At the beginning of July I was New York bound for work. It was my second trip in as many months and I was really excited but also pretty nervous truth be told. And what do I do when I’m nervous? I fixate on my clothes.
My wardrobe, I feared, lacked that certain something. So over the last few weeks of June I set about to rectify the situation to ensure I would be properly attired: new shoes, new hand bag, new blazer (I’ve yet to find the right pattern to make my own) and of course new dresses.
I decided to go for the tried and tested New Look 6968. I think this is the first dress pattern I sewed as an adult and I’ve done countless versions over the years.
First up was version A in a beautiful chambray poka-dot print I picked up at the Knitting and Stitching show earlier this year. It’s a color I’ve found myself really drawn to this last year. And second was version B (minus the welts) out of a cotton I picked up at the Cloth House. I love how it looks like the weave of herringbone tweed but is really a lightweight cotton. I think both fabrics look really smart, yet are light weight so good for NY summer heat!
I made version A first. As I haven’t made the dress since 2014 I thought I’d recheck my measurements which are a perfect match for the size 12 on the bust and size 14 on the hips and waist. But when I pulled out the pattern I realised I’ve only ever made it in size 8 and it goes a long way in explaining why I’ve never been too happy with the fit of my last version. I must have been lazy and not checked my measurements and fit. This go-round I tried the dress on at various points along the way and all seemed well. But when all was said and done I realized that I need to use a size 10 for the upper chest and neck, and a 12 for the hips down. After a few tweaks the fit was perfect.
As the bodice has a lining I deciding to slightly change it up and not bother with the neck facing. Instead I applied some fusible interfacing to the inside around the neck of the lining. When I was sewing the right sides together at the arm hole, I went ahead and sewed the neck together too. I then pulled it inside out through the shoulders. I realized after I did this the first time, that I should have understitched the neck lining, before doing the sleeve holes.
On my second dress, version B Learned from my mistakes. I made the neckline size 10, bust and hips 12, and waist 14 – and the fit was just perfect. I also understitched the neck lining before doing the sleeve holes this time.
Both dress dresses came out really well have been sewn in five days and I felt really comfortable and ohh sew professional while wearing them to my meetings.