Have you had a project that both excited and scared you at the same time? This Cynthia Rowley dress –Simplicity 1607– was exactly that for me but I SEW WANTED TO WEAR IT TO MY AWESOME FRIENDS’ WEDDING!
This was the first (and currently only) Cynthia Rowley pattern I’ve ever sewn, so I did a little research on patternreview.com to see what other sewists had to say.
“OMG THE STRAPS WERE A NIGHTMARE!”
“I NEED A GLASS OF WINE AND AN EASY PROJECT AFTER MAKING THIS DRESS.”
“THIS IS MY FAVORITE DRESS EVER!”
*Not actual quotes, but you get my drift.
Needless to say, I was a bit scared to start and already named it the Wedding [Guest] Dress of Doom. However, I knew if I could pull it off, it would be SWEET. I had the most beautiful silky Asian inspired fabric in mind for this that I got for cheap at SAS (I think $2/yd? AWESOME) and didn’t want to ruin it. I decided making a muslin was the best way to go about making sure I didn’t screw it up… and I had less than a month to make both the muslin AND dress cuz that’s how I roll. Y’all, I only sew on the weekends in between litter poop-scooping, errand-running, and cleaning the house-that’s-too-spacious-for-two-people, so that’s not a whole lot of time.
And you know what? It really wasn’t that bad! Of course when it came to the straps, I had to make sure I was 1) fully awake and 2) had no booze in me. You need serious concentration for that part but the best advice is to LABEL all the pattern pieces (right back, right back facing, left front, left front facing, etc.) It’s tedious but it makes a world of difference.
The fabric is slippery so I cut the pattern pieces one piece at a time… meaning not folding the fabric so that took HOURS but it was worth having the grainlines straight. It had to look decent for such an important event!
I graded between a size 8 at the neckline/shoulders to a 10 at the waist (I think?) so I could squeeze some wedding noms and booze in me as well as not busting out my seams while dancing to “Shout.”
I wasn’t really feeling the drop waist skirt option… the only option for this pattern. But I saw a version of this dress with a plain gathered skirt attached to the waistband instead and inspiration struck! I took the pattern piece for my Sewaholic Cambie gathered skirt and cut out 2 of the front panel. I didn’t use the back skirt pieces as the Cambie has a back zipper and the Cynthia Rowley dress has a side zipper. I REALLY wanted to put pockets in it, but I just couldn’t wrap my brain around doing that with a lining and side zipper. I’m sure it’s easy but THOSE STRAPS, people!
And speaking of THOSE STRAPS, they required quite a bit of hand sewing where they attached to the bodice so they wouldn’t just rip out when I was getting my groove on. I also had to tack down the straps to each other on the shoulders so I wouldn’t get weird bubbling and shifting. I hand-sewed a blind hem stitch because a normal hem wouldn’t look too pretty on this fabric that shows all of your sewing flaws and I just couldn’t risk doing a blind hem on my machine because Odin works better with cottons.
I’m happy with how it came out but when I turn it inside out, I like it better. The print is so busy that I think it looks awesome broken up with some black. *Shrugs* Oh well, there ain’t no WAY I’m cutting THAT many pieces on THAT fabric with THAT pattern again!
Wedding [Guest] Dress of Doom: CONQUERED.
CONGRATULATIONS, Y’ALL! Beautiful wedding, beautiful people, good times all around!
Have you ever made something that turned out to be easier than you thought? Or vice versa? 🙂