Maz's New Look 6449

Maz's New Look 6449

Since I began making my own clothes, I’ve become more reluctant to part with my cash in shops.  Even in shops that I considered the price tag to be quite high and (maybe wrongly) assumed this meant good quality, I’ve had problems with the clothes.  My main issue being shrinkage.  There’s always that nerve wracking first wash of a new top/dress, often resulting in puckered seams, or even shrinking to a couple of sizes smaller. A viscose dress is enough to strike fear into even the most diligent of handwashers!  This leads me to wonder if I’m just better off taking the time to make it ‘properly’ myself in hope that it will actually last! I’ve had a shirt dress on my list to make for a while so I’m hoping to make one that will stand the test of time. 

I can hold my hands up and admit that I’m one of those people who gravitates towards an indie pattern if given the choice.  Let’s be honest they are usually much easier to follow and there are tons of reviews and versions to inspire you online and through social media.  I think there is a risk of missing out on some great patterns produced by the ‘Big 4’ companies though.  Some of the Big 4 patterns seem to have stood the test of time, lurking about for years with a fair few reviews and followers. This is what prompted me to choose New Look 6449.

I have chosen to make the shirt dress with a collar and waist tie (view c).  The pattern is labelled as ‘easy’ but I think that’s a bit misleading.  I probably wouldn’t recommend making a collar, cuffs, plackets and numerous buttonholes to a complete beginner.  They are all explained in the instructions, but an indie pattern will generally hold your hand and walk you through the techniques in more detail.

I have chosen to use French seams and enclose the yoke seams using the ‘burrito method’.  I think this gives the dress a more polished look, but it does take a bit of extra time.  I chose to make a size smaller than the pattern suggested, as there is a lot of built-in ease, which is common for these patterns. I made my usual personal adjustments, but I also added 1 ½“ to the length despite being quite an average 5’6” in height.

Now to the interesting part… the fabric!  My vision was a classic shirt style dress and I have chosen the most shirty shirt fabric of all, a mid-blue cotton chambray.  Jenny keeps this in stock as you really can’t go wrong with it.  It is the perfect not too dark, not too light, not too smart, not too casual, easy to wash, sew and wear cotton! PERFECT!  The colour makes it very easy to pair with most jumpers, cardigans, coats, belts and tights, so once you have your dress you can easily change it up to match the season or event.  I chose white, vintage style, Italian buttons to add a little bit of interest to the dress whilst keeping it reasonably neutral.  As they are centre front it’s nice to have something a little bit more special.  Jenny kindly matched the cotton for my dress, which is a service I’d fully recommend if there is visible stitching.  It’s amazing how many shades of a colour there actually are and it can stand out like a sore thumb if you aren’t careful! 

We are becoming increasingly more aware of the damage caused by ‘fast fashion’ and the impact that ‘throw away’ clothes have on the environment.  I can’t pretend to be an expert, but I think the message is simple.  We need to buy clothes more responsibly and reduce the amount of waste ending up in landfill.  By making your own clothes you have a collection of well fitting, well-made items that you like wearing and genuinely care about.  I definitely wont be throwing this dress away any time soon!

Jenny Says:

"I can entirely relate to the opening paragraph of this blog, one of my biggest issues with ready to wear is shrinkage! Maz has hit the nail on the head, making your own carefully thought out garments will mean you look after and wear them for so much longer. I'm sure you'll agree that Maz's shirt dress is absolutely gorgeous, such a wardrobe staple and it fits her beautifully."

Inspired to make your own version? Here's what you'll need:

Pattern : New Look 6449
 Fabric : Blue Chambray
Maz was provided with the materials for her project free of charge and received a gift voucher in recognition of the time spent on her project.
Back to blog

Leave a comment

Please note, comments need to be approved before they are published.