Sunday, 5 September 2021

New Look 6594 - midriff section

I'm giving this topic its own blog post, rather than including it in a longer post about making the dress, in the hope that it will be easier to find for anyone else struggling with the pattern. Only one of the online reviews I could find for New Look 6594 mentioned having trouble with this section, and that was written by a self-confessed beginner. My guess is that all the other reviewers were, like me, experienced dressmakers and so, like me, had known what to do without reading the instructions. But when I did look at the instruction sheet, it seemed to me that part of the instructions for attaching the midriff sections to the bodice isn't very clear, and the illustration doesn't provide much help. I'm not surprised a beginner found it confusing.

There are two, identical, midriff sections for the dress, and these are the instructions for attaching them to the bodice.

New Look 6594 instuctions, steps 12 and 13

Step 12 states to pin one midriff section to the outside of the bodice, pull up the bodice gathering to fit, and then baste the two together. The two pieces should be pinned right sides together.

My dress, with step 12 completed

Step 13 is to pin the midriff facing to the midriff, right sides together, with the bodice in between the two midriff sections, and sew the three pieces together. However, you really have to look closely at the illustration to see both midriff sections in it, and it probably helps if you know what you're looking for.

The midriff facing is only just visible

At first glance, the illustration just looks like the same part of the dress as shown in step 12, shown right way out instead of inside out.

This is what the step 13 illustration looks like to me

My explanation of step 13 would be to lay the right side of the midriff facing onto the wrong side of the bodice pin the three layers together matching centres and notches, and stitch. I also think it would be better if the illustration of step 13 showed the wrong side of the bodice, not the right side, to make it clearer what step 13 achieves. I have tried to show it in the photograph below. Unfortunately, the right and wrong sides of my fabric are quite similar, so I have labelled each part.

What step 13 actually looks like, when pinned together

I always find it far easier to follow instructions if they include a picture of the end result, so I can see what I'm aiming for (especially useful when I'm trying to follow a recipe!). So, for anyone whose mind works the same way as mine, here are pictures of the completed bodice and midriff, from the outside and the inside. (Note: I only thought to take these photos after I had attached the sleeves - I use the commercial construction method of attaching the sleeves first, and then sewing the sleeve and side seams in a single step.)

Completed bodice and midriff - the outside

Completed bodice and midriff - the inside

I hope this is helpful to anyone puzzling over the pattern instructions. As ever, if you need any more information, please add a comment below and I will do my best to help.

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