New Look 6431


After struggling with my first jacket, I thought this dress would be a breeze. And it was…except that I made a horrible error…

Until recently my career has focused on following instructions. Deviations from procedure were a big no no. I haven’t yet developed a good core understanding of sewing so I tend to stick pretty closely to the instructions. I attached front to back, then bodice to skirt. I took what I learned from the jacket and sewed mainly without pins and was very pleased with my work. Then came adding the zip and I realised that the waist was in fact too small. 😦

I did a lot of unpicking and then ignored the pattern instructions. I attached bodice to skirt, added the zip, and then attached front to back with some alterations. It was a little tricky as I had already attached the bias binding to the arm holes and didn’t unpick that. So the side seams (particularly under the armholes) don’t look quite as nice as I originally did but the main thing is that it now fits.

The frustrating thing is that I already had the relevant knowledge, I just didn’t know. When I made a dress in a sewing class in 2013, my teacher told me to add top to bottom first instead of front to back. But she didn’t explain why (ie. makes it easier to alter the size if it isn’t quite right) and I never thought about the reason why. So here I am, mindlessly following the instructions like I always do, instead of actually understanding what I’m doing. This is what makes me still a beginner despite sewing for four years.

At least I now know a to attach my dresses top to bottom instead of front to back. May I never make this mistake again.


2 thoughts on “New Look 6431

  1. Sorry if this posts twice… ^^’

    What a perfect dress– it’s so cute! I love the dart pleats at the neckline; those can be tricky to line up but it looks like you nailed it. Nice fabric choice, too! 😀

    I’ve long hated zippers for exactly the same reason– it seems like they’re always introduced WAY too late in the sewing process and make it almost impossible to finish the garment smoothly. After ruining half-a-dozen projects with my poor zipper insertion attempts, I finally gave up and opted for button-up or pull-over patterns only. But last year I found a sewing blog that gave five fantastic tips for dealing with zips– and ignoring the pattern instructions was number one! It’s really odd that so many pattern-makers continue to use a method that’s needlessly difficult… Glad you were able to deduce the fix on your own for this dress– it’s awesome!


    1. Thanks! 🙂

      How strange that zips seems to be a common issue with pattern instructions and yet they haven’t made the effort to modify them. I am starting to make more and more use of blogs and online resources for projects. One pattern used buttons instead of a zip and that didn’t appeal to me. But there were multiple blog posts from other sewers who had used the pattern but used a zip instead. The internet really is great for sewing.


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