Friday, July 22, 2016

New Look 6843 Skirt with Exposed Side Zipper

There are times when I purchase fabric with only a general idea of what pattern I will use.  That was the case with this skirt. I found this amazing piece of fabric a few years ago at SR Harris (my favorite local fabric shop).  I only purchased one yard planning to sew a pencil skirt.  I switched to an a-line when I decided to play around with adding an exposed zipper along the side seam.
This pattern is New Look 6843.  It's one of those basic skirt patterns that you could sew dozens of times and each would look different depending on the fabric and design elements chosen.
It was simple to change the back zip to an exposed separating side zip.
  • Determine the finished length of the skirt and purchase a zipper accordingly.  I used a 20" separating metal zipper that I had in my sewing supplies.
  • Cut both the front and back on the fold of the fabric, eliminating the back seam and back zipper.
  • Add a strip of interfacing along the left side seams before finishing the raw edges. 
  • Turn and press the left side seam 5/8" (the seam allowance) to the wrong side. 
  • Separate the zipper; place one side of the zipper right side up on the right side of the fabric aligning the zipper teeth just past the folded edge of the side seam; pin; using a zipper foot, stitch in place close to the zipper teeth; stitch again near the outer edge of the zipper tape.
  • Place the other side of the zipper right side up on the opposite side seam making sure the top edges of the zipper and skirt match; pin; using a zipper foot, stitch in place close to the zipper teeth; stitch again near the outer edge of the zipper tape. 
Simply finish sewing the skirt as per the instructions: stitch the darts, right side seam, add the waistband, and hem.
I added the zipper so it opened from the bottom of the skirt. It can be worn slightly unzipped for a side slit look or with the zipper closed all the way to the hem. The zipper stop falls lower than the hemline. The top edge of the zipper is turned to the wrong side when the skirt is hemmed. 
This skirt was cut and in my "to sew" pile for about six months. By the time I got around to sewing it I had misplaced the fabric waistband and the fabric scraps were long gone.  That's how the faux leather waistband came to be. 
Somehow I stitched the width of the waistband a wee bit off near the zipper opening. I wasn't sure how the faux leather would hold up if I kept restitching and trimming so I let it be.  If I was going to do this again, I might hide the bottom edge of the zipper in the seam line and have the zipper opening go all the way to the top edge of the waistband.
I sewed the skirt more than a year ago and was quite pleased with it, but have since gained enough weight that it is currently too small. At the moment, It is packed away in the hopes I'll fit into it again by the winter season when I can pair with a sweater, tights and boots. 


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  1. It's so cute and what a fun twist adding the zipper at the side seam. I love it!

  2. I'm sorry you can't wear it now but hopefully you will again cause it is so cute!

  3. So well thought out! Love the zipper and waistband.....very good girl!

  4. So simple, yet so effective. I do hope that you're able to wear this wonderful skirt!

  5. It looks terific! One thing I admire is the creative solution to the missing bit - haha.
    You are a great inspiration Sharon!



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