Is New Look 6341 The Perfect Party Dress

Is New Look 6341 the perfect party dress? 

Like many, I have had this pattern in my stash for a while. It reminds me of dresses that I wore in the 1980’s. Not my favourite fashion period for sure, but a drop waist is generally flattering. 

New Look 6341

The Pattern

The pattern is a full-skirted, drop-waisted dress, available in three lengths. There are two sleeve lengths on offer, as well as a sleeveless option. The bodice is lined, although the skirt is left unlined. There are hidden side pockets. 

This pattern is straightforward to follow, and is easy for someone with moderate sewing experience to make.

The Fabric

This dress has simple lines, and so it calls for a dramatic fabric to make it into a special occasion dress. I would suggest a brocade, heavy weight silk or fabric with some body, such as a taffeta, for the evening. A linen, light weight denim, cotton gingham or poplin would well perfectly for the daytime. 

I was fortunate to have a silk fabric in my stash, which I found on my honeymoon in Myanmar. The fabric is a hand-woven silk sarong or “longi”, that I purchased directly from the weaver, and so it holds fond memories. 

The design of the sarong incorporates a large woven border, which I feel adds drama to the dress! 

I used a heavy weight navy satin to fully line the dress, giving it a luxurious feel when worn. 

Detail of dress bodice showing lining

Making The Dress

I made two sizing adjustments when cutting out the pattern, by shortening the bodice and lengthening the skirt. 

As always, I immediately overlocked all raw edges to the fabric and lining. This was especially necessary with the hand woven fabric, to stabilise it. 

I had to adjust the bodice further on two points:

▪️I found the shoulder straps were too long for me, as they ‘floated’ above my shoulders when first fitted. 

▪️The hips are cut quite narrow, causing the waist line to sit higher and the shoulder straps even further. I would advise that you double-check these measurements before cutting out your fabric.

The pattern calls for you to bond the lining and fabric together at the same time. I do not like this method as the seams show. I would always prefer to bag-line when possible, for a seamless finish. 

The skirt is left unlined for this pattern, however, I was making this as an occasion dress for the evening. I therefore chose to completely bag-line the dress to include the skirt. To do this I simply cut all the pattern pieces in the lining fabric and made it in the same way.  

You may not wish to line the skirt if making a sun dress, but I would certainly choose to do so with a light weight cotton. I often use pre-shrunk cotton sheeting as a lining fabric, as it is cooler to wear than a synthetic lining in hot weather. 

Tips and Alterations

▪️ I had to shorten the bodice slightly (which is normal for me) by 2 cm.

▪️I also found the shoulder straps too long, and so I had to take off a centimetre back and front. 

▪️I found the drop waist a little too snug for me on the hips, and so had to increase the width. 

▪️I wished to utilise as much of the border design as possible and so lengthened the skirt to make the most of this.  

▪️ The pattern calls to line the bodice, by bonding both layers together at the same time. I chose instead to bag-line the whole dress. 

▪️I lined the skirt as well as the bodice for a more luxurious finish for the evening. I would possibly omit this for a sun dress, or line it in cotton.


The cut of this dress is extremely flattering and is so comfortable to wear. The dress feels fabulous when worn, especially when fully lined! I especially love the low back detail, hidden pockets and versatility of this dress pattern.

I am pleased with the outcome of this dress. I feel that it is a an elegant and flattering cut. I am sure that I will be able to wear it for many years to come, as it feels so timeless. 

Depending on your fabric choice, it would work well as a summer day dress or for a special occasion, such a cocktail, evening, bridesmaids or even bridal dress if made full length. 

A very flattering dress, that would suit most ladies, especially with the dropped waist. 

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