Sunday, 1 August 2021

New Look 6594 - battling on

I've not had much time for sewing this week, and what little I have had has not been a soothing experience. New Look 6594 still feels like the dress that doesn't want to be made. I took the bodice toile for a second opinion, and Mum confirmed my suspicion that the shoulder seam needed to be shortened by about ½". Very odd, given that the sleeves of New Look 6093 (which I was wearing at the time, to show Mum the finished article) are fine, and I assume that both patterns are from the same sloper. Anyway, I redrew the upper armscye, and lengthened the sleeve head to compensate.

Shoulder-fitting mysteries of New Look!

Then it was on to the dreaded skirt. I left the front as it was, but at the back I added some extra width and a second set of waist darts, to accommodate my sway back. And . . . it worked! The end result might be over-generous if I make the pattern up in a stiff cotton, but in the drapey viscose I'm using for this version, it should be fine. Another possibility would be to not sew the darts at all, but leave them as soft pleats instead. New Look patterns are always short on me (or possibly, just designed for people who wear their skirts shorter than I do), so I ended up with a skirt length somewhere between views A and C.

Going between floor length and New Look's idea of knee length

I machine-basted a spare zip into the toile, so that I could check how easily I could get the thing on and off. The zip I used was slightly longer than the one recommended on the pattern (40cm/16" instead of 35cm/14") and this definitely made things easier, and did away with the need to add a front opening.

It's been a battle to get a pattern I'm happy with, but worth the effort. I also felt much better once I discovered that I wasn't alone in my struggles; other people have come close to giving up with this design as well.

Nancy modelling toile number two

The fabric I planned to use was one of my UseNine2021 choices, and had been bought as a remnant. It turned out to be 133cm/52" wide which, along with my between-views skirt length, meant that I had to devise my own cutting layout. Not a problem, I thought, I do this all the time. Then I took a close look at the fabric.

Rude words were said

It had obviously warped during the printing process, and the horizontal element of the design is off-grain. The photograph shows one of the worst areas, but the sloping effect is not consistent across the full width of the fabric - and in one place it even briefly slopes in the opposite direction! Because it's such a drapey fabric, I decided to risk ignoring the crosswise grain, and work with the pattern instead. I cut across the full width following a line of the motifs, and laid it out on my cutting table, ready to start pinning on the pattern pieces.

More rude words were said

Those weird bubbles won't go away, no matter how much I try to smooth them down. It's some sort of manufacturing fault, and as a result it is impossible to keep the rows of the design horizontal, even across a single pattern piece. This clearly explains why it was being sold as a remnant - a case of 'buyer beware'!

Wisely or not, I've decided to carry on. I do really like the pattern, and am already thinking about versions I could make with other fabrics in my stash. So I'm treating this version as a wearable (albeit only at home) toile, and using it as a way to fully test the design, and to liberate some problematic fabric from my stash at the same time.

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