McCall’s 7543


23 Sep McCall’s 7543

Happy Fall, Y’all!

It’s always so hard  to say goodbye to my favorite season of the year in exchange for falling leaves, pumpkins and holiday madness. I needed a little pick-me-up after trading my white jeans for black pants, and my new top did the trick.

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The pattern is McCall’s 7543, a pattern worth sewing more than once (my previous version is here).

McCall's 7543

McCall’s 7543

The two piece sleeve offers a great opportunity for machine embroidery embellishment, so I put the petal to the metal and embroidered both sides of the sleeves with a mirrored image design.

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The floral embroidery motif is from the Pfaff Embroidery Collection , a collection of designs included with the machine. Below is a snapshot of the process. I stitched the sleeves’ upper seams together before starting the embroidery to ensure accurate design placement. After I ‘hooped’ the fabric with a soft tear away stabilizer and placed the design, I pushed go and the machine did all the rest. Once I learned how to operate the Pfaff machine embroidery basics, I can honestly say it’s that easy.

The stitching in this design is beautiful and can be seen in detail by clicking on the photo below. My thread is Coats and Clark Trilobal Embroidery Thread in black.


I embroidered the just the sleeves so I could easily accessorize the top.

I sewed View B but added approximately four inches to the length, and the fabric is poplin from the stash. French seams were used on the sleeve and side seams. I finished the armscye seams on the serger.


It’s a keeper…….


So here we are celebrating the Autumnal Equinox in the Northern Hemisphere and the Vernal Equinox in the Southern Hemisphere. May your upcoming season be one that is fulfilled with lovely creative endeavors!


All the best 🙂



  • joyjc
    Posted at 09:11h, 23 September Reply

    You are really enjoying your embroidery machine! This top is lovely and I like the way you used machine embroidery to enhance this look. Great for you!

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 14:38h, 23 September Reply

      Indeed I am enjoying the embroidery machine! Embroidery is such an easy embellishment for practically every type of garment 😉 Many thanks for your comment, Joy!

  • Amanda S.
    Posted at 09:27h, 23 September Reply

    Wow! This looks like high end RTW. I love it.

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 14:39h, 23 September Reply

      Thank you so much, Amanda! I could not be more pleased with the result 😉

  • LInda Galante
    Posted at 09:43h, 23 September Reply

    That is gorgeous, and I’m such a fan of what you’re doing with your embroidery machine these days! What a great transitional top!

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 14:41h, 23 September Reply

      Many thanks, Linda! I can’t get enough 😉

  • Marysia Paling
    Posted at 09:54h, 23 September Reply

    Oh to have an embroidery machine! Love your interpretation of this pattern. I have made it in cream linen. Such a quick easy piece to make. As you say, “A keeper”

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 14:42h, 23 September Reply

      Ooh….. I bet your linen top is gorgeous! Thank you so much for the comment, Marysia 🙂

  • Sharon Kane
    Posted at 10:05h, 23 September Reply

    Beautiful blouse and embellishment. I truly appreciate how you take one pattern and make it again, and again, and, sometimes, again. However, each time the garment looks completely different. Thanks for showing how to get the most bang for our pattern spending buck.

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 14:43h, 23 September Reply

      Thank you, Sharon! There is unending value in a good pattern for sure! This one might be one of those patterns that is used again, and again….. and again 🙂

  • Paula Hamrick
    Posted at 10:21h, 23 September Reply

    This is one of my favorite of all I’ve seen you make. The embroidery on the sleeves is spectacular!

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 14:45h, 23 September Reply

      Hi Paula! Actually, this one of my favorites as well. The sleeves were fun to embroider, but what I love is the variety of stitches in the design 🙂

  • Julie Starr
    Posted at 10:40h, 23 September Reply

    So clever to take advantage of the two piece sleeve and mirror the embroidery design. Another artfully created piece you’ve made from that magic machine!

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 14:51h, 23 September Reply

      Thank you, Julie, and you are correct in calling it a magic machine. The photographs of the design motifs do not reveal the intricacies of the stitches. I just marvel as the Pfaff does its thing 😉 BTW – your gorgeous black and white ensemble served as an inspiration !

  • Diane Bell
    Posted at 10:59h, 23 September Reply

    Is it just as beautiful on the reverse? It’s stunning!

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 14:56h, 23 September Reply

      Thank you, Diane! The answer to your question is yes, however I had a good bit of thread cutting to do. The soft tearaway stabilizer was perfect for this fabric. After it was removed and the threads were clipped the back is as lovely as the front. I’ll try to get a photo up of the inside 😉

      • Diane Bell
        Posted at 17:27h, 23 September Reply

        Thank you! Sounds excellent- will look forward to seeing it. Greetings from Espagna – Cadiz is beautiful and has some fantastic fabric shops! 😃

  • Hanh-Trang Ginocchio
    Posted at 11:02h, 23 September Reply

    I like your version better. It’s just lovely, but somehow you remind me of some nice English bone china 🙂

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 14:58h, 23 September Reply

      I’m taking your comment as a compliment, Hanh-Trang! Many thanks 🙂

  • Mary Jean Cunningham
    Posted at 11:23h, 23 September Reply

    Summer is my favorite season, too, and I also hate to see it go, but “luckily!” it is going to be in the 90s here in Philadelphia for a few days and I couldn’t be happier! You are really making the case for getting a machine that can embroider and showing how it is not just a feature to use once a year – I’m thinking Birdie is going to be the recipient of some gorgeous baby clothes, too! Love this top!!!

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 15:00h, 23 September Reply

      Thank you, Mary Jean! Yes, the embroidery machine does much more than monogrammed hand towels – LOL! I’ve really had fun with it. Now that I understand Birdie’s size, I hope to do more sewing for her :). 🙂

  • Christine Johnson
    Posted at 11:54h, 23 September Reply

    I love this look on you! Your instinct is perfect for where to add embroidery that complements your beautiful work and highlights the top.

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 15:02h, 23 September Reply

      Thank you so much, Christine! I haven’t mastered the concept and technique of machine embroidery but it is fun and not as difficult as I was expecting 😉

  • Brenda Everett
    Posted at 13:00h, 23 September Reply

    Love, love, love! I would love to copy it-if only I had an embroidery machine!

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 15:05h, 23 September Reply

      Many thanks, Brenda! I say ask Santa to put one under the tree for you 🎄It will not go to waste 🙂

  • Stephanie Brown
    Posted at 13:26h, 23 September Reply

    It’s darling, but what do you do with your bra straps????

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 15:07h, 23 September Reply

      Stephanie, A strapless bra does the trick! I’m also wearing a strapless Spanx came which tucks into my pants. It takes care of any transparency in the fabric 🙂

  • Barbara Byrne
    Posted at 14:07h, 23 September Reply

    Wow! Beautiful!

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 15:08h, 23 September Reply

      Thank you so much, Barbara!

  • Jeanette Madden
    Posted at 14:09h, 23 September Reply

    Your blouse is beautiful!

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 15:08h, 23 September Reply

      Many thanks, Jeanette!

  • Lisa Watson
    Posted at 14:10h, 23 September Reply

    Absolutely adorable! I love the machine embroidery placement…it gave me some great ideas 🙂

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 15:09h, 23 September Reply

      Thank you, Lisa 🙂 Can’t wait to see what you do – please share!

  • Pamela Elaine Smith
    Posted at 14:57h, 23 September Reply

    Sarah I live in the Principality Wales, part of the Uk..I have been following your blog for a few years and although I used to sew in my younger days. In the 1960s, gosh it’s seems a life time ago. I too am 63 and petite 5ft 2ins I follow your blog not for the sewing(although what you do is fantastic) but for your petite style.
    This last post of the white blouse is just gorgeous with the black embroidery is so creative..
    I adore Carolina Herrera herself and her creations are so elegant but I must say Sarah your embroidered white blouse surely gives her a run for her money and I bet you I could see her wearing it herself as she loves white shirts, blouses.. etc and under stated elegance.
    I wish I could contact her because believe me and I am sure others would agree the blouse is so worthy of her runway shows..
    love Pamela x

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 15:22h, 23 September Reply

      Thank you so much for your lovely and moving comment.
      First I must subtract three years from my age. I hit the big 6 0 last November. Since 60 is considered the new 40 I’m dealing with it just fine, but I am not ready to be 63 just yet 😉
      We petites have to work a little harder than our taller friends to stay on trend but it’s doable as long as we can stay in shape – another challenge……
      Funny you should mention, Carolina Herrera. My dear sewing friend and co-author Julie Starr (who you can follow on Instagram) is 5’4″ and just replicated a Carolina Herrera black skirt and white blouse. I told her it was her outfit that inspired me to create this top!
      Thank you for your kind words about my new top! I’d love to see it on the Carolina Herrera runway one day!

  • Patricia
    Posted at 15:03h, 23 September Reply

    I have been following you for a couple of years, and all of your styles and materials have inspired me. We have the same taste in style. I used to sew all of my own clothes as well (even tailoring suits). Thanks to you I am starting to sew all of my clothes again. I have even purchased fabrics that you have made garments from, i.e. White polka dot voile, silk crepe de chine, cotton stretch for the Style Arc Willow Pants, Ralph Lauren green striped cotton shirting, and the green and white organza from Promenade for the “Last Wedding of Summer”. I have even purchased the “Tunic Bible”. After all of these years I am struggling to get my sewing skills back, but decided to back to your beginning. I read the September 27 Simplicity Skirt and saw that you were in the same position I am now. I will keep working at it and hopefully will send you photos of the garments as they are finished. Thank you again so much for your inspiration.

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 15:32h, 23 September Reply

      Hi Patricia!
      One the chief motivations in my sewing and blogging is learning that I’m inspiring others to sew. Thank you so much for taking the time to share this comment with me!
      I’m flattered that you’ve bought some of the fabric I’ve sewn, as well as The Tunic Bible 🙂 When I returned to sewing 6 years ago, I found by starting at a beginning level I was able to renew my skills steadily and fairly easily. Of course sewing has changed so much for the better during the last several years, and I’m especially grateful for The Pattern Review Website and Craftsy Online Classes from which I have learned and connected with sewing enthusiasts worldwide.
      Good luck, and please stay in touch – I’d love to see photos of your garments!

  • Maggie ecger
    Posted at 15:27h, 23 September Reply

    I really like this top. The emboridery is so pretty. All sorts of possibilities. I really enjoy your posts.
    A. Maggie

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 15:33h, 23 September Reply

      Thank you, Maggie! This top was such fun to sew 🙂 Hope you are doing OK, and am glad to know your home did not sustain any hurricane damage.

  • Becky Bagwell
    Posted at 15:29h, 23 September Reply

    Love it!

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 15:33h, 23 September Reply

      Thank you, Becky!!

  • Mary Funt
    Posted at 17:38h, 23 September Reply

    I love this and it looks great a little longer than the pattern shows. You certainly are having fun with the embroidery features of the machine. I love my old Bernina 730 and playing with all the embroidery designs available online now. Embroidered tunics next?

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 06:35h, 24 September Reply

      Hi Mary ~ Many thanks for your comment!. Yes, I hope to embroider tunics soon. Shaping the design to fit plackets is the next step for me 😉

  • Christine Fromont
    Posted at 19:06h, 23 September Reply

    I love it! I’ll definitely be making that one up – more than once I suspect!
    Thanks for the heads up!

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 06:36h, 24 September Reply

      Many thanks, Crhistine! It’s a fun pattern that I hope you’ll enjoy 😉

  • Gayle
    Posted at 19:15h, 23 September Reply

    Very pretty!

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 06:36h, 24 September Reply

      Thank you, Gayle!

  • peggy leah
    Posted at 20:09h, 23 September Reply

    …keeps getting cuter and cuter! I think I would be
    envious if that weren’t such a waste of energy! Instead, I’ll get
    inspired and go back to my sewing machine. Do you have more
    than one project going at a time or give full concentration to one
    thing? Ever frustrated about which one to begin? You SEEM to
    be focused. peggy

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 06:38h, 24 September Reply

      Thank you for your nice comment, Peggy! One project at a time for me and yes, it is a little frustrating to have so many ideas and so little time 😉 Good luck with your sewing!

  • Elaine
    Posted at 22:50h, 23 September Reply

    You have nailed it! Such an elegant tunic. The sleve embroidery is couture like. Very beautuiful. Congrats on the lovestist make that we all want, it is such a classy garment, can’t wait i make my own. Thanks Sara for such a lovely design.

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 06:43h, 24 September Reply

      Elaine ~ Thank you so much for your nice comment! To me this pattern is like a blank canvas waiting for embellishment. Have fun making yours 🙂

  • Carolyn
    Posted at 01:57h, 24 September Reply

    It’s lovely! Simply lovely!

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 06:43h, 24 September Reply

      Thank you, Carolyn!

  • Pamela Elaine Smith
    Posted at 02:26h, 24 September Reply

    Oops sorry I added 3yrs to your age, you don’t look a day over 30!
    Hey I did look at Julie’s instagram as I know she is your friend and co-author of the Tunic Bible and it was uncanny that she created her black skirt and blouse based on Carolina Herrera’s lovely style and I compared your beautiful white top to Carolina’s creations.You both should have your outfits on her runway shows!
    Keep creating and sewing Sarah.
    Love Pamela x

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 06:48h, 24 September Reply

      LOL – I wasn’t so sensitive about my age 30 years ago 😉 I’ll pass along your comment to Julie.
      Thank you, Pamela!

  • Becky Thompson
    Posted at 08:53h, 24 September Reply

    Absolutely lovely embroidery! It really turns what I would originally think of a pattern for a 1970’s “peasant top” into an elegant designer and fashion-forward piece! Don’t you just love this new element that you’ve added into your sewing? My machine is in the shop and I’m having withdrawals terribly. Reading your post makes me want mine back even more. Gorgeous top. Great job!

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 20:28h, 24 September Reply

      Thank you, Becky! Yes, I absolutely love the embroidery element of sewing ;). Good luck with your machine repair!

  • Tomasa
    Posted at 15:12h, 24 September Reply

    The embroidery on the sleeves is so very pretty. Love your top!

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 20:29h, 24 September Reply

      Thank you so much, Tomasa!

  • Helene Goldberg
    Posted at 18:45h, 24 September Reply

    That is nothing short of stunning! Beautiful work, very inspiring!

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 20:30h, 24 September Reply

      Thank you, Helene! It was so much fun to sew 🙂

  • MonicaAD
    Posted at 14:53h, 25 September Reply


    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 15:52h, 25 September Reply

      FIESTA, indeed!! Muchas Gracias 🙂

  • Celeste Yanisch
    Posted at 14:07h, 27 September Reply

    I love most everything you do but this piece is totally the bomb; elegant, understated, beautifully executed, and incredibly flattering. Wow. Most of the machine embroidery I’ve seen ends up cutesy or garish but this is drop-dead gorgeous. I love that the little rounds look like french knots. You have hit this one out of the park and then some. Thank you for inspiring us all!!!

  • Kathryn McBride
    Posted at 08:58h, 28 September Reply

    This is gorgeous. You are far more calm, cool and collected than I would be in an off-the-shoulders, gathered top. I love this trend, but everytime I move my arms, the elastic band pops back up over my shoulders. After 20 minutes, I’m frustrated and red-faced and my top is gathered around my neck like a beach umbrella that won’t cooperate. How do you stand it?!?

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 15:32h, 28 September Reply

      Thank you for the comment, Kathryn! Have you tried this pattern? It is pulled tightly across the chest and back and is not overly full. The shoulders stay put and you are correct, – I’m comfortable wearing this top.
      I know what you’re referring to but this pattern will not produce wardrobe malfunctions 😉

      • Kathryn McBride
        Posted at 16:05h, 28 September Reply

        Actually, you have totally called me out – and inspired me! I *do* have this pattern in my stash, but I’ve been too scared at my foolishness to try it and so instead, whine about it on people’s beautiful blogs. You are right! I will be bold! It is going to the top of the stash today!

        • goodbyevalentino
          Posted at 21:08h, 30 September Reply

          LOL. Make a muslin and check the fit – then go for it! Good luck and please share your top with me 😉

  • Lynda Thomas
    Posted at 16:54h, 29 September Reply

    Have you seen the cover of October issue of Vogue? Seeing the embroidered bodice made me think of you. Gorgeous dress!

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 21:12h, 30 September Reply

      I have not seen it, but will be on the lookout! Many thanks for bringing it to my attention, Lynda 😉

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