new look patterns are wtf

28 Mar

i’m in the process of making a dress for my sister. she wanted something simple – a white dress with a halter neckline that hit a little below the knee. we went to the fabric store & she picked out new look 6457, view D. the fabric is a linen-look polyester something from joann’s. pretty simple stuff.

new look 6457

i started cutting out the muslin last weekend, and i hate to say this on a public internet forum but that stupid pattern has to be one of the most frustrating patterns i’ve ever worked with – and i’ve tackled ~advanced~ patterns without breaking a sweat! i’ve sewn new look patterns before, although i generally try to avoid them (they include soo much wearing ease; one really ends up going down several sizes to get a good fit. crazy stuff!). this one in particular was just drafted like shit.

case in point:
pattern wtf
this is the bodice front & bodice side back pattern pieces. those two are supposed to match up, except the side back is a good 1.5″ longer than the side of the bodice. the hell? i re-read the instructions several times, re-checked my cutting to make sure i hadn’t inadvertently cut the wrong size, ensured that i was using the correct pattern pieces… nope, just a big bad drafting error on new look’s part.

i went ahead & sewed them together:
it matches up to the notch?
the top of the bodice matches the notch at the side back… i mean, that kinda makes sense. right??

sewn & folded over
i ended up just folding the stupid thing over and pressing the hell out of it. this is just the muslin, i will trim off the excess on the real deal.

it’s really frustrating when pattern pieces don’t match up – the excess that these were off (especially on the top of the bodice, which shouldn’t vary wildly between sizes) is ridiculous!

anyway, we fit the bodice to my sister & the waistline ended up being quite a bit too big. i’m not really surprised, considering the pattern company we’re dealing with here, but i did base the size cut off the finished measurements, so it is annoying when those are off (but, like i said, not really surprised here!).

oh well, hopefully the finished dress will be presentable enough to post pictures of πŸ™‚

on a happier note, i’ve made quite a bit of headway on the ceylon:
dress front
all it needs now is 16 buttons & buttonholes and a new hem!
i bought a bit of white lace to face the hemline. the buttons are 3/4″ self-fabric covered buttons πŸ™‚ oh, and that piping at the waistline will match when everything is sewn together… it’s just pinned haphazardly on the form right now.

dress yoke
i LOVE the neckline/yoke. so crisp and pretty!

cute picture of the day:
my little brother/sister-in-law’s kitten, sophie, who i had the pleasure of kitten-sitting this past weekend.
isn’t she adorbs?! she’s even cuter in real life πŸ™‚

23 Responses to “new look patterns are wtf”

  1. Lindsay March 28, 2011 at 6:31 pm #

    Gah I love reading your pattern bashing!!

  2. Josephine April 17, 2011 at 8:44 am #

    I completely get what you mean about New Look patterns. I’m currently attempting my first dress and it’s New Look 6910 and I love it, but the instructions are really frustrating. At first I thought it was because I’m a beginner, but I’ve run the pattern and instructions/directions past some very advanced sewers and their general response was WTF? I’m going to finish it because the cut of it looks really good on me, but I’m not sure how or when.

  3. Anonymous May 14, 2014 at 3:29 pm #

    Did you ever finish this dress?? I’d love to see it. I picked a newlook pattern as my first project and the sizing is melting my brain. :O


    • LLADYBIRD May 14, 2014 at 5:55 pm #

      I did finish it, but my sister and I had a falling out shortly after I delivered the dress to her (not related to the dress, ha), so I have no photos of it or anything 😦 For your sizing, I’d suggest checking the finished measurements on the tissue (they are generally printed at the bust/waist/hip points) and comparing those to a garment you own that fits the way you like, made of a similar fabric. That should help you choose the correct size to start with, but definitely make a muslin in case the measurements end off like mine did πŸ™‚

  4. Denise July 13, 2014 at 11:34 pm #

    New Look pattern 6457 – I was so glad that I found this site as I have found the same problem of the pattern not matching up and was very frustating. New Look should recall this pattern

    • audrey Burba June 21, 2018 at 1:57 pm #

      Bought a New Look pattern and sewed the size I normally so for oter patterns and it is to small.Will not buy another pattern from them.
      I spent 20 dollars per yard and now can’t wear it.So………

    • Sheila Deans March 4, 2023 at 10:03 am #

      Well when never I have bought new look patterns I can never understand them , they never make any sense , I am using pattern K6094 and it makes no sense with the pleating so I don’t even no if I can finish it.

  5. Anonymous July 18, 2014 at 2:30 pm #

    FYI – I made dress A and E from this pattern without any issues. Dress D, however had me wondering if I’d lost my mind. The bodices of the dresses in the pattern are entirely different — not variations. Simplicity didn’t even bother to check if the pieces from the different bodices are compatible — they are NOT. I messed with my test pattern and ended up cutting entirely new pieces for the side back and back based on my own measurements and a bit of logic (something New Look seems to lack.) I suggest anyone attempting dress D do the same. Just disregard the side-back and back pieces (which DO work for version A). Generally if you clip curves and pull the longer side piece to match the curve of the shorter piece, the length should even out. I hope this helps!

  6. Amy January 10, 2015 at 9:43 pm #

    I’m using a newlook pattern right now and I’m at a loss the step doesn’t make sense and I’m at a loss. I feel like a couple steps are missing or perhaps it’s a misprint. The pattern is A6227 view B step 7. I’m beyond annoyed and I’m not new to sewing a

  7. Valerie January 17, 2016 at 7:00 pm #

    I am so glad to see that more people are having problems with New Look patterns than just me. I thought I was doing something wrong. I have to make 9 identical dresses for a play and am having lots of problems with the fit of them in the sleeve area. I altered the patterns for various sizes and the sleeve is bigger than the bodice resulting in the bodice pulling too tightly around the sleeve area. I have decided to recut the bodices from a different pattern.

  8. Mepurdy January 21, 2016 at 6:36 pm #

    So glad I read this! I am working with a New Look pants pattern 0384. I normally wear a size 14 pant, but looking at the finished hip measurement for a “large”, which seemed too big, I went down a size and cut the medium. Good grief! Shoulda measured the pattern piece first! Finished hip is 54″! Now, granted, this pattern was never meant to be tailored, but this is beyond belief. No more of these patterns for me.

  9. Chrissy Forrest April 8, 2016 at 5:13 pm #

    Omg I’m having such a hard time with the straps for the bodice for dress D plz HELP!!’

    • Liz Rushforth April 29, 2017 at 3:57 pm #

      I’m doing view D as well the straps just don’t work! It’s so frustrating! I will try taking it in to a sewing instructor soon to see what she says.

  10. Agnes June 8, 2017 at 7:42 pm #

    You are so right!!!! I’ve been sewing since I was 12, and I’ve been retired for a while now. I’ve made ball gowns and tailored suits. New Look patterns have the most ASININE directions and techniques I have ever seen!!!!

    • liz July 15, 2017 at 10:33 pm #

      that’s why im here instructions sucks am at a loss pieces don’t match up been sewing for longer then i like admit i even can make my own patterns but daughter wanted a dress and fingered it be easier just buy a pattern at least im laughing I thought their was a new way of making patterns and instructions im so glad i found this blog

  11. Agnes June 8, 2017 at 7:44 pm #

    I forgot to say that New Look patterns and sewing techniques are the equivalent of Common Core Math methods!

    • Anonymous July 9, 2017 at 7:02 pm #

      Well, that made me laugh!

  12. DD January 13, 2018 at 1:00 pm #

    I’m so glad that I found your site! I’m sewing the New Look jacket (B) from D0727 / 6532 and was going crazy trying to figure out why one of the facing pieces is 1 inch shorter than it should be. It will work, but this definitely makes me wonder about using this brand again.

  13. Diane Dodge January 22, 2018 at 3:55 pm #

    Update on my issue with New Look jacket B from D0727/6532:
    I contacted Simplicity Support at
    Someone got back to me pretty quickly, and after a few back and forth emails, including some photos of the pieces in question, they offered to either send me a new piece or to email me a new piece. (Actually, there were two pieces in question, but I had already fixed it, moved on, and didn’t want to spend any more time on the issue.)

    • LLADYBIRD January 23, 2018 at 10:30 am #

      Thank you for the update! I’m glad to hear that they were able to address and solve your issue, that is great customer service!

  14. O'Silky December 22, 2018 at 4:35 pm #

    I’ve a similar problem with New Look 6313.
    Skirts A/B, views 1 & 2 show a completely different skirt. The front and back facings are >1cm shorter than the skirt waist. Added to that I cannot imagine what Skirts A/B view 4 is trying to show but it doesn’t match the description.
    In the end I gave up with the instructions and followed a selection of YouTube videos.

  15. Anonymous June 10, 2022 at 9:20 am #

    I have a DD bust and off the rack clothes don’t fit well, so I sew. I use old sheets to mock up patterns. I start with size closest to what I by in store. I chose patterns with different styles so I can use the pattern several times because it takes so long to fit it properly

    • norm July 18, 2022 at 3:21 am #

      Just been trying to make a shell top and found that New look expect you to use the same pattern pieces for the bodice for a sleeveless version as you do for one with sleeves..This is incorrect as the garments move differently when worn and bagging will occur..Won,t use them again1

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