Friday, April 29, 2011

Retro in Red - New Look 6000

I don' have many dresses and had originally bought this fabric to make as a tunic to wear with leggings. However when I saw this gorgeous red dress I knew what my fabric was destined to be.

New Look 6000

It features a large collar fastened with a button, elbow length sleeves and pleats at the waist on one side. I did a FBA using Nancy Zieman's pivot and slide method and as my fabric (a cotton ponte) had plenty of stretch, I removed the back zip.
Here is my review from

Pattern Description: A retro styled dress with asymmetrical waist pleats and options for collar and sleeves

Pattern Sizing: 4-16

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? Yes - even down to the colour

Were the instructions easy to follow? Yes although it took several attempts to get the cuffs on the sleeves right. You had to follow the pictures

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? Love the retro styling and fit

Fabric Used: Red cotton ponte knit from Global Fabrics. I had ordered this fabric from the store in Christchurch and they were waiting for the gift voucher I was using to arrive in the mail. However before it arrived the store was destroyed in the Christchurch Earthquake. I saw a photo of the front of the store and the whole front wall had disappeared. Fortunately everyone got out alive and unhurt. Other people in the city weren't so lucky. The order then went to the Wellington store where unfortunately it was misplaced and it took a few phone calls to locate it. The gift voucher (and all their other mail) never turned up so I was very grateful that they sent the fabric anyway.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made: A FBA using Nancy Zieman's pivot and slide. This was the first time I had done it this way rather than FFRP but with the pleats and everything I decided that it would be far easier. I obviously haven't got it quite right as I had to make an armhole dart to remove some excess fabric and although it fits around the bust I have excess fabric at the top of the underarms. I will just have to keep my arms at my sides! I also took out the zip as I couldn't get it to sit flat in my knit fabric. The ponte has great stretch and recovery so I can squeeze in without the zip.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? I don't think I will as it is quite distinctive although I could make a collarless one for summer. I would recommend it to others though

Conclusion: A lovely stylish dress to keep me warm over autumn. It has been blowing a gale here (several places have lost roofs, trees down and the odd power-cut) so it has been lovely to make something bright and cheerful to wear. 

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Papercut Patterns Circle Top

I had this red merino sitting in my stash for a year or two. There was just over two metres and when I saw this circle top by Kiwi designer Katie Brown I knew that was what I was going to make with it. The pattern comes in a gorgeous recycled brown envelope complete with photo and hanger. It is printed on brown paper and the instructions are in a wee booklet.
The top was very easy to make, consisting of a circular piece, sleeves, cuffs and the binding. As my fabric wasn't as wide as suggested I ran into a problem cutting my cuffs out - there just wasn't any fabric left. I tried to shorten the cuffs but accidentally narrowed them instead, meaning that the stretch goes around the cuffs rather than the other way. This means that they don't quite sit right but they are fine and no one else will notice.
If I was making it again I would cut an extra strip of binding. You had to stretch the binding to apply it and I found it took as long to pin the binding on evenly as it took to sew the rest of the top. I am not sure if I like the way it slightly gathers the edges of the top but I see that is how it shows in the original pattern picture too.
In conclusion: a simple stylish top that can be worn a few different ways. I prefer it pinned across on one shoulder on me. I would love to wear it loose but I am not same size or shape as the model in the picture so it doesn't hang as nicely.