Thursday, January 17, 2013

McCall 3968: The "Jumpin' the Shark" Skirt

A certain someone has likened my 1940 McCall Project to Fonzie's shenanigans on that one Happy Days special that involved waterskiing, a shark infested pool and a very dapper looking Fonzy.  So I dedicate this post to taking risks but doing so while always keeping your own personal style like the Fonz'.  In reality, I think Mr. Pattern Boldness just wanted to taunt me with the fact that he owns one of the best McCall patterns from 1940 (McCall 3640).  What are the chances?  I might just have to bribe him to make a copy for

Now onto the 'Jumpin' the Sharks' skirts, aka McCall 3968...

Project Details

The Fabric(s): I've made two versions of this skirt pattern: The first, in a wonderful navy lightweight wool, and the second one in a lime green crepe back satin.  The wool fabric is perfect for this skirt, it has a nice flair and holds the shape really well.  The crepe back satin, on the other hand, isn't to my liking as a fabric for this skirt.  Mostly because 1) it's too light, especially for Scotland, and 2) it's difficult to invisibly hand hem on this fabric (resulting in a puckered look at the hem).  You can really see the hem in the photo below.  Alas, lesson learned.  The wool skirt, on the other hand, gets tons of wear.  I just love it!  It goes with everything.

This pattern goes together very quickly.  It is a four-gore skirt with a basic waistband.  It took me about 4 hours to cut out and sew the skirt, making it a really quick sewing project.

I interlined the navy skirt waistband with petersham and the lime skirt with regular interfacing.  The skirt closes on the side with a zipper and a single button on the waistband.

I sewed seam binding onto the hem of both skirts before hand hemming them.  I have a 2.5 inch hem which I could probably shorten for the future especially if I make it up again in a lighter fabric.

The 1940 McCall Project Rating
I give this skirt pattern a solid 4 out of 5 stars for 1940 fabulousness.  It really is a very versatile and wardrobe building skirt.

Also, check out Inkyknits version on the vintage pattern wiki. So lovely!


  1. What a great classic pattern!

  2. Love this skirt. A version of this style has been popular in every decade I think. I have a Butterick pattern, same lines from the 90's that I made in several fabrics. Wool was probably the best fabrication. Now that I think about it, Rayon was also great for warmer weather. Wore them until threadbare!

  3. Beautiful skirt!  I'm new to your blog and I love that you're going through all 1940's patterns ~ how awesome. Also, I love taking a glimpse of Scotland - it looks like a beautiful place!

  4. Love the colour of the green skirt but I can feel your pain about the hem and weight. The shape of both are quite lovely, and I adore your embracing the shark and jumping with it (not quite sure why my computer decided to suddenly start typing in italics, there's no hidden meaning to it honest).

  5. Personally, I'd jump the shark with a six-gore skirt for added mobility (remember you'll have water skis on), but your four-gore navy wool is lovely!

  6. Love the navy skirt, the first thing I made was a navy skirt, but wasn't too sure what to pair it with.. so I shall borrow some of your pics/ideas haha:)

  7. I think this style of skirt is so versatile.  I'm making a navy one at the moment - just need to hem it but mine is from an Australian Home Journal pattern not McCall.

  8. That really is a great staple skirt pattern! I have a couple like that and I think I'll be making them time and time again. I really love that last photo of you in the lower right, with the white blouse and the ribbons peeking out at the top of the pic!


I read each and every comment--thank you so much!

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