sewing

New Look 6974

I love quilting cottons. The bright colors, the ease of working with cotton, the mutlitude of ways to mix and match. Sadly, I never use quilting cottons in my own clothes–a little too much wrinkling and the accompanying feeling that one's wearing a blanket. Which is why I love using quilting cottons in children's clothes! Kids don't know any better! They probably would wear blankets around if we let them.

NL 6974 is a great little pattern for toddler aged girls. There aren't many styles to choose from, but the godets and the underskirt means you can mix together different fabrics in some really fun styles. Plus, as far as I can tell, lots of little girls love the full skirt that godets create. I have a feeling my niece may do a serious amount of twirling in this little dress.

The front!
The back!

The pattern is also great if you're a beginner sewer and want to practice a few basic but important techniques. It includes the aforementioned godets, an invisible zipper, a lining, narrow hems, and gathering along the front bodice. Using a nice stable cotton just makes all those things easier. The only difficulty I've run into with this pattern (this is the second dress I've made using it), was with the lining pattern pieces. In size 2, the front and back lining pieces aren't wide enough along the bodice seam line to match up with the bodice yoke pieces. I simply used the size 3 front and back lining pieces, and then trimmed a bit off the bottom (so that the underskirt isn't too long). Seems to work.

All in all, a great pattern, despite the problems with the lining pieces. I'll probably make this again at some point. It's an especially great dress to give as a gift, I think, since it is a bit fancier and looks more complicated to make than it really is. I'm a slow sewer, but counting cutting time this takes about 3 hours.

 

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4 thoughts on “New Look 6974

  1. Hi, I’m attempting this pattern for my niece. I’m a beginner and I”m having trouble with the lining also. Aside from the lining not being wide enough as you said, i’m really struggling with steps 8 an 9. Trying to apply the lining with the right sides together, step #8 is confusing in the way the illustration shows the first stitch. I cannot figure out how I’m supposed to pin and stitch the lining and I’m getting frustrated! Can you please help me. 🙂 Christine

    1. Hi Christine–I can see why this would be confusing. It is always rough when the pattern has a misprint. The lining piece isn’t big enough, so that’s the first problem. I would first suggest recutting the lining piece using the size three piece, rather than the size two. That should work better.

      Second, you’ll have to ease the stitching. You probably already did this in steps 1-4 when you sewed the front yoke to the front of the dress. In case you didn’t do that yet, I’ve written the steps below.

      Easing occurs when you need to join two pieces of fabric and one of them is longer than the other. In this case (I’m pretty sure–sorry, it has been a while since I did this pattern!), the yoke facing is longer than the front lining piece. (That will be the case even if use the size 3 pieces as I suggested in the post, but it will be easier to ease if you use the size 3 rather than the size 2). To ease the stitching, try the following:

      1. Place your front lining piece down on a table, the right side facing up.
      2. Place your front yoke piece on top of that so that the “top” of the piece (i.e., the neckline) is actually pointing down towards the bottom of the dress, the right side of the fabric facing down. You want to match the center point of the lining edge and the yoke edge and pin them together. [Ignore picture 8 in the instructions–it shows you what the pieces will look like once they’ve been sewn together].
      3. The lining piece seam edge should look like it is smiling (i.e, the seam line curves up). The yoke piece seam edge should look like it is frowning (ie.e., the seam line curves down).
      4. Pin the outside right and left edges of the yoke and the lining. This is going to be a bit tricky because your seams are curving in different directions–one is curving up and the other is curving down.
      5. Starting from the left, pin the edges together working inwards towards your center point pin. Don’t worry if you use a lot of pins–you have to ease the fabric here (because you should have more fabrice in the yoke edge than in the lining edge) so it may take a lot of pins.
      6. Repeat the same from the right, working towards the center pin.
      7. Once everything is pinned together, sew the seam very slowly. Don’t worry if it isn’t perfec the first time! This can take some practice to get right.
      8. When you’ve sewn the seam, fip up the yoke–you should have a piece that resembles your dress front (if you’ve already sewn it). At this point, it should look like the illustration in Step 8.

      For Step 9, you simply lay your completed lining piece (the dress lining with the attached yoke) down on the table so that the right side faces up. Then lay your dress piece down exactly on top of it with the right side facing down. The two pieces should match up with one another pretty much exactly. Then you sew along the armholes, the shoulders, and the neck. Ignore the long line of stitching at the yoke seam in Illustration 9–you don’t sew there. Layer the seam and then flip it inside out. The straps should be attached at one end and hang free at the other end (you’ll attach those to the other side of the dress later).

      I hope that helps!

      1. Thank you SO MUCH! Last night around 11pm I had a light bulb moment and I figured out how to sew the lining on BUT this 1. Confirmed for me the proper steps. 2. Was so very helpful the way you have stepped through it. Thank you so much for your time! I am looking forward to making more of these dresses !! Now on to the back of the garment. 🙂

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