Sunday, 12 September 2021

New Look 6594 completed

Well, that went better than expected. Way back when I was cutting this dress out, I was resigned to the end result being a semi-wearable toile, for at-home use only. In fact, I've got a wearable dress that I'm very happy with. (Admittedly, I'm not too happy with the photos, but the weather has been dismal here today - hence the washed-out look.)

Done at last!

Not that it was Happy Ever After once the cutting out was complete. The front sections didn't pattern match, probably because one of them was cut close to the selvedge, where the fabric had less stretch than the centre part. (I did take a photo, but then accidentally deleted it while writing this post - typical of the entire project!) Fortunately, I had enough spare fabric to cut a replacement, and made sure that the pattern would match all the way up before I took scissors to cloth .

I finished the sleeves with a narrow hand-sewn hem, to keep them as drapey as possible. Because the fabric frayed a bit, I actually did most of this before setting the sleeves in.

The completed view C sleeve

As ever, I hand-picked the zip. I find that this works particularly well for side zips, as it makes it easier to accommodate all the curves involved. I know that some reviewers of the pattern disliked the side zip but I had no problem with it, probably because I am used to them from using so many vintage patterns. I used a zip 5cm/2" longer than was recommended, because I already had one of that length and the right colour in my stash, and this makes the dress very easy to get on and off.

It's not immediately obvious from the illustration, but there is a deep pleat on the left side of the skirt front. The instructions are to sew this closed for part of the seam, but I left it open from the waistband.

Trying to show the pleat on the left

I'm not sure if the pleat is actually necessary - the skirt is quite full even without it - but by leaving it open the skirt does not bunch across your lap when you sit down.


It turns out that I could have made waist tighter, and I did consider adjusting the side seams to do so, but decided that a snugger waist would emphasize my hips more than I wanted.

I went for a mid-calf length, as anything shorter looked a bit shrunk-in-the-wash. I then allowed a 4cm/1½" hem, to add a bit of weight, so was glad that I'd made my skirt pieces longer than view C of the pattern. Even though it's a modern pattern, it has a distinctly retro look, and I'll certainly be using it again. In fact, it's sufficiently retro for me to consider it my first contribution to #sewvintageseptember.

It's also another length of fabric out of the stash, and therefore another win on the #fabrichoardchallenge . . .

Getting closer to stash-neutral

. . . and another of my UseNine2021 fabrics used (although given that it's only the second one, and it's now September, I need to get a move on with the others!).

Less than a third complete - action is needed

The completed dress has a few odd pulls, and slight asymmetry in places, due to the way I had to cut out the badly-printed fabric, but overall it turned out surprisingly well for a project which initially seemed to have 'disaster' written through it like a stick of rock. And for extra amusement, I decided that my fabric choice and shoes allowed me for once to #poselikethepatternmodel!

It had to be done!


  1. Very pretty and I like all the oopseys along the way because that's what makes it interesting.

    1. Thank you. I do sometimes worry that this blog is at times a litany of my dressmaking problems but equally, I dislike the type of online culture where everything is 100% effortlessly successful, 100% of the time. If nothing else, it must be very dispiriting for beginners to think that they are the only ones having problems.

  2. It looks really great! The fit is quite superb, the style is very flattering, and I think the photos you took are lovely. Well done!!

    1. Thank you! And thanks again for the encouragement when I was muttering about the effort of adjusting the pattern to fit. It was worth the effort, as I'll definitely be using this pattern again.

  3. I like your length so much more than the model! Somehow, she looks like a naughty nurse, while the longer version reminds me of an elegant 1930's lady.

    1. Thank you. I find most New Look patterns a bit short for me, but the style of this one in particular really seemed to suit a longer length.