Monday, July 21, 2014

Finished Project: McCall's 6966 knit maxi-skirt

You know those projects that you think will be a super quick and easy sew, but by the end of the project, you're pretty much ready to chuck the pattern tissue? McCall's 6966, a simple knit maxi-skirt, was one of those projects for me. Thankfully, I really love the finished skirt:

McCall's 6966 knit maxi-skirt
I wouldn't tell you not to make this skirt because I think that the pain and suffering is worth it in the end, but it would be irresponsible for me to not give you a heads up about a few things:
  • This pattern is a huge fabric hog, if you make the pieced view with the zig-zag stripes like I did. Yes, you do need as much fabric as the back of the envelope says. Also, don't be a dummy like me; follow the recommended fabric layout for this one. My back bottom panel is actually pieced because I did my own thing with the fabric layout, and even doing the whole thing in a single layer, I couldn't get the bottom back panel on there without piecing. I did stripe-match that piece perfectly, though, and I don't think you can tell, especially with the drape of the fabric:
    Somewhere in that lower back panel, there's a seam from piecing.
  • This pattern runs really, really long. Really. If you're 5'9" or 5'10" and are used to always lengthening everything, run out and buy this pattern because you won't need to lengthen this one. I had to shorten mine by a whopping 6 1/2". (For reference, I'm 5'2" and usually shorten skirt patterns by 2-4".) The top panel (the one below the waistband) has a lengthen-shorten line on it, so I initially shortened the top panel by 2" and the bottom panel by 2" (the bottom panel instructs you to just lengthen/shorten at the hem). The final skirt was still dragging on the ground by several inches, so I took another 2 1/2" off the hem. (There's no lengthen-shorten line on the middle panel, so that one looks disproportionately longer compared to the other two on my skirt.)
  • The pattern runs large. Go down at least one size that your measurements would indicate by McCall's size chart. My hip measurement puts me in a Big 4 size 22 (an XXL for this skirt), but I was alerted to the sizing issue by another review of this skirt and initially cut an XL. I also wound up taking several inches off the hips and middle panel when I trued my petite alteration in the top panel. 
  • The middle panel isn't on the true bias, so if you're looking to make chevrons with your stripes, you'll need to alter the grain that the middle panel is placed on. With the middle panel NOT being on the true bias, there's also no way to make your stripes match perfectly. I did as best as I could, but you can see even in the model photo that her stripes don't match:

    McCall's 6966 envelope picture
I did manage to match my stripes on my side seams, at least, though!
Stripe matching with dog.
As you can see, my husband loves getting the whole family involved when I ask him to take pictures of my projects.

On a positive note, I used a French terry from Girl Charlee for this skirt, and it was absolutely the most perfect fabric for this project. I hope that they get more of this stuff in because I loved both sewing with it and have been loving wearing it. And complaints aside, I do love the final skirt; I've worn it every wash cycle since finishing it.

This skirt was the second project in my mini-wardrobe plan for July. I do also have the Moneta finished, but not photographed yet. I am working on a coral-colored Mimosa blouse (to take the place of the second top), simply because I think that the Mimosa is a little more "interesting" for this wardrobe than the originally planned knit top. At my current pace, I'm going to come down to the wire, but I still think that I can get everything done and photographed by the end of the month.


  1. I love this skirt so much! Not sure I"m patient enough for it, but it was totally worth the effort :)

  2. Love your skirt. Good to know about the length issue. I am your height and I was thinking about getting this pattern but I wondered how to shorten it. Thanks for the info on that. The colors looks great.

  3. Thank you for writing such a thorough review of this pattern. At 5', it is helpful to know that I have to take at least six inches off of the length. Very cute!

  4. I really like your skirt and Arya is a cutie!

  5. I don't know if you saw my Mimosa review, but just FYI-- don't trim the paper edges! You butt the pages at paper edge.

    1. I did see that. My blouse fits pretty well--I don't like the shape/length of the sleeve on me--it needs to be shorter or longer. (I ran into this same issue with a woven raglan sleeve dress a few years ago.) It's fine for now, but it's something that I'd change on my next version.

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