Friday, August 12, 2011

St. Simons Dress aka New Look 6557 Finished

I’m still stunned that I was able to finish this dress, having only started the muslin two weeks ago and losing some time after sewing my finger last Saturday.  This is pretty quick for me, even without the handicap!

St. Simon's Island Dress

(Sorry for all of the headless, poorly lit kitchen shots as of late.  I've been sewing late at night and my head is just not fit for pictures at that point.)

After setting the dates for our road trip, Nick and I got invited to a wedding in Georgia that just happened to fall at the tail end of our trip.  We looked at our route and realized that with a little revising, we would be able to make it!  We are super excited about it, not only because we love the couple getting married (the groom actually performed our wedding ceremony!), but we finally get to see beautiful St. Simons Island, Georgia, where the groom grew up.  Hence why I’ve named this dress the St. Simons Dress!

They decided to keep things casual, so I thought it would be fun to make my dress.  I’ve been wanting to make a dress for the past few weddings that we’ve been invited to, but my skill level just wasn’t up for the challenge.  But this one I thought I could handle, and since I could use a more casual fabric, meaning I wouldn’t have to worry about anything super expensive or slippery, I figured now was the time.

In one of her Sewing Circles, Suzannah from Adventures in Dressmaking mentioned New Look 6557 as a good starter dress for beginners.  I liked the simple design so I picked it up during one of the $.99 pattern sales at Joann.  I wanted to use fabric that was a little nicer than cotton, and after coming up empty at Joann, I took to and found this gorgeous Kaffe Fassett rayon challis.  Here's a closer look at the details.

Image Source

This fabric is so soft!  I love it.  I can’t wait to see it flapping in the Georgian beach breeze.  The muslin went together really easily, even if it did have some fitting issues.  After taking it in, I was so happy with the fit and look of the dress!  My instructor convinced me to put in a full lining, instead of just lining the bodice as the pattern suggests, so I used the same methodology as I did when constructing the Passport dress (making two versions of the dress and then piecing them together).  I was excited when I didn't need my instructor's advice when it came time to attaching the lining and the fabric.  Those sewing lessons are doing something!

This was the second time I have put in a lapped zipper, and I must admit that it’s not my favorite thing.  Putting in an invisible zipper (as I did on both Gingers) seemed much easier for me.  I considered switching to an invisible zipper last minute, but I didn't have time to run out and get one.  Thankfully the lapped zipper made a little more sense to me the second time around and it went in a lot easier than last time. 

St. Simon's Island Dress

I’m so thankful that I didn’t run into any major issues when putting this dress together.  I would have had to go dress shopping on vacation if I hadn’t been able to finish it!  My only frustration while sewing up the final product was that my thread kept breaking mid-sewing.  I must have gotten a bad spool of thread, even though it was Gutermann, because it broke even while I was hand sewing.  I ended up switching to a white thread (my original thread was a soft blue) and throwing out the crappy spool.  Now I am ready to visit St. Simons Island!

This will be the last regular post for a while.  Nick and I are headed west to see the country.  I’ve pretty much been a strictly east coast girl for my whole life, with brief trips to California, Las Vegas, and Chicago, but nothing extensive.  We’re going to be driving through a whopping 23 states, 16 of which are brand new to me, so I’m excited to see lots of different landscapes and wildlife than what I’ve seen up until now.  I’ll try to post some pictures every now and then, depending on the availability of internet.  Also, in case recent news has made you worried for us, we are taking every precaution to ensure that we aren’t mauled by bears.  We have bear spray and know what to do in the event that we encounter a bear, but hopefully the only bears we will see are from a great distance.

I’ll be sure to post a recap of our adventures and return to regular posts after Labor Day.  I never did get to finish my Passport dress.  I guess I have something quick and easy to do when we get home!  Happy end of Summer!


  1. This looks great! The fabric is gorgeous (I can only imagine how soft it is) and it fits like a glove. You did such a good job with this dress – wear it proudly! On another note, have a great time on your road trip - and happy stitching.

  2. Wow, this really looks amazing! What a great pairing of pattern/fabric! I love it! Have a fabulous time! I really want to visit St. Simons Island too-- my best friend in college was from there and it just looks so beautiful! Looking forward to seeing pictures from your trip!


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