New Look 6184- A Tiki Room Dress

New Look 6184 was the first pattern I ever purchased back in 2015 when I first started sewing. I bought a black cotton fabric (which was actually a quilting fabric but I didn’t know that at the time) and I watched Professor Pincushion on YouTube to learn how to follow a pattern and sew a dress. The dress actually ended up wearable and I wore it to work. I wish I saved that dress (for nostalgic purposes) but I ended cutting it up since I didn’t plan on ever wearing it again. I later used the fabric to make masks. I made that first dress using quilting fabric and although it’s fine sewing dresses with quilting fabric, it’s not my preference. I didn’t know much about apparel fabric back then. What’s interesting is that this dress has darts and a zipper in the back. For a beginner, that’s a pretty good start. Now I avoid zippers only because I don’t like sewing them in, so I felt this pattern would be good practice since I was already familiar with it. I want to start sewing up dresses with zippers again.

This pattern make was on my list for my 2021 sewing plans. That plan started off as a February plan, but I felt that I was being too ambitious.

New Look 6184 is described as a sleeveless dress with a pleated neckline. It has a back zipper, waistline seam and can be made with a flared skirt in two lengths or a knee length pencil skirt with a back vent. There are belt options included.

At the tiki, tiki, tiki, tiki, tiki room…

I chose View E, which is the style the model is wearing but minus the belt. I chose a shirting fabric in navy blue and camo green with palm fronds all over it. It has a very tropical feel and has a Tiki look to it. I chose a camo green thread and it matched perfectly even though there is a lot of navy color in the dress.

I made my usual adjustment of cutting off 1 inch from the bodice. I didn’t do a narrow shoulder adjustment on this one, but I usually do for about 1/2 an inch. The pleats at the neckline and the waist darts were easy to do. It reminded me of my first time making this dress so it was kind of fun. I remember not having such a hard time with the back vent at the skirt, but this time around, I had to read the directions over and over in order to make sure I do it correctly. It ended up looking great.

The thing I was most nervous about was the zipper installation. I avoided zippers before only because I don’t like installing them. To me, it’s very difficult due to lack of practice. Over the summer last year, one of my first makes of the lockdown was a short jumper with an invisible zipper and I totally messed that up. Big time. I think I was still a little traumatized from that. This zipper was not an invisible zipper, but a regular zipper. I took my time with it and it ended up looking great, too!

After I was done, I put on my dress and there was a bunch of fabric at the back. I thought I was being proactive by shortening the bodice by 1 inch to prevent that, but there was still a lot of fabric bunched up. It was mostly at my upper back and neck. I installed 2 neck darts to fix that and it worked well to fix the problem.

I didn’t even know neck darts existed until now…

Can’t wait to wear it! Hopefully one day to a Tiki lounge or to the Tiki Room. Happy sewing!


McCall’s 7889: Button Hole Fail, Snaps for the Win.

I challenged myself to level up my sewing skills by sewing a button placket which of course, involves sewing a button hole. I chose McCall’s 7889 because the dress was motivating enough to make me try. McCall’s 7889-Learning to make a button placket. This was my second attempt at sewing button holes. The first attempt was a few years ago when I first started sewing so I figured I would gain some experience in my sewing skills before attempting again.

Well… sewing the button hole was a fail for me again. I watched a couple of YouTube videos on how to sew button holes specifically for my machine. I did a few practice runs which were successful. But when it came to sewing the button holes on the actual dress, it was a fail. I tried the top button hole and the fabric wouldn’t move. I’m wondering if it’s because I had two interfaced fabrics to sew through? Maybe I could have made some adjustments on the tension? I also thought maybe the top part was blocking the fabric from moving. So I decided to try the 2nd button hole down. It was a 75% success. That’s because only 75% of the button hole was stitched. The first part of the button hole didn’t get stitched, so I tried to start the process over and was semi successful. It wasn’t perfect, but I thought it could work. Then I used my seam ripper to make the slit on the inside of the stitching and that was a disaster.

What a mess…

I was about to throw the dress into my “time out basket” (where unfinished, unsuccessful projects to be attempted later end up). But I really wanted to finish my project. So I used pearl snaps instead of buttons.

I top stitched instead of slip stitched.

It was a success! And I have to say, I really like the way it looks.

The finished product

There is a lot of ease in the waist but that’s ok, because it looks great with a belt. I forgot to shorten the waist (I’m short waisted) but that’s ok too. The arm holes are too big. I had read this on other reviews but decided to sew the pattern as it is. If I make this dress again, I will adjust the arm holes so that they are not so long and will also shorten the waist by 1 inch (my usual adjustment).

I hope that someday I will be able to sew a button hole. Incidentally, today I found a small box full of cute buttons that I had saved throughout the years that were taken from old clothing, etc. It kind of made me happy because I thought I gave it to Goodwill or something. Now that I know how to sew, I can use them someday.

Until then, happy sewing!


McCall’s 8084- A Valentine’s Day Dress for my daughter

I made McCall’s 8084 for my daughter for Valentine’s Day. This is a semi-fitted dress with a tie front bodice. It has dolman sleeves, with an option for a flounce on the sleeve (View A) ruffle or an elastic cuff (view B). It has an elastic waist and different length variations. View B has a hemline ruffle.

I chose View A for my daughter which has the flounce sleeves (which I love) and a shorter length. She picked this bubble crepe fabric in 2019 when we went to Downtown L.A. to buy fabric on my birthday. It’s perfect for Valentine’s Day. It was only 2 yards but I was confident that I could make it work even though View A calls for 2 3/8 yard.


But 2 yards wasn’t enough. I had laid it all out and had decided to use some black cotton fabric for one side of the pockets to make it work. It turned out that I miscalculated when laying and cutting out my fabric. So I used the black cotton fabric for the facing of the ties as well and I think it worked out well.

Using the black fabric for one side of the pocket and the tie facings

I can’t wait to give it to her. I think it will look great on her. I already showed her a picture of the dress and she said she likes it. It’s a perfect Spring or Summer dress. And she can wear it on Valentines Day (if she wants to).

Happy Valentine’s Day!