My ugliest top yet.

Well, I managed to make a top that was really not my style at all. The most ill fitting, unflattering thing I’ve made for awhile! And I actually made a muslin for this.

The pattern? McCall’s 7542, a best pattern of the year pick from Pattern Review. Surprisingly, my two biggest fails have been PR favorites.

And then I only made a muslin for the bodice and not one for the sleeves. The sleeves on this thing are a disaster. I should have remembered I always have big trouble with Big 4 sleeves, which usually have way too much excess ease at the sleeve caps, giving a puckered homemade look.

And this ruffle trend, which is everywhere this year and has replaced the cold shoulder trend, another one I didn’t get the point of, is just not my style. Maybe I’m too set in my ways to suddenly start wearing ruffles, which I feel very frou frou and kind of dorky in.

Although this sleeve on a flamenco dress would be perfect.

I also think this is a case of a staid fabric making a fun and trendy style look boring. Can you tell I hate this top?

It seems every time I use a pattern with a D cup the armholes are way too tight and the top is strangely tight above the bust. And my boobs look much larger than they usually do! And that giant honking dart always looks bad.

Problems with this top.

Too tight above bust.

Too tight at armholes.

Too big at the bust.

Neckline is too high and not flattering for a larger bust.

Sleeves are hideously fitted! Where do I start? Too many puckers at cap, too tight at armhole. Sleeve cap not centered properly. It needs a forward shoulder adjustment, too.

I lowered the dart an inch and it looked good on the muslin, but it’s much too low now. The low dart makes my bust look lower than it is. Depressing.

This top is destined for the Goodwill pile! Which is a shame because I did like this  silk fabric, and have no more left.

It seems I will never stop making occasional wadders. Next time I make a muslin, I will make the sleeves too.

If you are new to sewing, fear not. It happens to most everyone. Failed projects stink. But hopefully we learn what we did wrong. Until we forget all over again next time.

I started the ready to wear fast but am already looking longingly online at tennis dresses. Even though I promised myself I would only make tennis dresses.

We will see if I can stick to my pledge. I’m already waffling and it’s only January.

Share Button


  1. says

    I never grabbed a hold of the cold shoulder or ruffle trend either. So, I’m right there with you. Showing our disasters keep it real for everyone. It happens no matter how experienced you are and it is so humbling in a painful way…to me at least! I always have to spring back with a confidence booster. LOL

  2. Belinda says

    I feel your pain. Have made more duds than I want to remember… I think your top fits better than the model on the pattern envelope. Hope that helps you feel better! 🙂

  3. Sandy Osborne says

    I hate that when I waste time and fabric for a wadder 🙁 Sorry about your failure. Going off on a small tangent regarding your donation to Goodwill: do you ever think about seeing your garment on someone else? I have several things (wadders) that I’ll never wear, but I’m uneasy about donating them. I keep thinking I’m going to see someone wearing it and feeling weird.

    • says

      I have seen people walking around town in my stuff, not handmade, and it’s so funny!I’ve also seen little girls at church wearing Lily and Gigi’s dresees I donated. That makes me happy. But I only donate things if I feel they are well made. I’d hate for someone to buy something that I know won’t fit anyone because of a sewing or fitting problem with the pattern. So most of the time I throw it away. Except for the girls’ dresses. I have a hard time giving those away, and I save most of them for my friends’ kids.

      • Sandy Osborne says

        Thanks for you reply. That helps me — I’m just going to throw those things away.

  4. Pamela H. says

    Agree this is not a finest moment for you. As the earlier poster stated, having a dud is humbling, but I always appreciate courageous bloggers willing to show failures along with successes. Coincidentally, I am currently on the fence with a bodysuit I just made using a vintage problem (why I chose a vintage bodysuit design is anyone’s guess). What should have been a simple project ended up being a comedy (for lack of better word) of errors and it’s hard for me to get past all the errors I see when looking at it. I don’t even see it as suitable for Goodwill. The highs and lows of sewing!

  5. Brenda says

    I feel your pain – I made something over the summer that just went all kinds of wrong and wasted a piece of fabric that I was really excited about. I need to donate it as well — every time I see it, I feel annoyed.

    • says

      It’s a bummer to waste fabric we love, but at least you used it and it’s not sitting on your shelf for years. Ask me how I know. I do that.

  6. Catherine says

    I do not trust PR now. I made a #one dress pattern before I read the review and the pattern is a disaster and the instructions were terrible. When I saw their review I could not believe it. The fix had to be in. The pattern is cute on the cover and I am so glad a did NOT order it! I have to do a forward shoulder adjustment on everything and it confuses me every time! I hate ended up with wasted sewn garments! Hate it! Cat

  7. Carol Gardiner says

    Hi Justine, I really hate when that happens, especially when I like the fabric. Can you remove the sleeves and lower the neckline and wear it as a tank top?

  8. Lisa G says

    Thank you for posting your not-so-great top! It’s wonderful when bloggers keep it real. I agree with Belinda that yours looks like it fits better than the pattern cover model’s! I saw this one on the PR list and was like…”what?!” Actually, there were several on their list that made me scratch my head! 🙂

  9. Barbara says

    If you love the fabric might I suggest that you remove the sleeves and hem the armscye? Then also adjust the neckline to suit you. You’d have a sleeveless shell that would look lovely on its own or under a cardigan or jacket.

    • says

      I wish I could do that but I unfortunately made the bust dart much too low so it makes my bust appear droopier than it already is!

  10. Ruth L says

    Love your fabric, but don’t care for the pattern. Adding more width to the bust area with fluffy sleeves is never a good idea! We all have projects that just don’t work for some reason or another… live and learn! Thanks for always being willing to share the good and the bad – It’s what sets your blog apart and makes it special! Keep up the good work!
    Warm regards,

  11. Sara Jane says

    I ALWAYS appreciate your candid reviews. I trust a blogger more when I feel like they are frank and forthcoming about a pattern, especially in regard to Indies. I completely agree with your thoughts on the sleeve and cold shoulder trends. It’s always frustrating to waste hours and fabric on a poorly designed pattern.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *