Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Pattern Review: Cynthia Rowley for Simplicity 2250

I'm going to start this post by saying that I was both super excited to sew this dress, but also full of trepidation. Super excited is fairly self explanatory: I mean, look at the thing! How cute is that dress design?!?

The trepidation, however, became the overwhelming emotion whenever I steeled myself to glance over the patterns instructions. There were darts. And pleats. And darts upon pleats. And that was just the bodice! Still, I was determined to make this Cynthia Rowley number up. The fabric was in the stash, nestled snugly in next to the lining and zip. All I needed was the courage, and this dress could be mine, all miiiiiiiiiine!

So I sewed it. And scratched my head over it. And probably said a swearword to two under my breath as I tried to figure out which darn piece was meant to be folded where? And then doubted my sewing ability when my bodice didn't match my lining piece. And then nodded sagely when I read other reviews which said that their bodice pieces didn't match their linings, either.

I muddled, and unpicked, and finger-pressed (wondering why I couldn't just attack it with my iron and end up with nice, crisp pleats) and finally got this baby finished. And now I feel a bit 'meh' over it.

I mean, I like it, but after all the effort and time that went into this I wanted to LOVE this dress. In fact, I wanted to put this dress on, and have people stop in the street and take photos of it, and cars crash as the drivers took their eyes off the road and instead watched me in this amazing dress float down the street, resulting in very expensive insurance premiums for them, and a whole lotta dress attention for me. I wanted Sarah Jessica Parker to find an image of this dress on Pinterest, and demand that her PA track down the maker of this incredible dress, and then contact me personally to beg me to make her one, too. I mean, really. Is that too much to ask?

Instead, I have a dress that I kinda like, but really doesn't melt my ice cream that much.

I shall take my fair share of the blame for this. I imagined the scalloped stripe of the fabric pattern would look brilliant in a kinda of 3D-hurt-your-eyes way amongst all the pleating and folding, but it just looks a bit muddled and lost. I also think the fabric has far too much white in it for my colouring. I have a feeling that a block colour would have worked better, like this gorgeous version by SilkWings in yellow.

Still, every though I don't wake up every morning dying to put this dress on, it's still pretty cute. And it has pockets. Phew - saving grace! Still, SJP - if you want it, just let me know.

CR Dress #4

CR Dress #2

CR Dress #3

CR Dress #1

Project Details
Pattern: Cynthia Rowley for Simplicity 2250
Fabric: 2.4m cotton print from GJ's Discount Fabrics
Notions: 30cm invisible zipper, lining for bodice, interfacing and elastic


  1. This dress looks fantastic!!!
    I had my browser minimised (at work) so I couldn't see the photos at all till I read to the very end, the anticipation was killing me!!!
    I think the print on the fabric is gorgeous, but it does hide all the folds and tucks and pleats that I'm sure look fantastic.. overall I think the dress is amazing. If SJP doesn't want it, I'll have it!!

  2. I tihnk it looks fantastic. I think the tucks and pleats look amazing.

  3. I think you've done an amazing job with this dress.

  4. I was just wondering recently whatever happened to this dress. I'm so glad you finished it! I gotta ask did you sort out the bodice lining length thing? Was it pattern error or sewing error? I think it looks lovely, the fabric is great!

  5. I think your dress looks great! Put it away for a week or so, then dust it off and wear it. I'll bet you'll like it better after some "time out". I have that pattern too. Now I am more excited to make it myself.

  6. very cute dress.

  7. I love the dress too! I've recently bought the pattern, and this is going to be my first difficult project. So far I've just sewn very simple skirts. Finger crossed! What fabric did you use?

  8. Hi Carlotta,

    I used cotton for the dress itself, and a silk/cotton voile for the lining. Enjoy!


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