Monday, July 6, 2009

Cynthia Rowley top-turned-dress

It's been years since I bought a Simplicity pattern, but when they were 10/$10 at Joann recently, I ran out and bought all of the Cynthia Rowley patterns (in addition to several Project Runway patterns). I am so easily swayed by designer labels!







Fabric: Grey/white cotton gingham purchased in 2008 from Fashion Fabrics Club. It is weighty enough that it doesn't need a lining and it's even a bit textured.

Notes on construction/alterations:
I didn't make a muslin for this, given it's loose shape. I flat-measured the pattern at the bust and size 10 (I usually wear Burda size 38) seemed okay. Then I flared it out at the hips and lengthened the top to a dress length.

I only traced and cut out pattern pieces 1 and 2, the front and back bodices. The other pieces - neck binding, armhole binding, and armhole bands - are all rectangles, so I just wrote down the measurements and used my long ruler and rotary cutter to cut those. BWOF has me trained that way.

I should warn you though about the twisted arm bands.

First, the instructions tell you to twist each one 3 half turns before sewing the band's underarm seam. I ended up twisting mine 4 times in order to be able to stitch the underarm seam properly. (My point is that you'll need to make an even, not an odd, number of turns; you'll see what I mean if you make this one up).


Second, if you have any OCD tendency at all, expect it to present itself when you are trying to baste the twisted sleeve bands in an evenly distributed, attractive, and symmetrical fashion. The twisted band is tacked to the finished sleeve in 4 or so places, and I think I spent the entire 1-hour episode of Car Talk working on this Saturday morning. And you know what? In the end, if I had done this blindfolded it would have turned out the same.



Conclusion:
This was my 4th of July outfit. I was going for a kind of simple/APC/Japanese style of dress. I'd love to see how this looks in a dressier fabric, like silk. The twisted neckband/armband is a neat feature that could easily be adapted to use on other patterns. Keep it coming, Cynthia!

27 comments:

Trudy Callan said...

Fantastic job. It looks great on you.

www.sewingwithtrudy.blogspot.com

chrrristine said...

hi Christina, I've been reading your blog for a while now but never got round to say hello. I really enjoy it, love your projects and find your links very helpful. unfortunately i am currently separated from my sewing machines (only for another 6 weeks), but your posts always inspire me a lot! love the dress, by the way.
Christine

Linda said...

Cute dress. I keep looking at this pattern but yet to buy.

katherine h said...

Very cute. I was thinking that simple-yet-chic Japanese style before you even mentioned it, so you definitely got the look you wanted.

cidell said...

I too am a label ho. I bought all the Tracy Reeses and am waiting for the next Simplicity sale.

I LOVE the sleeve.

Burda also has me trained on cutting out rectangles. I just measure and rotary :)

Little Hunting Creek said...

Great idea to make this top into a dress. It looks cute on you

Rachel said...

Very cute!!! I love your sandals.

Erica B. said...

Very cute! I love your sandals!

Lindsay T said...

Very NYC boutiquey cute. I don't know that I'd have the patience for those twisted armbands.

eword10 said...

Super cute!!!

The Slapdash Sewist said...

Very cute! I'll have to check out the Rowley patterns next time Simplicity is on sale.

Byrdie said...

I love how this looks! Thanks for the feedback on the twisted armbands:)

Cindy said...

Very cute! I just bought a similiar fabric to make the top! I might see if there is enough for a dress!Looks simplistic and fun!

Miss Linda said...

What a sweet little top! You did a beautiful job on those twisted sleeves.

gwensews said...

Great dress. I love those armbands! Looks great on you.

Nancy K said...

Very, very cute! Perfect on you.

Cindy May said...

this is downright adorable.

Gail said...

Love them. Particularly the check.

toy said...

very cute, I love this style on you

rhymeswithspoon said...

Cute! I love it as a dress. I just sewed the top with the twisted neckline and let me tell you sewing that thing on just about drove me insane. I think I'm happy with the way it turned out but I must've ripped it out twice before I gave up and made my peace with it. I gotta say overall though I'm happy with both of the Cynthia Rowley patterns I've made so far.

Beth said...

I think your arm bands look great! I found the twisting really hard to do when I made the top. I thought it would be easy-peasy but no such luck.

ambika said...

I love it! I wish I'd known about the sale.

loopylulu said...

I haven't been keeping up with the patterns from the Big 4, but I really should be! This looks like the perfect summer picnic dress.

Dei said...

Adorable dress. Nice and fresh. Love the shoes too. Where'd you get those?

Tany said...

I love it and you look great in it! Well done!

lindsey k said...

Love it! I'm trying this one out in a seersucker stripe. I'm trying to lengthen it to a dress, too, after seeing you do it so easily!

Miks said...

Love this! so jealous you have a Joann's! Keep up the great blogging:)