McCalls 7094 made for Love Sewing Magazine: DIY Open Back Pullover Top

McCalls 7094 open back pullover top

Hey Friends,

Today I wanted to share a review for McCalls 7094, which is the pattern included in this months Love Sewing Magazine, which is available to buy right now!

Me with Amy, editor of Love Sewing Magazine, and author of the sewing blog,

Amy is the editor of Love Sewing Magazine, and also authors the sewing blog, Almond Rock. We have met each other before a couple(?) of years ago at the Minerva bloggers meet up (how time flies!) and follow each others blogs etc.

Anyway, Amy reached out to ask if I would be interested in sewing up a version of McCalls 7094 to be featured in the magazine.  (She also invited me to the Love Sewing photographic studio to get these photographs taken – more on that at the end of this post!) Regular readers of this blog will know that I am a huge fan of the McCalls pattern company anyway, and the style of this particular blouse is right up my street. Abhakhan fabrics were kind enough to supply me with the fabric I used to make my blouse, a 100% rayon javanaise viscose fabric in a biscuit base colour with ditsy bow print. It’s the perfect fabric for this blouse, with beautiful drape and movement.

McCalls 7094 open back pullover top

This is the first time I have worked with a McCalls pattern where in all sizes (XS – XXL/ size 4 – size 26) were included in the same envelope. I found that all the pieces were logically set out on the pattern sheets, and it was easy enough to find the relevant pieces for my size.

I cut a size L (16 – 18) through the shoulders, arms and bust, and graded out to a size XL at the hips. I actually selected the bust size based on my high bust, rather than my full bust. This pattern has more than 10 inches of ease, so I decided to go with my high bust measurement and I think the fit is pretty good. I found I did not need to do a full bust adjustment, which is normally a standard pattern adjustment for me.

Pattern alterations I made were to remove 3 inches from the length of the sleeves, lengthen the top by 1 inch, do a 1 inch sway back adjustment (adding the removed length back to the hems) and I also raised the height of the front placket by 2 inches. These are all standard adjustments for me.

McCalls 7094 open back pullover top

In terms of construction, I used the burrito method to enclose the shoulder/ yoke seams by machine, and omitted all the hand slip stitching that’s instructed, choosing instead to use my machine to sew the plackets and collar closed. I used my overlocker to finish the side, sleeve and armhole seams.

The hardest part of sewing this blouse was definitely the collar! This is the first time I have sewn a collar like this, and it was hard to get a clean, neat and even finish. However, it is a nice feature and really frames and elongates the neck. Another attempt may see me finding this a lot easier.

McCalls 7094 open back top


I love wearing loose fitting blouses like this with skinny jeans or slim cut pants. I love the open back detail – something I don’t have in my wardrobe, and, worn over a matching nude camisole, this will be perfect summer wear.

McCalls 7094 open back pullover top

All About the Photo Shoot

Erm, so, I have never taken part in a professional photo shoot like this before. It was a lot harder than those models make it look! Amy had arranged for a professional makeup artist to be there to do my hair and makeup, and there was also a professional photographer and another of the Love Sewing magazine staff members there at the shoot, which meant that, together with Philip who drove me to the shoot, there were 5 people in the room, watching me getting photographed!

Gosh, trying to make your body behave and showcase the clothes in the best possible way was not easy. BTW, the magazine had got some clothes for me to wear with the top I had sewn. The pants I am wearing in these photos were from Boden I believe, and the shoes were from George at Asda.

Anyway, I am not saying I would never do it again. It was a good experience, and, I do think having these photos taken has made me feel more relaxed and wanting to introduce a little more movement into my own blog photographs that we take at home. It’s all about angles guys! 🙂

In conclusion, having all the sizes in the single pattern enevelope is a great idea (why should plus size sewists be excluded?), and well worth the price of the magazine for everything else which you get.

Have a great weekend everyone!

Until soon.

Posted by

By day I work in the exciting world of pharmaceutical regulatory affairs, registering medicines (!), but by night I turn in to a sewing diva, making all manner of clothes in my beautiful sewing space (which you can tour using the link at the top of this blog). I love how sewing and sewing clothes that fit my curvy body continually challenges me. I enjoy working with all different types of fabric, and whilst I don't like to put restrictions on myself and say I won't buy RTW, the truth is that I probably rarely do buy it, preferring the fit of my own me-made clothes. I love to use natural fibres where ever possible and colourful coats are an obsession of mine! Sewing is both my addiction and my therapy. You can contact me at

20 thoughts on “McCalls 7094 made for Love Sewing Magazine: DIY Open Back Pullover Top

  1. Your top looks good. I made this pattern too and REALLY struggled with the neck even though I have sewn these before. To me the pivot point between the two parts is vulnerable if you have fabric that frays as I did. I hand sewed it to reinforce and protect it. The top is really easy to wear especially on hot days. I think you will enjoy wearing it. I wish I had made mine a little longer as you did because mine feels too short.

  2. You did a wonderful job on your top, and the photos look great! I love Love Sewing magazine! This one looks like another great issue.

  3. The top looks wonderful and the photos are so flattering. I’m sure you had fun with the experience of working with pros. Great tips on having a little movement in photos; I find the pics the hardest part of writing a blog. Thanks for sharing this with us.

  4. What a fantastic experience for you Manju. I love your top , such a pretty print and really like the back. Pretty sure I saw a copy of Love Sewing Magazine at our local newsagent – but when i went back to buy it, it had gone. I buy several of the English mags and really like reading them.

  5. Manju you look great! how fun to do a photo shoot like that. I can see what you mean, not something you might like to do every day but fun to experience.
    I just sewed this pattern and had some mixed results – technically it came out well but I think it is a shape that is just too full for me. So I’m trying to figure out how to adjust it. But the collar/neckline is very cool. And a good stretch for someone who wants to move past beginner patterns.
    anyway – your top is really pretty and also would look good with skinny jeans.

  6. Congratulations on being featured! I will go and buy the magazine immediately! You’ve done a good job of showing off that pattern – the blouse looks great and I have got the perfect fabric to make it in!

  7. This is so cool and an amazing experience! I know the sewing was fun and you got a great top from it but you did get the model experience too! I do hope you make another one of these but does it work for your new job? Will you go back to wearing professional gear or will you wear business casual!

    Finally thanks for sharing the experience with us!

    1. Thanks Carolyn. My work dress code is certainly not formal! I would say smart casual. I don’t know if I would wear this particular top for work…I always like to dress smarter rather than more casual. You know how it is! It will be fun to sew different things suitable for a work wardrobe.

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