The “Singing in the Rain” Skirt

The Facts
Fabric: 2 yards plaid wool suiting from Mood, $28
Pattern: McCalls 4258
invisible zip, interfacing for waistband
First worn: 12/8
Wear again: many times
Time to complete: about 4 hours
Total cost: about $30
Theme Re-do: Plaid

Plaid, how I love thee.  This is the first pattern I used when I dreamed of a long bias cut plaid skirt and started sewing clothes for myself last year.  I wore that skirt so much (and installed the zipper so poorly) that the fabric ripped along the side seam. I remade it for the plaid challenge as a shorter skirt, and even took the time to line it, but I just don’t love the shorter length.  I needed to remake the original in a new fabric.

As soon as I put this one on, I knew it would be worn to death like the first. There’s something about this simple shape that feels perfect.  I could live in it all fall, winter, and spring.  Next time I’ll add an inch or two to the length, especially good for playing classical guitar.  I got up before dawn to hem this for the Suzuki group guitar concert in which Fenna and I both played.  It was a bad day for taking photos, what with lugging two guitars, a music stand, a stool, and a squiggly six-year-old about town.  And other factors.  These sad rainy shots in front of a random bike will have to do.  At least the light is natural.  And the skirt itself makes me happy.

I tried valiantly to match the large scale, uneven plaid.  After fussing with the layout a good long while, I decided it was impossible. I turned and stitched the side seams to finish them, did a centered zip (with an invisible zipper), a narrow hem, and still have to add a hook and eye since I couldn’t find one in my stash.  Though the side closure could look more professional, it’s stellar compared to my last attempt.

I still dream of plaid!  I’ve been thinking about how to refashion two beautiful plaid Western shirts and an amazing pair of plaid wool pants, all in large men’s sizes.  Coming soon in early 2013. . .



Lee is a highly educated stay at home mom with a lot of projects. She lives in New York City.


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  1. Lovely! A beautiful, classic shape, and such delicious fabric. Isn’t it a great feeling to make yourself something you know you’ll wear lots and lots?

    I adore plaid too – the plaid challenge was one I was very tempted to re-do, but the right pattern and fabric didn’t come together.

  2. This is gorgeous plus very attractive and convenient to wear when it’s cold. It beats the go to jeans, and sweater. You sound like you had a very fun day playing guitar with Fenna. Yeah!

    I thought you were riding a bike with that long skirt and couldn’t quite picture how you would do that. It does look good in the background though. ;)

    • Yes– this is the jeans substitute skirt. Does NOT work on a bike, but that’s okay since I don’t bike that much in winter. And yes, playing guitar is such a joy, totally worth lugging the stuff around all the time for lessons.

  3. You look so gorgeous and happy in your skirt! xoxo

  4. Love this skirt, it’s colours, shape and your overall styling….those boots are fab. And how on-trend are you posing next to a bicycle (have you seen the McCalls Spring Patterns look book – apparently the purse is so last year as an accesory, now everyone needs to carry a bicycle:

    • Those bike poses are hilarious! Mine was more like, me: Okay let’s just do it right here before it gets dark or starts raining harder. E (husband): Stand in front of that trash bag so no one will see it. me: Okay. This is pathetic. E: Smile!

  5. Great job Lee, There’s something about plaid on the bias it just looks so good. Great substitute, love the colours.

  6. I just looked at the link Tempest threw in there…OMG, seriously? I didn’t think they could come up with a dumber set of poses than Vogue’s In-The-Window shots. Ah well… You are, at least, the real deal : ) I’m still dreaming of plaid as well, and if I could find a good wool or wool blend I would LOVE a skirt like yours! I will visit your blog often to see what you do in the coming year : )