Dressmaking · sewing

New Look 6197

Back in April I came across Sew Essential on Instagram @sewessentialuk.  I clicked through to watch a You Tube Video where I saw this gorgeous Spotted Cotton Poplin shirting. It is just the sort of thing my husband would love to wear.


That was it. I decided, I was going to make him a shirt for Fathers day!

I ordered the New Look pattern no. 6197. The lines looked fairly simple and even though I had never made a collar, inserted sleeves or added buttonholes to a garment I thought I would be ok with it. I had more than 2 months to make it, it will be fine!


The pattern arrived, I measured his chest, which he has no recollection of (bizarre!), Ironed my pattern sheets and cut out a size medium. I then panicked, I felt I did not have the skills to complete it. I put all the pattern pieces into a plastic zippy bag and it did not see the light of day again until Tuesday 13th June. Just 6 days before Fathers Day here in the UK!!!! It is official, I am my own worst enemy…..

So big lesson learnt. Stop procrastinating and stop doubting yourself Kelly!

I have found a skill in dressmaking and with practise I can only get better, right!?!

So I laid out my pattern pieces on the fabric and before I even cut anything out I had a panic. The back yoke piece laid in an opposite direction to the rest of the shirt. I had a quick run round the house looking at all my husbands shirts and would you believe it, all the yokes lay in the opposite direction. Who knew!! You learn something new every day!

With the pattern pieces cut out I realised I had run out of time to sew anything together, it was time to pick up my kiddos! I packed everything up for the day ready to pull out tomorrow.

Wednesday I put the back together, inserted my first pleat and got a little adventurous by top stitching the shoulders and yoke seam. It all looked rather professional.

I also made my first collar!! Yay!!


The most frustrating thing I found was I had learnt so many things and I could not share them with the one person I share all my sewing ramblings with!

Thursday was sleeves day,  I was actually having a complete fight or flight moment! Sweaty palms, heart racing. I really thought I could ruin this shirt if I got these sleeves wrong. I took an early lunch with a cup of tea, sat down in front of the TV and loaded up You Tube. I searched how to insert sleeves and got ready to watch and learn. I understood the principal but was still a bit overwhelmed by it all.

Then I had a light bulb moment!!!

I quickly sent a Facebook message to Diane at a local shop Bobbin and Sew.  I knew she was a sewing tutor and hoped she could help. What a star Diane is, I spent 2 hours in the shop as part of the social sewing sessions, Diane showed me how to do my sleeves and I even got a cup of tea and a Viennese whirl all for a £5. It was lovely to talk dressmaking, fabric and about her background in sewing. What could have been a very stressful afternoon turned into a lovely relaxed one where I got to learn a new skill. Thank you Diane x

Friday I finished it off and was super pleased with the finished outcome.

Sorry about my bag on the floor. It was the first thing I ever made on a sewing machine 5 years ago!

I am really proud of this shirt and when it was tried on, on Sunday morning, it fitted and was worn all day!

He has requested next time I make him a shirt can it a) be slim fit version b) have less baggy sleeves.

So if anyone can suggest a good casual shirt pattern I would really appreciate it. Ta in advance!

Until next time

Kelly x


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