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Its Time for a New Look: New Look Jersey Dress Pattern

Updated: Jan 15, 2022

Minerva Fabrics is hosting a fun sewing challenge this month to create a garment using a New Look Pattern. As a brand ambassador I was asked to choose a pattern and join in the fun.

I chose New Look 6525 for my pattern. I was looking for a pattern that would work with knits so that I could use this wonderful paisley knit fabric. It is a luxuriously soft polyester jersey knit perfect for dresses and tops. It has a great drape so I wanted a pattern that would emphasize this quality. I was drawn to this gorgeous traditional paisley design with a dark navy background. I can never refuse a good paisley. I love that this combination of fabric, it's reminiscent of the 60's, one of my favourite style decades. I often wonder if we are drawn to fashion in the decade that we were born in?

This fabric is a top quality ITY Silky Stretch Jersey. For those of you who many not be familiar with ITY, it is also known as Interlock Twist Yarn. It is a soft, breathable jersey woven with twisted yarn to increase stretch and durability. ITY fabric is manufactured with a 95% polyester and 5% spandex blend, easy to care for, and affordable. It it is a two way stretch and it is nice and wide at 150cm. As you don't have to worry about pattern matching you have lots of fabric to work with when laying out your pattern. All of this makes it a perfect choice for a dress. It will be a great dress to pack for trips-when we can take them again. With it being lightweight and wrinkle resistant, you can simply take it out of your suitcase, put it on and look classic, chic and effortlessly put together.

Paisley is an ornamental design which consists of curved teardrop shapes. This teardrop or buto motif is thought to have originated about 2,000 years ago somewhere near our modern-day Iran and Pakistan border very near to Kashmir. Scholars believe that the pattern was derived from an ancient Zoroastrian symbol for life and fertility. If you look closely you will see these symbols, a cypress tree and floral spray, in most designs. When it was first created it was hand printed or traditionally embroidered onto silk shawls using silver and gold threads. It was ceremonially exchanged as a "robe of honour" so it is often said that paisley was worn to represent elite social status. What I know it is a time-honoured design that makes a great dress!

New Look 6525 is a versatile pattern that offers several design elements to create a variety of stylish knit dresses. The basic dress design can be sewn with or without a wide ruffle along the bottom. The dress is easily styled in both knee or full-length options. I chose a length just above the knee as I prefer to make a shorter dress if a fabric has a busy pattern, even though this one is quite subtle. The shorter length helps to balance the flounce sleeves as well.

This pattern also offers several sleeve options. There is a simple, narrow full length sleeve, a lounge sleeve with a cuff and a 3/4 length sleeve with a flounce. I chose the flounce sleeve. I lengthened the upper pattern piece by 3" and kept the flounce the same length so the sleeve would still looked balanced, you don't want the flounce to be too big. The flounce on the pattern can be sewn with a slit in the sleeve. I wanted mine to be closed so I sewed the flounce with a French Seam. That way if the inside of the flounce is visible you can't see the overlocked stitching. It makes for a more polished look.

This is a really easy pattern to sew and it offers many options. Based on finished measurements I made a size 18 through the bust and shoulders and graded down to a size 8 through the hips. I simply folded the side seam straight down from the waistline to reduce the size of the A-Line.

I am looking forward to creating this pattern in a variety of ways with a variety of knits. I am sure it will be a go-to basic knit dress pattern.

After all... There is Sew Much To Design.

Happy Sewing,

Lou Sheffer

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