Harley helps.

Harley helps.
Harley, my hard-working sewing assistant.

Monday, June 24, 2013

put a bird on it: New Look 6352

I wanted an instant-gratification, easy cotton summer dress -- one I could throw a sweater over to wear to the office, and (ideally) one that wouldn't take a month and a half to make. (!) So I pulled New Look 6352 out of my stash and decided to give it a shot.

(Did I mention I have a new job? I have a new job. The dress requirements are a little different: semi-formal, with no casual Fridays. I hate suits -- I never wear them except to interviews -- so I mostly stick to either dresses or black pants/black sweaters/bright shirts.)

Anyway, it looked amazingly easy -- just 2 dress pieces and facings. No closures, no darts, no pleats. Easy peasy, right? The envelope called it a "1-hour" pattern.


I wound up making three muslins because this dress has so much ease. It's a tent, basically. (Some PatternReviewers made nightgowns out of it, and I can totally understand that.) Going by the measurements on the pattern envelope, I started with a size 14. It was enormous. Then I tried a 12, which was OK, but still pretty big.

I cut the fashion fabric in a size 12, interfaced the facings, and tried to attach them. The facings looked terrible, and I just couldn't get them to work because the interfacing was too heavy. Plus, I realized midway through that my white IKEA fabric was sort of see-through. Whoops.

Well, not here. But trust me.

To complicate things even further, I went to Grey's Fabric and Notions and fell completely in love with this navy blue, Tron-esque fabric:

Old Tron, not new (bad) Tron.
In the end, I decided to ditch the facings and make a reversible version with the Tron fabric and plain black cotton. AND give the IKEA dress another shot.

I made another muslin in a size 10. It fit but was still pretty billowy around the waist, so I decided to make a sash to go with it.

I used Crafterhours' reversible dress tutorial, and aside from some initial confusion around the shoulders (step 16) and when to hem and turn the dress out (couldn't figure that out, actually; I wound up taking it to my tailor for hemming), construction was pretty straightforward. Then I went back to the IKEA dress and used the same steps to line it in plain white cotton. (I don't think the white lining is opaque enough to be reversible, sadly.)

I made two sash belts, one in Tron fabric and black and one in plain black, by tracing around an existing belt, pinning right sides together, stitching with a 1/4" seam allowance, turning out, pressing and topstitching.

So here we go (disclaimer: it was insanely hot and humid yesterday, so I look like hell):

Black with blue Tron belt
Blue Tron dress with black belt
IKEA dress, no belt, pay no attention to the cat hair on the sofa
On the hanger:

Reversible, Tron belt

Reversible, plain black belt
Blurry IKEA dress with belt
IKEA, no belt

All told, these took around 2 weeks to do. Now that I have it down, though, I'd make it again.

Conclusion: It's a nice, easy pattern, but if you want something fitted, look elsewhere.


  1. I love your review, I've tried to make it before but it was HUGE! I think I'll just make a smaller size or take out some of the ease. ��

    1. Thanks, Loren! It is totally huge, but I've found that it's really comfortable in the summer and a belt does help! I still wear the bird version. :)