This is the last blog post for now on Exercise clothes! This one is for cooler weather on its own or in cold weather layered under outerwear. McCall’s 7261 is a raglan sleeve and princess seam top and leggings active wear pattern. With this top made, and one last one in the que, I have completed my active wear project!! YAY! I love when I can successfully see a big project through to the finish!
Pattern: McCall’s 7261 – Out of Print but It is available on eBay and Etsy. I purchased specifically for the top. The bottoms have some fun possibilities but I am good with leggings for now. Description form pattern: Pullover tops have princess seams. A: Neck band and contrast panels. B: Lapped cowl collar. C: Single-layer, seamed hood, front band and kangaroo pocket. B, C: Cuffs with thumb opening. Wrong side shows on shaped hemline A, B and hood C
I made view B (the one the model is wearing on the pattern envelope). I like a higher neck and the shaped hemline, along with the cuffs and thumb holes. Keep my hands nice and toasty on chilly Chicago days.
Fit Changes: SO many changes! I knew from looking at the pattern photos and drawings that this was going to be the case. The general shape is that of what I call ‘Swimmers’ shoulders and a very athletic type and I am not quite of that build.
I really love having my custom dress form to use for a lot of fitting and for pictures. I did do most of the below fitting process while on me. Nothing like trying to undo your own princess seams with out stabbing yourself in the armpit! After making all the changes I put the mock-up back together so you could see how bad it really was! The mock up is in green and hot pink- nice and easy to see where changes needed to be made!
I Selected my size based specifically off of the size chart and sewed it up as is on my regular sewing machine. Right off the bat on the first try on it was way too big in circumference in the body and the arm. I am not sure if the drafting is off or if whomever made this didn’t realize that it is supposed to be close fitting (even though the description says close fitting…)
I started right off with reducing the side seams and underarm seams by an additional 5/8 inch.
With circumference under control I moved to the myriad of length issues. On the back this included removing a wedge on the back piece and a closed wedge on the side back. This removed the extra fabric pooling in the low back.
The front also had some length issues in the upper chest. I removed a wedge on the upper front (above the side front panels) as well as doing a closed wedge across the raglan sleeve. There was way too much fabric there! I also released the upper princess seams and let them overlap to where they wanted to go. I ended up taking out a pretty good sized wedge in that area.
Overall sleeve length was reduced by 1.25 inches and there is still plenty of length!
I also had to change up the cuffs. They were way too wide even with the reduction in the circumference that I made. On this top I just cheated and took it in on the opposite side of the cuff so that it would work for me. Because of this the thumbhole is slightly out of place on this top. I will have to make sure to correct this on future versions.
Design Changes: No design changes in this version. I will change the collar to a 2-piece collar next time so that I can make it fall in closer to my neckline for warmth.
Fabric: The fabrics for the mockup were midweight nylon/spandex things that I purchased specifically for making test garments. The fabric for the final garment is from Fashion Fabrics club and is 90% Supplex Nylon and 10% Lycra It is a slightly brushed and very soft midweight fabric. This fabric is very easy to sew and wear! Quite happy with it.
Seam construction and seam finishes: For the mock-up I used a narrow zig zag with 0.5 mm wide and 3.5 mm long. To make it easy to unpick seams as needed. For the final top I constructed on the machine using Eloflex thread and narrow zig zag and then serge finished using a 4 thread overlock with wooly nylon in the loopers. (I did it this way so that I could try on as I went before serge finishing in case I needed to make any additional adjustments) Next time I will just fully construct on the serger.
Hem Finishes: A simple narrow zig zag on the hem using matching Eloflex thread by Coats and Clark. I usually would do a cover stitch but I wanted to try out the Eloflex thread. SO far no popped stitches.
Once I made all of the fitting changes I really like this workout top. It now fits better than any other long sleeve close fitting exercise top that I own. Plus, there are so many fun possibilities with color and print blocking. I have another version of this top all planned out in my head. Out of the floral discovery fabrics Solar weave fabric to match the leggings already made. It has just been a busy week so not done yet and it is on the short list!
Update coming soon on my Mentorship project!