Sunday, November 21, 2010

Denim A-line skirt - McCall's 3341

I recently joined a new church, and I quickly realized that I have nothing to wear!  I used to have a whole bunch of A-line skirts made from this pattern, but since I left my careers that required me to wear business casual, I gave away everything I didn't love.  I have 2 skirts left, and they are a size too small, and a few inches too short.  Apparently I was younger a few years ago, and the short length bothers me now.  My old skirts look on me exactly how view E looks on the pattern envelope (the short black one).  And being 5'10" with really long legs, they make me look more like a giraffe than I would like.  I decided to make a new denim skirt using view C, which is the 3rd length.
McCall's 3341
 My old tracing lines indicate that I used to make the size 14.  I can still get my old skirts on in that size, but they ride higher up on my waist.  I decided to cut an 18.  To test the fit, I cut out the facing pieces first, pinned them together, and wrapped them around my waist.  I thought they were okay, so I proceeded with the 18.  I was overconfident in my size choice, and decided against checking the fit part way through.  I think I checked the facing/lining layer, but it was so drapey, it looked fine.  I should point out that the denim I used is quite heavy.  This stuff is thicker than what most of my RTW (ready to wear) jeans are.  Anyways, I should have tried on the denim layer before I put it all together.  I was sure it was going to be fine.  I sewed the waist seam, trimmed it, and topstitched it, and then I finally tried it on.  Waw waw waaaawwww...  It was like a big cardboard tent.  Oops!  It was a full size too big.  
 I had to do a pain in the arse alteration and take in my side seams a full 2".  Why, oh why was I so overconfident?  2 sizes is a big leap.  I should know that by now.  Sigh.  I fixed it up, the subsequent 16 was fine and dandy (still hung like cardboard, though, but at least it kind of fit).  I hemmed it up just above my knee, because I was afraid of making it too short like my old ones.  
 I sewed in my fancy schmancy label.  Isn't it cute?
 I finished the inside nicely by hand-stitching the lining to the zipper.  I knew this skirt was a piece of cardboard by this point, so I just used some orange thread I already had on a needle.  You can't see it anyways!
 The first day I wore it, I discovered that it was a little long.  It kept getting caught up around my knees when I tried getting in and out of vehicles.
 I used to think that making an A-line skirt would give me some much-needed shape in the hips, but it almost hangs more like a rectangle than a straight skirt does.  I consulted my mom and asked her if she thought I should try wearing a semi-circle skirt to give me some shape, but she suggested that I try a pencil skirt first.  I need a black skirt to wear for the Christmas choir in December, so I think I'll make that next.  Hopefully the shape will be more flattering.  
 The second time I wore it, I paired it with my kimono sleeve top, and I decided to hem it up 2" more.  I did this quick and dirty, but it works.  It's much more comfortable at this length, and I intend on wearing it with opaque tights most of the time.  It's still a smidge longer than my old ones, so I'm happy with it.
This is garment #3 for 2010.  It's a much-needed wardrobe staple.  I'll probably get a lot of wear out of this until such time that I make another denim skirt that doesn't hang like cardboard.  I'll take what I can get right now!


  1. Such a cute skirt! There's nothing like a great denim skirt. It's such a closet staple:)

  2. you are adorable and talented; i think i am going to enjoy your blog. i love crazy prints and bright colors.