A Blog for the Perpetually Frustrated Home Sewist

McCall's 7243 Plaid Wrap Skirt Review (and Simplicity 7326 Hat Review)


Hello everyone! This week's post will be about a plaid wrap skirt I made using McCall's 7243, a wrap skirt pattern from the 1990's. Even though winter has ended and spring is upon us, I couldn't help myself from making another cold-ish weather outfit. In this post, I'll explain my fabric choices, explain my inspiration, and review the pattern. 

Here's the front and back of the completed skirt. 

INSPIRATION

Plaid wrap skirts have been around forever, so nothing about this skirt is really revolutionary. But there were two primary periods which I took from inspiration from. First, I loved the coordinated looks from the 1960's, specifically how the socks and shirts match with one of the colors in the plaid.



Plaid skirts also experienced a revival in the 1990's. The chain belt trend was also in full swing, as it has been lately. I love how Claudia Schiffer styled it!




THE SKIRT PATTERN

McCall's 7243, published in 1994, includes five variations of a wrap skirt. Views A, B, and C are all pencil skirt-style wrap skirts with slight differences (fringed hem, fringed wrap panel, or a whipstitched binding on the wrap panel). View D is a more flared, A-line wrap skirt with a buckle closure and fringed panel edge. And finally, View E, which I used, has a flat front with pleats all around the skirt and a button closure. Each skirt has a waistband closes across the front.



I selected this pattern specifically because it had a pleat in the side seam. If it hadn't been for that, I would have reused Simplicity 8746 that I completed earlier this year. This is simply personal preference; I prefer the hidden side seam to the flat side seam.

Because this is a 1990's pattern, the pattern sizing range that comes with each pattern is a bit more limited. This pattern included sizes 12, 14, and 16. I found the size 16 to fit perfectly, even though my actual measurements are a little larger than the 16. So, there is a comfortable amount of ease if you're slightly larger than the sizing.

The construction flows easily and is straightforward. The pattern is marketed as a "Learn to Sew for Fun" pattern, so there is an extra section within the instructions that explains how to prepare your fabric and pin the pattern to it. For this reason, I think the pattern would be suitable for someone that is sewing a wrap skirt for the first time. However, there are a few things that may not be explained fully, like how to hand stitch a slip stitch or the hem of the skirt. Of course, these things aren't hard to find on the internet or in a resource book.

I made a couple of minor changes to the pattern. None of these things really altered the appearance of the final skirt. Instead of sewing buttons, I used two hook and eye closures (this style) for a cleaner look. I wanted the plaid pattern to stay in place more than it would with a button. I'm very pleased with this result; it allows the belt to stand out more! Other than that, I machine stitched the waistband
and sewed the hem slightly differently (machine sewed the front facing and then hand sewed them in place).

The inside isn't perfect- I wish I had hidden the knot better on the upper right eye piece. 


Overall, this a great pattern for a basic wrap skirt. It's easy to sew with helpful, detailed instructions.



THE HAT PATTERN

Simplicity 7326 is a vintage 1960's hat pattern that includes a beret-style hat and a more square, crown style hat that ties under the chin. I created the beret-style hat, and this is my second time making it (to see my first time click here). I found that my fabric choices made a big difference!



The construction process flowed the same for this hat as it did for the first one. The pattern consists of eight qual sized pieces that sew together to one round hat, with an identical lining sewn the same way. The plaid fabric I used was thicker than the cotton I had used previously, and I found this hat held its shape more rigidly than the first hat, despite using a weaker interfacing. I also used a slightly thicker lining fabric than in the first (red fabric from my senior collection). This plaid was probably well more suited to the pattern, although I don't necessarily think it looks better. I found that it didn't sit so well on my head; I'll need to sew a comb into it before wearing it out again.


I also tried to match up the plaid all the way around the skirt. This went reasonably well, but the seam lines aren't really even visible. Honestly, I was super upset right after I cut it out when I realized that the plaid matching could have looked so much better if I had just centered the plaid on each piece. I was too concerned with lining up the pieces horizontally. Also, I made the pom pom with using yarn and a Clover pom pom maker.


THE FABRIC 

Here's what the side views of the skirt look like. 

I found this plaid at Austin Creative Reuse last fall. It was super cheap, and sold in bundles priced at $3 a yard. I ended up purchasing 6 yards in total. I still have 3 yards left (and some leftovers) for another project after this!

I'm not entirely sure what the fiber content is for this material, nor do I care to really test it. It washed and dried with no shrinkage, and it has a very slightly fleeced texture. It pressed easily and didn't show any signs of damage at high temperatures. My best guess is that it's a blend with a natural fiber of some type, but I'm not really sure.



I also tried to make sure the plaid matched up well on this skirt. I think the plaid matching turned out better on this skirt than the last one I made. I tried to make more of an effort to make sure the pattern itself matched wherever it could. I think I did this successfully on the front and front panel (although it's not perfect). I was happy to have the waistband match for at least the center front.



OUTFIT DETAILS 



In the picture above, I paired the skirt with a navy turtleneck bodysuit, a gold chain belt, navy sock tights, and navy shoes. The sock tights are from ModCloth, the shoes are from Asos, and I found the gold chain belt on Ebay. I wish the shades of navy matched up a little better, but it's okay.

Here's a closeup of what the chain belt looks like. It's lucky charm themed and includes a lucky 7, four leaf clover, a wishbone, a horseshoe, and a die.

I wish I had loosened the belt some in the photos; I think it looks better slightly looser. 
For warmer days, I would wear this outfit without tights and without the beret. Because there are so many colors in the skirt, it will match many different colored tops. I also tried pairing the skirt with an orange crop top. (This photo isn't very flattering, but oh well.)



I also tried pairing the skirt with a gold round chain belt I found at an estate sale. It's definitely in the vintage style, but it didn't suit the skirt quite as well.



CONCLUSION



Overall, I found this pattern easy to use and I'm happy with the outcome. I think this fabric choice was better than the last wrap skirt I made, because this skirt feels much more wearable.

Thank you so much for reading this far! If you have any comments or questions, please let me know down below! To see more of my McCall's pattern reviews, click here. I'll see you next week with another post !

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