Cherry Blossoms and Honey Bees (McCall's 7544 + free embroidery pattern!)

Thank you to McCall Pattern Company for partnering on this post.

Good morning! I'm so excited to be sharing this top with you--it may look simple but it's hours of work learning a new skill and embroidering a pretty floral yoke on this otherwise simple linen top. McCall's 7544 caught my eye as soon as I saw it in the McCall's spring lookbook, and I had intended to make it in a cotton shirting or oxford cloth before I saw embroidery popping up everywhere and decided to make a pretty linen blouse with an embroidered yoke.

This is a total mash-up of views--I used the short sleeves and pleated front piece of view A. My front is gathered, but view A is much narrower than than the gathered views, and I knew I didn't need tons and tons of gathered fabric in front, especially with a bouncy fabric like linen. (The width at hem for size 10 is 52.5" for view A or 58" for views B, C, & D.) With such a voluminous top, I wanted the sleeves to be slightly shorter than written, so instead of shortening the pattern pieces, I cuffed them for a little added dimension. After the shirt was complete, I went back and forth and almost cut it into a crop top (how cute would that be!!) but finally decided to keep the length--I'll just have to make another version, next time cropped!

McCall's 7544 is perfect for an embroidery beginner like myself because the yoke is fairly small. This still took hours (and a decent amount of careful unpicking) but I found that I really liked having a project to work on in the evenings with Death in Paradise on in the background. In true Allie style, I went all out and decided not to stick to a simple, monotone embroidery design or a pre-made pattern. Instead, I checked out every embroidery book from the library and decided to use all of them and do a little bit of everything. This design, which I made myself, has backstitch, satin stitch, lazy daisies, all different weights and colors of floss, two types of bugs, and even a tiny little spider web if you look closely.

Luckily for you, I've drawn this up as an embroidery pattern, so you can join me in beginners embroidery and make your own! I really like the bees and spider--so much so that I took these photos in front of a bee-covered wall--but if you want a classically pretty floral-only design, it's easy enough to leave them out and add more tiny flowers (those are called lazy daisies and they. are. addictive). You can download the pattern for free here!

This pattern is designed for McCall's 7544 in size 10, but it's flexible--you could certainly fit this onto a size 6 or 8 yoke, or spread it out (and add a few more lazy daisies around the edges) to fill a larger size. If this blousey top isn't your style, you could also rearrange the two springs on either side of any neckline! (I'd be tempted to flip them and put them on either side of this faux-wrap bodice but it would also be pretty on view D of this top.) You'll need about 10 skeins of embroidery floss, a hoop, and a needle, all of which will set you back around $20--or wait until JoAnn's has an embroidery floss sale. If you decide to make it, please let me know and tag me on instagram--I'd love love love to see what you make!!

Do I now want to embroider bees on everything I own? Yes, yes I do. What about you? Have you done any embroidery? Would you? Or are you more of an instant-gratification sewer?


Photography by Alex Craig.

ps: honeybees are one of our most important pollinators and are in danger! learn more about honeybees from the Honeybee Conservancy and consider planting a pretty and pollinator-friendly bee garden.


  1. so cute! what a great idea to take a simple on trend pattern and make it even better!

  2. Oh, I love it! I love having a handwork project for TV or podcasts too, though I usually stick to knitting!

  3. It looks awesome. Can't believe this is your first time doing hand embroidery.

  4. Think turned on great! It's beautiful. Thanks for the free pattern. I love embroidery, but do more admiring than stitching. I have a few WIPs, but haven't embroidered on any of my clothing. It's a great idea. I think I'm afraid I'll put in all the work and then something will happen to it in the wash or just in daily life. I should try it, though. Great job on your shirt!

  5. Wow, your top is beautiful! I really want to try embroidering a top, I think that this would be the perfect pattern to try.

  6. 1. Beautiful embroidery, and 2. <3 <3 <3 Camille Bordey. If I was ten feet tall and strong like steel cables too I would want all her clothes.

  7. This is beautiful! How are you washing it to avoid colour run or spoiling the thread?

    1. I have been washing it on gentle and line drying and so far it's been fine! I really didn't think of it before I started sewing, but I think if you were using red thread or something you could pre-soak the thread?



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