New Look 6519: An easy travel dress

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I’m always on the look out for stylish dresses that are easy and comfortable to wear while traveling in hot weather. That’s why the simplicity of this New Look pattern caught my eye. The shape of the dress is accomplished with the addition of a simple belt.

This means the dress can be loose or fitted, depending on how tight you tie the belt so it’s perfect for hot weather. The other good news, is that there are very few complicated design details which makes sewing a breeze. Yet, there are some cool details on this dress too, like the back V.

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I often forget about New Look patterns, but I’m not sure why, because they never let me down! New Look 6519 was simple to construct – – I made it in a Saturday afternoon! Also, the top version is a stash buster…It only takes a yard and a half.

I used a soft cotton lawn for this dress (Fabric Depot) which makes it perfect for hot, muggy weather. The neck of the dress is finished with seam-binding, which is fast and easy to do. I did modify the pattern slightly, adding wide 6″ ruffles to the sleeves in a contrast fabric. I love the relaxed, easy look of a wide ruffle. To accomplish this, I just took a twelve-inch wide piece of fabric that was the length of the sleeve opening times 1.5. Then I folded it over, wrong sides together and gathered it, before inserting it into the sleeve opening.

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IMG_7330Not only is cotton lawn easy to wear, but it’s lightweight, so this dress won’t take up much space in my very small suitcase. I’m determined to take small a single small bag on this next trip, in spite of the fact that I’ll be gone for almost three weeks and I’m determined to succeed. My clothes (mostly me-mades) are cottons, rayons and linens which I hope will compress easily, and for this trip, I ordered a set of packing cubes, a concept that’s new to me. Have you ever tried them? Any tips?

It’s so odd to be sewing light weight summer clothes when the weather here in Oregon is on the cool side with plenty of rain! Fingers crossed that my next post will include outdoor photos…. Happy summer sewing, and thanks for stopping by!

 

A Cold Shoulder Tee Dress

IMG_7042Last summer, I thought the cold-shoulder trend would be a one-season wonder. Boy was I wrong! It’s everywhere this Spring, and if the trend-predictors are correct, it will be around for some time to come.  I’m glad to hear that because, honestly, I love wearing this look! To me, it makes a simple dress something special. That’s why I decided to try it for this casual, tee-shirt dress.

IMG_7057This dress is as comfortable as it looks, made from an Art Gallery cotton jersey I purchased from Fabric Depot last summer. It’s a medium weight jersey which is great for keeping the shape of the cold shoulder detail. But it’s not too heavy, allowing the gathers at the waist to really shine.

My inspiration for this make was this casually sophisticated dress from Tibi.

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I was so happy when I found a pattern that re-creates this look, Butterick 6425.

IMG_7031I love the neck-line options and the fact that you can use the pattern to create a number of looks, including a jumpsuit! I opted for the v-neck dress option but used the sleeves from option B.  The neckline and sleeve openings are simply finished with a 5/8 inch hem. Usually, I prefer a binding or a facing finish at the neck, but with this knit, this method worked well. However, on a flimsier knit, it would be possible to stretch the knit too much during construction, resulting in a saggy neck or sleeve opening. This dress is an easy make, and from cut to finish it took me less than three hours.

IMG_7017I am going to love wearing this dress and am so glad I decided to add this to my cold shoulder wardrobe (here and here and here). The black and white print is classic but bright and eye catching. The style is pretty versatile too. It could be dressed up with a belt and some cool jewelry or dressed down with flats or tennis shoes for running errands. My only question about this dress is whether I left it too long or not? Long is more sophisticated, but short is…well… more energetic looking? I also wish I’d had enough fabric to make a matching belt, but, alas, that was not the case.

I plan on making another version of this dress with the flutter sleeves and might even try a jumpsuit version! Lots of plans are swirling around in my head :).

Happy sewing and thanks for stopping by!

 

Border Print Trapeze Dress

IMG_6940Trapeze dresses feel very ‘sixties’ to me. I love the shape, but I always have the urge to put a belt on them….

IMG_6975I’m always trying to give myself a waist, LOL!

This dress is made from another border print from my stash that I found last summer in Budapest. I was wandering with my friends in the central city, when we happened upon this magical place. This photo shows only one wall of fabric…there were several more! I spent two hours there, but could have spent two more. IMG_4917

My fabric is a cross between a ponte knit and a scuba knit. IMG_6920 After making my last border print dress with M7532, I knew that simple shape would be perfect for this fabric.

 

It looks just like this pattern from the sixties….

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I made this version of McCalls 7532 with a slight variation on the back neck facing. Instead of cutting it with the simple rounded shape, I copied the front bodice V-neck for a bit of drama. This back is almost identical to back of the Burda top I made last summer.

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I also made the flutter sleeves on View A as I didn’t have enough fabric to do anything else!

IMG_6969This dress is so easy to wear and the fabric doesn’t wrinkle much. I’m always fascinated by how a fabric choice can make a simple dress look so different.  My last version was chambray, which I love. But I think this fabric shows off the trapeze shape better. It would be interesting to see how this dress would look made from a flow-y silk or charmeuse…What do you think? Belted or not? 

Happy sewing! And thanks for stopping by!