Pattern Review – McCall 5590 Skirt

Pattern Description: From the McCalls website – “Pencil skirt has high waist, darts, back slit and zipper; skirt A is above knee and has pockets; skirt B is mid-knee length and has buttoned tabs; skirt C is 7″ below mid-knee and has carriers for a purchased belt.” I made View A

Sizing: 4-20

Fabric Used: Dark wash denim that has been in my stash for a couple of years.

Needle/Notions Used: Stretch 75/11, invisible zipper, fusible tricot interfacing, Rigilene boning.

Did it look like the photo or drawing when you got through? Yes

How were the instructions? Here’s the funny story. I was working on this yesterday at the office, but I had to leave before I got very far on it. I packed up all my stuff except the instructions. Actually, I packed up the instructions – in Spanish, which I don’t read. So this morning, this was the view out my sewing room window at home:

8 inches of new snow at 8:30 this morning, and it didn’t stop snowing until late this afternoon. Needless to say, I was not about to take the Mustang out in that. So long story short, I didn’t use the instructions.

Construction Notes: I sewed all seams on the straight stitch machine, and finished all the seams on the serger. I know most of you already know this, but for some of the newbies in the crowd, here’s how I do my seam finishing. I serge the seam allowances on each side of the seam, then I press the SAs open. As I am pressing, I clip the seams at the curves so they lay flat. The serging won’t unravel so you can clip where necessary. In the photo below you can see the seam on the left is the side seam before pressing open and clipping. The seam on the right is post press/clip

I really liked BeeBee’s suggestion to put boning in the waistband, so I did. I stitched Rigilene into the side seams. I debated about putting it at the darts but decided against it. I simply centered a short piece of rigilene over the wrong side of the seam and stitched. Cut your boning so it doesn’t extend inside the waistline seam, or else it will be a disaster.

Oh – I suppose I should make it clear that I sewed the Rigilene to the side seams of the facings.

Any changes? No design changes, just the construction changes I noted above.

Likes/Dislikes: I really like the lines of this skirt. It’s high-waisted, but not really high waisted. I did run into one problem, having nothing to do with the pattern itself (for those, see my last post) – I had prewashed my denim, but it is such a dark wash that it still bled on my fingers. I washed my hands hourly to get the dye off, and I left a big blue ring in the sink every time I did. This will definitely be a “wash with similar colors” skirt. I have to remind DH not to throw it in with light colors (men, ya know?).

Would you do it again? Would you recommend it? Yes to both. This is a very cute skirt. I’m looking forward to wearing it with a turtleneck now and with a tee shirt in the spring!

Conclusion: A great, basic skirt that is perfect for casual as well as dressier fabrics. It’s very easy for beginners. A winner! Here’s a picture of the finished skirt:

I want to make a comment about the Stupid Pattern Conventions post. Some folks wondered why I found this to be a problem. I’ll tell you. Look at it from a beginner’s perspective. I teach sewing classes and I teach a lot of beginners. Think of how it must seem that a pattern company can’t be bothered to put markings where they are logical. It’s hard enough to keep interest in sewing up, without having mistakes and, well, stupid pattern conventions on top of it all. The conversation in class goes like this:

“Do I put the marks at the dots?”
“Well, put them there, but also put them here and there so you know where to sew the lines of the dart.”
“Why don’t the pattern companies put them there in the first place?”

Yes, it’s a minor nit. Yes, if you have been sewing for a while you know how to work around it. But if you aren’t experienced, it’s not logical, and it is yet another little frustration that you should not have to deal with. The pattern companies could fix it with minimal effort. If you ask me, it’s laziness on their part. And I know I’m not the only one who feels that way. I won’t name any names, but I know many nationally renowned sewing teachers who feel the same.

Okay, I’m off the soapbox now.
Happy sewing!

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