One of my sewing goals this year is to make my first dress. New Look 6020 appeals to me with its princess seams, and flared skirt.
I bought 3 yards of this cotton fabric two years ago without a pattern in mind. I now know the fabric is called quilting cotton. At the time I didn’t know the difference between apparel fabric and cotton used for quilting, but since then I’ve read some lively discussions about the suitability of using quilting cotton for clothes. I’ll see what I think when I wear it! The pattern has a lot of seams, but the floral print should look just fine being broken up. Besides the princess seams, side seams and waist seam, the skirt has 3 panels on each side.
One thing that surprised me about this pattern is the placement of the zipper. It looks like a lapped zipper in the side starting a few inches below the underarm. I’ve never worn a garment with a side zip, and I intend on changing it to an invisible back zip. I did a search on changing a side zipper to a back zipper and found this interesting post by Vicki Kate Makes : Side or Back Zippers – Which Do You Prefer? I don’t like the idea of a zipper that doesn’t completely separate. I’m raising the neckline and bringing in the wide shoulders and I don’t want to struggle to put it on over my head. So I’ll have to change the facings, and cut the back in 2 pieces with a seam allowance added.
The pattern has a seam allowance of 3/8 for the princess seams. The two methods I’ve used to finish side seams are clean finish (turn and sew), and mock french seams but that might not lie flat with a princess seam. I’m wondering if I should line the bodice to keep the messy (slit and notched) unfinished seam from showing and to protect it from wear and tear.
When you first look at the pieces of a princess seam, it looks like two puzzle pieces that don’t fit together! I’m reading how to sew these odd curved seams, and I’m sure I have some fitting challenges ahead of me as well. My “muslin” will be made from a worn sheet.
What do you look for when you first take a pattern out of the envelope? Any suggestions or tips for me?