finished objects · Sewing

Cynthia Rowley dress (Simplicity 2443)

Pattern: Simplicity 2443

Fabric: Ponte de Roma knit from Hancock’s, 2 yards

There is much to be said for the simple dress.  This deviates quite a bit from my usual style, yet I love it!  This is the second Cynthia Rowley design that I’ve sewn (first here,) and I think I might be a fan.  This dress is actually pretty similar to the first – both have skirts that are just gathered rectangeles, and a waistline that falls between the empire and the natural waistlines.  I made this dress because I wanted a simple project, as well as a dress in a neutral color that will work for multiple seasons.

My InStyle magazine this month says that big hair is back – at last, I’m ahead of a trend! (though it should be noted that big hair never left the south, but oh well!)

I love the back of this dress – the racer back is not my usual choice, but it is very flattering.  I cut a straight size 8.  If I were using a stretchier knit I would size down, but this one was pretty stable.   Construction was, for the most part, really simple.  The ponte knit was a dream to sew – now I know why everyone raves over it!  I used my serger for 3/4 of the construction, and my regular machine with a .5 width zigzag for the rest.

One caution though – the straps were really hard to sew to the body of the dress.  I stay-stitched, but then after having to resew the seam several times due to puckers I still got a little stretching.  Oh well though – it’s not so bad, and I’m proud of myself for finishing the tricky step!

After the dress was completed I took the straps up by an inch in front and back.  I like where the waist falls better now.  If I made it again I would make this adjustment before cutting, and deepen the armholes to compensate – you can see where they are a tad short in the front.

This dress feels very much like wearing a t-shirt, which is a good thing.  Now I’m going to make up the jacket from the pattern, and think about getting some other doubleknits for more fall projects!