McCalls 8040 #EmmieMcCalls and Megan Nielsen dawn jeans: DIY V-Neck princess seam puff sleeve blouse and straight cropped leg rigid denim jeans

McCalls 8040 #emmie blouse worn with Megan Nielsen dawn jeans

Hi Everyone,

this blog post should see me largely caught up with my blogging. Today I wanted to share a review of a new to me blouse pattern, McCalls 8040 (#EmmieMcCalls), which I actually ended up making twice because I didn’t like my fabric choice in the first version, and a second pair of Megan Nielsen dawn jeans. Let’s start with McCalls 8040.

I made my first version up in a printed linen/ cotton blend that I picked up for cheap during a destash of someone’s account on Instagram. Whilst it is lovely fabric, I always had reservations about the print. Coupled with the fact that I think the short puff sleeves do me no favours ending in line with the fullest part of my bust, and combined with the fact this fabric has very little drape, I just didn’t like the end product. But I did like the pattern enough to try it again.

McCalls 8040 #emmie blouse worn with Megan Nielsen dawn jeans

For my second version I found some lightweight viscose lawn blend (?) from my stash, with a small micro animal print on it. Much more drape and, combined with the longer length sleeves, I absolutely love this version. It just feels more me, and I feel much more comfortable wearing it.

McCalls 8040 #emmie blouse worn with Megan Nielsen dawn jeans
McCalls 8040 #emmie blouse worn with Megan Nielsen dawn jeans
McCalls 8040 #emmie blouse worn with Megan Nielsen dawn jeans

McCalls 8040 Pattern Review

Pattern Description:

V-neck, princess seam, button front top has short and long puff sleeves with length variations.

Pattern Sizing:

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?


What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?

Whilst I didn’t like the first version of this pattern I made due to my fabric choice, I loved the pattern enough to try it again almost straight away in a fabric with more drape and longer sleeve length and LOVE the finished blouse. Nothing to dislike.

Fabric Used:

A cotton/ linen blend for version one. A viscose lawn blend (?) for version two.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:

  • I cut a size 18 through the bust, arms and shoulders, and graded out at the waist/ hips
  • I did a 1 inch FBA. I ended up tightening the front princess seams above the full bust and letting them out by 0.25 inch at the full bust down to the waist
  • I did a 5/8ths inch sway back adjustment and added the removed length back at the hem
  • I added a further 1 inch to the seams at the side back and inner side back but ended up taking the side seams in by 0.5 inch from the hem upwards for about 7″
  • I did a 0.5 inch forward shoulder adjustment
  • Note that unlike other McCall’s puff sleeves I have made, the sleeve band is not cut on the bias. I cut the largest sleeve band for the short sleeve version
  • On my first version (the floral one), I removed 0.75 inches from the length at the hem, but left the length as intended on my second version (the micro animal print one). I also made sure to stay stitch the neckline on my second version. The pattern doesn’t mention it but it is pretty crucial

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?

Yes I might sew again. I do recommend.


Very on-trend at the moment. Perfect summery blouse that can be interpreted in lots of different ways depending on fabric choice.

McCalls 8040 #emmie blouse worn with Megan Nielsen dawn jeans

Megan Nielsen Dawn Jeans

McCalls 8040 #emmie blouse worn with Megan Nielsen dawn jeans

I am wearing Megan Nielsen dawn jeans in both sets of photographs in this post. The black pair were made first and details can be found here. I have worn those jeans so much since I made them. I love them so much a second pair in blue denim had to be made. The denim for the second pair came from CroftMill but it has since sold out. It is a rigid (no stretch) denim and the fabric was extremely stiff when I first received it. I am happy to report that a couple of washes in and the denim is softening up, but I think a combination of the slight stiffness of the fabric and the fact I probably should have made some minor alterations to the pattern (largely lowering and extending the back crotch I think), means I have some drag lines in the back. I think that is why the inner leg is pulling up slightly. I have altered the pattern for next time. It doesn’t matter because the jeans have already been worn lots. The blue is perfect for summer and I figure the more I wear them the better they will age and soften.

McCalls 8040 #emmie blouse worn with Megan Nielsen dawn jeans

Fitting notes for Megan Nielsen dawn jeans – version 2

  • I cut the waistband in two and added seam allowances
  • I curved the waistband slightly more. Not sure I have curved the waistband in exactly the right place. It all seems to be at centre back and I might need to redistribute the curve for next time
  • I added 0.25 inches to the front and side back seams around the hips, and ended up taking 3/8ths inch seam allowance in the side seams down to the knees
  • For next time I have altered the pattern to lower the back crotch and widen through the back inner thigh by 0.5 inches each

Phew! All caught up blogging for now…but up next, expect a frivolous dress 🙂

Happy sewing!

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

18 thoughts on “McCalls 8040 #EmmieMcCalls and Megan Nielsen dawn jeans: DIY V-Neck princess seam puff sleeve blouse and straight cropped leg rigid denim jeans

  1. Thank you for your review of the Emmie blouse, I think it is a good pattern and actually I prefer the print version on you.

  2. Lovely sewing. I like the blouse on you that you don’t like! The colours are nice on you. Take care, I always enjoy your blogging.

  3. Everything looks wonderful! I have never tried the MN Dawn Jeans before, but they look fabulous on you and I will have to keep them in mind.

    1. Thanks Vanessa. I do like the MN Dawns. A few more tweaks and I think they will be perfect for me. You also get two other views in the envelope if you want skinny or wide leg.

  4. I have to echo the other comments, I love that print version of the blouse on you. The colours are terrific for you and I didn’t even notice any problem with the gathers of the sleeves and their placement. I love it.
    I have just made the Dawn jeans and they fit me much better than the Morgan jeans from Closet Case. I made the button fly and I think I would prefer the zippered version.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s