McCalls 7543: DIY Off the Shoulder Top

McCalls 7543 Off the Shoulder Top – worn with Simplicity 8019 Denim Skirt

Hi Friends,

Today is a quick review of McCalls 7543, view A. This is a great little pattern which sews up fast with minimal alterations and has some good variations included in the envelope.

McCalls 7543 Off the Shoulder Top

I think I am with a lot of fuller busted women who feel they perhaps can’t partake in the off the shoulder look because of bra issues: or rather we hate to wear strapless bras. I wanted to try this particular view out because it has straps which I hoped were bra friendly. And on the whole they are. The way you are instructed to sew this top is to attach the straps in the back of the top first, before creating the casing for the elastic. The straps are sewn to the front of the top at the last step. So whilst I was able to move the straps over in the front of the top, in the back it hasn’t been quite as successful. That’s not to say I won’t wear this top because I do like it, but if I make this top again I know I need to move the straps out, and by how much.

The fabric, BTW, is from my stash. It’s a cotton with an embroidered/ cut work scalloped border. The border just ran along one side of the 2 metre length of fabric I had so I just had enough to cut the front and back pieces. Maybe I should have had the scalloped edges along the sleeve hems but it is what it is. A fun piece to wear on hot days (if we ever get them!)

McCalls 7543 Off the Shoulder Top

Pattern Review

Pattern Description:
Pullover tops, tunic and dress have elastic on shoulders and sleeve variations. A: Straps. C: Shaped hemline.

I made view A
Pattern Sizing:
4 – 26
Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?
Were the instructions easy to follow?
What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
I like the finished top. It comes together very quickly with little fussing. I like the option to have straps. I widened mine slightly but I need to alter the strap position in the back of the top for next time to cover my bra straps better. The straps are sewn in place in the back of the top first before the casing is created and the straps are secured in the front of the top as the final step, so it does make altering the back strap position more difficult. But we will call this a wearable muslin. Nothing to dislike as such.
Fabric Used:
A cotton with an embroidered/ cut work scalloped border along one length. I cut the fabric on the cross grain to utilise the border.
Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:

  • 0.5 inch sway back adjustment, adding length back to hems.
  • Used 0.25 inch seam allowance to sew the straps so the finished strap width was 1 inch.
  • Moved the straps out on the front of the top but need to do this for the back next time round.
  • Shortened straps by approx. 1.5 inches.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?
I might. I like the other options that are included. Yes, I recommend.
Cute and fun, I will wear this top if we ever get hot weather but I will alter the back strap position for nex time.

Until soon!

McCalls 7543 Off the Shoulder Top

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

25 thoughts on “McCalls 7543: DIY Off the Shoulder Top

  1. Great pattern for that fabric! I think it looks perfect cut this way as scalloped sleeves wouldn’t be quite enough (IMHO), but sleeves & hemline might be a bit much! (Those are large scallops!)
    Question: How do you always find such well-coordinated shoes?!

  2. Looks great Manju, and it’s good to know it’s (almost) bra friendly straight from the envelope. That colour looks fantastic on you.

  3. Great review. I’ve been on the sidelines on this trend for just the reason you mentioned. And also, I’m not sure how us petites fare with too much volume. You’ve given me hope! Maybe a little adjustment is in order for the next make, but it really is a cute top, and who cares if a little bra strap is showing!

  4. Manju, so cute! Love it. I didn’t think I could wear one of these because of the bra issue, but now I think I’ll have a go at this one. Love your choice of fabric makes it really special.

  5. Very pretty top – I love the fabric and how you placed the embroidery at the hem – perfect. This would be the closest I would ever come to wearing an off the shoulder top because it has straps that could hide my bra.

  6. That is so cute! I don’t like going without a bra or having a strapless one so this would be the answer. Now I know if I try a pattern like this to pin the straps on first in various positions to make sure they cover my bra straps. Thanks for the tip! Cute fabric too – I love the border!

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