Shifty: New Look 6145

After making quite a number of v-neck knit dresses recently (yikes 5!), I knew it was time to find a different look. Enter: the simple shift.

There are a number of shifts floating around in blog land courtesy of the Colette Laurel pattern, but given I am not the model size for Colette patterns, I opted for New Look 6145. My experience with New Look patterns has generally been good and I like the price tag too!

The other reason for choosing the New Look pattern was that I was trying to copy an old ponte shift dress that I own from way back. The bust darts on it are angled, like on the New Look pattern, which I think helps with shaping under the bust too.

I really like this dress. It’s simple and skims over the body without gripping. The fabric, purchased from the Remnant Warehouse recently, is a little mesh-like so I plan to wear it with a slip which will also prevent it gripping to my tights.

Can you believe that I love this fabric so much I even made a toile of the pattern? Technically this is wearable, but really not my style.

As the pattern is not drafted for stretch I made a few changes. I cut an 8, but took an extra 1-2 cms from the width of the dress to ensure it fitted a little more than it would with a woven. I also raised the armscye and reduced the width of the sleeve. To ensure a nicer fit across the back, I deepened the back darts and slightly tapered the pattern at the waist. I also cut the back on the fold as there is no need to use a zipper in this type of frock. Lastly, I bound the neck, rather than face it, as it makes for a neater finish with knits. I think this sounds like a lot of changes, but most were done prior to making the toile as you could see there needed to be some changes to accommodate the stretch of the fabric.

And in the interest of full disclosure my friends – in an effort to trial new stretch patterns, I may have experienced an epic fail!

New Look 6071 – Slightly too big around the bust…

and look at that mess at the back!!!!

While this isn’t too hard to fix, at the moment I can’t be bothered. I might try this again in a nicer fabric, but for now, this will head to the re-fashion pile.

Win some – lose some!

Pattern: New Look 6145 download from = $4.70
Fabric: 1.5m mesh knit from The Remnant Warehouse = $14.95
Thread and interfacing from stash
Fabric for toile: 1.5m mesh knit from The Remnant Warehouse = $8.95
Total inc toile: $28.60

Pattern: New Look 6071 from ??? $6 ???
Fabric: 1.5m cotton knit on sale from Lincraft = $7.50
Thread from stash
Total: $13.50

  • I really like the first dress and the second one is my favourite pattern. Your version definitely has potential. Perhaps you could shorten this one to a top instead of discarding it.

  • Your adjustments for the NL shift are spot on, it looks perfect!

  • I'm a huge fan of New Look patterns too, after many years of thinking they were dull and dowdy. Your dress looks awesome, great post title too! It's too bad about the red one though, that colour looks great on you

  • That first dress is awesome…love the fabric, pattern combo.

  • Love the first dress – it fits wonderfully.

  • Recently discovered your blog and am enjoying seeing your creations. I'm getting back into sewing garments, so you are inspiring me! It's also helpful to hear how you modified the patterns and made adjustments. Thanks for sharing!

  • Shift dresses do suit you but while you have a waist, wear dresses that emphasis it.
    I was tempted by Laurel except for the price and there are plenty of shift dress patterns in my stash.

  • Very smart shift dress and it looks great on you, so sorry about the red one though.