I think it can be very tempting when you have a hobby to snatch up anything and everything related to it, and to start hoarding supplies. I often heard the line – The one who dies with the most fabric leftover wins, when it came to sewing. And as I started trawling through social media I often saw glimpses into other people’s sewing stashes which seemed like rooms of heaven to me.
My habits have changed rather drastically since then, but when I first made Newlook 6808 I most definitely had the hoarding bug. I spent quite a lot of time scouring pattern specials, obsessing over fabric and looking for sources for notions. Even if these weren’t things I needed right that moment, it felt like a good idea to stock up “in-case”. This resulted in me getting a few patterns in 3 for $15 specials at Spotlight, including this one.
This was, largely speaking, one of my most successful makes of the time. The fabric was some rather cheap, painted something-or-other I’d found at the op-shop for a few dollars. The pattern itself ended up being even less than $5 despite the 3 for $15 sale because it was also 10% off paper patterns for VIP members. Or, you know, people who happened to be members. And at the time I hoarded zips like nobody’s business, so I was all set. I cut a straight size 12, having compared myself to the measurement chart, and set to constructing View C. It all came together quite well, even the capped sleeves, although I am still learning a lot of hand sewing techniques only now and so attempting to do certain things like tacking down the collar facing proved a bit tricky.
My sewing machine is also what I’d call fairly entry level. It was on special at Hobby Sew, and between my funds and some birthday and Christmas money I was able to make it mine. And that was already considered a huge upgrade from my mother’s 1987 sewing machine, still with working 2W lightbulb! My plan for my next upgrade is to make use of the very convenient LayBuy arrangement to get something a bit more powerful, because I learned through this pattern that my machine does not like thick layers of fabric. I also hadn’t discovered Hump Jumpers yet, so there was a lot of struggle getting through the bow portion of the pattern.
Then came time to hem and add the zip which I kind of cobbled together. I have since discovered a truly fantastic zipper insertion tutorial on Youtube by Sew Over It, which I recommend for those semi-covered zippers. But for this pattern I realised the hip portion had no chance whatsoever of getting over my hips. As a rule of thumb I now make muslins out of second-hand sheets, then salvage the scraps for other muslins, etc. But at this point I was still ascertaining fit. And the fit on the top half was spectacular. I had never encountered something that fit so exactly in terms of my shoulders and my bust, and yet wasn’t a sack around the waist! So I carefully cut it into a crop top so it would still fit up to where it could fit, and lo and behold a tiny red zipper I had on hand then fit perfectly!
I wore this top quite a lot after it was constructed, and of course the cheap fabric didn’t wash and wear all that well. But I was so pleased to have made it, and to have learned so much from making it. It was also a very straightforward pattern, so even if it had a collar and facings, I wouldn’t at all say it’s as complicated to make as a regular collared blouse. Plus it included a zipper, and if there’s one thing I’ve learned it’s that it’s a good idea to be very practiced with zippers. Even if it’s only so that you can repair or replace them in ready to wear garments.
Although I also have a confession to make. At the time when I first started on these patterns, snatched up in sales. I had a bad habit of never making the same thing twice. This was partially what drove the desire to not make a muslin. I lost interest the moment I was done, and would end up donating the pattern because I simply had no motivation to pick it up again. It’s a bit of a shame because now I’ve broken that habit I find myself wanting to revisit a few of these old patterns to see if I couldn’t make them better. Although from another perspective, I live in a very small apartment and my pattern storage is limited to this adorable upright file folder that also looks like a briefcase – it has a little handle on top! So if I do keep a pattern it’s got to be something that is worth taking up an entire section of the file folder…
Pattern: Newlook 6808
Views Made: View C
Pros: Comes with a whole lot of style options, with different collars and sleeves. The instructions are quite clear, and it has darts which made it more fitted.
Cons: Not designed for a figure with curve, so does require grading if you have much of a size difference between waist, hips or even bust.
Would I recommend it to beginners: I actually would. I was still a real beginner when I tried this, and I was able to muddle through without much stress. Although I would suggest making sure you have a fabric with an obvious right and wrong side, and have at least made a few zipper pouches so that you have experience with zipper insertion first.
Would I sew it again: Sadly I would not. But that’s only because it’s no longer my style.