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        • Dresses

          New look 6615

          Take 3m of Spotlight organic cotton and add New Look 6615 with New Look 66932… and you get a fun scalloped dress!

          I used the scalloped neckline of N6615‘s gorgeous dress but added the tiered skirt of N6692. Since I skipped the dress sleeves which help hold up the bodice I added thin spaghetti straps. You can add the chunky straps of view A if you prefer.

          The cotton has a beautiful floral print that is reminiscent of 70s designs with its orange, green and mulberry colours. I used 2.8m of fabric for this maxi all in.

          This is the size 12. The bodice has a neat facing for the neckline and armholes with a separate piece for each size to get the perfect scallop positioning. And I thought about adding scallops to the N6692 skirt hem but decided against it.

          Amond rock sews new look 6615 scallop neckline sundress

          I added an invisible zipper to finish the dress off. After all these years I can sew concealed zippers easily every time and if you’d like to know how, check out my video on the Simplicity UK YouTube channel.

          Amond rock sews new look 6615 scallop neckline sundress

          It was a hot hot day at our friend’s Baptism so this dress was perfect for the weather but it would probably look great over a tshirt too.

        • Dresses

          Vogue mash up

          Sometimes the best pattern is the one you have in your stash. Or in this case, the two!

          For my brother’s wedding I wanted to make my own version of the cami / slip dress trend that would work for my figure. I wanted to make V9278 but didn’t have time to have it sent out to me. (I’d left sewing my dress to the last minute after doing the wedding dress and groom’s jacket). I hunted through my stash and found V1428 and my beloved V9000!I’m bottom heavy so a classic one piece slip dress would need to be heavily graded at the side seams to work. Instead I decided if I added a waist seam and flared skirt if would work much better. That meant I could use the under bodice from V1428 which is designed to have a lace bodice over the top. And I repeated a previous hack where I removed the panel seams from the V9000 skirt to make a front and back skirt.My beautiful new sister-in-law invited me to walk with her brother down the aisle ahead of her entrance. We agreed I would wear green, a traditional wedding colour in Afghanistan. I sent her photos of all my green fabrics. The best match was an emerald green floral by John Kaldor. I can’t quite pin down the name of it as I bought it about 6 years ago! (Here is the same print on a different fabric base). It’s a satin backed crepe so felt amazing to wear on the inside of the garment.

          I cut both the front and back of the dress on the fold and put an invisible zipper in the side seam. With lightweight fabrics I like to use ultra lightweight zips but they don’t come in many colours. For instance, I had to use white on this dress. So I used nail varnish to paint the puller to match and I had extra incentive to make sure my zip really was invisible!Almond rock makes Vogue slip dress pattern in John kaldor crepeHemming a full skirt like this in a fabric which has a lot of bias stretch is a total pain in the butt. The hem drops more dramatically than other fabric types. I hate it every time but thankfully had borrowed my Mum’s Newey chalk pump marker. This tool lets you blow a line of chalk at a set level. You rotate and keep pressing the hand pump. Then you have a even chalk line to follow all around.

          When you mash two patterns together like this you need to make sure the seam lines are going to meet. The skirt and bodice should have the same circumference. And the side seams should be in the same place. You should measure or “walk” the seam lines of the front bodice and front skirt to check they are the same length if they are then the side seams will match. But you might need to remove from one piece and add to it’s partner to move the seam line.Almond rock makes Vogue slip dress pattern in John kaldor crepeI made a size 14 in each pattern and luckily my seam lines matched up! I think it fits pretty great. Plus the wedding was a total success, more on that another time.

        • Dresses

          Lovely Lemons New Look 6692

          Continuing my challenge to expand my wardrobe stylistically, I can now tick “maxi dress” off my list. Yes that’s right in a decade of sewing I have never made a maxi dress for myself. I don’t think I’ve ever owned a shop bought one either!!

          Almond Rock sews New Look 6692 maxi dress with shirred back bodice in lemon print fabric

          Meet New Look 6692; a dress from last summer that I finally got round to. It’s a stunner of a square neckline dress pattern with midi length finish, and optional puff sleeves and skirt ruffle length variations. There are POCKETS and a simple tie at the upper back to stop the shoulders falling off.

          The centre back bodice is supposed to be sewn with channels that you feed flat elastic through. But given the panel wasn’t too big I decided to sew rows of shirring elastic to cinch the back. I folded the back panel WST and sewed my rows. Then I encased the panel between the outer and lining side back pieces for a neat finish on the inside.

          I skipped the side seam zipper as the shirring made it easy to get on over my head. And as you can see it’s maxi length BUT I didn’t need to alter anything for that… as I’m a diddly 5ft4 the length hits me at the ankle rather than a midi.

          This luscious lemon fabric is from Abakhan Mostyn. I’ve written many times about how I love finding treasure in the Abakhan remnant baskets. The baskets make up a good 50% of the dressmaking section in Mostyn and I found this lemon cotton sateen quite quickly. There was 3m and it’s quite lightweight, so it was perfect for this dress!

          Almond Rock sews New Look 6692 maxi dress with shirred back bodice in lemon print fabric

          If I make this pattern again (highly likely) I will tinker with the bust fit a bit more. Its completely wearable but a little looser than I’d like on reflection. I might also shorten it to midi length as I’m still not convinced about maxi dresses! They just swamp me even though I think this looks cute.

          Almond Rock sews New Look 6692 maxi dress with shirred back bodice in lemon print fabric

          Straight princess seams like this generally suit my figure and I like how you don’t see all the seam lines in this print. It’s pretty easy to fit, I’d just lose another half a cm for comfort. The skirt is a perfect fit though! I made the size 12 bodice with a size 18 skirt gathered into the waist. Next time I’d go down to a size 10 in the upper chest and bust for a lovely close fit.

        • Tops, blouses and shirts

          Candy cane New Look 6707

          It’s quite thrilling to be one of the first people to review a pattern. When you search for hashtag inspiration and get photos of planes instead of patterns, you know you’re going to be one of the first haha.

          Almond Rock makes New Look 6707 v neck blouse with oversized collar in pink gingham

          New Look 6707 is a sweet v-neck blouse that has an optional oversized ruffle collar and puff sleeves finished with a hem band. It was only recently released and taps into that trend of statement collars we can’t seem to escape right now.

          I really liked the pattern but was scared whether the collar would be too big for my narrow shoulders. I thought the only way to know for sure would be to sew up a wearable toile. I chose a polycotton gingham that I had in my stash from Minerva. It was originally for a sweet 50s dress but I decided I wanted a smaller print for that project.

          Close up of Almond Rock in New Look 6707 v neck blouse with oversized collar in pink gingham

          The collar involves a fair bit of gathering to make that ruffle but it’s so sweet when finished. I cut my collar as the pattern recommended with a straight grain line arrow position. This means the front ends up on the bias of the gingham creating an eye-catching effect.

          Almond Rock makes New Look 6707 v neck blouse with oversized collar in pink gingham

          For the sleeves I already knew I couldn’t pull off the pleated sleeve caps. I tried that with my unfinished Sasha McCall’s dress which, yep you’ve guessed it, I didn’t finish for that reason. So on the tissue I folded out the pleats for a smooth sleeve cap while keeping the volume in the lower part of the sleeve. These sleeves remind me of the 70s McCall’s blouse I made recently.

          Almond Rock makes New Look 6707 v neck blouse with oversized collar in pink gingham

          Even with a wearable toile I couldn’t resist ensuring a good pattern match. But I think the fabric isn’t right for this design on me. It’s too sugary sweet for my liking and again, the print is too big. I’m going to make it again with a little more length in the body and a plain fabric or less oversized print.

          Almond Rock makes New Look 6707 v neck blouse with oversized collar in pink gingham

          I’ll probably still wear this during summer don’t get me wrong! Have you been tempted by this pattern?