Tag Archives: winter dress

Minerva make: Vogue 8829 in crepe

Minerva make: bow neck shirt dress truly awesome …

crepe 1So let me tell you where I started with this month’s Minerva Blogger network make.  I started for a change with the pattern.  Usually I start with the fabric & then match to the pattern, but this time it was different.    Vogue 8829 is a pattern I’ve had for about a year, and always bring out to swoon over.  This folks is a shirt dress with sophistication & elegance.

Whilst it provides quite a few design options in terms of skirt shape, length, sleeve length & even collar style for me it was always going to be knee length pussy bow with sleeves (long or short).  It was also always going to be a dress I made in a solid colour- I could not imagine it in a print (except polka dots) , and that is why I have never made it until now – most of my stash & fabric buying tends to be ruled by prints you see.  So making my Minerva wish list up started with selecting this pattern & choosing suitable fabric from there.

crepe 3With my Minerva makes I try to extend my sewing skills & try something new.  I aim to develop my sewing skills & experience as it could be that if it scares me it might scare others, & if I can breathe in & take the plunge, it’ll encourage others to try as well.

This month’s personal challenge was to sew with fabric that was expensive (to me).  Being someone who is always attracted by discounts & bargains I almost have subconscious guidelines on how far my purchasing power extends, as one of the reasons I sew is to have an array of unique clothing that is not only very personal, but does not cost me the earth.  I am at heart a cheapskate.  This means that any quality “expensive” fabric that I do buy tends to lay wrapped up in tissue paper in a drawer until I can pluck up the courage to slice into it with my shears.  Therefore, choosing some absolutely incredible “designer” crepe as my November supplies forced me to be brave, to put my teddy bear to one side, take my thumb out of my mouth & lavish reverence, care & extreme attention on this most stately fabric.  I hoped this crepe would make a winter dress for work that would be easy to care for, but never having worked with crepe before, I did not really know if it would be true!  But folks, in reality this fabric is not as expensive as buying a ready to wear dress – remember that.  This fabric costs £11.99 per metre and is 150cm wide.  This dress takes 2 m – it really is not expensive!

crepe 2So this fabric is amazing folks.  It is definitely a mid weight autumn/ winter dress fabric.  Apart from its wonderful touch (feel the quality) & drape, it has two very distinct finishes.  It could be described as “self lined” for those who want to wear it with matt side out, shiny side in.  But then you might want to wear it shiny side out, in which case the inside would be matt.    However, even though the pattern envelope of my chosen dress showcased a dress in shiny fabric, I knew that would not be my look of choice.  Matt side out was my intention from the outset.

crepe 8So away I went.  Once I had sewn a toile of the bodice.  I wasn’t going to plough through my crepe with an as yet untested pattern!  The bodice fit fine (apart from a vertical pinch I took out from shoulder to chest) & in fact has quite enough ease.  It all seemed to be hitting the right spots, so then I wielded the shears & went past the point of no return.  It helped that I had a deadline to make this for.  No room for dithering!  I set to & made this dress up in a day.  I cut out style A but with the narrow skirt – but you can see that it is not a tight narrow skirt, more of an A line with soft pleats (more of those later).

crepe 4Oh folks, this was a dream to sew.  I really enjoyed the challenge of sewing with more expensive fabric.  Not to say that I am slapdash, but my usual need for speed when making things had to be tempered with giving this make the respect both pattern & fabric deserved.  As a result I found I raised my game with most of my manoeuvres executed with precision & when I did make the odd mistake, I did not allow fudges, but took it back & did it again.

crepe 5But I don’t think there were many mistakes, just the odd bit of topstitching that had veered off line.  I found all of the instructions were clear & easy to follow & loved the construction of the dress with big soft pleats at the yoke to create a blouson effect as well as big soft pleats in the skirt.   It seemed odd sewing the hemline before the dress was finished as that is usually the last thing I do, however, when it’s a style with a button band, the button band has to be attached with hem complete.  I think the trickiest sewing though, was attaching the tie collar when the size of the collar to neckline needed gentle easing to accommodate the slightly larger neck edge.

crepe 9Hahahaha – love the action shot!

OK, so that’s all I have to say about the sewing and the fabric.  What about design options?  This fabric gives you a new dimension which did not occur to me until I was well on the way.  With its matt/ shiny contrast think about how you can make use of this.  My choices were quite conservative opting to keep the dress matt with a shiny lining.  In this case I reversed the yoke lining so that its shiny side was out (you’d normally sew the inside yoke lining right side out), this made all of the lining shiny.


crepe 6

When I was sewing the neck tie it occurred to me that there were lots of areas that I could have played around with the play between matt/ shiny sides.  Eg shiny cuffs, button band and neck tie.  That felt too flash for me though, as this is going to be a work dress.  I just made use of the shiny contrast in its self cover buttons, which I like a lot.

crepe 7So I’ve worn this to work now & it is just the dress & more.  In fact it has exceeded my expectations as I think it doesn’t have to be solely an office dress as I was intending.  Worn with the right footwear you can get different looks, not just smart workwear.  Its fit is casual & blouson-ish which makes it feel fun to wear.  And I love the bow neck!  Swoon.   Should you want to give it a go, Minerva’s kit contains 2m of fabric, matching thread and  self cover buttons.  This dress though has plenty of room to wear long vests, t-shirts etc underneath if extra warmth is required without compromising its style by trying to get the right cardi.  Perfecto!!  I am imagining how lush this style would look in a check flannel now…

Oh my, not another New Look 6000?

Hello everyone!! Here follows another rendition of New Look 6000, as the title suggests. This is the first dress I’ve made for…..months.

Remember I said I was suffering from Not Enough Dresses Syndrome (aka NEDS)? Well this is my first month’s cure. I am allowed to make one dress per month & so fell into good ol’ New Look 6000 since it:

  1. Doesn’t take much fabric if you use the plain unpleated version (possibly 1.5m of 44″ sorry, mixing my units there – I have a mental blank about what the metric width is!)
  2. I’ve made it before so fitting is nearly (but not quite) right
  3. It has longer sleeves, which make it a better winter dress
  4. It’s quick to make

New Look 6000-002

I did select a handful of other patterns though, willing my fabric to be long enough, but it wasn’t. NL6000 it was to be. The fabric I should add is brushed cotton (nice & warm!), a Rose & Hubble design which I bought from a fabric shop that was moving & had discovered hidden bales in the deepest darkest depths of its storeroom. NO IDEA what era it harks back to. There was something about the poppies & vibrant colours that drew me to it. It was going to be a possible Ginger skirt, or a gathered full wintery skirt to wear with boots that would take me back to the 1980s. However, NEDS won & I felt that all last year had stocked my wardrobe with plenty of wardrobe staples & it was time for some “frosting”.

New Look 6000 catdance-002

I said that this was nearly a good fit. Remember this version here? Well it’s funny that the last time I looked at its back in the mirror (when wearing it) I realised that I needed to take out yet more of a wedge from the centre back. Needless to say I haven’t worn it since, & it is decorating my ironing pile. However, I did remember to remove a wedge from the CB when cutting out this latest version.

New Look 6000 winter dress-002

So I said that I only had about a metre and a half of this fabric, but that gave me enough to make the dress (but without the vent extension) plus my own version of cuffs (didn’t quite have enough to make the decorative cuffs with pointy sticky out edges) as well as enough for the collar. I did not cut facings as I wanted to use bias – & you’ll see how that benefitted me later down the line. But I would have had enough if I wanted to- just. NB using bias is not suitable for all fabrics & you’re probably going to get a more predictably sound finish if you use a facing….you know, the neckline might be more prone to gaping …

I steamed on with the sewing, using an invisible zip (purely because that was all I had in the colour) & machine basting the sides to try on for fit. What a good idea that was – I needed to narrow the hips a bit but apart from that it fitted fine, including the back – no gaping this time.

NL 6000 my cuff-002

I had initially planned to make the sleeves a simple 3/4 length & hem them, but the more I thought about it, the more I thought they needed a cuff of some sort. Not having enough for the complete cuff that came with the pattern I made them to fit the end of the sleeve with a simple slit opening. I think this will work well for squirrelling away inside a cardigan, better than the pointed fancy cuffs methinks.

NL 6000 cardigan look-002

Sewing everything else was fine, as you’d expect, but shall I tell you about the time saving bias neck facing? Well! First of all you need to know that I started to make the collar (because it is simply adorable isn’t it?) But due to the wild crazy madness of the fabric’s pattern I thought it was a detail that would probably get lost. This dress needed a simple shape, simple clear lines so that the fabric did the shouting. When I had finished the dress – the sleeves were in, cuffs attached, skirt hemmed, neck finished, I tried it on. This dress’s neckline is quite high cut, not as wide as a boatneck, but that high.

NL 6000 neckline-002

Looking at it on me, it was too much – more skin was needed near my face. So I re-cut the neckline & as it was only faced in bias that did not involve having to recut a new facing – woohoo!!! It took about an hour to revise. And fancy a clever lazy tip ? (I swear being lazy is often a sign of intelligence, pity I am too guilty to ever carry it off successfully, but my cat? He’s got it sussed)

New Look 6000 back-002

Anyway – lazy tip – I kept the scrap of fabric I cut off from the original neckline & have now stuffed it into the pattern envelope with the pattern so that I can use it as a template to amend future versions should I so wish. Quick & easy.

NL 6000 lazy pieces-002

So the dress is dying to get taken out. I think it is another schizophrenic dress – it will be good for work or play. I like making such dual use clothing!

So, this month I will add it to the New Look 6000 gallery, & take the opportunity to update it with others that have recently been showcased here & here. As I see new versions popping up on the internets, I will continue to populate this gallery with links back to original blog posts. If you want me to link to any of your versions, please let me know in the comments & I’ll update it. Can you tell I still love this pattern? But I still NEED to make the gathered version! So far I’ve only made the simple sheath dress due to fabric limitations, but the gathers are lush!



New Look 6000: in technicolour

Just a few more photos of “the dress” , ie New Look 6000, in daylight, & before I launch the “gallery” proper later today.  (And blog button, woo hoo!! watch this space).  Let’s get my silliness out of the way shall we?    You can see that I had the benefits of my crazeee photographer.  Apparently he is just so creative, that even in 5 minutes shooting snaps of some bint looking a bit mad, he needs to push the boundaries …..I blame him.   Totally.  For the more bizarre ones that is.  Starting relatively somberly & sensibly …

Yes it is a wig!  I can’t believe how polite everyone was last time!

Anyway, lengthwise I wanted this to hit the knee, being more of a demure dress.

Here are the cuffs – darling aren’t they?  I sewed the button (plastic homage to marcasite!) through all thicknesses of the cuff, although as you’ll see in the gallery post, or already on her website, Jane sewed 2 buttons, one each side & they look super cute.

The good news?  I’m still sitting in the frock now, very badly postured with laptop on knee & the ease in the upper back seems to be OK.  (I was concerned about it).  No too sure I like what is happening to the hem though.  If only I’d not seen that, I’d be so much happier!  I think it’s where the hem to underlining is pulling a bit.  A whack of the iron & I’ll see if that’ll fix it.

Onto some self indulgent silliness now.

To explain this shot- whilst it shows the collar a little, photographer was in the “air stewardess” zone & asked for a “the plane’s going to crash!” pose.  Hmm. Fat lot of use I’d be in a crisis!  But the collar – another interesting thing about this pattern, it’s not interfaced – but being cut on the bias that’ll be why.

And which zone you ask are we in here?  The tropics perhaps?  Well the cat’s thinking otherwise … I’m sure it was the “Twilight Zone” …..

(And yes, I have tortured him with a “Scooby Doo cover for the sofa he is so intent on covering with fur, twigs, more fur and matted chunks of fur).

So anyone wanting to send me photos or links for the big round up post later, please do.  Im at


Look forward to hearing from you 🙂


By the way, New Look 6000 “Frock Fest” has absolutely no requirement to be silly or immature in any way.  All participants can take part, knowing that their credibility & creativity remains intact & any photos shared will be to the glorification of the wonder of the pattern and the skill of the participants.  Scruffy Badger is merely the happy hostess.