Tag Archives: New Look 6000

what was going to be and what was

It ended up looking a bit like this but not really, mostly because I was wearing it 🙂

This is what it was going to be. I love the pattern and the range of style options. It’s elegant enough for a wedding but not intimidatingly difficult. However, tracing and cutting required more space than I presently have or can create. This is what it ended up being. I’ve made it at least twice before, all the pattern pieces were already cut out and it is indeed an easy sew. It is, however, a 1980’s pattern, which means quite loose-fitting. Perfect. I wanted something more fitted. I measured carefully and reread the instructions, as well as measuring an RTW dress I use for work to ensure that the finished measurements wouldn’t be indecently tight. It worked out well. Both Dr B and YoungB were surprised by how nice the finished article was. (Don’t you just love their confidence in my ability?!)

My wonderful, expensive fabric behaved beautifully and sewed up a treat. Except, sadly, when I was sewing on the right side of the fabric (eg, to make the neckband or hem, or doing any topstitching). Then, no matter what I adjusted, there were skipped stitches. I tweaked all sorts of things, to no avail. Finally with time running away from me, the light fading, my neck aching (from bending over all that unpicking) and my patience fraying ever so slightly, I decided that I’d simply use a smaller stitch length, sew slowly and steadily and accept whatever I got at the end of that process. It didn’t do away with the skipped stitches, but it did minimise their number. And I accepted that result. (You’d have to look closely to notice the skipped stitches.)

I made version 1, including the long sleeves because, you know, cool afternoons  and evenings up in the HIlls, winter on its way and all of that. And, as I said, my end result was, as intended, a great deal more fitted than the envelope photo would suggest.

I changed the neckline entirely. I have interfacing somewhere, but since tidying my sewing room I’m no longer certain of its whereabouts. Therefore, I decided to do something whose construction was akin to that of a t-shirt collar, but I made it with a slight twist. I let the dress hang for a couple of nights before I finally hemmed it. Dr B measured it for me, and estimated I’d need to remove 5 inches. That sounded like rather a lot! I shortened it by 4 inches and turned up a half-inch hem. That gave me a flattering, just-below-knee hemline. Funnily enough, I don’t recall shortening it last time, and I haven’t marked the pattern to indicate that I did. But I haven’t got any taller in the intervening 33-odd years.

Rather than leave it languishing in the wardrobe simply because the neckline could use adjusting, I’ve worn it on Board meeting days.

Also, partly because I have T. Rex arms, I had to chop off some of the sleeve length. I hadn’t made the long sleeved version before, but I ought to have remembered the 1980’s penchant for Very Long Sleeves and taken heed from the pushed-up sleeves in the photo. No harm done and the dress finished in ample time (honestly, I reckon I was done with the last of the threads by mid-morning on the day of the late-afternoon wedding). We ended up being a party in blue because Dr B and YoungB both elected to wear blue shirts. It wasn’t done intentionally to match my dress, merely serendipity.

Serendipity had us all in blue, just like half the wedding party.

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Posted by on May 14, 2017 in Sewing


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not quite what I was aiming for!

Sturdy shopping bag but not a dress

Sturdy shopping bag but not a dress

When Middle Aunt invited me to join her and a friend for High Tea there was really only one question: what shall I wear? I knew there was nothing truly suitable in my wardrobe. There never is! And while it is the case that I sometimes get by with what I have, I thought this called for something a little more creative, a little more inventive, a little more – handsewn? Yes, that’s it. Well, handmade, anyway. I didn’t really think I’d end up getting out the thimble and fine crewels. My intention was always to use my sewing machine.

My intention was also to destash. I’m at the part of life where you don’t want to keep accumulating things because someone else is going to have to deal with them after you’re gone; and I speak from experience when I say that that’s really unfair. Although I’ve been eyeing off New Look 6000 and had actually purchased the pattern, I knew that for me it wouldn’t be a quick make and I probably didn’t have anything in stash that would do it justice. I’ve been sewing up totes and purses these last few weeks. Time was slipping by and, a couple of days ago, the need for some work on the dress – indeed, a finished dress – had reached red alert. What to do?

Raid the wardrobe, of course! You didn’t think I was going to be able to pull a rabbit out of a hat – or a dress out of the sewing room – at THAT short notice, did you?! Luckily, I was able to find something appropriate enough that fitted and looked presentable, which was the main thing. I might even have worn a skirt, but that the elastic on the one I picked out decided that enough was enough and it sort of fell apart in my hands. Oops. Yeah, damn, that was that plan scuppered. I will fix the elastic, of course, because I like the outfit and value having a dressy, lightweight skirt for summer; but it will take dedication and more than just a few minutes because I have to figure out how I’m going to manage it.

Somewhat as an aside, I explain that Middle Aunt and Uncle have a few chooks, who lay a significant number of eggs. Accordingly, we save our egg cartons and occasionally an exchange takes place. Although I wasn’t able to show off a dress I’d made, I did take a pile of egg cartons I’d saved so that Middle Aunt could take them home. And I put them in one of the totes I’d made from that leftover furnishing fabric I was given such a long, long time ago. There’s not enough of any of it to make large items, but it makes fine, sturdy shopping bags. French seamed and all, for extra sturdiness and because the linen frays like you wouldn’t believe (principally, I think, because the samples aren’t cut as plumb as they might be and, in order to get the maximum bang for buck, I’ve cut with sides aligned rather than grain aligned). The dozen or so egg cartons fitted beautifully.

Carrying a lot of egg cartons

Carrying a lot of egg cartons

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Posted by on September 5, 2013 in Sewing


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