Friday, December 6, 2019

Notes on a Pattern - McCall M8003

Have you ever been so excited about a pattern so much that you envisioned wearing the finished garment with enormous confidence? Or have you ever worked so hard with resolving a fit issue that in the end still did not meet your standards?  Or have you found it too hard to just give up on making it just right for you?  Well, it happened to me.  AGAIN...,

This time with McCall's M8003.  The process started out as always.  I liked the pattern. I cut it out.  I made my pattern adjustments, so I thought. I cut out the bodysuit (at least that's what we used to call them in the 70's).  I put it together feeling like I'd followed all the steps just right.

Now, It's time to try it on minus the neckband, sleeves, and closure.  Multiple issues...,


Okay, Okay, let me give you some of the basic information about the pattern before I continue.

The Pattern Description from McCall's website.  Close fitting tops, or pullover with snap closing, mock collar or neck band, has length variations. B: Contrast yoke.  Sizes:  6-22 in two size groupings.

I used a ITY polyester/lycra knit from Fabric Mart Fabrics.  Love this fabric.  I purchased multiple yards in multiple colors.  Anyway, it was perfect for this bodysuit.

The instructions were clear and very easy to follow and so was the construction techniques.

After I examined my top and noted all of the issues, I looked back at the top modeled on the envelope and saw some of the very same issues.  My initial thoughts were, I didn't allow enough for the FBA.  But the model doesn't appear to need an FBA; yet the issue exist for her as well.

My first and most visible problem was the yoke.  I had adjusted it to include a partial FBA.  When I tried it on, it didn't fit across the upper chest.  My initial adjustment is below.

Yoke over the front top to show adjustment for FBA
 So, I ripped out the yoke.  Removed the adjustment from the yoke pattern, then cut another. To guarantee no gapping, I added clear elastic along the hem edge of the yoke before hemming.  That seemed to work.

Below is a picture of the modeled top on the envelop.  Take a look at the hem of the yoke.  So, it might be good  idea to add the elastic to help keep the shape of the yoke.  Again, another solution, may be to to lengthen it.  Maybe that will resolve the issue.

Next, I have vertical drag lines pointing to the shoulder.  My thought was the FBA and not enough length along the torso could be the cause.  Again, the modeled top has the same issue when the arm is in a relaxed state.

On my dress form the bodysuit looks perfect.  But on me a different story. I was talking to my friend, Rhonda, about the fit issues.  She suggested, cutting it off below the waist and then adding a new panty section with a little extra length.  Testing the adjustment to see if that works.  Well, I had already gifted this one to my sister.  She came over, tried it on, and it fit her with no problem. 

Sorry this is not a happy review.  I struggled with this one.  It took me hours to get it to a better state.  And I was still not totally pleased with the results of my efforts.  To complete the adjustment section of this post, my other adjustments are below:  FBA, prominent shoulder blades, and slightly forward shoulder.  No swayback or center back seam added.  It's a bodysuit and will be held close to the body.

I used the Sandra Betzina's FBA (no dart method).

I did make one design change, which I am very pleased. I used Rhonda's shirred wrist design to create a shirred forearm.  It looks great.  That will be the very next post.

I've put a lot of time into the bodysuit already, but I feel like giving it one more try!

Parting Shot:  I was gifted this snap fastener tape over fifteen years ago.  Never knew how I would use it.  So, instead of placing individual snaps on the closure, I used the tape.  Perfect.

Happy Sewing!


  1. I feel your pain. Thank you for documenting the process I found it very valuable reading. Jacqui from NZ



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