Pattern: Simplicity 2281, Cynthia Rowley design
Fabric: Rayon challis, bought off ebay, possibly vintage?
Notions: 22″ Invisible zipper
Notes: I have mixed feelings about Simplicity’s Cynthia Rowley line. One one hand, it’s a lovely line with some fashion forward designs. On the other hand, I’m pretty sure Ms. Rowley is designing for someone who does not have my body type. Simplicity 2443, for instance, is one of my favorite patterns, but I had to alter the dress to get it to suit me. Specifically, it seems as though most of the designs in the line are long waisted, with a gathered (but not flared) skirt. I look best in dresses that are higher waisted, with flared skirts. I don’t like too much blousiness in a bodice.
I was attracted to the neck/shoulder treatment on this dress. And, indeed, it is lovely! It’s certainly my favorite thing about the dress. One bit of oddity – I thought the neckline would be a drawstring halter, because of the ties, but as it turns out the entire thing is sewn in place with binding. It fits me fine, but I feel like it would be easier to fit the pattern with a drawstring. The directions at that point were odd also – the illustrations showed the view without the open shoulders, forcing me to guess on exactly how to do the neckline. At that point, I stopped using the directions entirely, and sewed the rest of the dress without.
The skirt is tulip shaped, which isn’t apparent from the envelope. I do like a tulip shape, but I think I would like this dress more with a flared skirt. I left off the pockets, because I didn’t want to add bulk to the skirt. Be careful when choosing the skirt size to cut – the hip measurements are correct, but the hemline is much more narrow. I can just fit mine over my hips. The dress has to go over your head because of the neckline – no stepping in!
My fabric was printed a bit off grain, which isn’t too apparent, but it does bother me a little. If I were to make this dress again, I would reduce the width of the midriff piece by half. It’s true that I do have a long torso, but my actual waist is pretty high, and I prefer to emphasize that, to keep my legs from looking short. I would also switch out the skirt. I do like this dress – I think it’s very cute for spring, and I really like the blue polka dots! And I really love the shoulders.
I’m off today to the Simplicity sale at Joann’s – I have a few new patterns to pick up. I will write about my next sewing plans later! BTW, if anyone saw a weird post from me earlier… that was my husband’s attempt at an April Fool’s day joke. We have had words about how utterly unfunny I find April Fool’s day, and I do not think he will be posting anymore old, unflattering photos of me. Just in case you were wondering what was up with that!