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McCall's 6438 Skirt in Red Floral Challis

McCall’s 6438 Skirt in Red Floral Challis

Confession time: I am super self-conscious about my legs. I have always thought them to be too skinny, too pale, too small for my body, etc. etc. But according to my Instagram and Facebook friends, they are looking OK. So, here they are – in all their glory. But this post is about a pattern – not my legs! So shall we?

The pattern is McCall’s 6438, and sadly, it is out-of-print. Womp, womp, womp. I can see why it was probably never very popular though because the cover was…well, a bit boring.

McCall's 6438

I purchased it during one of those $1.99 pattern sales at Jo-Ann thinking that views A and B looked kind of fun. I am one to look at the line drawings instead of the modeled photos, so it’s a little easier for me to use my imagination when it comes to patterns.

McCall's 6438 Line Drawing

But before I get into the pattern review, let’s talk about these photos. I recently contacted a couple photographers to discuss doing a monthly shoot of several outfits at a time to post on my blog. Their price was reasonable, and their work was fabulous, but when I ran the idea by my husband, he said, “Then why did we buy you all those lenses and camera equipment?! You just need practice.” So, I’m practicing.

I like to shoot during golden hour which means my times are limited to JUST after the kids go to bed from around 8-9pm in the summer. And I don’t have a lot of time to figure out the best spots or how to work my camera on-the-fly. But, I am practicing…reading lots of tutorials…and trying to learn my camera by reading the manual while lying in bed at night.

For this particular shoot, I decided to break ALL the rules. I used my super wide angle, 12-24mm/1:4 lens, and I coincidentally shot in direct sunlight. I was aiming for the marina at Saltair for these shots, but I missed my exit and ended up in Tooele County. I spotted this old, abandoned lounge as I was making my way back to the interstate, and I thought…hmmmmm…perfect! So I stopped.

McCall's 6438 Skirt in Red Floral Challis

Now, I have lived in a trailer park before (long story!), so I can tell you that watching this city slicker take photos of herself in front of a trailer park sign was probably the highlight of the year for the half-dozen-or-so people that were peeking around the corner, pointing and laughing at me. I can only imagine what these people thought I was doing.

Okay, so the skirt. (The top, in case you’re wondering, was purchased at Nordstrom Rack. I like it so much that I might try to duplicate it though.)


Not sure. I never unfolded them. This skirt was easy enough to figure out without any. It’s just two pattern pieces – a waistband and a skirt.

Pattern Pieces

No problems. Everything went together fine, but the skirt is gathered, so that’s not super hard to achieve.

McCall's 6438 Skirt in Red Floral Challis


I made a size 12 based on the finished garment measurement of 28.5″ for the waist as printed on waistband piece. Now, you guys have seen me list my waist as being 26-27 inches in other reviews, but the truth is, my waist is my problem area and fluctuates from about 26-29″. I use the term “problem area” loosely because I recognize that I am a slender person (no body image issues here, don’t worry), but those of you with babies know that pregnancy leaves your body a little…shall we say confused?…in the midsection. It’s almost as if my waist has moved up an inch or two in position…and there’s this bit of extra skin/fat just under the waistline. Your waistband has to either go above it or below it, but not right on it. I dunno. Do you guys know what I’m talking about?

So anyway, the skirt is pretty darn tight in the waist. It’s fine if I’m standing, but it’s not so great for long periods of sitting. Since the waistband is so narrow, it digs in a big uncomfortably.

McCall's 6438 Skirt in Red Floral Challis

Modifications I Made

I shortened the dress by about 3″ in the front and only 1″ in the back. I like skirts to be a little longer in the back to the butt has a bit more coverage. It doesn’t have the effect of a high-low with such a small difference in length since the bottom kind of pulls the back up. I also used an invisible zipper instead of the regular zipper/hook and eye as suggested. And I put it on the wrong side. Oh well.

Things I’d Change Next Time

I really love the overall shape and design of this skirt, but the comfort is lacking a bit. I would like to try making the waistband a little longer (it’s just a rectangle shape) and adding an elastic casing at the back so it has some more give. Otherwise, I’ll just lengthen the waistband by about an inch and call it a day (with no elastic).

McCall's 6438 Skirt in Red Floral Challis

Fabric Choice

Perfect. The fabric is a super flowy rayon challis that I purchased at Nuttal’s Fabrics in Murray, Utah. They’ve been getting some great garment fabrics lately including jersey knits, swimsuit knits and challis. And it’s all around $5-7/yard. Can’t beat that.


It’s not super practical for playing with the kids and such, but this skirt is super easy to dress up or down. I like it with this oversized t-shirt and t-strap heels for a date-night look, but I could easily throw on a tank and some Birkenstocks to wear it everyday.

Overall Impression

Love it! I’ll be making a couple slight modifications next time, but overall, this is one of my favorite garments currently in rotation.

McCall's 6438 Skirt in Red Floral Challis

So what do you think? Am I getting too old to show this much leg?!

  • Evie

    Great skirt…great pins!

  • Anneliese

    You have the legs! I say show them. And this is the perfect length. Love these photos–i think you should stick with taking them yourself!

  • Michelle Martini

    I love this! The fabric, the length, the accessories, the photos — it’s all fab. I’m inspired to duplicate it with Megan Nielsen’s culotte pattern (they look like a short skirt but have the functionality of shorts).

    Nice legs, btw. Show those suckers off!

  • Rikki Boneschansker

    i think you have great legs! As for the waist and pregnancy, I know *exactly* what you’re referring to (unfortunately), having just recently given birth, haha. I think you did a wonderful job on this skirt and your photos, though I agree that it’s much easier getting someone else to take them:)

  • Kelly Tuttle

    You have supermodel legs! Love the skirt & fabric, you did a great job. I can relate on the measurements thing. I had my 4th child in January & things have shifted all over my body & I’m pretty sure they arent going back!

  • Renee Hartley

    you’ve made that pattern look way more glamorous than the sellers. I know what you mean about the waist area changing. But dang girl, your legs are nothing to hide!

  • Karin –

    Ah yes, pregnancies can do weird things to our bodies. My weight fluctuates a bit since having the children (I go from almost too skinny to a little less skinny) and all the weight only seems to build up (and down) around my waist (and my boobs, but that’s another story). Anyway, I have about three sizes of clothing when it comes to skirts and trousers that I can rotate when they are needed. :)

    Anyway, love the skirt and the combination with that wider top. You look gorgeous!

  • Juliette Bonnin Lanvers

    I am almost too jealous of your legs to comment today… ; )

  • Charity

    You look like a much healthier (and therefore, prettier) version of a model…. I wish I had your legs! That fabric has such lovely drape… perfect for a gathered skirt like this.

  • April

    Show off those legs while they still look amazing! I love the style of this skirt and it’s great advice to look at the illustrations instead of images. I wouldn’t have bought it based in the cover but the illustrations look so much better.

  • Jaime Johnson

    Oh my word you just made my day with the description of your waist. I agonize over my midsection. I am back to my wedding day weight and happy in every other way but my waist – e-gads! So glad to know I’m in good company :) cute skirt!

  • OnceUpona Sew

    Too bad it’s not more comfortable, it looks great. If my legs were that long I would be showing them off every day :)

  • Shaffer Sisters

    Ha ha ha. I totally get the trailer park thing though with all of my neighbors at our complex. I always just want to yell, I am not a weirdo I am a blogger! But instead I just smile to their stares.

    I love this whole look on you. I think it is the condition of the knee that determines who should and shouldn’t be wearing short skirts. You don’t have saggy knees so I think you have much to worry about.

  • Akvile

    Just found this site and I’m so excited to read more of your posts! Love the skirt, legs and your shoes :) silly question, but where did you get those shoes?

  • Gatorbunny

    Love the waist description because mine moved too! Love your blog!