V-neck Linen Jumpsuit – Review of McCalls M7788

This project was a little bit of a queue hopper with a large dose of #sewfrosting. If you haven’t heard of the Sew Frosting challenge hosted by Closet Case Patterns and True Bias, you should go check it out right now. This challenge is to sew something that’s completely for fun and not practical, hence the frosting. They had noticed that in their own sewing they were making a lot of things that were very useful but had lost some of the joy in making. I totally understand this sentiment and found it really inspiring. I have a ton of patterns and fabric in my stash that would fall into the frosting category and it’s high time that I actually use them. Hence, this totally impractical but totally awesome jumpsuit.

This jumpsuit is made with a charcoal chambray linen from The Fabric Store. Right before their LA shop closed, they very kindly gave me this fabric along with a few other pieces. I loved that shop and miss it a lot but I console myself that if I ever run out of fabric, I can still buy from them online. In fact, this exact fabric is available online (link above) and in five additional colorways. It’s a really yummy fabric and just lovely to work with. This is the charcoal and I would say that it’s almost like a super dark cocoa brown. The chambray texture means that there are white threads woven in with colored threads to create a mottled look. If you want to learn more about chambray, check out this post from IndieSew.

So, now on to the pattern. The pattern is McCall’s M7788 and was part of this year’s summer collection. I managed to find it at Joann’s during one of their pattern sales. Truth be told, I may have had to visit a couple of stores before I was able to find it. It was not a close drive at all but I was determined. I started making this back at the beginning of July. I cut out the pattern and tried to tissue fit but my body was so sweaty in the summer heat that it was ruining the tissue. It was kind of hilarious. I set the pattern aside after that and it sat in the closet until the #sewfrosting challenge was announced. And in the midst of two other practical projects, this jumped the queue. I just couldn't help myself. 

This pattern has a princess seamed bodice that wraps in the front, a center front invisible zipper (on the pants only) and optional wrap skirt that goes over the pants. I was on the fence about the skirt because I thought it might be a little too much and ultimately decided to go without it. After the tissue fitting, I decided to add 1 7/8” to the bodice length and 1” to the pant rise. I cut between a size 14 and 16 but ended up taking it in quite a bit at the waist. 

During the sewing process I continued to test the fit which was really tricky to do with this pattern because the straps are not added until the very end. I sewed the pant and bodice pieces and basted them together and tried them on. From that fitting, I decided to take in the pants at the center back and side seams, add small darts to the back of the bodice, take in the side seams of the bodice and add a small bust dart at the armpit. 

All of these adjustments helped a lot but in retrospect, I should have cut a smaller size, done an FBA and lowered the bust point. As I was approaching the finish line of this project and attaching the straps, I realized there was extra fabric above the bust and the apex of the bust was too high. I could have gone back and redone a lot of it. But I decided not to. Because honestly the jumpsuit looks awesome. I’m not going to be wearing it everyday so the extra effort just didn’t seem worth it. Sometimes done is truly better than perfect.

A couple more notes about this pattern. I’ve been sewing for decades and really learned to sew from Big 4 patterns. I honestly have not had a lot of problems with them in the past. So I was sad to find that while the instructions in this pattern are very thorough for views A-C, it lacks instructions on how to finish the wrap front on view D (the only view without the skirt). I really scoured the instructions and was shocked that I couldn’t find anything on it. To finish this section, I removed some of the basting from the center front curved edge that was holding the lining and bodice together. I then flipped the lining to the right side so that the right side of the bodice and right side of the lining were together. I then stitched along the waist line seam to finish that edge. In the process I realized that you could avoid hand stitching the lining to the waist seam by using this method. I was able to machine stitch most of the lining in place. The only trouble this creates is that you will have to topstitch the straps at the back in place instead of opening the lining and stitching them from the inside. But you’re already topstitching the straps so I think it’s not a big deal. 

Above you can see the finish of the bodice edge. I’m very glad that I was able to figure out a clean finish that also saved me some time from hand stitching the lining.

Final thoughts on this pattern. It’s a super awesome design but if you have a large bust, it will probably take some fitting adjustments. I highly recommend sewing an actual muslin if you want to get a perfect fit. Also there are no lengthen/shorten lines for the bodice so it is not #sewingtall friendly. It’s also tricky to lengthen this area because of the curved wrap piece that has to fit with the curved straps. I had to do some adjustments to make sure mine fit even though I had measured and thought it was going to line up. I’m wearing a strapless bra with this. You can wear a regular bra but the straps might peek through a bit.

The V is very deep in this pattern and I think a lot of people might be uncomfortable wearing it. I would definitely not wear this to work. But, even with only a tie wrap, I felt like the bodice was very secure and stayed in place. On other jumpsuits, I’ve added a snap to keep the front closed but I don’t feel like that’s necessary with this design.

Also, there is a center front zipper which is a little bit weird in this style. If you make a view with a skirt, it will cover up the zip. Also, there are no carriers for the waist tie so it has a tendency to slip down (see photo below). And finally, there are no pockets. I didn’t even think about it until I was taking pictures and went to put my hands in my pockets. Pockets would be an easy addition to the side seams of the pants.

I love trying out new patterns and different kinds of designs because I learn so much from the experience. I learned a couple of things from this pattern that I’m really grateful for. First, I need to do an FBA and can’t go cheating around trying to avoid it. Second, full length jumpsuits are awesome and I need to wear more of them. Next up, I really want to try the Amy Jumpsuit by Closet Case Patterns. I loved that design as soon as I saw it and this confirms that I should be wearing more full length jumpsuits. I really hope that I can find an occasion to wear this before the end of the year. It’s so much fun. 

P.S. Do you see my cactus in these photos? It’s to my right in the photo above. At my last home, I often took photos next to a cactus and when I moved a few people mentioned how much they loved that cactus. Shortly after I moved I found a cactus leaf on the ground and rooted it. In just about a year that cactus has already grown to be about two feet high!