I’ve been on a bit of a sewing kick recently so when the weather was shocking last Sunday I obviously took that to mean I had a whole day to lock myself in my craft room. I had picked up the most recent Sew magazine a couple of days before and the pattern that came with it seemed like the perfect project for a lazy Sunday. New Look K6145 is a semi-fitted shift dress with darts in the sides and an option to add a collar. I chose to sew version A with pleated sleeves and no collar.
Do I look a bit like a catholic school girl? Possibly. Do I care? Absolutely not.
I used some Blackwatch tartan fabric from Fabric Bazaar which was originally destined to be an Archer shirt but I chickened out from making it at the last minute. I have to say that it did fray like a mother so I pinked everything and used the overlocking stitch on my machine to finish off the seams. It’s not the prettiest finish on the inside but no one else can see it! I’m now thankful to have found something to do with this fabric as I really love it… Stash-busting at it’s finest.
This dress really was a pleasure to make – it didn’t require too much brain power although it does have some interesting features like the pleated sleeves and vent at the back. I was in-between sizes so I made the larger to accommodate my ample chest. Then I increased the depth of the back darts and tapered in the seams on the side for a better fit.
I can’t quite tell if these sleeves are totally flattering on me but I did get a compliment when I wore it to work the other day and I got to reply with the oh-so satisfying ‘Oh this? I just threw it together at the weekend.’ I did extend the length of the sleeves by 1.5 inches when I was cutting out which worked out very well. They were actually really fun to put together with pleats and gathering, and they were a doddle to set in.
The vent at the back was also fun to try, although I think I mixed up a step at the end and fudged the final result. I think it looks about right though and that’s good enough for me!
Now my favourite part – the pattern matching! I usually never bother trying to pattern match as my brain just can’t cope with it when I hate cutting at the best of times. I knew I had to give it the old college try this time though as the check is very prominent. I took special care to line up my fabric and low-and-behold we have the pattern going straight down the centre bodice! Not only that but it’s also matching across the back!
Can we just take a minute to talk about this invisible zip, because this is the most invisible zip that I’ve ever inserted – and on the first go too! Proud as punch, lads.
So I’m obviously very pleased with myself right now and my sewing confidence has swelled. If I was to make this pattern again I might raise the bust darts a bit as they fall at a bit of an awkward point, although they are quite low on the pattern envelope too. I would also use bias on the neckline hem instead of just turning it under. The pattern does suggest using a facing on the neckline but I really don’t like them so I thought I would cheat a bit. Unfortunately I think I stretched out the fabric a bit by doing this (which you can see in some of the photos above) and the neckline is a bit gapey, but it’s only noticeable when I have my hair up which is very infrequently.