Monday, 7 March 2016

New Look 6217 - a hidden gem

Every so often I'll come across a very ordinary looking sewing pattern that turns out to be a hidden gem. That's exactly what happened recently when I discovered New Look 6217. The pattern comprises a top, kimono jacket, skirt and trousers - all designed for easy garment sewing. The top and kimono jacket both have grown on/kimono sleeves and the top, skirt and trousers are finished with bias tape around the neckline and waistbands. No tricky techniques, just a few easy pieces to practice your skills and build your confidence.


I bought the pattern a couple of months ago when Weaver Dee was having a pattern sale*. After scrutinising the line drawings, I decided that the top had a nice shape to it - it has a curved hem and a keyhole opening at the back, so no zips or buttons to contend with.




There are only two pattern pieces, so it uses very little fabric, especially if you fold the selvedges of your fabric into the centre as I did. By doing this I was able to use up my last half metre of Prada Stretch Crepe left over from my Amazing Fit Little Black Dress. Yay, I love it when that happens!


I measured the pattern pieces against my bodice block and took note of the finished garment measurements. There are four inches of ease included, so based on this I cut a size 10, grading out to a size 12 at the bust. My measurements would normally belong in the size 14 column, so unless you want a very relaxed fit, it's probably worth going down a size. I lengthened the pattern pieces by two inches but made no other changes. To my delight, the top fitted me exactly how I wanted to straight from the envelope. It has no darts, but still looks semi-fitted and is really comfortable to wear.


I can't help but compare it to the Sophia Top, which I made before Christmas and is a similar shape. I spent forever trying to get that bloody top to fit - I had to remove wedges from the front and back necklines and add weird armhole darts to stop the gaping around the bust. So in terms of fit, there's no contest - the New Look top wins hands down! These photos show the top at its most stripped down i.e. in a solid black fabric without my usual ton of costume jewellery. And I still think it looks smart and chic - imagine what it will look like made in more interesting fabrics and with a lovely necklace?!


So the moral of the story is - don't judge a pattern by its cover envelope, look at the line drawings! If you dig deep enough, there are some real beauts to be found. Do you have any hidden gems you can recommend? Please share them in the comments section if you do! x  

*When I went to the Weaver Dee site for a link, I noticed that there's currently 50% off New Look patterns until 22nd March. So if you like the look of this pattern, you can snap it up for just £2.98. And if you use the code JANE10, you get a further 10% discount. Yippee! 



71 comments:

  1. I have made that top many times! I love it when I just want to sew something without complications. It is a very relaxed fit. I have some navy crepe left over and I haven't thought of using it. My others have been in jersey. I have also made the trousers in Liberty print for summer too which I wore so much last year - you can keep the swingy top thing though - that is not for me! It looks a great fit on you. Jo x

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    1. Yes, I foresee me making many more versions too Jo! Jersey sounds like a good option too, thanks for the idea! x

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    2. I'm pretty sure that one of the versions made up in Sew Style & Home when the pattern came with that magazine one was in a jersey...

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    3. Good to know, thanks. x

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    4. Why did you NOT post a picture of the drawings you referenced? That would have been helpful - and made what you are saying easier to understand.

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    5. Thanks for your suggestion. I've added them to the post now.

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    6. Oh gee, cos it is not your job, perhaps?? Heehee, some people can be, er, rather abrupt. This is great, fits so beautifully and I agree, sometimes less fancy-looking patterns can be overlooked gems. You get a lot for your money with this pattern! That kimono jacket could be quite a winner, too. Thanks for highlighting this pattern :)

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    7. Haha! I think you do get a lot for your money with this pattern, I'm probably going to try the skirt too. x

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  2. Hidden gems are great! Your top is so smart yet simple. My hidden gems are: Multi-panel dress Vogue 9022, Burda Style 6980 Culottes and The Abigail Dress by Amy Barickman.

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    1. Thank you! Off to look up your hidden gems now! x

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  3. I love a good kimono tee pattern and this one does not disappoint! It looks terrific on you, Jane!

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    1. Thanks Sarah! This is the best fitting one yet for me, I'm thrilled with it. x

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  4. I've made a few versions of this top too... I got the pattern with Sew Style & Home magazine and it was their versions of the top in the magazine that initially attracted me to it. I've adapted to make the neckline smaller over time and also now I cut both front and back on the fold to eliminate the centre back seam making it a very quick sew. It was one of the first tops I ever made when I first got into sewing last year. I have wanted to try the kimono jacket and also the trousers...

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    1. Oh I forgot to say your top looks great!
      Having read your comments about this top, and the Sophia one I was considering, I may not bother with that and just stick with the New Look 6217 as my go-to woven tee!

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    2. Thank you and that's encouraging to know you've made several versions. I can actually get the top over my head without undoing the keyhole button so may well eliminate it for a quicker sew (although it's a feature I really like, so we'll see!)
      If you've achieved a good fit with this pattern, my advice would be to stick with it and forget about the Sophia top. Having made both, the New Look one is far superior in my opinion! x

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  5. Hi Jane, this top looks so chic and smart. Perfect pairing of pattern and fabric! I've just finished a dress in some Prada fabric I snapped up at Abakhan and it was lush to work with! x

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    1. Ah I agree, it really is the most beautiful fabric to work with and it has such a nice drape too. Thanks Shauni! x

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  6. What a great too to have in your closet. It looks great on you!

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    1. Thanks Mela! I don't think it will be long before it's joined by several more! x

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  7. You're right - this is a great, simple shape! I think the awesome fabric might be what helps it hang so nicely, but either way it looks really lovely on you. :)

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    1. I agree, the awesome fabric helps a lot! Will be interesting to see how the top turns out with a fabric that doesn't have such a lovely drape. x

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  8. As a very new sewist with a similar body type to yours, I've found this post very inspirational. Thanks for the heads up about the pattern sales! I'm looking forward to trying this pattern set very much now.

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    1. Ah it's my pleasure, I'm so glad this post inspired you. Good luck with the pattern! x

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  9. I hate to say it, but in my experience the Big 4 pattern is often so much better drafted than an equivalent indie pattern. They're usually cheaper, too, so I've all but given up buying indie patterns. I'd rather look for a Big 4 with a similar shape, and with line drawings so I can see exactly what I'm getting. Too many indie patterns don't have any technical drawings at all, so you've no idea whether the garment is going to work for you.

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    1. I usually have great results with Big 4 patterns too. And I agree about the line drawings, some of the hideous front covers don't do the designs any favours at all! x

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  10. This looks so lovely on you. I have the Sophia top and haven't got it to work yet, but haven't put that much effort in yet. I have Butterick 5981 which looks a little boxier from the line drawings but I might try that and see.
    My hidden gem pattern is Butterick 5997 but you do need to make the front neckline opening much higher so you don't reveal too much.

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    1. Thanks Pippa! I wasted far too much time on the Sophia top, I'd try the Butterick one if I were you. Butterick 5997 looks like it has a lot of potential too, I like the sleeveless version! x

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  11. I've made this top up too and been impressed. The simple skirt with the side slit is just as great a design. I made them both up in the same fabric and worn together they look like a dress but are actually useful seperates.

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    1. Now that it is a brilliant idea! I've been thinking about the skirt as I like the simple shape and the side split, I think I may just try them both in the same fabric next time round. Fab suggestion, thanks! x

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  12. Just shared your vintage pledge on our Facebook sewing club page - scartho sewing club.
    Now I'm going to share this too!!!

    Love your newsletters and your blogs!!

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    1. Aw thank you, that's great! x

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  13. That really is a great pattern, and even better because I have it myself. I bought it for the kimono style jacket, which I made and was a bit meh about. I see now that the t-shirt is the gem of the collection.

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    1. Well I think it is anyway, it's definitely worth giving it a go as it's so easy! x

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  14. That's a lovely top, and I'd never have looked at the envelope twice. Mine is simplicity 1463, esp view A - I wear it all the time

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    1. Thank you. Simplicity 1463 (view A!) is v similar to a Burda top that I've made twice, it's a great shape and like you, I wear them a lot. x

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  15. Thanks for the code! That's a really useful little pattern and the kimono jacket is exactly what I've been looking for :)

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    1. Ah my pleasure. For that price. It's really worth adding to your collection! x

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  16. Sometimes the simplest pattern is the best, right? This really is a cute top. I like how your simple black version calls out the clean, easy lines.

    My new hidden gem is Butterick 5890. It looks super boring on the envelope front, but it made up into such a little top without much fuss or unnecessary detail.

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    1. Couldn't agree more about simple, clean lines! I like the look of Butterick 5890 a LOT, another great little pattern. I might actually have to buy it....! x

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  17. I really like the look of the top and I have just ordered the pattern. A very new sewer, so I hope it is as easy as it looks.

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    1. Very pleased to have inspired you to buy the pattern Judith. The top easily fits over my head with the button fastened, so you could even eliminate the button fastening and centre back seam for an even easier project. Just cut the back piece on the fold, minus the seam allowance. Feel free to email me if you need any extra guidance. Good luck! x

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    2. Thank you so much for the tip. I think I may try that.

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  18. I do like the drafting of New Look patterns. Nice one!

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    1. The drafting on this one is in my favour anyway! x

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  19. My "hidden gem" isn't so hidden really as quite a few bloggers have used it with happy results. But just in case others have missed it, SIMPLICITY 1366 is a great little boxy crop top with dropped shoulder line & 3/4 sleeves. Nearly everyone (including me) adds an inch or 2 length as it's very short. Looks great sleeveless too! But be warned: the pattern features the world's ugliest skirt! Ugh!
    I love your top Jane - you look very chic! :)

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    1. Thank you! Ooh yes, the top from Simplicity 1366 with a couple of inches added would be lovely, that's another one for my list! You're so right about the skirt though, it's hideous! x

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  20. A hidden gem indeed. I probably wouldn't have been interested in that pattern based on the envelope front, but your black top is the perfect addition to any wardrobe! I'm sure you will get endless wear from the top - and endless options for using the pattern again. Thanks for sharing and for the inspiration!

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    1. Ah my pleasure Suzie! I think I'll get endless wear out of it too, a simple black top goes with everything! x

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  21. It really seems a basic to have in the closet, so I am going to give a look right now. And the quick sewing is a plus.
    The top looks perfect on you, chic and great to wear with a lot of bottoms!

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    1. Thanks Mayumi! The quick sewing is a definite plus! x

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  22. I love the top Jane, so much so that i have ordered it. Very simple but chic. I think you can make so many versions of this pattern that you could almost make a capsule wardrobe using just this pattern.
    Regards,
    Rosie xx

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    1. I think you could too. So glad I inspired you to order the pattern, best of luck with it! x

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  23. Your top looks great Jane. I have made both the top and the skirt up after getting the pattern free with a sewing magazine last year. Lovely pattern, I' going to use it again just now and maybe try both the kimono jacket and the pants.
    Regards
    Ann

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    1. Thanks Ann! Good to hear the skirt turned out well as I'd like to try that too. Good luck with the kimono jacket and the trousers! x

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  24. Perfect top on you! I love easy to wear items that don't look like a tent. I like the look of the kimono pattern too, I would love one in cream lace... but I'm not so confident sewing with lace!!

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    1. I'm always wary of tops without darts but the shape of this one really works for me. Ooh a cream lace kimono sounds gorgeous! x

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  25. I love this top and skirt, so I have just ordered the pattern. I forgot to use your discount code but at £2.98, it's a bargain!! I hope mine turns out as nice as yours

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    1. Aw thank you and good luck with the top and skirt! And £2.98 is still a fab bargain! x

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  26. Thanks for the heads up, I already have the pattern in my stash (freebie from Sew magazine) haven't given it a second glance due to the orange and yellow fabric used for the samples. Great to know that it's squeezable out of a metre and you can get it over your head without the closure 😊

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    1. Yes, both big bonuses in my book! x

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  27. This is a hidden gem! It looks great on you and you found the perfect fit. I am looking at this pattern for beginners...would the keyhole be necessary or could you pull it on without?

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    1. I can easily get mine over my head without opening the button on the keyhole fastening. For my next version I'm tempted to cut the back piece on the fold (minus seam allowance) and eliminate the keyhole altogether. It would make sewing it even quicker too! Good luck. X

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  28. Thanks for the recommendation - ordered that one (and two others whoops!)

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    1. My pleasure! It's impossible to resist stocking up when patterns are that price! x

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  29. oooh this is nice! I have just ordered a copy because I have the perfect fabric match - a length of really lush green sandwashed silk that I've been hoarding for a while... now I just need to work up the courage to tackle cutting/sewing silk! thanks for the inspiration!

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    1. Oh it would lovely in sand washed silk Shivani! Good luck with it. x

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  30. Ooh that is a great top and a great find! Sometimes simple is most striking and the Big Four do have some gems.

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    1. They definitely do, you just have to look carefully! x

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  31. Lovely! I like a lot that style of tops! The fabric is very pretty!

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