Cynthia Rowley pattern no 2406. I got mine free when I purchased the Sew Magazine the January 2012 issue. However, you can buy yours in the UK from: http://www.habithat.co.uk/, http://www.jaycotts.co.uk or http://www.sewingworld.co.uk and in US of course the http://www.simplicity.com
Misses’ dress in three lengths with sleeve variations by Cynthia Rowley for Simplicity with a gathered neck line and cut out sleeves and a sash as a belt. It is a simple pattern that a beginner sewer will have no problems making.
The Envelope shows you four options. You can make the dress in three lengths: long, just above knee and mini. You can have no sleeves, cut out sleeves or 3/4 sleeves. You can insert the pockets in the side seam if you make the dress as a day dress or leave them out, if you want to use it as an evening dress. You can even have the option to add a zipper at the back or just wear it with a slash. You can use a belt or make a sash that the pattern for the dress also includes.
For my dress I chose view D, which is sleeveless and the shortest dress variation. (Well I am only 5f 1”, so on me it will be just as if i made the knee length view). I did not want a zipper in the back so just made it without. I love pockets so they were included in my final project. And how could I leave the sash out?
Materials and notions:
I wanted to my heavy orange satin fabric with back lace, but once I’ve put my bodice pattern pieces on the fabric I realised I do not have enough for the pockets, straps and sash, so I had to think of another fabric that might for from my large stash. The thing is I buy my fabric by weight from Abakan’s so you just pick the pieces you like, not always enough,but hey they always have great fabric. Of course you can also buy it from the roll in the length required. So I found some more satin fabric – contrasting fabric – for the straps and sash, which I covered with spider black lace.
I also used two different colours of thread to match the fabrics, and one little orange button, for the back.
I found the instructions easy to follow. they are accompanied like all the Simplicity patterns by diagrams to help you understand better the instructions. My pattern version which is for sizes 14 – 22 or EU 40 – 48 comes with Spanish instructions as well. To be honest I tend to follow mostly the diagrams as some times due to the language barrier ‘I do not always get it’ so I have to figure it out from the pictures/diagrams. 🙂 However, if you are not an experienced used and need some help in constructing the dress, which is pretty simple you will not struggle with it. My main fabric was the orange heavy satin. I suggest that you use a light weight fabric. Well the envelope does suggest fabrics such as cottons, batiks, lightweight denim, sateen, crepe, silk-rayon, silk linen, shantung, taffeta, lightweight linen blends or soft lightweight linen (You probably think served me well, if I did not use a lightweight fabric, But hey, you got learn from experience sometimes).
Well I followed most of the instructions as they were explained.
The first thing I did was to modify the back and front, by taking out aprox. 3cm or 1 1/4 inch between the neck and bust. All the tops/dresses/Jackets I make seem to have large armholes and they just look daft on me especially if it is supposed to be fitted. I recently realised why, and the easiest way for me to modify the patterns is to use a self-drafted bodice to match the waist and neck points and remove the excess. It works for me. I struggle with other, more appropriate methods, and I am lazy. I do not do muslins. ( I am lucky as my body is well proportioned and I do not have many problem areas. I probably have given up sewing for my self by now if I did
As always, I end up making some mistakes that make me alter the project a bit or just change it form the original presentation. But I think of it as my way of making each garment unique. :). First of all I cut four pieces for the sash, the pattern required two pieces cut on one layer, but me in my excitement I read it as cut two on fold, so I managed to end up.
At the back the the instructions do not suggest you top-stitch around the opening, if you do not insert a zipper. I did so to make the facing sit flat. Well I did use a fabric that was a bit heavy, and should have used lightweight fabric.
I struggled with setting the pockets in the dress. Simplicity’s version I think is a bit difficult and hard to get a perfect fit easily. So considering it is set in the side seam, I will attach each side of the pocket to the back and front bodices and then stitch the side seam around the pocket as well of course, we do not want to put our keys in the pocket only for them to land on the floor, do we?
Overall I am quite happy with how the dress turned up. I will make it again definitely. But I’ve learnt my lesson, next dress I make, which will be knee length with 3/4 sleeves, will be in lightweight fabric. I do have in mine a certain linen piece of fabric.
I do not really like the open cut sleeves. They just look to me a bit weird, and that’s not because I think I will be hard to make them, the instructions with the pattern are pretty easy to follow. It’s just they make the dress look unfinished for me.
I recently discovered that my using different colour/pattern fabrics the finished garments are more impressive and more unique. So when ever possible I will to this on purpose, rather than using the same fabric for the whole garment, I’ll mix the fabrics.
PS: I love Pinterest.com. I kind of got distracted by when I should have been spending my time by growing my new baby this blog. But now we’re back and will do our best to let you know about our crafty activities 🙂