Saturday, October 20, 2007

Pattern Review: McCall's 5471 princess seam blouse

This nice basic black blouse took over three weeks to complete! I'm tellin' ya - I just got too much going on in my life when a simple button front blouse takes that long to complete. I'm just hoping that I'll get a bit of wear out of before the weather turns too chilly for a 3/4 sleeve blouse.

Pattern Description:
McCall's 5471 princess seamed semi-fitted blouse with mock-front band, collar, collar band, shaped hem and sleeve variations.

This pattern is from McCall's "Made-For-You" line of patterns with B, C, and D cup adjustments. McCall's has had that pattern line for a long time - I have a blouse pattern in my stash from about 1982 with the B, C, and D cup adjustments. For some reason they don't do as well at marketing this line as Simplicity does with their same line.

Pattern Sizing:Available in (6-8-10-12-14) and (14-16-18-20). I sewed view B, with the 3/4 length bubble sleeves, using the D cup pattern pieces.

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? Considering that the cover photos show mostly the sleeve variations I would have to say, yes, my sleeves look exactly like the cover photo!

Were the instructions easy to follow? It's a basic shirt and constructed as such with the exception of princess seams in the front and the back. I cut the front piece using a D cup, but found I needed to the front seam over the bustline at 3/8" rather than 5/8" to give myself a bit more room. I will still need to do a small full bust adjustment (FBA) when I sew this again.

I had some great photos to show you the construction process step-by-step, but somebody in this family deleted the photos from the camera before they were downloaded to the computer. I'm not saying who, but the dogs aren't allowed to use the camera. (Oh all right, I admit it- it was me - I deleted the entire photo essay when I was deleting all the old photos from the camera.)

There is no interfacing in the front band - as noted in the description it is a "mock-front" band. The center front edges are turned in twice and topstitched in place creating the front band. Because I didn't use interfacing when I sewed the button holes I added tear away stabilizer to the back side of the band to give more stability when sewing the button hole.

The collar band and collar instructions are okay, but honestly? I've never been able to get a nice clean collar point when using the instructions provided in the patterns.

This time I followed instructions from the book "The Complete Book of Sewing Short Cuts" by Claire B. Shaeffer, c. 1981, and am pleased with the results. The instructions in the book are not well illustrated and I had a few confusing moments that resulted in the need to rip the band off and begin anew - twice - but, all's well that ends well.

The sleeves for view B are 3/4 length with a "bubble" held in place with a stay. To create the look, the sleeve ruffle pattern piece is gathered on both the top and the bottom. The top edge is sewn to the bottom of the sleeve stay, right sides together. The bottom edge is then basted to the top edge of the sleeve stay with the wrong sides together. That section is then sewn to the bottom of the sleeve.

To complete the blouse, the sleeve is set into the armhole, the blouse is hemmed (by machine), and buttonholes and buttons are added.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? and Pattern Alterations or any design changes you made:
Likes? I purchase most of the patterns offered by McCall's and Simplicity with the B, C, and D cup adjustments already made as it cuts down on my alteration time considerably. This one I would have purchased any way, as I like the princess seaming - it makes it so much easier to get a nice fit in the bustline - as well as the sleeve variations. As noted above, I used the D cup pattern piece but in future shirts I will need to do a small FBA.

Dislikes? None. I'm pleased with the fit and I like the trendy sleeve detail.

Fabric Used: A cotton/lycra blend that was purchased from The Fabric Club a few months ago. It was advertised as suiting fabric, but I certainly would not sew a suit with it as I think it doesn't have enough weight for that. It was perfect for this blouse.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? Absolutely. I really want a white one but it is so difficult to locate good white shirting fabric (that isn't sheer). Any tips on where to find white, cotton, non-sheer, shirting fabric that won't cost a small fortune?

Conclusion This is a good basic shirt pattern that fits well and offers some up to date styling.

The review is also posted on Patternreview if you want to hop on over and pay me compliments on that site :-) Pin It


  1. Your top looks great!! I have this one in my stash and really need to try it!

  2. Love the sleeves! What a great blouse.

  3. Great blouse, I love it in black!

  4. marty9:46 PM

    Great blouse. Hancock Fabrics has McCall patterns 5/$5 this weekend. May just have to make a trip tomorrow as if I don't have enough already. Enjoy wearing your new blouse.

  5. Love the blouse! This pattern is on my list now. I, too, would love to find some nice shrting fabric...

  6. Sharon it's perfect! I'd love to see your closet--with all the beautiful things you turn out I'm sure I'd be in there for days before I get to the end. The sleeves are definitely my style, I think there's something very beautiful about that sleeve!

    *PS thanks for the assurance--I worry about that boy sometimes! And if you ever get down south--you better come to MY house before you got to that church! Geesh! It's

    If you go online and you're sewing near the comp and bored out of your mind--click a sermon. xoxo



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