So in the spirit of full disclosure, I actually made this dress last summer as part of my 2021 Make Nine and promptly forgot to write a blog post about it, because I am so good at staying on top of things… Oh well! Summer is here again though, so there is no better time to share this new (old) dress!
New Look 6508 is honestly one of the most youthful dresses I have made; the pattern design definitely tips the scales into the ‘twee’ category, but I don’t necessarily agree that is always a bad thing — some days it is nice to feel super cute! I remember being drawn to this pattern back in January 2020 when I was flicking through the catalogues at a local sewing shop, and ended up buying it on a whim. The bodice is very fitted with a jewel neckline, with the option of short sleeves or sleeveless, and a box-pleat skirt of varying lengths with side seam pockets. The back bodice has two options; one which has back darts at the waistline and closes with an invisible zip from the neckline, while the other view has a cutout above the waist and is finished with a row of buttons at both the back and at the waist. I opted to go for the standard back and the shortest skirt length, and hacked the tie sleeve detail of my beloved McCalls 7974 onto the standard sleeves for some extra-summer vibes.
This Lady McElroy fabric should be instantly recognisable as one of my all-time favourite prints; I have previously made a seriously jazzy jumpsuit in the viscose crepe jersey substrate and made up a button-up skirt in the cotton lawn. I still had enough of the cotton lawn leftover to make this dress; the Lady McElroy cotton lawns are always so lightweight and smooth, perfect for breezy summer dresses. This cotton lawn also hold the dramatic box pleats really well, which makes the focal design element of the pattern stand out against the busy, cheerful print.
I am wracking my brain right now to try and remember how the construction went so I can properly review NL6508 — I can remember the step with the box pleats didn’t have the clearest instructions and tripped me up initially, but as far as I recall, that was the only issue. I cut my usual size 12 and made my fairly standard set of adjustments to the bodice (FBA and a narrow shoulder adjustment), and I also lowered the neckline a little too. I have to say, I am pretty happy with my alterations and wouldn’t make any further changes in terms of fit! As mentioned earlier, I drafted the lower portion of the tie sleeves from a McCalls pattern onto the standard sleeves, just to add something a bit more interesting to the sleeve design. It is also worth noting that this pattern only has yardage recommendations for fabrics at least 150cm wide, so do be careful if you are using a narrow bolt of fabric — it may be possible to reduce the size of the box pleats to work with a narrow fabrics, but I would probably make a toile of the skirt to ensure that you don’t throw off the proportions in any way.
I have worn this dress a lot over the past year, including on my recent work trips in July. It is definitely the kind of dress that puts me in a good mood whenever I wear it! I am still tempted with the open back design that caught my eye initially; I am thinking soft antique rose linen, a midi-length skirt, and finished with some maple-coloured buttons could look super sweet.
New Look 6508
Size 10 – 22
Full Bust: 32½″-44″