NL6301 mock wrap dress scuba fabric

New Look 6301 View D pattern hack using Scuba Bodycon fabric!

Simplicity New Look 6301

I hadn’t meant to start making this dress when I did but the summer made a sudden appearance and my birthday was coming up so I figured I needed (ahem, cough) wanted, a new dress that was both summery, a bit ‘dressy uppy’ but also comfortable. I’d had this scuba fabric lurking in my stash for a wee while. I pulled out New Look 6301 without having a clue if it would work. All I did know was this pattern requires a fabric with stretch. I’d made it up before in a stable knit (and lightweight jerseys) and just figured I’d go with it. (If you want more of a true pattern review I wrote one here).

Strangely enough embracing this as an experimental make made me fearless in the sewing.  It was liberating to not really care too much about what I ended up with, if anything at all; I was having far too much fun basting, taking in, reshaping and generally playing around with it! So yeah, I started with New Look 6301 and, I’d say, the bodice is pretty much true to the sleeveless version of the pattern but without the waist ties. The skirt, however  is, well…goodness knows! I started with the straight skirt from View D; decided that lacked Va Va Voom and wasted the fantastic sculptural qualities of Scuba. So I basted it together, tried it on, repeatedly  pinned and hacked away at it until I was left with a skirt that was vaguely Tulip in design, thus giving the dress as a whole a more hourglass shape. That’s never a bad thing, right?! It has darts at the back and pleats at the front for shaping. I also added thread belt loops at the side seams since I’d omitted the waist ties.

Simplicity New Look 6301

So let’s talk about the fabric…Scuba how I love thee! I sourced my cheaper version from Minerva Crafts which for the price is decent quality (they have a more expensive but even better quality scuba here). They describe it as a “…thick jersey with fabulous stretch recovery…” Well, they’re not kidding. This year I have, in the main, sewn with really drapy, lightweight, shifty, slidy, fabric (hello viscose, hello poly) and I have to admit I was starting to crave something else. Scuba is just incredibly easy to sew with and extremely forgiving; sewn a line of stitching you need to rip out? Well rip it out with no fear because, as long as you don’t purposely butcher it, there will be no tell tell needle holes. This, to my mind, gives you far more creative free reign as you can baste away until you get the fit you want. And of course it doesn’t fray.

Scuba has, as I mentioned, a lovely sculptural quality. I don’t necessarily think what I’ve created here best demonstrates this. If I was to use this fabric again I’d do a simple fitted bodice with a full on flare skirt as it will hold that shape beautifully. If you’ve ever wanted to do something in a quilted fabric, say a 1950s skirt, you could get away with sewing the quilting pattern directly onto this fabric and get a really good result without the need to actually use layers of fabric and batting, the fabric being that bouncy in itself. In fact, I might have a go at doing just that!

The only thing I would say is, given the thick bouncy nature of this fabric, you might want to trim back any darts and pleats to reduce the thickness.  I didn’t. It’s also not totally opaque which, again given its thickness you might be forgiven for assuming. Though it’s more opaque on than on the dummy!

Got to mention, my 14 year old son took these pics at 9.30 in the morning (usually my hair hasn’t even met a brush by then!), whilst dodging our Postman making his rounds – all the while muttering “This is soooooo embarrassing!”  I think he did a good job; though I might have to bribe him next time!

Until next time…

Sarah x

I’m also on Instagram and Twitter : SewSarahSmith

Simplicity New Look 6301 sewing pattern

 

Knit dress sewing pattern

New Look 6301 Mock Wrap Dress – Pattern Review & Makes

Knit dress sewing pattern

I got my mitts on this pattern way back when and I think it’s fair to say it’s had a fair amount of love in my pattern stash since then. Initially I figured this pattern would be a good basic dress to have, having considered the actual pattern  line drawings rather than focus on the hideousness that is the fabric choice on the envelope (why does it look like it would generate enough static electricity to power a small principality?!) 6301 is a mock wrap dress with just enough detailing to make it interesting; pleats to the sides of the bodice wrap front pieces (which are stitched together), variable sleeves and a couple of skirt options. I like wrap dresses, they flatter most woman, I think, and are a ‘safe’ perennial staple. They’re also supremely comfortable – a bit like wearing a nightdress in the daytime but, y’know, with the added advantage of allowing you to leave the house as well!

I’ve made this dress twice before; the first time as a wearable toile with 3/4 length sleeves in a royal blue Ponte Roma :

New Look 6301 - View A - Ponte Roma

I was totally influenced by Jenny Rushmore of Cashmerette in my fabric choice the second time round, having admired the images of her modelling said fabric for her Appleton wrap dress. It’s a quality stretch polyester from John Kaldor which has worn and washed extremely well. I sourced mine from Minerva Crafts. This time I went for the short sleeve version which I thought would work better with the print.

New Look 6301 - John Kaldor stretch polyester

This time round, I was sold on the fabric by another blogger, when the lovely Winnie from Scruffy Badger Time blogged one of her Monthly makes for Minerva using this Ovals viscose jersey fabric with a similar pattern. I knew I wanted viscose this time for its breathability. I like the fact that it’s reasonably bright but contains black in the mix so I can still wear it with black boots (I live in an array boots for the most part). Being the third time I’d sewn this dress up it came together really quickly (thankfully, as we had an electricity outtage which cost me a days’ sewing. Which also meant a day without a working kettle or broadband. First World problems eh!) Despite the fabric being really drapey and with a four-way stretch, I found it reasonably easy to work with. It was fine to press and it held a crease. I just had to pay the usual attention when cutting out and sewing to avoid distorting the fabric by allowing it to stretch. The finished dress feels quite weighty. Which brings me onto construction…

I’d omitted the elastic waist casing on the previous two makes because, well, I couldn’t be bothered and I’d lazily figured the waist ties would be adequate. Which they were, sort of. However, this time I added it in. As I say, this fabric, en masse, has some decent weight to it and I didn’t want to feel that the waist seam and bodice was being pulled by the skirt, which is obviously the point of the elastic in the first place! I’m really glad I did as the waist ties then become merely a feature rather than overly functional and the whole thing just ‘sits’ more comfortably. Yeah baby I’m rocking the elasticated waist!

During the previous two constructions I made various notes on the envelope front and in the instructions, which I later translated into my workbook, the most pertinent of which is this…THE WAIST TIE PATTERN PIECE IS TOO SHORT! I discovered this before tracing it out, thankfully. I added a good 3-4 inches. Other pattern reviewers have also mentioned the need to widen the neck binding for modesty purposes. I don’t mind rocking my cleavage so I left the width of the binding as it is! I would say that to get a good fit close to the body, the neck binding does need stretching out a little more than the length the pattern piece would suggest. I think I trimmed off about 1.5 cm either side after pinning it to the bodice. Although this could largely be dependent on your fabric choice. I also lengthened the skirt by about 2 inches; it just looks better proportioned to my eye lengthened.

Also, if you’re going to do the ruched sleeve option, don’t follow the pattern instructions to the letter! It says to cut out a 5 cm length of elastic and stretch and stitch. That length of elastic is way too itty bitty to do that with, in my view, with any ease anyhow. Do yourself a favour and mark the 5 cm on a longer length of elastic (as shown above), secure the starting point with a manual turn on the needle wheel and then hold and stretch both sides of the elastic as you sew, stopping stitching at your marked point (as shown above) and then trim it off once done. Simples.

As for seam finishes, I merely pinked them around the neck binding and centre back seam, used my overedge foot to bind the rest of the bodice seams and used French seams with the skirt (being reeeaally careful not to stretch out the fabric!)

New-Look-6301
Hemming…
New-Look-6301
New Look 6301

And here’s my final version. Would I make it again? Yes in all probability; the no sleeve straight skirt version perhaps. However, I’m in no rush as there is at least one other wrap dress pattern out there I’d like to try. The Sew Over It Wrap Dress, I’m looking at you!  (I have since hacked this dress and made up a semi-fitted version using Scuba Bodycon fabric – see here