Sunday 18 July 2021

New Look 6093 completed - and a new venture

My fourth 6093 is finished, and looks likely to meet the fate of the dress it replaced - being worn until it's worn out! I love it. The fabric is perfect for a self-confessed fan of all things blue, and I'm very happy with the fit.

The completed dress

After leaving the facing until the very end in case I needed to adjust the neckline, I discovered that it fitted fine as it was - no need for darts at the back. Most of the extra skirt length I'd added ended up in the hem, but this didn't feel like a waste of effort as I've had to make do with tiny hems on previous versions. The biggest win, however, was the bust alteration. It was only slight, but it subtly changes the dress from 'OK but snug' to 'just right'.

Look! I can move my arms!

Taking photos gave me a reason to wear my gorgeous new hair flowers from Pin Up Curl - thanks to Ms1940McCall for the recommendation. The necklace, meanwhile, qualifies as 'vintage'; that's to say I bought it new in 1980! I remember spotting it in the window of a gift shop in the town where I grew up and saving my pocket money for several weeks, all the while anxiously hoping that it wouldn't be bought by someone else in the meantime. I've not worn it for a while, so it's nice to have a dress with the right neckline and colours to show it off.

Showing off hair flowers and necklace

Completing this dress has also neutralised the fabric purchase on the Stashometer.

Back down to a 3.8m deficit

While I was taking the photos, I remembered this article I'd read on the (now sadly ended, but still available to read) Sewcialists blog. Although pattern envelope illustrations are becoming more diverse in terms of size, skin colour and age, models are almost exclusively able-bodied, and pictured standing up. As Michelle, the author of the article points out, this means that wheelchair users who sew have to guess whether or not the pattern might work for them.

The pattern envelope for New Look 6093 is fairly standard in this respect.

Standing model, and upright line drawings

This has been the accepted mode of illustration pretty much since pattern envelopes began featuring clothed bodies rather than just completed garments. I had a trawl through my collection of vintage patterns, and even those for blouses and tops mostly feature standing figures. When people are drawn sitting, they normally appear perched on the edge of something rather than fully seated.

Almost all the seated figures on my patterns for dresses are 'perchers'

Obviously, the point of a pattern illustration is to show the completed item(s), and the clearest way of doing this is on a standing figure. Very few patterns, however, only contain one version of one garment: there are usually variations included. Where these are for necklines and/or sleeves, there doesn't seem to be any reason why they can't be shown on a second, seated figure, as on this 1940s Style example.

The only vintage pattern I own with a fully seated figure!

Which brings me on to my new venture. From now on, I'm going to include seated photographs of me wearing what I've made, as well as standing ones. I wasn't quite sure how best to go about this but fortunately Michelle explained exactly what's required. "Draped poses are not helpful at all. I need straight-on, forward-facing seated poses because when you're in a wheelchair that's what you see."

So, no to this . . .

. . . but yes to this

I'm very aware that as I rarely use currently-available patterns (even New Look 6093 is now out of print) my seated images will be of limited use to other sewists. However by including them, both on this blog and social media, along with the hashtag #SewnShownSeated, I hope that can play a tiny part in making it more normal to see self-made clothes shown off in a seated position.


  1. Such a pretty dress! (I too love blue.) It's such a great color on you.
    I also read Michelle's article, and I was delighted to see your seated photos! I must say Michelle's sewing machine controls were quite interesting. The manual/hand mode on my Pfaff frightens me when it has occasionally engaged and gone on its own merry way. (And I have my speed set at "slowmo".) Michelle's controls must be much more controllable!

    1. Thank you!
      I felt exactly the same about the sewing machine controls. Obviously it's all down to what you're used to, but I found the idea quite terrifying - especially on the overlocker!

  2. Thank you, and you're welcome! Seated poses is another of (sadly, many) things which I had just never thought about, but are glaringly obvious once pointed out.