November 18, 2012

New Look 6106 -or- Math is hard.

So you got a little peek at this skirt the other day when I showed you my Alma. It's New Look 6106, and I made it because I decided that my Alma really needed a dark denim skirt to come into her own as a fully functioning member of my wardrobe. I almost made another 6030, but I wanted to expand my horizons a little, and a great basic a-line denim skirt seemed like a good idea.

Alma & New Look 6106

The fabric is a dark slub denim (cotton/poly/spandex) with just a tiny bit of stretch. I like the dark wash and the little bit of white from the slubs. It's more interesting than just a basic denim, but not a Super Crazy Fashion Denim like some of the sparkly stuff that's out there. It's classic, but still fun.

I chose 6106 for the big pockets and simple A-line styling. I wanted a skirt with a waistband and pockets, and no fussy pleating or gathering since I was working with denim and didn't want to add a bunch of bulk to my waistline.

New Look 6106 Skirt

I had a bit of an adventure getting this thing fitted, thanks to a number of factors. For some reason, the size range on this skirt is 10-22, whereas the 6030 is 4-16. The body measurements are the same, so maybe the 6030 is targeted toward more of the tween set, where the 6106 is for real women? I dunno. Anyway, you may recall that I first made the 6030 in a 10, which was quite large, and then in an 8, which fit beautifully. I thought then that the 10 would be a safe bet to start with, knowing I could always take it in if it was also too large.

Before I cut my fabric though, I decided it would be wise to do a flat pattern measurement to make sure, since the 6106 does fit at the natural waistline and not 2" below like 6030. I got out my tape measure, did some calculations (incorrectly) and decided that yup, the 10 should be just fine, possibly a bit tight in the waist, but with the 5/8" seam allowances, there's always room to manipulate that a bit. 

New Look 6106 skirt

As I was assembling the waistband, I realized that I had mistakenly thought that the front AND back waistbands were cut on the fold, and that the zipper was installed in the side seam of the skirt. The picture on the envelope shows a back zip, and my back pieces were cut in two parts, but I clearly wasn't paying attention to any of that. Once I realized that my back waistband should be in two pieces and not one, I dutifully cut it in half. It took me MUCH longer to realize that in doing so, I was creating another seam, with 1.25" of additional seam allowance, and as a result, my waistband was actually going to be MUCH too small.

By taking the waistband seam allowances down from 5/8" to 1/4", I was able to gain 1.5" back in width, enough to make it fit comfortably. The skirt portion already fit fine, but I did have to taper from the 5/8" seam to 1/4" at the waistline to make it line up properly with the waistband. To gain an extra little bit of ease I also opted to skip the lapped zipper installation, and applied an exposed zipper at the back instead.

New Look 6106 w/exposed zip

I pretty much did what Gertie does in this tutorial, but instead of starting with a 5/8" seam allowance and trimming it down beneath the zipper, I just used the 1/4" seam allowance that was all I really had to work with anyway. That made it a little bit tough to line everything up and catch all the right parts in the seams, but I just used a lot of hand basting and took my time. I think it ended up being a nice design feature in the end. Also, I can totally breathe! Woohoo! Crazy-big 5/8" seam allowances save the day!

Exposed Zip 6106

I do like the skirt paired with the Alma that inspired its existence, but I think I'm much more likely to wear it with other things that don't look quite so Country Girl. Below is how I wore it to the Quilt, Craft and Sewing Festival on Friday, and I was quite comfortable. Sadly, there isn't much for the non-quilting sewer at this particular show, so I left empty handed. It is fun to drool over the fancy sewing machines and make fun of the goofy ensembles on display though. And who knows, maybe someday I'll make my own beautiful fully quilted rainbow batik jacket featuring my favorite Disney characters in metallic embroidery. Just try and stop me!

6106 Denim Skirt

Seriously though, if I do that- it's intervention time. Thanks!