I know this is a very simple dress, but I am pretty happy right now! I feel more ‘me’ when I’m wearing this dress!
To me that’s what makes a successful ‘make’– When you feel like you are really showing your personality/personal style in the garment and it fits your lifestyle.
Let me tell you something about my lifestyle:I live in a small apartment in Sydney Australia, I am at home a lot, and right now it is HOT. I love the heat, always have, but it really does feel like I’m living in a greenhouse, so a loose fitting cotton shift dress is just what I need!
I went shorter than I ordinarily would…because the dress is such a loose shape I felt like the short length made it more flattering/youthful.
The pattern is New Look 6225. It’s actually a top pattern, but I always planned to lengthen it into a dress (because I love love love raglan sleeves).
The fabric is a mysterious cotton bought years ago at Spotlight. There was a whole roll of it for sale (over 6 meters) for something crazy cheap like $9 for the roll. I bought that whole roll. That was an awesome day!
Things I love about this dress:
- This is the perfect dress for hot weather. It’s loose fiting and the fabric is light and breathable
- The bold ‘geometric print cotton fabric I used. I have made a dress from this fabric before, but I feel like this shift dress works much better with the print!
Things I love about this pattern:
- It’s a good pattern to showcase a bold print (because it’s such a simple style)
- Raglan sleeves. More flattering on my wide shoulders AND much easier to sew than the dreaded set-in sleeves
- No zipper/notions or buttons required! This dress slips over my head. Gotta love that!
- Quick and easy too make.
- Wide round neckline. Round necklines are a favourite of mine and suit me better, not really sure why
If you try this pattern do be aware that it has a LOT of ease. I recommend going down a size and/or sewing the seam allowances bigger (in my case 5/6mm further in)
Normally I would be apprehensive about using a ‘new look’ pattern, because the fit of ‘new look’ patterns is often very poor, but because it was intended to be a loose fitting garment I went ahead and tried it.
New Look patterns are is the king of too much ‘ease’. This is why I made a size 8 and sewed the seams allowances at 2cms, rather than the usual 1.5cms (in effect removing 5mm from the seam allowances from all the pieces).
I made view B (with the lower neckline)
I added 9cms to hem of top, in order to make it into a shift/mini-dress
I used the sleeve pieces B,C and shortened the sleeves by around 5cms
I made my own bias binding…
I used a 85cm long bias strip for the neckline. I made it much wider than the pattern suggested (so it was easier to work with).
I didn’t use bias binding on the sleeves, I just turned and stitched them like a regular hem. Truth be told I am not a massive fan of using bias binding. I love the way it looks, but it feels sloppily done when I do it. Perhaps I just need practice!
I can’t remember why I did it, but I added a seam to the center back, rather than cutting it on the fold. It may have just been a more economical use of fabric in this case (it would probably look better cut on the fold).
Seam treatment: I just overlocked them, but this kind of dress that would have been a good candidate for french seams. I’m pretty lazy when it comes to changing the colour of my overlocking thread… I overlocked the garment with white overlocking thread. Yes I am THAT lazy! Sorry.Once I am more professional perhaps I will make the insides of my garment nicer!
I am already planning more dresses using this pattern. I love the idea of doing one where the sleeves are in a contrasting fabric. Fun!