Pattern Review: New Look 6966

Due to lack of sewing at the moment – blame skating nationals and the live video feed – another older project pattern review.  This is the first (only) New Look pattern I have made so far, New Look 6966:


I have made two views off of this pattern – view B for my sister and view C for myself.

View C – the front.
View C – the side
View C – the back, with my not so great zipper job
I think it needs a belt or something
View B – my sister’s dress!

These were some of the dresses I made while I was still very much a beginner at sewing, so overall I think they turned out ok, although I think I could so a much better job if I were going to make them again today.  Also, all of the fabric (with the exception of the lining on the view B rainbow dress) came from a trip to San Francisco, so I was super excited to sew it up after I got back.

Here is my official pattern review:

Pattern Description:  From the Simplicity website: Retro style dress with four bodice options.  I made two of these – view B (the front gathered bodice with the halter style) and view C (gathers at the neckline with straps).

Pattern Sizing: (6-8-10-12-14-16).  For view C I made a size 16.  This was before I knew anything about FBA or pattern adjustments really, so I was going by full bust measurements.  If I were making it again, I would do a size 12 with FBA.

Were the instructions easy to follow?  Yes, this is a pretty simple dress pattern.  I did not have a problem with the instructions for either type of bodice.

Did it look like the photo/drawing when you were done with it?  I would say it looked a lot more like the photo than the drawing.  In the drawing the skirt looks a bit fuller, and the neckline a bit higher.  In the photograph, you can see that the skirt isn’t all that full, and the neckline is actually a bit low.  I had to remedy this when I was making my versions of the dress.  However, the order of instructions for inserting the straps makes it difficult to adjust the length, so you may want to test this before sewing them in.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?  I like the style and bodice options.  I liked the instructions because they were easy to follow.  I like that all sizes come in one envelope.  I don’t like the limited size range however.  And I wasn’t super happy with the fit of the pattern.  Even though I added an inch and a half to the length of the top bodice piece (for both styles), the neckline was still barely decent.  Also, I wish the skirt had been slightly fuller like the drawing and less like the photograph.  The problem is that the skirt lays very flat in the front and back and is fuller on the side, which isn’t the most attractive look for me.  It doesn’t have this problem on the dress form, but on a person with legs, it seems to do this.  Perhaps it needs a petticoat to give it more shape?  Also, I think the waistline is a bit high as well, which you can also sort of see on the pattern envelope.  I should have paid more attention to the photo when I bought it I guess, but I usually focus more on the line drawings, so I didn’t notice until after that the fit in the photo wasn’t super great.  I think in the future, I may try to use a fuller skirt with the bodice part of this pattern.

Fabric used: For view C I used some sort of polyester fabric I think.  It was on an unlabeled roll, but it was only $2/yard and I liked the color.  It is really shiny but doesn’t photograph super well.  For view B, I used a polyester chiffon (with glitter) over a polyester crinkle satin fabric from Joann.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:  For view C I increased the length of the top so it would fit over my bust.  It was something like an FBA before I knew what I an FBA was.  I don’t think I did it the “proper” way, but it covered what needed covering.  I also added 2″ to the waist length. For view B, I also added length to the bust piece so that it would give more coverage.  I also changed the shape of the skirt a bit so that it would be higher (above the knee) in the front.

Would you sew it again?  Would you recommend it to others?  Well, I might use the bodice top again.  I don’t know, I wasn’t super in love with this pattern after making it.  I still think the style is cute though, so I might consider it.  If I did make it again, I would change the skirt and probably re-fit and make a muslin for the top before I made the dress again.  Although my sister loves and wears hers, I didn’t use mine much at all, and now it is getting too big.  I think if you really like this style, I would recommend the pattern, but only if you muslin first to ensure that the fit is ok and that you are getting enough coverage up top.

Conclusion:  This pattern is ok.  I do like the style, but I wasn’t thrilled with the overall drafting of the pattern.  I think the line drawings are a bit misleading, but the photo does give a good indication of the pattern results.  I would cautiously recommend this pattern – I think it could look very cute, but I think it will take a lot of effort to make sure the fit is just right.

So there it is – New Look 6966.  I haven’t used many New Look patterns, and I think the fit issues with this one may be part of the reason.  I haven’t seen as many people use New Look as Burda or the Big4, so it is a bit difficult to see if the problem is me or the pattern.  The styles people have made up either seem to be very simple or have some sort of odd fit issues.  Is it me, or does it seem that New Look is drafted for a more thin willowy body shape?  Perhaps I just had an unfortunate first experience with this pattern.  Just wondering if anyone with more experience with the New Looks has any thoughts, comments, or ideas…

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