Sunday, 11 August 2013

Finished: New Look 6154

I look like I'm about to jump
I made another skirt! A better one! After my Simplicity 2451 turned out too big I knew I should go down at least one size. This is New Look 6154, which I reasoned probably had the same sizing as the Simplicity skirt and in fact every pattern piece apart from the skirt front is suspiciously similar, although I haven't overlaid them to check yet. I added the first review on Pattern Review which surprised me, but then I suppose it's quite a basic pattern.
I wanted to make a couple of adjustments, namely moving the centre back zip to the side, cutting the back on the fold, and lengthening the whole thing a couple of inches. I muslined it using a second-hand Ikea bedsheet and it was a good thing I did; I added extra seam allowance at the sides but forgot to take it off the back and ended up with a seam there anyway and a foldy mess on the yoke. Lesson learned.

I don't know if the zip is this obvious without flash...
I sewed the skirt over the course of several evenings, but saved the zip insertion and hemming for the bus to work - time I can easily lose to gazing sleepily out of the window. This was intended as a very cake-y and work-appropriate garment - the summer equivalent to my favourite navy cord skirt.
The final version is made of some medium-weight navy cotton from Fabricland which leeched an incredible amount of dye in the wash (even my very bleed-y pink & red bedsheets fell victim) and shrank a little. This, I thought, was fair enough - one is meant to pre-wash - what annoyed me though is that on the first wash after wearing as a completed garment it leeched still more (thankfully I remembered the colour catcher) and shrank more! The fit is no longer what you see above, instead it sits a bit higher and moves around annoyingly. I only washed it on 40! Boo and hiss. It also wrinkles a fair bit - these photos were taken after one day of office wear and half a bottle of cider.

Failing to show off my bias binding'd hem. Why yes, that is a mop
Before the aforementioned laundry incident the skirt was very comfortable and just what I needed for work. I was even happy with my shirt tucked in. Next time (and there will be one, possibly with more of this fabric and the pockets from Simplicity 2451) I'll re-pre-wash the fabric and attempt a full bottom adjustment as I think I have a combination of that and sway-back. It's hard to tell from these exuberant photos but I don't think the side seam is quite vertical - at least it isn't now that the skirt has shrunk. Hmm.

Productive commuting
For the yoke facing I used a scrap of fabric leftover from the time a misunderstanding led my Mum to shorten a new skirt of mine, thus ruining it  - childhood trauma made good -  and a scrap of purple bias binding from her collection at the hem. I didn't attempt any levelling on the hem, just turned it up a roughly even amount all the way around. The zip is one of my 10 for £1 from the Rag Market at the Birmingham Sewists' meet, put in by hand as I don't have a zip foot and find it reasonably simple to do. It's centred as that also seems like an easy option, but perhaps not so good for a side seam? I don't know if the light blue zip is so obvious in real life. I decided that laziness could be euphemised into stash busting and didn't bother buying a navy one.
I had to re-sew the yoke facing around the top of the zip a few times as I'd got it caught up in various places which was annoying but not the end of the world. With a little more care it should be easier next time. I'm still not sure what the pattern instructions wanted me to do with the bottom of the yoke facing - it seemed to be telling me to zig-zag the edge and leave it - but I turned it under before stitching in the ditch, as you can see above.

Ta da!
More straight-up details can be found over on pattern review.

These photos come courtesy of my friend Alice who invited various of our friends around for dinner that evening and cooked us tasty bruschetta, then goats cheese, polenta & spinach parcels with roasted veg, followed by an enormous banoffee pie. There was good food, good company, a cat, a garden, and beer, wine, & cider aplenty. It was a very good evening.


  1. Oh boo for the laundry incident! But aside from that, nice work.

    I'm particularly interested by the idea of hand sewing the zip- I'd be scared that my hand sewing wouldn't be strong enough to support a zip.

  2. Thanks :)
    It's funny really - I learned to sew by hand and machine stitches always seem somewhat insecture to me. They're much easier to pull out than a good strong backstitch.
    I think I just did a single line of stitching on this but I'd probably sew another stronger one onto the seam allowance only if I was thinking about it harder at the time.


Yay :)