Simplicity 2406: Cynthia Rowley Dress
I am happy that my sewing slump is officially over. I finished this dress earlier in the week, but I was too busy tweaking my blog design to post it. Enjoy!
Pattern Description: Misses’ dress in three lengths with sleeve variations by Cynthia Rowley
Pattern Sizing: This is a multi-size pattern (6-14). I made a size 12 and graded to a 14 in the hips (View B)
Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? Yes!
Note: The sash in the second photo is longer than the photo above it because I took this photo before I shortened it as described below.
Were the instructions easy to follow? *#%& No! First of all, the instructions for the pockets didn’t make much sense to me (based on other pockets I’ve constructed) so I ended up ripping them out. I just couldn’t figure out how they would end up looking right, so I decided to stop. I’m glad I did because I think they would have interfered with the silhouette of the dress. Also, I got really confused with the sleeves beginning with Step #16 (the drawing was misleading) and found myself concentrating really hard to minimize the need to break out my seam ripper. I had to study the drawing carefully for step #17 because the instructions were unnecessarily weird and unclear. Also, for a moment, I really couldn’t figure out how it would be possible to turn the sleeve right side out with the facings, but I was determined to squeeze the fabric through that ridiculously narrow hole and it eventually went through. When I got to step #19, I misunderstood the instructions and did not turn the facing over the sleeve, so I had to rip the seams out and sew them again. I didn’t have issues with the rest of the instructions, but they could have been more clear. Also, it was after midnight and I was pretty sleepy when I got to the sleeve section.
What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? I really disliked making the sleeves and turning the facings. When I turned the facings to the inside of the dress (steps 19-20), I had to rip the seams out a few times and clip the corners in order to eliminate bulk inside of the facings. I encountered some drama in the left back facing area (immediately beneath the letters “in” written in hot pink writing in the photo below), but I didn’t feel like using my seam ripper again so I trimmed and ironed it as evenly as possible. It’s still not perfect, but I didn’t obsess over it because it’s not that noticeable from the outside when I am wearing the dress.
I also noticed that the back facing kept flipping over to the outside of the back opening, so I sewed all of the facings down by hand using the “invisible hem” stitch to hold them in place. In retrospect, I should have done this after I sewed the hook and eye because I had to rip out some of the invisible stitches in order to sew on the hooks because my hands couldn’t fit underneath the facing :(.
Fabric Used: Poplin
Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:
I made a few minor alterations. First, I am 5’2 and shortened the sash by 10 inches because it hung several inches below the hem (I cut off four inches from the bottom of the dress and made a 1 inch hem). This could have been easily avoided if I had tied the sash around my waist to measure the length before I sewed the seams (duh! :). It’s still longer than the sash featured on the pattern envelope. If I make this again, I may make it even shorter and I will tie it on the side instead of the middle.
Also, I didn’t have any issues with the slit in the back exposing too much skin as some of the other reviewers noted, however, I am going to sew a few more inches of the opening closed because it exposed my bra strap even though I pushed it as far down my back as possible. I didn’t notice this until I was on my way out of the door in the dress, so I used a safety pin.
Note: I took this photo before I pinned the opening closed.
Ugh! I can sort of see that pesky little area where I encountered the drama with the uneven back facing (left shoulder), but I have decided to stop being a perfectionist, so I’m going to make like Keyshia Cole and “let it go“…..(woo-saa!). Besides, if anyone is that close to my shoulder to notice this minor detail, they really need to back up off me! :)
Finally, I sewed a hook and eye instead of a button. When I wore this dress out to dinner, my friends had to constantly re-fasten the hook every couple of minutes because it refused to stay closed (sooooo annoying). I am definitely going to replace the hook and eye with a button and thread loop before I wear this dress again!
Let me know if you have any button suggestions. I was thinking of something sparkly — perhaps rhinestones?
Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? I would definitely recommend this pattern to others, but it’s a very unique and memorable dress and I’m not sure if I need two. However, I LOVE the flattering fit and back opening, so I am definitely going to sew the sleeveless version (View D) in the near future to spare myself the headache I encountered with the sleeves and facings again. From my experience, I recommend View D for beginners instead of View B. This dress would have probably ended up in the wadder pile if I had attempted to make it (without assistance from my sewing instructor) before I had some experience with sleeves and facings.
Conclusion: I love this dress and highly recommend this pattern! It is very flattering, especially if you want to camouflage extra pounds in the midsection. Side note: I wore this to my birthday dinner and my friends raved about it. I ate ice cream and a HUGE piece of chocolate cake and I didn’t even have to loosen up the sash :)