Trying New Things: Puff Sleeves (Vintage McCalls 7939)

Today I’m sharing a blouse that I’ve been wanting to make for a while now, but I felt really apprehensive about the style. I have another fabric that I wanted to make with this pattern, but I decided to use this fabric that I thrifted as a wearable muslin to see what I thought first.

This pattern is a vintage McCall’s pattern 7939 that I bought on Etsy, and it’s actually a dress with a bunch of different sleeve options. I was on the hunt for a square neckline blouse and found this one, luckily in my size (since they used to sell the sizes separately). I hope more patterns with square necklines come out eventually because I feel like there are very few.

I really like the square neckline, and all of the square necked tops I’ve been seeing, but I think I need to find a better pattern or a different way of making this top. I’m hoping to revisit this neckline in the future, but for now I think I’ll just move on.

I am glad that I decided to make a wearable muslin because I don’t know that I’m 100% in love. To my surprise, I actually kind of like the sleeves! I think what I’m not liking so much is the gathering at the bust. It just adds a lot of fabric in that area all around the shirt and I’m not sold on it. Time will tell how much I actually wear this, and maybe I’ll change my mind eventually.

This was a good experiment, but I’m still on the hunt for the right pattern for the fabric that I originally wanted to use. This shirt at least helped me decide the direction that I want to go. Since I liked the sleeves, I think I might try the Roscoe Blouse and do the button placket hack that I’ve seen many people do. I also saw one by Cortney ( where she made the sleeves shorter. I’ve made the Roscoe before, but I think the longer sleeves are what bothered me, so this would be a good adjustment! (and if I ever get mine back from my mom, I know what to change. Haha.)

Another pattern that I want to try is the Matcha Top by Sew Liberated, which has a similar fit and hem as this shirt. I’ve had the pattern for years now, but I keep going back and forth on whether I should make it or not. I think that’s a sign that I should just make it.

You might also recognize these pants, because they’re my new Free Range Slacks! I’m still slowly figuring out how to wear these, but when I put them on with this top my husband said, “Those pants make the shirt look less pioneer-ish.” Sooo…that’s a compliment, right? Haha. This was my original outfit idea when I was planning what to make, but then I got nervous about this top and it took longer to finish. I still think this makes a really cute combo though, so it wasn’t a total waste.

The thing about sewing is that sometimes you just don’t know if something is your style until you’ve spend the money, time, and effort on something, only to find out that it’s not going to work. I am glad that I learned from making this blouse though, and who knows – maybe I’ll surprise myself and wear it occasionally.

Have you made something outside of your comfort zone lately? How did it go?

Happy sewing, friends!

4 thoughts on “Trying New Things: Puff Sleeves (Vintage McCalls 7939)”

  1. Absolutely love this whole outfit. The top is spot on! I’m sure you’ll be able to tweak a future pattern to exactly what you want. I’m with you, square necklines are so fun and you don’t see a lot of them. Good job!

    1. Thank you so much, Kimberly! It’s definitely an outfit outside of what I’m use to wearing, but I hope I can be brave and try wearing it out. And I hope we see more square neckline patterns in the future!

  2. That is always the dilemma when trying something new, right? It’s no fun to put all that time in and not like the end result. But, you learn something either way I think. This is a darling top – the color and style are unique. And, I love the slacks!

    1. Definitely! This is what I’ve had to learn with the things I’ve been making lately. Sewing isn’t like shopping where you can try it on and decide you don’t like it — You have to spend time, money, and resources in order to just try it on! So I’m trying really hard to focus on the process and learn more about why certain things aren’t quite right. The Free Range Slacks are a definite favorite though! Thank you for your kind comments, Elasha!

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