Fluted sleeves are everywhere this fall, so I thought I might make up a sample using New Look pattern 6524 in the Whistler Suede, located in the suiting section of the Bridal department.
A Bemberg lining was also added, because the color was a perfect match and Bemberg feels so nice on the skin. It is not necessary to line the dress (the New Look pattern does not include instructions for it.)
The pattern features a shift dress with different styles of bell and fluted sleeves. For anyone who likes to sew for themselves, this is a great pattern in a classic style that can be saved and used again for every season in different fabrics.
Having never sewn suede before, it seemed a little research was in order, here are a few things I learned- some the hard way!
While cutting the pattern out, pattern weights were used since pins do not penetrate the suede well. It is a little tricky to line up the grainline but it still works. A nap layout is necessary to prevent shading.
For sewing the suede, Schmetz microtex needles work best in size 80/12. Basting suede is not suggested, as the needle marks will not steam out and pins don’t work well either, so using fabric clips is a great substitute for pins- thanks very much for the suggestion, JaneAnn! I did baste the back pleat according to the directions since the fold placement was critical, but since the basting ended up on the fold, it was not noticeable.
In general when trying a new fabric, I find either Claire Schaeffer’s Fabric Sewing guide, or Sandra Betzina’s Fabric Savvy, very helpful. I also like to take scraps after cutting the pattern out and test stitches, interfacing, and steam tolerance.
French fuse interfacing works well to stabilize the darts, as they can be somewhat droopy without it. The suede itself was easy to sew, as long as I went slow and used a Teflon foot, as the fabric tends to back up behind the presser foot without it.
Overall now that the dress is finished, I think the suede was a wonderful choice, and the fluted sleeves add a perfect touch to a classic shift style dress.
If you try this pattern, or make anything out of the Whistler Suede, please post it to The Sewing Studio’s Facebook page, I would love to see it!
Shop Here for Whistler Suede