Having a 70’s Moment: Denim Button-up Skirt


Hi all!  In anticipation of summer travels, I’ve been sewing up a storm! I’ve also been aware of a huge gap in my me-made separates wardrobe that must be fixed before I travel. I have very few skirts and almost no pants. My recently completed jeans helped to fill the gap, but I still need skirts, and, as luck would have it, there’s a skirt competition this month at Pattern Review, the perfect motivation!

Being a fan of denim and blue, I couldn’t resist giving a jeans skirt a go. The pattern I chose was Mc Call’s 7392, a fitted skirt with a waistband, a front band, button closure, side front and back seams, and optional pockets and carriers.

I love the design of this skirt. The front and back ‘princess’ seams make ‘fit’ a breeze and the  a-line shape and front button closure are so seventies. To satisfy my craving for ‘jean skirt’, I added some additional details like front pockets and contrast topstitching.The pattern instructions were easy to follow.

IMG_3166 (2)

My only criticism….I disliked the way the carriers are attached. They are basted to the waistband, then sewn into the waistband seam. If you want to topstitch that waistband, you can’t because the carriers are in the way. So disappointing. Next time, I will sew the carriers on the way you do with jeans. I’ll just turn the ends under and stitch them in place outside the waistband. Because this pattern has princess seams, I found it easy to modify it to fit my shape. This gets a big ‘thumbs up’ from me, since I have a wide waist that’s out of proportion to the rest of me.


Fabric Used: I used dark denim, so hard to find but available at Fabric Depot.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made: I double topstitched everything. I modified the patterns back pockets and side front pockets.


Since I’m not a fan of side front pockets as I think they make my waist look shapeless, I used the back pockets as a template for two smaller front pockets, which I sewed in place, patch style. To get the smaller size for those pockets, I just traced the back pocket and reduced the size by 5/8 inch all around. I topstitched each pocket and added a chevron style ‘V’ for fun. I hesitated when it was time to put the back pockets on, as I wondered if four pockets on one skirt would be overkill, but the truth is, I love pockets! So I added them.

To make the topstitching look sharp, I double threaded my needle with regular thread. Some might prefer topstitching thread, but my machine doesn’t like it, so double threading gave visual dimension to the topstitch without clogging my machine. I also topstitched the carriers and the waistband seams, even though the pattern didn’t call for them. For a jeans skirt vibe, I used  jeans buttons in an antique finish that you pound in place with a hammer. So satisfying! The button holes were made using the contrast thread.


In summary, I do like this pattern and will likely sew it again. IMG_3133 (1)

With its many seams, this pattern is easy to modify for fit, and to add your own personal touch. The cut is ‘a-line’ but not too wide at the bottom, so hard to find in a skirt pattern. It definitely satisfied my urge for a seventies style denim button-up skirt. I’ll probably try this pattern again with other dense fabrics like wool or corduroy come fall

I’m curious if others have trouble using topstitching thread? Does it clog your machine? I would love to be able to use it and know there must be a trick that I just haven’t yet discovered.

It’s still cold here, but I remain optimistic and am sewing with linens and cottons…Happy sewing and thanks for stopping by.

30 thoughts on “Having a 70’s Moment: Denim Button-up Skirt

  1. Clair June 15, 2016 / 2:09 pm

    I love your skirt and would imagine that it is very comfortable to wear. You did a great sewing job. I believe that denim skirts are always in style. Happy travels!


    • ellegeemakes June 15, 2016 / 4:19 pm

      I hope you’re right about denim skirts being in style because I will wear this one until it falls apart after doing all of that topstitching!


  2. Beverly June 15, 2016 / 2:09 pm

    I love this style of skirt & your pockets look great.


    • ellegeemakes June 15, 2016 / 4:19 pm

      Thanks! The pockets were fun to do.


  3. Linda Wilson June 15, 2016 / 2:30 pm

    Great skirt, great idea for the top stitching, I usually use a stitch that repeats over itself. My machine doesn’t like thicker topstitching thread either!


    • ellegeemakes June 15, 2016 / 4:18 pm

      What a great idea! I have that stitch too, and didn’t think to use it. I’ll have to give that a go next time around.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. carmenross88 June 15, 2016 / 2:54 pm

    Cool skirt! I have this pattern, too, but I haven’t tried it out yet. I was thinking it would look cool in suede. I don’t use a special top stitching thread so I haven’t run into that issue.


    • ellegeemakes June 15, 2016 / 4:16 pm

      Oh, it would look fabulous in suede and you are just the person to do that!!


    • ellegeemakes June 15, 2016 / 4:20 pm

      Thanks so much! I had fun doing all of that topstitching. It’s mindless and soothing, you know?


  5. Linda of Nice dress! Thanks, I made it!! June 15, 2016 / 10:35 pm

    Looks like your holiday wardrobe is almost done! Funny thing is I have been thinking I need a denim skirt. I also have just purchased that pattern. I never thought of putting the two together! Yours is lovely! I will have to look at my denim – I’m not sure if it is heavy (for this pattern) or light (for a gathered skirt).

    Liked by 1 person

    • ellegeemakes June 16, 2016 / 7:38 am

      I’m sure you do need a denim skirt, because doesn’t everyone :)? A gathered denim skirt would be so fun! The good news is that denim never seems to go out of style so you can sew anything out of it and be good to go!

      Liked by 1 person

      • ellegeemakes June 16, 2016 / 7:53 am

        Perfect, because after you do all of the topstitching required, you just Have to wear it everywhere :)!!

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Mads (lifeinamadshouse) June 16, 2016 / 7:27 am

    Very, very cool skirt! I love it. How nice to have found a pattern with a slim A-line shape, too–you are right that those aren’t easy to find! I love the 70’s vibe of this jeans skirt and think it will be a great staple item, though Summer and into Fall!

    Topstitching thread and I have a complicated relationship, LOL! I used it on the jeans I sewed for the hubs and mostly, we got along. But oof, when it was bad, it was BAD. Obviously I didn’t put it in the bobbin–only in the needle. I tightened up my tension vs. my regular thread, lengthened the stitching to 3.5 or 4, and absolutely under NO circumstances used that thread for really dense detail work, like bar tacks. One test bar tack in topstitching thread taught me a lifelong lesson, LOL. Since I used a manual buttonhole method, I was able to use topstitching thread for that without a problem, but would never have gotten an automatic buttonhole to work.

    I also used a larger needle, and although I mostly did that to cope with the weight of my fabric, I think it helped with the thread as well. (I used a denim needle, but I know they have special topstitching needles out there too–have you tried one?) I also went pretty slow and used my handwheel when I was worried about bulky areas getting caught up in the feed and causing a really big knot of thread to form. Other than that, it may very well be a machine thing. =/

    Liked by 1 person

    • ellegeemakes June 16, 2016 / 7:49 am

      Ah, maybe I should have tightened my tension a bit more. Great tip! I did use a jeans needle which has a wider eye. But I think I’ll give a topstitching needle a try next time as you’ve suggested. Yes, when I tried the topstitching thread and things went bad, it was GLARING! There is no escaping a bright yellow mistake, LOL. After one of those train wrecks I had to bail and that’s when I went for the double thread in the needle. Still I will try top stitching thread again next time because it does look great, although I get your point about the bar tacks…just too much!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. idaaidasewing June 16, 2016 / 1:37 pm

    I had the exact problem with topstitching and topstitching needle is the answer, it makes a huge difference you’ll see!
    that’s a lovely skirt by the way 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • ellegeemakes June 16, 2016 / 3:01 pm

      Thanks! Well I am just going to have to give that a try! Thanks for the tip.


  8. Eli cat June 29, 2016 / 8:02 pm

    I’ve just bought that pattern. I really love your skirt ! Very cute:))) Thank you for your great review!

    Liked by 1 person

    • ellegeemakes June 29, 2016 / 9:17 pm

      Thanks so much! Yes, I love reviewing patterns, and I love reading the reviews and opinions of others. I can’t imagine how I’d function without them, you know ?:)


  9. stevensteach July 13, 2016 / 2:40 pm

    I was just looking at this pattern and considering getting it. I am so glad that I found your picture on Pinterest. I haven’t sewn in ages. And I haven’t done anything more complicated than straight seams. But I am wanting to start sewing for myself, then on to the grandchildren. I hope this pattern will be a good one to start on.

    Liked by 1 person

    • ellegeemakes July 13, 2016 / 4:06 pm

      It’s a-line which is easy but the buttons might be a bit challenging? You could do snaps though! It’s a fun project though and you’ll feel great when it’s done.

      Liked by 1 person

    • ellegeemakes October 28, 2016 / 5:38 pm

      And thanks to you for visiting my blog…

      Liked by 1 person

      • Jonathan Caswell October 28, 2016 / 5:41 pm

        I like to look at other people’s stuff and appreciate what they’re up to! 🙂


      • ellegeemakes October 28, 2016 / 8:17 pm

        Me too! I enjoyed my visit to your world…thanks for reaching out.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Jonathan Caswell October 28, 2016 / 8:19 pm

        I have a practice of visiting those folks who again visit me…if that helps!

        Liked by 1 person

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