Denim skirt + Seamless check-in

I’m halfway through my Seamless Pledge (in which I sew or thrift any new clothing) and thought I’d mark the occasion by sharing a very useful garment I completed this weekend.

crabandbee.com McCall's 5591

I used a cotton/linen denim blend, which was great to work with. It has a slight sheen to it that isn’t visible in the photographs AND doesn’t wrinkle that much despite being a blend of two wrinkle-prone fibers. The pattern is McCall’s 5591, which I recommend if you’re in the market for a skirt of this type. It has a curved waistband, so I avoided the awkward gaping issues I experienced with my Kelly skirt, and I think the pleats are in really flattering locations.

crabandbee.com McCall's 5591

I love almost everything better about the new place we moved into recently, but I do miss my concrete staircase and grey walls for taking pictures! I’ve tried a number of locations trying to document this skirt but haven’t found The Spot yet. I might need to venture further than my backyard.

Anyway, the design is a step outside of my comfort zone, style-wise. Knee-length, voluminous… I think the denim does a nice job of un-sweetening it, though. It’s also nice to have a skirt that is unmistakably work-appropriate. 

crabandbee.com McCAll's 5591

I think this garment is a good example of Seamless-inspired sewing. Even though I didn’t buy many new garments last year, I also didn’t focus nearly as much on sewing useful additions to my wardrobe. I’m thinking about making at least one pair of leggings and a couple of tanks, which I probably would have purchased new as people don’t tend to give them away to thrift shops in wearable condition! A light jacket and perhaps a winter jacket are also on my radar as useful projects.

If you’re doing the Seamless Pledge, has it changed your sewing habits?

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35 thoughts on “Denim skirt + Seamless check-in

  1. What gorgeous fabric, it looks like it has a lovely texture. I love that about denim (& denim look-alikes)- how they can make even the most girly pattern something wearable that you find yourself reaching for without even thinking.

    And although I didn’t officially sign up for the Seamless Pledge, I know what you mean about changing sewing habits. The last store bought clothes I bought was a pair of jeans in May last year (I fear I’ve turned into the worst/ most boring friend to go shopping with :p ) and since then I’ve made everything I’ve needed. I think it has changed my sewing habits in a couple of ways- not only that I am consciously making useful things over pretty things, but it has also encouraged me to be a bit more organised & start sewing things before I actually need them. No more of this instant ‘I need a winter coat so I’ll go buy one on the weekend’!! My sewing is definitely a lot more planned these days.

    1. Wow, you’ve basically completed a year of the Seamless Pledge! Congratulations! I’ve been really impressed with your winter coat. Hopefully I’ll be inspired to start planning one soon!

  2. I haven’t taken the seamless pledge, but I am buying a lot less clothes this year since I started the stash busting challenge. And I think I am buying clothes differently now. I think about gaps in my wardrobe and about garments that I am not comfortable making. I went from buying clothes every month to buying every three months or so.
    Great skirt btw. 🙂

    1. That’s awesome the stashbusting challenge is changing your purchasing patterns! I’ve also spent a lot of time thinking about garments I’m not yet comfortable making and what I would need to gear up to make them. It’s an interesting process.

  3. I’ve actually made this pattern and am a big fan It looks great in the denim and agree that it is really flattering. I didn’t take the seamless pledge but haven’t bought that much this year except a few things in France – and now I’m really feeling the need to replace my useful work items, but they just don’t seem as interesting to sew. I’d love to know how you keep up your enthusiasm for sewing the basics?

    1. I love your version! I was cruising your archives a few months ago, and saw it – it pushed me in the direction of making it.

      As far as motivation to make basics, I think it’s easier for me because I’m kind of a basics person! Knowing that I’m going to wear something often is highly motivational to me. That said, I haven’t, say, made a pair of basic black pants thus far! What if you made an interesting pattern in a basic color or fabric, or a basic pattern in a gorgeous bright color or interesting print?

  4. This is such a great basic – I love the fabric you’ve chosen (it looks so much more appealing than the pattern envelope!). I’m sure you’ll get lots of wear from it.

  5. This looks great! It’s really flattering and a great shape! I’ve found myself really thinking about what I actually want and need to wear in the wake of Me-Made-May, and have been trying to alternate fun projects with wearable basics. I need to make some leggings and tanks, too. 🙂

    1. Me-Made-May offers such clarity, doesn’t it? I like your idea of alternating project types. I think I might need to start injecting some more fun into my project queue!

  6. This is a gorgeous skirt and I can imagine you’ll get so much wear from it. And I think I’ve said it before but orange is so your colour!
    So many of my clothes – me-made and shop bought – don’t fit anymore so I should really do a plan for my maternity sewing so that I’m making things I’ll get plenty of use from.

    1. Thanks, Kathryn! Maternity sewing sounds like a true challenge – I would be sorely tempted to make a bunch of jersey tubes and call it good (but then feel dissatisfied). I can’t wait to see what you come up with!

  7. i have this pattern, but just haven’t reached for it yet! i was drawn to the pleating also, and it’s nice to see how flattering it is on you! the denim was a good idea, makes it super versatile. i haven’t done any seamless pledging, but i honestly can’t recall the last time i bought a piece of clothing for myself. the last thing i can pinpoint was a year and a half ago–sewing has completely disinterested me in shopping! unless it’s to check out construction details, of course. 🙂

    1. You’re another Secret Seamless adherent! I’ve also noticed I’m more interested in checking out higher-end garments to check out construction details.

  8. I agree this skirt looks great on, and the pleats are flattering. I think it’s because the skirt still has a flat front, I must remember that! I am very interested to read how taking the seamless pledge had affected your sewing, I too have found it’s much harder to thrift good basics than for example a cute top, but I am somewhat nervous about making them (the basics!). In my mind they have to be perfect! Do you think you would ever try sewing jeans ? I am going to try a beginners version this autumn.

    1. I think you’re right, the flat front is way more flattering than a floofy one. As far as making basics goes, I think everybody’s definition of what constitutes a basic item is different! I tend to think of it as a garment that gets worn often. The two most important characteristics for me are versatility and durability, which translates into sturdy fabric and construction, good fit, and a style that integrates well with what you already own. I think the concept of perfection adds a level of stress, so I just try to do the best I can within the constraints I mentioned above. And yes, I’ve been thinking about making jeans for a year or two now! How exciting that you’re going to tackle them!

  9. This is really pretty, and it (and you) looks great with the orange top 🙂 I haven’t officially taken the seamless pledge, not sure why…but I haven’t bought any clothes since December. I find it liberating to not even look at catalogs that arrive in the mail (unless I am looking for things to sew!) And I will pop into stores (mostly Anthropologie) to look at construction details sometimes. I definitely only make things that I think are wearable for every day, but I have a hard time making time to tackle stuff like basic tanks and tees.

    1. That’s awesome! I think you and I may have the same philosophy, I really like making things I want to wear all the time but will probably need to psych myself up for tanks!

  10. This is a fabulous skirt. I think skirts with wide waistbands are so flattering and lend themselves to playing around with pleating and gathering in a flattering way. I think the denim does a perfect job of moving what would be a cutesy-style into something much more stylish and wearable. Goes perfectly with orange too!

    1. Yes! Wide waistbands are the best. I don’t think this skirt would look nearly as nice with a thinner waistband. Thanks, Bernice!

  11. What a great skirt! The denim was a good call; it makes the skirt so versatile! I haven’t taken the seamless pledge but haven’t bought any new clothes for a year, so I guess I’ve been doing it without knowing for both me and my daughter!

    1. Thanks, Sanae! And congrats on being another secret Seamless pledger, that’s awesome that you’re sewing not only for yourself but your daughter.

  12. I haven’t taken the Seamless Pledge officially, but I’ve been thinking that I need to rethink my sewing queue nevertheless…all my underwear decided to give up the ghost around the same time, but the thought of making something so “boring” isn’t appealing. *sigh*

    I do like that skirt, though! It looks like a great practical goes-with-everything piece. And figuring out new picture-taking spots is a crucial part of moving!

    1. I’m in the same undies boat (ha!) and I’m just having a hard time motivating. Maybe it’s because my last attempt at making them wasn’t really successful and I struggle with working with elastic bindings! It does seem like there are basics (versatile pants, skirts, jackets, button-downs), and then there are BASICS (undies, t-shirts, tanks) which can be significantly less exciting to sew.

  13. Your skirt looks great! I really like the pleats, gotta love a billowy style in the hot summer months. I would wear this to death 🙂

    1. Thanks, Carolyn! I’ve already worn it three times (including today), so I think I’m well on my way to wearing it to death, too!

  14. Such a lovely and practical skirt! I bet you can pair it with a squillion tops already in your wardrobe. Good luck and happy stitching with those other practical addition plans you’ve got in the works xxx

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