Friday, October 12, 2012

New Look 6095 -- Shift Dress

This pattern, from New Look 6095, was chosen by my daughter.  It looked very easy, and she found the fabric she wanted, a missoni-style knit stripe, at Joann Fabrics.  She liked the dress featured on the front as well as the giant tote bag, which is still on our to-make list.  But after I got the pattern home and looked at it more carefully, I saw that it was for a woven fabric, and not for a knit like we had assumed.

That made me a little uncomfortable as to how it might turn out.  Sewing for your daughter is already fraught with danger.  It's very difficult to exactly match those exacting expectations, especially when you are just an average seamstress like me.  I didn't want the cards stacked against me before they were even dealt.  But there was no changing her mind about the fabric.  I did know that it was a bad idea to use woven fabric with a pattern drafted for a knit, but sometimes you can go the other way with acceptable results.

So.....I tissue-fit the pattern (pinned the pattern to her to see any corrections I might make at this point).  I used the size 10 but took 1/4 inch out of the front and back width.  I checked the darts to make sure they were in the right location (they were), and I checked the length (even though she wanted the dress to be short, my daughter is 5'10" so I added some to the length just to be on the safe side).

I lined up the stripes by lining up the BOTTOM of the skirt pieces before cutting them out.  This was because if I had lined up the TOP, the darts would have messed it up.  Lining it up from the bottom kept the unmatched portions up under the arms where they won't be as noticeable.
Since I was using a knit, I left off all facings and using my iron-on knit tape folded the edges under and stitched.  I left off the back zipper and stitched the center back seam up because it was easy to get on and off. (I did a better job matching the center back seam.)
Thankfully, the dress turned out cute as a button, although more credit goes to the lovely wearer than to my dressmaking skills. 


  1. Angela what a wonderful dress! Your daughter looks stunning in it and you have done an absolutely amazing job - not at all easy to match the pattern in a knit fabric and when the pattern is striped, it's even harder. if you are an average seamstress there is no hope for the rest of us! A seriously talented seamstress is more like it! As you know I am afraid of knits but you make them seem so easy! The print works beautifully with the shape of the dress - I can see why your daughter chose it and having chosen didn't want to give it up! E x

  2. That's a very cute dress, and you did a great job matching seams. Your daughter looks nice in it.

  3. Oh I am laughing, my mother hated to sew for me, so I had to do it myself, she said I always picked the hardest patterns....usually a Vogue! This is great and looks good on her...she truly is becoming a young lady...and you both are having so much fun, a little different than my years with mine, all spent on the basketball court. LOL

    cute cute!

  4. Wow! Little Emma is all grown up! You've become quite the seamstress, haven't you? Good job on the knit, the stripes, leaving out the zipper, etc. I gave up sewing for my girls around twelve years old. They were just too picky and I could never get it to their satisfaction. PLUS our tastes are totally opposite. I applaud you for persevering.

  5. Love the dress, love the post (especially "fraught with danger"-hilarious!).
    a. w.


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