I named this dress after the popular 60s detective drama because that is what a lady at my sewing club exclaimed when I showed her the pattern envelope. I am a great fan of the shapes and high hem lines of the 1960s and couldn’t wait to make up the Newlook K6145 pattern when it landed on my doormat with the latest issue of Sew Magazine.
As you can see, I went for design B. I would have made design C only I didn’t have enough fabric. In fact it was a lack of fabric that made the construction of this dress a little trickier than it should have been. The tartan fabric I used was actually from an old dress my Aunty Adele had given me, already chopped into pieces. The original dress was in a bigger size than the one I made but it was still a tight fit, especially with pattern matching to consider. I spent a rather stressful hour desperately trying to arrange the pieces so that all of the lines matched up. Thankfully, with the help of Rosie, Jean and Mel at sewing club I managed to make it work. My dress is slightly shorter than the pattern but I gained a few more centimetres by overlocking and turning over the hem, instead of opting for a blind hem.
This pattern is a good choice for beginners who are looking for a bit of a challenge. As well as fitting the sleeves, it also requires an invisible zip. This is a zip that is completely concealed inside the garment and, if done well, looks like a seam from the outside. It took me three attempts to make mine work on this occasion, as I was determined for the stripes to match across the back. It is not always that hard though I promise.
I recommend investing in an invisible zipper foot for your sewing machine, pressing out the zipper teeth with a cool iron beforehand and tacking in place before you sew 🙂 If like me you find it hard to understand a sewing process without seeing it done, I found this YouTube video very useful.
I am thrilled with my finished dress and received many compliments when I wore it to work with black tights and my patent brogues from Clarks. I will certainly use this pattern again but I may avoid tartan for a while!