McCall’s patterns are being featured on the Minerva website this month, and I had the pleasure of participating by sewing up McCall’s 8044 (also known as #JamieMcCalls), a new-to-me skirt pattern. I had been looking for a skirt pattern with some fun details in a simple silhouette for this cupro blend I’d purchased at the end of 2021. I’d originally imagined something fitted through the hips and looser below, similar to the silhouette of the skirt of the Closet Core Patterns Pauline Dress, but this pattern caught my eye and I decided to give it a go.
I wanted something that I could easily pair with numerous tops in my wardrobe. The simple blue of this sandwashed cupro always felt like a good neutral, so I didn’t want to narrow my options too terribly by choosing a busy silhouette. I liked the classic A-line cut of the skirt, but also enjoyed that I could add a little flair with the buttons up the front. I have a really great stash of buttons right now that I’d been looking forward to using!
While I think the overall look of the skirt ended up just as I intended, I’m a little disappointed in the fit. I struggle choosing the right size in Big 4 patterns, and even though I recognize that historically, I need to size down one or two sizes from the suggested size based on my measurement, I’m very sensitive right now to my clothes feeling a little bit tighter than I would like them to. I measured myself, and based on my measurements, sized up (dumb.) slightly into a size 14. The skirt is much bigger than I would have preferred, and while it is great that it doesn’t choke my waist, it also falls lower than I would prefer it to sit!
The skirt as you see in the photos here is actually modified slightly to take in some of the excess ease in sizing. When I finally added buttons and button holes, I slipped the skirt on, buttoned it up… and watched it slip down a number of inches when I let go! It was riding too low on my hips and was, in my opinion, a little frumpy looking. I realized that if I moved the top waistband button in a bit further, it didn’t seem to affect the overall look of the garment in any wonky way. This was the easiest modification I could make without taking the skirt apart entirely and starting over by taking in a good bit at each side seam allowance. Ultimately, I moved my button in about 2 inches at the waist. I’m slightly more pleased with the fit through the waist after this modification, but I find that the skirt still looks pretty baggy on me.
I’ve talked before on my blog about how sometimes I don’t feel great in my clothing in the moment, but when I go back and look at the photos I realize that I may have been a little hard on myself, and things looked pretty darn good after all. Unfortunately, these photos gave me the opposite reaction to this! On the morning of these photos, we were heading out to spend some time with our family and do a little crawfish boil in my in-law’s backyard. I had mistakenly thought we would be leaving our house closer to lunch time, and upon waking realized that in order to catch the Formula One race that morning, my husband actually intended to leave in the next 20 minutes! I ran around like a chicken with my head cut off getting the kids ready to go, and had just enough time to throw my things in a bag and run out the door.
With a freshly washed face, un-brushed hair, and my breast pump in hand, I ran into the closet to try to throw an outfit together. I hadn’t bothered to really do much outfit planning for this skirt just yet, thinking I’d have a little time in the morning to look in the mirror and come up with a nice outfit before leaving the house. Instead, I quickly pulled on my skirt and threw a couple of top options into my bag for consideration. Of the three things I grabbed, this sweater ended up being the best outfit choice for an early spring day. Once I had a chance to use the breast pump, brush my hair, and put on a little makeup, I settled on a little bra-tuck for this sweater and decided I felt pretty cute after all. I felt great (if not a little frazzled!) in my outfit for the rest of the day.
On the way home, we took advantage of that golden hour sunlight and stopped to grab some photos of this skirt. The wind had picked up significantly, and I knew skirt photos were going to be more challenging than I’d hoped, but we made the best of it and got some snaps anyways. When I sat down to take a look and edit them… I will admit that I felt pretty ambivalent about the whole thing. I’ll have to keep shopping my closet for top options. I think that because I feel that the skirt looks too big overall, I’m having a harder time pairing it with tops than I expected. I think cropped or tucked options are the best in my head, so as not to overwhelm my silhouette with too much frumpy bagginess, but maybe because I’m not feeling so comfortable in my own skin right now this is the whole problem as a cropped or tucked option also means more visibility to my post-baby belly.
Overall, the pieces of this garment are all still winners in their own right. The fabric is absolutely lovely – this sandwashed cupro is so nice to wear and launders easily. It has a cool hand and a really cool suede-like feel thanks to the sandwash. The color is perfection and transcends seasonality. I like the silhouette of the skirt pattern very much, though I HIGHLY recommend sizing down one to two sizes from the pattern recommendations. This is absolutely not news for McCall’s patterns, and I should’ve taken this into account. When I sew this pattern again, I will sew down into a 10 or 12. This is my first set of Pigeon Wishes buttons, and they are lovely! These came in a pack of 15, and I’m happy to still have some leftover. This particular colorway, called Painterly, has flecks of beautiful color throughout but still feel neutral enough from afar.
I wonder if I will start to like this skirt more with time, or if I’ll ultimate decide I need to open up the waist band (HANDSEWN finishes, I never do that!) and take in the sides of the skirt a little bit more. I’ll give it some time before I decide… But I have a feeling I’m going to begrudgingly end up with option two! But hey, gotta do what you’ve gotta do in order to love your garments – something that you make should never get stuck hanging in the closet unloved, right?!
Skirt: handmade by me
Pattern: McCall’s 8044 – #JamieMcCalls – (View B)
Fabric: Blackbird Fabrics – Sandwashed Cupro Blend in Dark Denim
Buttons: Pigeon Wishes – Resin Shirting Buttons (15mm) in Painterly
Thanks for reading my thoughts on this pattern! The pattern used for this post was provided to me by Minerva in exchange for photos of my finished garments and a review of my experience with the pattern, to be posted on their website. The fabric was purchased by me. All words and opinions expressed throughout this post are my own, as always. Links provided throughout this post may be affiliate links – if you choose to purchase any products through these links, I may receive a small commission, at no cost to you. This simply helps me justify the costs of my sewing habit and the time it takes to share it with you!! Happy Sewing!
- XX Elizabeth