Finished - Vintage McCalls 8222 skirt

It's been a weekend of highs and lows at Chez Tragic. First the biggest low was the Rolling Stones cancelling their concert for the second time, disappointing not only the fans but the poor community around the Macedon Ranges who had been gearing up for the influx of thousands of visitors and therefore dollars. What can one say? Not much. But one can sigh. A lot. Sigh.

On the plus side I am thrilled to say I am now the very happy owner of a little secondhand Janome overlocker/serger, and was cackling with glee when I managed to thread it correctly first time in under 30 minutes, and it worked perfectly! Thanks so much for your recent comments and recommendations. I know you'll all understand how exciting this is for me!

Today I'm sharing with you a skirt made from a vintage pattern I found at a local op shop ages ago. Whilst it's not going to rock everyones world there's a few little features worth sharing, the least of which is the fact that I love it!





McCalls 8222 is almost certainly from the 80's, and has a few variations. I chose view B, a lightly gathered A-line style. I wanted a lightly gathered skirt that sat on my natural waist, and wasn't too full over my hips. I do love a gathered skirt, but feel very wide when they are heavily gathered. In this nice drapey rayon (seen previously used in this dress - high five to past Sarah buying 3 metres!) the fullness is exactly what I was after.



I was also keen to try those super cute pockets - as you can see the skirt is panelled (don't know if you could call them princess seams.....) so there are no side seams - they are slightly towards the front and the back, with in-seam pockets. I love this design element (even though it's pretty lost in the busy print) as I often leave side seam pockets off due to the bulk that they add over the hips. 


The pattern was actually too small for me, but it was so easy to size up. The waistband piece is a rectangle, and was 2 inches shorter than the Charlotte skirt waistband piece which I've previously made up. The front and back pieces are cut on the fold, so I just added an extra inch into the front and the back, then cut the side pieces as per the pattern. The zip is hidden in one of the side back seams (as there is no centre back) which did make fitting waistband to the gathered skirt a little problematic. Because I had mucked around with the sizing the notches didn't match up. I also am a complete nuffy when it comes to even gathering, so I ended up gathering the skirt top with shirring elastic which is absolutely now my method of choice. I then divided the skirt into quarters front/back/sides, and calculated the percentage points the front/back/side notches were located (ie centre back was 14% of the way from the end, centre front was 27% etc etc), working out the same percentage distance on the new waistband and joining them that way. Probably makes no sense, but it's more for me in case I make it again in the future (which is highly likely - can you imagine it in a silk??!). Of course a simpler future method would just be to put in a centre back seam......

Now, the next thing I loved about this pattern was a ridiculously simple little drafting tweak that allowed me to make the easiest, flawless french-seamed in-seam pockets. The great thing about it is that it can be applied to the pattern pieces of any trousers or skirt pattern that uses in-seam pockets. I used to use this tutorial for frenched in-seam pockets, but it uses weird values for the seam allowances, requires you to split the seam allowance and it's a bit of faffing.


A 5/8 inch seam allowance, the same length as the pocket seam is added as an extension! The pocket pieces are attached like standard pockets, but with a french seam, then the front and back pieces are attached, also frenched. It means you use no part of the non-pocket piece seam allowance attaching the pocket. It's flawless and totally got my nerdy sewing rocks off. So if you have a standard floppy inseam pocket pattern in a skirt or trousers that you want to french just extend the top of the pocket to catch it in the waistband, and add an extra 5/8 inch to the trouser or skirt piece where the pocket attaches - if this makes no sense whatsoever I'm happy to do a tutorial at some point.

oh yeah.....

Here's the innards - I bound the hem in gold hem tape - so pretty.



It just goes to show that it's worth looking beyond the cover art of vintage patterns, even from the 80's! I felt so chic in this yesterday, and it was perfect on a hot hot day. I must thank my lovely friend Shari, who took the outfit photos for me at the Heide Museum of Modern Art.

Comments

  1. I love this! What a find, I've been looking for just such a vintage pattern for forever. I also like a skirt with some gathering, but invariably they make my hips a bit of a broad beam. An aline version is exactly what I'm after. This looks totally chic on you! Have no idea whatsoever what you are trying to explain with those pockets, but well done you ;)

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    1. Thanks Jillian - I'll have to trace you a copy! Sorry about the garbled frenchie pocket love - I was rereading it as I was posting it thinking it was extremely unclear......

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  2. Seriously LOVE the pocket/french seam drafting!! Will definitely try to use this in future makes. Awesome fabric & pattern combo too. And congrats on the overlocker! It's so awesome being able to put a profesh & easy finish on those inside seams :)

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    1. Thanks so much Rebecca! Glad the pocket info made sense!

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  3. I love the skirt, the fabric has just the right balance of body verses drape. Very flattering!

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  4. Congrats for the new overlocker!!! I’m sure you’ll do wonders with it :) Love the french seamed pockets thank you for sharing. The skirt is very nice and looks fantastic on you - btw that first photo is stunning!

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  5. I first came across your blog to have a look at your denim dress pockets, and now these! Queen of pockets, for sure. And this is a lovely skirt, nicely done!

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    1. Thanks Chloe - probably more Queen of Being Obsessed with French Seaming Pocket Innards....... thanks for coming by :)

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  6. I like it! It’s not a length of skirt that I would wear, but it looks cute on you.
    I can’t wrap my head around the pocket construction right now. If you feel like writing a tutorial, I would be delighted, but otherwise I might just try to cut some pieces and play around with them to see whether I can figure it out on my own.

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    1. Thanks Jana - It's not my normal skirt length either but for some reason I had in my head this mid-length would be ok with this style...... I'll try to do some photos in the next couple of weeks. You would work it out very easily though, I'm certain.

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  7. Great make! And the nerdy french seamed pockets is excellent extra details for us who love that stuff. 80s patterns are much maligned, sometimes with good reason (OMG those shoulder pads! those ruffles! those prints!) but often the skirts and trousers have excellent design features. You just have to avoid getting your eye poked out by the shoulder pads and look at the line drawings ;)

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    1. Thanks - it's so nice to know such pockets make others swoon! I've got another hilarious crazy batwing 80's pattern I'd love to make for laughs - but I think I'd get blown away in the wind by it.....

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  8. Very chic. Perfect match of pattern to fabric. I love a pocket in a forward-shifted seam, much more flattering than side seam pockets.

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  9. Oh that pocket placement is perfect. You look very chic!!
    So disappointing about the Rolling Stones :(

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  10. those pockets are fantastic! i love french seaming pockets, but i've never also included them in a french seam. this skirt length is very flattering on you, love it!

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    1. Thanks so much Lisa! They're so pretty when French seamed!

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  11. That's just gorgeous on you! And what a fantastic lesson in seeing past cover artwork - I tend to dismiss 80s patterns without a thought. Everything about this is lovely though; fabric, drape, print, style, length...and those pockets! You are the Pocket Queen... :)

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    1. Thanks Danielle - I've been hanging onto it for months wanting to make it - I love it!

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  12. Your skirt looks great! Who doesn't love a skirt with pockets! There are sun gems in old patterns, I'm so glad I kept all mine :)
    Sorry, about the rolling stones, I didn't go but apparently they were fabulous here in Perth. Wonder why they cancelled though? btw, that is called a gored skirt, pretty sure "princess seams" only refers to the bodice arrangement :)

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    1. *some* gems... darn autocorrect!

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    2. Thanks Carolyn - I had feeling princess seam was definitely wrong! Oh my head swims at what treasures your pattern stash will contain!

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    3. Oh and Mick had a throat infection. Those vocal cords surely could have been disinfefted with a gargle of vodka.....

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  13. Awesome skirt. I really like the fabric print. The skirt patten reminds me of the rae skirt from sewaholic, but I like this one better. Pockets! :-)

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  14. Was a shame about the Stones. My friend is a life friend of the drummer and was given 11 tickets to the Sydney concert, with backstage passes for himself, his wife, his kids and grandkids. He is a father figure to me, so I was miffed I didn't get one!!

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    1. Oh I'd be miffed too! Hope they had a great night!

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