Plaid is appealing for its geometric patterns, and they’re known to give off a sort of “official” look—in other words, plaids are great for the office or work! Its pattern is eye-catching and versatile, and the design fits right at home in the aesthetic of autumn, too. Whether you’re wearing a scarf, a sweater, or accents made with plaid patterning, you know you’re in good, stylish hands.
Plaid also has a great reputation with skirts. When put together carefully, skirts look fantastic in plaid. It’s a bit of a challenge with louder plaid patterns, since matching a repeating pattern can be tricky, so if you’re just starting out, consider using a simpler or subtler plaid design like this one:
This skirt was made using McCall’s skirt pattern #6842 in a size 18. The pattern offers a skirt with a contour waist, 3 different yoke designs to choose from, a back zipper, and a narrow hem. This tutorial goes over skirt design A, which includes yoke variation 1 and length A. The pleats are gathered as well, giving the skirt some nice volume.
We chose the Oscar de la Renta Tan and Pink Wool Double Cloth for this skirt tutorial. The latte-colored background and subtle pink plaid was hard to resist, and the fabric is incredibly soft. Something warm and cute for the season was just too good to pass up! Plus, it feels and looks great to sew through! The fabric isn’t thick, but it feels solid and substantial.
To learn how to make the skirt featured in this article, read below!
Here’s the list of materials used to make this skirt, while working with a Size 18 in mind…
McCall Misses’ Skirt Pattern 6842
1 ½ Yards of Oscar de la Renta Tan and Pink Wool Double Cloth
5/8 Yard of White Stiffener/Fusible Interfacing
896 Dark Khaki 9″ Invisible Zipper
536 Tan 100m Gutermann Sew All Thread
Dritz 250 Long White Ball Pins
If you’re planning to line up a fabric pattern for a garment, make sure to buy extra fabric!!
We can’t stress this enough. There’s nothing worse than finding out you need more fabric after you’ve already gotten your cut. The pattern suggested 1.25 yards of fabric for a size 18, but we went with 1.5 yards, because we knew we’d need it. You will, too!
We won’t go into detail about how to make the actual skirt here since it’s all in the pattern instructions already, but we’ll highlight important notes and features of the skirt’s design.
The first tip to keep in mind is that it’s extremely helpful to pin your fabric before cutting. When you’re laying out your fabric and getting ready to pin it, line up your plaid grids and pin them first! The piece in this photo is cut already, but see how the pins are guided alone the plaid lines? Do this around the entire border of your fabric when it’s laid out. This will help prevent mismatched cutting!
Just to give you an idea, this is what the pieces should look like after you cut them out. This plaid design is pretty simple, so it’s easy to guide your pattern edges so the skirt will look mostly matched up. Remember that the ends of your pattern pieces will have a 5/8″ seam allowance, so when laying out and lining up your pattern paper, line up your plaid grids 5/8″ into the pattern piece.
You should also be very careful about pining your pieces together before running a stitch through with your machine. Line up your pattern pieces so that the plaid grids are lined up and it looks like the pattern continues naturally. And don’t be afraid to use more pins or a walking foot attachment to keep your fabric from sliding out of place!
Same thing goes for installing the zipper:
You’ll have to trim the zipper a couple of inches, but if you work slowly and carefully, it’ll look great! (Don’t know how to install a zipper? Click here for our tutorial!)
Please keep in mind that this fabric frays! Stay-stitching will be your best friend while working with this fabric.
We made the skirt according to the directions of the pattern so that you could see what it would look like, but we do highly suggest using french seams instead of a double-stitched seam like the pattern calls for. That means sewing your pattern pieces wrong sides together and then hiding your seam allowances in with another line of stitching. If don’t know how to sew a french seam, follow this link to our All About Seams page. Sewing in french seams will help tuck the frayed edges away and keep them from unraveling your garment.
However, if you are having trouble sewing the french seam, you can also go with the double-stitched seam and then trim the seam allowances with pinking shears.
The double-stitched seam will look like this:
This fabric really looks wonderful with a plain seam on it. If you enjoy top-stitching and can find a hem line you’d like to sneak them in, feel free to!
And that’s basically it! This skirt design isn’t too hard, and it actually puts together pretty quickly. Keep these tips in mind and you’ll be good to sew yourself a wonderful piece of autumn fashion! Are you inspired yet? What advice do you have to share for working with plaid fabrics?