I wore this to work the other day for the first time. Um, let's just say that these sleeves are not made for art teacherin'. I just about dipped them in to paint/glue/glaze on several occasions. Then I almost cut them in the paper cutter. I finally had to tie them up over my elbow with a rubber band to teach the rest of the day. However, these sleeves are made for swanning around and looking groovy! I love them. I just maybe need to think about what I'm going to teach that day before I wear this to work again. Anyway, to the review...
Pattern Description: McCalls 7545. Misses split neck top with flared sleeves. There are three different views; a short sleeve version without the flared sleeve, a version with a long flared sleeve with sleeve bands, and a version made for border prints with a gathering. It's a very groovy looking pattern. I made view B with the sleeve bands because I was drawn to the view with the two contrasting fabrics.
Pattern Sizing: 6-22. I made a 14. I waffled between making a 12 or 14 but ultimately went with the larger size because I was worried about the shoulders being too tight.
Fabric Used: I used two different rayon challis prints I found at Joann's. I really didn't want the two fabrics to match at all. I wanted them to sort of clash, but not in a bad way. I spent FOREVER cutting this out. Single layer, painstakingly making sure each side matched up. I think the time spent paid off although there are few places that aren't perfect. I couldn't decide how to use the crazy border print so I cut two different center fronts and back yokes to help me decide. The one I decided not to use on the outside, I used inside for the facings.
Likes/Dislikes: I love the sleeves, obviously. And I love the two fabrics together. However, there are some fit quirks that I don't love (see below). I also did not love how deep the split neck was. I ended up tacking it up higher. I had a fit issue with the width of the neck line as well. Tacking the split closed higher made that issue much less noticeable. My cording is just ok. I couldn't find exactly what I wanted so I braided some thinner crochet yarn I had to make a thicker cord. We'll see how that washes. I ended up cutting the ties much shorter since I'm not tying the split neck closed anyway. They are purely decorative. The insides are just as pretty as the outside, although I didn't do all the slip stitching by hand. Ain't nobody got time for that. I just serged the edge of the facings and top stitched from the outside.
Alterations/Deviations: I did not make a single alteration to this particular top. Not a one. I spent so much time cutting out the fabric that I didn't want to mess with any alterations from the beginning. I figured the drape-y fabric and the relaxed fit would be forgiving. And it is for the most part. I definitely need to square up the shoulders. There is this weird fit issue through the shoulders and front where the top part if much too wide. The ends of the shoulders sort of pull off the ends of my shoulder, if that makes sense. If I pick up the inner corners of the shoulders and pinch off the excess, that goes away. The armhole is also very high. If I make this again, I will definitely do a substantial square shoulder adjustment without raising the armhole to match. I also will take out some width from the center front (and maybe even center back). I bet my neck split wouldn't be too deep with those fit changes either. So, once again, I have shoulder fit issues. I am about ready to maybe try and draft my own block to see if I can solve my shoulder fit issues once and for all.
Conclusion: I really love the finished top, shoulder fit issues and all. I am interested in making this again, but it is a little lower on my list. I'm actually kind of interested in the short sleeve version.