Today I want to share my review of McCalls 7811, which no one else on the face of the planet seems to have made yet, lol. I liked my first version (in denim) so much that I decided, whilst I had the pattern out, to make a second version (in brushed cotton) straight away, so today you get to see both views.
Let’s start with the denim view first. I made this version (view B) in a very lightweight (4 oz?) denim that I purchased locally to me. You could go either way with fabric choice for this version: something like a poplin or cotton will have a more dramatic effect than something like a crepe de chine. Personally I like the fact the denim I chose has a good amount of drape. As you can see, you will be able to see the reverse side of your fabric in the flounce, so that is also something to consider when selecting fabric.
I actually like this shirt tucked in to a skirt, and that’s how I wore again after wearing it with trousers to work the first time round. But, overall, I really liked the fit of this shirt and the fact the top of the button placket is shaped so it forms a V-neck, rather than being buttoned up closed all the way. Elongates the neck and frames the face nicely. Although I found the collar stand a little hard to get right on this denim version, I nailed it on the plaid version.
Something else I liked about this shirt: those shoulder princess seams. Again, lengthening, and makes for easier fitting. And those princess seams make it perfect to insert the flounces which extend front and back. The front and back side pattern pieces are marked ready with bias grainlines, so I took the opportunity to cut and sew a second version in a brushed cotton flannel plaid that I had in my stash, purchased from Croftmill fabrics many months ago.
In addition to cutting the front and back side panels on the bias, I also chose to cut the outer front button plackets and the under sleeves on the bias. Overall, I am happy with this version too. It feels nice and cosy and it’s also nice to have a more fitted plaid shirt rather than a loose, boxy one like the others I have in my wardrobe. Again, this looks good tucked in. You have to be careful working with bias cut panels that they don’t stretch out, and one of my side back panels did, I think, but I just about managed to ease it in.
Putting the button plackets on before finishing the inside princess seams allows for fit refinement if you need it.
Shoulder princess seamed fitted button front shirt tops, with sleeve variations, and flounce option that runs from the front to the back of the shirt. Two piece sleeve.
6 – 22
Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?
Were the instructions easy to follow?
Yes. I chose to put my interfaced button plackets to the outside; not the inside as suggested. I found the collar stand a little hard to follow on my first version, but got it on my second version.
What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
I love the shoulder princess seams. I think they lengthen the torso and make for easier fitting, both front and back. I love the fact the button plackets don’t button all the way up, but form a neck lengthening V-neck at the top, which also frames the face. I like the fact there are so many variations included with the pattern; this could be a basic, classic shirt pattern, or something very dramatic. Bias grainlines are already included on the front and back side panels to facilitate cutting patterns on the bias. Finished measurements are also provided on the tissue paper for bust, waist and hips.
Lighweight 4 oz denim with drape for version 1. Brushed cotton flannel plaid for version 2.
Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:
- I cut a size 18 through the shoulders/ arms and bust and graded out over the waist and hips.
- I did a 1 inch FBA.
- I did a 0.5 inch full arm adjustment.
- I shortened the sleeve by 2 inches.
- I added 0.25 inches to the upper back princess seams as a “broad back” alteration (I don’t have one, but I think I needed it with this pattern).
- For my second version (in plaid), in addition to cutting the side front and back panels on the bias, I also cut the outer front button plackets on the bias and the under sleeves on the bias.
- I sewed my interfaced button placket to the outside, rather than the inside as suggested.
Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?
Yes, I recommend. I would recommend to others, although you have to be confident in sewing princess seams, hemming curves, working with bias cut pieces (if that applies), sewing a collar band/ collar and general shirt making techniques.
It’s nice to have another good shirt pattern added to my repertoire. This one is a bit of an unsung hero.