Denim Shirtdress | New Look 6487

I don’t browse the New Look selection very often, partially because I don’t like the website (though it is improved from the original re-design) and partially because they never go on sale like the Simplicity/McCalls $1-ish sales at JoAnn’s. In all fairness, the standard $5 price tag is super reasonable, so I should really peruse their selection more frequently. As a bonus—I never need to wait for a sale.

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The “tween” pattern New Look 6487 stopped me dead in my tracks, so I made sure to pick it up. It’s so cute! I love all the style options included. I’m sure it’ll be on repeat all year round—currently all three of my girls are asking for one version or another. Being the youngest girl, Isabella always gets the ratty hand-me-downs (poor thing!) so I try to make her something special every now and again. She happened to be with me when I bought the pattern and she loved this lightweight denim at JoAnn’s—perfect match. And seriously, this fabric is so nice and soft! I’m sure I’ll be going back for more.

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The smallest size is an 8, and she is very tiny as is (just shy of 9 yrs old), so I knew it would be big on her. I did not make any size alterations to the pattern because I figured it would be fine to be oversized now, and hopefully fit her better next year. I did eliminate the back pleat because I felt it was odd to have the pleat combined with the gathered skirt. Idk, maybe I’m just being weird, but I didn’t like it. Since there is plenty of volume as is, I simply shifted the back piece off the edge of the fabric, and did the same with the back skirt piece.

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The only other change I made was to cut different chest pockets. The pattern has a funky pocket shape and I wasn’t digging it. I keep pocket templates sitting around in my sewing room, so I just grabbed a kid sized pocket and used that.

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I just want to note how pleased I was with this pattern! The yoke, collar, and collar stand all have full size pieces, with the grain line correctly indicated. Frequently these pieces are cut on the fold and laid perpendicular to the grain, where they should be turned and cut with the grain. At least this is how it’s done in RTW, and also how David Coffin illustrates it to be done in his Shirtmaking book. Additionally, the neckline and collar pieces have 3/8″ SA’s, making it infinitely easier to assemble. I always cut down the SA’s if they are any wider than this, so it was nice that I didn’t have to fuss with changing it myself.

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Oversized or not, she is completely in love with this dress and has snuck in several wears before throwing it in the wash. It’s denim, so who am I to judge. She plans to layer it with leggings or tights and a long sleeve tee underneath so she can continue to wear it through the winter since you can’t easily stuff the sleeves into a sweater. All in all I am super pleased with how this dress came out, as is Isabella. I’ll definitely be sewing this one again, and *ahem* maybe making a knockoff for myself…

—lisa g.


TL;DR

PATTERN: New Look 6487
FABRIC: lightweight denim | JoAnn’s
SIZE: 8 (measurements for reference: 4’2″/22.5″/21.5″/24″)
MODS: eliminated back pleat, used different chest pocket
ALTERATIONS: none
NEXT TIME: no changes planned

Style Arc | Abby Cardi

We had a serious end of summer heat wave that made me think summer would last forever, but we’ve begun having decidedly chilly mornings (like low 50’s F) so I guess we’re moving on to fall. I stitched up the Abby Cardi from StyleArc because I can never have too many cardigans for layering up. I used a cotton/poly blend interlock from a local store. I usually try to avoid poly blends, but this felt so very soft, and was in the absolute perfect color.

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The thing I like about this cardigan is that it has a nice drape for the front, but doesn’t overwhelm you with fabric. I also really like how minimal the fabric is in the shawl collar. Sometimes having too much fabric weighing on the back of my neck gives me headaches, and I don’t think I’ll have to worry about that here.

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The construction is fairly simple, but mitered corners at the shoulder/neck join are always a pain. The instructions don’t mention it, but definitely stay stitch around the corners before snipping into them. With the instructions as vague as they are, it took me a bit of head scratching to figure out where everything was supposed to align. Once I chucked the directions and started working it out on my own, it all came together super fast. I went for a nice clean finish on the collar/facing, and did a nifty burrito roll to encase the neckline seam.

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The drape front is left with a raw edge, as is the entire hem. I prefer to avoid raw hems when possible, so I added a hem allowance to the back piece so I could hem that part, while leaving the front as is. I think this worked nicely, and I would definitely do it the same way in the future.

Here’s a few detail shots…

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fold over facing from the inside, raw edge encased

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added hem allowance to the back piece, front edge left raw

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hem from the inside

As far as fit is concerned, I added some width from waist to hem on the side seams to accommodate my hips. The shoulder seam is falling off my shoulder a bit (I think I have somewhat narrow shoulders) and I wouldn’t mind an extra inch in sleeve length (I hemmed them at 1/2″ instead of the drafted 1″ to preserve a tiny bit of length). The sleeves were also a touch wide, so I trimmed them down.

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Overall I’m very pleased with this pattern. The fact that it isn’t a fabric hog is a huge bonus. It was one of StyleArc’s free patterns of the month, and I’m glad I had it on hand when I had the itch for a new cardigan!

lisa g.


TL;DR

PATTERN: StyleArc Abby Cardi
FABRIC: cotton/poly interlock knit from Fabric Basement (local)
SIZE: 8 (measurements for reference: 5’8″/34″/27.5″/39″)
MODS: Added hem allowance to the back piece
ALTERATIONS: added width at the hip, narrowed sleeve
NEXT TIME: bring in shoulder seam, lengthen sleeve