Thursday, October 2, 2014

Simplicity 1801 Cynthia Rowley dress

 This dress had been sitting in my workroom partially finished since before my trip to San Francisco early in September. I was hoping to get it done for that trip. I had wanted a work dress that would work with brown shoes and accesories. 
This photo shows the colors the best! 

When traveling for work I find that it is easiest to either go with black shoes/accesories or Brown shoes/accesories as my base for outfits. This makes for easier packing and planning of outfits! On long trips I will often take both but really felt I was lacking a dress to go with brown. So with just a couple of days to go before my trip I perused my stash and came up with this knit. The colors work perfectly with the Pantone fall colors. It has the reds, the pops of the blue and orchid and of course with it being a print it is always more forgiving at hiding body imperfections. Originally I had thought of using my TNT knit wrap dress pattern but decided I needed to break out of my box.

This Cynthia Rowley pattern was also in my stash. Perfect! That means the dress was free.... Right!?!?!?

If memory serves me correctly I picked up this mid weight ITY knit of of JoAnns super sale racks. It has a nice weight to it without being to heavy. 

This pattern does call for woven materials but I wanted it in a knit, so a knit it was made out of. I made several changes. The biggest was to the neckline. I really love a V neck but I have to muslin them because many times I have to make adjustments so that it is work appropriate and I didn't want to have to wear camisole underneath. Due to the knit I was also able to leave out the zipper. The last change was to cut it 2 inches longer than the shorter dress length. Again, I find some of the dress lengths a little to short for work wear and travel. Nothing worse than having to always be tugging at a neckline and hem or worrying about an inappropriate flash. Nope... That certainly would not do!
When gathering longer areas together I back stitch my gathering stitches at both ends and then pull the threads from the middle. This helps me keep things more evenly gathered as well as there being NO chance that I will accidentally pull one of the stitches out! This dress had LOTS of gathering. At the front and back at the shoulder yokes, at the bodice to the waist and then the skirt to the waist. 

I actually really like this dress quite a lot. However, next time I make it, regardless of knit or woven, I really need to lengthen the front bodice and go down maybe half a size in the upper chest and shoulder area. I also need to stabilize the pockets so I don't get sag. I had some stabilizer tape out on my work table but when you leave a project in works for almost 3 weeks.... Well the brain doesn't always remember what it should.
Here are some rather dull looking selfies from the hotel room! But at least you get an idea of how it looks on me :)

Speaking of that front bodice length. I have noticed a trend over the past year that I feel like in many of my makes from the Big 4 that I need to lengthen the bodice..... I do flat pattern measurements for so many other parts, one would think that I would also measure that!!! No I will! 

Overall I am happy with this make and it is a great addition to my work wardrobe. I can wear it with flats or pair it up with leggings and boots. Very versatile. 

In other sewing news I finally had to purchase a new iron. My old one decided to just quit working and water was just leaking out and even after cleaning it several times it was still gunky and spitting. After having to re-wash several lengths of fabric after trying to iron them I had had enough! I bought this very beautiful and heavy Rowenta from Bed Bath and Beyond with a 20% coupon. Ohhhhh, she is nice!

On a non- sewing front update. I had a follow-up cardiologist appointment this Monday and I have been officially released! My atrial septal aneyeurism has not magically gone away and my mitral valve has not un-prolapsed BUT all of my symptoms are well under control and other than having to lose some weight I am in excellent health! Blood Pressure, Pulse, triglycerides, cholesterol are all in the excellent ranges. All I need to do is just keep following up with my regular general physician. Happy News!!

Parting shots (not the best pics...) of Princess Victoria on her very first swing. And yes.... She is dressed as batman! Thanks to her grandpa :) 


  1. Nice job on the dress. Gathers seem to be the worst thing for me to try. I can never get them equal across the area and always end up with puckers when trying to sew the gather piece to the fabric piece with no gathers. If you have any hints please share with me since I now avoid patterns with gathered pieces.

  2. Yes, gathers and I are not the greatest of friends either! Even when I tack them first they still seem to want to do their own thing ... J


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