Tuesday, January 21, 2014

McCalls 3830 -- Leopard Print Skirt

I am such a slow blogger that I have a couple of makes from before Christmas (as in late November/early December) that I am just now getting around to posting.  I like to record my projects on my blog, so.......if you are bored to tears by these sewing posts, I try to clue you in by the title so that you will know what you're in for.  However, if you do like to read about sewing, read on:)

Sorry for the slight blur of the photos
Even though I am late to the party, I wanted to join in the animal print trend.  Last year I bought some leopard print fabric from Joann Fabrics.  I'm not sure what you would call it.  It's not a knit, more along the lines of a microsuede, but I'm not sure if that's exactly right either.  Anyway, a fabric suitable for a skirt or a bag or even a structured jacket, but not right for a flowy dress.

I really just wanted a plain straight skirt.  I have not totally given up on A-lines, but so far I have not found one that flatters my poor body at all.  I chose McCalls 3830, which is a very basic but useful skirt pattern to have in your arsenal.  I chose view D because all the longer views have a kick pleat in the back and I didn't want to fool with that.  I did lengthen view D to hit me right above the knee.

Despite the supposed simplicity of skirts, I approach skirt-making with trepidation because skirts have to fit:  too loose and they fall off or twist around, too tight and you (as in, I) will look like a stuffed sausage.  It's a fine line.  Also, how to choose a size?  For dresses I usually choose a size 14 but then I add an inch to each side seam. I think I chose the skirt the same way, which put me in a size 18 for the skirt.


The skirt has a zipper up the center back and front and back darts.  One small change I made was to use hem tape at the waistband instead of facings as per the pattern instructions.  This worked great, so great that I decided to use hem tape on the hem as well, particularly as I did not add as much to the length as I should have.  However, the hem tape on the actual hem was my downfall.  I think maybe I made the hem tape too tight or something, but the hem looked AWFUL.  I redid it and redid it until it was passable, but I really wish I had just folded the hem up and sewn it down.  I always find a way to sabotage the simplest tasks;)

Anyway, I am hoping to get multi-season use out of this skirt.  Here I have worn it with black, but I think it can also look good with red, cobalt blue, denim, and even some other color combinations I haven't thought of seen on Pinterest yet.  I have quite a bit of the leopard fabric left, so I may eventually get around to making a bag out of the rest.
The camera was not cooperating with me 
My 12-year-old informed me that he thinks leopard print skirts are tacky(!).  I, on the other hand, think they are cool fun (so there you have it ........I hope I'm not alone:)  In fact, Anne of Pretty Grievances is hosting a whole month of animal print garment sewing (just go to her blog and click on Jungle January on the sidebar).  I would enter but since I didn't actually make this skirt in January, I will just have to be there in spirit;)  It is hard to explain to a twelve-year-old that 48-year-olds often feel the need for a little zip in their life and in their appearance.  (At least I do, do you?)


22 comments:

  1. Ahhhh...animal print. There have been passionate opinions about animal prints in our family. When Bekah was younger (she has always had opinions about clothes), she detested animal print...so much that when we visited a steakhouse with a western theme, she had to eat her meal without touching the (faux!!) cowhide tablecloth. (Now you know how weird our family is!) My mother, too, was averse to anything with an animal print. But...a couple of years ago, my mom bought a new bathing suit with a black and white zebra print. Of course, we teased her about her changed tune. And Bekah now has a leopard print dress, and had some leopard flats until she outgrew them.

    As for feeling the need for a little zip...absolutely! And if I could rock that leopard skirt like you do, you better believe I'd be wearing one! My most recent "zip" wardrobe addition was a red sweater. Call me crazy. :)

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  2. Gotta love the animal. Lovely skirt. Nice outfit.

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    1. Thanks, BeaJay! It is fun to wear.

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  3. What a great make! Fabulous with black but as you say, wearable also with other colours too. I'm with you on the need to jazz one's wardrobe up occasionally in one's forties but offspring, especially male offspring can be remarkably conservative I find! When I dyed my beige jacket bright green and added the crochet embellishments, H took one look, paused and then said "Are you intending to wear that in public?" The tone in which this question was uttered left me in no doubt that his view was that this was a seriously ill-thought-through idea. I've taken no notice though! I like the idea of a matching leopard bag - go for it! ( and wear the lot with pride!) E x

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  4. Love your leopard print skirt Angela. Every woman needs a bit of leopard in their wardrobe and I hear that leopard print is the new neutral. The shape of the straight skirt suits you too and I love it with the black. I would say this is a very classy outfit...not tacky at all (what does a 12 year old boy know about fashion anyway?). Wear it with confidence because you look great.

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    1. Thank you, Jean! I will remember what you said about leopard print being the new neutral:)

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  5. It's perfect! It isn't loud or gaudy and no it's not tacky! :)

    I made a shirt from a crazy burnout knit with all sorts of animal prints. It's so cute!

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    1. You have made so many great things!

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  6. Leopard Love!!! I am totally enamored of this- I love the ladylike styling and the grr of the animal print. Nicely done! Can I show you off on my next Jungle January post?
    prttynpnk.wordpress.com

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    1. Sure you can, I just didn't know if it would count since I made it a month ago:)

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  7. One thing about those boys: we can always trust them to give it to us straight! Then we can choose whether we agree or not. I used to think animal prints were tacky, but since I gave up that notion a surprising amount of animal (especially leopard) prints have made their sneaky way into my wardrobe. Your skirt is wonderful--I agree with you about skirts being maybe easy to sew but not so easy to fit.

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    1. I'm afraid I may have been influenced by some of your great animal prints:)

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  8. I think it's cute and fun and not at all tacky. I have a jacket that has just a wee touch of animal print on the collar and I always feel cute wearing it. LOL!

    You are so slim and trim that I'm having trouble believing the sizes you mention. You look terrific!

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  9. Ah, boys.... I've 3 girls, and they LOVE leopard prints. This skirt is lovely.

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    1. A houseful of women who love leopard prints....that sounds fun!

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  10. Great styling Angela. What do 12 yr old boys know anyway?

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    1. I think the one thing they know is they don't want anyone to notice their mom;)

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  11. I think it looks great -- and as you noted, it will go with SO many colors and other shirt matches. I think animal print is a lot like metallic shoes. They go with everything too, even though at first I thought they would go with nothing. Enjoy. And remember ... a 12 year old boy knows absolutely NOTHING about fashion. They're doing good just to put on clothing at all each morning ... hahaha!!

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  12. I think you look amazing - really stylish - and the skirt is a great shape for you. I didn't use to wear any animal print either but have given in too. And there's definitely nothing wrong with a bit of zip. I still wear what I feel like and not because it's 'right' for my age - l'm planning on being the woman in the 'when I'm old I shall wear purple poem'! x

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    1. We are thinking along the same lines. I have a framed excerpt from that poem hanging in my bedroom:)

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  13. I like your leopard print skirt, Angela, and never tire of seeing talented women show thier projects, I just drool with envy! Thanks for sharing, you look Marvelous darling!!

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