Tuesday, 16 June 2009

New Look 6588: The Birthday Dress

So here, finally, is the review of my birthday dress…

My original plan was to use Vogue 2978 but on reflection I decided this dress would not be the best choice for me because:
  • I think the gathered neckline would make my full-ish bust look lumpy,
  • The puffy sleeves could be a little ‘young’,
  • Raglan sleeves are not always the best choice for narrow shoulders,
  • The low armholes would do nothing for my short torso, and last but not least
  • Since my waist is a full inch higher on my left than my right (thanks to my sciatica) putting an elastic band around this part of my body would only highlight my lopsidedness.
After careful consideration I decided to go with New Look 6588 (which seems to be OOP now) instead as I didn’t have time to stuff around getting a muslin right.

My colour choices were chocolate brown, rich purple or navy blue. Navy was the only colour I could find in the shop so that’s what I chose! I knew it would be really cold on the night so I would have to layer up. This was always going to involve a long-sleeved black tee and black opaque tights. That’s why I chose to make the slip in black rather than matching it to the dress, I figured that one consistent colour in the under-layer would look better than having a navy slip.

You've already seen it on me so here it is on the dummy.

Pattern Description:
Dress with flutter sleeves and elasticated empire waist with bias cut slip.

Pattern Sizing:
8-18. I cut a 12 tapering to a 14 on the hip.

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?
Yes except for the change I made to the elastic placement.

Were the instructions easy to follow?
Yes, they were pretty clear, I'd rate this a fairly straightforward pattern, the difficulty would lie in making it in a temperamental fabric.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
The slip was a complete freakin nightmare to make! It doesn’t fit very nicely on the bust and the pleats are quite bulky for an under-layer.
Mostly the fabric was just terrible to sew. I’ve worked in bridal and had a fair amount of experience with silk satin but this one has such a tight weave it repelled the needle. I tried a couple of size 60 microtex, which snapped from overwork, but the size 80 microtex made a terrible noise as it punctured the fabric (and no, I didn’t have any 70s on hand to try). In the end I finished the lower edge of the bodice (where it joins to the skirt) with zig zag instead of trying to bind it and I finished the bottom edge with an overlocked rolled hem.

I made French seams on the sides. When I tried it on at first it looked like a sack, so I took in the side seams, forgetting in my haste that it would get shorter so it is a smidge shorter than I would like. That will teach me to make things in a hurry I suppose.

If I wear the dress again I’ll definitely make a new slip and probably not from this pattern (or fabric).

The dress was a dream to make in comparison. It went together easily, fit nicely (mind you there isn’t much fitting involved) and looks great (imho). I used very fine French seams throughout (about 3mm) except the armhole seam which I zig zagged and trimmed back, rather than bind and topstitch as in the pattern instructions. I hemmed the bottom with a straight stitched rolled hem.
Fabric Used:
The fabrics were silk chiffon for the dress and silk satin for the slip.

Pattern Alterations or any design changes you made:
The only alterations I made were on the dress:

  • I used the selvedge instead of hemming the straight opening at the top of the flutter sleeve,
  • I took 3cm out from the back neck, tapering to nothing at the bottom of the bodice seam, and
  • I used the elastic guide from the vogue pattern to space out the rows of elastic and bring the lowest row down to the bottom of my rib cage (the lowest point before I go wonky).

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?

I would actually. The style lends itself to a range of fabrics and occasions. In a print it might be okay for work in the summer.


So what do you think? It’s a bit different for me, not really being the floaty type but I like it.

Here is my fella helping with the photo shoot.


kbenco said...

The dress is gorgeous. I am sure you looked lovely for your night out.

I am sorry to say though, that I do not think it suits your fella, even with your dress form helping him with his figure :)). Maybe blue is not his colour?

Meg said...

the silk chiffon dress is gorgeous, the colour is devine.

Spicks and specks tonight, our whole family loves this show too.

Tany said...

I think the dress looks wonderful!