Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Simple Pattern Meets Audacious Fabric - McCall 3830

On Pinterest you can always find runway photos of outrageous fashion designs with over the top embellishment or over the top fabric manipulation.  The designer's runway is the perfect place for inspiration to make garments for the "real way" or "real life".   

My sister asked me to make her a special garment, a skirt.  We went to one of the major textile stores in Chicago to see what we could find.  We walked out with three yards of a "simple finely woven mesh" with strips of faux leather and ribbon/sequins sewn to it.  My sister just wanted a simple skirt made out of it.  She bought enough so that I could get one too, plus a bunch of other fabrics.  ;-)

So this is where the marrying of  simple McCall 3830 and the audacious faux leather/lace skirt began.  The pattern pieces used where the front and back skirt.  I had to figure out how to eliminate the transparency.  So I underlined it with another layer of mesh fabric and lined the skirt with black tricot.

The skirt:  Simple, right?  Not so simple with this fabric.  The challenge was to line up the faux leather strips and the lace so that it matched all the way around.  This was accomplished by aligning the notches of the front and back skirt.  Also, checking the bottom edge to make sure it was even.  As a safety precaution, I added three inches just in case. After carefully cutting the front and back skirt pieces, I underlined it with the mesh.  JuliaBobbin has a tutorial on how to underline lace fabric here. Also, I did a similar process on a lace dress here.

Next obstacle was to determine the curve of the darts to eliminate inconsistency in the fabric.  This was a little tricky. I changed the curve and end point of the dart to avoid sewing the floating circles.

Finally to hem the skirt, I simply measured where the hem should be; removed the faux leather strips; and cut both layers of the mesh about a 1/2" below the last row of the faux leather.

The lining:  I used the skirt pattern for the lining.  I sewed it to the waist of the skirt after the zipper (invisible) was installed and the stay tape was sewn to the waist.  The hem of the lining stops about 1 1/2" above the hem of the skirt.

I'm happy with the results and so was my sister.  So, using the very simple pattern with a standout fabric makes this skirt special.  The project was not hard to do, it just took a little time to figure out how to achieve it.

Happy Sewing!


  1. Gorgeous!!! You worked that piece to perfection!

  2. Great sewing and matching with this fabric. Well done.

  3. Fabulous! It must have been a stinker to do that invisible zip but I know you mastered it!

  4. That is such a fun skirt. Awesome job.

  5. Perfect use of this gorgeous fabric! Your sister must be so thrilled. (And I can't believe you can give it up to her...)

  6. Absolutely LOVE what you did with the skirts. You will always have a hit on your hands when you use a spectacular fabric to make a simple pattern.

    May you and your sister wear your new skirts in good health.

    Happy stitching.

  7. Wow! The skirt looks lovely. Would love to see your sister wearing this creation.

  8. I have that fabric!!! Great minds ;) Anyway, let's be twins!!!!!

  9. Thank you, ladies. Rhonda Buss, I like that idea. Let's!



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