This month I have had the worst sewing ADHD possible. I honestly didn’t think I would actually complete a project this month due to my indecisiveness regarding patterns, fabrics, and a general sense of frustration with pattern mishaps lately. Simplicity released their new spring 2022 patterns and the New Look 6718 captivated me. I immediately went to the store and bought it the same day. I honestly can’t remember the last time a Big 4 pattern has gotten me absolutely gaga. I for one love a great maxi dress, and spend much of my summer months in big flowy sundresses for the heat and comfort. The fact that it was a humid 87 degrees yesterday in Long Beach was just enough of an excuse I needed to put on my new dress and twirl around.
Maxi Dress: New Look 6718. So first and foremost, the design of this pattern is absolutely dreamy. I had been looking to actually draft a dress similar, as I’d been eyeing some runway pieces that felt very similar in design. I did view A with view B length. Now to the not so pretty parts about this pattern. The biggest issue, is the fabric specifications on this pattern are absolutely incorrect. I made the size 20 (of course not normal clothing sizes for my non-sewing folks). My busty self couldn’t do any other size if I wanted to, but also because that’s the max of their sizing chart for New Look Patterns (serious side eye on that one McCall Pattern company!). Per the pattern I would need about 4 ½ yards of 60” wide fabric. I actually used 6 yards of 60’ wide fabric, and boy was I grateful that I actually had all of that available to use thanks to my fabric hording self over buying when I bought this fabric. This is a huge difference in fabric yardage! The center waist piece was drafted 2 and ½ inches short of the length that it needed to be in order for the waist piece to wrap all the way around and connect properly in the back. The result was me having to shave off fabric on either side in the back to cover this drafting mistake. The Front lower skirt should have also been increased by 2 and 1/4th inches in width in order to line up with the top half of the body of this dress. That I was also able to hide when I shaved off the back for the other drafting mistake. Honestly these type of drafting mistakes in this pattern from such a large pattern company is more than a bit of an epic fail, but they could have rendered this pattern a disaster. For a beginning sewist, I’m sure it would be. I had to get creative in order to compensate for these issues, which ultimately left me with a back that does not line up perfectly. So the back of this dress is my least favorite thing to look at, but even with that all of that said, I still really like this dress and the pattern. Armed with what I now know, I will make sure my next version has taken all of these issues into account. So my biggest takeaway advice for this pattern is make a muslin/toile, buy more yardage than you think you will need, and be prepared to make pattern adjustments to account for the front lower skirt and the middle waist facing issues. Also be sure to interface the neckline along with the facing for this pattern. I got a weird kind of floppy fabric thing around the neckline due to my rayon challis fabric being so light.
FABRIC – I used this beautiful rayon challis from my stash that I’d purchased from Fabric Merchants Outlet. I saw this in their store during one of my trips there and bought everything they had left, which was six yards. Fabric Merchant Outlet is one of my hidden gem stores of the LA fashion district. It’s on the outskirts of the fashion district in an area that’s solely commercial and manufacturing. I discovered their store while I was consulting for a fashion company that was within walking distance to their store. Needless to say I spent a lot of money there on my lunch breaks. This rayon challis proved to be more on the silky side and behaved like a silk fabric in that it was very slippery. The next time I make this dress I will use a more solid woven like a tencel twill or drapery cotton blend fabric.