McCall’s 7543

22 Jul McCall’s 7543

After seeing so many cute renditions of  McCalls 7543, I could not let another summer day pass without sewing my own.

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An off-the-shoulder top with gathered shoulders and elastic pulled tight across the chest and back gives the appearance of nice clean lines, which I wear better than a full gather.


The nice tight pull across the chest also prevents gaping.


After finishing the experimental embroidered denim jacket I was ready to embroider for real 😉 The printed fabric from EmmaOneSock is a lightweight linen with a nice background for an embroidery design.

I settled on a floral motif  the Pfaff Embroidery book


…stitching it twice on the front and once one the front sleeves. 


I selected Coats and Clark Embroidery Thread in TANGO and used a water soluble stabilizer.


To embroider the front I marked the center with a Frixion pen and placed the top stitch of the image just under the elastic casing.



I flipped and repeated the image for symmetry, but outsmarted myself … for  had I not flipped the image I could have embroidered the front from top to bottom. Now I’m considering shortening the top….


To embroider the sleeves, I also chose the same starting point just underneath the elastic casing, and I’m loving the pattern’s two-piece tied sleeves!


I removed 2″ from the fullest part of the bodice to avoid bulkiness in this fabric, but I will leave the pattern as is if I sew it in a lightweight knit, voile or silk.


Since the South has reached its 95+° average daily temperature,  I’m ready to sew this well-designed pattern again, but now……….. would you believe me if I told you next up are six garments for my neighbor’s daughter who is joining a convent?

Best wishes for a great weekend 🙂



  • Pat Leonardi
    Posted at 09:06h, 22 July Reply

    That is really cute.

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 06:39h, 25 July Reply

      Thank you, Pat!

  • Pat Leonardi
    Posted at 09:07h, 22 July Reply

    That is really cute. Keep up the. embroidery.

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 06:39h, 25 July Reply

      ……will do 🙂

  • Barabara O
    Posted at 09:16h, 22 July Reply

    So pretty!

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 06:40h, 25 July Reply

      Thank you, Barbara!

  • Gerhild Turner
    Posted at 09:20h, 22 July Reply


    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 06:40h, 25 July Reply

      Thank you, Gerhild 🙂

  • Joyce Love
    Posted at 09:31h, 22 July Reply

    I love it! Don’t shorten it, I think it’s perfect! (But if you do, please show us the result – your instincts are most likely more correct than mine!). 🙂

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 06:42h, 25 July Reply

      Many thanks, Joyce! If I shorten it I’ll show the result 😉

  • Becky Riddle
    Posted at 09:31h, 22 July Reply

    And what pray tell, do you sew to wear in a convent? You can’t leave me there, Sarah! This is really a cute top on you, and I love the embroidery. I am jealous of your machine!

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 06:43h, 25 July Reply

      Thank you, Becky! I’ll do a post on the clothes I’m making for her. Never dreamed there would be so much interest about this 😉

  • Connie Turner
    Posted at 09:41h, 22 July Reply

    You certainly have a good eye for design. I too am wondering what do you need for wearing in a convent? I didn’t think people still did that.

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 06:44h, 25 July Reply

      Many thanks, Connie. She will be a novice so her clothes will be simple. I’m going to write a post when I’m done. 😉

  • MaryEllen
    Posted at 09:51h, 22 July Reply

    This is a gorgeous top ! You have a great eye for how to up the game by adding tasteful, beautiful Embroidery without overdoing it !!!

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 06:46h, 25 July Reply

      Thank you, Mary Ellen! I’m learning 😉

  • Doreen
    Posted at 09:53h, 22 July Reply

    How about shortening it a bit but making the front shorter than the back?? I can see some movement “issues” with the existing length (not too bad but ‘there’). A convent?? Guess I’m still back in the “dark ages” of that type of thing and have to remind myself of “today’s” attire for nuns….a great deal different for sure!

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 06:48h, 25 July Reply

      That’s a good idea, Doreen! It moves fine but gets gathered wrinkled and I think the embroidery would be better proportioned were it shorter. Thanks so much for the suggestion!

  • Caroline Beckenhaupt
    Posted at 10:11h, 22 July Reply

    Beautiful work! You’re tempting me to embroider . Will you share the convent garments? The curious among us are interested. Thank you for sharing.

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 06:50h, 25 July Reply

      Thank you, Caroline! Since there is such interest, I’ll write a post on the six garments 😉

  • Maggie ecger
    Posted at 10:50h, 22 July Reply

    OMG. I love it! One of my favorites. A Maggie

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 18:23h, 25 July Reply

      Thank you, Maggie!!

  • Cissie Wellons
    Posted at 11:03h, 22 July Reply

    Really cute top! I’m so impressed with how quickly and fearlessly you have embraced your embroidery module. But I stopped dead in my tracks when I got to the convent sewing part. Please keep us posted as I cannot imagine what this would be!

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 18:25h, 25 July Reply

      Hi Cissie!
      All I can say is that it’s just plain fun to embroider on this machine! With so much interest in my next sewing project, I’ve decided to do a post. The garments are extremely simple 😉

  • Julie Culshaw
    Posted at 11:26h, 22 July Reply

    Curious about the convent sewing. I have a daughter who became a Franciscan nun 10 years ago, and a local designer drafted their habit. I know that the habit has about 5-6 yards of fabric in it. So please tell us more.

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 18:27h, 25 July Reply

      I will not be sewing a habit as this young woman will be a novice. Also I’m not Catholic so I barely know what I’m talking about, but with so much interest from readers, I do plan to write a post on the garments. 😉

  • Joan
    Posted at 11:51h, 22 July Reply

    Great pattern and interpretation of the design!

    Can you please elaborate on your comment about removing 2″ from the bodice measurement — in the F&B side seams tapering to your waist measurement?

    Re. the nearly novitiate neighbor (bad humor): I am really surprised at the idea that one must provide their own garments prior to entering a convent; is that what you mean?

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 18:29h, 25 July Reply

      I removed two inches from the side seams tapering from my waist where I took out the most.
      Yes, they must provide their own garments…… more soon 😉

  • Lucy
    Posted at 12:03h, 22 July Reply

    Super cute top! What a perfect use of embroidery as well as great design choice. I just cut this top out for my weekend sewing project.

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 18:30h, 25 July Reply

      Thank you so much, Lucy! Can’t wait to see your top 🙂

  • Mary Lynn
    Posted at 12:13h, 22 July Reply

    You’re doing so incredibly well with your embroidery. I’ve really struggled since I bought mine….. Most of the problem which I think will, hopefully, soon be resolved is that I have a Mac and their program is designed for PCs. I bought a special program for Macs, but not user friendly. Just learned they’re coming out with a new program for both Macs and PCs. Hurrah! If not, my sweet grandchildren (now have a 2 1/2 yr old girl and a 7 week old boy 🙂 will be in college and granny – if still alive – will be eating mush
    somewhere! Hope to also move on to smocking and my little grandson’s needlepoint Christmas stocking! Now that I’m through “yacking” were those special clips on your hoop? They looked like they would be a help.

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 18:32h, 25 July Reply

      Mary Lynn,
      First of all, congratulations on the new grandson!!
      I have not tried to connect my computer or use software for the machine yet. I am strictly using what’s in the machine and learning the technique. You’re already light years ahead of me!!!!!!
      The clips came with the machine and are a huge help 😉

  • Jo Stengel
    Posted at 12:19h, 22 July Reply

    You couldn’t buy that at Newman Marcus!

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 18:36h, 25 July Reply

      I’m taking that as a compliment, Jo – many thanks!

  • Bernadette O'Brien
    Posted at 13:15h, 22 July Reply

    Lovely top. I too would like to know more about the clothing you are sewing for the woman entering the convent. How nice of you to help out.

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 18:36h, 25 July Reply

      With all the interest, I’ll be writing a post on the garments, Bernadette 😉

  • Lisbeth Dambrowski
    Posted at 13:16h, 22 July Reply

    Yes, please give us more information on the convent garments. Certainly interesting!

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 18:37h, 25 July Reply

      Will do, Lisbeth!

  • Wendy S
    Posted at 13:21h, 22 July Reply

    I love the way this turned out! That color looks wonderful on you. I have this pattern tucked away somewhere, I think I need to dig it out.

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 18:37h, 25 July Reply

      Oh definitely dig it out while the weather is hot, Wendy!

  • Gayle
    Posted at 13:26h, 22 July Reply

    Beautiful top Sarah. Wonderful style and sewing as usual. I also am curious about the convent outfits. please tell us thank you

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 18:38h, 25 July Reply

      Thank you, Gayle! I’ve decided to write a post about the garments. They’re very simple 😉

  • Alice Elliot
    Posted at 13:36h, 22 July Reply

    Beautiful! You are sure having fun with your new toy!! Will you be sewing a nun’s habit of some sort for your neighbor?

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 18:39h, 25 July Reply

      Thank you, Alice! It is definitely a fun ‘toy’ 🙂
      No habit for the novice but I will publish a post on the garments.

  • gerri Haumschild
    Posted at 13:46h, 22 July Reply

    please post pics of garments for the girl going into the convent. Interesting.

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 18:40h, 25 July Reply

      Will do, Gerri!

  • peggy leah
    Posted at 14:00h, 22 July Reply

    That top is completely and absolutely adorable! Aren’t you
    glad you said goodbye to Valentino? Look what YOU
    can do!

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 18:41h, 25 July Reply

      Yes, I’m glad I said bye bye to Valentino though I barely said hello to him 😉 I’t far more fun to sew than shop in frustration ~ Many thanks for the comment, Peggy!

  • Tomasa
    Posted at 15:43h, 22 July Reply

    Love the embroidery on this top. Well done!

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 18:42h, 25 July Reply

      Thank you, Tomasa!!

  • Sheila Codd
    Posted at 16:24h, 22 July Reply

    Beautiful top, great embroidery. Note you secured fabric for embroidery with clips , not hooping. Is this a Pfaff way or your way? Please post

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 18:45h, 25 July Reply

      Many thanks, Sheila 🙂
      I attached water soluble stabilizer to the hoop and attached the fabric to the stabilizer with a temporary adhesive – GUNOLD KK100. Then I clipped the fabric just to be safe. The clips came with the machine.

  • Rhonda Preece
    Posted at 16:50h, 22 July Reply

    Love the embroidery on an already patterned fabric, without being over the top!. Great idea!

  • Marysia Paling
    Posted at 19:39h, 22 July Reply


    Lovely top with the additional embroidery. I made it in plain cream linen. May I ask how you tied your sleeves; have you tucked away the ends of the ties? It looks neat and I will try that too if I may.

    In terms of the young lady entering the convent, will you be making nightwear for her? You have us all intrigued.

  • Karen Helm
    Posted at 21:23h, 22 July Reply

    Such a perfect pairing of pattern and fabric. If I were you, I would not shorten the top – the embroidery looks just right as is.
    You sound like a wonderful neighbor!

  • Patricia R Moore
    Posted at 00:18h, 23 July Reply

    Beautiful as always. I have a Babylock but have never had the nerve to try and use the embroidery on it. You are so fearless! Talented too❣️

  • Lisa G
    Posted at 08:33h, 23 July Reply

    It’s beautiful! I like it as is, but can also envision it shorter. The sleeves are an awesome detail! I am also curious about the convent clothes – and somewhat surprised to hear someone is joining a convent, although I did see a group of nuns in their habits not too long ago. I am thinking maybe her clothes have to meet certain modesty standards? Anyhow, I wish her the best of luck and hope you will be able to do a post on the wardrobe!

    • Julie Culshaw
      Posted at 12:54h, 23 July Reply

      The women who are joining convents now are insistent upon wearing a habit. If you think about it,the decline in the number of sisters corresponds with the removal of habits. Women entering now are very serious and they don’t wish to look just like all other women. The habit is a visual witness to the world of your values, so the new orders are bringing back traditional habits. My daughter wears a grey tunic over a white t-shirt, there is a tabbard over that, and she wears a black veil that fully covers her hair.

  • Sharon kane
    Posted at 09:17h, 23 July Reply

    Ok, where do I start – the pattern, fabric, color, embroidery? The pattern, your version is beautiful. I like how you pointed out that it doesn’t gap when bending over, so important when picking up yor darling granddaughter. The fabric and color is so summery and perfect for hot temps. Not knowing that you did embroidery thinking it was part of the fabric print, I thought how perfectly placed the print was. Great job all around.

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 18:48h, 25 July Reply

      Many thanks for your comment, Sharon! It is a good pattern – I avoid off the shoulder tops because I fear a wardrobe malfunction could happen at any moment, but after seeing so many cute versions I couldn’t resist and am glad I did 😉

  • Sally Scott
    Posted at 15:32h, 23 July Reply

    As always, beautiful inspiring work. I really like this!

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 18:48h, 25 July Reply

      Thank you so much, Sally!

  • Teri Stich
    Posted at 06:16h, 24 July Reply

    I love your style, this as so many others is perfect on you. You are doing an amazing job learning your embroidery machine..

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 18:49h, 25 July Reply

      Thank you, Teri! The machine is so much fun that I’m having trouble doing anything else 😉

  • PsychicSewerKathleen
    Posted at 09:57h, 24 July Reply

    You were so right that this fabric was ideal for just the right embroidery design – it’s gorgeous! The colour and shape is lovely and so nice and cool for a hot summer day but still providing such an artistic coverage. I can’t imagine what this top would set you back in a boutique!

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 18:51h, 25 July Reply

      Ahh……. that’s such a nice comment, Kathleen 🙂 I think it’s a great summer top for sure!

  • Carolyn
    Posted at 10:24h, 24 July Reply

    The fabric is lovely and the embroidery really enhances it. It’s a great top and whether you chose to shorten it or keep it as is, I’m sure it wears wonderful in the heatwave we’re currently experiencing.

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 18:53h, 25 July Reply

      Many thanks, Carolyn! The top has been perfect for our recent heatwave for sure 😉 …………. shortening the length will reduce the wrinkles too, so I’m going for it.

  • Lisa Lacy
    Posted at 18:46h, 24 July Reply

    I have been trying to find a similar pattern but one not worn off the shoulders. Wonder if I could use this one and just adjust the neckline? Love this on you!

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 18:55h, 25 July Reply

      I believe this pattern will sit off the shoulders no matter what, but if you’re adept at alterations, then go for it!
      Many thanks for your comment 🙂

  • celeste
    Posted at 16:30h, 25 July Reply

    What a young woman wears when entering the religious life totally depends upon the order (type of convent) she is joining. Some orders ask only for modest, simple clothing, while others have more requirements. My aunt and cousin are both Franciscans (but different orders within Franciscans); my aunt (age 85) wears clothing that very much resembles an older woman dressing for comfort and low cost while my cousin (age 60) wears a long full gray dress tied at the waist with a cord and a small black veil that covers only a small part of her hair. They both have necklaces that denote their order which they wear at all time. My aunt used to wear the full black habit with white collar but opted for the simpler style when change came in the 60’s. My cousin is a college professor in Italy and wears her habit to teach and also to work the farm on which she lives. I am really interested in hearing what this young woman’s novitiate requires.

    I love the orange top and the gorgeous embroidery. It suits you perfectly. May I ask if you can wear a bra underneath or what do you do about situation? I know the young ‘uns can carry this off, but I have always wondered about this style with anyone over 35. You do it perfectly!

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 18:58h, 25 July Reply

      I am not a Catholic and find your comment so interesting! I will write a post on the garments (all very simple) due to the interest from readers.
      Oh yes, I wear a strapless underneath the top. Can’t imagine going without 😉

  • De Angeles
    Posted at 17:31h, 08 September Reply

    Great job, great color combination looks great on you!

  • De Angeles
    Posted at 17:32h, 08 September Reply

    Great job and color combination. Looks great on you!

  • Nicki
    Posted at 15:29h, 14 March Reply

    Hi Sarah,
    I love your top, it inspires me to make my own! I’m getting an embroidery machine shortly and am very excited! I wonder if you do the embroidery before or after you cut out the pattern pieces or after the garment is made?

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