

8 thoughts on “McCall’s 7094 and the Flamingos from Hell

  1. Claire

    I love this top! It looks so well made from the pictures—black really is wonderful for hiding “user error.” Enjoying following your sewing journey since finding you on PR!

    Reply
    1. Sara in Stitches Post author

      Thank you, Claire! Now I just need to stop pointing out the errors to people who otherwise wouldn’t notice them… Someone at work complimented me on how well-made the shirt looked, and I was like, “Yeah, but look at how I botched this!

      Reply
  2. Lisa G

    Ha! Polyester (even the “nice” stuff) just sucks to sew with! Your blouse turned out really cute though, and with the dark fabric, no one would ever notice the imperfections. I’ve had this pattern prepped for over a month because I seriously want to make it! I did take to heart all the “there must be a better way” comments about the placket. I have a couple solutions… I just need to actually make it!

    Reply
    1. Sara in Stitches Post author

      Oh, sew this bad boy up by all means! What tripped me up was the pleat at the bottom of the placket. If you find a better way to handle the placket after the pleat is made, I will probably adopt it because I want to make another of these already!

      Reply
  3. Carmen

    I love it! It looks great on you. I think your version turned out much neater than mine. I struggled with this pattern, too.

    Reply
    1. Sara in Stitches Post author

      Thanks, Carmen! I think your bird version (I love that the fabric you chose!) must have subconsciously influenced me to also try bird fabric.

      Reply
  4. Jude

    I’m so glad you posted your review on PR, because it introduced me to your blog. Which I love! Flamingos from hell, indeed. You made me snort my wine. I’ve added Sara in Stitches to my feed and look forward to reading about many more of your sewing adventures.

    (This is, BTW, all the more interesting since I’m at the opposite end of the sewing spectrum in almost all regards: older (much), more padded (much much), retired (no more dresses for this corporate escapee!) I do love to sew and problem-solve and figure out ways to fix my DA errors*, so I guess that’s our universal language.)

    *So, I went back to August to read your archived posts, and was tickled by the one in which you describe putting in a sleeve backwards. I feel your pain! Recently, I reversed the sleeves in a shirt I made for my DS, and it was a long-sleeve shirt (you know what is coming, right?), so the cuff openings and sleeve plackets faced forward. Not OK. However, by the time I realized it, I’d serged and top-stitched the armscye. Was NOT going to unpick that puppy. The sleeves fit into the armscyes ok, so I sliced the sleeves off mid-forearm, changed them out, re-sewed with a little snazzy top-stitching, and when DS asked “what are these horizontal lines on the arms of my shirt, mom?” I just told him it was a design element like he might see on Project Runway someday. Score!

    Reply
    1. Sara in Stitches Post author

      Hahaha! I love your response to your son about the sleeve! “It’s totally a design element, don’t worry! I made it special for you!” Thanks for following, and for the kind comment. Anytime you have any advice, please feel free to let me know–I can always use help from someone who’s already fixed that mistake!

      Reply

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