New Look 6454 – The Couture Version, Part I

PI decided to make a very fitted strapless dress in Couture Boot Camp because a) that’s a tough thing to fit on yourself and b) I’d never done it before!

I selected New Look 6454 as my starting point because I liked the shape of the bodice.


Since I knew I was going to drape my own pleated skirt I only made a muslin of the bodice. I began with my usual size 8 and altered for a full bust on the front.


On the back, I made a broad back adjustment and added a seam allowance at the center back for the zipper. I tend to prefer a CB zipper over a side zipper because it’s easier when you have to fit yourself (since no alterations are made at the CB).


At the muslin stage, the side front was split into two pieces and more material removed through the waist (the shaded area). Notice that all of the stitching lines and grainlines have been machine stitched onto the muslin. One inch seam allowances were added throughout. The parallel lines marked with a “B” are the boning channels.


After the final muslin fitting, I traced my muslin pattern onto a muslin underlining, again marking the seamlines/grainlines (with tracing paper only this time) and adding 1″ seam allowances. Note that, since my body is not symmetrical (whose is?) I traced the pieces in mirror image so that the markings would end up next to my body and be visible from the inside of the garment.


The fabric I am using is a lustrous Vera Wang brocade from A Fabric Place (Michael’s Fabrics for you internet shoppers). Isn’t it gorgeous?



Filed under Couture Boot Camp, New Look

13 responses to “New Look 6454 – The Couture Version, Part I

  1. Auntie Allyn

    I’ll be the first to say it . . . ooooh la la, this is going to look fabulous!!!

  2. Rosie

    Second what Auntie Allyn said … cannot wait to see the gawgeous dress.

  3. Oh my I’m drooling already.

  4. Libby Hall

    Wowzers! That is going to be stunning! One question, do you have a tutorial for doing the FBA on strapless, princess line bodices? I finally figured out how to do regular FBA’s and now I need the info on strapless, princess lines.

    • Libby, it is done in the same manner as any princess-seamed garment. The best (and easiest to follow) instructions are in Fit For Real People.

  5. Sally

    I love the fabric you’ve chosen! What a nice opportunity to work on this project. I’m enjoying observing the process. Thanks for sharing the details. I learn so much from your blog. Thanks.

  6. Wonderful documentation, Gigi. You are always such an educational resource. And this fabric is fantastic. Thanks for letting us follow along.

  7. Karen Saieed

    Gigi, the strapless dress will be beautiful in your lucious fabric. I’m following along with Robin’s “Couture Boot Camp adventure” with her lace jacket; I’ll add watching yours to my lineup.


  8. RebeccaD

    I cannot wait to see all the rest of these entries. It is going to be stunning.

  9. How will you use this in the future? Will you transfer this to paper -or- will you just use the muslin as your pattern?
    Nice to see how it looks as a flat pattern, and what the fitted muslin looks like.
    The fabric is sooo beautiful!

  10. Beautiful fabric.

  11. Looks amazing. Seeing the adjustments you’ve made to the bust is actually incredibly helpful to me (sounds like I have a very similar body-type as you), as I’ve never been able to completely figure out where to add room in fitted pieces. For that, thank you!