Today’s review is a two-for-one: the Flint Culottes and the very popular McCalls 7542!
First, I sewed Megan Nielsen‘s newest pattern, the Flint Culottes. I’ve been on the fence with the culotte trend, but when I saw Megan’s design, I decided to go for it. I was originally taken with the cute little side bow on version 2, but, in response to my husband’s plea to limit the number of bows in my wardrobe (he seems to think it is possible to have too many bows…), made up version 1 with the two-button closure.
The button closure is cleverly constructed. The overlapping fabric used to create the pocket doubles as the opening for the pants. No side zipper or fly closure is needed!
Below is my full review. (Also available on Pattern Review.):
Pattern Description: Summer-perfect culottes
Pattern Sizing: I made a muslin first and was glad I did. Referring to the back of the pattern envelope, I realized I was between sizes at the waist measurement. I cut the small for the muslin and it fit- if I didn’t breath. Feeling a bit chubby, I cut the medium and that worked much better.
Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?: Yes, even my muslin looked good.
Were the instructions easy to follow?: The pattern directions were clear and there were no tricky parts that had me scratching my head or running for help online.
What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?: I love the fullness of the pant. When I’m standing still, it looks like I’m wearing a skirt, which I think is pretty neat.
Fabric Used: I used a navy linen I ordered during a Craftsy supplies sale. I believe it’s from the Robert Kaufman line. It has a nice drape and, unlike some linen fabrics, it didn’t “grow” with wear during the day.
Pattern alterations or any design changes you made: I’m vertically challenged, so I took about 3.5 inches off the length of the pant. I took two inches at the lengthen/shorten line when cutting them out and another inch and a half after trying them on in the linen fabric. I think the linen hung lower than the muslin I made, necessitating taking more length off the bottom.
Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?: I might sew it again. The style is distinctive, so if I make another version, it will be in a very different fabric- perhaps something dressier with even more drape. I definitely recommend it to others. If you’ve made a few pairs of pants already, this is in your wheelhouse.
Conclusion: This pattern is worth the price and the time needed to make the culottes. In my signature navy, I am sure to wear this pair throughout the summer.
My second pattern is the super popular McCalls 7542, a simple top with multiple dramatic sleeve options. Since venturing into the world wearing Vogue 9243, I’ve determined I need more statement sleeves in my life. This top is all over Instagram and sewing blogs and, I have yet to see a version I didn’t like. The pattern is so in demand, I had to order my copy directly from McCalls. My local Joann Fabrics store was sold out of the pattern each time I stopped by to purchase it.
I made this shirt specifically to pair with my Flint’s but I’m worried that it’s one trend too many in a single outfit. Despite this nagging concern, I wore the two pieces together earlier this week. No one laughed, at least not to my face, so I think I pulled it off okay. Below is the full review for McCalls 7542. (Review also available on Pattern Review.)
Pattern Description: Simple top with a cropped option and several sleeve variations. I went with version D.
Pattern Sizing: I cut a 12, my usual McCall’s size and the fit is spot on.
Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?: Yes, the top turned out exactly as I expected it would based on the envelope.
Were the instructions easy to follow?: Nothing funky to report here. The directions and order of construction all made sense.
What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?: BELL SLEEVES! I feel very feminine in this top.
Inserting the sleeves into this top was agony. Next time, I will increase the number of
gathering stitches I use to set the sleeve. As drafted, the gathering stitches should only be sewed along the sleeve head, but in order to gather the fabric for a smooth sleeve insertion, the stitches need to extend far below the points indicated on the pattern. I have some puckers (I’m calling them “design features”) at the heads of my sleeves where I gave up. I hope the busy print renders them invisible to all but the very discerning eye.
Fabric Used: I used a cotton sateen that’s been sitting on my stash shelves for a few years. I found it at Joann Fabrics on the sale table. The super busy print reminds me of something from the 1960s, one of my favorite clothing design eras.
Pattern alterations or any design changes you made: The sleeve flounce is cut as a
circle with a smaller circle inside that attaches to the sleeve. I noticed right away that the hole in my flounce was way too small for the bottom of the sleeve. I was feeling very done with puckered fabric by this point (I had just survived my sleeve-setting debacle), so I increased the size of the hole in the flounce by half an inch all around. With this modification, I was able to set and sew the flounces without any problems. I noticed on Pattern Review that a few other sewist experienced this problem with the flounce.
Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?: Yes and yes! I think my next version will be in a solid color and a lighter fabric. I’m thinking maybe a cotton lawn in solid red…
Conclusion: Overall, this is a well drafted pattern that sews up quickly with an on-trend result. Hello, Summer 2017!