McCall’s 8781: blue bias

The Pattern:
McCall’s 8781, MISSES’ UNLINED JACKET, BIAS TOP, PANTS AND BIAS SKIRT, copyright 1997 The McCall Pattern Co. 
Oof, this outfit. Those pants. That awkward length on the jacket. The helmet that model is wearing. Oh, I mean that hair, yeah sorry. 
Just for fun, here’s how I would restyle this cover art:
Feature the little bias top in the largest photo. Lengthen the jacket by at least six inches. Throw out the pants and NEVER SPEAK OF THEM AGAIN. 
The skirt is fine. Whatever. It’s nothing. It can stay. 

I made the little top. It’s super cute. It’s super 90’s. It has one major problem:

You can see it, right? You see the problem? You see it right away, right?
Total. Bra strap. Visibility. 
The 2016 solution to this problem would be a halter style bra —which would still show, but not as strapnormously— or a strapless bra. 
I am not interested in either of those. I want to live in a world where none of my shirts have Special Bra Requirements. A world where everything works with everything else. A world where I can just get dressed, dammit. 
I tried a racer back bra, but the racer back itself was visible through the shirt’s center back keyhole opening, and looked even worst than the Festival Of Straps you can see in the photo above. 
Actually, maybe a festival of straps is what this shirt needs. I could just wear all the bras, at the same time, like its a thing. 
The 1997 solution to this problem, by the way, would’ve been to go no-bra. This is not guessing, or memory, this is a matter of movie fact: watch ANY 90’s movie if you don’t believe me. Even the polo scene in Pretty Woman. Which is technically from the very end of the 80’s but still. No bra under that iconic brown and white dotted silk dress. 

The Fabric:
Dark blue cotton gauze. Very thin, very see-through, I used two layers to make it opaque. This fabric was a sheer, light, unhemmed, super bohemian bedspread for about a dozen years, then I cut it up to make a swaddling blanket (big square, two layers, machine-quilt in a two inch grid, hem, done) which was pretty great because it’s such a strong dark color and all the other baby stuff I had for my son was serene and pale. 
And now this top, plus a shirt that I haven’t sewn yet, will finish off the gauze scraps. 

Just under three hours! Let’s hear it for immediate gratification!

Here, check it out, I came up with a solution for the strap visibility problem:

Layering! It looks like a raglan now! But more girly and delicate and bias! It’s so tomboy! I love it! 

Sew It or Throw It:
Sew it. 
I mentioned one time in this other post that I’d like to make this top as a sweater vest, and I am still into that idea. Like, a lightweight cashmere with satin binding at the armsceyes and the neckline. To be worn over crew neck long sleeved shirts, in winter when you want another layer on your body but no extra bulk on your arms. That’ll be awesome. Now I just need to keep an eye out for the fabric. I bet I can thrift-shop source this one. 
The only change I made from the original was to cut two layers so I could clean finish the armsceyes and the keyhole back with the lining layer, instead of using the facings provided. No size changes or fit changes. Good pattern. 

And I’m counting this as my 90’s entrant for the #vintagepledge. Please visit this post for more info on what the vintage pledge is, and the ladies who started it. 


19 thoughts on “McCall’s 8781: blue bias

  1. Love the layers! That makes it even more delightfully 90s for me. You could wear it with a bias cut satin long skirt, or some boot legs. Oh yes, yes, yes, yes! I would also like to speak for the pants, I believe they were unfairly treated. I’m sure there is some potential in them that could be realised.


    1. Haha! Those poor old pants. Nice of you to speak up for them.
      This is one of those patterns that I had multiples of, so maybe the other copy will find its way to someone who will give those pants a chance.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh I really like this look and especially the ‘attitude ‘ accompanying! Totally with you, this in a cashmere would be fab. Just wish I wasn’t so enormously endowed, I’d be right there with you on this one!


  3. I like it very much. I would wear the strapless bra or the halter neck, but it is very cool over a lightweight T, and given our weather, it would be necessary.

    I laughed out loud about wearing all your bras at once to create a strap fest look. One time my four year old daughter put on all her knickers (because she had just learned how to dress herself) which were discovered by nursery when she was helped to the bathroom. Unbeknownst to me she had worn a dozen pairs under her dress.


  4. I still can’t believe we’re already in a world where ’90s is vintage. I am slowly growing to accept that. Slowly like a glacier’s moves.

    I really like the top but I agree with you about the bra frustration. I’m also not a fan of the no bra option, personally. Maybe treat yourself to a comfortable strapless one? I did and am happy I did. The ladies at the bra fitters’ were nice, so the cost hurt my wallet a bit less. Or at least that’s what I like to think.


    1. Yup, 90’s is totally vintage now.
      I’m excited to see what happens when the 00’s become vintage, what gets chosen as major style themes of the decade. I can’t picture it, it all seems kind of foggy now, but later it’ll settle into a Look.
      Neat to think that if one is watching, it’s possible to see several decades coalesce into their own specific Looks as time passes.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Oh I’d love to see all the bra straps all at once there too! It’s so frustrating isn’t it? Elegant neckline, elegant shoulders….. Bra straps like a slap in the face. But the layering is of course genius! Makes me think of Bjork or Gwen Stefani in the No Doubt era.


    1. Tastes totally differ.
      For me, it needs to be either longer to emphasize the swing, or cropped to emphasize the cute.
      And I want there be some way to close the front. As is, I’m not sure when I’m supposed to wear this: not enough coverage for chilly weather, too heavy for warm weather.
      It could be saved. Not by me though, there’s an 80’s cape pattern I’m much more excited to try.


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