Monday, July 11, 2016

Failed Skirt-a-Palooza: Butterick 6060 but a WINNER in New Look 6301

After my top-a-palooza, I planned on making 2-3 skirts with a more summery flair. When B6060 first came out, I snatched it up, liking both the straight view with the little peplum and the pleated view.

I was so excited to get going on this and decided on classic but summer-fun navy and white colorblocking. I had a cotton twill in navy and a rayon suiting in white (with white poly pongee lining). The weights weren't compatible but the upper skirt is meant to be lined and I thought that would equalize things (newsflash: it didn't).

Also, I didn't think the upper portion looked THAT deep in the tech drawing but the photo is fairly accurate.

I didn't consider how this style would work with my fairly rectangular (when viewed front-on) figure (newsflash: it doesn't). This skirt took a long time to make. Well, to make well.

6 seams on the upper skirt plus the zipper
6 seams on the lining
Pleating the skirt...

I used tailor tacks to mark the pleat points as I knew it was imperative that they be properly marked so that the lower skirt would fit correctly to the upper. I even hand-basted the pleats in place.

Did a great job on my invisible zipper:

Hand sewed the lining to the zipper tape:

There is no facing or waistband. I used strips of interfacing in addition to stay-stitching. If I were to do it again I would add some twill tape or other support at the waist. The skirt pulls down when worn.

Because the twill appears slightly textured, I went ahead and topstitched the hem - it looks fine. 

Hard to photograph the white+navy

I finished it and was SO excited and...MEH.

My daughter told me to "take it off please".

I didn't understand how it went so wrong! LOL!!!

After trying it on a BUNCH more times, I decided it could work if it sat closer to my natural waist. But I'm holding like 4" of fabric in back! It sits way low on my hip which makes me wonder if I didn't manage to stretch out the waist despite being careful - or if the size 16/18 was just too big. (I always do a 16 front and 18 back in skirts).

I like the pleated bottom and thought MAYBE if I removed 2-3" from the height/depth of the top it could work in the future. But...sometimes you win, sometimes you lose. And there are WAY more "patterns in the sea".

In the meantime, I have my Ann Taylor Loft white eyelet/lace skirt and I ended up getting the colorful A-line skirt online. YAY! It came today and I absolutely adore it. I think I shall wear it tomorrow! :)

(size 14)

I also really appreciate the details. This is grosgrain used as a facing and zipper shield but it's SUPER soft and pliable. A quick Google search shows that cotton/rayon grosgrain ribbon is a thing! I like the way it's used in this skirt. I can see this becoming a wardrobe fave; even though it's bright and colorful.

I finished the Butterick  skirt on the 3rd and on the 4th of July found myself home alone in the morning while both kids were working. "Oh well, guess I'll sew a dress...", I said.

1) Knit - duh. Easy. Peasy.

2) Something I've made before - duh again! Ain't nobody got time for new patterns + adjustments

3) Easy to handle fabric - See #1

I was somehow drawn to NL6301, even though I said I probably wouldn't make it again. But luckily, I am smart sometimes. I thought about WHY I didn't enjoy the make as much (though I like the dress)...Ponte was not a good fabric to use with this one. It just created too much bulk in areas with pleats and ties and...bleh.

So I reached deep into the stash and came out with this lovely, thick springy poly jersey that I purchased from SR Harris way back in 2013 when I first started sewing. The colors are fun and vibrant and say SUMMER! but can easily transition into early fall. My kinda fabric!

This time, I chose the view with the full skirt. Yeah, yeah, yeah, I did have to cut the skirt out. But that was easy, just a front and back, size 16 for both.

I ALMOST ran out of fabric! I had cut my sleeves early on when I found a good spot for them between the bodice pieces.

But when I went to move them - uh oh! This fabric has a crazy wide selvedge and it's uneven on top of that! So like 1/3 of one of my sleeves was this cream selvedge. I dug around through my scraps and WHEW! Found a piece that could fit the sleeve.

In an effort to fit all the pieces on the fabric on-hand, I ended up turning my neck binding piece on the cross grain. This meant I didn't have the stretch to snug it up against the neckline so it's a little loose. But still - I LOVE THIS DRESS!!

I ended up wearing it on my birthday <3

We were moving non-stop that day so all I got was  a selfie and a cat and boy photobombed pic at the end of the day :)

The sleeves and skirt both got 5/8" double turned hems. I did not need to top-stitch the neck binding. Love. Love. Love.


  1. Sewing for 3 years??? Serious skill development in that time, you do the details beautifully. Maybe you can find someone to take that first skirt. I HATE it when I totally forget why something is no good for me and invest time or money for a refresher lesson.

    1. Thank you so much Barbara!!!'s like "DRATS!!" :) I will get it in the donation box after I tag it with measurements and an assumed size.

  2. Too bad about the skirt, especially after all that painstaking work you did to sew it up. The dress is pretty and looks great on you.

    1. Email me if you would be willing to ship the skirt. This is on my to-make list and it will fit me, and I love the color blocking. I will pay postage. You also made a vest (you thought it looked like a lab-coat) that that I adored (1756 by Cynthia Rowley). My email is at gmail dot com

  3. The skirt looks beautiful, too bad it doesn't work. By looking at it, it seems like the white band just ends in the wrong spot. I bet it is still salvageable.

    1. Thanks Rachel!!
      Eh yeah, I'm not a go-back-and-fix kind of sewer. I'll just make a new thing! :-p

  4. I think the skirt actually works; it's just the white against the navy that makes it scream at you. And I agree with everyone else that your sewing skills are very impressive for only having sewn for 3 years.

  5. I think if you had put the navy on top and the white on the bottom it would have worked. The dress is absolutely adorable! -Martina

  6. I agree with you - the skirt doesn't work. Isn't that so annoying when the sewing is good but the fabric lets you down.
    the wrap dress is so cute and perfect for the office.
    Regarding that ribbon on the back of the zipper, it is petersham ribbon which is different from grosgrain, I just wrote a post that will run next week on Craftsy and my blog, about using ribbon and with some info on different kinds of ribbon - stay tuned.

    1. Beth saves the day again!

      I've heard petersham mentioned plenty of times in Burda. I'll have to check it out!

      Yeah, the skirt is out. I'm going to measure the waist and hip so I can put a label in it and donate it.

  7. I echo everyone else who is impressed that you've only been sewing for 3 years.

    I do like the skirt, but just not in such high contrast. Could you take off the navy and use more of the white for a solid skirt? Or perhaps another fabric that is more similar to white?

    My LFS, Elfriede's sells Petersham, but hides it in a drawer. When I asked, they opened a magic drawer and asked what color I needed. (They stock a few basic colors.) Britex has a huge selection of Petersham, but they are 1000 mi away and more expensive.

    Petersham is usually in rayon, woven on the bias, and is shapeable/moldable to gentle curves with a hot steam iron. Ribbon trim is poly, straight-grain, scratchy. Petersham is used to firm up hatbands and waistbands.

  8. Loooovveee your bday dress!
    And your brilliance doesn't surprise me cuz... you're a cancer sooo lol ;-)

  9. I'm sorry the colorblocking didn't work out on the skirt, but it is amazing that you went for it! Your birthday dress is BEAUTIFUL!!! Happy belated birthday!

  10. It's the color blocking. I made a b/w dress with the center white and ick! Can you dye the white black?

  11. Happy belated birthday.
    SOrry your skirt didn't work, after you put so much work into it..[That is so frustrating.] But.....
    Your dress makes up for it.It is beautiful..Lvoe/love it.
    HAPPY sewing.

  12. Sorry you are not happy with the skirt but the dress is fabulous! And thank you for sharing the construction details of that Loft skirt. I think using grosgrain ribbon is a great way to stabilize with a minimum of bulk and it looks great on you too!

  13. I just had to laugh when I read this: "I can see this becoming a wardrobe fave; even though it's bright and colorful." For me that skirt is a very subdued coloring :-) I'm just the opposite of you in that I go for the crazy bright colors and really have a hard time convincing myself to try neutrals or even solids. I want to make my Ginger Jeans in a floral stretch sateen :-) That dress is fantastic; I might have to try that pattern for myself.

  14. The skirt yoke is too long on you - if you ever try that pattern again, you'll definitely need to shorten it. Funnily enough, you put that pattern on my radar. I'm tall with an lightly curved hip, and it might work for me.

    Love that green knit fabric!

  15. Your dress is gorgeous and looks amazing on you. Sorry the colorblocking didn't work. I wonder if you could re-size the skirt for your daughter?

  16. I think the color blocking is just too strong in that skirt; perhaps more muted, similar colors would work better; however, your birthday dress is amazing!! Love it!

  17. I really like the pleated skirt on you (with you holding it in the back). However, I understand if you're not comfortable with it. I think your dress is just too cute on you too! Happy belated birthday!


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