SHINY HAPPY PEOPLE: MCCALLS 7981

This blog post has been a long time coming; I finished this skirt back in early June and then promptly lived in it for most of summer, so never got around to taking some photos! As may be fairly obvious when you judge just how many dresses I have made so far, I am a totally and utterly a ‘dress’ girl to my core and always have been. I do get the appeal of separates, I really do — I like the option to mix and match, or to have more variety in my wardrobe — but I just gravitate to dresses so much more often. However, this skirt has been a total game-changer!

Firstly, this skirt is made up in my all-time favourite Lady McElroy design called ‘Fashion Focused’. I also used the viscose crepe jersey version of this print to make the jumpsuit of my dreams for my birthday in March! This skirt is cotton lawn, so it is lightweight with a smooth hand and is just so comfortable to wear. It also sews up a dream and gathers really easily. My favourite part is undoubtedly the cheerful and unique print: I love the super stylish ladies on the multicoloured, abstract background! I had just enough fabric to pattern match the front button band and I am pretty happy with how well it matches 😊  I also picked up my favourite Pigeon Wishes resin buttons in Granite from Hey Sew Sister, which are the perfect finishing touch.

Check out my pattern matching (and yes, my necklace is a taco truck, because I apparently have zero impulse control when it comes to novelty jewellery)

I would highly recommend McCalls 7981 as a staple skirt for advanced beginners. M7981 has a button-front design with cute little A-Line shape, which is achieved either through gathering for Views A and B or flared pattern pieces for Views C and D. There are two different lengths (either finishing just above the knee or at midi length) and pockets are included (hooray!). This skirt is unlined, so bear this in mind if your fabric is sheer — although my cotton lawn is fairly lightweight, I didn’t feel the need to add a lining to mine. I went for View A, which is gathered and has a sweet tie-waist detail.

Construction was a breeze — I used French seams throughout to keep it looking pretty on the inside and whizzed through all the steps without any bother. I even slipstitch my button band and waistband in place (usually I tend to topstitch on my machine, because I am lazy)! I would say that you should size down for this pattern, as I used a size Medium and added 1.5″ to my waistband, based on the finished garment waist measurement of 27″ printed on the pattern tissue… but when I tried it on, it was so baggy at the waist, I had to take it in by a quite a few inches. Next time I will just make a size Small!


I would recommend this pattern with the caveat that it runs large, but I truly love my finished skirt and wore it to death over the summer with my Veja sneakers. I definitely will make this skirt again — I can imagine it would look lovely in a wine-coloured corduroy with silver buttons or in a bright tropical print!

McCalls 7981
Size XS – XL
Waist: 22″ – 37″
Hips: 31½” – 46″


Posted by

Hi, I'm Rose - a novice sewist with a love for beautiful fabrics, vintage silhouettes and skirts with pockets!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s