Pattern Mash up: newlook 6160 + mccalls 8040 + Mccalls 7948: DIY easy fit dress

Easy fit pattern mash up dress: new look 6160 bodice + McCalls 8040 sleeves + McCalls 7948 skirt

Hey Everyone,

Hope you all managed to enjoy Christmas (if you celebrate) as you best you could in these current circumstances. I know this year in particular would have been harder than most for some people, especially here in the UK where heavy restrictions were in place limiting movement and meeting other people. We are fortunate to live in an area of the country where restrictions are not so tough and we had a nice time. This will probably be my last post of the year and I wanted to share a dress that I made “for Christmas” although I did not wear this on Christmas day. For Christmas day I opted for my faux leather trousers and a top, and I wore this dress out for an afternoon tea a couple of days before Christmas. No matter, I love how this dress turned out and I think it’s a dress that is very easy to wear all year round.

Easy fit pattern mash up dress: new look 6160 bodice + McCalls 8040 sleeves + McCalls 7948 skirt

Let’s start with the fabric. I rarely succumb to the lure of designer prints, but couldn’t resist this abstract printed viscose crepe in this rich shade of bordeaux by Eglantine and Zoe. I purchased my fabric from Lamazi Fabrics. Turns out the print is actually eucalyptus leaves, with a further scattering of “pebbles” in shades of ochre and off white. The quality of the viscose crepe is probably one of the nicest I have worked with: substantial, heavy and with amazing drape and movement: I hope my photos reflect that! And I think my choice of pattern pairs well with the fabric.

Easy fit pattern mash up dress: new look 6160 bodice + McCalls 8040 sleeves + McCalls 7948 skirt
Easy fit pattern mash up dress: new look 6160 bodice + McCalls 8040 sleeves + McCalls 7948 skirt

Speaking of patterns, I actually combined three different patterns to achieve this look. I wanted something very easy fitting without being completely shapeless. I first made New Look 6160 6 years ago, and have been meaning to re-visit it ever since! This is one of those pattern where you really have to look beyond the envelope illustration/ styling! I paired the bodice from that pattern with the tiered skirt portion of McCalls 7948, which I have made once before. This time I played with the proportions of the volume of gathering, (I made the first tier 1.5 times wider than the bodice waistline and the second tier 1.5 times wider than the length of the first tier), largely because of fabric limitations. I had 3 metres of this fabric to play with, and ended up piecing in some sections in to the lower tier. But it all worked out well and I am very happy with it. Finally, I wanted to add in some longer length sleeves with some puff at the sleeve heads and some volume. I used the sleeves from McCalls 8040 which I have made up before. Overall: love how this turned out.

Easy fit pattern mash up dress: new look 6160 bodice + McCalls 8040 sleeves + McCalls 7948 skirt
Easy fit pattern mash up dress: new look 6160 bodice + McCalls 8040 sleeves + McCalls 7948 skirt

Fitting Notes

  • Did a 5/8ths inch FBA on the bodice of the dress, and closed and rotated the bust dart to form shoulder gathers
  • Added 0.5 inches to the side seams from the waist up to the bust and took 3/8ths inch for the bodice side seam allowances
  • Did a 0.5 inch forward shoulder adjustment to the yoke back/ yoke front
  • Used two yoke fronts/ yoke backs and the burrito method for a clean finish inside at the neck/ shoulder area
  • Added 2 inches to the length of the sleeves
  • Added 1 inch to the hem of the lower ruffle of the skirt
  • I made the first tier of the skirt 1.5 times wider than the bodice waistline, and the second tier 1.5 times wider than the length of the first tier
  • I did have to piece the lower ruffle due to fabric limitations. I used 1.25 inches for the hem
Easy fit pattern mash up dress: new look 6160 bodice + McCalls 8040 sleeves + McCalls 7948 skirt

I hope you all enjoy peace, health and happiness in the new year. Here’s hoping that 2021 brings new hope and a return to normality across the globe. See you soon!

Easy fit pattern mash up dress: new look 6160 bodice + McCalls 8040 sleeves + McCalls 7948 skirt

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By day I work in the exciting world of pharmaceutical regulatory affairs, registering medicines (!), but by night I turn in to a sewing diva, making all manner of clothes in my beautiful sewing space (which you can tour using the link at the top of this blog). I love how sewing and sewing clothes that fit my curvy body continually challenges me. I enjoy working with all different types of fabric, and whilst I don't like to put restrictions on myself and say I won't buy RTW, the truth is that I probably rarely do buy it, preferring the fit of my own me-made clothes. I love to use natural fibres where ever possible and colourful coats are an obsession of mine! Sewing is both my addiction and my therapy. You can contact me at sewmanju@yahoo.co.uk

12 thoughts on “Pattern Mash up: newlook 6160 + mccalls 8040 + Mccalls 7948: DIY easy fit dress

  1. what a lovely dress, I love the way the back bodice dips down at the waist and gives shape. The fabric looks marvellous too.

  2. Very lovely dress. Interesting to hear of all the pattern adjustments made. This dress is so flattering. You have inspired me. I think I’ll try it.

  3. Beautiful dress. I made something very similar for Christmas too – with the khaki Linz viscose twill you posted about from patterns and plains! I loved it so much on you I had to copy! I used the Megan Nielsen darling ranges, which I lengthened to make it a bit more current. On that note I need to start buying longer cuts of fabric as hemlines are lengthening! I had to piece too.

    Glad you had an enjoyable Christmas and all the best to you and the family for the new year. Thank heavens for all the clever scientists and their vaccines 👏🏻 x

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