the spotty dotty top (NewLook 6483) warts & all

I seem to be on a roll with sewing at the moment.  And trying my hand at several new (to me) patterns.  Ones that I’ve had in my stash for quite a while, but never got around to opening.  After the two success stories with the shirt pattern recently, I decided to open NewLook 6483

spotty 6483

. . . another pattern that’s marked “easy” with promises of 1 hour sewing time.  When will I learn to ignore that sort of info?  I expect an experienced sewer would find this pattern easy, and would no doubt run it up in under 60 minutes.  But surely, it’s the beginner sewer who is drawn to the “easy” patterns?  In which case, a top like this will require several hours of patient sewing, and much head-scratching trying to understand some of the instructions.

Anyway . . . I picked a summery cotton print fabric from my stash (this is leftover from a huge piece I bought as backing fabric for my F2F quilt way back in 2017).  And selected pattern pieces to make top C (the red version).  I’m quite narrow shouldered so thought the way shoulders were shaped on this would be a better fit.  As usual, I ummed and ahhed for ages, about what size to cut.  Pattern didn’t give FINISHED bust measurement, only finished length so . . . since I’m rather busty (not meaning to get too personal, but the following proved to be a problem with this pattern:  I’m a 40” bust and wear a 36 D-cup bra).  I therefore cut the largest pattern size which was for a 38” bust . . . slightly worried that the top would be too tight, but deciding I’d take the chance.

Something I learned from this sewing experience is:  check out other sewers pattern reviews on the internet before cutting or sewing!!!!! Because . . .

spotty 01 before

THIS is what I ended up with.  Absolutely massive!!!!  Now, I do have a tailor’s dummy, but I’ll admit, I don’t really know how to use it properly.  I’ve got it set to my vital statistics, but I don’t really know enough about clothes making to make the necessary ajustments to a pattern to make a “fitted” garment.  Besides, I have always felt I’m a fairly standard size. I can walk into any clothes shop and buy something that fits, off the rail.  I’ve made quite a few tunics, and the recent 2 shirts, without having to modify the pattern in any way.  In fact, I’ve used mainly NewLook patterns in the past so I had no reason to think there would be a problem with sizing.  Although, on hindsight . . . I did end up with exactly the same problem with NewLook 6602 in July last year – which funnily enough was also a tunic with facings for neck & armholes.   

Another view, to show you the gaping armholes

spotty 02 before

The above photos were after about 4 hours of sewing.  I was not a happy bunny! 

This is when I went looking on the internet for pattern reviews.  And realised I should have started with that!  Of the twenty or so reviews I read . . . a good 75% of sewers had made pattern changes along the way, or quite simply not really followed the pattern at all.  Many chose not to bother with facings, and just added binding.  And almost everyone said that the pattern sized up way too big.

So hmmmmffffff!!!!  What to do?  I  couldn’t do a great deal about the gaping armholes because they were faced (and should have been cut smaller if I wanted a smaller size) but I did manage to make a few improvements.  First . . . I unpicked side seams, and unpicked darts which were simply there, and miles away from my boobs.  Redrew and sewed darts much lower and longer . . . which improved things somewhat, but not 100%.

spotty 02 after

And I scooped out the neckline, simply drawing a curve freehand and bringing it down quite a bit.

spotty 01 after 

That doesn’t solve the too big armholes or the fact that shoulders are much wider than on the pattern picture because (as said above) I refused to unpick the arm facing and redo that part. 

spotty 04

As long as I don’t walk about with my arms sticking out like that though, it doesn’t look too bad.

spotty 03

Since I scooped out the neckline, I’ve got a button fastening at the back which is purely decorative as, with the saggy baggy arms, and lower neckline, I can just slip it on over my head without undoing the button. 

The big question is: will I use the pattern again? And to that I’ll say: I honestly don’t know!  I do like to try the same pattern several times, in different fabrics, to get my money’s worth, so to speak. In fact, I had big plans of making all five of the different options this pattern offered.  But that was before all the hassle with the first top. 


21 thoughts on “the spotty dotty top (NewLook 6483) warts & all

  1. There are things you can do by cutting into the pattern and rotating sections in and out, but it’s tricky to try and explain in words. However, I reckon the pattern would still work if you had sleeves, since the rather generous armholes will help prevent sleeves being too tight under your arms. I can’t tell if there’s a seam up centre back, but if there is, you might consider curving the top edge of that inwards slightly, as it gapes just a little. You know, it could have been a lot worse; it’s not too tight round the bust or under the arms.

    • yep back is in 2 sections and yep, it gapes a little too lol. I need to decide whether I like this pattern enough to try and draft afresh with size alterations, or whether just to forget about it and go with the tried & tested patterns that work with my shape.

  2. I’m the same size bust as you – though add a D – I have to import my bras from M & S as, apparently, no French woman has a bust bigger than a ‘C’ cup 🙄 I have a small frame though so most come out too big on neck, shoulders and armholes if I use my bust measurement as a guide on the ‘big 4’ patterns – the indie patterns are very different. What you should do is use your upper bust measurement – i.e. measure around your chest area above ‘the girls’ – and use this to decide on your size. Then, do an FBA – a full bust adjustment. I say this and have never yet done an FBA and, depending on the style, it usually works. I always scoop necks like that out because I think it’s more flattering if you have a more generous embonpoint – something you have proved demonstrably in your second batch of photos in my opinion.
    I always read the hell out of reviews before I make a pattern although, with the combinaison I’ve just made, it was so new the only reviews were from the testers so a bit limited.
    Don’t be downhearted – you used leftover fabric anyway and can consider this a toile/muslin which you should have done anyway, naughty girl. Again, a case of do as I say not as I do 🤣
    I always take ‘I made it in an hour’ claims with a pinch of salt. It usually takes me that long to lay the pattern out correctly on the fabric and cut it out. Anyway, making something in an hour has its place but I don’t count it as a satisfying dressmaking experience any more.
    I’d have another go if I were you.

    • lol my daughter is a 30DD and, when living in France, would be told by lingerie shop assistants that she must have measured herself wrong. We also had to ressort to M&S for her, and now she lives in England, buying bras is no problem. I’m wondering if this isn’t like the German shoes thing? Do British women (on average) have larger cup sizes than their French counterparts? Or is it simply a difference in labelling?

    • just a side note: have you ever checked out the mail order catalogue “le bon prix”? Just seen, they do bras up to G cup sizes!

  3. It is years since I did any sewing Claire, as my daughter was 44 this last week then it must be close to 40 years as the last think I remember making was a little pinafore dress for her to play in . Sleeveless and straight up and down the most complicated bit would have been the facings. I did make both my own and my sil’s wedding dresses so I must have been adept with a machine at some point but now the most I do is stitch the backing to a little stitched piece to make a square ornament lol. Your top is beautiful and love the fabric. Don’t give up Claire do try it again, as I am sure you know the second time will be easier.

  4. You did well with your adjustments. I feel your frustrations. I hate it when a pattern’s arm holes are unnecessarily large and/or has darts that serve little or no purpose. Even so, Your fabric is pretty and made up beautifully.

  5. Your neck line change and dart adjustment really made a difference! I think this would be worth trying again to practice fixing that gaping armhole. I almost think you could resew about four inches of underarm seam and eliminate most of it. Could you undo the tacking of the facing and continue with your adjusted seam up through the facing? You could then just rip out the old seams and trim a new seam allowance?
    As Tialys advised, it does sound like learning how to do a FBA would be a great skill for you. You would use it all the time, and after the first couple rounds it would be easy for you.

  6. Hi Claire! Don’t give up on this pattern. You have made so many good adjustments tailoring just for you. You are almost there. I agree with Kathy that just a few inches on the side seams near the arm hole might be just the thing needed. It would be a fairly easy fix. Consider this the practice and get it to fit trial run. It looks great on you!

    • I don’t feel very motivated to try and make any more ajustments to this one. Spent way too many hours on it already so I’ll just keep it for sitting out in the garden. I will have to look at pattern again though and work out how to change it if I decide to give it another whirl.

  7. I see you don’t want to work on this anymore but if you did, I think a small dart at the armhole would help with the gaping.

    I do think it is a cute top! Just wear your prettiest bra!

    • problem is: arm holes have facing, so if I put an extra dart in there, facing isn’t going to patch up properly.
      I think I’ll go with your other suggestion and just wear my prettiest bra lol.

  8. Oh crumbs! I actually think you did a great job with this, gaping armholes aside. It would go nicely with a white cardigan. Mind you, I’d be wary of the pattern if I was using it again! 🙂

    • we live and learn, and I’m Learning that I can’t always just cut out and sew without doing a fitting first.

  9. I think you’ve done really well with all your adjustments, it’s a very pretty top. I’d wear it where ever you feel comfortable with it, and then try once more with all the benefit of hindsight 🙂

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