The Party Dress That Was Not

New Look 6143

New Look 6143

Party dress

I threw myself into my next dress project pretty quickly after my February dress was complete.  I wasn’t planning on it being March’s dress, but it could be if I wanna stop sewing for the month.  I have a wedding party to attend in a about a week, well much less than a week away now, and I had big plans to make my own dress.  I wanted something fancy made with material that wasn’t gonna cost too much.  (I am not that confident in my sewing abilities to spend top dollar for my material just yet.  I am still shopping the clearance material racks.)  I was kind of surprised when I found something that I thought would make for a nice dress and it was all very reasonable.

New Look6143
Dress E

It didn’t take me long to make it, only two days of working on it a few hours each.  It is another one from this pattern that I used for December’s Dress.  It seemed as if everything was moving along nicely and that I would have a pretty looking dress before long, then I got into the troublesome stage where the mistakes started to happen.  How this first mistake did happen, I have no idea.  When I got the bodice complete, the armholes were too small.  I have made a different dress from this pattern before and I didn’t have any trouble with it, so why this happened now, I don’t know.  I was ready to scrap the project, that has always been my solution to sewing mistakes in the past, but not this time.  I have to learn to fix my mistakes, right?  I unpicked seams and re-cut the armholes and tried again.  So far so good…

I got the rest of the dress done and then started the dreaded zipper.  I have no problems with the actually sewing in the zipper, but with the last dress from this pattern that I made, I had trouble getting the zipper put in the right spot.  Way too much of the back was cut off to make the dress fit properly and the top gaped out a bit with that one and this one as well.  Using the last dress’s finished measurements, I tried to make adjustments to this one.

I didn’t like the look of it the first time, so I tried again.  Too baggy in the back now, so one more time.  (I am not a fan of seam ripping, but I am getting better with this.)  Three times was all I was doing, and it ended up looking okay.  But not okay enough, so a few days later, I undid the zipper and tried one more time.

New Look 6143E top
a couple true to life, unedited photos of the dress

New Look 6143E

The finished product:  I wasn’t too crazy about how my armhole adjustments ended up.  They fit okay, I just think they look somewhat messed with, but that is probably a detail only I am noticing.  I also was a little disappointed with how the sheer part on top didn’t lie flat against my body.  I did all of the adjustments that I was able to do without starting to make the dress noticeably look like it has things wrong with it.  When I make this pattern again, which I will, I am gonna try and do a side inserted zipper.  I think that will help a lot of my fitting problems with this particular dress.

All of that aside, I still really like the dress and I will be wearing it the first chance I get – maybe on Friday when I have errands to run.  I don’t know if the dress ended up looking fancy enough for me for the party I am going to.  I think a nicer fabric choice would have made the difference.  Or maybe since I spent so much time unpicking seams I am way too familiar with the mistakes that I made to say it isn’t nice enough.  However, not wearing the dress this Sunday is totally fine by me, because this just means that I get to go shopping for a dress, and I already picked out two that I cannot decide between.  Really, I am up to my eyeballs in dresses this month, so this very well may be the only dress I end up making for March…

And so concludes another post all about a dress.  I am noticing a theme here…  I might have to write about shoes or something other than dresses next time.  Or maybe just a photo only post…

For those who made it to the end, thanks for reading!

11 Replies to “The Party Dress That Was Not”

  1. I am about to make this pattern and enjoyed your review – I’m not sure how long you’ve been sewing or how many new look patterns you have made but in my experience with NL patterns (and also in a lot of reviews I’ve read) they tend to gape a lot across the shoulders. I’m too lazy to adjust properly so now I just add darts going down from the neckline in the back – it’s not perfect but it works for me. Hope that helps. Happy sewing x


    1. I’m fairly new to sewing dresses by the directions, and I thank you very much for that bit of insight. I really want another try at this dress. I’ve adjusted a different pattern with darts before so it’s great to know that will help here. I’m a bit intimidated with the whole idea of properly adjusting a pattern myself. I’m with you, darts do well for the time being. 🙂


  2. Hi! I’m making this pattern this week. I wasn’t going to go with the sheer yoke but you’ve inspired me! The only thing is that I’m not sure what kind of sheer fabric to use. Chiffon? Organza? Stretch mesh?
    Would you mind telling me what you used?


    1. Hi! What I used was organza. I think that or a chiffon would be great. I have some stretch mesh that I want to use for another one, but in my experience stretch material is a little harder to work with. Good luck with yours, I bet it will be beautiful!


    1. Thanks so much for your kind words, Kathy! I am glad it looks like it came out well. I wore it last week, and I really liked the way it turned out. My mistakes ended up being so minimal, I pretty much forgot about them. 😉


  3. If it makes you feel better, I didn’t notice *any* of the problem areas that you mentioned… my first thought was how gorgeous the dress turned out! The sheer area looks great, and I love the ribbon you used as a belt. I totally think it can be dressed up for a more formal event. Bummer that it gave you such problems, but it looks beautiful!


    1. Thank you so much! I started to think a bit differently about the dress after I saw it in some pictures. I even started considering it again for the party after I got this blog post done. I did settle on a different dress though, so maybe there is a summer party I will try and get myself invited to so I can wear it to then… 🙂


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