I've found another reason to love New Look 6968 in addition to the great fit and cute neckline options: it's very economical too. I bought this gorgeous Japanese cotton from Tessuti's last year when I bought the fabric for my failed entry in their annual competition:
I originally bought it to make a dress for Anna, but then I thought the fabric was too nice for a 2 year old's dress who would either grow out of it quickly or ruin it so I decided to make myself a top instead, probably a sleeveless shell top like one of these I made recently. Luckily I didn't get around to making something from the fabric too soon, because after making that last New Look dress I thought a dress would be better because then the fabric in all it's prettiness could be seen instead of being hidden under a suit jacket. See there is a good reason for stashing your fabric!
Since I had originally planned an eeni meeni toddler dress, I only bought 1 metre and it is the usual width of 112cm, so I didn't have too much fabric to play with but thankfully it didn't shrink too much after pre washing it. Choosing the sleeveless and collarless version of this dress, and cutting one pattern piece upside down (there's no nap to the fabric so it was ok to do that) I managed to eek out this dress:
Please excuse the flash photos, but we're having torrential rain and extremely grey days at the moment so it was the best I could do. In fact I cranked up the heater just to take this photo, and I have no idea when I'll be wearing this dress out, although I could layer it up big time and just dream of summer weather.
To say that I love this pattern is an understatement, Carolyn and Judidarling you are both so right when you say this could become my TNT dress pattern! I managed to cut out and sew this in two evenings (about three hours in total) because it is such a simple but well fitted pattern. Because I only just squeezed the pattern pieces out I didn't even try to match the print figuring that the print was so busy no one would notice, so that saved a fair amount of time (and sanity!) just sewing the side seams without trying to line up the print.
Besides which wearing a belt helps in hiding any noticeable pattern mismatching at the waist seam:
although to be honest it's probably only perfectionists that sew our own clothes that would either notice or care. But I do think that a dress with a waist seam looks better with a belt or tie of some sort around it, so I'll wear it belted regardless.
The pattern called for lining the bodice only, and sewing on neck and sleeve facings, which I found a little bizarre because from what I could see the lining extends to the neckline and the facings are just sewed onto the lining. Instead I chose to fully line the dress, leaving off the facings and constructed it using the sleeveless dress lining method (ie sew at the neckline and armholes, turn inside out, sew the centre back zip and then the side seams absolutely last).
So all in all I am extremely glad I made this pattern acquisition, even though my pattern stash is out of control and I am trying hard not to buy more!
Jacquie - I'm ashamed to admit that I rarely leave Spotlight without purchasing a fabric, even if I have only popped in there to get a zip or some thread! They do have a large range of fabric which makes me feel sad for all the cotton and other fibres that were sacrificed to create such ugly fabrics, but at the moment they do have a lovely range of stretch cotton sateens and some printed cotton lawn that they are claiming to be Japanese. I'm also lucky that my local Spotlight is relatively new so it is spacious, well laid out and generally tidy so you can actually see all the fabrics.
Katherine H - I too love Cue and I have a few of their suits because I think its worthwhile investing in a well fitting suit, but otherwise I find their clothes extremely expensive for what they are. But thank you for the lovely comparison!
KID, MD - thank you for naming the 'ink blot' tests, I never knew what they were officially called but now I do. And Jean, you crack me up!
And Cidell and Sewingprincess, what can I say? Thank you so much for the very flattering comments - you both made my day!