One last dress for the summer: NL6491

After a couple of rough months, this summer has brought me immense peace and joy. The weather has helped a lot. I love the heat, especially by the seaside. And I have truly made the most of the heatwave in my sewing room. So here is the last of my summer dresses.

NL6491 pattern review

Unusually for a French seamstress, I am a huge fan of traditional US pattern houses – in particular McCall’s and Vogue (which are both part of the same corporation). However I had never sewn any New Look pattern; andthis first experience was extremely positive.

Pattern description

New Look 6481 is a halter dress with a deep-plunge cleavage; and a gathered skirt attached to the bodice via a belt. The dress is finished either with straps or neck ties and has two skirt length options: knee or ankle length. So four dress options in total – and many more if you decide to hack the pattern of course!

NL6491 pattern positives

There are many thinks I like about this pattern; and appart for not being a great fan of gathered skirts, nothing I strongly dislike

  • This style is perfect for a hot summer. It has been my Holy Grail for ages: deeply desired as it is so perfect for the heat; but impossible to find in the right fit for my E-cup… until now! Just before sewing this dress, I actually had a go at a comparable Vogue pattern (V9259) which was a complete failure…
  • The fit is extremely good… if you go one to two sizes down! Despite my measurements putting me between 12 and 14 on the enveloppe, I sized down to 10 and the fit was absolutely perfect! (with the help of a FBA, more on this later) This is exactly what I do for all McCall’s, Vogue and Butterick patterns and it works wonders. I measured the waist to check there was enough room (there was). I also made a toile, but more to check the accuracy of my FBA. I changed absolutely nothing else fit-wise.
  • This is an extremely easy dress to sew. I had initially read the instructions when I received the pattern. Despite misleading them just before starting sewing, I had no problem putting the dress together. There is no technical difficulty except for the invisible zip at the back.

Changes I made to the initial pattern

I made two changes to the pattern:

  • I used a different skirt, namely the one from the greatly acclaimed V9253 dress. This skirt is, in my view, immensely more flattering than a gathered rectangle and requires less work – so there is only upside!
  • I made a very easy FBA, but adding 2cm to the curve under the bust point to create more room – something very similar to what I had done for my Lune dress.

Not my best fabric choice…

For this dress, I used a gorgeous navy eyelet cotton fabric with large white embroidered flowers. A feast for the eyes!

On paper, it looks like a good idea for a summer dress: cotton eyelet is lightweight and it breathes. But… effectively, eyelet fabric has to be lined EVERYWHERE, as there are holes in the fabric so it is actually more than see-though… Bottom line: even if you line with the lightest fabric you can find (cotton voile here), the dress ends up rather warm. Arrrghhhh!


Despite my dubious fabric choice, I am enamoured with this dress. I am so pleased to have found such a perfect fit for this style that I am now trying to think of an excuse to sew it for Autumn…. Any ideas welcome!

2 responses to “One last dress for the summer: NL6491”

  1. Jennifer Mariel Shaw says:

    Another stunning dress for Summer! I love a good eyelet fabric too!

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