I finally made my first dress!

14 Apr

Having bought my sewing machine around five years ago, I’ve finally made my first dress! :-)

I got this lovely red cotton, with lots of tiny white stars, from Goldhawk Road. I knew I wanted to use it for a red skirt on a dress, with a black top. So, when I saw New Look 6431 I thought view B could be just right for letting the black and red balance each other out. I think it widths well!

I wasn’t expecting it to be easy, but it was even more of a challenge than I had been expecting!

The neckline pleats and interfacing proved trickier than I thought they would be, logistically, but they turned out quite nicely.

Getting the neckline interfacing done was a bit tricky, and I did it wrong a couple of times, but eventually I followed the guide at Tilly and the Buttons and I was really happy when it eventually worked and sits flat.

Then I had to deal with the armhole bias binding – I had no idea what I was doing and the pattern was confusing, as I mentioned in my previous post and seesawyer helped me out by commenting with the answer! For the future I found this tutorial with pictures.

Attaching the skirt was easy peasy, so no problems there! Hemming it at the end was also fine, except at that point suddenly my machine decided that it needed a higher tension – I had been using 3.5 all throughout, but now it needed 6…

Adding the zip was pretty difficult! I was worried as soon as I saw that the pattern needed a normal, not an invisible, zip. The guide by Nancy Zieman guide was super helpful. Nonetheless, I had a couple of problems – first my lap wasn’t wide enough to cover the zipper pull at the top. Then, the LHS of the dress/top was longer, so it went about 3/8″ longer than the RHS, so I had to try and shorten that before attaching the hook. I think this will be something for me to work on more in future – hopefully it gets easier with practice!

Overall, I am happy but will have to sort out some sizing issues before it is wearable. You can see here that the top is far too large in the back, and it is also too large in the waist (my waist-hip ratio is high, so I find tops have to be well-fitted for an overall outfit to be flattering). I chose a size 16 top, with a size 18 skirt, but I think that maybe I should have chosen a smaller size top and did a full bust adjustment (I guess patterns aren’t made for an E as standard!).

Next time I will definitely look at doing an FBA, but for now, I want to work out how to sort out this one so the top is slightly more flattering – then I can actually wear it out :)

I really enjoyed doing this – it was hard at times, especially when my sewing machine broke for a couple of months, but I am so keen to work out the FBA for future dresses, hopefully I can get a really nice fit eventually!


8 Responses to “I finally made my first dress!”

  1. craftysurf 15/04/2018 at 17:18 #

    Nice! 👌

    • Creative Saturdays 15/04/2018 at 17:34 #

      Thank you! I really enjoyed it so I don’t even mind that I might not wear it :-)

  2. Loganstitches 22/04/2018 at 16:16 #

    Your dress looks great. The curvy sewing collective has great resources for fbas. http://curvysewingcollective.com/the-beginners-guide-full-bust-adjustment/

  3. imsewjamaican 27/04/2018 at 21:17 #

    cool post, my first dress i ever made had princess seams which was quite challenging. Did you adjust the pattern beforehand? that may have helped with the sizing issues? never the less great job!!!

    • Creative Saturdays 29/04/2018 at 12:06 #

      Eek that does sound tough! I struggle with darts so find princess seams a scary idea. Other than the grading between the two different sizes I didn’t change it at all – lesson learned, I’ll try an fba next time I cut into fabric!


  1. I acquired lots of patterns in 2018… In 2019 I’ll try to actually use them! | Creative Saturdays - 05/01/2019

    […] Dress – New Look 6431: I made this but it was far too large. I tried to make a toile of the torso but it wasn’t quite right so I […]

  2. Starting my 2019 “Make Nine” | Creative Saturdays - 17/02/2019

    […] had mixed results – the basic stretch cotton worked well on my New Look 6495, but I think the New Look 6431 needed a fabric with much more drape. The pattern calls for “medium weight knits and […]

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