My Favourite New Dress

Boom! I made a new dress!


Ok I’ll be the first to admit that this dress is not the most exciting thing you’ve ever seen right? But I’m having a bit of a sewing trough at the moment so I needed something super simple and very wearable as a pick me up. This was the perfect solution. The dress consists of only one front piece, one back piece and back and front neck facings – easy as. And bonus no closures. Feeling like you’ve heard this before? Yes, my Laurel is the same story. I’m having an easy to sew, easy to wear phase.


On the envelope this is a totally 80s looking pattern, New Look 6974. Does anyone know how old this pattern is? I can’t find the date on the pattern… The shoulders are suitably wide and the pattern suggests should pads, which I decided against. I also decided to shorten the dress by about 15cm as I’m only 5’2″. The dress goes in quite a lot on the hips and butt (perhaps a tad too tight), creating an inverted triangle shape tres 80s, oui? The pattern also comes with a super box-y blazer. But unless I’m wearing over-sized earrings and tonnes of blush I don’t think this dress looks particularly 80s at all. It just looks like a regular shift dress/ LBD.


My favourite thing about this dress is the fabric. It is a sort of faux suede. Does this fabric have a special name? Perhaps that sounds like I’m wearing a full-on leather dress but it really isn’t! It’s a tight weave fabric that’s almost like satin on the inside and a bit rough on the right side. Anyhoo it’s quite warm for our current Southern Hemisphere winter.


I love how versatile this dress is. I’ve worn it out in the evening with heals and a chunky gold necklace and to my internship with tights and boots. And now I’m about to head out in the New Zealand storm wearing my Minoru. Here’s the post from when I made it last year.


It’s been such a pleasure to throw a dress together so quickly. At certain stages I really enjoy the challenge of fittings and adjusting patterns to make them perfect for my body, like I did the By Hand London’s Georgia dress (blog post here). Do you enjoy the simple sewing or strive for a challenge?

The Best Bridgette Dress

Hello lovely sewists! As you all know there is a great competition on over at the Monthly Stitch celebrating Indie Pattern Month (which, yes, does deserve capital letters) and that I am guest judging on. Each week of this month there is a themed competition – this week was ‘dresses’ next week is ‘new to me‘. So any pattern, brand, design that you haven’t previously sewn before. Of course the prizes are awesome too, click that link to find out about them :-).


So back to dresses! If I was to enter the Monthly Stitch’s competition – which would present quite a big conflict of interest – I would enter this dress. The Bridgette by Simple Sews.


This is such a simple dress to put together and best of all it’s free! Who doesn’t love free stuff? I have to say I didn’t 100% follow the instructions… or really at all. I noticed that Claire, Simple Sews’ designer, suggests attaching the sleeve at the shoulder and the stitching one very long seam all the way from the hem of the skirt to the hem of the sleeve. I was delighted. I kinda hate doing inset sleeves as I struggle to get the gathers at the shoulder even and think this is a MUCH easier way of doing things (does anyone know if it has a different effect?)


The only alteration I made to this pattern was to insert an exposed zipper instead of an invisible one. I am a massive fan on invisible zippers an believe they are much easier to put in than a centred zipper but I didn’t have any in the house. So I used PatternRunway’s tutorial for inserting an exposed zipper which was super easy to follow. I am very pleased with how it turned out *chuffed*


When I make this dress again – yes I will – I will change the bust darts around so that they finish about 3cm earlier and go up a size. I think I underestimated on the sizing and it’s a tad tighter than I’d like. However, on the whole I’m pretty happy with the results. I’m never really going to be the sort of person who makes a muslin so all in all this is a good result!

So – will you be entering the next round of Indie Pattern Month competitions?