Friday, August 16, 2013

NewLook 6643 - Aqua brocade dress w/ keyhole neckline

About this time last year, Mood fabrics got in a wide array of Italian brocades with raised floral imprints. They were divine and I had a really hard time picking the exact one I wanted. Eventually I settled on this one in aqua with red, yellow and navy color accents. It looks like an abstract painting and the red bits look a little like dripping blood. It's so interesting and unusual. Then, because I loved it so much, it sat around in my to-do pile before I could finally muster up the courage to cut into it. Unfortunately, after all that sitting around, it has completely sold out. You can see similar brocades from Mood fabrics here.


I only got 1.5 yards so I knew some sort of sheath dress was in order. I didn't want to cut up the large aqua flowers (which you can see in some of the other pictures) so it had to be relatively simple. Also, I try to make things that are interesting and that have some sort of design detail at the neckline. I combed through my pattern stash and Burda magazine collection and then my pattern stash again, at last settling on NewLook 6643. I made view D with the keyhole and bias bound neckline/armholes, using the same fabric for the binding instead of a contrasting color like the envelope picture.


After making a muslin I had to remove 1" from each shoulder. I also widened the shoulder straps inward by 3/4". The bust measurements printed on the pattern are incorrect - I suggest you flat pattern measure or make a muslin if you want to attempt this design. Since I could walk easily without it, I omitted the back slit. There wasn't enough fabric for one anyway.


 The bias binding really wasn't very difficult, especially because the fabric was not in the least bit slippery. I just love the keyhole detail. You can see the raised aqua flowers better in this picture:


Dressform pictures:


 Originally I was planning to use a princess seamed sheath dress pattern. It called for a side zipper which I special ordered from NYC in the perfect shade of aqua. After I figured out I needed something with darts and went with this pattern, I didn't want to have to special order another zipper. That is why the zipper is on the side, even though there's a perfectly good center back seam that it could have gone into.


A lining was definitely called for, and I found the perfect color match among all those Thakoon fabrics Mood listed this past spring. It's silk crepe de chine, a fabric I've used only one other time which ended in disaster. Gosh, it is beautiful stuff. It feels so delicate and soft and I was a bit afraid of ruining it. I went slowly, taking my time and not rushing through. Now that the dress is completed, the silk feels strong and really makes a perfect lining.


This was a fun dress to make once I got past my nervousness about ruining the fabrics. And lest you worry about the seasons changing, rest assured that it will be hot here in Texas for a few more months. I'll have plenty of time to wear my new dress.

86 comments:

  1. Beautiful! Love the print and your keyhole detail is perfect!

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  2. That fabric is really special, and you chose a great pattern for it! Wonderful!

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  3. Very pretty Amanda, I really love that keyhole detail. That bias binding is also SO well done, I'm so impressed!

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    1. Thanks Haylee! I'm toying with the thought of reusing the pattern with three keyholes instead of one...

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  4. This is a stunning dress! Thanks for linking to the brocades--I never would have thought of those as dress-making fabrics!

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    1. Thanks K! Brocades are awesome to work with, as long as it isn't a design that needs fluidity.

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  5. gorgeous fabric...looks like a watercolour.

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  6. It is beautiful!! What a wonderful fabric. I love it to read how you made it!
    Love, Wilma

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  7. It does remind me of watercolour paintings! The fabric is beautiful and the dress looks great on you!

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  8. Really beautiful! Love the fabric and the details - great job!

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  9. That is the perfect sheath dress. The fabric looks like a gorgeous piece of art and the colors look great on you as well.

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  10. This is incredibly gorgeous! I love seeing the insides of your garments too, everything is finished so professionally! And I am seriously envious of your bias binding skills.

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  11. Super pretty! I like the binding effect.

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  12. Beautiful dress! What a lovely and special fabic.

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  13. Your dress is super gorgeous. I love the print - you have picked the perfect pattern to show it off.

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  14. Water colors and... dripping blood! LOL, what a clash in words and yet looks just fine in photos. Beautiful dress, as always. Comforting to hear that even an expert like you still feels a little nervous cutting into that special fabric! But you needn't be, you do gorgeous work.

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    1. I know - it's so odd it's awesome. Kind of like a dog that's so ugly he's cute. And I can't tell you how much beautiful fabric I've got in my stash that I'm nervous about using. The one thing that really changed my sewing for the better was learning to take the time to muslin. Now I might get a fast heartbeat during cutout but for the most part my stuff turns out. Thanks for your comment June!

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  15. gorgeous dress! i love the fabric you used, and your stitching is impeccable. great job!

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  16. Beautiful and unusual fabric. Fabulous fit and finish.

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  17. Beautiful dress, it fits you so well :)

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  18. perfection.
    The keyhole is just the right design detail.
    I can see why this fabric had to be yours!

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  19. Looks lovely! I love the colors and it looks fantastic on you!

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  20. It is a pretty dress, and the fabric is very interesting.

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  21. What an incredibly special fabric!! It's so gorgeous, and I love the textural quality to it. Excellent choice keeping the design understated, with the added visual interest of the keyhole. Beautiful!

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  22. Hi Amanda, I’m launching a new line of sewing patterns, and would like to treat you with my first pattern. If you’re interested, please email me at anajan.stepalica[at]gmail[dot]com. For more info about the pattern, feel free to visit my blog http://www.stepalica.com.

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  23. So cute! It looks great on you!

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  24. What a beautiful dress---and your lining is impeccable!

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  25. I love the keyhole detail too.

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  26. Oh, I gasped when I saw this!! It is so beautiful!! The fabric is just gorgeous, with the added texture, it really takes it over the top. And, I love the keyhole neckline as well. So charming.

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  27. Your keyhole is perfect!
    I will have to check out silk crepe de chine sometime.

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    1. Thanks Kyle! I am plotting what else I can use it for.

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  28. That is a drop dead gorgeous dress. Love, love the fabric. Glad the silk crepe de chine worked well as a lining. That too is beautiful color.

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  29. So lovely!!! It is difficult to bring yourself to make that first cut sometimes, isn't it? You did an amazing job, as usual!

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    1. Thanks Kristine! I am always so relieved when I've got everything cut out.

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  30. Love the fabric and love the fit! I have a couple fabrics sitting in my stash that I love but am a bit too afraid to commit to cutting. I think your post will give me courage to just do it!

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  31. I've always thought of brocade as ugly furniture fabric, but your fabric is so unexpected and lovely, and you picked the perfect pattern to showcase it. As usual your finishing g is impeccable, that lining is as lovely as the dress

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    1. Thanks Kristy! Brocade is some of my favorite fabric to use because of it's texture quality. Stacy and Clinton of What Not to Wear always say that what makes an outfit interesting is color, pattern, texture and shine, and I think they are absolutely correct!

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  32. This is lovely, I have a similar fabric in pink and had been wondering what to do with it (limited quantity) but you just gave me the perfect idea.

    P.s I love your blog...stumbled on it a couple of weeks ago and I have gone through ALL of your posts :D

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  33. http://blog.fabricmartfabrics.com/2013/08/are-you-ready-for-our-fashion-challenge.html You should enter this contest.

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    1. Oh gosh, I am so tempted to enter. However, after giving it some thought, I don't think I'll do that to myself. Having deadlines makes me extremely nervous, and I don't do well under pressure. Perhaps if I had more time and less children around...

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  34. Beautiful dress and such an amazing fabric.

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  35. Beautiful dress! I can see why you were drawn to the fabric. Good for you for not letting it become Too Good To Use!

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  36. This dress is beautiful, I am absolutely amazed by how professional the stitching of the dress is, it sits perfectly on your!

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  37. Oh! The fabric is just soooo gorgeous! and this simple classic style really makes the most of it. Lovely!

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  38. Got to agree with the previous comments here - the bais binding is beautiful. Gorgeous fabric too, and looks so professional!

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  39. Gorgeous fabric and dress and the lining is genius! I usually use organic for dresses from www.organiccottonplus.com, but I'll check out your source too.

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    1. Thanks Mary! I use all different fabrics for linings, but wanted to try silk for the first time. Luckily I found the perfect color match. I have also used cotton sheeting with great results. Linings can be really fun!

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  40. That is so lovely and classic, yet very "today" at the same time. Your bias binding is brilliant.

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  41. Very pretty dress with that keyhole detail and LOVE the fabric!

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  42. I love the binding on this dress. Do you use a right angle binder foot?

    http://isitreallysewstrange.blogspot.ca/

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    1. Thanks! And no, I do not use any special feet for binding.

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