Skirts are pretty much perfect for the dog days of summer. When a breeze hits you on a hot summer day it feels a bit scandalous …
It’s no secret that I’m seduced by fabric colour and print. Last summer I picked up 2 panels of a bright & summery cotton sateen (10-15% stretch) floral at Fabric Mart Fabrics thinking that it would work well for a sheath dress. When the fabric arrived it wasn’t quite what I expected (and I couldn’t see myself in a sheath dress) so it went on a shelf …
A few weeks ago I got it into my mind that I wanted a skirt so went into my small fabric stash and dug around until I pulled this out to give it a second chance. Once it was spread out on the cutting table it was apparent that this fabric wasn’t a dress, it was a skirt!
New Look 6106
New Look 6106 has two things going for it: a-line shape and pockets.
Last summer I gave it a shot using a quilting cotton with an accent fabric for the lower band. The skirt turned out just okay, it was a bit stiff and I did a lousy job of laying out the pattern on the waist band and belly area so it just looked … odd. The skirt wound up at Goodwill. This time I vowed to be more careful with the waistband.
After moving the pattern pieces around and taking a good look at the design I was able to place the waistband and front yoke (visible pocket pieces) pattern pieces in sections without a print. A surprisingly easy solution!
I decided to make the mid-length skirt without the lower contrast band so added 6″ to the main skirt pattern pieces.
The back is cut in two pieces but because I was working with panels there would be no way to pattern match so I took the big step of moving the zipper from the back to the side. Good grief, that’s an easy adjustment! I suspect that changed the shape of the back of the skirt. Does it matter? Maybe, maybe not.
Once I stitched up the sides I tried the skirt on and it was huge in the hips so I took off an additional 3″ on the hips. Since I’m thick through the middle I didn’t add the front darts, instead leaving darts just in the back.
On the waistband I attempted to emulate the inside band treatment I see on my Talbot’s trousers. On the lower edge of the inside waistband I stitched store bought bias tape. The intention was to stitch in the ditch on the exterior of the waistband and catch the bias tape. It took a couple of tries to align the bias tape properly. It looks okay – not perfect but this is certainly easier than slip stitching so I’ll keep trying this technique. Next time I’ll either use self-bias or find ribbon or bias tape that better matches the thread.
All that was left was the hem. The pattern calls for a 1 1/4″ hem, however, if I took up the fabric that much the skirt would be short, and I’d cut off some of the bottom of the design.
I pulled out Threads Sewing Guide looking for hem treatments and one of the options was a faced hem. I had fabric left, so gave this a try. (This is a sign of our times: I had forgotten how easy it was to look up things in a book … and a book doesn’t time out after 45 seconds!)
Here’s how I made my faced hem:
- Cut a 3″ piece of fabric on the cross grain (the fabric has a lot of stretch so I didn’t see any reason to cut on the bias)
- Stitched the band to the lower edge of the skirt, using a 3/8″ seam allowance.
- Pressed the seam allowance towards the facing
- Folded back the edge of the facing 1/2″
- Finally, the edge of the facing was slipstitched
It seems like a lot of steps but it was so worth the bit of extra time. My hem is straight, I saved the border print, the skirt is a smidge longer and there’s a bit of added body on the hem.
I like this pattern and will likely use it again. It’s simple and a nice shape.