Saturday, March 22, 2008

McCall's 5591 Skirt Review

It may look like this outside....
...but that's not stopping me from sewing brightly colored summer apparel.

Using a cotton stretch sateen bursting with colors I sewed a pleated yoke skirt (view B) from McCall's 5591.

Skirt pattern layout
First of all, note that view B and C are cut cross-grain - which means you should not use a directional print. (A border print would work well even though it's not shown or recommended.)

Now you might be looking at my skirt and thinking "but you're print has a one-way design" or "with all those colors who would even know that print has a one-way design". And you'd be correct with both statements. This fabric does indeed have a directional print, but with all of the colors it's not immediately evident.

I choose the fabric and pattern without realizing it was cut cross-grain until I pulled out the layout instructions. There would not have been enough fabric for this skirt if I had followed the layout - so I didn't.

Instead I removed an inch of the skirt width - both front and back pieces - and laid the pattern out of the length-wise grain of the fabric. If you sew this skirt in a size 14 or smaller (with 45" wide fabric) you can do the same layout as I did. Any size larger than a 14 you'll need to follow the cross-grain layout or use 60" wide fabric.

There are three inverted pleats in the front skirt piece and three in the back. Each pleat - with the exception of the center back pleat - is sewn together four inches before the pleat fullness is released. The center back pleat meets in the center covering the back zipper.

This skirt has side seam pockets that are sewn in before the yoke is added. I added the pockets, tried on the skirt and removed the pockets. They poked out slightly when wearing the skirt - you might want to check how they look on you before finishing the skirt.

I wasn't able to use an invisible zipper due to the pleat at the center back of the skirt. The zipper is sewn onto the yoke portion of the skirt ending at the yoke seam. Then the pleated portion of the skirt is moved away and the zipper is attached to the skirt.

I moved the zipper from the back to the side after trying the skirt on - I didn't like the look of the zipper underneath the pleat - it pleat didn't lay smoothly and I knew I'd never wear the skirt if I left it like that. You can decide what works for you.

Final touches
The width of the sash was decreased by three inches but it's still a wide sash. The sash is a nice finishing touch if you choose to wear a tee tucked into the skirt.

To hem to skirt I finished the raw edge of the skirt, turned it up one inch and pressed it in place securing it with steam-a-seam. Then, on the right side of the skirt, I sewed black gross-grain ribbon one-inch up from the bottom of the skirt securing the hem in place. The black helps ground the busyness of the fabric.

Color versatility
I plan on wearing this skirt during the summer months in place of shorts or capris. The cotton fabric is heavy enough that a slip is not needed yet light enough to be comfortable in the heat.

The multi-colored skirt also lends itself well to any color tee I choose to pair it with.

White, of course, is always a good choice for summer. Red would be fun worn with a pair of red flats, or even cobalt blue with neutral colored sandals. Black works paired with casual black shoes for running errands (like fabric shopping).

And for those times when I need to be semi-dressy the skirt can be paired with a purple sweater-set with matching peep-toe heels.

I think I'll wear this skirt just so I can wear those shoes.

By the way, in case you want to make your own multi-colored creation, the fabric is a cotton stretch sateen, 48# wide, purchased from Fabric Mart Fabrics ( #807767). Pin It


  1. I have this on my list to sew! Thanks for the review!

  2. I'm feeling more spring-like already! Great fabric and wonderful skirt.

  3. Okay now that is a kewl summer skirt! I know you just can't wait for a warm spring day to wear that one! And I love the version with the purple top and shoes!!!

  4. Wow, this a truly verstile skirt. Casual to semi elegant. Love it!!!Have to add this to my list of patterns that I want but don't need!!!! I am running out of space now. Love this fabric.

  5. That skirt really does inspire Spring. And you probably didn't mind the white stuff at all while sewing that beauty! I love the look with the purple - those are fabulous shoes!!! g

  6. Cute skirt!! I love that it is so versitile.

  7. This skirt is too cute! I love that you added the black trim - and you definitely have a talent for pairing shoes with clothes.



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