Eleven Dresses Down and Only One Left to Go…

simple polka dotted dress

May's Dress back zip (edit)

Eleven dresses sounds like so many to me, how about to you?  I don’t think in a year’s time I have ever bought eleven dresses.  If I think about it, I buy maybe four, possibly even six dresses in a year – and six is probably stretching it – but I can’t remember more than that for sure.  Now I know why my side of the closet seems to be expanding!

My challenge to sew a dress a month is getting close to being over, only one more month left to go, and I am happy with how things have come along.  For May I made not one but two dresses, and the one that counts towards my challenge for that month is this dress from New Look 6812.  The dress was actually completed almost three weeks ago, it is just that I only recently got a few photos of me wearing it.  It has been raining a lot lately, and outdoor photos have been hard to take.

sewing project

I have had the pattern for about as long as I have had my own sewing machine.  I got as far as cutting out the paper and when I did cut it out, I cut it the smallest size on the pattern, completely ignoring my measurements that were clearly stated on the back of the envelope.  I am glad there was a five inch ease, otherwise this would have been a problem.  I am also glad that I am learning all about pattern ease, because I am finding that sizing down is really the best way to go.

I sewed my seams a bit narrower than called for just because I was downsizing so much and I wanted to have a little bit of room with the final fit of the dress.  I can’t believe how good the fit actually ended up being.  No extra take-ins and the zipper was pretty close to perfect.  My only change made to the dress was with the zipper.  The instructions were for a lapped one, but I didn’t bother with that.

As far as this pattern goes, I liked how easy it seemed it would be.  There were only two pieces, three if you make the sleeves, and then the lining.  It is also my first fully lined dress.  The instructions though, were awful!  I followed them and then when I got to pining the lining, the directions totally messed up at the very beginning when they had me sew up the sides of the dress which wasn’t the correct thing to do if I was lining the dress without sleeves.  Plus, the illustrations here were showing the opposite of what was said concerning this, but it wasn’t until it was too late when this mistake came to light.  At this point, I could either seam rip FOUR side seams, that were serged, or just get some bias tape to finish the sleeves.  Guess what I went with?  Bias tape.  Also, there was no instruction to under stitch and it was definitely needed for this particular style.

I was all ready to get on the Pattern Review site and tell others what I thought about this, but this pattern apparently doesn’t exist anymore.  It has been replaced with a different style and the only place I can find this one is on etsy and used item sites like ebay and amazon.  So anyone who makes this dress, be warned!  Probably the expert dress liner would have spotted this instruction mistake right away, but I’m not an expert so I didn’t catch it soon enough.

Now about the fabric.  I love the material I chose, a sheer shirting from fabric.com, super clearance, but to sew with it was a pain!  It moved all over the place and it was a headache to iron.  Now that the dress is done, I can see where my fold shifted when I was hemming so I am probably gonna have to fix that, or not.  Depends how much it bugs me after wearing it, and it doesn’t really look that noticeable.

Simple handmade dress

Basically, those are the stand outs about the construction of this dress.  Overall, I am very happy with how it ended up.  I’m sure I will wear it to pieces, and I like the style enough to make it again.

I have one dress left to make with this little challenge of mine and a whole stash of patterns to chose from.  But instead, I ordered a new one online based on a newspaper clipping my aunt gave me.  I can’t wait to get it finished and added to my ever-growing collection.  I’ll be back with more about that one soon enough…

What do you think?  Have you ever come across a pattern instruction mistake?  I know there are several out there.

*Linking up with: The Modest Mom Blog, Do Tell Tuesday, Passion for Fashion, and Simple Sequins.

15 Replies to “Eleven Dresses Down and Only One Left to Go…”

  1. hi Erika! Great job on being an awesome seamstress. This dress is so fun and I love the print of it, too. Thanks for being at Fashion item Friday every week, especially while I have been ‘barely there’ blogging in blogland. (hug)


  2. A dress a month is amazing!! And it looks great on you! The lack of instructions is exactly why I have been too scared to try paper patterns 🙂 I do have a japanese children’s pattern book that I need to try one of these days, but it does scare me a little!


    1. Thank you for your comment! I have learned a lot about pattern instructions this last year, and even had to google several things to really understand what I was supposed to do, but it has been a great learning experience and I am much more confident when reading patterns because of it.


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