Sunday, April 13, 2014

New Look 6261 Sheath Dress

My New Look 6261 sheath dress is done! I wore it yesterday and went out with my daughter who chose to wear similar dress by accident. 

New Look 6261 on me (left) and RTW knit dress on my mini-me (right)

Side and back view:

New Look 6261 Side

New Look 6261 Back

Pattern: New Look 6261 View B with Sleeve C in Size 8

I shortened bodice by 1 1/4", skirt by 1", narrowed back by 3/4 ~ 1". These are my usual adjustment, and as a result, back and skirt fits well.


My fundamental mistake on this project was that I did not make a muslin. (Does that sound familiar?)

The neckline gaped so much that it looked like an ill-fitting armor... I ended up pinching excess fabric out on the wrong side and sewed it. 

In addition, there are pleats formed at waist darts. I took the most laziest approach and just let those pleats be pleats. Haha. With the center pleat running down, these pleats may look like a part of the design... no? 

Another thing to note is that horizontal design would not match above bust darts. 

Lingerie Guard:

Although the instruction does not call for, I wanted to add lingerie guard to this dress. I have never made it before, so first I observed RTW. The photo below is a lingerie guard of my Elie Tahari dress:

You need snaps and thread loops to replicate this. I came across this wonderful post at Sarai demonstrates how to make thread loops by machine.

Coletterie   Tutorial: Making Thread Belt Loops with Nancy Zieman  

Using zigzag stitch to make thread loops seemed to be a brilliant idea. I gave it a try. To be honest, it was a little tricky to zigzag over six strands of thread. Here I used three strands instead and it still worked.

You will need large-eyed needle to work with this thread loop.

Here is my first me-made lingerie guard.

Conclusion: Despite some fitting issues, I love this dress. This stretch cotton fabric was great quality and very easy to work with. I have gotten many compliments yesterday including one by a total stranger - this probably means that those pleats did look like a part of the design! Of course flaws are less noticeable in this busy print. Just one more reason to love printed fabric!

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Hong Kong Finish Experiment

I have been working on this fabric:

That is Carolina Herrera Cotton Stretch Twill purchased from Emma One Sock few seasons ago. When I bought it, the dress made of this fabric was still available in stores:

Carolina Herrera Short Sleeve Marble Print Dress
Photo courtesy of Bergdorf Goodman

The fabric has just the right amount of stretch - perfect for body-hugging style.

I decided to make a sheath dress. 

The difference between the CH dress and NL6261 is that CH has panel front whereas NL is shaped by darts.  


I do not know what kind of bug had bitten me, but I am in love with Hong Kong Finish! I decided to use it to finish all the visible seam allowance (=SA).

Things went great until I got this 'huh?' moment...

What should I do when the seams are not straight?

I know that for hip curve, I should ease-stitch SA and shrink it before sewing bias tape to it... but what about waist curve where SA is clipped?

Ease-stitch on the edge of SA

I searched online but to no avail... Does that mean Hong Kong finish is not an appropriate method to finish clipped SA?

Let's see....

Clipped SA

Pin bias tape to clipped SA and stitch along fold line

Press the seam open, enclose the edge, and stitch in the ditch - Now SA lie flat

You can see the clippings between seam and bias tape. I have to say it is not the most elegant SA, but at least it will not ravel.


The dress is almost done! I only need to add lingerie guards.

I will post the finished dress next time.

Until then, happy sewing everyone!

Sunday, March 16, 2014

More on McCall's 6506 Shirtdress

I had a lovely lunch with my friend yesterday and she took this photo of me. It was meant to be posted on FB to show how happy I was to receive a signed picture of my favorite soccer player, but I thought I should post it here as well. Although it is not front/back photo, it still may help some readers to visualize how the dress looks on a petite figure. I am 5'2/157cm and wear US size petite 0/XS. I cut pattern size 8 and shortened A/B cup bodice at 'for petite shorten here' line.

Some random thoughts after wearing McCall's 6506 shirtdress:

The dress is comfortable to wear even though the fabric has no stretch to it. If you have a thick back, I recommend that you make a muslin to test.

Waist is marked on the skirt pattern. This means that the belt is supposed to be slightly above waist, but mine sits at waist. I probably should have shortened bodice additional 1/2 inch or so. However, I think tying the belt at waist is more comfortable than doing so at above waist.

The waist darts are supposed to be folded outside. I folded inside because I did not care for outside darts. This change did not affect the fit at all.

Skirt hits at knee. If any shorter this print may look a bit childish for 40-something woman. I may shorten the skirt if I use more mature fabric.

On pattern envelope the collar looks too big for my taste. I cut off its long edge about an inch. Even after that I still feel the collar is big and dress looks little too 70's. Now I see why. I had to alter the shape of the collar, not just trimming around the long edge. I like this collar on Oscar de la Renta:

Photo courtesy of
Oscar de la Renta Lace Print Shirtdress

Be warned: The skirt is easily blown up by the wind!

Overall, I like this pattern. It is great addition to casual daytime wardrobe.

Until next time, happy sewing everyone!