Monday, 7 May 2012

If I could turn the page, In time then I'd rearrange....the pattern markings of NewLook 6114

Another long weekend in sunny Queensland.  Labour day public holiday weekend for us, and in respect for those who have campaigned for better workers rights I downed my sewing tools, unplugged the sewing machine, closed the fabric stash cupboard (then reclosed it after it burst open under the strain) and sat back on the couch with a good book in hand.......until I realised that sewing is a hobby for is not a I needed to get back to it and do a solid 9 hr stint with 1/2 hr allowed for lunch.

So now the challenge was, what was my sewing project going to beeeee this weekend!?  (warning: inappropriate and slightly unfunny bee references interspersed through this blog, in fact you may as well give in and read this blog entry with "flight of the bumblebees" playing in the background) 

It all started with a piece of fabric.  My Mum had found this lovely cotton print down in Brisbane and thought it would be perfect for my gorgeous niece/her gorgeous granddaughter.  Little Auds loves bees and I thought I could make her another cute outfit out of it.

Loki modelling the fabric...working his blue steel look!

The fabric was rather sheer so it would need to be used alongside another fabric.  But what fabric should I would expect someone of my limited creativity to go for the standard yellow and black (guilty as charged....was exactly my first thought!), or perhaps really stretch those creativity muscles and maybe go black and yellow (ooohh! could be radical).  Then I was hit with the awful visualisation of what the end result may look like
20yrs later I can imagine this girl saying to her therapist "well you know it all started with that bee suit..."
Given I never want Auds to buzz me off (must retain cool aunt street cred) I ditched the black and yellow idea and found a lovely piece of textured blue fabric that could work.

 The pattern I used was NewLook 6114.  This pattern is a new release for 2012 and I did like the pattern cover.  Unfortunately being new meant that there was no review on patternreview for me to sanity check it against so we are flying into uncharted air space here.  Pattern comes in dress or top length with optional pants.   I chose the top and pants to make for Auds in a size 1 as that seem to work well for her as an almost 2 year old (tip for new players: NewLook patterns run big).

The construction of this pattern is very straightforward even with a few more elements than I am used to.  The top overlay conveniently helps form the binding around the neckline & armholes.     I added understitching to the front neckline to keep the seam and top stay down under the overlay (couldn't do all of it with the straps in the way but hopefully enough to keep it down)

Understitching on top neckline.
The straps are easily inserted and the elastic at the back makes this a very easy top to get on and off. This was also the first time I did pleating on the inside of the fabric and I do like the effect.
I skipped the frou frou on the top (surprise, surprise I hear you scoff!) and instead painstakingly did some patchworking for the pants leg.  Officially it took me the whole movie of "Thor" Sunday night to design, cut, interface, sew the flower, position the bees, reposition the bees, re-reposition the bees, have some chocolate and then sew them into place)

As easy as constructing this outfit was there was one incy wincy tiny problem and that was that the pattern is drafted WRONG!!  How could this be - a pattern from one of the Big 4 - having an incorrectly drafted pattern piece - next you will be telling me the easter bunny isn't real. 
It all started to unravel when I was sewing together the side seams of the overlay front and the overlay back.  The back was about 1" longer then the two front pieces.  I continued on and just cut off the excess fabric from the back overlay.  However on the final product the overlay looks slightly out of proportion to the top.
Good think Auds comes from a "shorty" gene pool

Going back to the actual pattern pieces I discovered the problem

The size 1 hem line on the front overlays actually match up with the size 1/2 on the back overlay and so forth with all the other sizes.  The dress (view A) version is perfectly OK - given that the toddler is wearing the dress on the pattern cover am guessing they just beta tested out the dress.  Doing the maths, the overlay should be about 75% of the overall length of the top/dress so the back overlay pattern piece hem lengths are correct.  If you choose to do this pattern, once you've recovered from the shock and disappointment that not only isn't the easter bunny real but that the Big 4 are fallible, remember to mark on your pattern pieces to make the hem pieces longer on the right and left front overlay. 

As I discovered this after I finished the top I decided it wasn't awful enough to warrant a do-over.  It still is a cute top and hopefully Auds will beeeee very happy to add this to her ever expanding 'Audrey Collection by Sammy'.

View from the back

love the textured poly/cotton top fabric

Final outfit

So in summary
Pattern:                NewLook 6114 - top View B/C, pants View D
Fabric:                 bee print cotton
                             poly/cotton textured in light blue
                            dark blue homespun (ie rough as guts) cotton
                            flower patchwork from leftover scraps
Instructions:        very simple and great for beginners
                             front overlay pattern pieces 11 and 12 are WRONG, WRONG, WRONG - you
                            will need to adjust the hem lines to match up with back overlay length. 
Modifications:     Left off the ribbon frou frou on the top
                             Patchworked the pants
                             My overlay sits to the right......Stating the Obvious tip # 5, if you cut your left
                             overlay pattern piece on the wrong side of the fabric then it magically becomes a
                             right overlay pattern piece!! This is not a disaster.....the end result is still the
                            same with the overlay split just on the other side.
Total Cost:          This top definitely won't sting you in the cost department, even here in Oz.  All
                            up this top and pants combo came to under $10.
Happy Dance on completion:  there may have been a bit of a waggle bee dance at the end of this. 
                            The even better news is that there is plenty more of the bee fabric left to use.

Title Reference:  Tell me lies, by: Christine McVie


  1. Very impressive and I think you went with the right colour choice.

    1. Thanks, this was a fun top to make despite the slightly disappointing end result. I must admit I am loving all the fabric options out there for kids.