I don't look at the pattern catalogues all that often since I already own more than a lifetime's worth of sewing patterns, but when I saw this gorgeous dress made by Mushywear in blue and then by Livebird in a vibrant red I just knew I had to have this pattern. And since Spotlight was having a sale on patterns last week I took it as a sign to go and buy this pattern:
It's New Look 6000 which has many positive reviews over on pattern review and I'm certainly giving it my big tick of approval. I even stepped out of my comfort zone and sewed this with a knit fabric, albeit a ponti de roma which is such a stable knit that it sews like a woven would anyway. And here's my finished dress:
It's actually a rather straightforward pattern despite the lovely details so it didn't take too long to make, and sewing with a knit fabric certainly helped that along as the fit doesn't need to be so precise since the fabric can stretch to match the curves. I cut out a size 8 on top grading out to a size 12 in the bottom even though according to the measurements I should have used a size 18 on the bottom. This dress has 9cm (3in) of ease built into the pattern which I think is alot for a dress of this style, and since I was using a knit fabric I figured minimal ease would work. And it did, look at this side view to see how snug the fit is (with no sway back alteration at all):
Although it's not that snug under *ahem* my bottom, the wind had just started blowing which is also why the collar has flipped up at the back. It also explains the look on my face - it was cold outside without a jacket on!
The pattern doesn't instruct you to interface the collars, and I left it out because I thought that six layers of fabric at that centre front neckline (the two collars, dress and facing) would be thick enough without two layers of interfacing as well. But now I think I should have because the collar is a little floppy and I find myself adjusting it frequently, for a knit fabric like this it would have better staying power if it was reinforced.
I didn't sew on a button on the collar as per the pattern because I wanted to wear it with one of my many brooches instead, but of course today I forgot to wear one! It still looks good without button or brooch though.
The sleeve cuffs are interfaced, and they sit much better than the collar. I used some fabric covered buttons for the cuffs which I think works well with the sixties style of the dress.
The only thing I don't like about this dress is that I made it unlined as per the pattern instructions. Normally I do line all my dresses because I think it makes them more substantial and I always wear pantyhose to work so it is necessary. But I didn't have any stretch lining in the stash, and I didn't want to interfere with the stretch of the dress fabric so I left it out. I've worn it today to work with a body shaping slip underneath, but I can still feel the hem of the dress sticking to my knees and riding up a little as I walk. A lining would also eliminate the flippy floppy neckline facing too. The next version I make (and yes I am already going through the stash to find the right fabric) I will make a full lining and eliminate the facings.
But all in all I love this dress, particularly this deep purple colour - I wasn't brave enough to go red like the pattern photograph but the purple is still an eye catching colour. I particularly like the elbow length sleeves which are just perfect for winter and very flattering too.
And aren't these photos great too? I wish I could claim credit for them, but they aren't my new found skills in action but rather those of my very talented colleague Ann who took these photos outside our office for me this morning - I thought you'd all appreciate a different background to my living room for a change! That's the Hyde Park Barracks you can see behind me, a convict building built in 1819 and is now World Heritage listed (and that's history lesson for today!).