I was staring at my fabric recently and decided to use a textured black cotton double-gauze (from one of those ill-advised fabric purchases where I “stock up”, or buy fabrics I don’t yet have plans for!) to make a pleated skirt. I’d been curious to try a shortened version of the pattern I’d used to make a long version this summer. | McCall's 559a

I found the pleats and waistline to be flattering even on my more rectangular figure. | McCall's 559a | McCall's 559a

One of my favorite details of this pattern is the contrast at the pocket openings. | McCall's 559a

The back pleats are almost identical to the ones on the front. | McCall's 559a

This was my first time working with double gauze and I was surprised by how squirrely it was! I used my walking foot until I got to the zipper. I started with an invisible zip, but it created a horrifying amount of puckering. Then I added some interfacing to stabilize the area which helped the puckering, but the puffiness and loose weave of the fabric really gave the zipper a fight. I finally went with a lapped zipper.

Now here’s where I admit that lapped zippers confound me. After a lot of staring at the zipper and every lapped zipper tutorial on the internet, I cobbled together something that looks okayish on the outside.

The insides look less polished, though – especially where the inner waistband meets the zipper. I keep on meaning to perfect the Fashion Incubator method, which seems to be based on numbers and science, but I tend sew lapped zippers when it’s late at night and I’m bereft of my senses.

The good news is that it functions without problems and looks decent from the outside. I also attempted a floating lining (I think that’s what it’s called?) at the zipper opening. I serged the raw edges of the lining and tacked the seam allowance to itself so it doesn’t get caught in the zipper.

Speaking of difficult closures, this is how I get in and out of a coat! The coat tries to resist by strangling me, then I emerge from it, struggling but victorious. | McCall's 559a

Final reflections on this skirt? As it turns out, my wardrobe of longer, looser shirts and tunics doesn’t play so well with this skirt. This shirt I made during Me-Made-May is light enough to tuck in nicely, but I’m at a bit of a loss as to what else I can wear it with! Even though it was an impulse project, I assumed that a fitted black skirt would go with more of my wardrobe. If you wear fuller skirts, do you have any styling advice? Please share! | McCall's 559a


Now, back to that coat muslin.


46 thoughts on “LBS

  1. Love it! It’s a great fall/early winter look! I especially love it paired with your black tights and ankle boots! (I am IN LOVE with those ankle boots, btw!) I don’t often wear full skirts, but my rule of thumb when styling something with volume is to pair it with something fitted – maybe a ballerina-style top would work well with this? What about Papercut Pattern’s Coppelia wrap top?

    1. A wrap top is a great idea! And since this is a wintery skirt, it really does need to be paired with a sleeved shirt. PS these boots were an AMAZING thrift store find a few months ago. I couldn’t believe it!

  2. As a girl who loves a full skirt…I think this one is a gem!! Lovely. I agree with Sallie that a fitted top would be great. Perhaps a turtleneck and a scarf? A cropped jacket? Or embellish a black long sleeve tee with little sparkle to wear with it during the holidays?

  3. I love full skirts and I’m swooning over that one! I usually wear a fitted T or tank top and tuck it into the skirt so it ends up looking sort of like a high-waisted dress. Then I put a cardigan over it.

  4. I love full skirts, but I like to keep them casual. I always pair them with either a fitted knit shirt, like a basic v-neck or scoop-neck t-shirt or a knit tank-top.

  5. This is a really pretty skirt! I’ll admit that I try to avoid zippers, it’s kinda silly but they scare me. I have a skirt that is a similar shape, and I wear it with either a cropped tee (the skirt is high waisted, so no belly exposure) or I wear it with a ballerina style wrap sweater.

  6. I don’t wear fuller skirts much but I would like to try them…I agree they look better with tucked in stuff. You could casual it with your renfrew that would tuck in well! Also, I hear you on the lapped zipper. Had the same thing with my denim skirt (i.e. looked fine outside, not good inside). I will have a look at that tutorial next time I’m struggling to put one in. Thank you!

  7. i love that fabric! polka dot double gauze… who could resist? i’ve only used the double gauze once and it felt like i was sewing for the first time–so hard to control! good job with the zip, the lapped zip used to completely confuse me until it clicked. i’d try a scout tee, a button up (a chambray one would be awesome!) or a renfrew. such a cute skirt, hope you find opportunities to wear it!

    1. I didn’t even realize it was double-gauze when I was buying it… it had me at polka dot texture! I’m glad I’m not the only one it threw for a loop.

    1. Thanks, Rachael! I actually did try a button shirt with the skirt but felt like it emphasized my shoulders. I’ll bet a raglan sleeved one would look good, though!

  8. I really like your skirt, it looks great in that spotted fabric. I can’t offer ‘style’ advice, but I made a couple of pleated skirts this summer and wore mine with fitted tops, Scout tees and Wiksten tanks all tucked into the waist. I do all of my sewing and blogging late at night too, can’t count how many hours of sleep I’ve forfeited for this hobby! BTW – thanks for the tip about the coat muslin, I’m using up an old bed sheet. Will post an update of my coat progress later this week and would love some advice on it – really not sure if I have a good pattern/fabric combo or not! Good luck with your coat!

  9. Love this! That fabric is amazing. As a fan of a fuller skirt I recommend a nice cropped jumper (sweater?). I like mine quite boxy. Because the jumper stops at the top of the skirt you still kind of get a waist and you still kind of keep warm. Winner! 🙂

  10. I don’t have any ideas on styling but I like how you styled it here. The irregular polka dots make it better than just a regular black skirt. I’d say stockpiling it wasn’t a bad idea.

  11. So cute! Like you, I’d think it would go with everything. But for myself, I try to keep things slim on top if my skirt is full. However, I’m very pear-shaped – quite different from you. I think it looks fine with the top you’ve got on!

  12. Nice skirt! Styling these can be tricky. Fitted stuff on top helps, but it’s a little too easy to wind up looking very “sweet” or like you’re wearing a school uniform. Probably the key to this is just edgier details on whatever else you’re wearing? I’ve had some luck adding ‘edge’ with graphic tees or a leather jacket. I’m curious to see what else you come up with!

  13. I love the skirt! I generally like to wear fitted tops with full skirts to balance the proportions, but I’m no style expert! I second the Coppelia wrap suggestion (I’m actually working on one of those right now to wear with a full skirt, so I’m hoping it will work). I actually think it looks good with the top you’re wearing it with too because even though it has volume, there’s still waist definition, so it’s not shapeless.

  14. I second the ballet top with the skirt. I find the same styling challenges with fuller skirts and don’t actually own very many. Yours looks great! That’s a very flattering length on you, and as tricky as double gauze can be, wearing it can be so lovely!

  15. It looks great and agree that it looks killer with those boots. Lots of styling options given up above.. reasonably fitted works but so too does a looser one like you are wearing. It helps balance out the ‘cute’ factor.

  16. It’s lovely! And yes double gauze is a sneaky thing, so deceptively lightweight, but sneaking in its bulk at seamlines! I agree with a few of the other readers – I tend to pair a full skirt with a fitted top. What about trying a Renfrew in a heavier knit, and making it a bit cropped, and making the hem band a little tighter, so it’s fitted around your natural waist but is a bit fuller on top? That a a mod I ran out of time to try this winter. Also I use the lapped zipper insertion video off the threads website, it’s very good, but I’ve never done a lined lapped zipper!

  17. I recently made Deer and Doe’s Chardon skirt which I love and I’ve been wearing it with my many Grainline Archer’s. I know people say to go tight up top if you have body on the bottom but tucked in loose button ups work for me.

  18. I love how you have it styled right now. It looks great with the black coat, tights and boots. And I second you on the squirrely-ness of double gauze. I tried to make a maternity button down out of some when I was pregnant and I never finished. I couldn’t do all the precise sewing and top stitching that’s involved in a button down shirt. So good job on that zipper!

  19. “I was staring at my fabric recently” its like a sewing blog equivalent to last night i dreamt i went to manderlay again!!!
    Nice skirt, the fabric’s lovely – i like the subtlety if the dots. No helpful suggestions but i do like the earlier conment to go volume on volume… break the *rules*!

  20. This skirt is lovely and it looks great on you. Plus the texture on that fabric is awesome. As for the zipper, it may bother you that it’s not perfect but no one else can tell and you can always look at the Fashion Incubator method at another time (after copious amounts of coffee, perhaps?). I had the same issues about styling when I made my Chardon skirt and since have determined that full skirts like this one benefit from fitted tops: think t-shirts or thin fitted sweaters that balance out the fullness of the skirt. It really is a lovely skirt, so if your closet in lacking in fitted tops, perhaps it’s an opportunity to make some because it would be a shame to leave this skirt languishing, no?

  21. I love the skirt. I think it’s really flattering and can be worn for lots of different occasions. I feel the same way about full skirts, though. I never know how to style an outfit with them. What do you wear on top? I just don’t know.

  22. I love your skirt, it’s super cute, just like everything you make. The top goes with it beautifully, and I’m sure you’ll find more to go with it. Sometimes a new silhouette takes time to settle in with your existing wardrobe, and you look adorable in this one 🙂

  23. I tend to wear full skirts with my rectangular body either but I’m lovin your skirt – the pleats are lovely. I think I would go with a wrap top that sat just on the waist band. I do love the fabric as well the subtle dolka dots just catch my eye.

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