Pattern: Simplicity 2054, a Cynthia Rowley design
Fabric: Ponte knit from Joann’s
I had a bout of insomnia last night, so while I was up at 4 am I made this dress! It’s a simple design, quick to sew up. I am quite pleased with it! No modeled photos yet – I’m hoping to wear it Thursday, and if I do I will get pictures then. This is the worst time of year for pictures, as it gets dark so early that I have to take them myself!
I used a ponte knit from Joann’s. The fabric was easy to sew, but I had one issue – there was a flaw in my piece! I had a line of poorly woven fabric running from selvage to selvage – almost a hole, really! Because of this, I ended up have two smaller pieces, instead of the one large piece I bought. I ended up having the cut 3/4 length sleeves, and piecing the cowl in the center in order to have enough fabric. Be aware that the fabric requirements for this one are tight – I don’t think you can squeeze it into a smaller piece! This is the second time I’ve had a flaw in Joann fabric, and I’m going to start remembering to check. I’ve had decent pieces from them, but their quality control isn’t always great.
I cut the cowl in two pieces rather than on the fold, so I have an extra seam in the front (you can’t really see it with the print.) The cowl has an interesting construction. It’s pleated at the back seam, making the back much narrower than the front. It’s also shaped so that the cowl itself is wider underneath. This allows it to sit much more evenly than a regular cowl, and it needs less fussing. I actually think this piece is worth the cost of the pattern, as I can imagine making some for gifts!
The actual dress is not very fitted. I expected this going in, and made a few adjustments to make it work with my shape. First, I cut a size down in the shoulders, bust, and sleeves. Then I blended it out two sizes at the waist and hips, making it ever so slightly a-line. Finally, I removed 3 inches from the length, and I may yet remove another. I think this sort of shape works best as a mini-dress, and that’s how I plan to wear it (with some tall boots.)
I did not make the vented elbows. I’m cold enough in the winter without adding air conditioning! I think this is an interesting design, but I don’t think it will work for everyone. It doesn’t have any shaping in the body (darts etc) so it may not be suitable if you need some. It’s also rather shapeless by design. It’s shown belted on the envelope, but I would not belt it (at least not in ponte knit) because it’s so thick that way. I’m happy with my adjustments. The pattern took very little time to sew, and is worth making if the style appeals to you!