I have wanted to make a New Look 6808 top for yonks.  It was a Pattern Review Best Pattern of 2012 ...

New Look 6808 - A practice shell top

10:14:00 a.m. Sew Hopeful 17 Comments

I have wanted to make a New Look 6808 top for yonks.  It was a Pattern Review Best Pattern of 2012 and I have drooling over the many lovely versions online for ages.

This is my first version of several - I want to try a version each with the two collar options. (Drool). I made View B - the view with no collar and the short cap sleeves. 

The let down for this top is the totally yuck fabric - I love the colour, in fact I am currently a little obsessed with kelly green and navy, which is why I brought it -  its a stretch cotton sateen from Spotlight. However, it is horrible to work with and very hard to press, so it is hard to get a nice finish.  It creases really badly too. 

I orginally got this to make a pencil skirt with and then realised how badly it creased and how much that would annoy me so I decided to use it for a quick top instead. I didn't have enough for the sleeves so I used some leftover scraps from what I thought was the same fabric from a failed attempt a couple of years ago to use it to make a circle skirt (when I found it I thought "oh, thats right, this fabric was awful to work with, why did I buy more of it - oh yeah, it was the colour that sucked me in"),  On looking closely the sleeves are actually a slightly different colour. Shrug.  Oops.  The difference is most obvious in the first photo up top.  I'll just call it a practice garment.

I cut a size 8 going off the finished pattern measurements for the top part and then graded out to between a 12-14 for the bottom and got a very good fit - (otherwise I would have made a 12 all over grading out to a 14 in the hips, which would have swam on me).

It DID take a bit of fiddling around to get the darts to be the right shape for me.  I lengthened/extended the back darts 1" top and bottom and made them a little deeper to get rid of the pooling of fabric at the small of my back (aka: sway back).  I also shifted the deepest part of the darts from half way, moving that point further up my back - basically a very lazy/easy way of doing the sway back adjustment.  It worked for me anyway.

The front darts I reshaped and lengthened as well.  I resewed them probably a dozen times before I was happy with the fit, but the final shape has been carefully transferred to the pattern so the next time I make this I should be able to whip it up quicker.

The front side bust darts I should have shifted up a bit but I left as is - next time I will move up about 3/8".

I also note that the sleeves were a little odd - they were very large for the armscyce so they either need to be mega gathered at the sleeve head or have a massive seam allowance, which is what I did (the instructions do not get you to join the sleeve but sew them in "open" but are not very clear as to what to do instead - the side seams are already sewn up).

I also hand sewed my sleeve facings to enclose the armscye seams for a neat inside finish.

I also needed to shorten this top quite a bit, about 3 inches to get it to hit mid hip otherwise it is almost a tunic length. ( I am 5'4).

Now that I have worn it I can feel/see that the armsyce is a tad snug and I probably graded it out just a bit too much at the hips, so I'll lower the armsyce 3/8" (aka cut a size 10 armsyce) and bring in the hip curve 1/4" (aka only grade out to a 12) next time....


  1. So glad you used the finished pattern measurements as this is a great fit on you even with the changes you want to do for the next version. The colour would have enticed me as well.

  2. It's turned out to be a lovely top, so it is a pity about the sleeves - that sort of thing would annoy me, much the same as having lots of creases would as well :-)

  3. Same here. In fact, it irritated me so much that I doubt I will wear again. I'll call it a muslin and try to find a nicer fabric in a similar colour.

  4. My idea of heaven would be find this exact colour in a wool crepe. And then I'd make it as a suit with a navy pencil skirt and line it in silk. Mmmm.

  5. I'm so impressed with all the fitting changes you made! Your top looks great!

  6. The fit looks great! I like the color, too. Can't wait to see the next top you make with the pattern.

  7. Well, I love the sleeves being a different color. As long as both sleeves are the same color I'd just think of it as a style decision. You know, colorblocking? The fit is great should definitely keep wearing it.

  8. Thank alot Carolyn. Pressing, pressing, pressing. It looks rather different after being worn for a while. I'm definitely moving towards the need to use better quality fabric for better "wearability". This fabric really underscored that point to me.

  9. Found your blog via the lovely dress you posted for MMM2013.
    I jjust bought this top pattern as a result of seeing Zoe's refashioning of a man's shirt using the shawl collar -
    Really like your version too, will have to get cutting and stitching.

  10. Oddly enough, I'm just having a sit-down after finishing NL 6808 myself - the instructions for the cap sleeves are a bit opaque right enough, but I eventually worked out that the ends of the sleeves are overlapping at the side seam. With that you essentially get the edge to taper towards the side seam without having a seam at the sleeve itself (does that make sense?).

  11. Oh thanks so much. Yes. That makes much more sense. I'm going to have another crack at this pattern in a nicer fabric so will give it another go. Did you find they overlapped by quite a bit or is the sleeve head meant to be more gathered do you think.?

  12. You did a great job with this top. It looks great! I am trying to sew this model at the moment, but the sleeve instructions dont make any sense to me. I am a beginner, but I have read that it has caused problems for others also.
    Does one sleeve consist of 2 pieces? I sewed the two sleeve parts together at the bottom as per the instructions but it looks weird, i just dont understand why the sleeve has to be made from 2 pieces? Any suggestions?

  13. Hi there. The sleeve is just an outer sleeve and a lining piece which is just a fancy way to finish the hem. Then the sleeve is attached like a single piece of fabric to the armscyce. If you don't want to do that you can just cut one of each sleeve and just hem it instead of using the second sleeve piece to act as a lining. I am not sure if I am explaining this in the way that you need but in the pattern you sew the two identical sleeve pieces together along the hem and then fold it up wrong sides together so the seam along the hem is enclosed on the inside and the armscyle curves are together, matching the sleeve notches, then you treat it as a single pattern piece and attach it to the armhole like normal. I found that the sleeve either needed to be really gathered at the sleeve head to fit or the sleeve needed to be sewn together at the underarm seam with a fairly large seam allowance (I mention what I did in the post). I am not sure that I did it as the pattern intended, I just inserted the sleeve in a way that made sense to me at the time and looked ok. Hope that helps and your tops turns out great.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...