Sewing Vloggers

Saturday, July 2, 2022

McCall's 8220, Something Different


There is a lot that is different for me with this top. First the V neck. I rarely wear these as they are almost always way too low in patterns but this one worked out nicely without any adusting. 

It is McCalls 8220, one of their 2021 designs and suggested for wovens. It has a wide, boxy cut and dolman sleeves that are quite puffed. I like them pushed up a bit. As often happens with Big Four patterns, it is poorly photographed for the pattern cover. The garment is pushed back with the shoulder seams not settling where they should to give that half-tucked look. This is not a half tuck top. It is short and boxy, nothing extra to tuck so why fake it? That makes the top button pull the bodice out of whack, oy......

This line drawing gives a far better depiction of the pattern. Bust fullness is accomodated with gathering at center front. There was plenty enough to accomodate my bust, particularly given the width of the top, but with the fabric I chose, it literally steamed out as I pressed the garment. It wasn't shrinkage but more a matter of shaping. When I took class with Claire Shaeffer we did a lot of shaping with steam to hide construction details. On my top you will see no gathers but if you saw it up close there is a roundness in that area that appeared as I pressed the garment with steam and high heat for linen.  

*ETA: Just want to add that the gathering at the bust is very akin to a sleeve cap, at least it was in my size. It steamed out as I pressed.

Notice on the pattern that the full sleeve version which I used has far less side seam height. These are serious dolman sleeves. This is a great pattern to disregard some fit issues. 


Beautiful fabric purchased online  from Stylemaker fabrics. It comes in some glorious colors but I have been wanting to put some more red into my life. It's a good color on me, particularly if it is not a solid blob, but more softened as it is in this print. The fabric itself is yummy, a mid weight 100% linen but towards the lighter end, perfect for a top or dress. I might line a dress. This washed and dried beautifully and could easily avoid ironing but of course I did iron throughout the construction process and the end.  It's interesting how over the years I so often end up using Kaufman fabrics. 


 This was an easy make and could even be made easier. It is clearly a top that I discovered, after installing my buttonholes, that could have just been a pullover. You could just stitch those buttons on and pull it over your head. 

The seams were stitched, pressed to the side and serged. I have been doing more of that lately, encouraged by Linda Lee of the Sewing Workshop.  This pattern has the band shaped to the neckline and center front. I had a bad experience with a Vogue pattern last year with a similar neckline that was just an on grain strip. If you ever see that in a pattern with this sort of neckline, it WON'T work. 

It was a journey to find the fabric for the binding, which was easy to assume was black but it really isn't. It is a wine-ish colored deep brown. Believe it or not, I found the exact color at Joann's in a 100% cotton. I prewashed and it worked out great. If you look in the pic in the middle of the facing there is a tiny line of stitching. This is where I stitched in the ditch of the piping to secure the facing. It does not show at all from the public side. 

This is the simple treetment for the hem edge of the sleeve, just folded up over elastic to make the gathers. 

Here you can get an idea  of how deep those dolman sleeves are and how wide this bodice is cut. I did no attempt at pettiting here. I have plans to make another by fall. I believe I will cut in a half inch on each side and go up and remove some depth from that armpit area as well, probably a half inch. I plan to make the next one in a nice white and gray knit stripe , a  barely 1/4 inch stripe. I think it will be really effective with the design. I also think I might add some very slight shoulder pads as well. 

In Conclusion:

I really like this top. I love the fabric and welcome the cut, color and style, something different for me.  I look forward to making it again and I know I will wear this a lot throughout the summer. It will definitely be cool and comfy. Without the piping and making the button band permanently closed it would be an even easier sew. I highly recommend.

One of the many public gardens and beautiful churches found throughout the islands. This one is in Angra de Heroismo and much larger than this small segment. The sign announces a tour later in the day.  Happy Sewing,,,,,,,,,,,,Bunny


  1. You had me at that fabric - I could live in it! I may need some of it! Thank you, Meg

    1. It had me, too, really yummy. Great hearing from you, Meg.

  2. I saw this fabric on Carolyn's blog and went on a search ending up with the lighter blue version in cotton. I just love the print. Your color choice looks so good on you. The close ups of the blouse show your impeccable sewing skills, as usual. Jean

  3. You look lovely and the top is wonderful! Do you think this pattern would work with a large bust? Always on the lookout for something a little different!

    1. I think it would definitely work with a larger bust. I remember from the 80s and wearing a fair amount of those batwing sleeves and shoulder pads and also being more buxom that they seem to have a reducing/flattering, IMO, effect on my bust. I would give it a try. I would watch the length of the cleavage just ot make sure it is what you want. As stated, I was surprised to find this ended in just the right spot for me, one who always shortens the upper chest and didn't this time. I have a feeling this would be really nice on you.

  4. I just want to add that on my next one I am using a knit. Knits are not recommended but I did see one online, maybe on PR, made in a knit, and it had a really nice drape to itself so I am going for it.

  5. This may be different for you but it sure suits you nicely. That fabric is perfect also.


Engaging commentary:

I made a shacket, Simplicity 9646, and didn't know it!

  Love this! My blouse turned into a shacket and I have no problems with that. As a matter of fact, I am loving my shacket as does hubs. It ...