McCall’s M5430 MISSES’ WRAP SKIRTS, copyright 2007 The McCall Pattern Co.
The pattern envelope artwork features (in addition to a four-pack of sour-pussed femme-bots) a big red circle with the number 1 inside, proclaiming this to be a 1 Hour Skirt*.
I looked all over for the footnote that would follow that asterisk, figuring it would read, “lols fooled you Sucker, this will take many more hours than one hahahaha,” or similar, but even worse: there is no corresponding footnote. Not anywhere on the pattern envelope or the instructions inside.
Here, here’s the back, you look. No asterisk.
Maybe it’s supposed to be an emoticon? Like, maybe they meant to make the smiley face with tongue sticking out, or the wink face, but had a typo and this mysterious unanswered asterisk is the result?
Anyway, moving on,
The striped part is cut from a skirt that I made in maybe 2003, wore a lot, and then suddenly hadn’t worn in years. So, time for a re-cut. It was a circle skirt, so it provided a pretty good amount of material.
It’s a cotton canvas, fairly stiff, kinda stands out like a bell, which will be great for hot summer days when I want my clothes to not touch me.
The waistband is denim from an old pair of jeans. I really like how the denim works here, it’s nice and soft, and shows so much variety in color from the worn spots and folded areas from the original pants.
Speaking of matching, I really enjoy how the side seams do not match. Or actually the stripes do line up in one spot at the hip, but the angle of the side seams is different, so they can’t match all the way down. Which I like, the chopped-up stripes look all kind of agitated and exciting.
If I’d been working from yardage instead of cutting this thing from a large circle, I could’ve eliminated the side seams all together and had the stripes go from horizontal in the front to meet in chevron at the back.
That would’ve been cool too. Oh well.
Ok back to that 1 Hour Skirt thing:
I don’t know what part of this project was supposed to take one hour.
It took me 6.5 hours. I was sending my husband texts saying I was on hour forty-seven of my one-hour skirt. He was sending me texts saying he’d be out for an hour and a half and expected to see one and a half finished skirts when he returned.
To be fair, part of my 6.5 hours was a bunch of stuff the pattern didn’t call for.
The pattern didn’t ask me to cut from an existing skirt, necessitating a lot of turning pattern pieces this way and that way to get the best lay-out.
The pattern didn’t ask me to make fake-French seams.
The pattern didn’t ask me to use hooks and snaps. (It calls for buttons on the underlap and a very nice functional tie on the overlap, which I eliminated due to my fabric being both bulky and in limited supply).
The pattern didn’t ask me to face the hem (with blue taffeta bias fold).
The pattern didn’t ask me to zig zag on an appliqué in the shape of a safety pin.
The pattern does include, depending on which version you choose, top stitching, applied pockets, a lace hem, a real hem, making two buttonholes, sewing two buttons, and hemming waist ties.
What part of any/all of that is supposed to take only an hour?! It takes me almost an hour to get my buttonhole attachment set up!
Ok joking about the buttonhole attachment, but seriously, let’s look at the snaps and hooks as an example:
If it takes me five minutes to sew each pair (which it does more or less, 2 minutes thirty seconds per side is not a bad estimate) and I’m sewing six total, that’s thirty minutes right there. So, the whole rest of the cutting, sewing, and everything else is supposed to take just thirty more minutes? I mean yes, they never told me to do four hooks &bars and two snaps, that was my own crazy, but whatever, it’s a good example of the reality of the time it takes to make things.
Sew It or Throw It:
Sew it. It’s a good skirt! Just nevermind that 1 hour business!
The overlap gives good coverage, I tested it by running around, sitting cross-legged, running around some more.
The yoke is nice, sits well on the waist.
I think, actually, this skirt —as I made it— is very me. Like, if there was a game show where there was a rack of miscellaneous clothing and friends had to pick out which garment belongs to me, they would all totally win the grand prize.
It’s got stripes doing something funny, it’s a slightly odd shape with that stiff fabric I chose, it’s got a yoke, it’s got a funny appliqué…yep.
Which is a little bit of a hard truth to accept! I mean, I’d love to think I’m a bias dress in some kind of liquid satin or a sculptural wool coat or, you know, something even a little bit sophisticated, but no, I’m this skirt.
Fine, whatever, I accept.