Category Archives: skirt

McCalls 3830 and Cation Designs Dolman Tee

Hello there! I’ve been sewing rather slowly. My old Brother sewing machine decided that it likes to eat knits, even when I’m using the walking foot. I now have a Pfaff (with the IDT!) that my husband kindly got me for my birthday. It handles ITY knits like a champ! I’m excited about it.

I started both of these items about 25 lbs. ago, and it shows–they’re both rather too big for me know. I know I’ll still wear them on the weekend, though, as long as I can without them falling off.

I’ve made the Cation Designs Dolman Tee before. I love it for work because it comes off as elegant and it also has sleeves, which are necessary in a chilly office environment. This one is made of an ITY I got while shopping with my mother-in-law at the Fabric Warehouse in Rahway, NJ. It is a size XL; next time I sew it, I will use a L or M.

Cation Designs Dolman Tee and McCalls 3830 Skirt
Awkward timed selfie.

The McCalls 3830 skirt is made of a rayon/linen blend. I think I got that at Joann’s, as I couldn’t find plain linen in dark colors online at the time I was shopping for it, for some reason. I like the hand of the fabric. The skirt is the shortest view with no back vent and I believe I used a size 18 or 20. I should use a 16 next time, I think, and also take a little off the side seam curve, as my hips are not as curvy as the pattern is. I am closer to success with this pattern!

Cation Designs Dolman Tee and McCalls 3830 Skirt 2
This one is much better and shows the drape of the knit.

I love the idea of #sewmystashseptember. My stash has gotten uncomfortably large from all these shopping trips while traveling and little gifts to myself when I am feeling blah and uninspired. Now it is time for me to make these lengths of cloth into clothes I love.

I am interested in going at it from a capsule + purpose perspective: travel capsule (quick-drying, anti-wrinkling, stretch, chic for tourist photographs); casual Fridays/weekends capsule (structured, but not TOO structured, colorful), and work capsule (basic, dark colors, opaque, full coverage). I wonder how I can fit my stash in there.

My grandmother used to buy me complete outfits whenever we did back to school or vacation shopping. I remember getting coordinated shorts and tops sets with matching socks and a coordinating cardigan (and maybe matching hair bows and barrettes too) when we prepared for our first vacation together to Seattle. So much pink! I would like to approach my sewing this way too: for every top, there must be a bottom, and every bottom must have a top. That doesn’t mean a 1:1 ratio, as many tops can match a bottom. However, the styles and shapes must go together. That’s something for me to think about as I approach the stash.

How do you approach building a wardrobe and managing your resources?

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Simplicity 2258, View C: An Easy Skirt

Originally, I’d started out trying to make the shorts pattern (View E) included in Simplicity 2258. However, when it came to the basting and trying on stage, I realized there was not enough room in the seat to actually cover my whole bottom. There was, however, a lot of room around my upper thighs. 😦

So, I decided to try the shorter skirt pattern (View C) included in the packet, with a wedge added at the top back to accommodate the length I need to cover my bottom. I think it’s cute!

Simplicity 2258 in Denim

I particularly like the way the pockets are formed. They are one-piece pockets, where you fold over the fabric to make the pocket bag. Topstitching them keeps things neat. (My topstitching is not particularly neat here.) I like the curvature of the pocket opening as well.

Simplicity 2258 Pocket

I used a chambray from Joann’s, with Gutermann thread. I think I chose the size 20. This pattern uses very little fabric, even in the larger size range–1 5/8 yards of wide fabric. I would say, by that measure, that it is an economical sew.

By the time I was finished making it, I’d lost some weight, so now I need to adjust the elastic so that it stays up. The pattern has a good amount of ease as well.

What have you been making lately?

Vogue 1247: An A-Line Skirt in Black Twill

I got all excited about Vogue 1247 after seeing so many versions of the skirt portion online. As soon as I could, I went to Hancock’s when the Vogue sale was on and bought it, along with a length of black twill (total of around $5) and the notions that are needed for the skirt.

Skirt Front:

Vogue skirt
Vogue 1247 skirt front (see how high the waist is? it’s the ridge under my shirt)

I was perplexed by how to position the front yoke for sewing the horizontal seam that connects the pockets, the skirt front, and the front yoke. I realized that I had to flip the pockets up, so they were above the skirt front, after understitching the pockets and then match the yoke front to the rest so that both sides of the pockets lined up and so that the middle seam lined up as well. Because the front yoke and the skirt front have curved side seams, the fabric doesn’t quite lay flat as you sew the seam.

I serged most of the seams in this skirt because I am impatient and I also sew very slowly, in short bursts of activity.

Because my waist and hip measurements are 1″ larger than the measurements listed for the largest size on the envelope (18), I reduced the front darts by 0.5″ each, and I sewed the side seam starting under the point of the dart at 3/8″. I thought about doing a full butt adjustment, since that’s where most of my “hip circumference” lies, but I didn’t for this version.

Skirt Back:

Vogue 1247 skirt
Vogue 1247 skirt back. See how my shirt pulls up in the back. I need more room for the rear (and for, well, everything) in all my clothes.

I lengthened the skirt by 6 inches, going from 15″ in length to 21″. I’m 5’4″. I also plan on wearing this skirt to work and need more coverage. It all still fit on the 1 1/8 yards required by the pattern! Magical!

The cotton twill from Hancock’s is soft and fairly substantial. I bought the same type of twill for my man’s shorts, due to the softness and weight. It shows chalk marks really well and behaves on the machine.

I love the hidden pockets on the front. This will be perfect for going out dancing, when I don’t want to carry a purse.

Edit: I wrote this post three months ago! I saved it as a draft because I didn’t have any photos. Cut to the zaniness that happens after a job change (for my man), a proposal, a move, and a job change (for me). I now live in South Carolina, and let me tell you, there is a big difference between here and New Orleans, Louisiana! I’ve been adjusting to the new environment and haven’t had much time for sewing during this whole move. I did, however, purchase a tiny tripod and a remote to use with my phone, and I tried that setup for the first time yesterday to photograph this skirt. The photos aren’t the best, but they’re my first!

McCalls 6654: My Favorite Straight Skirt Pattern

I love McCalls 6654. I’ve made it several times: in mustard, grey, black, brown, and now floral fabrics. Here is the floral version.

McCalls 6654 elastic waisted straight knit skirt
My old tried and true!

The elastic waist offers comfort, while the cut of the skirt is conservative, which I like. The instructions are also clear for this pattern, which is fast to sew up, even for a slowpoke like me! Usually, I use the lightning-bolt stretch stitch to sew this kind of skirt, but this time, I used the serger to sew the side seams and to finish the edge of the hem before I turned it up. I used the lightning bolt stitch to sew the waistband and to secure the hem. It has a lot of stretch.

I feel stylish in this skirt…probably because this type of floral was in when I was a preteen. 😀 It looks like something I would have worn in the form of a slip dress (with a cropped t-shirt underneath, of course…even though I asked my mother to let me wear it with bare shoulders).

I definitely recommend this pattern to others!

New Look 6053: A Simple A-Line Skirt

Simple patterns are my favorite. I dislike how RTW features so much fussiness: spangles, beads, embroidery, studs, and other bits and bobs are distracting and unattractive, especially by the time the clothes hit the sale rack. I love plain clothing with simple lines. Unfortunately, simple, classy, plain clothing in RTW seems to cost way too much for the quality and fit.

One of my goals with sewing is to fill my closet with skirts, tops, and dresses with classic style lines, without random frippery. I want to make tops and bottoms in solid colors, so that I can mix and match with the prints that I have.

New Look 6053 fits the bill for simplicity. It has straight-skirt and A-line-skirt options in multiple lengths, and the fabric types listed are varied, from casual chambray to fancy silks and “silk types” (What does “silk types” even mean? It’s so general.) I can make skirts for work and for the weekends with this pattern. It would be interesting to try it in different types of fabric and see how different the effects are.

My first draft is in a quilting cotton. I’m attempting to go through my stash, which isn’t very large, but I want to make sure that I use the fabric that I bought when I was first learning to sew so that I can buy nicer garment fabrics in the future without guilt over clutter.