Sunday, January 24, 2010

McCall's 3830- aka The Straight Skirt Holy Grail!

I get all sorts of catalogues at the house for various clothing companies. I typically thumb through the ones from Nordstrom's and J. Crew, sometimes Talbots for shoes and the rest usually end up in the recycling bin without ever being opened. For some reason, this summer, I actually flipped through the Boden USA cataloge and all sorts of fun stuff caught my eye. But, the one thing that really stuck out was this denim pencil skirt.


I loved the color and the simple style, but knew that buying it was out of the question for several reasons: a) pencil skirts typically hate me, b) even if they didn't, I have no idea what their sizing is like and don't really care to investigate since it's all mail-order and c) it was $78 for a simple skirt. Thank God this caught my eye over the summer and not the spring because instead of being bummed, I decided to just make my own, using the Boden skirt as a handy inspiration piece.

After having good luck with McCall's basic a-line skirt pattern, I thought I'd try their straight skirt pattern (3830)that is so beloved on Pattern Review.

For the fabric, I had a dark lightweight stretch denim in the stash from making baby dresses this summer and had thankfully bought 2 yards because I liked it so much. Let me stop for a moment and expouse on how much I love this fabric. It's a really lovely dark navy with no distress marks, a nice stretch and I'm guessing some poly blended in, as well. Why? Well, I washed it 4 times to make sure all the excess dye was off of it and the sucker didn't fade in the least. At $4/yard, it feels like such a bargain. Love it! I'm going back to the shop to restock later this week.

I knew I wasn't going to line this skirt, but I still wanted the inside to be pretty. I was originally going to use a navy cotton for the facing and all navy notions, but when my local Joann's was out of navy bias tape, I completely switched gears. I keep walking by this vaguely psychedelic butterfly/flower print in the quilting cotton secion of Joann's and I'm drawn to it every time. There is no way it would work for a garment, at least for me, but as a facing, it was perfect. To tie it together, I used purple bias tape to finish off the back seams and navy hem tape at the bottom. The sides were sewn with french seams.



After all was said and done, I LOVE THIS SKIRT!! LOVE IT! Yes, I realize I'm ridiculously excited about a very simple garment, but I can't help it. I had a feeling that this was going to be a rousing success from the start and it's really nice to have it turn out even better than I had expected. With the exception of the shorter hemline and no belt loops, I think it's a good replica of the Boden skirt. And it fits me like a glove, straight out of the envelope! I love that it pairs equally well with tall boots and flats, sweaters and tank tops, for the office and for play. Such a simple piece, but one that I pretty much want to live in year-round.

The inside makes me as giddy as the outside. I know that no one will be able to see the fun print or that there is not a single raw edge to be found on this skirt, but that doesn't make me any less thrilled about it.

I'm planning several more versions of this skirt - I'm thinking one in black denim, one in a lightweight khaki cotton and maybe a few prints for summer? I've totally found my holy grail straight skirt pattern. :)

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ETA: I forgot to post the cost for this skirt. Here's the breakdown:
Pattern - $2
Fabrics - $7
Notions - $6

Total cost - less than $20. :)

In all honesty though, I'm not really sewing to necessarily save money. It's great when things turn out to be so cost effective, but I have a few upcoming projects that aren't going to be inexpensive. However, this is a hobby for me. I love learning how to sew and being able to make things that actually fit my body, instead of trying to squeeze my body into something the manufacturers deem a "normal" size. Sometimes those garments are going to be simple basics made up with inexpensive fabrics and other times, it's going to be fun dresses and such in finer fabrics like wool wovens, jerseys and sweater knits. Those fabrics aren't cheap, but man are they gorgeous. :)

28 comments:

Trish said...

For someone who is new to sewing, that is an awfully great skirt you've made! The inside finishing is VERY nice! And it looks great on you!
(BTW, Hi! I'm Trish, and I'm new to your blog!)

weezermonkey said...

I love that you're making things that are literally tailored for you!

10yearstogether said...

That skirt looked so great in person too. Love the pictures! Can I also add that I love that you have a cost breakdown for this. It's interesting to see how much you spent on a project that would normally be so expensive at the store, and probably not nearly as great of a fit!

AllisonC said...

Your skirt looks great, it's good to have reliable patterns like this that you can make many times over. It looks great on the inside too!

KID, MD said...

Awesome skirt and a fabulous wardrobe basic. I'm so bad about sewing "interesting" clothes, but I find myself wearing the basics much more. I'm adding this pattern to my list to get next McCall's sale! Your inside finish is stunning as well. Really great work!

A Sewn Wardrobe said...

The skirt looks like it fits you perfectly! I liked the Vogue skirt you posted about last week, but this one fits you like a glove. The inside is just as pretty as the outside. Nice job.

I'm planning to make a ton of pencil skirts this year to bulk up my wardrobe. I just picked up a Simplicity pattern, but I will definitely grab this one too. Thanks for the helpful post!

Leslie said...

As always, you look great. :)

mjb said...

What a great basic!

venn said...

You amaze me again! The skirt looks awesome on you. I don't think I've ever found a skirt that fits perfectly, so I'm totally jealous that you can make one specific to your body.

Also, this is random, but if you want to get rid of catalogues that you don't read, go to cataloguechoice.org. Helped me to get rid of all the catalogue waste.

Karin said...

I have serious skirt envy. It's beautiful inside and out! You make me want to rush out and buy the pattern and some denim.

tam pham said...

so impressed! you're going to get so much wear out of that skirt!

Lindsay T said...

Nice work! Better than a Boden, in fact.

wan said...

beautiful! nice job, dude.

i must say, too, that your hair looks fantastic :)

feminist gold digger said...

I can't believe how many outfits you're getting out of your new love! Score!

Jen said...

fabulous! great work!

Shannon said...

Take that Boden! Isn't it great when you can make exactly what you want and it fits exactly how you want for much less than retail? Great skirt!!

Faye Lewis said...

Great skirt. That is one of my favorite skirt patterns. It's become a TNT for me. Thank you for your comment on my twin set.

Elizabeth said...

Your skit turned out really nice - love the fun inside. You can bet the Boden skirt lacked those details. And you are right to be excited - sometimes it really is the simple basic items that service us the best. Enjoy!

Serendipite said...

Love!!

alyssa said...

So awesome! Love the boots and the scarf, too :) Seriously, your sewing skills are an inspiration!!!

The Lazy Housewife said...

Hey! I recognize that outfit :)

Very cute, you are so talented!

selfishseamstress said...

This is great! I would never have thought to do this style of skirt in denim- it's so chic! Looks perfect on you. And don't feel bad about the splurge as long as it's not keeping food off the table- your skills definitely warrant fabrics you'll want to wear forever :)

deb said...

I just found your blog. Wow, the inside finish is "sew fun!"

Audrey said...

Denim skirts seem to be coming back in fashion (I am giving away my age with that comment) and for good reason. They can be dressed up or down, are comfortable and washable. You look great in your denim skirt! And the inside is beautifully finished. Great Job!

Cennetta said...

Don't you look cute. Great skirt and lovely finishings.

Winnie said...

Love it! As always, I'm super impressed. You look adorable in the skirt.

NewLovesDC said...

Just found your blog as I'm hoping to make the McCall's 3830 soon. Can I ask where you found the pattern for $2? The lowest I've been able to find it is $14.95. Just curious...

The skirt looks great, by the way! I love the interfacing :) I'm doing mine in a dark purple tweed (fabric only $2!!!)

Thanks for your help!

amber said...

@NewLovesDC: I get my Big 4 patterns (Butterick, McCalls, Vogue, Simplicity) from my local Joanns fabric store. They are constantly running sales, which is why I only paid $2 for the pattern. While I don't have one local to me, Hancock Fabrics is a similar store and runs similar pattern sales.

The only downside to both shops is the patterns are only sold in actual store, not online. Good luck!