McCall’s 6796, A Pattern Review

For several weeks I’ve been in a terrible sewing slump. My sewing mojo’s been MIA and every project I’ve attempted has turned out badly. So I decided to make some quick and easy winter tops to try to turn the tide. I looked through my pattern stash and pulled out the top patterns that struck me as the easiest to sew.

The first pattern I chose is McCall’s 6796, which is currently a contender as one of the “Best Patterns Of The Year 2014” on Pattern Review. 6796 has 38 reviews on Pattern Review and only one reviewer said the pattern didn’t work for her. I figured with such stellar raves this pattern couldn’t possibly fail me. Even more reassuring: many reviewers said the top was easy to sew and great for beginners. An easy to sew AND highly recommended pattern, that’s exactly what I was looking for to revive my sewing confidence!

After checking the length of the pattern I saw it would be too long on my short torso. So I shortened the pattern by a whopping 2+1/2 inches. A knit top stretched across my ample rear end is not a good look for me! I wanted to make sure the top ended above the widest part of my figure. Though the size 14 was closest to my measurements, I cut a size 12 due to my past experiences with McCall’s patterns fitting too loosely on my upper body.

Strangely, I had almost the exact same fabric (purchased for a dollar at a thrift store) in my stash as is shown on the model pictured on the pattern envelope. The only difference (I thought) was that my knit was pink and the model’s sweater is peach. The lacy knit looks great on the model, but I decided I’d better line the body of my knit with nude knit interlock as I’m neither as young, as thin, or as lovely as the model. Having figured that out, I plowed ahead and failed to notice that MY fabric, while it looked just like the knit used on the pattern envelope, was NOT a stretch knit – which is a pattern requirement for this top. Oops! So as it turns out a non-stretch knit CAN be used for this pattern – if you’re an A cup, and if you don’t mind struggling with getting the d#*n thing on and off. And also if you don’t plan on moving your arms much while wearing it…

So sadly, this highly recommended pattern didn’t break my sewing slump. I can’t say that a top that fits me like a straightjacket is a success. Of course the sweater would have turned out fine if I had followed the instructions and used a stretch knit. So my bad. As it is its wearable I guess, but just barely, and maybe just for blog photos? On the positive side, I used up some more of my vast fabric stash and I even found vintage buttons in my stash that exactly matched the pink knit (which I stacked on top of discs from the stash that matched the lining). Who says hoarding never pays off?

After such a surefire pattern being a fail for me, what are the odds of my next project breaking my sewing slump? The pessimist in me says “slim to none”, the optimist in me says “there’s nowhere to go but up from here”. Stay tuned to find out which sentiment prevails on my next sewing mojo revival attempt!

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14 comments

  1. Moving is overrated.

    It looks really good on you, the cut, the accent, the color – a nice bright spring pink. Think of it as your muslin ‘cuz I think you should make another, for “realz” :o)

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  2. That color looks great on you. Your photos are kind of deceiving. You look so happy, I thought this pattern must be a winner! I agree though, maybe it try it again in a different fabric.

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    • The reason for the smile is that my photographer (my hubby) made no comment on the first two tops I made (one of which I thought was successful) but said this one was cute out of the 3. I found it too funny that the one I can’t move my arms in is the cute one!

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  3. Kitty – I think it looks great too bad it has no arm movement. I’ve also made this pattern but as a dress. It’s out of an almost terry cloth fabric and I love it. Try again with a different fabric.

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    • Actually I think it looks cute on, it’s just the lack of mobility that makes it a fail. I do plan on making it in the correct fabric because it does look like it fits well. A dress would be great too, thanks for that idea!

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  4. Aw, I thought it looked so cute too until you said you couldn’t move your arms! I vote for “nowhere but up from here”. Maybe you can make the same top again in another fabric, now that you know it will fit? An easy win is always good for a sewing slump. (Of course I don’t know how to take my own advice and I tried to end my slump on a Vogue designer pattern today which are almost always a fail.)

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  5. Sewing slump? Hm, next time, pick something hard! Something that keeps you up nights! Something that makes you obsess online for tips and research. Make something that’s interesting and exciting! Even if you bomb out, you’ll feel like you learned something. That’s my method, anyway. Sometimes the process is better than the product.

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    • Wow, what great way to look at solving the problem! It never would have occurred to me to try something really difficult in order to break the slump. As you’ll see from my next few posts (SPOILER ALERT!!!) my idea of choosing simple patterns didn’t work out so well. Next time I’ll try YOUR method of choosing something above my skill level instead. Thanks!

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  6. Though you are not as young nor as thin as the model, I believe you to be very lovely. Perhaps another try with this pattern in a stretch? It LOOKS god which means the fit and proportions flatter you.

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