Sunday, May 26, 2013
New Look 6097: The Nowhere to Hide Dress
Wrap dresses and I have a troubled history. I accept the prevailing view that the wrap feature is flattering, since it creates a diagonal line over the bust down to the hip. But the devil's in the finer details of the fit. Given that the wrapping section will never defy gravity, but rather will slip beneath the breast that it crosses over, it's difficult for a short-waisted person to achieve a reasonably modest fit.
And that brings me to another point: no matter how often I allow extra ease to avoid tightness, I end up taking it all back out in the end. An easy-fitting knit wrap dress gapes scandalously on me. So my efforts on this outing to grade up from the smallest size provided (10) at the upper chest and neckline to an easy 14 at the waist and hip resulted in a lot of trying on, ripping, sewing larger seam allowances, trying on, ripping...
All that adjusting means there's nowhere to hide in this dress. If it's not snug, it's totally indecent in another way. It will be interesting to see whether the positives (pockets, no wrinkles, forgiving print) will outweigh my reluctance to grab a more fitted dress from the lineup when I'm choosing something to wear in the mornings.
A positive of New Look 6097's drafting is that it uses pleats rather than gathers to form the ruching at the side seams. This always seems to work better for me, I think because it's more controlled. Can you see the surgical site at my eyebrow? It's healing well.
The bodice required quite a bit of shortening, 1 1/2", which I removed from the lower edge. In the back, I removed an additional 1/2" of length from the center back and 1/2" at the center of the skirt portion. That amounts to a full 1" removed for swayback, and it seems to have done the trick of getting rid of excess fabric at that location.
I had added to the side seams of the bodice to match up with a larger size for the skirt portion, and I took all out all the added width and more. From the widest point of my hips, this is a size 14, but above that it's probably an 8. Suffice it to say, my measurements do not correspond to a New Look size 8!
With a sweater or a jacket you can see the collar, which I really like. I did make it a bit narrower than drafted, and I feel it's still a bit too wide for me, but the presence of the collar helps me feel more covered up and polished.
This fabric is an ITY knit that was on sale from FabricMart for $2.80 a yard! I bought two yards in this print and two in a similar, somewhat coordinating print. From those four yards ($11.20), I've gotten two dresses and a top. Pretty good deal! It's not the prettiest design, but I do like the combination of colors and the lace sections of the motif.