Finished: Houndstooth Wool Dress

Just in time for Christmas and the party season, I present my New Look 6000 dress. I wore it out last night to my work Christmas Meal, and received some very nice compliments.

A few weeks ago Scruffybadger was deliberating about which pattern to use for a winter dress. So enthusiastic was the response to this pattern that she organised a sewalong. Knowing that I had a piece of houndstooth check lambswool that was begging to be made into something special, I decided to join in. I have to admit that some of my intended festive making was put to the side in favour of this dress, but I couldn’t resist!
Here’s my review of the dress:

Pattern Used
New Look 6000. I made view C which is a shift dress with sleeves and gathers at the side.

Does it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope? 
Overall, yes. I left out the cuffs as I was a bit short on fabric. The collar doesn’t sit the same as the envelope picture as the two pieces should be fully overlapped with the button sewn through both pieces and onto the dress. I didn’t notice this until the dress was nearly finished but it doesn’t bother me.

Were the instructions easy to follow? 
Yes, if you have followed patterns before there are no surprises here. Instructions and diagrams are good.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? 
I loved the classic shape of the dress and the pattern was easy to follow. I was interested to see how the houndstooth would look when gathered at the side, and I really like the way this means that the pattern runs horizontally on the skirt and diagonally on the bodice. I could pretend that I had known it would work out this way, but I really hadn’t, and it was a happy accident.

My one classy pair of seamed tights, which I managed to ladder before heading out for the dress' maiden voyage last night

Fabric & Notions 
I used a Scottish houndstooth lambswool in teal and black. I bought it from a vintage shop in Glasgow a few months ago and was initially planning to make a pencil skirt. Luckily there was just enough to make the dress. I bought a grey herringbone pattern lining from Mandors for £3.99 a metre as I wanted something a little more interesting and luxurious than a plain lining. I don’t know what it’s made of as the label said ‘unspecified’ but it’s very silky and feels like good quality.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made
I added 2 inches to the length as I read a review which said it was a bit short for a tall person, which I am. An inch probably would have been enough but I was glad I erred on the side of caution. I lined the dress (but not the sleeves) which was the first time I had tried this. It took a bit of trial and error and ripping out, but I cracked it in the end. I considered interlining instead of lining but after doing some research it seems that interlining is primarily to add warmth and body to your main fabric, while my reason for lining was to add a layer of slippy fabric beneath so I didn’t need to wear a slip. I left out the cuffs too.

Sizewise, I cut a 12, even though it should have been a 14 according to the measurements on the packet. However I have had experience of my supposed size ending up massive, and the finished garment measurements for the 14 were too large. With the 12, I took the seams in an inch at each underarm, tapering down the side seams by 3 inches. I then took each side seam in an additional ¼ inch. I feel I got the fit just right, but let’s hope I can still fit into it after Christmas!

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? 
I would definitely sew it again and recommend it too. I’d like to make it in a darker colour and maybe in a suiting fabric.

Fabric   £15  (Mr Ben’s, Glasgow)
Lining   £3.99 (Mandors, Glasgow)
Zip        £1.50 (Remnant Kings – the same 22 inch invisible would have cost a shocking £3.40 in Mandors!)
Pattern   £5.95 (
Thread    0.00 Black - Already had loads
Button    0.00 Stash 
Total     £26.44

More expensive than my last dress (which admittedly was ridiculously cheap) but well worth it for a lined wool dress.

I really love it and think it’s one of the most flattering things I’ve ever made. The pattern was a great match for the fabric and I am just so delighted with the fit. My only problem is that I feel like it’s too nice to wear to work, which was my original intention!
Thanks for organising the sewalong  Scruffybadger !
K x


  1. YAY! It's just perfect! That teal houndstooth really suits the design and I love the collar! After you were telling me about this dress, I stopped by John Lewis and bought the pattern. Not sure what fabric I will make it in or if I will make it in time for the sewalong....but it is a great design and seeing your dress just makes me want to make it even more! Great job and perfect for the holidays!!

  2. That is a great dress. I love the gathering on the side...

  3. This is stunning! You look so beautiful in this, and I love the collar and side gathering. Too beautiful! Well done, I adore this. Have fun and enjoy the many compliments you will no doubt glean...

  4. That is absolutely beautiful and wonderful. So sophisticated, so understated. A class act!

  5. I love this dress, and I would totally wear it to work!

  6. Looks fantastic, love the collar and the gathering especially!

  7. Ooh it's very, very elegant and gorgeous. It looks lovely in houndstooth and I really like the gathers at the side. And you're right, the fit is extremely flattering. x

  8. Kerry, what a fabulous dress! I agree, it is extremely flattering on you & I also adore the way the houndstooth gets distorted by the gathers. Well done for doing the gathered version & for getting it finished in time. I can see you've seen my blog button, which I've had trouble with (hence delaying my post! grr) I'll try to get it working properly with some proper code ...

  9. gorgeous dress - and snazzy stockings. The whol look is very 60s :)

  10. It is so lovely! WOW. The fabric and colour are perfect for the design!

  11. Very classy. I've done zero sewing the past couple of weeks - roll on New Year.

  12. That is a dress to be proud of. It looks so vintage and is a flattering fit too. I love the size of the collar and the side gathering. In fact, your dress looks far better than the red one on the pattern packet photo.

  13. Yet another stunning version of this dress. I cannot wait to get started on mine! Well done - it looks absolutely gorgeous on you.

  14. It's gorgeous - I love love love that houndstooth! Great fit too - well done!

  15. That is really very special! It looks totally "vintage" and I am impressed to see that the gathered side doesn't add any bulk across the tum. Love the neckline! And your fabric choice :)

  16. Hello Kerry ! Last night I tried to comment & locked myself out of my gmail account! Technology problems... however, I do think your dress is tops! There is something so beautifully retro about it, the fabric choice is spot on & you look so elegant & stylish in it. I'm glad you are enjoying it too!!

  17. Really lovely! What a great dress!

  18. Wow, thanks so much everyone! My head will be so swollen with all the lovely comments I won't be able to get the dress on :)

  19. You look beautiful in your very gorgeous dress. You are so lucky living in a city with various sewing shops :-)

  20. Your dress is so gorgeous, I love the style and fabric and the pretty collar! Also the hilarious knitting pattern below, I have that! :)

  21. It's really fab, Kerry - and the colour suits you so, so well. Don't let this one languish, wear it to work when you want to inject a bit of glamour into your day!

  22. Love your dress - and have just discovered your fab blog through Lakota's swap linky thingy!
    Liz @ Shortbread & Ginger

  23. Really gorgeous! What a perfect dress. I am loving all these New Look 6000 on the blogosphere and now that I see your lovely version I am determined to add this pattern to my list of things to make!

  24. Yours is one of the cutest versions I've seen! Excellent choice of fabric with the pattern. You look very stylish!

    I like to measure the pattern tissue to figure out the size to make. I know it sounds basic but I'd rather know before cutting that they've allowed a crazy amount of ease (as the big 4 are wont to do).


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