Pattern: Simplicity 2281, Cynthia Rowley design
Fabric: Rayon challis, bought off ebay, possibly vintage?
Notions: 22″ Invisible zipper
Notes: I have mixed feelings about Simplicity’s Cynthia Rowley line. One one hand, it’s a lovely line with some fashion forward designs. On the other hand, I’m pretty sure Ms. Rowley is designing for someone who does not have my body type. Simplicity 2443, for instance, is one of my favorite patterns, but I had to alter the dress to get it to suit me. Specifically, it seems as though most of the designs in the line are long waisted, with a gathered (but not flared) skirt. I look best in dresses that are higher waisted, with flared skirts. I don’t like too much blousiness in a bodice.
I was attracted to the neck/shoulder treatment on this dress. And, indeed, it is lovely! It’s certainly my favorite thing about the dress. One bit of oddity – I thought the neckline would be a drawstring halter, because of the ties, but as it turns out the entire thing is sewn in place with binding. It fits me fine, but I feel like it would be easier to fit the pattern with a drawstring. The directions at that point were odd also – the illustrations showed the view without the open shoulders, forcing me to guess on exactly how to do the neckline. At that point, I stopped using the directions entirely, and sewed the rest of the dress without.
The skirt is tulip shaped, which isn’t apparent from the envelope. I do like a tulip shape, but I think I would like this dress more with a flared skirt. I left off the pockets, because I didn’t want to add bulk to the skirt. Be careful when choosing the skirt size to cut – the hip measurements are correct, but the hemline is much more narrow. I can just fit mine over my hips. The dress has to go over your head because of the neckline – no stepping in!
My fabric was printed a bit off grain, which isn’t too apparent, but it does bother me a little. If I were to make this dress again, I would reduce the width of the midriff piece by half. It’s true that I do have a long torso, but my actual waist is pretty high, and I prefer to emphasize that, to keep my legs from looking short. I would also switch out the skirt. I do like this dress – I think it’s very cute for spring, and I really like the blue polka dots! And I really love the shoulders.
I’m off today to the Simplicity sale at Joann’s – I have a few new patterns to pick up. I will write about my next sewing plans later! BTW, if anyone saw a weird post from me earlier… that was my husband’s attempt at an April Fool’s day joke. We have had words about how utterly unfunny I find April Fool’s day, and I do not think he will be posting anymore old, unflattering photos of me. Just in case you were wondering what was up with that!
15 thoughts on “Simplicity 2281”
Aww! I loved that photo of you and your cat! It was sooo cute!
That dress is so lovely, very tempted to make one too as Crab and Bee has made one too, but think it might make me look a bit too busty. Have fun wearing it!
Ooh, what an interesting dress! I love the fabric.
I hope your hubby didn’t get into tooo much trouble! Gotta appreciate the men in your lives with a sense of humor, even when it’s gets a little…over-developed.
Thanks for sharing another project, your blog is so inspirational!
I really love that. Your fabric choice is wonderful. I have this pattern and it is on my long list of things to sew.
You always use such great fabrics!
This dress looks awesome, when I discovered the pattern, it puzzled me a bit, but the dress is so interesting, I would keep on looking at it for ages!
I just bought that pattern yesterday at the Joann sale (more for view A), but I like your version of the dress even better than the photo on the pattern. I think by taking away the contrast detailing on the waist, it’s a much prettier dress. It’s too bad you had fit issues with the pattern, but the finished dress looks great.
It looks great! I love the fabric you chose – it’s perfect for that dress. I have a long torso as well, so I know what you mean about altering patterns to fit… I agree with Rachel – I think yours looks much nicer than the pattern photo 🙂
I almost forgot about the simplicity pattern sale…until yesterday! I made sure to stop by after work today. I’m SO excited about my purchases….2178 and 2180!!!!
I like it a lot. Very original looking! Bound to get lots of positive comments.
If it makes you feel any better, I thought you looked pretty in the “old, unflattering” pic.
The fabric you chose for this project is just perfect! I have so many times thought about making this up, and then put the pattern away. I am so happy you made this and have provided your thoughts on it. Thank you! I think you have a very flattering dress here, and I definitely think your dress looks better than the pattern envelope picture!
You look gorgeous in this dress. Amazing job!
I too own this pattern! You definitely used a much prettier fabric than they did on the pattern cover. I’m disappointed to hear the directions were confusing.
I saw that! Change your password! 😉