Saturday, February 19, 2011

New Year....New Look...!

I have been contemplating this for a long time; posting something I made online. It's quite daunting, as I just don't know what to expect. I suppose I'll only find out once I do it! I'm supposed to be keeping up on the whole blog-maintenance thing, so maybe some pictures will brighten it up...!
I made this dress using New Look pattern 6699, which I got on sale in Dublin.

When I got it, I thought I'd like to make the "M" skirt (the wider, flowy one), but I ended up hanging onto the pattern for a while and coming back to it. There is an option for a lace overlay dress, and since I'd never made anything with lace before, I decided I'd like to try it. Unfortunately, they warn you that the lace only works in the narrow skirt, so that's why I made the slimmer skirt. I used a very plain white cotton, and a lilac lace for the overlay. Both of these were on sale in the Woollen Mills in Dublin, I spent €5 on material overall, and still have lots left. I chose the G+J+N combination with, obviously, the lace overlay.

I was quite pleased with how it turned out. This is the second dress I've ever made from a pattern, and was good fun to put together. The instructions in the pattern were very simple to follow, once I could keep track of the combinations.

There are alot of things I like about the dress, and the only things I don't like about it are small things. One being that I don't wear dresses in this style normally, I'd usually have a much looser skirt, but that's my own personal preference and I knew what i was making, so I wasn't too disappointed with it. Also, I had trouble with the zip when I was putting it in, but again, this is down to my lack of experience and knowledge rather than a flaw in the pattern. My zip went kind of bumpy and I had to take it out and re-insert it about three times. It was only in the bottom half of the zip though, the top fit perfectly, I just kept taking the dress in a little more each time i re-inserted the zip. eventually, I got to the stage where I was happy enough with it, so I stopped messing around.

I managed to even get the lining in, which was a pleasant surprise! :) I was really pleased with that, since my last attempt at a dress also had a lining, that didn't go so well! Being a novice, everything I make is a learning curve; one I'm thoroughly enjoying. I find myself Googling certain techniques to learn how to apply them. I don't think I would make this pattern again, only because I have learned all I can from it, and I like to move on and do other things, trying to better my skill. That said, I would certainly recommend it. It's a very simple pattern which yields great results, even for complete beginners.

Onto the next pattern....! :)


  1. Looks great for a second dress! Zippers can be tricky, did you put in an invisible zipper or a regular? did you put it in in the flat ie early in the construction phase? It can be good, if the fabric is lightweight or thin, to interface the zipper opening with two narrow strips of interfacing (slightly wider than the seam allowances. I noticed your lining it showing in the close-up of the neckline. Did you understitch it? That said, I have this work dress and the lining just will not stay hidden, no matter what I do, understitching and beyond. Very annoying!!! I'm happy to "meet" a new blogger, new sewist and new PR member. Welcome and happy sewing!

  2. Me again! Just want to clarify that the above is not criticism...I just can't keep my opinions and advice to myself, LOL! Hope they help you, and there are tons of great tutorials online. I'm a Google addict myself so I completely know what you mean.

  3. Hi, Lakaribane!
    Thank you for writing to me! These are my first comments, so yay! I'm quite new to the whole blogging thing. And thank you for the words of advice, all constructive criticism is greatly appreciated. The zip I used was an invisible zipper, but I put it in towards the end, because the skirt had to be attached to the midriff. Is there an earlier stage to put it in? And I hope you don't mind so many questions, but why would you interface the zipper? Is this to strengthen it or something? And no, I didn't understitch the lining, I never thought of it. I did that once before, on the first dress I did, and well, everything about the lining went wrong! To be honest, I didn't think of it for this one. I think I was just so pleased to get the lining in! I tried ironing the lining to stay down as much as I could, but it didn't really work. I think it will take me a while to notice these things. Thank you so much for your comments, they're very helpful, and much needed! :) And I'm very please to meet you too! My first "follower"!! I feel famous! :)

  4. Beautiful job! I can't believe it was only your second dress-really well done. I'm gonna try this one but have never made a dress before but in a course at the moment so hopefully it will be wearable!

  5. Hi, Stephanie! Thank you very much for your nice comments! I'm sure your dress will be gorgeous! Please let me know when you have it done, I'd love to see it. I'd love to go on a course myself, how are you finding it?

  6. Valerie, I'm so sorry, I forgot to sign up for the comments by email and so I'm only reading this now.

    Ok, the easy way to construct clothing, I find it to leave the side seams for last. I just make a dress with a midriff and I attached all 3 front pieces together (bodice + midriff+ skirt), did the same for the 3 back pieces and left the side seams. Obviously this one had a side zipper.

    If your zipper is at the back, you join the different pieces but you leave a zipper opening for a regular zipper. For invisible, you join the right side pieces then the left side pieces and then you put in the zipper and sew the bottom of the CB seam.

    Get it?

    As for understitching, it's often necessary but sometimes, like in your dress where the neckline is curved, you can't do it all the way so you just do it as far as you can reach.

    A small measure of direct physical violence is usefull in sewing, LOL!

    Here's a blogger with some good tutes you might use:

    Email me at lakaribane AT gmail DOT com if you have any more questions. I'm more than happy to help.

  7. Hi, Lakaribane! Thanks so much for getting back to me, these tips are all excellent, thank you. So, with the understitching, would you tend to understitch any time you have a lining? I'm going to keep this in mind, and do it even if the pattern doesn't call for it!
    And the zip, yes I think I get it! :) I'll refer back to this next time I put a zip in, I really want to get it to work.
    Thanks so much for your help, it really is invaluable! :)