Monday, June 15, 2009

When will I learn - or - New Look 6754 pattern review

New Look 6754 -with it's front neckline pleats, bias roll collar, and sleeve options- held the promise of stylish summer tops suitable for wearing beneath a suit jacket or on their own paired with jeans.

Ah, but the promise was broken.

Don't let this photo fool you. This top does not have the design elements needed to make it a winner.

While it was indeed an easy pattern, the line drawings are misleading.
  • The neckline is much wider and lower than illustrated.
  • The bias roll collar does not drape softly at the neckline. Instead it stands at attention in a rather unattractive and unflattering stance.
  • The bias flutter sleeves do not fall into soft folds as illustrated. When worn, the sleeves also stand at attention looking more like wings in flight than sleeves.

I haven't sewn very many New Look patterns, but I'm not gonna lie. I've had issues with almost every single one. In my experience they have run large, so I cut this one at a straight size 12 with no full bust adjustment (FBA). In fact, I almost cut the shoulders and neck at a size 10.

The fabric was a bit ravelly so I took the extra time to encase every seam with Seams Great. The design calls for a 12" back zipper, which I was certain I could eliminate. Whew. Good thing I basted the center back seam and did a fitting. I would have been unable to get it on without the zipper.

So, I inserted an invisible back zipper, which meant I had to follow the pattern design and add a closing at the center back neckline.
After a few hours the top was completed. I eagerly put it on and grabbed the camera to capture the moment. I quickly discovered that even with a zipper the top was difficult to get on.

And that was when I first thought that this might not have been the best pattern to choose to sew. That thought was quickly confirmed when I looked in the mirror and discovered the problems I mentioned earlier.

"Eew," I thought. "This is one ugly top. I knew I should have chosen McCall's 5561." Of course my next thought was "well, there's no way this is being photographed with me wearing it. "

Of course now that it's completed I remembered to check the reviews on Pattern Review. Which confirm most of the issues I had also. When, oh when, will I learn to check PR first? Oh well, live and learn.

Broken (pattern) promises-they disappoint. But the bright spot? I took photos of the narrow hem process so I have a nice little tute.

Narrow Hem Tutorial

Press under 1/4" on the lower edge. Stitch as close as possible to the pressed edge. My machine has the ability to move the needle left or right so I kept the pressure foot centered on the folded fabric and moved my needle to the edge.

Very carefully, trim close to the stitching.

Turn the fabric over another 1/8" and stitch in place. You're almost rolling the fabric over and stitching over the first row of stitches. If you sew slowly it will be easier to handle the fabric.

Press lightly. This is what the outside of the hem looks like when it is completed.
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  1. don't you just hate when that happens. i've just about learned to stay out of the big four pattern books at hancocks--unless i see it made up by another blogger, like simplicity 2593, which i recently was inspired to make. (actually i shamelessly copied it, fabric and all, from amy karol's blog)

    as for this top--maybe your dress form can wear it when she's not busy working for you. it looks great on her!

  2. I am so sorry about how the shirt turned out. I know how disappointed you must be. The fabric is very pretty. Hopefully I can learn from your mistakes and remember to look at Pattern Review before I sew, and also stay away from New Look patterns as much as possible. Thanks for the tute, though.

    If you would like to see pictures and a description of my sewing space, go to my blog.



  3. I saw your blouse on Flickr this AM. I thought it looked nice. Sorry to read that this did not live up to expectations as I really like the fabric. Similar to something I saw in Talbot's catalogue. Like you I remember to read PR after the fact.

  4. Great fabric - shame the top didn't work. Thanks for the good tutorial though!

  5. Sorry about your top. Grrrrr! I was looking for tops to go under suits also. I bought Simplicity 8523 and McCall 2818. The S has bust darts. The McCall has princess seams. Both have neckline variations and either with sleeves or sleeveless.

  6. It looks good hanging there. I do know how tops change looks when you put them on though. What a shame.
    Thanks for the idea of moving the needle over rather than trying to keep the foot right on the edge! Why haven't I thought of that?

  7. As Salinda says, "don't you hate when that happens"

    Hmmm..any chance you can gift it to a relative you don't like? LOL!

    Vintage far, so good!

  8. I have some New Look patterns that are sitting here, staring at me. I think I'll hop over to PR to check them out. Love that you got a silver lining (tutorial) out of the not so perfect top!

  9. BUMMER! And all the great work you did, too. I would have been fooled by the drawings, too.

  10. Oh well, live and learn! At least you don't have a ton of time invested in it and you've saved others from the same bad pattern.

  11. bernadette9:57 PM

    This is way after your original post ...but I have learned to be wary of ANY pattern that does not show a photo of the actual garment on a real person. Line drawings are NEVER like the finished product and I sometime question if they even bothered to test-sew the pattern before sending it out to stores!

    Plus, New Look requires too many adjustments to fit my bod.

  12. Well - better luck next time maybe? I always learn things the hard way. :)

  13. Sorry the shirt didn't turn out how you liked! I posted a link to your narrow hem tutorial on Craft Gossip Sewing:

  14. Ver pretty fabric, such a shame it did not work out for the top. Great tutorial!

  15. Maureen S.11:10 AM

    Thank you for taking time to do this review and your tips. May I ask if there is a pattern line that you like best? In the past I've never liked the way Simplicity fit, and have preferred McCalls, have not done much with New Look, would like some updated opinions! We moved last summer so I got rid of almost all my patterns, and now am needing to sew some semi-fitted tops that work well with wovens and could wear with a skirt, I don't like low or too wide necklines....any suggestions? I wear a size 8 or 10 petite. Thanks!



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