McCalls 8180: DIY Statement Ruffled Collar Blouse

McCalls 8180 blouse worn with Simplicity 8389 pull on trousers

Hello Readers,

When I first saw the trend for large collared blouses I swore I wouldn’t go near them 🙂 And then I saw McCalls 8180 and I decided to try it out. It’s a really cute design, but personally I feel the drafting is a little bit off/ I need to make further modifications.

McCalls 8180 blouse worn with Simplicity 8389 pull on trousers

The main issue I have with the drafting is that there is no ease in the sleeve cap. I suspect that this has been done perhaps to make the pattern “easier to sew”? Together with the way you are told to finish the “slit” at the sleeve opening that allows the cuff to be opened and closed (next time I would probably just make a standard continuous lapped placket), I do wonder sometimes about “dumbing down” of instructions to make patterns more appealing to beginner sewists. I am all for encouraging new sewists but I imagine it would be much more disappointing for a beginner sewist to get through this blouse only to find the sleeve uncomfortable. Typical ease on a sleeve cap is 1 – 1.5 inches I believe. Thanks to a follower on Instagram I was able to save this project by lowering the sleeve (not the bodice armhole – the sleeve) armscye by 5/8ths inch, tapering to nothing at the dots which essentially gave me some extra height. It’s not perfect but makes this blouse wearable.

McCalls 8180 blouse worn with Simplicity 8389 pull on trousers

The fabric BTW is a very pretty off-white viscose which has a metallic rose gold lurex thread running through it at intervals. Apparently deadstock from Barcelona, and available from Rainbow Fabrics. Hard to photograph but I have included a close up below. I initially thought the side with the more obvious threads was the wrong side, but again, someone on Instagram said they felt it was actually the right side, and I am glad I went with the more obvious side as the right side because otherwise those threads are incredibly itchy and scratchy. But when they are worn on the outside the fabric is soft and comfortable.

Close up of fabric used for M8180
McCalls 8180 blouse worn with Simplicity 8389 pull on trousers

I do have to say that I probably need to shift the bust darts down by maybe 0.5 inches and that is also contributing to throwing the fit off ever so slightly. I have not had a chance to wear this blouse yet. I just haven’t had the opportunity. But I hope I get to wear it a few times before this trend passes.

Pattern Review

Pattern Description:

Misses’ peter pan ruffled, collared blouses with short & long sleeves. View A: ruffled collar. View B & C: large collar.

I made view C.

Pattern Sizing:

6 – 24. I made a size 18, grading out one size at the waist.

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?

Yes.

Were the instructions easy to follow?

Yes. Over simplified in my opinion.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?

My major dislike is the lack of ease in the sleeve cap which made the sleeves very uncomfortable for me. I saved this project by lowering the sleeve (not the bodice armhole – the sleeve) armscye by 5/8ths inch, tapering to nothing at the dots which essentially gave me some extra height. It’s not perfect but makes this blouse wearable. I also didn’t like the way you are told to finish the “slit” at the sleeve opening that allows the cuff to be opened and closed and next time I would probably just make a standard continuous lapped placket. I do think this is a cute and very on trend design. Also if I made this again I think my bust darts need to come down by about 0.5 inches.

Fabric Used:

Off-white viscose which has a metallic rose gold lurex thread running through it at intervals.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:

  • 5/8th inch forward shoulder adjustment
  • 1 inch full bust adjustment
  • Shortened bust darts by 1.25 inches
  • 1 inch sway back adjustment adding removed length back at hem
  • Lengthened blouse by 1.5 inches
  • Shortened sleeve by 2 inches
  • Did 1 inch full arm adjustment. Took 3/8ths inch seam allowance at the bicep area
  • Took 3/8ths inch seam allowance at side seams at high hip and added a further 0.5 inches below the waist at the side seams
  • Took 3 inches out of the width of the size 18 cuff
  • Lowered the sleeve (not bodice armhole – the sleeve) armscye by 5/8ths inch tapering to nothing at the dots to give extra “height” which was missing in the sleeve as drafted

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

I don’t know if I will sew this again. It depends how much I get to actually wear this version. I am not sure I recommend this pattern unless you are confident making adjustments if you need them.

Conclusion:

This blouse is cute and on trend. And I get it is designed to be semi-fitted. But I don’t normally need to do such a large FBA and the sleeves disappointed me. But who knows: I may make this again if the trend hangs around.

See you all soon!

McCalls 8180 blouse worn with Simplicity 8389 pull on trousers

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 sewmanju@yahoo.co.uk

4 thoughts on “McCalls 8180: DIY Statement Ruffled Collar Blouse

  1. I’m with you about sleeve heads not having enough height: that fabric has to go around the ball of your shoulder AND over the ball of your shoulder!

    I regularly move dart points down on finished garments — even rtw — you just unpick the dart to just at the seam line, drop the point, and re-sew the dart. Can’t drop much more than 3/4″, but sometimes even dropping a quarter inch makes all the difference in fit.

    Might be easier to graft this collar onto a blouse you like better, instead of re-drafting the sleeves, bust, and cuffs.

  2. That’s a really lovely fabric! It goes really nicely with the style of top as well.

    I’m sorry you had so much annoyance with the drafting of this top. I think that the best way to encourage beginners is by helping them with the ‘harder’ stuff, not avoiding it all together. It’s especially silly in this case because sleeves need ease so it’s a basic skill that should have been taught (like putting darts in). Ultimately, you’re not just left with an uncomfortable garment, you’re also left with confusion when the next garment you make has sleeve ease that you don’t know how to deal with.

    Despite the difficulties you’ve come out with a nice top. Hopefully the weather will pick up soon and you’ll be able to wear it more!

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