New Look 6447 ~ Octopus Day Dress ~ A little icing, a little cake!

Every summer I plan to sew up a bunch of cute casual dresses, and then, I just don't.   They aren't always as practical for work (somedays I need more mobility than a dress allows, so I frequently wear a knit top/skirt combo this time of year, or one of my many Lady Skater dresses), excuses excuses.  When I first started sewing I made a bunch of dresses that I don't get to wear very often (Icing v Cake I believe the sewing world calls it).  I've been really into making pieces that I will wear daily.  But last weekend I went thru my pattern and fabric stash and made New Look 6447.
I made View D, sleeveless and above the knee.  I like dress patterns with a midriff piece because I find it's easier to fit if you tend to grade between sizes in the upper and lower body, which I often do. Although I cut a straight 12 this time and it fit pretty much perfectly.
I used some Cotton & Steel octopus cotton lawn that I bought last year.  Black is usually the only neutral that I wear, tan is very unusual for me, but I thought this would be cool for the summer.  I had a zip in my stash that pretty much matched the gray octopuses if you don't look too closely.  (I am in the middle of a several-weeks-long stretch of sewing with odd colors that are difficult to match, threads and zippers.  I have maybe a hundred zippers in my stash, it's usually pretty easy to find one that matches!)

This went together very quickly.  It's very straightforward if you've made a dress before or even if you haven't. No tricky techniques. The bodice and midriff are lined (self-lined in my case).  The instructions were well-written and clear, and I made no alterations, and the fit was pretty spot-on (I used the flat pattern measurements, which state that there is 3" ease above the body measurements. My version has little to no ease).

My favorite part is the V-shaped back. Love it.  Probably why I bought the pattern (please excuse my straps trying to sneak out). 

When I tried on the bodice while it was a work in progress, I honestly didn't like the front.  It seemed and felt too high for my personal tastes ("It's like a turtleneck!" - exaggeration)  But when I put the completed dress on, I liked it!  It is accurately illustrated, with a higher neck and kind of a vintage vibe.

Overall I'm pretty happy with it, and it's a pattern I will probably make again sometime.  Just not in beige - there, I branched out and tried some colors I don't usually wear and now may I please go back to my wheelhouse? 

It's both comfortable and casual enough to wear to work. The lawn is very soft and lightweight (and slightly translucent in the skirt on a sunny day).  I am inspired to pull out some more of my summer dress patterns and make some more pieces that exist somewhere on the Practicality  Spectrum between Icing and Cake!


  1. Hi, Leslie! I think this print looks lovely on you - sorry you don't feel as comfortable as in your usual colours! This is really helpful for me, as I am still fairly new to sewing - thanks so much. Please can I just ask: does 'self-lined' mean lined in the same fabric as the dress? If so, I might try it - I didn't know this was an option!

  2. That's exactly what it means! I had enough fabric to self line it, and since it was already a nice lightweight breathable material it was perfect for lining.

    1. Thank you - I really appreciate your taking the time to reply :-) What a good idea!

  3. I LOVE this dress and have just cut out the pattern pieces to make my own...but I'm really confused by the lining interfacing instructions! Did you apply fusible interfacing directly to the lining of your dress? I am considering just using bias tape so that I don't ruin something... Anyway, great dress and great fabric!

    1. Sorry I've been away from my closet for a few days! I checked the dress, and it looks like I interfaced the lining, just around the neckline edges, not the entire bodice area. Maybe 2" wide to stabilize the neckline.

    2. Thanks Leslie!! That's what I ended up doing and it seemed to work fine- I was having a hard time understanding the printed instructions : )


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