July 28, 2014

Cloudy skirt for a cloudy day


When I was fabric shopping in Vietnam recently, I briefed my non-sewing friend before we hit the stores. Key mission: stop me buying anything that’s whimsical and unlike “me”. You see, I’m hopelessly attracted to kitschy fabrics. If it is printed on quilting cotton, I probably love it. And yet… I never wear things like that, really ever. Nina valiantly did her job, and managed to help me resist buying peach cotton with ice creams printed on it, but I slipped through her restraints with this one: cloudy rayon! 

The reason I got away with it? From a distance it looks like polka dots! But up close, there’s no doubting there’s a veritable storm of clouds…

Such a floaty fabric demanded a floaty skirt, so I ordered up McCall’s M6931 which I saw on the McCall Company’s new Instagram feed. It’s a curious skirt: it has princess seams for no apparent reason (apart from colour blocking maybe?), and is pleated at the top, and then has an elasticated waist which effectively gathers the pleats. It works well in this very thin fabric, but my original plan to use it for a cool black square eyelet I have probably won’t work.

I wanted to make it quickly before summer was all but over, so I serged the insides, and used the 1 inch elastic I have rather than hunting down the recommended 2 inch. As a result, the waistband bunches a bit when the elastic slides down in the casing… which could easily be solved by making the channel a little smaller. But for some reason I am oddly resistant to changing existing makes… is anyone else like that?!

I am now totally in love with my Vietnamese McCalls Cloudy Skirt as I shall call it. VMCS for short. And thank you to the ever fabulous Katy & Laney for photography skills on this cloudy summer day! Sewing friends are the best. And we only got stopped for taking photos of a power station once.

39 thoughts on “Cloudy skirt for a cloudy day

  1. Nicole says:

    Very cute. I love fabrics like that, that have a little surprise as you get closer. It adds some whimsy to the outfit.

    1. Jenny says:

      Thanks Nicole! Hidden whimsy is the way forward 🙂

  2. gingermakes says:

    This looks great! It’s fun that it’s a novelty print, but it’s not over the top. Also, love your blue bag!

    1. Jenny says:

      Thanks Sonja! I got the bag during a jetlagged layover at Heathrow.. my secret guilty pleasure!

  3. Janet says:

    Nice! Super cute as always. Love the cloud fabric.

  4. lisa g. says:

    cloud fabric!!! i adore that, so cute. love the skirt, and love that it’s both whimsical *and* practical!

    1. Jenny says:

      Thanks Lisa – it’s a winning combo!

  5. love the print! you’d have been so sad if you hadn’t bought this lovely fabric!

    1. Jenny says:

      Thanks! I am a little sad thinking of all the other whimsical fabric I left behind in Vietnam though… I’ll have to go back 🙂

  6. Heather says:

    It looks great and the clouds are awesome! How could you not buy this fabric!?!

    1. Jenny says:

      Thanks Heather!

  7. Breenah A says:

    That is adorable!

    1. Jenny says:

      Thank you Breenah!

  8. T says:

    Love the little clouds …. And the skirt looks wonderful on you.

    1. Jenny says:

      Little fluffy clouds… I mostly prance around while wearing this 🙂

  9. I love that fabric and the skirt looks great on you! 🙂

  10. Nessa says:

    Ohlala! Fabulous skirt!
    How unusual to have pleats as well as gathers and elastic!

    1. Jenny says:

      Yeah, I was skeptical but it worked because the fabric is so lightweight! I was going to do it in eyelet but I think that’ll be too stiff…

  11. ugh, your boston photos make me so homesick. i know exactly where these photos were taken & remember taking a walk there with my boyfriend way back seven years ago when we first started dating.

    1. Jenny says:

      You’ll have to come back!

  12. I love the little clouds! They absolutely look like polka dots from a distance. I’m the same way with novelty prints. I think they’re fabulous and love them on other people, but I cannot wear them. It’s a mental hurdle for me. Also, sewing friends are the very best, and I love that I could instantly spot the patterns each of you used to make your outfits!

    1. Jenny says:

      Ha I always amuse my non sewing friends when they see me ask someone if that’s a Sorbetto or Archer or whatever…. It’s hilarious to non sewists!

  13. Michelle says:

    Love both the skirt and fabric! And am I seeing Katy and Laney wearing K&L tap shorts and an Alder shirtdress in the group shot?

    1. Jenny says:

      Thanks Michelle! And you are indeedy: to be blogged soon, I believe 🙂

  14. KimP says:

    Very cute skirt – I might have to give this pattern another look! Love, love the clouds. And I totally get being “done” with a garment – once I’m done, I’m done. There is no chance I’m going to change anything because I’m on to my next project!

    1. Jenny says:

      Isn’t it funny how that works? I would rather just make something new than alter anything! That said, I did buy some 2 inch elastic at the weekend so we will see if I can bring myself to whip it up…

  15. BeaJay says:

    Love your skirt – dots with attitude (or altitude!). The fabric is great for the skirt and it looks fresh and lovely on you.

    1. Jenny says:

      Dots with altitude, love it!

  16. Lovely on you – I think it’s easier to get away with whimsy on the bottom half too!

    1. Jenny says:

      That is definitely true – perhaps I’ll branch out more into whimsy in the future 🙂

  17. Helen says:

    LOVE this fabric! It’s perfect!

  18. Katie says:

    I posted a comment before but looks like blogger swallowed it 🙁

    This is so cute, I love a stealth kitschy print (working on my own designed range with a similar tack!) and the skirt pattern is perfect for it.

  19. tanyamaile says:

    I love this skirt and your entire outfit! I didn’t even know it had clouds on it until I saw it closer up. You look gorgeous!!

    1. Jenny says:

      Thanks Tanya! I was a little worried I looked overly busty in the white tshirt but I guess people will have to cope 🙂

Let me know what you think!